Do your players know the rules?

Do your players know the rules?

  • My players don’t know the rules at all, and I wish they did.

    Votes: 3 1.7%
  • My players don’t know the rules at all, and I’m glad they don’t.

    Votes: 2 1.2%
  • My players know a little bit about the rules, and I wish they knew more.

    Votes: 51 29.5%
  • My players know a little bit about the rules, and that’s all they really need.

    Votes: 23 13.3%
  • My players know a lot about the rules, but I wish they knew everything.

    Votes: 32 18.5%
  • My players know a lot about the rules, and I wish they didn’t know as much.

    Votes: 8 4.6%
  • My players know the rules better than I do, and that’s fine with me.

    Votes: 20 11.6%
  • My players know the rules better than I do, and that’s a real problem.

    Votes: 5 2.9%
  • Other (please explain)

    Votes: 29 16.8%


They know the rules, but not well enough. They still make some basic mistakes from time to time, but I don't mind correcting here and there.


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It varies quite a bit.

One of the players often DMs. He learned the rules really fast (he started 3e and D20 Modern with us and had little, if any, 2e experience). However, we have a player who played with our group the same length of time and still needs someone to hold their hand during character gen, and we have a player who used to run Palladium who also barely knows the rules. We have yet another player who started with us who has put a lot of effort into knowing the rules - it's obvious, as he used to make mistakes all the time but no longer does so.


My group consists of three complete newbies and one Living Greyhawk Triad member. I'd say I have the most comprehensive knowledge of the rules, though. I'm used to having the best rules knowledge at the table, so that's fine with me.


First Post
I've played with everything from rules lawyers to complete newbs. The best are those that know the rules enough to have fun, but don't try and badger a DM with their take on said rules. Mostly I play now with people that have atleast as good a grasp on the rules as myself, or nearly so.


First Post
I voted "other," because some of the players in my group know the rules really well and some just sort of struggle through. No complete newbies, just wide disparities of how much people care about the rules as written (not that that's a bad thing).


First Post
I said "they know more than me, which is great."

All the fundamental rules I know, but I'm running an Arcana Unearthed/Evolved game, and don't have a in-depth grasp of all the classes and spells; I trust each player to understand how their class abilities and spells work.


First Post
I voted: "My players know a little bit about the rules, and I wish they knew more."

They know enough to run their characters in a basic way (know the general rules re: combat, understand AoOs, know their spells and where to reference them), but they can't do anything complicated - at all. The just don't have the knowledge (or inclination) to learn about complicated options, so they just don't do them (even to the point where it's detrimental to their characters).

That's their problem to work out, though. It certainly keeps the game moving...


Gold Roger said:
Two players know the rules really well.
One player knows the rules decently.
One player doesn't bother with the rules and it annoys the heck out of me.

More or less what he said.


Sadly the area I live in is full of ignorant players.
That mean players who can play for years and never bother with any rules except when to roll which dice. (No joke. I had a player who played since 3.0 and didn't knew much more than that).


There are a couple of players in my group who know the rules pretty much inside-and-out. There's another tier on which I think another player and I operate, which is pretty good, solid rules knowledge but not perfect; I'm always trying to learn more. Our current DM is old to D&D but fairly new to 3.5, so he's probably at the third tier, I'd say--he's still making reference to some 3.0 skills, for example--but there's no major problem there. Finally, there's the "lowest" layer of rules knowledge that consists of the DM's spouse and a preteen son of another player, and I do wish they knew the rules better, yes.


First Post
My players fall into one of two categories:

My players know a little bit about the rules, and I wish they knew more.
My players know a lot about the rules, and I wish they didn’t know as much.

Painfully ignorant or too smart for their own in-between.


First Post
My current group falls into two basic of these groups- some who know almost no rules while others can be rule books on specific situations.

Having the mix has been a good time with the varied levels of knowledge we tend to also look out for each other knowing what skills one might have and suggesting it. The DM seems to like this, since he can then feel no quams about not mentioning a better way to do something. Makes us work together that much more :)


2 of my 5 players know the rules very well and I am glad. It saves me tons of time.

The other 3 need some work. A lot. They're on the opposite spectrum of my top 2 players.

Hm . . . I've got nine PCs in my game and they run the gammut:

1) A fellow DM knows the rules really well and knows a TON of DnD "lore" which makes surprising him difficult; that's somewhat annoying, but easy to deal with as he's cool.
2) A couple of guys know the rules pretty well; they are nearly to the point of min/maxing more than I would like to see.
3) Some of the players know almost nothing about the rules; that's super annoying. Sometimes they don't even seem interested in learning.
4) There is a player who doesn't know all of the rules, but knows most of the "game lore" which makes it difficult to bring in surprise challenges.
5) There are a couple of "happy medium" players that know the rules that apply to their characters, but not much more. They keep on top of what they need to know, but don't use encyclopedic knowledge of the rules to make encounters into tactical situations.

Scribe Ineti

Depends on the games we play. Most of my players know D&D 3.5 far better than I do, and that's okay since I'm a player and not a GM in that game. Most of my players know Star Wars d20 as well as I do, which is nice in that I don't have to do a lot of explaining as we're blowing up TIEs and stormtroopers.

I know the Coda system better than everyone else in my group, which is fine. It gives me the chance to explain things as we go and keep things moving. Cuts down nicely on the occasional rules lawyering.


Ivan Alias
I'm in the Other camp. My players know the rules they need for their characters well, but less so on areas where they don't normally venture. They know them enough for it not to be an issue bogging down play, and they occasionally one-up me, but in general I know the obscure rules better than my players.

The biggest rules lawyer in the group, and admittedly the biggest power-gamer is me, the DM, so we rarely get into rules bickering.


Like many on this list, my players cover the gamut. Two know them well, at least for their characters and for combat in general. One is pretty good but needs to double-check things he's unfamiliar with. The other two know just enough to be able to get by. I have to help them level up, remind them of what their feats do, and REPEATEDLY explain how attacks of opportunity, cover and missile fire, etc... work. But since they're both over 70 I tend to cut them some slack!


ENnies winner and NOT Scrappy Doo
In my main group, my players know a lot about the rules, and that's fine by me (they know everything about sneak attack, flanking, tumbling, and the basics of combat, skills, and stuff... they are good at navigating class selection, skill selection and feat procurement).

In my other group, they know less about the rules, but are learning. And that's fine with me.

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