Should a low level character know to burn a troll?

Should a low level character know to burn a troll?

  • Yes

    Votes: 86 78.2%
  • No

    Votes: 24 21.8%

  • Total voters
    110

FrogReaver

Adventurer
Ahh I see the sticking point but it doesn’t need to be one. I don’t believe that using player only knowledge is good or bad. I make no value judgement on the right way to play or not.
Sure sounded like you were before now. But if you are now saying you don't judge it as good or bad I won't argue.

I just think that not using your own knowledge requires restraint which itself requires a certain amount of maturity.
Let's suppose this is true. It still doesn't mean that players who don't use out of character knowledge are immature.
 

doctorbadwolf

Heretic of The Seventh Circle
Well you could. Except whether a person is mature is a matter of opinion. If they can show enough restraint not to act on their knowledge because they recognize it hasn’t been ‘fairly’ early then I would probably say they are more mature than you give them credit for.
There is more to maturity than restraint. I was capable of restraint by about 9 years old, at the latest. I wasn’t mature by any rational definition until at least 17.
 

TheCosmicKid

Adventurer
This is lazy GMing, though. Instead of actually presenting something new, you're just defining known things as unknown things and demanding your players play along. I hardly think "let's humor the GM so he keeps running for us" is a strong hallmark of maturity. This certainly looks bad on the GM's side.
When I put in Empire Strikes Back for the umpteenth time, I don't have to pretend to be surprised by the revelation that the weird little puppet man is Master Yoda because it's demanded of me by a lazy DM. But I'm still going to enjoy the movie. Novelty is not necessary for entertainment value. If what you're saying is true, people would never rewatch movies, reread books, replay games. Games, particularly, have replay value because even in a repeat scenario you can explore how events unfold differently with different characters and choices.
 

Ovinomancer

No flips for you!
When I put in Empire Strikes Back for the umpteenth time, I don't have to pretend to be surprised by the revelation that the weird little puppet man is Master Yoda because it's demanded of me by a lazy DM. But I'm still going to enjoy the movie. Novelty is not necessary for entertainment value. If what you're saying is true, people would never rewatch movies, reread books, replay games. Games, particularly, have replay value because even in a repeat scenario you can explore how events unfold differently with different characters and choices.
You've mistaken me. I fully support using trolls. I don't support requiring players to pretend they've never seen them before.
 

Campbell

Relaxed Intensity
I think most creature should be designed so they are still credible threats even if you know their weakness. Just easier than if you don't. Like a troll or vampire should still be one hell of a fight. Part of the challenge can be applying the weakness - making sure the troll does not get a chance to regenerate.
 

TheSword

Explorer
Luckily I don’t need to keep any other people entertained than the players around my table. If they have the maturity to distinguish between what they know and their players know, are able to restrain themselves enough not to use it... and are happy to do so in order to recreate the experience of being a novice adventurer then I’m going to do that from time to time.

They may think that’s lazy. I encourage feedback and they are more than welcome to tell me. I don’t feel the need to ensure every situation is one of a kind and original. Sometimes classics are fun, and don’t need to be reinvented. This isn’t Australian Masterchef. In my opinion continually striving to be completely original is what made the later Paizo APs less engaging than the first half.

As I said, I don’t think the expectation is right for all groups or even all campaigns with the same group. I think it’s a good conceit to try every so often when you’re recreating a certain atmosphere. Particularly a setting out of the ordinary, for instance a modern setting or a horror setting.
 

TheCosmicKid

Adventurer
You've mistaken me. I fully support using trolls. I don't support requiring players to pretend they've never seen them before.
I'm sorry I mistook you. I still think what you're saying is slightly off, though. We're not talking about players pretending they've never seen trolls before. We're talking about players pretending their characters have never seen trolls before. And D&D is, y'know, a game of pretend, that seems pretty reasonable on its face.
 

mortwatcher

Explorer
I'm sorry I mistook you. I still think what you're saying is slightly off, though. We're not talking about players pretending they've never seen trolls before. We're talking about players pretending their characters have never seen trolls before. And D&D is, y'know, a game of pretend, that seems pretty reasonable on its face.
I've never seen a vampire, but I know how I would deal with one from the many stories I've heard or read
so I would guess it all depends on what your characters hear as stories in the world you play in
 

Nebulous

Adventurer
I've had this come up before. With both trolls and hydras. It depends on how rare such a monster is I suppose in the particular campaign world. Or, you could call your troll a "tommyknocker" and describe it different, but it still uses the troll statblock.

I have a new group of D&D players, really young people, and I can't wait to see their faces when the first troll they meet slithers its intestines back inside and stands up to stare at them with those soulless coal black eyes!
 

Elfcrusher

Adventurer
I think that different people tend to draw the line in different places.

For example I think that practically everyone who has taken part in the poll knows that both fire and acid prevent a troll from regenerating, and many of them think that even fledgling adventurers would know to use fire on a troll.

However I think that considerably less would judge that the fact that acid works as well would be as common knowledge as using fire. Despite they themselves know it would work just as well as fire, many might decide that their characters would not know about acid working as well unless they were alchemically inclined, because fire is considerably more available to the average person.
Ok, but I think you just made a completely different argument than the one I was responding to.

I was responding to your assertion that experienced players shouldn't use knowledge they have because it might spoil the experience for inexperienced players at the table.

I don't disagree with that, but it's not what is being debated.

Now you're making an argument about how individual players might desire to roleplay their own characters, which I also don't disagree with, and which also is not what is being debated (although it's closer).

The real question being debated, although it hasn't been expressed as such, is whether other people at the table (DM and/or other players) should be establishing pre/proscribing what actions your character can take, based on some supposed "rules" of roleplaying.
 

Elfcrusher

Adventurer
If they have the maturity to distinguish between what they know and their players know, are able to restrain themselves enough not to use it...
You realize you're attaching a totally subjective, and frankly insulting, value judgment to this whole thing?

Maybe this isn't your intent, but you're taking one particular sub-facet of roleplaying...that of separating character knowledge and player knowledge...and making it sound like mature players do it, and immature players don't.

It's like suggesting that 'mature' players always speak in funny voices...bad accents, "thou/thee" and all...when roleplaying, and 'immature' players just speak in their own using modern English because they just can't restrain themselves.

How about they just don't think it's a very interesting form of roleplaying?
 

TheSword

Explorer
You realize you're attaching a totally subjective, and frankly insulting, value judgment to this whole thing?

Maybe this isn't your intent, but you're taking one particular sub-facet of roleplaying...that of separating character knowledge and player knowledge...and making it sound like mature players do it, and immature players don't.

It's like suggesting that 'mature' players always speak in funny voices...bad accents, "thou/thee" and all...when roleplaying, and 'immature' players just speak in their own using modern English because they just can't restrain themselves.

How about they just don't think it's a very interesting form of roleplaying?
I’m sorry, I really do think you have misread what I’ve said. Perhaps I’ve not been clear enough.

I’m saying ‘mature’ players can choose to separate player/character knowledge or not. That my preference was that it was worth it in some campaigns.

Immature players can’t separate the two (there is no choice) they don’t have restraint or self awareness to do it.

You and few others are reading what you want to hear, possibly because people are looking for an argument. That players who don’t separate the two are immature. That just isn’t what i have said. From my first post maybe that wasn’t clear but I have clarified four or five times now.
 

TheSword

Explorer
I've never seen a vampire, but I know how I would deal with one from the many stories I've heard or read
so I would guess it all depends on what your characters hear as stories in the world you play in
Yes but you have TV, film and book. That’s how you know about them. Mass media and TV not to mention the fact that D&D enthusiasts have an interest in the esoteric by definition. Had you not read/watched Dracula or one of the endless variations of it you wouldn’t have a clue.

That is why The Walking Dead is set in a world without zombie movies.
 

Cap'n Kobold

Adventurer
The real question being debated, although it hasn't been expressed as such, is whether other people at the table (DM and/or other players) should be establishing pre/proscribing what actions your character can take, based on some supposed "rules" of roleplaying.
I think that that is something that everyone will draw the line at in a different place, and that each group will probably come to some sort of consensus about expectations of the level of roleplay.
Although I'd expect that in most cases actual rules won't be needed because people will pick up approval or disapproval from the group and align themselves along the table consensus without the DM having to actually law down the law. - Except maybe in cases where a new addition to a group was used to a table with a very different perspective.

But every table will have that different consensus due to being made up of people who draw the line between use of OOC knowledge by their characters in different places. And (this is what I was alluding to in my previous post) it isn't just a situation of "Is it OK to use OOC knowledge", there are different degrees of OOC knowledge and different justifications.

Ultimately, the members of a group aren't generally going to do something that seems to impinge on their friends' fun, whether player or DM. If some of the group seem to be enjoying roleplaying that their characters aren't aware of some fact that you know they know OOC, you're probably not going to blurt it out unless you have a pretty solid idea that your character would know it. Likewise if the rest of the group and the DM don't seem to have any issues with someone opening up the monster manual and reading out the stats of the creature that you just encountered, you're probably not going to make waves even if you don't think that your character would know that, and would have liked to play out your character discovering them.
 

mortwatcher

Explorer
Yes but you have TV, film and book. That’s how you know about them. Mass media and TV not to mention the fact that D&D enthusiasts have an interest in the esoteric by definition. Had you not read/watched Dracula or one of the endless variations of it you wouldn’t have a clue.

That is why The Walking Dead is set in a world without zombie movies.

the notion of vampirism is way older than any of these things
sure, I have it from those, but before there was oral tradition that relayed tales of terrible monsters and heroes
as I said, it depends on what stories do regular people tell their children in your world
 

Flexor the Mighty!

18/100 Strength!
So for DM that are strict about no player knowledge. Your party is struggling against the trolls, its looking like a TPK since they can't keep them down. Every player knows what to do but they can't make the skill check to employ that information. Do you fudge something to help them or just say them's the breaks, new party time?
 

TheSword

Explorer
So for DM that are strict about no player knowledge. Your party is struggling against the trolls, its looking like a TPK since they can't keep them down. Every player knows what to do but they can't make the skill check to employ that information. Do you fudge something to help them or just say them's the breaks, new party time?
How is that good DMing? Setting a challenge that there isn’t a solution to? Trolls are just a metaphor for any challenge where knowledge wins.
 

Inchoroi

Explorer
My quick and dirty method: Make a Nature check. The DC is 10 + the monster's Challenge Rating. If you succeed, you get an interesting tidbit that might help you, and for every 5 over the DC, you get more information.
I should note that this is an action on the character's part, and a ranger who's favored enemy (depending on what version of ranger you use) includes trolls should probably at least get advantage.

So for DM that are strict about no player knowledge. Your party is struggling against the trolls, its looking like a TPK since they can't keep them down. Every player knows what to do but they can't make the skill check to employ that information. Do you fudge something to help them or just say them's the breaks, new party time?
In cases where the trolls keep getting up, there's bound to be chances where one of the characters will realize that the one troll that took a firebolt to the face isn't regenerating as fast as the other. These are adventurers, after all, so they should be able to put those two points together.
 

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