D&D 5E Metagaming? Cursevod Strahd Question?

Zardnaar

Legend
So we are playing Curse of Strahd. I'm a player but usually DM. I'm not that familiar with this adventure beyond knowing deathhouse has a rough reputation, Strahds a vampire and there's some sort of sun sword in the adventure. I own it read the into 3 or 4 years ago never ran it or played it. Mines the older copy DMs running a deluxe one from a coffin box.

I do have a large amount of institutional knowledge of D&D monsters. Eg I used turn undead on ghouls, putting bodies to rest to quiet spirits, monster fluff etc.

I'm playing an order cleric. I figured I woukd have a basic knowledge of sone of this. Also a suspicious SoB and used detect evil in an inn.

Anyway cleared out death house. Fought shambling mound at level two and we killed it in 2-3 rounds. Earlier in the adventure we recovered a silver short sword. Also the adventure put it theirfor a reason right?

Then we had to escort Irena (sp?) to another village. We were told about wolves. Being an SoB I told the rogue to use the sword (expecting werewolves).

We found a windmill. We went in and one of the other players had sone fairly string suspicions what the old women were, two were oblivious and I had sone fairly string suspensions as well. I wanted to cast detect evil DM raised an eyebrow but didn't end up doing it as I didn't have subtle spell. Divine soul did but she lacked detect evil.

Anyway we talk to them for a bit the old ladies want us to sell pastries in Vallich (spelling ??). The inside however is giving us bad ju ju vibes. And theres a implied threat if we dont sell. Three out of 4 of us have ethical concerns (LG order cleric). The players ask me what I would do.

I don't know the 5E stats of hags off the top of my head, what their CRs are or even what they're resistant to. I suspected outsiders, expected werewolves. I had a rough idea what they were. I didn't want to metagame to much as knowing basic things like silver can be good is one thing blatantly knowing everything not so much.

Choosing my words carefully I said " if this was AD&D sell the damn pastries" I recalled ogre strength and magical weapons didn't tell the others that and deferred to their judgement excusing myself from making the decision.

Brain was saying do what they want heart was saying fight. Getting myself killed is one thing but I don't want a potential tpk except by mutual consent. 5E mobsters tend to be easy though deathhouse wasn't that hard.

Anyway turns out the silver short sword is good vs hags who knew? One hag was to far away and the Rune Knight lucked out and restrained one and redirected another's damage onto her sister. Order cleric, voice of authority, guiding bolts flying around, peace cleric bless ability multiple criss rolled we novaed off ongahag died very fast (6d6+4 damage, 1d6 then 3d6+4, another crit etc). The rogue was sneak attacking twice per round and false life via shadow touched feat on the rogue also triggered voice of authority. Buffs, debunks, various rider effects.

So that's what happened. Where do you draw the line between common sense and metagaming? Could I have handled it better? Alot of D&D tropes were used eg foreshadowing, common monsters and putting in an item that's useful later.

Turning ghouls fair enough, undead and clerics religion check fair enough I excused myself on the Hag decision for metagame reasons, and silver weapon was expecting something else.

That's where the session ended. Windmill past the road to castle Ravenloft no spoilers please after that;).
 

log in or register to remove this ad

R_J_K75

Legend
Could I have handled it better?
I ran Deathhouse and another DM ran the windmill scenario/pie scenario after me. I didn't read any more than Deathhouse, but I did skim through the whole adventure when i first got. By the time we played through the windmill scenario I had forgotten that the sisters were hags but quickly figured it out/remembered what they were at the same time. Thats why I don't run adventures multiple times or ones I know that people have most likely played before. At this stage having played for over 4 decades (like a lot of us) metagaming is next to impossible to avoid, and its harder to surprise players who have been playing for even awhile. In earlier editions of the game this wasn't the case, people weren't as familiar with the game and the monsters as much, it was strongly encouraged that players didn't read the monster manual, and metagaming was met with a quick reprimand from the DM, "Your character wouldn't know that". Nowadays, some players have read the PHB, DMG and MM at least in part. So, I give the players the benefit of the doubt and lots of leeway when it comes to what their character would know and metagaming. As a DM I've decided that the players characters (even at 1st level) have a decent amount of knowledge of the world they live in, including the creatures that inhabit it. After 5+ editions of the game it just makes sense to me. I think as long as you made an effort not to metagame, give away the encounter's creatures or reveal the plot then you handled it as best you could.
 


iserith

Magic Wordsmith
So that's what happened. Where do you draw the line between common sense and metagaming? Could I have handled it better? Alot of D&D tropes were used eg foreshadowing, common monsters and putting in an item that's useful later.
As a player or DM, I don't care about "metagaming." Characters are free to act and think as their player likes for any reason they care to offer.

If you were at my table, you could have told everyone present all about hags' weaknesses or whatever for all I care. But I change things from time to time, so it's possible you could be wrong with possibly disastrous results. "Metagaming" isn't without risk, so it's best to verify one's assumptions with in-game actions (such as attempting to recall lore) before acting upon them in my view.
 

Arilyn

Hero
They pretty much radiated evil, without the use of spells. I don't remember exactly what my players did, but they sure as hell were not going to sell the pastries, and killed the hags. I just don't remember the details, other than they had a plan to give themselves a combat advantage. Used the silver sword, not because they knew the hags' weakness, but more of a might work! It all felt logical.
 

pukunui

Legend
At this stage having played for over 4 decades (like a lot of us) metagaming is next to impossible to avoid, and its harder to surprise players who have been playing for even awhile.

But I change things from time to time, so it's possible you could be wrong with possibly disastrous results. "Metagaming" isn't without risk, so it's best to verify one's assumptions with in-game actions (such as attempting to recall lore) before acting upon them in my view.

On a tangentially related note: I am currently playing in the Oracle of War Eberron campaign. We recently fought an ancient red dragon. The DM had it land on the ground after one of the other players goaded it, and it basically just sat there in one place for the entire fight. I found that somewhat dissatisfying, as that is not how I like to run my dragons.

One of my fellow players is also a player in my Mad Mage campaign. The PCs have tried multiple times to invade Stardock (an asteroid connected to Undermountain) to wipe out the githyanki there. The gith have got multiple young red dragons and their adult red dragon mother as allies. The mother is fiercely dedicated to protecting the githyanki babies. The aforementioned player complained when I didn't have the mother dragon react to his goading in an attempt to get it to commit suicide by PC.

His argument was basically "It's a red dragon! It's supposed to be extremely arrogant. It's not behaving how it's supposed to." He essentially wanted me to have the mama dragon do what the DM of the Eberron campaign did and have her land on the ground and engage his PC in melee instead of being clever and evasive, staying on the outside of the asteroid while she waited for her breath weapon to recharge.

I pointed out that he wasn't the one running the dragon and that this particular dragon was more concerned about protecting the githyanki babies. He got so frustrated that he had his PC snap and declare her intentions to go kill the babies. (He also doesn't know that the mama dragon has some magical tricks up her sleeve and will be able to get to the babies before his PC does.)


@Zardnaar: I don't think you did anything wrong in this context but you do raise some good discussion points.
 
Last edited:

Bill Zebub

“It’s probably Matt Mercer’s fault.”
I know CoS/Ravenloft well enough by now that the next time I play it I'm going to metagame like crazy.

"They seem like kindly old grandmothers to me. I vote we help them with their cookie business."

"That house at the top of the cliff looks empty. We should check it out and use it for our base."

"The glowing sword is clearly a thing of evil. Let's destroy it."
 

Zardnaar

Legend
On a tangentially related note: I am currently playing in the Oracle of War Eberron campaign. We recently fought an ancient red dragon. The DM had it land on the ground after one of the other players goaded it, and it basically just sat there in one place for the entire fight. I found that somewhat dissatisfying, as that is not how I like to run my dragons.

One of my fellow players is also a player in my Mad Mage campaign. The PCs have tried multiple times to invade Stardock (an asteroid connected to Undermountain) to wipe out the githyanki there. The gith have got multiple young red dragons and their adult red dragon mother as allies. The mother is fiercely dedicated to protecting the githyanki babies. The aforementioned player complained when I didn't have the mother dragon react to his goading in an attempt to get it to commit suicide by PC.

His argument was basically "It's a red dragon! It's supposed to be extremely arrogant. It's not behaving how it's supposed to." He essentially wanted me to have the mama dragon do what the DM of the Eberron campaign did and have her land on the ground and engage his PC in melee instead of being clever and evasive, staying on the outside of the asteroid while she waited for her breath weapon to recharge.

I pointed out that he wasn't the one running the dragon and that this particular dragon was more concerned about protecting the githyanki babies. He got so frustrated that he had his PC snap and declare her intentions to go kill the babies. (He also doesn't know that the mama dragon has some magical tricks up her sleeve and will be able to get to the babies before his PC does.)


@Zardnaar: I don't think you did anything wrong in this context but you do raise some good discussion points.

I've done some stinkers with dragons I'm 5E. Airship dragons fly out of range and wait for breath weapon to recharge.

Blue dragons. Tunnels in rock filled with sand. Various safe caves have their Hoard and healing items.

Various rooms have sand pits where the dragon can emerge, breath on them and sod off.

Wife's sorcerer addiction often results in twin fly for the airborne ones.
 
Last edited:



Voidrunner's Codex

Remove ads

Top