Sharing Information

Nagol

Unimportant
Have you ever seen a player refuse to share plot-relevant information? Like, their PC is the only one who witnessed the thing, the next phase of the campaign assumes that the party acts on that information, but the PC chooses to sit on the info? Is it a mistake on a GM's part to give that kind of insight to a single player rather than the whole group, or is it good form for a player to share knowledge?

Comic for illustrative purposes.
All the frikkin time!

Often the information isn't "given" so much as the PC is the only one present and/or the instigator who ferrets it out (like opening the safe when others aren't watching and handing over the treasure, but keeping the diary and map).

Whether or not it's good form depends on the campaign style. I tend to think stuff like that should generally be shared widely and quickly (if for no other reason so more than one memory can be dredge the fact up when it is relevant). Some campaigns are expected to have secrets though. It's hard to fault someone from keeping a secret when that is an expectation.
 

Nagol

Unimportant
Nope. Nope. Nope. If player isn't sharing info, I just tell the rest of group that Umbran let slip the information. Or give the information to the other members. If Umbran gets tick off and leaves the group good.
Repeat after me gamers.
Life is too short to play with jerks.
Life is too short to have jerks ruin our fun.
I will not play with jerks.
LOL I'm sure some of those players repeat the same mantra.
 

jasper

Rotten DM
Nope. Nope. Nope. If player isn't sharing info, I just tell the rest of group that Umbran let slip the information. Or give the information to the other members. If Umbran gets tick off and leaves the group good.
Repeat after me gamers.
Life is too short to play with jerks.
Life is too short to have jerks ruin our fun.
I will not play with jerks.
LOL I'm sure some of those players repeat the same mantra.
If I see no jerks around the table. ……… Then I am the jerk.... :)
 

Nebulous

Hero
Yes. A few years back we had a player do this in our PF game. Any info his character alone acquired he simply sat on. He didn't forget about it. Or fail to realize its importance. Or write it down & lose the note.... Nope, he just refused to share it with the rest of the group. Did the same to plot important items as well.
Made the AP pretty hard to play.
Huh.
 

Umbran

Mod Squad
Staff member
Nope. Nope. Nope.
....
Repeat after me gamers.
Life is too short to play with jerks.
I think you may have missed the point. Let me state this another way...

Maybe you're the jerk. Maybe you're being really selfish in play, and this is the way the player is coping.

Who gets kicked out now?
 

jasper

Rotten DM
I think you may have missed the point. Let me state this another way...

Maybe you're the jerk. Maybe you're being really selfish in play, and this is the way the player is coping.

Who gets kicked out now?
I do, And I have been kicked out a group for being a jerk.
 

Umbran

Mod Squad
Staff member
I do, And I have been kicked out a group for being a jerk.
And, maybe still not getting it...

Rather than just kick someone out, why not see if you can fix the problem first? People aren't worth having a discussion first?
 

Dannyalcatraz

Moderator
Staff member
1) I’ve withheld info, for in-character or campaign relevant purposes.

2) I’ve had players of other PCs withhold info.

3) I’ve had players in campaigns I’m running withhold information from other players.

So far, it’s worked out far more often than it hasn’t.

However, if a GM ruled a PC ”let info slip” by fiat against the wishes of the player, I’d walk. That’s a jerk move.

The GM controls the universe in which the players control only their PCs. If the info is so crucial to the campaign, pull some OTHER threads in the campaign world to disseminate it to the rest of the party. Leave the PCs alone.
 

jasper

Rotten DM
Umbran let see if I am reading this thread correctly.
1. Gm gave very important information to one player.
2. Player did not share very important for reasons.
In all the games I have been in where this has happened, this has led to arguments. Most of the time the player was being a jerk because they thought they could be the solo hero in the climax or they had other stupid reasons for withholding information. And yes always talk first to a player who is being a jerk. But you only get one free pass on sitting on important information.
Dannyalctraz what type of info are you talking about.
A. Shoot the bad guy in the right ankle for instant kill.
B. 60 feet around the corner, the guard on the left is reading his IPad. The one on the right is alert.
C. other.
I DMed with a lot of randoms, so I assume A and B automatically get shared. This also prevents half the group asking the player if they are going to share that information as soon as the scout returns to party.
 

Dannyalcatraz

Moderator
Staff member
Dannyalctraz what type of info are you talking about.
As you surmise, I’m not talking about withholding info that could get the PC killed in the foreseeable future. That wouldn’t make sense unless the PC had a death wish.

If, OTOH, a guard in situation B let slip a master/SysAdmin password, I could easily see certain PCs withholding that info because they think it will make them look like master hackers when they start delving into the enemy’s computers.

For that PC, the potential for accolades may well outweigh the utility of letting everyone know the password.

In a fantasy setting, I’ve commonly seen spellcasters refuse to share a spell found amongst the treasure, even if sharing would grea improve the party’s odds of future success.
 
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aco175

Adventurer
I sometimes play with a DM-NPC to round out the party. This allows information to get out if needed. The PCs come into town after an adventure and 5 minutes later people in the bar are all saying great job with the orcs or I heard you just got back from Secret Dungeon of Death.

I also assume that the PCs would talk about things during the day and most of this gets out and the times the players act on information that they should not be privy to counters the opposite.
 

Lanefan

Victoria Rules
If a single PC would be the only one to know something then only that player gets the relevant info, and it's then up to that player-as-PC to decide when, how, and how much of that info to pass on.

Usually it's immediate, and if the player tells me so then once that PC gets in a position to report what it has learned I-as-DM will just tell everyone out loud what I was about to tell the one player in a note.

But if for whatever reason the PC doesn't want to pass on the info; or only wants to pass it on to certain specific other PCs; or intentionally wants to insert inaccuracies or omissions, it's not my place as DM to do anything other than let it happen.

EDIT to add: passing on info by note is also useful in case the PC with that info doesn't make it back to the party at all.
 

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