D&D General "Player Skill" versus DM Ingenuity as a playstyle.

I'm talking about things like "you need fire or acid to kill the troll." The bit of text quoted in the OP suggests that in those early days of the hobby, players learning those things was how they improved and so the GM needed new secrets, puzzles and gotcha monsters.

So when you did or do play in this style, do you enforce a separation of player vs character knowledge as it relates to monsters etc?
We used to do an INT roll of some kind to see if the PC knew some rumor about a monster or monster ability. If the player knew, well the player might still be wrong because the GM might have changed something. Would still do the INT check.

I suppose there were some early spats and cries of ‘not fair’ when the GM changed something.

So for us yes, we did a PC knowledge check to determine if the character knew something ‘meta’.
 

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Lanefan

Victoria Rules
I'm talking about things like "you need fire or acid to kill the troll." The bit of text quoted in the OP suggests that in those early days of the hobby, players learning those things was how they improved and so the GM needed new secrets, puzzles and gotcha monsters.

So when you did or do play in this style, do you enforce a separation of player vs character knowledge as it relates to monsters etc?
As in, do I allow or even encourage metagaming? No.
 

DammitVictor

Trust the Fungus
Supporter
I feel the passage in the OP describes how I was taught to play "D&D"-- edition doesn't matter-- in 1993. But "challenge" doesn't have to mean "puzzle" or "trick monster"; likewise, player abilities don't have to be Win Buttons.

Shake up your encounters, don't assume most encounters are just combat or just social, use varied obstacles and objectives. Character abilities can be tools in a toolbox that players have to know where and when to apply and that can be the challenge.
 

EzekielRaiden

Follower of the Way
This book also represents a new trend in the fine art of Dungeon Mastering. As originally conceived, D & D was limited in scope only by the imagination and devotion of Dungeon Masters everywhere. The supplements have fulfilled the need for fresh ideas and additional stimulation. But somewhere along the line, D & D lost some of its flavor, and began to become predictable. This came about as a result of the proliferation of rule sets; while this was great for us as a company, it was tough on the DM. When all the players had all of the rules in front of them, it became next to impossible to beguile them into danger or mischief. The new concept pioneered within these pages should go a long way towards putting back in some of the mystery, uncertainty and danger that make D & D the un-paralleled challenge it was meant to be. Legend Lore once again becomes the invaluable spell it was meant to be. No more will some foolhardy adventurer run down into a dungeon, find something and immediately know how it works, or even what it does, By the same token, no longer will players be able to send some unfortunate hireling to an early demise by forcing him to experiment on his master's goodies. The introduction of psionic combat is bound to enliven games grown stagnant. It opens up untold possibilities for both the players and the DM, and in so doing recognizes one of the favorite topics of science fiction and fantasy writers: the unknown powers of the mind.
Man, some real gems in this quotation (I know these aren't your words). Stuff like: "When all the players had all of the rules in front of them, it became next to impossible to beguile them into danger or mischief." Wow, it's almost like having to actually adjudicate honestly and fairly, rather than being able to pull a fast one whenever you like it, actually pushes DMs to think and work rather than being able to handwave away any player effort they like!

I will genuinely never understand this complaint. Getting annoyed because not keeping your rules in a black box means the players can call you out for BS? I just don't feel any sympathy for that. Of course folks are going to bristle at accountability when they've not been subject to it before. Accountability sucks when you're used to doing whatever you like, whenever you like.
 



No. I'm criticizing DMs who think it's impossible to challenge players unless they hide the rules of the game from those players.
Not what you said.


But the OP is right in suggesting the modern game in less about challenging players, and more about entertaining them. And you don't need to know much about entertainment media to notice that people enjoy surprises.

Sure, if you want your D&D to be like chess, then everyone needs to know all the rules. But if people wanted D&D to be like chess they would play chess.
 
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EzekielRaiden

Follower of the Way
Not what you said.
I was responding to a quote that said that. "When all the players had all of the rules in front of them, it became next to impossible to beguile them into danger or mischief."

The quote itself explicitly describes "beguiling" the players into danger, that it's "next to impossible" to fill the characters' lives with danger unless you prevent them from knowing the rules of the game. It's right there; this isn't implication, it's literally the text. What else was I supposed to get from that line?

I don't think all DMs do this. Far from it. I said, "having to actually adjudicate honestly and fairly, rather than being able to pull a fast one whenever you like it, actually pushes DMs to think and work". Meaning, DMs who do honestly and fairly adjudicate...would have to be accepting the pressure to think and work; it is those who demand the power to "pull a fast one whenever [they] like," who demand "rules in a black box," that are trying to shirk the actually hard work of creating meaningful challenges for their players.

I genuinely do not know how I could have said any more directly "this is a criticism of DMs who want to put the rules in a black box that the players are never allowed to know."
 


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