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  1. - Top - End - #1
    Ettin in the Playground
     
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    Default The Gazebo Problem

    For those who are not familiar or would like to read it again: https://web.archive.org/web/20080804...=article&sid=8

    Was the Player wrong? Was the DM wrong?

    Player wrong: attacking something without provocation presuming it hostile

    These are players who attack everything, never engaging in discussion with NPCs or exploring the environment. They just want to fight.

    DM wrong: Not explaining to a player what something is when it's clear the player hasn't a clue what he's talking about.

    These are DMs who never reveal information. They hold Knowledge as a secret. Players may never know anything until the DM determines they've earned the privilege, if ever. In the meantime they get their jollies as the players play the world in total ignorance and the hilarious shenanigans that happen as a result.
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    Default Re: The Gazebo Problem

    They say that Theory of Mind is something you learn early as a kid but I've found that being mindful of the fact that other people don't know what you take for granted requires effort- effort that not everyone wants to exert all the time. Effort is a finite resource and a DM's job can be very mentally taxing. The player isn't just wrong for attacking something that isn't hostile, the player is ALSO wrong for not asking "what do you mean 'it's a gazebo'". If in doubt always ask for clarification
    Black text is for sarcasm, also sincerity. You'll just have to read between the lines and infer from context like an animal

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    PaladinGuy

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    Default Re: The Gazebo Problem

    I always saw that story as an hilarious example of miscommunication on both sides. Well, I guess the DM had a bit of fun at the end by sort of playing along, but it's not really a scenario that I'd find aggravating.

    The player was in the wrong to assume that "gazebo" was some sort of monster and immediately tried to use force on it (although Eric first tried to detect good, so I guess that counts for something), and the DM was a bit slow to pick up on the misunderstanding (although I can see why he was baffled and couldn't understand).

    I wouldn't call Eric a murderhobo type of player: despite his mistake, readying the exchange he actually tried to consider different routes and tried to call out to the dread gazebo before attacking it, but erroneously concluded that he was facing a terrible monster and tried to run away.

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    Ettin in the Playground
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    Default Re: The Gazebo Problem

    In a sense, both were wrong.

    Our hobby makes heavy use of verbal communication to transfer data, mostly in the form of descriptions.
    There´s the general sender-receiver problem, that the sender can never know whether the receiver reached the data in a form comprehensible to them. In reverse, the receiver can never know whether they understood the sender correctly. Well, that is, without enquiry on both sides. A simple "What the eff is a gazebo?" would have helped, as would have noticing that the is miscommunication happening and clear that up with a "You guys know that a gazebo is a piece of architecture?"

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    WolfInSheepsClothing

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    Default Re: The Gazebo Problem

    Quote Originally Posted by Silly Name View Post

    I wouldn't call Eric a murderhobo type of player: despite his mistake, readying the exchange he actually tried to consider different routes and tried to call out to the dread gazebo before attacking it,
    so, eric would have attacked a true neutral deaf person. or a mute person. or a person who wasn't paying attention. or a foreigner who didn't understand that the shouting guy was talking to him.
    i call that murderhoboing
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    Orc in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: The Gazebo Problem

    Quote Originally Posted by King of Nowhere View Post
    so, eric would have attacked a true neutral deaf person. or a mute person. or a person who wasn't paying attention. or a foreigner who didn't understand that the shouting guy was talking to him.
    i call that murderhoboing
    I mean, I wouldn't know, because I've never played with the guy. My point is that he acted on the wrong assumption that "gazebo" was some sort of monster. If the DM described a guy sitting on a bench but not responding to any vocal calls, I suspect Eric wouldn't have shot him.

    The thing is, this is no problem at all. It's an humorous gaming anecdote about miscommunication and misunderstanding, which caused zero problems at the table except from spending some time laughing about it.

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    Orc in the Playground
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    Default Re: The Gazebo Problem

    It was apparent to anyone knowing what a gazebo is that when Eric called out to it that he didn't. When your players should know what something is and it's clear they don't then it's on you for leaving them in that situation.

    Of course there is nothing inherently wrong in letting the party have some laughs at ignorant Eric's expense.

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    Ettin in the Playground
     
    Daemon

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    Default Re: The Gazebo Problem

    Descriptions are lossy and bandwidth limited. And leverage background knowledge to be effective. So even the best description can engender confusion. And the basic fact is that the characters know a whole lot more about the situation than the players do.

    As a result, I have a rule of thumb/heuristic. If a player says that he wants his character to do something that the character would know is impossible or really really dumb, it's a sign of something missing in the understanding of the scene and/or world. So I stop, clarify, and ask "is that what you want to do". Because characters are allowed to attempt the impossible and the really really dumb, but I'd rather that the players don't do it by accident or thinking it's rational.

    Things like

    Player: "I swing off the chandelier and..." (despite there not being a chandelier in the room at all).
    DM: "uh...you do know that there isn't a chandelier in here?"

    DM: "The lesser moon is about halfway up in the sky..."
    Player: "A second moon? It must be a Death Star!"
    DM: "Uh, you do remember that this world naturally has two moons?"

    All the way down to the gazebo incident, where at the first sign of confusion the DM should have stopped, asked if he knew what a gazebo was, and backfilled if necessary.

    Edit: And players have the same obligation. If they're confused, they should ask questions and make that confusion evident. This relies on a good, trusting relationship with the DM, but then so does everything useful in the hobby.
    Last edited by PhoenixPhyre; 2020-09-06 at 10:38 AM.
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    Default Re: The Gazebo Problem

    Quote Originally Posted by Mastikator View Post
    They say that Theory of Mind is something you learn early as a kid but I've found that being mindful of the fact that other people don't know what you take for granted requires effort- effort that not everyone wants to exert all the time. Effort is a finite resource and a DM's job can be very mentally taxing. The player isn't just wrong for attacking something that isn't hostile, the player is ALSO wrong for not asking "what do you mean 'it's a gazebo'". If in doubt always ask for clarification
    I have a friend in his 40s who STILL hasn't mastered the fact that other people don't automatically know what he knows, and it makes the games he GMs an exercise in frustration sometimes.
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    Barbarian in the Playground
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    Default Re: The Gazebo Problem

    There's something about this story that I always find disingenuous, since Eric's first question is "What color is it?"
    If you don't know what something is, why does its color matter?

    Further, the description of Eric doesn't fit with the actions of Eric. The presented Eric in the preface description describes Eric as methodical to the point of computer-like. Additionally, Eric is playing a Neutral Paladin, the in-game actions of which again don't fit. At any point in Eric's line of questioning "What is a gazebo?" should have entered into the dialogue, especially if the Eric described is accurate.

    If Eric is using color, size, and distance to gauge what a gazebo is, then the description of its dimensions should have given a hint that a gazebo is a structure.

    Why does Eric ask if the gazebo responds to his bow, when he already had his sword out? He doesn't ask if the gazebo has spotted him, which even if it were alive, would be a requirement to responding to the visual display of Eric drawing his bow.

    Towards the end when the DM suggests that Eric could chop it down, Eric, being "methodical" and "computer-like" should have at least reasoned he was possibly dealing with a building.

    Nothing about the gameplay of Eric suggests "methodical" and "computer like". Nor does it strike me as the behaviour of a Neutral Paladin.

    So, that being said: I question the validity of the example and conclude that neither side can be right or wrong since the whole thing is farcical.
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    Orc in the Playground
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    Default Re: The Gazebo Problem

    Quote Originally Posted by PhoenixPhyre View Post

    Edit: And players have the same obligation. If they're confused, they should ask questions and make that confusion evident. This relies on a good, trusting relationship with the DM, but then so does everything useful in the hobby.
    In principle sure. In practice they don't know what they don't know and in cases like this everyone else is going to realize they are confused long before they do.

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    Barbarian in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: The Gazebo Problem

    Quote Originally Posted by False God View Post
    There's something about this story that I always find disingenuous, since Eric's first question is "What color is it?"
    If you don't know what something is, why does its color matter?
    First, the author note:

    It was based on an event at a role-playing game, but the addition of several jokes moves it out of journalism, or at least into Docuhumor. Some of the people at the game retold the event, each with their own spin.
    So you are right to question the details of the interaction.

    Assuming the spirit of the interaction described is preserved by those modification, my guess is that Eric did not just "not understand" what a Gazebo was, he was convinced to know what a Gazebo was and was wrong.

    While it doesn't match the exact story, I could totally imagine someone confusing Gazebo and Gargoyles.
    If Eric indeed asked for its colour, I would guess that maybe he though a Gazebo was a kind of Dragon? (I don't know a lot of other creatures where the colour is relevant).

    [Note: I'm wondering if the fact that a Gazebo is a monster in Munchkin, which you must face alone without help, is a reference to this story.]

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    Ettin in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: The Gazebo Problem

    In my usual bias I'm more bothered by the DM who refuses to tell the players anything. It goes beyond not wanting metagaming. It's gotcha DMing. These DMs love saying "You don't know". It was common practice in my 2E years. Hooray for 3E for introducing Knowledge checks. Players don't have to know everything, but however skills are used in an edition now at least there's a method to determine what characters know the players don't know. Characters know about things players don't, the reverse metagame, but it's relevant. Players are supposed to know these things. The game needed to teach this to DMs. Players are able to teach the players who wantonly attack anything that moves, or doesn't, not to do so.
    Quote Originally Posted by OgresAreCute View Post
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    Ettin in the Playground
     
    Daemon

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    Default Re: The Gazebo Problem

    Quote Originally Posted by Frogreaver View Post
    In principle sure. In practice they don't know what they don't know and in cases like this everyone else is going to realize they are confused long before they do.
    I was a teacher for 7 years. Often, people do know that they're confused. Edit: but they might not know exactly what they're confused about. But for various reasons (including bravado/not wanting to look dumb), they're unwilling to ask. It's often a "well, everyone else seems to get it, so I'll fake it and figure it out from context" thing. Getting over this hesitation is important. And not reacting badly when someone (anyone) asks "are you sure you know what that is?" or "any questions about the scenario?" or such things to prompt an honest question. That's also important.

    Being willing to accept that you don't know takes trust in the other players and in the DM. And in yourself. But it's a key part of being in a good group IMO. From both/all sides. The DM shouldn't assume--if it's unclear if they understand, ask. The players should do the same.

    I hate gotcha-style DMing. And the flip side, where players try to pull a fast one on the DM. I much prefer when everyone treats everyone else as being on the same team and works together to help the characters experience a great story, the story they're building together. Half the time, the players have a better chain of events in mind than I do. Or a better explanation of why the events are unfolding the way that they are. Or where they should reasonably go. And I want to hear that and be able to be a part of it and build the connections to the world I've been working on for all these years.
    Last edited by PhoenixPhyre; 2020-09-06 at 02:43 PM.
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    Bugbear in the Playground
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    Default Re: The Gazebo Problem

    Quote Originally Posted by PhoenixPhyre View Post
    I was a teacher for 7 years. Often, people do know that they're confused. Edit: but they might not know exactly what they're confused about. But for various reasons (including bravado/not wanting to look dumb), they're unwilling to ask. It's often a "well, everyone else seems to get it, so I'll fake it and figure it out from context" thing. Getting over this hesitation is important. And not reacting badly when someone (anyone) asks "are you sure you know what that is?" or "any questions about the scenario?" or such things to prompt an honest question. That's also important.
    As someone who works in IT, I've seen a lot of times where someone's said "Yes" when asked "Do you understand this?" for a change or a new feature, when the question they really should have been asked is "What do you understand by this?"

    That said, yes, with the Gazebo, the player and the DM were on completely different wavelengths and one or both of them should have pulled it back, but sometimes, and so long as no one's really obsessed with keeping it serious, you can have a much better time when things go completely off the rails - for example, many, many years ago I was playing Rolemaster, we had been walking through a wood and I thought we still were when we came across some creature, so I stated I was going to climb a tree to avoid it.

    300 feet of thin air later...
    Last edited by Storm_Of_Snow; 2020-09-06 at 03:06 PM.

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    Ettin in the Playground
     
    Daemon

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    Default Re: The Gazebo Problem

    Quote Originally Posted by Storm_Of_Snow View Post
    As someone who works in IT, I've seen a lot of times where someone's said "Yes" when asked "Do you understand this?" for a change or a new feature, when the question they really should have been asked is "What do you understand by this?"
    True enough. Yes/no questions are generally bad for actually figuring out what other people know.
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    Default Re: The Gazebo Problem

    DM was wrong. "Gazebo" is very clearly the name of a Type III demon's older more dangerous cousin.

    Seriously though, DMs use name drops for their monster names in exactly that way all the time. Whereas player expect to be given minimal information about a dangerous situation and to have to figure it out from there and act accordingly. As far as I'm concerned, that's the moral of this fiction. It's a cautionary tale to DMs.

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    Default Re: The Gazebo Problem

    Quote Originally Posted by MoiMagnus View Post
    [Note: I'm wondering if the fact that a Gazebo is a monster in Munchkin, which you must face alone without help, is a reference to this story.]
    It absolutely is.

    And I suspect he thought it was some sort of fiend; they often have weird names and the color can be significant. Abashai and Slaadi come to mind. (Slaadi aren’t fiends, but close enough)

    He might have misheard it as a name and assumed it was a specific, named dragon, too.

    The story is a humorous one of miscommunication, yes. I don’t fault anybody over anyone else for it. The DM clearly thought “gazebo” was as clear as “door” or “fountain” would be, and thus the idea that Eric didn’t realize exactly what it was never occurred to him beyond the possibility that he’d misheard (hence “It’s a GAZEBO.”).

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    Ettin in the Playground
     
    Daemon

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    Default Re: The Gazebo Problem

    Quote Originally Posted by Tanarii View Post
    Seriously though, DMs use name drop their monster names exactly that way all the time. Whereas player expect to be given minimal information about a dangerous situation and figure it out from there. As far as I'm concerned, that's the moral of this fiction. It's a cautionary tale to DMs.
    I can go with that. I try to avoid using the MM names where possible, in part because I'm generally using a stat block as a stand-in for something entirely different in-universe (due to setting things, I mix and match fiends across the spectrum pretty heavily, but not just them).

    The jump from "oh, it's something with a weird name" to "it's probably a monster" isn't so high when that's been a staple of gameplay for many session.
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    Default Re: The Gazebo Problem

    Quote Originally Posted by PhoenixPhyre View Post
    The jump from "oh, it's something with a weird name" to "it's probably a monster" isn't so high when that's been a staple of gameplay for many session.
    Yes exactly. Especially, if tales are anything to go by, in '70s gaming. Even by the mid-80s most of us at the lunch break gaming group had probably read the monster manual back to front before our second session.

    But as someone who strongly recruited newcomers in my college years, and also had a lot of college attending newcomers in my latest campaign, I'm very aware of the need for a DM to be careful about presuming existing player knowledge about the game.

    That's not to say that knowledge and information should be thrown out like candy. Discovery is a hugely exciting part of the newcomer process. As long as the information is actually there to be discovered, and critical stuff every commoner should know isn't being hidden.

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    Ettin in the Playground
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    Default Re: The Gazebo Problem

    Quote Originally Posted by PhoenixPhyre View Post
    I can go with that. I try to avoid using the MM names where possible, in part because I'm generally using a stat block as a stand-in for something entirely different in-universe (due to setting things, I mix and match fiends across the spectrum pretty heavily, but not just them).

    The jump from "oh, it's something with a weird name" to "it's probably a monster" isn't so high when that's been a staple of gameplay for many session.
    I think this is very setting/game dependent and there's no universal answer to it.

    For example, in Shadowrun, very much is known and knowledge easily available. Announcing something to be unknown is telling something major about what is going on. For example, when I say "You see three folks in standard Red Samurai heavy assault armor, typical equipment of katana, assault rifle, assorted grenades and the rest, all sporting legit tags and insignia, accompanied by something that seems to be a heavy tracked combat drone with something that could be a railgun on the turret..."

    Contrast this with L5R, which sports a very insular civilization and next to no commonly available knowledge. "Your path s blocked by a guy who looks like a sohei or yamabushi. Tall, pretty muscular, powerful build, he wears a full set of Great Armor and handles a heavy-looking Naginata with lazy, one-handed swings. You can't see his face, covered by something like a Kifiya, but apparently, he is in the center stance."

    In this example, Characters have the ability to gain information beyond the visual, but tightly tied to their respective school and clan. So the Crab could find out he is Tainted, the Scorpion could find it his negative traits, the crane could tell that this is someone from the Spider Clan, Order of Venom.

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    Ettin in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: The Gazebo Problem

    Quote Originally Posted by Florian View Post
    I think this is very setting/game dependent and there's no universal answer to it.
    Agree.

    I'm generally pretty giving with things that the characters have encountered before or that should be common adventurer knowledge in the area. I still don't use names alone, but that's mostly because my players tend to be new and are unlikely to know anything beyond "that thing has a name". Of course, my nephews had the names/pictures of most of the MM memorized (not the stats, but...) and would ask "was that a <X>?" and most of the time were right.

    But there are lots of things that don't come so neatly standardized. Going back to fiends, I've always thought it weird that D&D demons, the embodiments of evil-chaos itself, are so nicely packaged. There are hierarchies, clear-cut similarities, common traits, etc. Same with slaadi. If they're creatures of pure chaos...why are they all rainbow frogs?
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    Default Re: The Gazebo Problem

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    Quote Originally Posted by Frogreaver View Post
    It was apparent to anyone knowing what a gazebo is that when Eric called out to it that he didn't. When your players should know what something is and it's clear they don't then it's on you for leaving them in that situation.

    Of course there is nothing inherently wrong in letting the party have some laughs at ignorant Eric's expense.
    Quote Originally Posted by PhoenixPhyre View Post
    Descriptions are lossy and bandwidth limited. And leverage background knowledge to be effective. So even the best description can engender confusion. And the basic fact is that the characters know a whole lot more about the situation than the players do.

    As a result, I have a rule of thumb/heuristic. If a player says that he wants his character to do something that the character would know is impossible or really really dumb, it's a sign of something missing in the understanding of the scene and/or world. So I stop, clarify, and ask "is that what you want to do". Because characters are allowed to attempt the impossible and the really really dumb, but I'd rather that the players don't do it by accident or thinking it's rational.

    Things like

    Player: "I swing off the chandelier and..." (despite there not being a chandelier in the room at all).
    DM: "uh...you do know that there isn't a chandelier in here?"

    DM: "The lesser moon is about halfway up in the sky..."
    Player: "A second moon? It must be a Death Star!"
    DM: "Uh, you do remember that this world naturally has two moons?"

    All the way down to the gazebo incident, where at the first sign of confusion the DM should have stopped, asked if he knew what a gazebo was, and backfilled if necessary.

    Edit: And players have the same obligation. If they're confused, they should ask questions and make that confusion evident. This relies on a good, trusting relationship with the DM, but then so does everything useful in the hobby.
    Quote Originally Posted by Frogreaver View Post
    In principle sure. In practice they don't know what they don't know and in cases like this everyone else is going to realize they are confused long before they do.
    Quote Originally Posted by PhoenixPhyre View Post
    I was a teacher for 7 years. Often, people do know that they're confused. Edit: but they might not know exactly what they're confused about. But for various reasons (including bravado/not wanting to look dumb), they're unwilling to ask. It's often a "well, everyone else seems to get it, so I'll fake it and figure it out from context" thing. Getting over this hesitation is important. And not reacting badly when someone (anyone) asks "are you sure you know what that is?" or "any questions about the scenario?" or such things to prompt an honest question. That's also important.

    Being willing to accept that you don't know takes trust in the other players and in the DM. And in yourself. But it's a key part of being in a good group IMO. From both/all sides. The DM shouldn't assume--if it's unclear if they understand, ask. The players should do the same.

    I hate gotcha-style DMing. And the flip side, where players try to pull a fast one on the DM. I much prefer when everyone treats everyone else as being on the same team and works together to help the characters experience a great story, the story they're building together. Half the time, the players have a better chain of events in mind than I do. Or a better explanation of why the events are unfolding the way that they are. Or where they should reasonably go. And I want to hear that and be able to be a part of it and build the connections to the world I've been working on for all these years.


    IMO, the primary role of the GM is to serve as the interface between the players and the world. To be the eyes and ears and everyman knowledge and interpretation engine (it's not "3 parallel lines emerging perpendicular from a common line", it's the letter 'E'.) It is incumbent upon the GM to recognize when communication has failed, and to provide a clean fix to these issues. This is because the GM *may* be the only one with the necessary information to understand when the players ideas are incongruous with (in-game) reality.

    Now, obviously, in this case, everyone at the table (with the possible exception of the player in question) knew that something was amiss, and what, specifically, was wrong. So any one of them *could* have fixed the miscommunication.

    However, in the case in point, miscommunication could just be considered funny, rather than a failure. Know your group.

    If you're gaming with me, for example, it's a failure. I have no sense of humor. More accurately, outside an explicitly comedic game, I would consider it out of place - and even then, I would appreciate "bad GMing is funny" about as much as a prude might appreciate well-timed rapier jokes.

    And, yes, if the PCs should recognize English writing, it is generally bad GMing to laboriously describe the letter "E" in terms of parallel lines, and continue on thusly to the other letters geometrically, rather than saying, "the sign reads 'EXIT' in capital letters."

    Same thing with saying, "it's a gazebo" repeatedly to someone for whom that word clearly holds no meaning - particularly in a game rife with bizarre creatures with equally bizarre names, both obscure and invented whole cloth.

    EDIT:
    Quote Originally Posted by PhoenixPhyre View Post
    Same with slaadi. If they're creatures of pure chaos...why are they all rainbow frogs?
    Excellent question! Turns out, there's a very good reason.

    Long ago, Chaos made stuff. The greatest stuff that Chaos made was a frog thing. Frog Thing realized it was just roll of the dice before Chaos made something better than Frog Thing. So Frog Thing, who liked being the bestest Chaos creation, bound Chaos to only make Frog Things - and Frog Things that were weaker than bestest Chaos-binding Frog Thing.

    Now you know. /Grognard
    Last edited by Quertus; 2020-09-06 at 07:59 PM.

  24. - Top - End - #24
    Orc in the Playground
     
    BardGuy

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    Default Re: The Gazebo Problem

    As a communication exercise, neither have done very well.
    It's clear from what Eric says and does that he doesn't know what a Gazebo is
    It's clear from the GM's responses that Eric needs to ask more questions about what a gazebo is before taking actions. "No Eric, it's a gazebo" clearly includes that a gazebo will never respond to the things Eric says and does and that the GM thinks "It's a gazebo" should be answering most of those questions.

    Or one or both were playing the whole thing for laughs. Or the story is apocryphal.

    But ... assuming both player and GM are bad enough at communicating that the conversation went as described, Eric was indeed acting like a murder-hobo. The Gazebo had shown no sign of being evil or even dangerous so the attacks are entirly unprovoked
    And the GM casually kills Erics character and Eric casually discusses his next character in a style which went with the very early games where murderhoboism was more common


    On a related note, I've GMed something similar. The characters' ship had sunk and they were in the rowboat heading toward the coast.
    "There's mangroves along the shoreline" says I
    and my player (without a trace of Irony or humor) announced "I cast fireball at them"

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mangrove
    I love playing in a party with a couple of power-gamers, it frees me up to be Elan!


  25. - Top - End - #25
    Ettin in the Playground
     
    Daemon

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    Default Re: The Gazebo Problem

    Quote Originally Posted by Duff View Post
    On a related note, I've GMed something similar. The characters' ship had sunk and they were in the rowboat heading toward the coast.
    "There's mangroves along the shoreline" says I
    and my player (without a trace of Irony or humor) announced "I cast fireball at them"

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mangrove
    I had a character in a game I ran for whom "I cast fireball at them" would have always been perfectly in-character. His opening tactic, even against one or two enemies (when fireball is a waste) would be to quicken fireball and then use his Wand of Fireballs. I made sure there were plenty of cannon fodder for him to nuke before the rest of the party got into the mix, because he really liked rolling those big piles of dice and blowing things apart.

    Only my long-standing "can't act evil"[0] and "don't kill kids"[1] policies kept him (and the rest of the group) from being really murder-hoboish. As it was, they did plenty of murder but kept it to people who deserved it. And one major part of a campaign was making themselves a home (by blowing up the current, nasty inhabitants). I made sure there were plenty of bad things to kill, and they returned the favor by focusing on those bad folks. They even paid for the collateral damage when it occurred (as a note, a goliath with a belt of Storm Giant Strength and boots that let him do a small earthquake (10' radius knockdown, STR-based save DC) make for lots of collateral damage to buildings when they fight in a town and the enemies go for the rooftops).

    [0] There was more detail here, but it basically boiled down to "don't act like a nasty person and treat the party well".
    [1] In return, I made sure never to use that against them. No gotcha here. I'm just a bit of a softy.
    Dream of Hope: a 5e setting. http://www.admiralbenbo.org
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  26. - Top - End - #26
    Titan in the Playground
     
    Spore's Avatar

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    Oct 2013

    Default Re: The Gazebo Problem

    Quote Originally Posted by Mastikator View Post
    They say that Theory of Mind is something you learn early as a kid but I've found that being mindful of the fact that other people don't know what you take for granted requires effort- effort that not everyone wants to exert all the time.
    Speak for yourself, as I accepted that fact in the middle of my twenties, and I am still not "mindful" about it, but rather accept the fact not everyone DOES think critically before acting. Plus, in fact you can guide player expectation much easier with emotion than with reason.

    You are not here to play a puzzle game, but to experience an emotional story. At least that is what 90% of players do.

  27. - Top - End - #27
    Barbarian in the Playground
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    Default Re: The Gazebo Problem

    Yeah, miscommunication an be really tricky. DMing is really all about communicating information to the players. Its so easy to slip into shorthands or not spell things out specifically, because you are rushing to describe the next thing or already thinking ahead.
    I was once in a sci fi game, where rather than describing the bridge of a salvaged ship the GM said "it's laid out like the bridge of Galactica" in many cases that would be fine, but it was immediately clear that one player hadn't seen that show. The GM gave him a very cursory description then rushed on to whatever he had planned. He then got cross with that player when they wanted to sit in the captain's chair, because of course there wasn't one. Gm thought that having not mentioned it indicated that it wasn't there, with a clear picture of what the bridge looked like. Player, with no clear picture assumed there would be one because they'd nit been told there wasn't. In the end, I as another player had to draw out a quick sketch map. Its the only time I've ever stepped on the GMs toes like that, but it was clear there was no way the GM would accept that the player couldn't form a clear picture from hus description with out the prior knowledge of having watched a specific TV show. He seemed convinced the player was just being an idiot, and it was obvious.

    What really annoys me isnt when there is a moment of miscommunication, those happen. Rather its when the GM beligerently refuses to retcon something the players did based on false assumptions. A lot of GMs have a "you said it so you did it" approach, and a lot of times that's handy to speed things up and keep the game moving. But if it becomes clear that the player, or perhaps all the players thought the door was open, then telling the player who tried to run through it that they crash into a closed door and take d4 damage is massively disingenuous. If there is no reason a character would do somthing had they had all the facts, they shouldn't be held to it once it becomes clear they didn't.
    Time is but a pattern in the currents of causality,
    an ever changing present that determines our reality,
    the past we see as history, the future seed with prophecy,
    and all the time we think on time our time is passing constantly.
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  28. - Top - End - #28
    Titan in the Playground
     
    Segev's Avatar

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    Default Re: The Gazebo Problem

    Yeah, if players tell me they’re going through a door, I will usually assume they’re opening it. If it’s trapped and they haven’t searched, that’s on them. But if it’s (for example) locked, I’ll stop them and tell them so. “It’s locked,” is enough that even if they mistakenly thought it was open, they now know two things they were unclear on before: it is closed, and it is nontrivial to open.

  29. - Top - End - #29
    Barbarian in the Playground
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    Default Re: The Gazebo Problem

    If only there was some sort of monster that could, if its name were slightly mispronounced, sound remarkably close to gazebo. Especially since we don't have the original context, which could be something like a dungeon full of demons that were color-coded for some reason.
    That which does not kill you made a tactical error.

  30. - Top - End - #30
    Firbolg in the Playground
     
    NecromancerGuy

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    Jul 2013

    Default Re: The Gazebo Problem

    Communication is a 2 way street. Eric & the Dread Gazebo is a cautionary tale about miscommunication. It even ends with "A little vocabulary is a dangerous thing." because the when Ed used a word they knew but Eric did not know, Ed described a structure and Eric heard a monster.

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