D&D General "When I DM I do my Best to Curb Players Meta-Gaming or Using Out-of-Character Knowledge." (a poll)

"When I DM I do my Best to Curb Players Meta-Gaming or Using Out-of-Character Knowledge."

  • True.

    Votes: 26 33.3%
  • False.

    Votes: 52 66.7%

el-remmen

Moderator Emeritus
Maybe the premise for this one is not so simple, seeing as people have varied definitions of "meta-gaming," but I am not going to let that stop me from asking - no matter how you define it - if as DM you try to address it at all. If so, how?
 

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billd91

Hobbit on Quest (he/him)
It depends, really. I try to remind players about things their PCs wouldn't know that they might - though that's not often a problem. But if the players can suss out various narrative beats and tropes and lean into them, I'm perfectly fine with that.
 

It's impossible to play the game without a certain level of meta knowledge. But I definitely don't like it when players use info from the Monster Manual that they're character couldn't know. So, true, but in a very liberal sense of it.
 


Umbran

Mod Squad
Staff member
If that metagaming is in the purpose of helping the table have a good time (like understanding how a system shares spotlight time, and using it to share spotlight), then I feel no need to stop it.

I strongly prefer that players not use, say, monster stat information without first establishing the character knows it first. But I rarely need to enforce that - my players seek to establish it themselves before I have to act on that.
 

DEFCON 1

Legend
Supporter
I have enough other things to do than to police the players. Heck, a player could be cheating and I'd never probably know it nor put in any effort to try and determine it. If they feel the need to do so for their own enjoyment and it's not affecting me or the other players... then so be it.
 

I voted False.

I mean, I don't really try very hard to do that. I've never had it get "out of control" to the point where I had to step in. One time a player did start doing it a bit much and then the other players berated him and he stopped. People definitely do a little bit of metagaming and I'm absolutely fine with that - as @Umbran says it can be actively helpful in certain forms - sheesh I metagame that way, I avoid taking too much spotlight time (i.e. always prep my turns ahead, and despite preferring jacks-of-all-trades, try to avoid sticking my oar into every situation).
 

delericho

Legend
No. I mostly don't worry about it, unless there is something egregiously off going on (like a PC in one city discovers a crucial fact which a PC in an entirely different city and with no way to communicate then uses). But for the classic "how do you know trolls are affected by fire?" example... yeah, I don't care much about that. :)
 

No. I mostly don't worry about it, unless there is something egregiously off going on (like a PC in one city discovers a crucial fact which a PC in an entirely different city and with no way to communicate then uses). But for the classic "how do you know trolls are affected by fire?" example... yeah, I don't care much about that. :)
I'm normally pretty light about it, but this is the kind of thing that breaks my immersion. Perfect precision can be a thing of beauty in the right game, but Rary's Telepathic Bond has to be earned. :cool:
 

HammerMan

Legend
If that metagaming is in the purpose of helping the table have a good time (like understanding how a system shares spotlight time, and using it to share spotlight), then I feel no need to stop it.

I strongly prefer that players not use, say, monster stat information without first establishing the character knows it first. But I rarely need to enforce that - my players seek to establish it themselves before I have to act on that.
Yeah this is a hard one for me… like Umbra said I am 100% cool with meta gaming to help the gun at the table flow and 100% against it if it stops the fun.
 




meta-gaming to gain advantages is not
It's also rarely a real problem, though, in my experience, and I don't really fault the player who remembers that X monster is weak to fire from a previous campaign, even though, if we micro-analyzed their PC, their PC probably wouldn't know that. I have met DMs who would try to insist on that micro-analysis though (in such campaigns you better believe I'm going to play some kind of loremaster Bard and justify the hell out of knowing stuff though!).
 


CleverNickName

Limit Break Dancing
Oh yeah, all the time.

I'll change the names of the monsters (or just change the tilename to 'Monster1,' 'Monster2,' etc. in Roll20) so that they have to rely on my descriptions to figure out what they're fighting. I create my own magic items, and heavily embellish others (a common longsword +1 is described as the Blade of Ballenroe, a steel longsword with the crest of the Ballenroe family in the pommel.) In my game world, the dead are embalmed before burial, so most corporeal undead look identical to mummies. My dragons are all gray, and have the chameleon-like ability to change the color of their scales--no way to tell what it's breath weapon is going to be from appearance. And so forth.

Basically, I want to eliminate the 'gamist' attitudes and behaviors at the table as much as possible, so that we can focus on immersion. In a perfect gaming session, my players forget they are even playing a game at least once.
 
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payn

Legend
Depends on the metagaming. The monster manual stuff isn't the end of the world for me. Jumping off a building because you know the character will survive it, when there are other more reasonable actions to take, bugs me. Multi-classing and/or dipping doesn't bother me, those are mechanics that are under hood. Choosing a path because you think it will net more XP, or avoiding one because it doesn't have enough XP, instead of the interesting narrative choice, bugs me.
 

Ballenroe
Total aside but I instinctively know my main group players are too keen on sniggering and being juvenile to really take anything called "Ballenroe" seriously lol. I guess we all probably know stuff which just wouldn't fly for our groups.

One of my great annoyances was coming up with what I thought was an awesome name for a major NPC, safety-Googling it, and finding oh yeah it's also a name of a city in Morocco, but I've never heard of it, and neither will the players, and of course, the week before the session introducing the NPC, turns out the tube (subway) was filled with billboards to "Come visit beautiful [NPC name]!", and it's nothing but smirking when he's introduced. So much for his majesty and respect!
 

CleverNickName

Limit Break Dancing
Total aside but I instinctively know my main group players are too keen on sniggering and being juvenile to really take anything called "Ballenroe" seriously lol. I guess we all probably know stuff which just wouldn't fly for our groups.
Hey, cut me some slack! I hadn't had my coffee yet. Give me ten seconds on FantasyNameGenerator.com and I'll be ready. :sneaky:
 

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