View Poll Results: DMs--what is your opinion about players reading DM-only materials?
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It's fine with me--in fact, I encourage them to buy the adventures I'm currently running and read them cover to cover.
I don't really care one way or the other. Players will do what they'll do
It's hard to monitor what players read, especially when some are DMs also. I just have to trust them.
I encourage them not to read the materials and trust that they won't.
I never use published materials, so it doesn't apply to me.
I make enough changes to published materials that they'll just screw themselves if they do read them.
Not in my campaign! *boot*
Thread: Players reading DM-only material
Monday, 4th March, 2002, 02:28 PM #21
Berandor is right, and so is Tsyr.
In my game, I gave the players a list of "common sense": common creatures that everyone knows about. Troll would be on that list, as would ogre, giant, and another 25 common enemies. Anything not on that list is fair game for modification, so ogre mages might not be green and look the same... they might be their own monster entirely. In this way, you can have some comfort levels and some surprise, and that's what my players like the best.
I wanted to throw in another phobia:
As a DM, it freaks me out to see the players flipping through the MM during the game. The first time that it happened, we were in the middle of combat, and I thought that the player was looking at the enemy's stats. So I reacted with a hothead, and it turned out he was looking for a monster to summon.
Does this happen to or bother any of you?
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Gallant (Lvl 3)
We players were once prepping for a fight against a blue dragon. It had kicked our butts twice before, so we spent a couple hours plotting our strategy.
A new guy had just joined our game, and spent the plotting time jeering at us for spending so much time strategizing; his normal group, he told us over and over, would have just gone and killed the dragon. I was getting pretty unhappy.
And then he reached over for a Monster Manual and started looking up the dragon's stats! Right there in the middle of everything! I think the DM's voice actually squeaked with indignation as he snatched the MM back.
Poor fellow didn't last long in our group.
Wolfspider, I was pretty aghast at the behavior of the players in that previous thread -- I had trouble believing that they were dissing their DM to that degree.
For my own games, I certainly don't let players look at my adventure notes, or at any published adventure I use - but everything else is pretty much okay. I rarely use a recognizeable monster; usually when I do, it's for shock value. But barghests are so much more fun when you call them Hadumani, or monkey-demons; grimlocks are so much more fun when they're Sevati, gray extradimensional terrors; gibbering mouthers are more terrifying when they're the coagulated nightmares of a dead man who was driven mad, when they warp space and contain galaxies.
I would, of course, be unhappy if my players were reading the MM in an effort to reverse-engineer my monsters -- if they figured out, for example, that the Sevati were grimlocks, and read up on grimlocks as a result.
Everything's better with monkeys! -Hypersmurf
Scout (Lvl 6)
I'm generally don't like players reading up on published stuff that I plan on running, but I don't make a big deal of it unless they obviously exploit the info.
For instance, I once ran "Hall of the Fire Giant King" (old G3) with full knowledge that one of the PC's had been through it before. I even warned him that I might change things if he abused his knowledge of the module. He seemed agreeable about the idea at the time.
Naturally, the first thing out of his mouth when we got started was, "I go to the first tapesty on the left, rip it aside, and smite the fire giant that's hiding being it before he can blow his horn and warn the lair."
For some reason, he didn't like the fact that he faced a blank wall, and the giant behind the first tapestry on the RIGHT had a ballista with him (and his horn) in the alcove. The surprise round I gave the giant to blow his horn angered the player so much he left the game. That's when I started being a little picky about who I DM'd for, even though it meant I didn't get to DM for about 2 years after that.
No, you are not paranoid. Everyone really IS out to get you!
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