D&D 5E player knowlege vs character knowlege (spoiler)

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But there have been characters in Star Wars canon who put together that Vader was Anakin Skywalker, so it doesn’t seem unreasonable that a PC might be able to do so as well, and from there it’s not a stretch to realize that the dude with the same last name might be his son.
Obiwan knows. Surely he gets drunk sometimes and says things he shouldn’t...?
 

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Ovinomancer

No flips for you!
When you have a chat with the player in the effect that the thing they suggest really doesn't fit the theme of the campaign, you're pretty clearly implicitly telling them what to think (or what not to think in this instance.)
Again, category error. You've argued for the authority to tell the player that their character wouldn't ask for that. I'm saying I'd tell the player this is how I will adjudicate that action if you insist, but I'm willing to discuss what action will result in your (the player's) intent instead. There's a gulf between these two. I can use genre expectations to constrain how I will adjudicate actions while not constraining players' control over their PCs. The player is free to insist, in my example, and I'd adjudicate the action. These are different categories of things.

I point this out because you're trying to suggest that any limitation, however introduced, validates all limitations. This is the category error. All games introduce constraints on the players -- it's the fundamental purpose of the rules: to constrain play. So, at the high level, your statement is true -- genre expectations are constraints on play. The problem here is that you're equating such a constraint on play as to be equivalent to authority in play. This is the category error. If you're going to suggest that how I constrain my adjudications of actions to be within agreed genre expectations as being the same as me exercising authority over what the character is allowed to think, then there's a category error -- these are not the same kinds of constraints. The existence of one does not imply or condone the existence of another. It's like saying that since you're only dealt 2 cards in Texas Hold Em', that 2s are wild. There's some rough similarity between the two at the surface, but the existence of the first rule doesn't imply or condone the existence of the second. Both, however, can be rules of play (the latter being clearly a table rule).

Ultimately, this discussion hasn't been about whether or not it's good or bad to have anti-"metagaming" rules. I've presented my case as to why I think they are uncessary and often poorly conceived for their purported goals, but if you like them, awesome. The only right way to play is the way that's fun for your table. The point of this argument was, before it seems to have morphed into a play preference argument (and I own my part in that), is whether or not anti-"metagaming" is expected of the rules set. It is not. It is, however, encouraged as part of the rules on discussing and setting table rules to encourage fun play at your table. So, if you like/want them, great! Set up the table rule.
 

Again, category error. You've argued for the authority to tell the player that their character wouldn't ask for that. I'm saying I'd tell the player this is how I will adjudicate that action if you insist, but I'm willing to discuss what action will result in your (the player's) intent instead. There's a gulf between these two. I can use genre expectations to constrain how I will adjudicate actions while not constraining players' control over their PCs. The player is free to insist, in my example, and I'd adjudicate the action. These are different categories of things.

I point this out because you're trying to suggest that any limitation, however introduced, validates all limitations. This is the category error. All games introduce constraints on the players -- it's the fundamental purpose of the rules: to constrain play. So, at the high level, your statement is true -- genre expectations are constraints on play. The problem here is that you're equating such a constraint on play as to be equivalent to authority in play. This is the category error. If you're going to suggest that how I constrain my adjudications of actions to be within agreed genre expectations as being the same as me exercising authority over what the character is allowed to think, then there's a category error -- these are not the same kinds of constraints. The existence of one does not imply or condone the existence of another. It's like saying that since you're only dealt 2 cards in Texas Hold Em', that 2s are wild. There's some rough similarity between the two at the surface, but the existence of the first rule doesn't imply or condone the existence of the second. Both, however, can be rules of play (the latter being clearly a table rule).

Ultimately, this discussion hasn't been about whether or not it's good or bad to have anti-"metagaming" rules. I've presented my case as to why I think they are uncessary and often poorly conceived for their purported goals, but if you like them, awesome. The only right way to play is the way that's fun for your table. The point of this argument was, before it seems to have morphed into a play preference argument (and I own my part in that), is whether or not anti-"metagaming" is expected of the rules set. It is not. It is, however, encouraged as part of the rules on discussing and setting table rules to encourage fun play at your table. So, if you like/want them, great! Set up the table rule.
This is clinging on technicality. You may have not explicitly told to player what to think, but when you start to talk about their wish not being in accordance of genre expectation and thus will be adjudicated differently than they intended then you implicitly have. And in practice this really does not differ from what I do. In all my years of playing RPGs I don't remember ever having to really pull a rank as GM or GM doing that to me. It doesn't ever go that far, because the sort of discussion you suggest is enough for the player to get the hint.
 

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Guest 6801328

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This is clinging on technicality. You may have not explicitly told to player what to think, but when you start to talk about their wish not being in accordance of genre expectation and thus will be adjudicated differently than they intended then you implicitly have.

You keep trying to do the following:
  • Find any extreme example that demonstrates that we have limits to what we think should happen in a game.
  • Use that to claim that everybody has limits, it's just a matter of degree.
But...no. Our argument is not that campaigns don't have limits, but that there is a line between telling players what their characters may think, and...not doing that. And not all strategies for enforcing or encouraging limits belong to the category of controlling character thought.

And in practice this really does not differ from what I do. In all my years of playing RPGs I don't remember ever having to really pull a rank as GM or GM doing that to me. It doesn't ever go that far, because the sort of discussion you suggest is enough for the player to get the hint.

What I find odd is that posters, like you, who promote anti-metagaming often claim two things:
  1. All these terrible things will happen if you don't draw a line between player knowledge and character knowledge.
  2. Not that it ever happens at your own table.
Hmmm.
 

What I find odd is that posters, like you, who promote anti-metagaming often claim two things:
  1. All these terrible things will happen if you don't draw a line between player knowledge and character knowledge.
  2. Not that it ever happens at your own table.
Hmmm.
Because the players actually self police their metagaming and as it seems that GMs do too, like in Ovinomancer's example here (it may be a hint instead of a dictate but the effect will be the same) or how Charlaquin wants all conversation to be IC. You probably do it in other ways too without recognising it as such.

But yes, in a world where players didn't consider any sort of metagaming bad, these terrible things would happen. But we don't live in such world, as overwhelming majority of players have internalised (even if they may not realise it) that certain kind of metagaming is bad and simply don't do it.
 

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Guest 6801328

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Because the players actually self police their metagaming and as it seems that GMs do too, like in Ovinomancer's example here (it may be a hint instead of a dictate but the effect will be the same) or how Charlaquin wants all conversation to be IC. You probably do it in other ways too without recognising it as such.


If @Ovinomancer was trying to control metagaming, they would be dropping those same hints when players...you know...metagamed.

Ovinomancer is (from my understanding) trying to keep genre from straying. One way that genre can stray is if the players use OOC knowledge. You are taking the example of genre straying via OOC knowledge, and Ovinomancer's goal of encouraging them to not do that, as an example of anti-OOC-knowledge and control of character thought. And...it's just not.

Maybe this will illustrate it: I don't like DMing evil campaigns/players. If players start acting evil, undesirable things will happen. But I'll be generous, and give them warnings about what the consequences might be. I'm not telling them they can't take those actions, or that their characters can't think evil thoughts. Just that, in my game world, there are consequences for evil actions. This is my table rule. (Or, in the case of playing The One Ring, part of the mechanics.)

This, too, is genre-reinforcement. And yet it has absolutely nothing to do with OOC knowledge. (Yes, it's a kind of metagaming because I'm encouraging them, the players, to think about game consequences, but that really just proves that metagaming and OOC knowledge are not synonyms, and that the term "metagaming" has been hijacked by a group of zealots.)

But yes, in a world where players didn't consider any sort of metagaming bad, these terrible things would happen. But we don't live in such world, as overwhelming majority of players have internalised (even if they may not realise it) that certain kind of metagaming is bad and simply don't do it.

Well, I don't think any sort of metagaming is bad, and these terrible things don't happen. Just another example of you being sure of the outcome of a playstyle you don't use, despite assurances from those of us who use it that it doesn't occur.
 
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If @Ovinomancer was trying to control metagaming, they would be dropping those same hints when players...you know...metagamed.

Ovinomancer is (from my understanding) trying to keep genre from straying. One way that genre can stray is if the players use OOC knowledge. You are taking the example of genre straying via OOC knowledge, and Ovinomancer's goal of encouraging them to not do that, as an example of anti-OOC-knowledge and control of character thought. And...it's just not.
Right. So they consider the sort of metagaming that makes the genre sway bad. It is not an either or situation. One can easily think that some forms of metagaming are harmless or even beneficial, but others are bad. I think that too, I said it ages ago already.

Maybe this will illustrate it: I don't like DMing evil campaigns/players. If players start acting evil, undesirable things will happen. But I'll be generous, and give them warnings about what the consequences might be. I'm not telling them they can't take those actions, or that their characters can't think evil thoughts. Just that, in my game world, there are consequences for evil actions. This is my table rule. (Or, in the case of playing The One Ring, part of the mechanics.)

This, too, is genre-reinforcement. And yet it has absolutely nothing to do with OOC knowledge. (Yes, it's a kind of metagaming because I'm encouraging them, the players, to think about game consequences, but that really just proves that metagaming and OOC knowledge are not synonyms, and that the term "metagaming" has been hijacked by a group of zealots.)
This however is not similar to what Ovinomancer suggested. IIRC they said that that they would tell the player that their wish for a fighter jet didn't fit to genre conventions, so they would adjudicate them getting something similar but more fitting. This is a message to the player. In most situations the player would probably just go "Oh, right, maybe I wish for a flying chariot instead? Would that be better?" Or even in the unlikely situation that they wouldn't, they would remember the GM's stance and it would indubitably affect their behaviour in a similar event in the future.

Well, I don't think any sort of metagaming is bad, and these terrible things don't happen. Just another example of you being sure of the outcome of a playstyle you don't use, despite assurances from those of us who use it that it doesn't occur.
Yet many of the examples I have made such as reading a module on the table you have called silly hyperbole or something like that. So this tells me you wouldn't do those things, which means you actually do consider those types of metagaming bad. And so do your players, because they don't do that.
 

Yet many of the examples I have made such as reading a module on the table you have called silly hyperbole or something like that. So this tells me you wouldn't do those things, which means you actually do consider those types of metagaming bad. And so do your players, because they don't do that.

I wouldn't be bothered with my players reading the module I'm running. They can even look at the stat blocks of my monsters if they want. But I would caution them that this could ruin their fun and any surprise, plus it would be unwise to make assumptions based on that knowledge, due to my habit of making changes.

This sort of thing is only a problem if you make it into one in my opinion.
 

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