D&D 5E What Don't You Like About Dungeons?

iserith

Magic Wordsmith
I've never struggled with this, but we all have different experiences with the game.
I've not struggled with it either, but that's chiefly because I don't make it my business to judge why a character does a thing. As DM, I only need to know what they are trying to accomplish and how so I can decide whether it succeeds or fails or there's a roll. As a player, I only need to know if I can do something to help my teammate succeed in their goal.
 

log in or register to remove this ad

R_J_K75

Legend
The tricky bit here is that particular knowledge isn't really necessary to take action, and the DM is only tasked with adjudicating action, so we really can't sit in judgment of what a character "wouldn't" or "shouldn't" know. It's really more like "might" or "could" know anyway since anything can be fictionally justified up to and including "Bruenor just felt like doing that, okay?" That may not be as satisfying as justifying it with Bruenor's extensive and ponderous backstory, but it is what it is, and is in my view no more inherent to dungeons than other venues.
I think @Incenjucar gave a pretty good example of what I'd consider meta-gaming. But I think its also fair to say that in some cases a players character may or could know some obscure bit of information of the game world but in some cases theres just no way that a character would have that knowledge. I suppose it comes down to the DM and what they deem appropriate. I cant remember any specific incidents but I do try and give the players the benefit of the doubt but other times I have succinctly told my players, outright NO, there is no way your character would have that kind of information.
 

Incenjucar

Legend
I've not struggled with it either, but that's chiefly because I don't make it my business to judge why a character does a thing. As DM, I only need to know what they are trying to accomplish and how so I can decide whether it succeeds or fails or there's a roll. As a player, I only need to know if I can do something to help my teammate succeed in their goal.
As a DM, I establish the ground rules that players will keep their meta knowledge as far from the game as they are able to do, and they comply. It's worked extremely well. My players will even do knowledge checks to see if they know about fire/acid vs. trolls. :giggle:
 

iserith

Magic Wordsmith
I think @Incenjucar gave a pretty good example of what I'd consider meta-gaming. But I think its also fair to say that in some cases a players character may or could know some obscure bit of information of the game world but in some cases theres just no way that a character would have that knowledge. I suppose it comes down to the DM and what they deem appropriate. I cant remember any specific incidents but I do try and give the players the benefit of the doubt but other times I have succinctly told my players, outright NO, there is no way your character would have that kind of information.
As a DM, I establish the ground rules that players will keep their meta knowledge as far from the game as they are able to do, and they comply. It's worked extremely well. My players will even do knowledge checks to see if they know about fire/acid vs. trolls. :giggle:
Everyone will handle this differently. I can't be given to care about why someone makes particular decisions for their characters. If they want to limit themselves based on establishing some kind of baseline of knowledge, that's fine. Or not, also fine. What was seemingly asserted, however, was that it's more apt to come up in dungeon environments, perhaps as a reason to avoid them as adventure locations. My question is why.
 

Maxperson

Morkus from Orkus
I like dungeons a lot, but true dungeon crawls only once in a while. Dungeons are fun if they are smallish and around 5-15 rooms. That allows you to enjoy the dungeon feel for a bit, but it doesn't slog on and get monotonous.
 

Incenjucar

Legend
Everyone will handle this differently. I can't be given to care about why someone makes particular decisions for their characters. If they want to limit themselves based on establishing some kind of baseline of knowledge, that's fine. Or not, also fine. What was seemingly asserted, however, was that it's more apt to come up in dungeon environments, perhaps as a reason to avoid them as adventure locations. My question is why.
It's a result of the tradition of insta-kill death trap dungeons like the Tomb of Annihilation. Less common in modern times, but back in older editions players wouldn't even bother making back stories for their characters because official adventures would pile up the bodies too quickly to risk growing attached to them. It really put the "crawl" into dungeon crawl.
Edit: Not to mention the sheer number of monsters disguised as the environment from all directions. When the walls, ceiling, floor, treasure, and air could all be monsters at the same time, players poke everything with an eleven foot pole.
 

iserith

Magic Wordsmith
It's a result of the tradition of insta-kill death trap dungeons like the Tomb of Annihilation. Less common in modern times, but back in older editions players wouldn't even bother making back stories for their characters because official adventures would pile up the bodies too quickly to risk growing attached to them. It really put the "crawl" into dungeon crawl.
Edit: Not to mention the sheer number of monsters disguised as the environment from all directions. When the walls, ceiling, floor, treasure, and air could all be monsters at the same time, players poke everything with an eleven foot pole.
I don't make "insta-kill death trap dungeons" and I still don't encourage players to create backstories for their characters before play. I prefer they do only as much as is necessary to define their concept, then add to it when inspired to do so during play.

Also, I can imagine a situation in which adventurers are exploring such an alien and dangerous environment very carefully with or without knowledge of things like mimics or piercers.
 

Incenjucar

Legend
I don't make "insta-kill death trap dungeons" and I still don't encourage players to create backstories for their characters before play. I prefer they do only as much as is necessary to define their concept, then add to it when inspired to do so during play.

Also, I can imagine a situation in which adventurers are exploring such an alien and dangerous environment very carefully with or without knowledge of things like mimics or piercers.
That's fine, but unless you worked for TSR your dungeons aren't where this came from. :p
 

Minigiant

Legend
Supporter
What I don't like is after a certain point and size, a dungeon doesn't work the walk D&D sets them up as unless the inhabitants are of above average intelligence and have a lot of unused resources at their exposal. So you either end up with monsters who don't drain resources like they are supposed to OR engage the same tactics.

Basically once you dungeon has more than 2 floor, you have to go into WH40K Necromunda Hive City Gang Warfare mode in other to give the dungeon the variety of enemy resources, and tactics.
 

iserith

Magic Wordsmith
That's fine, but unless you worked for TSR your dungeons aren't where this came from. :p
My point being I still don't think this is "meta play." It's not a default position that one should create a backstory beyond what the rules describe, nor be attached to the character, nor is carefully exploring necessarily "meta play." It's just play, and reasonable play in a dangerous environment, wouldn't you say? What does it matter if said careful exploration is the result of a player having had a previous experience with a mimic or a piercer? The outcome is the same - careful exploration.
 

Voidrunner's Codex

Remove ads

Top