A Monster for Every Season: Summer 2
You can get A Monster for Every Season: Summer 2 now at Gumroad
Page 1 of 3 123 LastLast
Results 1 to 30 of 85
  1. - Top - End - #1
    Ogre in the Playground
     
    AKA_Bait's Avatar

    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Location
    Albany, NY
    Gender
    Male

    Default Metagaming vs. Character Planning

    This is something that came up tangentially on the power gaming thread and I think is worth a little bit of discussion on a different thread.

    Is there a point where character planning crosses a line into metagaming? It seems to me there is.

    First, to be clear, metagaming, for the purpose of this discussion, is defined as using out of character knowledge to make or inform decisions in character. I don't mean this in a pejorative sense. Some games allow for a measure of metagaming but just because they do is not to say it isn't there.

    Example: My illiterate barbarian starts saving up to purchase a Mattock of the Titans, the item never having been mentioned in game.
    Why metagaming: Although I came across it on SRD, there is no reason to suppose that my illiterate barbarian has ever heard of it, hence his saving up to buy it is out of character knowledge used in character.

    This seems to be similarly true with a character planning to take a particular prestige class (if it's secretive or very uncommon), save to buy an exotic weapon (if it's not one the character has run across or heard about already), etc.

    I get the feeling that a number of folks would disagree about this being metagaming and I'm curious to hear the argument for that position.
    [CENTER]So You Wanna Be A DM? A Potentially Helpful Guide
    Truly wonderful avatar made by Cuthalion

  2. - Top - End - #2
    Firbolg in the Playground
     
    Emperor Tippy's Avatar

    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Location
    Earth

    Default Re: Metagaming vs. Character Planning

    It's more that all of what you said could be explained through backstory very easily.
    Quote Originally Posted by AKA_Bait
    Example: My illiterate barbarian starts saving up to purchase a Mattock of the Titans, the item never having been mentioned in game.
    Why metagaming: Although I came across it on SRD, there is no reason to suppose that my illiterate barbarian has ever heard of it, hence his saving up to buy it is out of character knowledge used in character.
    Maybe when the barbarian was a kid his daddy told him about this great hammer (Mattock of the Titans) and now that the barbarian is an adventurer he decides that he wants this great hammer so he starts saving money to buy one. Or maybe his childhood hero had one. There are so many ways that the character could legitimatly know about the item that it isn't metagaming.

    This seems to be similarly true with a character planning to take a particular prestige class (if it's secretive or very uncommon), save to buy an exotic weapon (if it's not one the character has run across or heard about already), etc.
    Again. The character prolly lived at least 20 years before you see him ingame. In that time he could have easily met an adventurer who had X prestige class. Or hsi childhood hero was X prestige class. Its very explainable.

    I get the feeling that a number of folks would disagree about this being metagaming and I'm curious to hear the argument for that position.
    I don't consider it metagaming if it is easily concevable that the character could have heard about or know about X.
    People who think Tippy equals win.
    Spoiler
    Show

    Quote Originally Posted by Tyndmyr View Post
    Clearly, this is because Tippy equals Win.
    Quote Originally Posted by Sunken Valley View Post
    Tippy=Win
    Quote Originally Posted by Gavinfoxx View Post
    Wow... Tippy, you equal win.
    Quote Originally Posted by Immabozo View Post
    Tippy, I knew, in the back of my mind, that you would have the answer. Why? Cause you win. That's why.
    Quote Originally Posted by Mithril Leaf View Post
    Alright. I finally surrender. Tippy, you do in fact equal win. You have claimed the position of being my idol.

    Quote Originally Posted by Someone who shall remain anonymous
    This post contains 100% Tippy thought. May contain dangerous amounts of ludicrousness and/or awesomeness.

  3. - Top - End - #3
    Dwarf in the Playground
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Location
    Canada

    Default Re: Metagaming vs. Character Planning

    Adjusting character tactics to fit mechanics isn't metagaming to me.

    That's because there's two layers to a game - OOC, and IC. The IC portion knows nothing about character classes or 5-foot steps. At the same time, the archer is still going to adjust with a 5-foot step before firing... to avoid an AoO. Is that metagaming? I don't think so, that's just the mechanical representation of what's happening IC.

    So if you plan your character... well, that's OOC. ICly, the character knows nothing about leveling or classes - they're entirely seperate considerations. ICly the character could be a thief, OOCly he could be a wierd ranger/rogue/swash/scout hybrid.

    Metagaming to me is more of someone jumping out a window because it's "only X amount of damage".

    So the question here is... if the barbarian makes a 5 foot adjustment before striking, due to the OOC knowledge that doing so would avoid an AoO... is that metagaming? If so, then yeah, planning would be metagaming.

    At the same time, there's absolutely no reason not to save money. Also, by default it's presumed that the SRD stuff is available - unless stated otherwise. The level 1 fighter could start saving up for full plate, unless told specifically it doesn't exist.
    Jeff

  4. - Top - End - #4
    Dwarf in the Playground
     
    PMDM's Avatar

    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Location
    Around town
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Metagaming vs. Character Planning

    There's no fine line in Metagaming, but there are exterme cases of it.
    I'll race you to the top of the spire.

    HOW TO ROLL ON THE FORUM SITE:
    Quote Originally Posted by Jacob Orlove View Post
    For example: [roll=Spot ]1d20+5[/roll ] would show up (without the extra spaces) as a normal roll.
    There's also [rollv=NameOfRoll]xdy+z[/rollv] which will show you all the individual rolls, eg: [rollv=strength ]4d6[/rollv ] gives you 4 rolls, and their sum.
    [roll=strength ]4d6b3[/roll ] gives you the best 3 of the 4 rolls

  5. - Top - End - #5
    Pixie in the Playground
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Location
    Iowa

    Default Re: Metagaming vs. Character Planning

    Metagaming at that level is really easy to work around. For instance I make a cleric, pick a prestigue class and build my character to get to it, inform the GM of my future plans and ask for him to help me achieve them, then decide the ins and outs of my characters past based on the abilities I have now.

    Saving for a grand weapon is in character, saving specifically for a mattock of the titans is a bit on the side of silly, but there are ways to get around it. I would be more worried about your characters doing silly things like rolling a spot check getting a 1 and then all of the sudden go insane with caution.
    Those who do not remember history are doomed to repeat it.

  6. - Top - End - #6
    Banned
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Location
    Finland
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Metagaming vs. Character Planning

    Metagaming means understanding you're playing a game, and... playing it. I'm not into simulationism, personally.

    Character planning is perfectly valid. The only bad metagaming is cheating; using metagame reasoning and knowledge when making decisions about in-character actions. Even that's not clear-cut. You have to use metagame knowledge to affect decisions, too (such as "we are probably supposed to do something useful instead of drink and whore the whole game session away").

    What's a secretive or uncommon prestige class, anyway? Almost all PrCs (in the newer books that list the information and DCs) only require a DC 10 Knowledge check (which can be made by anyone taking 10, with no ranks, with average Int) for you to be aware of them.

    Even if a prestige class is legitimately secretive and unheard-of, there's nothing wrong with planning your character to take it. Every character has to be planned with the DM anyway, and I can't conceive of a reason a DM wouldn't let a PC take a PrC (unless it's intended for NPCs, like most in the Book of Vile Darkness).

    I actually don't think there's anything wrong with a barbarian jumping down dozens of feet, either. He can survive it, and he probably knows this. "It'll hurt, but it's better than staying here and being overwhelmed by these opponents!" There are heroes, not regular people. Heroes do crazy things like jump out of fifth-story windows and survive. (Probably hitting something in the way that slows the descent.) A 20th-level barbarian knows he can survive a full-on blast of ancient red dragon breath that can incinerate an entire company of soldiers; why would he think he can't survive a 100-foot fall?

  7. - Top - End - #7
    Ogre in the Playground
     
    MindFlayer

    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Location
    Michigan
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Metagaming vs. Character Planning

    well there are times when people do use knowledge that is a bit obviously metagaming. Like one character knew his ac was exactly 20 over the group of umberhulks attacking him. So he charged into them because he knew he could only be hit 5% of the time. Or like when we bumped into mind flayers he told the party members he knew had the highest will saves to go ahead while the rest stayed just out of the mindflayers stun attack. Or using only sonic attacks against devils beacause you know they are immune to poison to fire and resist acid and cold. or when he directed the fighter with silver swords against the devils cause he knew they had dr/silver
    I would be a procrastinator, but I keep putting it off.

  8. - Top - End - #8
    Ettin in the Playground
     
    Shhalahr Windrider's Avatar

    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Location
    By a Park
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Metagaming vs. Character Planning

    Quote Originally Posted by the_tick_rules
    Or like when we bumped into mind flayers he told the party members he knew had the highest will saves to go ahead while the rest stayed just out of the mindflayers stun attack.
    "I say, Julius, you have proven to have great mental fortitude in the past. These critters are known for their mental assaults. What say you lead the charge?"

    Or using only sonic attacks against devils beacause you know they are immune to poison to fire and resist acid and cold. or when he directed the fighter with silver swords against the devils cause he knew they had dr/silver
    "The legends say these devils can't be burned and can only be harmed by weapons made of silver."

    (Just like in real-life, the lore says only silver harms werewolves. :P)
    The Future just ain’t what it used to be.

  9. - Top - End - #9
    Ogre in the Playground
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Seattle, USA
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Metagaming vs. Character Planning

    The only time I have problums with metagaming is when players take actions based on information their character does not possess (I reliazed I just used the definition of metagaming, but hear me out).

    Keep in mind that good roleplaying and good rollplaying (pun intended) are not mutually exclusive, quite the opposite in fact. Your playing a great and powerful hero, you need the character ability to justify that. You as a player are responsible not only for being a good roleplayer, but also to contributing to the parties success.

    That said, it really annoys me when someone uses a tactic without justification as to why they used that tactic. Case in point, I sent a party agienst a hydra, and the party fighter immediatly started cutting off heads while the wizard sealed the wounds with scorching ray. They had never seen a hyrdra before, nor had they researched them before hand. That said, if the party wizard had made an knowledge(arcana) check when he saw the wizard, or the bard made a bardic knowledge check to see if their characters had heard of hydras and their weaknesses, I would have been fine, but you can't just assume your character knows about whater beastie your DM grabs out of the MM.
    "Sometimes, we’re heroes. Sometimes, we shoot other people right in the face for money."

    -Shadowrun 4e, Runner's Companion

  10. - Top - End - #10
    Pixie in the Playground
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Location
    Florida

    Default Re: Metagaming vs. Character Planning

    Like most everything else, the extent to which anything is metagaming depends on the nature of your particular campaign.

    As for me, the most annoying and most common form of metagaming comes in the form of players planning their tactics against a monster, especially one their characters haven't encountered before, to a T. Even for those you are familiar with, knowledge as specific as definite numbers for AC, HP, DCs, etc. is problematic.

    But the solution, as always, lies in the DM's hands. In this case, just make your low-level enemies varied enough, create some beasties of your own (even if it's only flavor and you're just ripping off an existing one's stat block), and perhaps most importantly, establish this as your modus operandi or at least build it as your reputation.

  11. - Top - End - #11
    Firbolg in the Playground
     
    Emperor Tippy's Avatar

    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Location
    Earth

    Default Re: Metagaming vs. Character Planning

    @^^
    Again it kidna depends on backstory. If the fighter had goen to fighter school or the wizard to a Magic Academy it is somewhat justifiable. A human wizard spends a decade or so in school. Something as famous as a Hydra is boudn to have been covered. Now if he was taught by his dad or something in a small town it may be different.


    Small tibits like that will rarely make the backstory but it is easy to assuem that the character would know the info. And if the wizard would have learned the knowledge with a Knowledge: Arcane check then he is fine. You shouldn't have to make Knowledge checks in situatiosn like that unless its a really rare creature.
    People who think Tippy equals win.
    Spoiler
    Show

    Quote Originally Posted by Tyndmyr View Post
    Clearly, this is because Tippy equals Win.
    Quote Originally Posted by Sunken Valley View Post
    Tippy=Win
    Quote Originally Posted by Gavinfoxx View Post
    Wow... Tippy, you equal win.
    Quote Originally Posted by Immabozo View Post
    Tippy, I knew, in the back of my mind, that you would have the answer. Why? Cause you win. That's why.
    Quote Originally Posted by Mithril Leaf View Post
    Alright. I finally surrender. Tippy, you do in fact equal win. You have claimed the position of being my idol.

    Quote Originally Posted by Someone who shall remain anonymous
    This post contains 100% Tippy thought. May contain dangerous amounts of ludicrousness and/or awesomeness.

  12. - Top - End - #12
    Pixie in the Playground
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Location
    Florida

    Default Re: Metagaming vs. Character Planning

    Quote Originally Posted by Emperor Tippy
    Again it kidna depends on backstory.
    Of course, it always depends. But I find that more often than not, it's almost impossible to justify knowledge as extensive as would be required when players metagame.

    This is all personal preference, obviously, but I prefer that despite their status as heroes slowly reaching epic status, characters not use certain information from the rulebooks and then presume it's perfectly natural or okay. Optimizing (within limits) is one thing, bordering on omniscient is another. For me, at least. :P

  13. - Top - End - #13
    Firbolg in the Playground
     
    Emperor Tippy's Avatar

    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Location
    Earth

    Default Re: Metagaming vs. Character Planning

    I agree but knowing that you should hit devils with silver weapons and demons with cold iron is the kind of thing that you would learn in wizard school. Now knowing their exact AC or HD is a bit much.
    People who think Tippy equals win.
    Spoiler
    Show

    Quote Originally Posted by Tyndmyr View Post
    Clearly, this is because Tippy equals Win.
    Quote Originally Posted by Sunken Valley View Post
    Tippy=Win
    Quote Originally Posted by Gavinfoxx View Post
    Wow... Tippy, you equal win.
    Quote Originally Posted by Immabozo View Post
    Tippy, I knew, in the back of my mind, that you would have the answer. Why? Cause you win. That's why.
    Quote Originally Posted by Mithril Leaf View Post
    Alright. I finally surrender. Tippy, you do in fact equal win. You have claimed the position of being my idol.

    Quote Originally Posted by Someone who shall remain anonymous
    This post contains 100% Tippy thought. May contain dangerous amounts of ludicrousness and/or awesomeness.

  14. - Top - End - #14
    Ogre in the Playground
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Metagaming vs. Character Planning

    If the vulnerabilities of monsters such as vampires, lycanthropes, and trolls weren't fairly widespread knowledge, they would long since have taken over the world. Demons and devils, not so much.

    It might be that people tend to confuse demons and devils, in which case all that one would know is:
    "Some infernals can be slain with silver. Others can't. Some can be slain with cold-wrought iron. Others can't."
    Which puts you in the same position as Haley fighting... whatever Nale's succubus/erinyes girlfriend is called.
    My favorite exchange:
    Spoiler
    Show
    Quote Originally Posted by Betty
    If your idea of fun is to give the players whatever they want, then I suggest you take out a board game called: CANDY LAND and use that for your gaming sessions.
    Quote Originally Posted by Dervag
    Obviously, you have never known the frustration of being stranded in the Molasses Swamp.
    _______
    Quote Originally Posted by Mikeavelli View Post
    Physics is a dame of culture and sophistication. She'll take you in, keep you warm at night, provide all kinds of insight into yourself and the world you never find on your own.

  15. - Top - End - #15
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    MrNexx's Avatar

    Join Date
    May 2005
    Location
    Houston, TX, USA
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Metagaming vs. Character Planning

    I would point out that the Knowledge skills contain rules for just such ahhh KNOWLEDGE.
    The Cranky Gamer
    Nexx's Hello
    *It isn't realism, it's verisimilitude; the appearance of truth within the framework of the game.
    *"I" is an English pronoun in the nominative case of first person singular. It does not indicate the actions or writings of anyone but the first person, singular.
    *Tataurus, you have three halves as well as a race that doesn't breed. -UglyPanda
    *LVDO ERGO SVM

  16. - Top - End - #16
    Ogre in the Playground
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Seattle, USA
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Metagaming vs. Character Planning

    Quote Originally Posted by Mr. Nexx
    I would point out that the Knowledge skills contain rules for just such ahhh KNOWLEDGE.

    Thats my point exactally. What you learned in wizard school would be your knowledge skills, specifically arcana and the planes.

    If you want your character to be able to know what a monsters weaknessess are, either research it or invest in knowledge skills.
    "Sometimes, we’re heroes. Sometimes, we shoot other people right in the face for money."

    -Shadowrun 4e, Runner's Companion

  17. - Top - End - #17
    Ettin in the Playground
     
    Jade_Tarem's Avatar

    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Location
    Elsewhere
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Metagaming vs. Character Planning

    I dunno, I think that metagaming can be pretty blatant. For example, any character who can determine how his character will develop, level - wise, for the next 20 levels is likely metagaming. It's good to have a plan, but in terms of actual roleplaying most or all of a campaign will occur before 20 levels passes, and there's no way the character will know what he needs at the end of that time.

    For example: Reyan likes to combine swordplay and spellcasting, and so he will take levels in sorcerer and fighter until he qualifies for eldrich knight (a common PrC) and Spellsword (less common, but in the characters interests and as such is much more likely to be something he's heard of) - this is likely not metagaming, it's pursuing an interest.

    Meanwhile: Opti will take 4 levels of rogue, 2 levels of fighter, 4 levels of whirling dervish, 2 levels of marshal, 1 level of assassin, 6 levels of death commando, and one level of cleric. His interests as a character? Doing 200d6 sneak attack damage.

    There are other varieties of metagaming. I had a player who could quote stat blocks for every monster in the MM1 and many other things besides. While some things are common knowledge ("Oh look, a goblin, they don't have any special immunities, just blast it.") Knowing the precise series of manuvers for a ranger to kill a kracken man-a-mano at lvl 9 is ludicrous. The best fight this party had was a dragon using a stat block that I completely made up and had "uttercold" as it's element - and was immune to fire. They had to get creative instead of getting to page flipping.

    I had one roleplayer who really did follow reality and tried different methods of attacking a pit fiend, incluiding some he as a player knew would not work, because his paladin (and the party he was leading) had not fought one before. Everyone loved this guy.

    Just a thought.
    Amazing Zealot avatar by Elder Tsofu.

  18. - Top - End - #18
    Pixie in the Playground
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    Warsaw, Poland

    Default Re: Metagaming vs. Character Planning

    Quote Originally Posted by TheOOB

    Thats my point exactally. What you learned in wizard school would be your knowledge skills, specifically arcana and the planes.

    If you want your character to be able to know what a monsters weaknessess are, either research it or invest in knowledge skills.
    Yep, that is one way to metagame - use some of the knowledge or skills the player has, but the character doesn't. Similar metagaming would be, when you are someone well-spoken, whom everybody likes, and create character with low charisma. You won't need the ability for anything, because in social situations you count on using your own charm. Or when you have stupid character, but you solve most of the riddles your DM puts against your party.
    So if you want your character to know or be able to do something, give him the necessary skills/feats/abilities.
    Of course it requires some help from a DM. Social situations should be both roleplayed and rolled, instead of simply declaring "I convince him" and rolling, or roleplaying well but without a single roll.

    Mind you, some metagaing is not only good, but quite required. Don't do things that would spoil the adventure. When some strange characters give you a proposition to work with them, find a reason to accept it instead of turning an walking away. But those are rather rare cases, and all are made for the good of the game as such.
    Special thanks to Peregrine for his Guide to Making Avatars

  19. - Top - End - #19
    Pixie in the Playground
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Location
    Netherlands

    Default Re: Metagaming vs. Character Planning

    Quote Originally Posted by TheOOB


    Thats my point exactally. What you learned in wizard school would be your knowledge skills, specifically arcana and the planes.

    If you want your character to be able to know what a monsters weaknessess are, either research it or invest in knowledge skills.
    I totally agree. Otherwise there would be no reason at all to invest in knowledge skills. If you decide to spend precious skill points into knowledge you want it togive you a benefit later in a fight or other situation.
    Give a man a fire and he is warm for a day. Set a man on fire and he is warm for the rest of his life.

    Terry Pratchett

  20. - Top - End - #20
    Ogre in the Playground
     
    Zincorium's Avatar

    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Oak Harbor, WA
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Metagaming vs. Character Planning

    One thing that I would like to point out as far as metagaming goes, is that AC, hit points, and so on are not just mystical values that have no basis in the reality of the game. They are mechanics that represent aspects of the reality in which the characters dwell.

    It's not going to be all that hard to figure out that the guy in platemail is hard to hit. You won't know about the ring of protection, and what it's doing, until you strike what you thought was a solid hit and it glances off. And neither should the players.

    When the players know as much about what's going on as the DM, then it is at least partially a failure on the DM's part. If you ALWAYS use the book stats for a monster, knowing the players have memorized them, then you reap what you sow and the players will have a fairly good idea of what to expect. If you change it up, even as rare as one in five encounters, most groups will be cautious, because they never know which encounter is different, so they treat them all like they might be until they can figure out that it isn't.

    Which is perfectly reasonable in game terms. If you're fighting a group of orcs, and they can't dodge, swing wildly, and collapse when struck with a look of disbelief on their porcine faces, then the players are perfectly justified in thinking, in character, "Eh, they were just orcs."
    "It does me no injury for my neighbor to say there are twenty gods or no god. It neither picks my pocket nor breaks my leg."
    - Thomas Jefferson

    Avatar by Meynolds!

  21. - Top - End - #21
    Ogre in the Playground
     
    AKA_Bait's Avatar

    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Location
    Albany, NY
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Metagaming vs. Character Planning

    Quote Originally Posted by Thomas
    What's a secretive or uncommon prestige class, anyway? Almost all PrCs (in the newer books that list the information and DCs) only require a DC 10 Knowledge check (which can be made by anyone taking 10, with no ranks, with average Int) for you to be aware of them.
    Several things here:
    There are a number of prestige classes and even open classes (such as Beguiler) that require more than a DC 10 to know exist. Also, please remember that if the DC is more than 10, and you don't have training in the applicable knowledge then you can't know it by virtue of a knowledge (or in this case, intelligence) check. Only common knowledge can be known that way.

    One thing that I find odd, although I can't seem to find anything specific saying you can't, is taking 10 or 20 on a knowledge check. It seems that the check is a 'you know it or you don't' so taking longer to think about it more carefully seems as odd and as unreasonable as making multiple attempts at the knowledge check.

    Hence, if you want you character to know it there are mechanics in place for them to know about it. If you want it as part of their back-story, "daddy told me about x", then for it not to be metagaming it seems to me that information needs to be part of your initial back-story at time of character creation or to have a check made for it later. It also seems to me that the check needs to be made before taking the actions to prepare to get into that prestige class or get that item. Otherwise, unless they have some other good in character reason to take a bunch of ranks in perform for example, it strikes me as metagaming.

    One other reminder thing: I don't want to get into a debate here about metagaming good/bad. If you are ok with it, like Thomas, that's cool and the merits of that will vary from group to group. I'm more concerned with figuring out where it is metagaming or not, as distinct from whether it should be allowed in any individual campaign.


    [CENTER]So You Wanna Be A DM? A Potentially Helpful Guide
    Truly wonderful avatar made by Cuthalion

  22. - Top - End - #22
    Ettin in the Playground
     
    Shhalahr Windrider's Avatar

    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Location
    By a Park
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Metagaming vs. Character Planning

    Quote Originally Posted by AKA_Bait
    One thing that I find odd, although I can't seem to find anything specific saying you can't, is taking 10 or 20 on a knowledge check.
    You can't take 20 because retries are not allowed. You can take 10 on any skill unless specifically stated otherwise (see Use Magic Device for an example).

    Tangent: Unfortunately the whole "no retry" thing leads to an odd situation. Wizard with +6 Knowledge (arcana) needs to make a DC 16 check to recognize the type of construct that attacked him. He rolls a 1. If this is something he "either knows or he doesn't" (paraphrased from the Knowledge skill description on retries), why is it he could have easily recognized it by taking 10 outside of combat, but has no chance whatsoever to know anything about it because he had to try and recognize it during combat?

    Solution: Allow retries, but only if the character is taking 10.
    The Future just ain’t what it used to be.

  23. - Top - End - #23
    Ogre in the Playground
     
    AKA_Bait's Avatar

    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Location
    Albany, NY
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Metagaming vs. Character Planning

    Quote Originally Posted by Shhalahr the Phantom
    Solution: Allow retries, but only if the character is taking 10.
    Alternate soloution: Don't allow him to take 10 on knowledge checks ever.
    [CENTER]So You Wanna Be A DM? A Potentially Helpful Guide
    Truly wonderful avatar made by Cuthalion

  24. - Top - End - #24
    Halfling in the Playground
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Location
    The Netherlands

    Default Re: Metagaming vs. Character Planning

    Quote Originally Posted by Shhalahr the Phantom
    Tangent: Unfortunately the whole "no retry" thing leads to an odd situation. Wizard with +6 Knowledge (arcana) needs to make a DC 16 check to recognize the type of construct that attacked him. He rolls a 1. If this is something he "either knows or he doesn't" (paraphrased from the Knowledge skill description on retries), why is it he could have easily recognized it by taking 10 outside of combat, but has no chance whatsoever to know anything about it because he had to try and recognize it during combat?
    I've always kinda ignored that "either he knows or he doesn't" part of that. I've always viewed it like this:

    There are thing you just either know or don't know, and there's deductive reasoning. For me, the ranks a character has in a knowledge skill represent what he/she knows on sight, and the roll represents what conslusion he or she reaches through deductive reasoning.


    Take for example, pies. The wizard has 3 ranks in knowledge (pies). Lets say an apple pie is DC 1. The wizard automatically knows upon seeing that this is an apple pie. A cranberry pie may be DC 9. When he's not threatened, the wizard could take a closer look at the pie. He could deduce that it is not an apple pie although it looks somewhat like one. He could deduce that the jam-like nature of the filling may point towards berries, and the redness of said filling might indicate cranberries! (i.e. taking 10 on the check)

    However, when someone throws the cranberry pie towards his face, the chances that he'll deduce correctly that it is a cranberry pie about fly towards him drop, hence the roll.


    So same with the construct above. Out of combat, he might have taken a closer look at it and deduced from his mental library that what attacked him was a contruct type this that made of somestuff. Under attack, he couldn't get his wits together fast enough and thus failed to recognise the construct.
    "That's some harsh judgement..."

    "Do you know any other kind worth a damn?"

    "No."

  25. - Top - End - #25
    Orc in the Playground
     
    Knight_Of_Twilight's Avatar

    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Location
    U.S.A

    Default Re: Metagaming vs. Character Planning

    The more you play, the more difficult it becomes to seperate the knowledge of the game you know from what your character does. In that respect, I really can't complain about Meta-Gaming.

    As a DM, I try to use new rules and new monsters as much as possible. Kind of hard to exploit a weakness of something you've never seen before, even as a player.
    "We are all responsible for everybody."

  26. - Top - End - #26
    Orc in the Playground
     
    Jack_Banzai's Avatar

    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Seattle

    Default Re: Metagaming vs. Character Planning

    Quote Originally Posted by AKA_Bait
    This is something that came up tangentially on the power gaming thread and I think is worth a little bit of discussion on a different thread.

    Is there a point where character planning crosses a line into metagaming? It seems to me there is.

    First, to be clear, metagaming, for the purpose of this discussion, is defined as using out of character knowledge to make or inform decisions in character. I don't mean this in a pejorative sense. Some games allow for a measure of metagaming but just because they do is not to say it isn't there.

    Example: My illiterate barbarian starts saving up to purchase a Mattock of the Titans, the item never having been mentioned in game.
    Why metagaming: Although I came across it on SRD, there is no reason to suppose that my illiterate barbarian has ever heard of it, hence his saving up to buy it is out of character knowledge used in character.

    This seems to be similarly true with a character planning to take a particular prestige class (if it's secretive or very uncommon), save to buy an exotic weapon (if it's not one the character has run across or heard about already), etc.

    I get the feeling that a number of folks would disagree about this being metagaming and I'm curious to hear the argument for that position.
    I would probably never let someone in my party just save up and buy a unique weapon like a Mattock of the Titans. Seems a bit improbable to me.

  27. - Top - End - #27
    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    Gamebird's Avatar

    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Location
    Skiatook, Oklahoma
    Gender
    Female

    Default Re: Metagaming vs. Character Planning

    Planning out your character involves using out of game knowledge of how the rules work. It's pretty much a requirement of the game. Saving money to buy things - well that makes sense in the game and out. Where it crosses the line is insisting (or expecting, though that depends on the DM) that a particular weapon or character plan must be available merely because you planned for it.

    Perhaps in this game world, there is no such weapon as a mattock of the titans. Maybe there is no such prestige class as the one you were intending to take.

    DMs have the right to decide which classes are present in their game world, which monsters, which magic items and which prestige classes. If they decide there are no wizards, then there aren't any. If they decide there are no Major magic items, then there aren't any. If they decide to ban all prestige classes, then so it is.

    Players have the right to disagree. And they have the right not to play.


    Minor side story:
    My players are helping an army take over a valley of goblinoids. They are now outside the biggest town. I told a player it was very likely the PCs would be sent inside the town on a mission. The PC said his character wouldn't go unless he was fully healed - even 5 hit points damage would be too much. He went on to say he wanted to role play this in the game so he could "tell off" the guy in charge of the army. I laughed and told him "That's fine, but you'll look pretty silly. After all, you'd have 55 out of 60 hit points. You'll have hardly a scratch on you! You're down fewer hit points than a lot of first level wizards HAVE!"

    That set him back a little bit and he shut up about it. The point is that some dynamics can't really be discussed in game, like having a little bit of hit point damage. A lot of hit point damage might be more obvious, but less than 10%? How do you role play that? "I have this little bruise right here..." or "I've been dodging weapons all day..." just isn't convincing.
    New Terminator movie = Awesome!

  28. - Top - End - #28
    Ogre in the Playground
     
    AKA_Bait's Avatar

    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Location
    Albany, NY
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Metagaming vs. Character Planning

    Quote Originally Posted by Nifty_Knickers
    There are thing you just either know or don't know, and there's deductive reasoning. For me, the ranks a character has in a knowledge skill represent what he/she knows on sight, and the roll represents what conslusion he or she reaches through deductive reasoning.
    .
    This system to me is problematic because of untrained knowledge checks. 0 ranks in a given skill, i.e. by this system he has no knowledge of pies at all, without even a basis to proceed how could he deduce anything?

    Hence why I prefer just not to allow taking 10 on knowledge checks at all.
    [CENTER]So You Wanna Be A DM? A Potentially Helpful Guide
    Truly wonderful avatar made by Cuthalion

  29. - Top - End - #29
    Ettin in the Playground
     
    Shhalahr Windrider's Avatar

    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Location
    By a Park
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Metagaming vs. Character Planning

    Quote Originally Posted by Nifty_Knickers
    So same with the construct above. Out of combat, he might have taken a closer look at it and deduced from his mental library that what attacked him was a contruct type this that made of somestuff. Under attack, he couldn't get his wits together fast enough and thus failed to recognise the construct.
    More or less how I figured it should be working anyway.

    I also tend to figure any change in the situation that would give a reasonable circumstance bonus should also count for something.

    And, let's face it, strictly read, the rules say "No retries. Ever." So say I miss my Knowledge (local) check to recognize a lowly orc. (Let's say they're rare—almost nonexistant—in Noorcistan, where my character hails from.) I'd have to say, "Oh, failed the check. Guess I'll never know what that was." And 20 years and 19 levels (along with another 19 ranks of Knowledge (local)) later, my character still doesn't. (Unless he runs into someone that can tell him, but since he stays in Noorcistan his whole career, he never does that, either.)
    The Future just ain’t what it used to be.

  30. - Top - End - #30
    Ogre in the Playground
     
    AKA_Bait's Avatar

    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Location
    Albany, NY
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Metagaming vs. Character Planning

    Quote Originally Posted by Gamebird
    Planning out your character involves using out of game knowledge of how the rules work. It's pretty much a requirement of the game. Saving money to buy things - well that makes sense in the game and out. Where it crosses the line is insisting (or expecting, though that depends on the DM) that a particular weapon or character plan must be available merely because you planned for it.
    Although I agree with you pretty much entirely here I think there is a distinction to be made. Certainly planning out of character, at the time of character creation, seems to me not to be metagaming, planning later about things that are not going to be in game apparent does.

    For example: Character is considering buying a new weapon and debating bettween a handaxe and a greataxe. Out of game you know that the greataxe does more damage and is more beneficial to the character. In game this is readily apparent to the character too, greataxes are bigger, have more heft etc. Hence the in game decision to get the greataxe doesn’t' strike me as metagaming because there are clear in character representations of the knowledge quantified by the rules.

    However, if there are not, it seems to cross that line. Another example: Character decides to work toward a prestige class that exists in the game but is not common knowledge. If the character doesn't know about the prestige class (failed his knowledge check or has no ranks in the applicable one) then starting to take ranks in skills, for no other reason than to later be eligible for a prestige class that they don't yet know exists strikes me as metagaming.

    This is not to say that the DM can't lay the smack down on it or press them for a reason, but more a question for the player, if like myself they are the type who doesn't want to metagame, as to what's ok and not to do in terms of character planning.
    [CENTER]So You Wanna Be A DM? A Potentially Helpful Guide
    Truly wonderful avatar made by Cuthalion

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •