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  1. - Top - End - #1
    Orc in the Playground
     
    Christopher K.'s Avatar

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    Default Meanwhile... [4e, but could be any]

    So, on Saturday, I ran the first of what I intend to be maybe 5 or 6 vignettes for my players after they finished a combat encounter with their regular characters, but I ran into a problem.

    You see, Levi and Lucas were roleplaying Warforged footsoldiers as members of a platoon belonging to Levi's main adversary, a Warforged Titan known as Horus as they stormed a village in a distant desert. Unfortunately, about halfway through, Lucas suggested they deliberately fail so that Horus would have less footsoldiers when the PC's got to the desert.(Of course, this is irrelevant as Horus is going to simply build more Warforged "off-screen." )How can I discourage this from happening again when I introduce Lucas's rival character next week?

    More accurately, have you ever had a group which is normally into roleplaying suddenly act out of character to try and benefit their own characters in some way?
    Quote Originally Posted by Jaidu View Post
    Wait, but, how would they - what would they - you, sir, have just destroyed my mind.
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  2. - Top - End - #2
    Titan in the Playground
     
    Kurald Galain's Avatar

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    Default Re: Meanwhile... [4e, but could be any]

    Quote Originally Posted by Christopher K. View Post
    More accurately, have you ever had a group which is normally into roleplaying suddenly act out of character to try and benefit their own characters in some way?
    Oh yeah, all the time. I know several players with nominally-good characters that would sell their soul to the tanar'ri for a +1 to hit bonus.
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  3. - Top - End - #3
    Orc in the Playground
     
    Christopher K.'s Avatar

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    Default Re: Meanwhile... [4e, but could be any]

    Quote Originally Posted by Kurald Galain View Post
    Oh yeah, all the time. I know several players with nominally-good characters that would sell their soul to the tanar'ri for a +1 to hit bonus.
    Only a +1? My players hold out until bidding is +3 or higher.
    Quote Originally Posted by Jaidu View Post
    Wait, but, how would they - what would they - you, sir, have just destroyed my mind.
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  4. - Top - End - #4
    Ettin in the Playground
     
    MonkGuy

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    Default Re: Meanwhile... [4e, but could be any]

    If this is how your players are going to go about doing things, then flashbacks/vignettes aren't going to work for them. Either that, or you need to pointedly ask them, "So in the past, your character would purposefully fail at something important for no particular reason, since he/she would have no knowledge of what's coming up in his future?" - if they get the hint, great. If not, well, it's not for them.
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  5. - Top - End - #5
    Ogre in the Playground
     
    DwarfClericGuy

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    Default Re: Meanwhile... [4e, but could be any]

    You talk to them and tell them how that's metagaming.

    Then explain that if they're going to do things like this you're not going to let them join in for stuff like this.

    I had a player do that during a game of liar's dice (IC). Only one of our characters actually made it to the table (via choice, the other players acted as look outs and back up if he needed it) so the other players played NPC opponents. One player purposefully lost so the rogue would have a better chance at winning.

    Not a good day.

  6. - Top - End - #6
    Ogre in the Playground
     
    Comet's Avatar

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    Default Re: Meanwhile... [4e, but could be any]

    On the other hand, you could just agree that this kind of stuff is entirely okay.

    If you're going to hand the players control over flashbacks or other secondary scenes, it's not all that unreasonable to assume that they can adjust those scenes to take the story into new directions, yeah?

    It takes a common agreement to ensure that no one uses this to ruin the game, but allowing the player to take a degree of narrative control is not always a bad thing.

    Just make sure that they can reason their actions beyond the metagame level. If the players can come up with a reason why those footsoldiers would fail, on purpose or not, the narrative is not disrupted even if their motivation, as players, was under the label of metagaming.

    Sometimes I just don't get why people treat the metagame zone as such a taboo. For our group, the story comes before everything else. Good characters and defining what a character would do in any given situation in a realistic manner are important, sure, but the players are still encouraged to make metagame decisions if those decisions can make the game more interesting for everybody.

    To sum up: if the players can come up with both in-game and metagame reasons for any given action, everything is fine. Even if the players were deliberately steering those footsoldiers towards failure, the in-game fiction can still retain its integrity with just a few lines of reasoning.
    If that doesn't work for you, either inform your players of this clearly and out-of-character or just don't give them control beyond their main characters.
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  7. - Top - End - #7
    Orc in the Playground
     
    Christopher K.'s Avatar

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    Default Re: Meanwhile... [4e, but could be any]

    Quote Originally Posted by Quietus View Post
    If this is how your players are going to go about doing things, then flashbacks/vignettes aren't going to work for them. Either that, or you need to pointedly ask them, "So in the past, your character would purposefully fail at something important for no particular reason, since he/she would have no knowledge of what's coming up in his future?" - if they get the hint, great. If not, well, it's not for them.
    Perhaps. When I asked Lucas about it afterward, he said that his main issue was that the combat scene was somewhat dull.

    Quote Originally Posted by Sipex View Post
    You talk to them and tell them how that's metagaming.

    Then explain that if they're going to do things like this you're not going to let them join in for stuff like this.

    I had a player do that during a game of liar's dice (IC). Only one of our characters actually made it to the table (via choice, the other players acted as look outs and back up if he needed it) so the other players played NPC opponents. One player purposefully lost so the rogue would have a better chance at winning.

    Not a good day.
    If I don't let them join in, though, it's just me dully droning on and on and that won't be any fun for them.

    Quote Originally Posted by Comet View Post
    On the other hand, you could just agree that this kind of stuff is entirely okay.

    If you're going to hand the players control over flashbacks or other secondary scenes, it's not all that unreasonable to assume that they can adjust those scenes to take the story into new directions, yeah?

    It takes a common agreement to ensure that no one uses this to ruin the game, but allowing the player to take a degree of narrative control is not always a bad thing.

    Just make sure that they can reason their actions beyond the metagame level. If the players can come up with a reason why those footsoldiers would fail, on purpose or not, the narrative is not disrupted even if their motivation, as players, was under the label of metagaming.

    Sometimes I just don't get why people treat the metagame zone as such a taboo. For our group, the story comes before everything else. Good characters and defining what a character would do in any given situation in a realistic manner are important, sure, but the players are still encouraged to make metagame decisions if those decisions can make the game more interesting for everybody.

    To sum up: if the players can come up with both in-game and metagame reasons for any given action, everything is fine. Even if the players were deliberately steering those footsoldiers towards failure, the in-game fiction can still retain its integrity with just a few lines of reasoning.
    If that doesn't work for you, either inform your players of this clearly and out-of-character or just don't give them control beyond their main characters.
    I've been thinking that if my players could justify it, I'd allow it, but otherwise the characters DO have their objectives, so I'd try to nudge them back into that line of thought.

    I'm also planning that when the players reach areas where such events took place, there'd be obvious echoes of things that happened in the session. For instance, there was one Warforged who got crushed by the backswing of Horus's mace(nat 1) and the bones of the humans bleached white by the desert sun, so perhaps what they think are positive actions for their characters wind up having negative side-effects as well?
    Quote Originally Posted by Jaidu View Post
    Wait, but, how would they - what would they - you, sir, have just destroyed my mind.
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  8. - Top - End - #8
    Barbarian in the Playground
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    Default Re: Meanwhile... [4e, but could be any]

    This is why I always take Ingram Prissken out of the Wildschwein. Foreknowledge has interesting effects on flashbacks and replays.



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