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

Flexor the Mighty!

18/100 Strength!
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.
There is a solution unfortunately the PC can't make their skill check. Me I'd expect them to use fire and acid right off the bat as I planned it, or rolled it on a random encounter chart. Or would you have put an out in there in case they couldn't roll a skill check? Its possible they are not using any fire and don't have an option to put 1+1 together.

I'm just curious how far the separation goes. No wrong answers, it comes down to style.

On a similar note, and I get this from time to time. A player says "well I didn't bother to make a note of this or anything but my PC should remember what the clue to this puzzle is..." or things to that effect. I don't remember but my PC should type thing. Do you fill them in?
 

Elfcrusher

Adventurer
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.
How is it good DMing to effectively hobble experienced players?

Newbie players are presumably "allowed" to use fire as soon as they think of it. And maybe one of the players (thinking about Hercules and the Hydra) does think of it after the first round.

Meanwhile experienced players, if I'm understanding correctly, are supposed to pass some kind of Int (History or Nature) check to "know" about fire, and they are not supposed to use fire until they do.

That makes no sense to me.
 

Elfcrusher

Adventurer
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.
Ok, I get it now. Still disagree, but whatever.
 

TheSword

Explorer
There is a solution unfortunately the PC can't make their skill check. Me I'd expect them to use fire and acid right off the bat as I planned it, or rolled it on a random encounter chart. Or would you have put an out in there in case they couldn't roll a skill check? Its possible they are not using any fire and don't have an option to put 1+1 together.

I'm just curious how far the separation goes. No wrong answers, it comes down to style.

On a similar note, and I get this from time to time. A player says "well I didn't bother to make a note of this or anything but my PC should remember what the clue to this puzzle is..." or things to that effect. I don't remember but my PC should type thing. Do you fill them in?
I probably wouldn’t rely on a skill check. I’d ensure there were clues. As I said, the troll question is just an analogy for any puzzle where something needs working out and some players have an auto win.
 

TheSword

Explorer
How is it good DMing to effectively hobble experienced players?

Newbie players are presumably "allowed" to use fire as soon as they think of it. And maybe one of the players (thinking about Hercules and the Hydra) does think of it after the first round.

Meanwhile experienced players, if I'm understanding correctly, are supposed to pass some kind of Int (History or Nature) check to "know" about fire, and they are not supposed to use fire until they do.

That makes no sense to me.
Many players of many games are happy to be handicapped if it makes the game more fun.

I only enforce the rule in a game where that is the premise of the campaign. As I said Curse of Strahd for example. Let’s not pretend this is being forced on anyone.
 

Mort

Community Supporter
Many players of many games are happy to be handicapped if it makes the game more fun.

I only enforce the rule in a game where that is the premise of the campaign. As I said Curse of Strahd for example. Let’s not pretend this is being forced on anyone.
Wait, are you saying that a group facing off against a guy named "Strahd von Zarovich" isn't allowed to think they're going up against a vampire - and to plan accordingly?

Keep in mind that the original Ravenloft was published in an era where the paradigm was very much "challenge the player" the characters are just an extension. The new Ravenloft has more frills - but the underlying assumptions are not that different.
 

TheSword

Explorer
If you want to do it that way
Wait, are you saying that a group facing off against a guy named "Strahd von Zarovich" isn't allowed to think they're going up against a vampire - and to plan accordingly?

Keep in mind that the original Ravenloft was published in an era where the paradigm was very much "challenge the player" the characters are just an extension. The new Ravenloft has more frills - but the underlying assumptions are not that different.
Yes that is correct our group’s characters certainly didn’t know what a vampire was, certainly didn’t know that the Devil Strahd was one, and certainly couldn’t prepare for that fact.

Luckily Vistani prophecy helped, Rudolph Van Helsing imparted some knowledge and the Book of Strahd contained the secrets of how to defeat him. Far more interesting than the players simply chalking up another Vampire.
 

Mort

Community Supporter
If you want to do it that way
Yes that is correct our group’s characters certainly didn’t know what a vampire was, certainly didn’t know that the Devil Strahd was one, and certainly couldn’t prepare for that fact.

Luckily Vistani prophecy helped, Rudolph Van Helsing imparted some knowledge and the Book of Strahd contained the secrets of how to defeat him. Far more interesting than the players simply chalking up another Vampire.
My initial comment was a bit tongue in cheek BUT:

Strahd is not "just another vampire" and any player that makes that mistake is going to get burned.
The players use of in game information is both encouraged and expected. To rely on "player info" is dangerous because the DM is well within his rights to change things up enough to trip up the players supposed knowledge.

And that, I think is the real point. The DM needs to be cognizant of the knowledge base of the players and plan/adjust accordingly. But also, sometimes let the experienced players show it in play.
 

doctorbadwolf

Heretic of The Seventh Circle
The idea that there are players over the age of 7, whose minds are not burdened with some form of disability, who "cannot choose" to disentangle their knowledge from their character's knowledge, is utter, unsalvageable, nonsense. From premise to conclusion, at every point between, it is false on every level.

But somehow these imaginary players can separate the emotions and experiences of their made up character from their own real life experiences and emotions? They aren't afraid of the DM because he's really a hydra that almost killed them?

No.
 

Yardiff

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?
If the party can knock them down they can tie them up and escape without the DM needing to interfere.
Just because the characters don't know to use fire or acid doesn't mean a troll cant be stopped and doesn't mean the characters become brain dead and cant think.
 
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Flexor the Mighty!

18/100 Strength!
If you are into the acting/drama side. My guys would be like "we already know this, lets get on with it!"
If the party can knock them down they can tie them up and escape without the DM needing to interfere.
Just because the characters don't know to use fire or acid doesn't mean a troll cant be stopped and doesn't mean the characters become brain dead and cant think.
Of course, but sometimes the Trolls are just kicking your butts, people are down etc. It was a hypothetical.
 

Yardiff

Explorer
If you are into the acting/drama side. My guys would be like "we already know this, lets get on with it!"


Of course, but sometimes the Trolls are just kicking your butts, people are down etc. It was a hypothetical.
Hypothetically if the characters were unable to knock the troll down, knowing about fire and acid probably wouldn't have helped.
 

Elfcrusher

Adventurer
If the party can knock them down they can tie them up and escape without the DM needing to interfere.
Just because the characters don't know to use fire or acid doesn't mean a troll cant be stopped and doesn't mean the characters become brain dead and cant think.
You mean you would let new characters know about knocking things down and tying knots?

Dirty metagamer.
 

coolAlias

Explorer
The idea that there are players over the age of 7, whose minds are not burdened with some form of disability, who "cannot choose" to disentangle their knowledge from their character's knowledge, is utter, unsalvageable, nonsense. From premise to conclusion, at every point between, it is false on every level.

But somehow these imaginary players can separate the emotions and experiences of their made up character from their own real life experiences and emotions? They aren't afraid of the DM because he's really a hydra that almost killed them?

No.
It's not that we can't, it's that in the majority of cases it just plain isn't fun for us.

Luckily, we are playing a game that allows endless variety and so we can all find and play in a game that we enjoy without detracting from the fun of anyone else. :D
 

ad_hoc

Adventurer
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.
Wait, it's not actually an action to know something.
 

doctorbadwolf

Heretic of The Seventh Circle
It's not that we can't, it's that in the majority of cases it just plain isn't fun for us.

Luckily, we are playing a game that allows endless variety and so we can all find and play in a game that we enjoy without detracting from the fun of anyone else. :D
Yep, agreed.
 

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