D&D 5E "As DM, I Know How All the PCs' Abilities, Spells, and Items Work" (a poll)

"As DM, I know how all the PC abilities, spells, and items work to the best of my ability."

  • True.

    Votes: 59 46.5%
  • False.

    Votes: 68 53.5%


He / Him
True, but not because of some Orwellian surveillance state at my table.

I'm just really interested and invested in the characters. We use Dndbeyond, and it's fun for me to explore their characters' new abilities are each level. I also have a good memory for D&D rules. I guess I'm a "fan" of the characters, and because of that I know what they can do!

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Biological Disaster
I'd like to not, but two of my players have infamously poor knowledge retention, and another has some absolutely baffling interpretations of character building rules (and thus needs his sheet audited after pretty much every level up). I TELL them that I'm not responsible for knowing the minutae of their character sheets, but it feels like a lost cause sometimes.
Doesn't help that I'm usually teaching newbies, too.


Scion of Murgen (He/Him)
So very true. Last session I had a player arguing to use an ability that let's him "lways" add his wisdom mod to a particular skill being refused... "what exactly does it say"" - >"you can add your wisdom mod to a different skill under specific circumstances"

Its sad how often that kind of thing happens these days
It's always been this way. Back in the 90s we called it "pulling a Kyle" when someone failed to read the entire spell description and missed a key proviso or limitation, because our gaming buddy Kyle did it so often.


Guest 7034872

I chose "False" because there was no listed option for "Oh, dear God, no." I certainly do try to learn this stuff as best I can, but that little "as best I can" clause hides a lot. Were I to devote my every spare waking minute to mastering the material, learning absolutely every rule and absolutely every detail of every spell, ability, and item, I surely could know this stuff far better than I do.

But will I do that? Not unless someone decides to start paying me an awful lot of money for it, no.

My friends and I play this game for fun; we play it because it's fun and because we enjoy each other's company and because every one of us loves a good story. We don't play it with any notion of mastering all details of the system. I mean, I was DMing just last night--dog tired at the time, so I was not able to bring my "A game"--and I had to look up how contested Stealth checks went. One of the players had to help me out with where to look it up in the PHB. Is that something that a DM ideally would know? Of course. Did I feel guilty about it? No, of course not--don't be silly.

I almost think there should be a section devoted to this somewhere early on in the PHB and the DMG: "Managing Expectations."


I almost think there should be a section devoted to this somewhere early on in the PHB and the DMG: "Managing Expectations."
That would help a lot to be able to say "Bob can you look at page xx & start doing it" instead of Bob staring at me and getting salty because the umpteenth session in a row I've corrected him on what is basically blatant cheating disguised by "oh... That was an honest mistake, I don't know how I overlooked that...." possibly with a side if "Chill out I'm not cheating or doing it on purpose" if ever really questioned or called on it.


Heretic of The Seventh Circle
I generally do, but not because I need to, I just hyper focus on the game and learn as much as I can, so I still voted no. If someone plays a cleric, l have much less idea what is happening.

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