D&D General Should players be aware of their own high and low rolls?

Bill Zebub

“It’s probably Matt Mercer’s fault.”
When a GM says a PC can't "know" something, does that GM also say when that PC can't suspect, imagine, believe, intuit, remember or guess something? If so, what's the algorithm that GM uses to determine precisely which cogitations originate from the player and which from the PC?

Oh, that’s easy: “If I were playing your character I would…” etc.
 

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DND_Reborn

The High Aldwin
Do you somehow catalogue everything each PC knows?

How do you decide what they do or don’t know?
When a GM says a PC can't "know" something, does that GM also say when that PC can't suspect, imagine, intuit, remember or guess something? If so, what's the algorithm that GM uses to determine precisely which cogitations originate from the player and which from the PC?

It's really pretty simple:

Separate what the PC would know (or likely or reasonably know) based on their backstory, background, race, class, experiences in the game, etc. from what the player knows because they are sitting at the table and viewing/hearing/experiencing things their PC isn't.
 


hawkeyefan

Legend
If this is SOP then there's no reason to think there's something worth hiding this time as opposed to any other time.

Well, for one thing that wouldn't happen: if I've split the players one group has to wait on hold - and knows it - until I'm done with the other group, and I make sure not to let either group get too far ahead in game-world time by bouncing back and forth between them if I had to.

That said, if it did happen I'd tell the returning player to go back and wait until I'd got done with the first lot; though it would serve as a heads-up to me not to run the first group very far forward in time. And probably 95% of the time one of the groups is static anyway, waiting for some sort of 'away team' to get something done.

Only if what they do is consistent with the fiction rather than driven by metagame considerations. Otherwise I'm ready, willing, and quite happy to ban or veto actions taken purely for metagame reasons that make no sense in the fiction. Wouldn't be the first time.

So if the PCs have split into two groups to explore different hallways in a dungeon of some sort… you simply won’t allow members of one group to return to the other? Like, once they split, that’s it?

How is that not meta?

How do you allow for characters having a hunch? Like a gut feeling something’s wrong and they want to go check on the other group. This kind of thing happens in the real world all the time… how can it happen in your game world?

Blocking metagaming often becomes metagaming.
 

Lanefan

Victoria Rules
Do you somehow catalogue everything each PC knows?

How do you decide what they do or don’t know?
In some cases it's bloody obvious. :)

If I'm the party Cleric, waiting at camp with the Fighter and Wizard while the Thief is off scouting a way into the castle for us, I-as-character have no way of knowing what the Thief is doing or finding or so forth and thus I-as-player shouldn't know this either. For all I know she's dying at the bottom of a wall she failed to climb; or conversely, she's sailed through the mission and will be back to us in 5 minutes.

But if the Thief's scouting isn't handled by note or in another room, I've met only a very few players who, on meta-learning she's fallen off a wall and is dying at its base, wouldn't immediately have their characters leap to her rescue even though in-character they have no way whatsoever of knowing she's in trouble and aren't expecting her back for another half-hour. Not acceptable here.
 

Maxperson

Morkus from Orkus
What you're proposing is different than we we're discussing. You are adding a step that suggests to me the player asks the DM what they know.
It doesn't have to be a question.
What it appears to me is that everyone "metagames," including you and your players, but you've simply decided that some "metagaming" can be ignored. Which is great, because that brings us a step closer to agreement. Just imagine that some of us choose to ignore just a few more of those instances than you choose to.
Not without perverting the definition of metagaming. Bringing out of character knowledge into the game via the PC that doesn't know it is metagaming. What we do is not metagaming.
 

Bill Zebub

“It’s probably Matt Mercer’s fault.”
It's really pretty simple:

Separate what the PC would know (or likely or reasonably know) based on their backstory, background, race, class, experiences in the game, etc. from what the player knows because they are sitting at the table and viewing/hearing/experiencing things their PC isn't.

I’m a 50-something white male investor from New England.

Do I, or do I not, know how to tell mountain lion tracks from wolf tracks?

Should be easy to determine, right?
 

iserith

Magic Wordsmith
It doesn't have to be a question.

Not without perverting the definition of metagaming. Bringing out of character knowledge into the game via the PC that doesn't know it is metagaming. What we do is not metagaming.
I believe you when you say you believe that, but it's all "metagaming." You're just okay with some kinds of "metagaming" and not others. And that's okay! I simply find it's easier for both the DM and the players not to have to navigate that minefield of what is or isn't "metagaming" in any given instance by not having a concern about it at all.
 

It's really pretty simple:

Separate what the PC would know (or likely or reasonably know) based on their backstory, background, race, class, experiences in the game, etc. from what the player knows because they are sitting at the table and viewing/hearing/experiencing things their PC isn't.
So you, as DM, are keeping track of backstory, background, race, class, in world experiences, etc for each PC in your game to make sure the players are playing their characters correctly plus describing the environment, creating coherent story hooks, running monsters and NPCs, adjudicating actions, etc. That’s… a lot to put on one’s DM plate.
 

Bill Zebub

“It’s probably Matt Mercer’s fault.”
Sort of ruins the atmosphere and such for the other actors, the director, and anyone who happens to be in the audience, don't ya think???

Now, as the "Director", I--the DM--yell, "Stop, stop, stop! What are you doing, Player? Your character in the play doesn't know they are the Bad Guy! Sigh... Ok, everyone, ignore that outburst and back to positions..."

So, if the Player continues to disrupt the play by doing such things, as the Director I will tell them they are fired and look for another Player for the play. :)

Now I’m imagining this:

“Cut! Cut! Mark, WTF, there’s no way you could hit that shaft with a photon torpedo without using your targeting computer!”

“But…but… I heard Alec talking to me…”

“His character is dead! Got that? Dead! You are totally spoiling verisimilitude here!”

“He told me to trust the Force…”

“Oh, lord, not this again. No, you trust me! ME! I am the director, not Alec, and not some voice in your head!”
 

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