D&D General Being a PC in an adventure you've already GMed

Ancalagon

Dusty Dragon
Hello

I have recently been given the opportunity to join a 5e game where we will be playing a campaign I'm very familiar with (Dungeons of Drakenheim). The reason why I'm so familiar with it is because I'm running that campaign - we are in session 16!

This issue is not 5e specific (nor Dungeons of Drakenheim specific either), but I am sure I'm not the first who's encountered such a challenge, and I would like to hear how others have managed it...

thanks!
 

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Oofta

Legend
I let the DM know and just did my best to play without using my knowledge of the mod. If there's ever anything that doesn't make sense, because you believe the DM misread something, don't bring it up during the game. Just go with it and mention it outside of game if you really want. One of you may have just misunderstood, but it could also just be that the DM decided to run things differently.

Look at it as an opportunity to see how other DMs work and what minor tweaks they do. Enjoy the different dynamics of playing with a different group. Do your best to not use knowledge your PC would not have, hold back a bit and let other people enjoy coming to the conclusion about some secret.

If you can't do any of that, bow out of the game and explain why. On the other hand, based on the type of module, it can be interesting and a learning experience to be on the other side of the DM screen.
 

DND_Reborn

The High Aldwin
Yeah, this has happened to me dozens of times over the decades of playing D&D.

I've never had a problem with it, but the best advice I can offer is to sit back and enjoy the ride. Let others in the group step up and take the lead, make most the decisions, etc. and you go along with it. If something comes up which you think your PC would really want to contribute, go for it, but of course never use your metagame knowledge of the adventure to do it.

And, of course, try your best to never ruin the surprises that are coming up, so everyone can enjoy the adventure! :)
 

DND_Reborn

The High Aldwin
One other thing I can add if you have a hard time separating your prior DM knowledge from your PC player experience is to offer to "play for some of the monsters" if the DM wants you to, especially if this is their first time or they are relatively new to DMing.
 

Tales and Chronicles

Jewel of the North, formerly know as vincegetorix
I spend most of my time DMing, so I've a hard time enjoying the player's side, even more in a campaign I know by heart. So yeah, to avoid being ''that guy'' too much, I try to take the backseat, playing a dedicated support or protector character, let the other shine. And when the game get stalled, I can gently nudge the group to continue forward in the good direction, if needed. I call it playing the DMPC: you can work for and help both the players and the DM, if desired.
 

Oofta

Legend
One other thought on this. When this comes up I tend to play a BDF (big dumb fighter). Which, since I DM a lot having an option to turn off my brain and walk around saying "Grog smash" can be fun. Not necessary of course, but playing a PC that should be the mouthpiece of the group would be one of the hardest to play without leading play at critical points.
 



MarkB

Legend
Let the referee know.

Let the other players make the decisions.
Let the players know too. When you're bowing out of the discussions of the most crucial questions of the campaign, they deserve to know why you're doing it, and you're better off not having them draw the wrong conclusions.
 

overgeeked

B/X Known World
Let the players know too. When you're bowing out of the discussions of the most crucial questions of the campaign, they deserve to know why you're doing it, and you're better off not having them draw the wrong conclusions.
I have to disagree with that. Once the other players know you have insider info, they won't stop asking for hints and clues. It's happened to me too many times to count. Better to just not make decisions.
 

beancounter

(I/Me/Mine)
It can be difficult to pretend to be completely ignorant, or to not mete game with your prior knowledge, but it's a lot of fun reliving a fun adventure with new people!

You just have to have the same disipline you have when playing a 1st level character, even though you've played for years, and DMed, and know all of the monster stats.
 

iserith

Magic Wordsmith
I would let the DM know and encourage them to change some things as I would with running any module for anyone regardless of whether they've played it or not.

But truthfully at my age and considering I drink while I play, there's going to be a lot of stuff I will have forgotten anyway. I'm also terrible with directions so if it's a dungeon or the like, I will definitely not recall where things are in relation to each other most of the time.

When it comes to making decisions, I just do what I always do: "Yes, and..." If someone makes a suggestion, I accept it and add to it.
 

aco175

Legend
Some depends on how well you know all that are playing. Tell the DM regardless, but you can tell or not tell the other players depending on how well you know them. I feel that some may look to you to help them since you know the dungeon or you get to play dumb if they do not know you played it before.

You can help the DM if needed on that side. If the DM is kind of new, you can help with things like initiative or something unless it starts to take away from that side of the table. Some people can be sensitive to this kind of help.

You do get to make a PC that fits with the adventure.
 

this happened a lot back in the early 1E days, when published adventures were still kinda sparse. The only one I recall for me was running through B2, as a fighter/thief in the back of the party. Wanted so bad to warn the others about the pit trap in the kobold lair, but didn't... and everyone but me and my thief buddy (also banished to the back rank) fell in...
 

MarkB

Legend
I have to disagree with that. Once the other players know you have insider info, they won't stop asking for hints and clues. It's happened to me too many times to count. Better to just not make decisions.
There is that, but not participating in the decision-making can lead to other players thinking you're not taking an interest, or if they cotton on that you know something they may think you've been checking out spoilers to get an edge.
 

beancounter

(I/Me/Mine)
There is that, but not participating in the decision-making can lead to other players thinking you're not taking an interest, or if they cotton on that you know something they may think you've been checking out spoilers to get an edge.

I see you're point, but there are ways to skirt around that. "Gee I'm not sure, what you you think Joe?"
 

MarkB

Legend
I see you're point, but there are ways to skirt around that. "Gee I'm not sure, what you you think Joe?"
Sure, but now you're deliberately deceiving your fellow players, which doesn't seem particularly healthy, or fair.

Also, I'm just imagining a game in which each of the players have advised the DM, but not each other, that they have prior experience of the campaign.

"Gee I'm not sure, what you you think Joe?"
"Gosh, I don't really know either. Maybe Fred has a suggestion?"
"Sorry, I'm going to defer to Tim's judgement on this one."
 

beancounter

(I/Me/Mine)
Sure, but now you're deliberately deceiving your fellow players, which doesn't seem particularly healthy, or fair.

Also, I'm just imagining a game in which each of the players have advised the DM, but not each other, that they have prior experience of the campaign.

"Gee I'm not sure, what you you think Joe?"
"Gosh, I don't really know either. Maybe Fred has a suggestion?"
"Sorry, I'm going to defer to Tim's judgement on this one."

Yea, in that case, the DM should choose a different adventure.:)
 

Ancalagon

Dusty Dragon
I should note that yes, of course, I have told the DM. He doesn't mind. I'm just worried about not having fun (or diminishing the fun of others).
 

Ancalagon

Dusty Dragon
You know, I just thought of something. I don't play my NPCs as all-knowing. The evil mastermind sure knows most things, but the great majority of NPCs are not mastermind - they make mistakes, they don't know about certain things, they can be fooled etc etc.

I just have to play my PC as an NPC adventurer in Drakkenheim - sure they know a thing or two, but a lot they don't. I'm also intentionally making him an "outsider" , i.e. not a local - he's never been to Drakkenheim before, and probably also making him someone from outside the kingdom.
 

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