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D&D General Should a low level character know to burn a troll?

Should a low level character know to burn a troll?

  • Yes

    Votes: 86 78.9%
  • No

    Votes: 23 21.1%

Ovinomancer

No flips for you!
I'm in the camp of, "Yes, but that information may not be correct or complete." Fire stops trolls from regenerating is pretty vague. Does it mean a troll won't regenerate any fire damage? Does it mean you have to completely immolate the troll to keep it from coming back?

When dealing with veteran players I find it most fun for everyone to treat their hard earned meta knowledge as the kind of rumors and stories their characters know from being immersed in the culture.
How do I do this, though? Do I make a bad choice, knowing it's a bad choice, just because it'll show I'm trying really hard to not know it's a bad choice?
 

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Undrave

Legend
I'd also like to remind folks that 'Volo's Guide to Monster' is an in-universe product you can obtain for 50 GP. That probably has that info.
 

Reynard

Legend
Supporter
How do I do this, though? Do I make a bad choice, knowing it's a bad choice, just because it'll show I'm trying really hard to not know it's a bad choice?
No, you make choices as you would based on the information you have, but only the DM knows precisely what that information amounts to.

Think of it this way: it's like first time you sit down to play a new edition of D&D without having really poured through the books. Let's say it is the transition from 2nd to 3rd edition. When you first encounter a wraith in that game, you are going to respond based on your 2E meta knowledge (mostly in the form of "oh, gawds, run away!!!"). The 3e wraith doesn't work precisely like the 2e wraith does, though, and the way you actually end up dealing with it is different. Same effect here, except rather than an edition change, it's the DM making the changes so your meta knowledge isn't useless but isn't perfect either.
 

G

Guest 6801328

Guest
Which one do you want to pick? Pick that one.

I guess I’ll stick with “neither” in that case.

I suspect you’ll probably still get the interesting discussion, and probably a few thread bans.
 

Zardnaar

Legend
Is there? Mass communication is a pretty modern thing. And even the Internet, the ultimate in mass communication, is plagued by pseudoscience and nonsense. Word of mouth would be far, far worse.

Pre internet we still had tales of things like silver and holy water messing up vampires.

In most D&D world's gods exist and village temple have clerics who would probably know the basics about possession and say holy water.

Barmen are often retired level 3 fighters.

In a D&D world you would probably know as much as say someone growing up in the 50s would know from their parents about WW2.

They might have a basic knowledge about say a bomber. In the D&D world the bomber is a dragon. Even if they've never seen one they know someone who has or friend of a friend type thing.

In the old AD&D rarity of monsters a basic knowledge of coming and uncommon monsters isn't unreasonable. They know Drow are bad from campfire stories although they probably only know evil elves worship demons avoid.
 
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Oofta

Legend
Trolls are common enough in my campaign that everyone knows that you need fire. That's true whether the player is a 30 year veteran or only knows trolls from Billy Goats Gruff.

If a monster is very uncommon in my campaign world, I ask people not to speak out or act on player knowledge and instead grant appropriate knowledge checks.

The player is not interacting with the world, the PC is.
 

Celebrim

Legend
If trolls are relatively common then I would say, "Yes."

Arguments that PC's should know no more than what their players know or even very much less always struck me as coming from the Nitro Ferguson school of gaming - "Kraag Wurld" games where the DM is always going "gotcha". There is a certain understandable desire to invoke mystery and fear in the world and to support the aesthetic of discovery, but trying to prevent players from having their characters reasonably react to the threat of trolls supports none of those things and is pure ego gaming by the GM.

The idea that actual inhabitants of a world would know less about the sort of common threats that exist in that world than the players know about the fantasy threats of this world strike me as laughable. I could possibly see an argument that a character might not recognize a troll, having only seen one in picture or heard of them in stories, but then there is the scene in the Hobbit where Bilbo immediately recognizes trolls for what they are despite having lived what the narrator refers to as a sheltered life.
 

G

Guest 6801328

Guest
I will say that if I'm at the table with brand new players, I'll sometimes keep this sort of knowledge to myself. It's impossible to replicate that feeling from when I first played myself (even unknown new monsters don't really accomplish that), but I can at least keep from spoiling it for others.
 

Arnwolf666

Adventurer
I will say that if I'm at the table with brand new players, I'll sometimes keep this sort of knowledge to myself. It's impossible to replicate that feeling from when I first played myself (even unknown new monsters don't really accomplish that), but I can at least keep from spoiling it for others.

I hope someday you play a good call off Cthulhu game with a good keeper. I had that feeling recently and I been playing for decades.
 

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