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  1. - Top - End - #1
    Ogre in the Playground
     
    DrowGuy

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    Default My players are too smart and cautious.

    I swear, it really ruins encounters when the players are too smart for your plans.

    "We'll camp outside the ruined city that we passed through"

    "These things have shown themselves to be harmless if you ignore them, but lets avoid them all anyways."

    what really gets me is when they get the ones that are supposed to be double bluffs

    "There's a skiff or we can take the bridge. The skiff looks unsafe while the bridge is sturdy...Let's go with the bridge!"

    (intention was to make the bridge look TOO safe and the skiff look a little risky...while have the bridge actually BE safe)

    Any experiences to share?
    Last edited by Beelzebub1111; 2011-02-24 at 10:31 AM.

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    Ogre in the Playground
     
    LOTRfan's Avatar

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    Default Re: My players are too smart and cautious.

    Quote Originally Posted by Beelzebub1111 View Post
    I swear, it really ruins encounters when the players are too smart for your plans.

    "We'll camp outside the ruined city that we passed through"

    "These things have shown themselves to be harmless if you ignore them, but lets avoid them all anyways."

    what really gets me is when they get the ones that are supposed to be double bluffs

    "There's a skiff or we can take the bridge. The skiff looks unsafe while the bridge is sturdy...Let's go with the bridge!"

    (intention was to make the bridge look TOO safe and the skiff look a little risky...while have the bridge actually BE safe)

    Any experiences to share?
    All this seems like non-metagaming, common sense. Does this happen often?
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  3. - Top - End - #3
    Ogre in the Playground
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    Default Re: My players are too smart and cautious.

    If you have an amazing encounter planned for when they're crossing on a skiff, then, for crying out loud, don't put a bridge there! You can't give the players multiple options and then criticize them for choosing the right one...

  4. - Top - End - #4
    Ogre in the Playground
     
    DwarfClericGuy

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    Default Re: My players are too smart and cautious.

    I honestly never thought I'd see this thread.

    I say, up the ante. Give them more intelligent enemies.

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    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    Kaww's Avatar

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    Default Re: My players are too smart and cautious.

    Quote Originally Posted by Vladislav View Post
    If you have an amazing encounter planned for when they're crossing on a skiff, then, for crying out loud, don't put a bridge there! You can't give the players multiple options and then criticize them for choosing the right logical and sane one...
    Fixed it for you.

  6. - Top - End - #6
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    MindFlayer

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    Default Re: My players are too smart and cautious.

    Congratulations. You have a group of proper adventurers there with you.
    I'm sure a lot of people would like to trade with you, so enjoy the feeling. Tell a proper epic tale about a group of competent heroes instead of the regular group of happy amateurs with horrible powers of destructions.
    Boats are like nuts, the outside is hard but the inside is usually good to eat.


    And remember, things can always get worse.

  7. - Top - End - #7
    Ettin in the Playground
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    Default Re: My players are too smart and cautious.

    Many respected military scholars suggest that one should always mine the obvious routes. Those of a more practical bent mine every route. If you wanted a deathtrap, why did you make either a correct choice.

  8. - Top - End - #8
    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    AssassinGuy

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    Default Re: My players are too smart and cautious.

    Quote Originally Posted by Beelzebub1111 View Post
    I swear, it really ruins encounters when the players are too smart for your plans.

    "We'll camp outside the ruined city that we passed through"

    "These things have shown themselves to be harmless if you ignore them, but lets avoid them all anyways."

    what really gets me is when they get the ones that are supposed to be double bluffs

    "There's a skiff or we can take the bridge. The skiff looks unsafe while the bridge is sturdy...Let's go with the bridge!"

    (intention was to make the bridge look TOO safe and the skiff look a little risky...while have the bridge actually BE safe)

    Any experiences to share?
    HEY, NO COMPLAINING!
    just you wait until you have a party that everything is just a pool of blood they haven't spilled yet. Traps are just an annoyance, and preparation is for suckers. If their want of Cure light can't save them, they just give up.

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    Barbarian in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: My players are too smart and cautious.

    Did you have them make checks? Are they actually testing out these things them selves? In game RP, does that character have prior experience? Or are they just eye balling it, and using Modern day thinking and knowledge?

    If yes to either 1, 2 or 3. then there is nothing you can do about it, except to try and out smart them

    If yes to question 4. Then there is your problem. They are meta-gaming and you're letting them get away with it. Force things like "Craft: Carpentry" or "Profession: Ship Building" in order for players to determine just how safe a bridge or boat is.
    Last edited by Razgriez; 2011-02-24 at 10:46 AM.

  10. - Top - End - #10
    Ogre in the Playground
     
    DrowGuy

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    Default Re: My players are too smart and cautious.

    Quote Originally Posted by Vladislav View Post
    If you have an amazing encounter planned for when they're crossing on a skiff, then, for crying out loud, don't put a bridge there! You can't give the players multiple options and then criticize them for choosing the right one...
    That one, I'll give them credit for. It was more a test to see if they trusted me to tell the truth, or if they were the overthinking types.

    Quote Originally Posted by LOTRfan View Post
    All this seems like non-metagaming, common sense. Does this happen often?
    A little more often than I'd like. I mean, Just once I'd like to pull one over on them.
    Last edited by Beelzebub1111; 2011-02-24 at 10:46 AM.

  11. - Top - End - #11
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    Planetar

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    Default Re: My players are too smart and cautious.

    Then why not confront them with situations where caution leads to desaster from time to time?

    (Not necessarily for them, but for fulfilling the goal - timed adventures can't be approached with too much caution, or they will fail.)

  12. - Top - End - #12
    Firbolg in the Playground
     
    Dimers's Avatar

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    Default Re: My players are too smart and cautious.

    Sounds to me like maybe the OP's players are reading him. Being cautious without obvious danger, and incautious when he's trying to fake them out? Unless these examples come from published adventures that they've read, I would guess that they've learned how the DM thinks.

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    Titan in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: My players are too smart and cautious.

    Quote Originally Posted by Beelzebub1111 View Post
    I swear, it really ruins encounters when the players are too smart for your plans.
    Good. Players are supposed to ruin encounters. After they are done with them, they are no longer a challenge. That's called defeating them, and is worth xp. Details of how are mostly irrelevant, but doing so with intelligence and style should be lauded.

    "We'll camp outside the ruined city that we passed through"
    Seems reasonable. Anything strange and unusual might be risky. Use caution.

    "These things have shown themselves to be harmless if you ignore them, but lets avoid them all anyways."
    Again, unless there is a reason to the contrary, this is entirely logical. Why deal with something that might be problematic when it can be avoided entirely? No risk of accident.

    what really gets me is when they get the ones that are supposed to be double bluffs

    "There's a skiff or we can take the bridge. The skiff looks unsafe while the bridge is sturdy...Let's go with the bridge!"

    (intention was to make the bridge look TOO safe and the skiff look a little risky...while have the bridge actually BE safe)

    Any experiences to share?
    That's quite logical. They took what looked safe, and it was safe. It's an easy decision, and they chose correctly.

    If the difficulty level is too easy, give tougher choices. Choosing between "risk the strange creatures" or "don't risk the strange creatures" is easy. Choosing between "risk the strange creatures" or "take the unknown tunnel" is harder.
    Back from a lengthy vacation from Giantitp. I've been dabbling with 3d printer technology and game design, PM if you're curious.

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  14. - Top - End - #14
    Ogre in the Playground
     
    DwarfClericGuy

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    Default Re: My players are too smart and cautious.

    Quote Originally Posted by Razgriez View Post
    Did you have them make checks? Are they actually testing out these things them selves? In game RP, does that character have prior experience? Or are they just eye balling it, and using Modern day thinking and knowledge?

    If yes to either 1, 2 or 3. then there is nothing you can do about it, except to try and out smart them

    If yes to question 4. Then there is your problem. They are meta-gaming and you're letting them get away with it. Force things like "Craft: Carpentry" or "Profession: Ship Building" in order for players to determine just how safe a bridge or boat is.
    I would have to disagree, nothing states that common sense is a modern day invention. Unless these characters were played from birth it's safe to assume they learned some things while growing up.

    edit: I will also add that nothing states that D&D is an instance of our past, it usually takes place in it's own world with it's own rules.
    Last edited by Sipex; 2011-02-24 at 11:12 AM.

  15. - Top - End - #15
    Titan in the Playground
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    Default Re: My players are too smart and cautious.

    If you want them to have an encounter while crossing some water, and there's both a skiff and a bridge, then neither one is safe! Maybe they start to cross the bridge, but something isn't right.... everyone gets a Will save, and they realize that the 'safe bridge' is a Permanent Image cast on top of a ruined bridge that doesn't even go all the way across.

    As for ignoring the monsters that will leave the PCs alone if they don't attack first, well do you walk through the woods throwing rocks at every hornet's nest? It's just downright foolish going around picking a fight with everything they meet. If you design 'opponents' to not fight them unless attacked, then in-character ignoring them is the right decision, while farming them for XP would be the metagame decision.

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    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    Engine's Avatar

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    Default Re: My players are too smart and cautious.

    Quote Originally Posted by Razgriez View Post
    If yes to question 4. Then there is your problem. They are meta-gaming and you're letting them get away with it. Force things like "Craft: Carpentry" or "Profession: Ship Building" in order for players to determine just how safe a bridge or boat is.
    Well, you know, you could figure out on your own if a bridge is safe or not. Without being an engineer. Maybe it's made of stone, not ruined, with a quiet river behind it. I would bet it's safe, and I really doubt I'm metagaming, at least if my character has an Intelligence and Wisdom scores of 10.

    (Maybe it's booby-trapped, so you should use Search for that)

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  17. - Top - End - #17
    Ogre in the Playground
     
    Kobold

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    Default Re: My players are too smart and cautious.

    This thread (both the fact that this is seen as unusual, and the response from some of 'make every option available dangerous') is why the primary source of XP in old-fashioned D&D was treasure, not monsters: to reward this kind of behavior! Realizing this is the thing that has made me actually considering re-introducing that rule. Are the players clever enough to bypass all the traps without even seeing them, evade half the monsters without ever meeting them, talk down some of the others, and achieve their goal / get their loot after just one fight? Great, well done!

    (It suddenly occurs to me that tying treasure to XP in a 3.x setting would also enforce Weath By Level in a way few others things can. )

  18. - Top - End - #18
    Titan in the Playground
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    Default Re: My players are too smart and cautious.

    If you are tired of them choosing the best answer, make problems where with option will hurt, just more or less, or in different ways. But honestly, you have a smart group, I don't see anything to complain about. Better that then a bunch of dullards who couldn't find their butts with both hands and an ever burning torch, if you take my meaning.
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  19. - Top - End - #19
    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    Longcat's Avatar

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    Default Re: My players are too smart and cautious.

    Ever heard of the Kobayashi Maru? It's a great tool.

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    Titan in the Playground
     
    Tyndmyr's Avatar

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    Default Re: My players are too smart and cautious.

    Quote Originally Posted by Lapak View Post
    the primary source of XP in old-fashioned D&D was treasure, not monsters: to reward this kind of behavior! Realizing this is the thing that has made me actually considering re-introducing that rule.
    That thought keeps coming back to me as well. Sure, I'd need to revamp the magic item creation system somewhat, but it would be pretty awesome.
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  21. - Top - End - #21
    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    AssassinGuy

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    Default Re: My players are too smart and cautious.

    Quote Originally Posted by Beelzebub1111 View Post
    A little more often than I'd like. I mean, Just once I'd like to pull one over on them.
    There is a simple fix to this. Put them in situations where risk = reward. If they go the path of least resistance they have the least to gain. Whiles the more dangerous route may have a greater reward at the end.

  22. - Top - End - #22
    Ettin in the Playground
     
    Kobold

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    Default Re: My players are too smart and cautious.

    Abuse them with their own fears. Every time they make up a hypothetical threat, take a note. Use it against them later. Now you don't have to spend so much time prepping.

    I set a game in a thieves guild several years ago. Every mission was a heist. The players spent a lot of time planning. Eventually I stopped pre-game planning entirely. During their planning they'd come up with threats and how to defeat them. I simply used the threats they forgot to address or the ones they addressed poorly (and sometimes the well planned ones just so they'd feel good).

    The other option is to make everything scary. Whenever they come up with a plan, but something threatening there. Like, there are no safe paths. They either have to deal with a danger or flee the adventure. Eventually they'll pick entertainment over caution.
    If you like what I have to say, please check out my GMing Blog where I discuss writing and roleplaying in greater depth.

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    Ogre in the Playground
     
    Darth Stabber's Avatar

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    Default Re: My players are too smart and cautious.

    A) your party sounds awesome you should be pleased

    Spoiler
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    I have played with some bloodthirsty fools who think that peasants are little chunks of xp that hang out in fields, and whine like babies when they actually get no xp for being a 12th lvl fighter indescriminately slaughtering the innocent lvl 1 commoners, which "doesn't make him evil because some of them might be bad, he's just really chaotic like that. besides their probably lawful" (almost a direct quote)


    B) Work on your pokerface, sunglasses help. You may have a tell that is clueing the players into your otherwise nefariously brilliant schemes.

    C) Don't give them a safe/unsafe binary, even if they don't know which is which. You want to give them a choice of damnations. Fight one Umber Hulk or a horde of goblins.

    D) Try Horrifying them with some grisly scene in hopes of triggering them into an emotional response, as emotion driven individuals will take a more direct less logical approach. If they see an orphanage half destroyed and crawling with small (Child) zombies, you might motivate them into a more primal level of action as they search for a fiend vile enough to do such things.

    E) The aforementioned timed quests will give the players a sense of urgency in their actions that might prompt mistakes they would likely avoid.
    Last edited by Darth Stabber; 2011-02-24 at 01:20 PM.
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  24. - Top - End - #24
    Ogre in the Playground
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    Default Re: My players are too smart and cautious.

    Hey Beelzebub1111, you know what you should do? You should find one of those DMs from the many "my players are stupid" threads, and offer them to trade groups.

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    Titan in the Playground
     
    Tyndmyr's Avatar

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    Default Re: My players are too smart and cautious.

    There's also the possibility of running Tomb of Horrors.

    A smart, cautious group is absolutely perfect for it.
    Back from a lengthy vacation from Giantitp. I've been dabbling with 3d printer technology and game design, PM if you're curious.

    "World domination is such an ugly phrase. I prefer to call it world optimization."

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  26. - Top - End - #26
    Troll in the Playground
     
    Zombie

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    Default Re: My players are too smart and cautious.

    Quote Originally Posted by Longcat View Post
    Ever heard of the Kobayashi Maru? It's a great tool.
    Only if you allow cheating with the justification of "I'm too awsome for this bull****."
    Me: I'd get the paladin to help, but we might end up with a kid that believes in fairy tales.
    DM: aye, and it's not like she's been saved by a mysterious little girl and a band of real live puppets from a bad man and worse step-sister to go live with the faries in the happy land.
    Me: Yeah, a knight in shining armour might just bring her over the edge.

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    Orc in the Playground
     
    RogueGuy

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    Default Re: My players are too smart and cautious.

    Seriously...

    I had some players in college that went through hell and high water (the latter literally) before coming to an area that had a nest. This nest was a bit of sunken earth with as they saw "What appears to be a rock about the size of your core body"... I was going to go on with the description but the party ranger... "It must be a monster curled up! I shoot it with my bow! ! CHARGE"

    After putting a ton of energy and time into this whole session... The ranger destroyed the egg... Big brother came right in time to see the ranger's strike... They defeated big brother (who originally was going to bribe them to leave..) and got back down to the bottom of the mountain... Where mother was waiting ;) ... I think they were around level 10 fighting a level 30 Dragon... Guess how long it took for them to die? As long as mother dragon fricken wanted it to take.

    No this wasn't a rip from OoTS ... I didn't even know web comics existed at the time (well not D&D web comics)

    I would love to have had players like yours... All that time and planning could have been productive.... and appreciated....

  28. - Top - End - #28
    Troll in the Playground
     
    HalflingRogueGuy

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    Default Re: My players are too smart and cautious.

    My playing group is WAY too smart and cautious, which probably comes from playing too much Shadowrun. They'd have looked at that bridge and skiff scenario and said "they're likely both trapped", then one would have pulled out a Lyre of Building and just made a new bridge nearby, just in case.

    JaronK

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    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    Kaww's Avatar

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    Default Re: My players are too smart and cautious.

    Quote Originally Posted by JaronK View Post
    My playing group is WAY too smart and cautious, which probably comes from playing too much Shadowrun. They'd have looked at that bridge and skiff scenario and said "they're likely both trapped", then one would have pulled out a Lyre of Building and just made a new bridge nearby, just in case.

    JaronK
    I like your group. How do you feel DMing?

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    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    Kaun's Avatar

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    Default Re: My players are too smart and cautious.

    Start using this list for your BBEG

    http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.ph...ilOverlordList
    Aside from "have fun", i think the key to GMing is putting your players into situations where they need to make a choice that has no perfect outcome available. They will hate you for it, but they will be back at the table session after session.

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