2019-11-27 The Metagaming I encourage

People have been talking about Metagaming on the blogs! I think I’ll just list the things that I’m ok with at the table even though I used to think this was “bad” metagaming:

  1. If players know a monster their characters also know the monster. The onus is on the referee to bring new monsters to the table or to make old monsters fresh, or to focus on other things. Conversely, if players ask me what their character would know about the monster they are facing, I will happily reply that if they don’t remember then their character does not remember either.
  2. If some player characters aren’t “there” when some other player’s character is struggling in a discussion with non-player characters, I tell them that they’re free to discuss, give hints, look stuff up, browse the campaign wiki, or check their notes. The player character who is “there” gets to say what they want to say, but the discussion of the players at the table, outside the game is part of play, too.
  3. I will often talk about the game itself. What do players want to happen next session? Give them a choice about the future direction of the campaign linked to in-game decisions. For example, if they board that ship and sail south then we’re going on a piracy story-arc away from dungeoneering. I want players to make informed decisions and that sometimes requires talk outside the game, about the game.
  4. Player concerns override character concerns. If their character wouldn’t go on the adventure then that’s fine. Make another character that would and lets continue playing the game. I don’t understand annoying fellow players (real people sitting at the table) for the sake of imaginary people that we summoned in order to entertain us all (and not just the character’s player). The characters were created to serve us, not the other way around. 😄



2,3 and 4 I wholly agree with.

1 not so much. As a player, I find it dull that meta gaming concerns should supercede my playing my character. I find it more interesting to play “as if” my character didn’t know these things. Same way my low INT Barbarian is fun to play because he’s not as smart as like to think I am and frequently makes very... Simplified decisions.

I get the incentive for DMs to get creative but players should want more from themselves.

Anders H 2019-12-03 08:25 UTC

Sure. And I don’t mind players playing ignorant characters. But at the same time, I don’t make it a point to enforce this if the players aren’t up to it.

– Alex Schroeder 2019-12-03 16:07 UTC

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