Out-of-character/metagame knowledge

James Gasik

Legend
Supporter
I personally prefer to let the players trick themselves- I give them all the information they need, and yet, somehow, they still pick up the idiot ball. No DM shenanigans involved!
 

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Ovinomancer

No flips for you!
I personally prefer to let the players trick themselves- I give them all the information they need, and yet, somehow, they still pick up the idiot ball. No DM shenanigans involved!
I've been saying this for years -- I could give my notes to the players and they'll manage to still screw up by the numbers. Of course, I stopped designing situations that rely on hidden information gimmicks, so that they maintain their teeth even if you know everything, so maybe that helps.
 

James Gasik

Legend
Supporter
There's a thread about your favorite traps, which I demonstrate two examples of this sort of thing. One, as a running gag, I routinely use a very simple trap in my games- contact poison smeared on a doorknob. It's stunning how often my players still fall victim to it.

The other, tired of a Rogue player insisting on "MacGyvering" his way around traps rather than make a skill check, I put two traps in the room. The first was super obvious, and once he solved it to his satisfaction, he assumed there was only one trap and never bothered to check for any. So he blundered into the second trap.
 

There's a thread about your favorite traps, which I demonstrate two examples of this sort of thing. One, as a running gag, I routinely use a very simple trap in my games- contact poison smeared on a doorknob. It's stunning how often my players still fall victim to it.

I may not be understanding why you find this pleasing. Doesn't that just lead to players investigating EVERY doorknob, until they don't find anything so many times that they get lazy and start skipping doorknobs, at which point you "get them" again? That doesn't sound fun to me.

What am I missing?

EDIT: Or is it just a "thing" with your particular group, which makes them laugh for reasons of a shared in-joke?
 

James Gasik

Legend
Supporter
Yeah sorry, how it happened was, back in the 3e DMG, one of the listed traps was "doorknob smeared in contact poison". It was such a dumb trap I added it to an adventure on a lark, thinking nobody would fall for that.

Somehow, they did. Hilarity ensued.

So as a running gag, at least once per campaign, I'll throw in this really easy to detect and bypass (just wear gauntlets!) trap. And somehow, a character gets hit with it every time.

The last time, my roommate somehow realized he was about to be stung by it, so he was like "you know I have gauntlets, right?"

And I'm like "yep."

But later, they had to flee some enemies, and they came back to the door, and the Rogue (who had never bothered to check this room previously, since the Fighter had opened the door) said "I close the door to buy us some time!"

Cue my roommate doing the "Big No" in slow motion...
 

Lanefan

Victoria Rules
A while back in my game there was a PC Fighter who couldn't miss a pit trap if he tried. I could randomly place a 10x10' pit trap in an empty 100x100' room safe in the knowledge that when they got to the room this guy would beeline straight for it and fall in; and he rarely if ever disappointed.

The peak of his performance: there was a 20'-wide hallway with (I think 4) scattered 10x10' pit traps to slow down invaders. This one PC was the only one affected; he found every one of them the hard way - even though he wasn't always in the lead! - while everyone else sailed through unharmed.

It took a while for us all to stop laughing... :)
 

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