D&D General "As a Player, I Alert the DM When I Notice Them Make a Mistake in the PCs Favor" (a poll)

True or False: "As a Player, I Alert the DM When I Notice Them Make a Mistake in the PCs Favor"

  • True.

    Votes: 89 93.7%
  • False.

    Votes: 6 6.3%


It depends on the mistake. I mostly gm and when I. A player it's usually in support of a new game for a fellow permagm friend who probably isn't making it by mistake or it's in support of a former player of mine who is just starting out.

In the first case it's usually a situation where sanity checking yourself if you aren't sure is seen as ok so it would need to be a pretty big goof or a silly mistake that would persist like telling a player "a 1handed longs word is like a d ten" to bring it up at the table. If I think knowing the slip will matter I might mention it between games.

With the second type I'm usually surrounded by people who consider me their gm even if that other guy is trying to gm. Under those circumstances I make it a point to deliberately avoid correcting any rules unless asked. If a player asks about something beyond our sheets I might even deflect saying "it depends on Bob what do you think Bob?" type things since back seat gm'ing is pretty rude & it's easier to avoid if I just make an effort at maintaining a hard line.

I have one player who plays fast and loose with the rules as a player and regularly thinks he's going to win some victory by calling me out expecting some phenix Wright type win ut the results are pretty universally "no the rule does not work like that" or "yea the shambling Mound that jumped off the cliff onto Alice does indeed take 8d6 damage... Roll them bob.. Wow xx is a lot. The shambling Mound takes xx and so does alice... Oh alice is down?... The shambling Mound is pleased with bobs assistance" the gm deliberately ignores rules in favor of the plsyers regularly with good reason and correcting them in the moment is rarely going to be beneficial in the long run .

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Goblin Queen (She/Her/Hers)
I'll make a quick mention of rules if I think it's just a missed rule and it's consequential. On the other hand I'm hesitant to interrupt action and flow of the game.

So something like a missed opportunity attack sure. If it’s more complex it just depends.
Yeah, same. If I notice a mistake and don’t point it out, it’s because I think it would interrupt the flow of gameplay to do so, and in that case I’ll probably still mention it at another time when it won’t be disruptive (if I remember to). It also depends on how big the mistake is. If it’s something that could have a significant effect on the outcome, it might be worth interrupting gameplay to point it out. But if it’s just a minor mistake, it can probably wait.


Follower of the Way
Absolutely, yes.

Unfortunately, I tend to be rather detail-oriented about this sort of thing, so I tend to catch mistakes that the group has missed. It has made me very self-conscious that people will think I am trying to ruin their fun.

On the flipside, there have been several times where I have also found something the players missed that was beneficial rather than detrimental. One example that combined the two was, in an epic 3.PF game, someone was playing a good-aligned undead, but the specific method they were originally using didn't work the way they thought it did. However, I happened to stumble across a different method (divinely-created deathless, who are powered by positive energy rather than negative energy), which not only gave exactly the necessary properties, but was actually more flavor-appropriate for the character (essentially, he had become undead, but switched from serving a deity of oblivion to serving Sarenrae, so deathless fit the bill perfectly.)

But yes, I will point out such errors in an appropriate and timely manner, regardless of who they benefit.


Magic Wordsmith
If it actually matters to a meaningful outcome, I'll point it out. I absolutely hate it when DMs or players interrupt to mention this or that when it doesn't actually affect anything just to get it "right." It especially bothers me when it's several turns later. Not only does it not matter, it's not even relevant to what we're doing now. Ugh.

The reason I will point something out is because an unearned victory is not very satisfying to me.

In my group we all do this. Then the other players all make fun of the person who pointed out the mistake for being like the kid in school who would say "teacher, you forgot to assign us any homework today."


I’m always concerned about coming across as a rules lawyer in games I play in, but I’ll point it out the first time it occurs, though I try to frame it as “that’s what the rules say, but you decide if you want to do it that way.” After all, I do have houserules of my own and sometimes I handle things differently than RAW. Also the DM can’t remember everything when handling players and juggling the world to boot and may need a reminder*.

*Players are notorious for doggedly remembering what’s to their advantage, but often senile when something works against them. For example, I ALWAYS end up looking up spells (unless I’ve used them enough to memorize them) as I’ve run across too many instances where players miss key limitations/wording in the spells.

I always welcome when my mistakes are caught at the table. There is a difference between someone trying to help and someone trying to rules lawyer.

As a GM, I am grateful when I get rules assistance. So, I try and help out as a player. I dont feel great when taking advantage of a mistaken ruling on either side of the screen. Now, if the rule sucks, then its houserule time. You dont get there unless you discuss them as written.

When I'm a player, I will speak up if the mistake is in favor of my character, but I am less likely to do so when it's someone else's, unless it's really egregious. I'm generally a forever DM, so I don't want to come across as a backseat DM when I do get to play.


Limit Break Dancing
The biggest mistake I make at the table is skipping someone in initiative. Sometimes I skip a player, sometimes I skip a monster, but it happens so often that we have a table rule about it: "No retcons, skipped actors go twice."

Basically if I skip you (or the enemy) in the initiative order of combat, we don't roll back the clock and undo an entire round of combat because someone "would have totally done something else if Whatever." Instead, you get to take two full rounds on your turn if you've been skipped.

Since instituting that rule, the players are very quick indeed to remind me that a monster hasn't acted on its turn. "Wait, stop! It's the dragon's turn, remember?" Because they definitely don't want a lich or a dragon getting to take two full turns all at once.

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