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

niklinna

satisfied?
That's truly terrible game theory.

You are leaving out a critical component: the number of times your assumed but incorrect knowledge left you worse off. For example, exploding trolls. And even if there's isn't a negative consequence, in a game based on action economy, wasting a turn on an ineffective strategy is a cost.
There was a computer game called Myth: The Fallen Age, way back in the before times. In it, there are huge shambling undead that explode when you shoot them with arrows. I made it my mission to get through that entire game without a single casualty*, and pulled it off, almost entirely due to those exploding undead, by looping around to gather the faster undead around the splody ones. Good times.

* Those of you who played this game (by Bungie before they went all Halo!) may remember you'd actually hear a guy saying "casualty" whenever you lost a soldier, in the most bored-sounding voice possible.
 

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Lanefan

Victoria Rules
Do these metagaming things actually regularly crop up in people's games? Like sure, I can imagine hypothetical situations where I would object and say "Your character doesn't know that," but I don't remember such actually happening. I'm sure it has sometimes occurred over the years, but it definitely is not a an issue I would spent a lot of time worrying about as it simply doesn't come up.
Not nearly as often as it used to, mostly due to memory of past arguments and some crystal-clear DM rulings over the years (and not just by me!). But maybe once every year or two it still arises.
 

iserith

Magic Wordsmith
"Plunder everything that isn't nailed down. Then take everything that IS nailed down. THEN take the nails from the walls. Finally, take the walls."

That's Greyhawking a dungeon. And it's been around a HECK of a lot longer than 5e.

Frankly there are A LOT more players (IME) that play for the narrative experience and the fun of exploration rather than to "win the game..." than there have ever been before. Getting every advantage available has been "standard" (or at least typical) play for a LONG time and I find it less now than I did before.
If that has been the poster's experience, one has to wonder what the common element between all those experiences have been to lead to those outcomes other than the game system itself.
 

The difference is that one poster is a hard core anti-metagamer predicting what would happen if people played a certain way.

The other poster is somebody who has actually been playing that way for a long time and is describing what happens.

(And the further irony is that the first poster bases their play style on the claim that we can know what people "would" do in various situations.)
yeah that is why my 'just talk form a consensus and have a good time' way I think is the best
 


Oofta

Legend
That's just a bad DM. The flip side of it is the Rule of Cool where you can game the DM by making something look or sound cool, so it gets approved.

A DM looking for reasonable description is just a playstyle choice, though. It's not gaming the DM.

The playstyle is neither good nor bad, I'm just stating my preference. However, gaming the DM is absolutely a thing, something I've seen.

That would drive me crazy. If I described my PC doing something such that it should succeed without a roll due to how easy it has become and I had to roll anyway, I'd probably go find a different game.

It depends. Are you avoiding the trapped door by going through the window? Well, sure. But at that point we're no longer talking about disabling a trap, it's an alternative solution which is a different story. Let's say we're playing a D20 modern game with hackers. Someone at the game table is actually a coder and can throw a bunch of intelligent sounding techno babble at the DM. Unless the DM is literally a hacker themselves most of it will likely go over their heads but the coder is really, really good at techno babble, something I've seen people use to impress management on several occasions. It's not that different from a player just being eloquent and good at describing disabling an imaginary trap.

But this argument is as old as the game. I simply disagree.
 

Xamnam

Loves Your Favorite Game
"They don't wait for death saves to tick up before healing"

This is the opposite of metagaming. Metagaming is bringing in player knowledge that 1) you have to fail 3 death saves to die, and 2) bringing in player knowledge of how many death saves had been failed.
So choosing to not be as effective as possible when you have that knowledge is metagaming.
"they discuss what spells they're going to take so they don't double up"

This could be metagaming, but isn't necessarily the smart thing. Doubling up is often better, because good spells are good to have in multiple hands. Fireball is good. Two fireballs is better. Healing is good. Healing in two hands is better so you can heal the healer. And so on.
But the wizard's not taking comprehend languages because he knows that's this bard's whole thing, and he doesn't want to step on that player's fun.
"they push on in to danger instead of resting after every battle"

This is not metagaming. Resting after every fight is, because the PCs don't know about the adventuring day. That and resting can also bring encounters, so...
But the game is more fun when they don't rest constantly, so they don't do the cautious safe thing as if they're actually concerned about their lives.
"they plead earnestly with the agent of the Zhentarim they just met"

Negotiation is not metagaming.
No, obviously not. But the player who knows who Zhentarim are explicitly leaning into the fact that they will likely be betrayed because that's fun and interesting is.
"they stay committed to their course of rescuing their employer rather than abandoning him because it's only 10 gold"

Neither staying the course or abandoning him are metagaming. This is roleplay and depends on the personalities of the PCs
But choosing to do so because he's who the module is about when we agreed to play this one, is, even if you justify it in fiction after the fact.
"they don't steal from each other even though they steal from everyone else"

Same as above. Not metagaming and based on PC personality.
If you're portraying someone who is abjectly selfish and amoral, and tried to steal from the party, but retconned your actions the second the another player said they don't want to play that sort of game, it is.
Only one thing you mentioned could possibly be considered to be metagaming.
So, I disagree. All of these can have considerations that come from non in-game knowledge. I've seen these choices play out because the players are concerned with what makes the game the best form of it, and I thoroughly appreciate that metagaming.
 

Maxperson

Morkus from Orkus
It depends. Are you avoiding the trapped door by going through the window? Well, sure. But at that point we're no longer talking about disabling a trap, it's an alternative solution which is a different story. Let's say we're playing a D20 modern game with hackers. Someone at the game table is actually a coder and can throw a bunch of intelligent sounding techno babble at the DM. Unless the DM is literally a hacker themselves most of it will likely go over their heads but the coder is really, really good at techno babble, something I've seen people use to impress management on several occasions. It's not that different from a player just being eloquent and good at describing disabling an imaginary trap.

But this argument is as old as the game. I simply disagree.
No. I'm talking about if we see a trap that has arrow sized holes in the walls about 3 feet up and I tell you that I belly crawl down the hallway. If you have me roll a dex save, even with advantage to avoid the arrows that are at least two feet higher up than my PC's back, I'm going to be upset. Assuming that they are arrows and not gas tubes or something. My description should have me avoid an arrow trap like that 100% of the time. No roll.
 

Bill Zebub

“It’s probably Matt Mercer’s fault.”
Relax. It's a game.

A long time ago a friend and I decided to take on an ambitious hike: all the summits (11?) of New Hampshire’s presidential range in a day. Really more running than hiking.

As we tagged the first summit cairn, another hiker…the kind that carries a carved wooden hiking staff, if you know whaddimean…called out, “Slow down and enjoy it!”

Clearly we had completely different ideas of how to enjoy mountains.

Maybe instead of trying to force players to enjoy D&D the way you do, you could acknowledge that they might really enjoy their way, and that’s valid.

Then find a different group.
 

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