How do you Handle Meta Gamers? - Page 5 - Myth-Weavers

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How do you Handle Meta Gamers?

   
Quote:
Originally Posted by Arden View Post
To Clarify: I was thinking about the Karma system as a possible option and was on the fence hence why I outsourced the idea to everyone here.

My Response to your answers: Yep... I see it as a bad idea now.
I never actually commented on this because I wanted to take a step back and consider the actual problem first. It's always worth considering the other side of the story and, at least in this case, challenging the assumption that "metagaming" and "powergaming" are necessarily wrong.

Actually, I'm not sure that this is necessarily a bad idea exactly, but I'd focus on "good" karma rather than trying to punish people. A simple thing you can do in a D&D-like game is give people bonus XP for good RP. Alternatively you can give people Hero Points or some other equivalent relevant to your system (these are built into systems like M&M and D&D has optional rules for them). Why, in Eclipse Phase the only way for characters to gain the equivalent of XP is by achieving character-specific goals.

I don't think that trying to punish people for doing the wrong things is a great idea though since firstly I doubt people will respond well to that (and you're trying to force them into acting the way you want) but also because they may not even realise why and how this is annoying you. Far better to spin this as a positive.
Quote:
Originally Posted by TanaNari View Post
So, yeah, that's been *my* experience with metagamers.
Whilst your examples aren't necessarily irrelevant to the wider discussion, most of them don't sound like they have anything to do with metagaming. Real humans can make stupid decisions in real life, so these characters making stupid decisions is entirely possible and might even be entirely in-character, so they'd only be metagaming in so far as the decisions are being made by real human players instead of the characters, which just counts as "gaming" (since so are all decisions). Maybe if the players are making these decisions because they expect the DM to let up on them (since then they are using an OoC assumption to drive IC actions).

Quote:
Originally Posted by hecklenjyde View Post
The other reason I did it (and the other player who did) was because it was out of the box stuff and I needed to get creative because otherwise the character could contribute very little to some situations.
I've been in this sort of situation. One example was when the DM was, essentially, railroading us towards the conclusion of a chapter. I think he wanted to wrap it up quickly perhaps in part because he thought we were getting bored with it, ironically, but I found myself in a situation where all the creative things I could think to do were being shot down OoC with assertions that we'd probably end up dead (and by probably, I mean it sounded like the DM would just hand-wave it). I think I rubbed the DM the wrong way a bit (turns out, he was a bit of a moron anyway...) by then challenging a lot of what was going on in quite a metagame-y manner. How many guards are there? How high a level are they likely to be? How did they even find us in the first place? How come we got outed by the innkeeper? Did they scry us? etc. This all probably came off as quite annoying but it rather felt as though the DM had been, in a sense, metagaming us in the first place (well... the DM's job, by definition, is to metagame, but what I mean by that is creating a potentially unrealistic plot and railroading). I guess what I'm trying to say is, it works both ways, sometimes.

Quote:
Originally Posted by hecklenjyde View Post
One of the reasons I did it because I was bored. I was looking for excitement, and because I wanted my character to be able to do cool things and live. A little part of it was attention seeking and feeling like other players were getting more screen time, or they got to do stuff I wanted to do but couldn't (because of a poor build, or sucky rolls or whatever.) I used roleplaying as a stress reliever after a long day or week at work where I had to be calm and rational and serious despite the dramas and stupid people I had to deal with, so doing crazy stuff was a release. It was a creative outlet. (Difference here though is that I could sense when this was pissing people off too much and could pull back.)
To hop off the example i gave. I apologize I should have added context. This was during the Session 0 when I was establishing the party's connection when a Dragon ARMY raided the town they were currently in. I made the mistake of starting it just before the attack so that I could allow the players to establish a bit of Heroism by saving some of the townsfolk. I know right Stupid DM moment, it's totally MY fault for having the start of the adventure to be an attempt at a harrowing event to give the party a reason to stick together rather than futs off in separate directions.

I enjoy it when players plan things outside of the box or get creative, just not when it is both early on and in a situation where a SANE Mortal would run away or , at the very least if they are good aligned enough, save the citizens in what would presumably be a loosing fight.

I don't build storys for players to loose, but I don't want them to feel like they're all powerful from the get go. At least that was my intention for the beginning of that campaign, to give them reasons to have the characters grow and level to the point where they could possibly be able to take on a hoard of young adult dragons.. *facedesk* but nope... "IMMA RIDE THE WHITE ONE!!!"

Quote:
Originally Posted by TanaNari View Post

So, yeah, that's been *my* experience with metagamers.
I kind of agree with TheFred on his notions that most of those examples seem like players just being stupid or just making poor decisions. Its a fine line that I'm debating because a lot of the time sometimes it is just that, the player thought it was a good idea at the time and rolled with it. Weather that worked out in the character's favor or not is both up to the rolls and DMs ruling.

What I'm mentioning over all is a player using OOC motivation and actions reguardless of Character stats. "Power Gaming" aka building a fully optimized character for singular stats is FINE in my book as long as you can manage to play it appropriately in RP.


Example of what I consider "meta gaming":Player A : Builds a warlock who makes pacts with demons in a setting where this would generally be Taboo. During session 2 makes a deal with an imp to get magic back in return for the favor of burning a white book that holds a demon's true name. Player A proceeds to request Player B to look for that white book while not being suspicious in the least.
Player B : Without any knowledge of Player A's intentions or motivations decides to HIDE the Book after finding it and burn out the specific passages. After having his character lie to Player A's character about not finding it.
Player A : Receives the OOC knowledge that Player B's character preformed such action. Gets OOC angry and thus contrives a whole plot to have Players C & D to side with him and kill off Player B

During all this time Player C & D have been in character trying to remedy the situation. Unfortunately we ended having to put that game on hiatus because due to the circumstances the game would end in up to 3 player deaths or a TPK.



I am not sure if you can see the problem because I am probably describing it wrong. Either way in that Scenario I wasn't even the DM, I was Player C.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Arden View Post
Example of what I consider "meta gaming":Player A : Builds a warlock who makes pacts with demons in a setting where this would generally be Taboo. During session 2 makes a deal with an imp to get magic back in return for the favor of burning a white book that holds a demon's true name. Player A proceeds to request Player B to look for that white book while not being suspicious in the least.
Player B : Without any knowledge of Player A's intentions or motivations decides to HIDE the Book after finding it and burn out the specific passages. After having his character lie to Player A's character about not finding it.
Player A : Receives the OOC knowledge that Player B's character preformed such action. Gets OOC angry and thus contrives a whole plot to have Players C & D to side with him and kill off Player B

During all this time Player C & D have been in character trying to remedy the situation. Unfortunately we ended having to put that game on hiatus because due to the circumstances the game would end in up to 3 player deaths or a TPK.



I am not sure if you can see the problem because I am probably describing it wrong. Either way in that Scenario I wasn't even the DM, I was Player C.
Although this is certainly metagaming, I think a deeper issue in this case is that Players A and B weren't considerate of each other. Regardless of who started it or not, or who was worse than the other, both reached a point to where, as you put it, there was no resolution other than burning everything down. There's a few ways to avoid this kind of situation...

-Give players a chance to roll, but be firm on if they fail. In the case of Player B hiding and burning the book, I'd likely give them one final roll (at some sort of disadvantage because they'd already been lied to about its contents) to see if they could figure it out, and make sure they understood that it was their last chance. If the succeed the roll, fine. If not, then I'd put my foot down and tell them they had a chance, but now they have to give the book. Same goes for Player A figuring out the ruse, give them some sort of final role.

-Encourage players to accept failures and setbacks. In my games I try to early and often define any sort of losses the PCs have as storytelling moments that will make success all the sweeter. I describe always succeeding as possible, but sort of boring. Player B couldn't accept being a middle man and tricked. Player A couldn't accept being double-crossed. That rigidity cost them their fun, and should've been addressed earlier.

-Have new players. I know that option isn't optimistic, but we all have our own preferences, what we find fun and not. Sometimes our preferences aren't compatible. If this was a one-off incident, I wouldn't worry. If problems like this are consistent, then maybe some people need to find another group that better suits their play style.

Quote:
Originally Posted by TheFred View Post
Whilst your examples aren't necessarily irrelevant to the wider discussion, most of them don't sound like they have anything to do with metagaming. Real humans can make stupid decisions in real life, so these characters making stupid decisions is entirely possible and might even be entirely in-character, so they'd only be metagaming in so far as the decisions are being made by real human players instead of the characters, which just counts as "gaming" (since so are all decisions). Maybe if the players are making these decisions because they expect the DM to let up on them (since then they are using an OoC assumption to drive IC actions).
No. It was very much metagaming. They had zero in-character reasons to believe these actions would work. It is not "in character" for a trained special forces soldier to blow up a grenade at his own feet (at least, not as an opening move- maybe as a final f-you to an enemy that's about to overrun him and might be interested in taking prisoners- but not as the first actual combat action). And it's not in character for a (Chaotic Good) ranger to start an unnecessary melee battle with the local wildlife.

And when I asked "why didn't you, I dunno, try using Wild Empathy instead?" his answer was... "My build's not optimized for it".

The truth is that they- the players- assumed that since they're the main characters, that means I wouldn't put them in situations they couldn't fight their way out of. Which is the definition of Metagaming: they use OOC knowledge (that the story is, in fact, a story and not real life) to make actions their characters (or, indeed, any mentally sound human) would never make.

Now, mind you, they were half right. I do NOT put my players in situations they can't walk away from. But sometimes walking away is literal. As in: "turn around and go the other direction".

Quote:
Originally Posted by TheFred View Post
I guess what I'm trying to say is, it works both ways, sometimes.
Yes, (some terrible) DMs do it, too. What's your point? It doesn't make it any better.

Quote:
Originally Posted by AsenRG View Post
"You are playing what amounts to a completely different game from the rest of us. Are you going to play the same game, or are we unnecessary to your enjoyment of your game, meaning we can leave?"
It would be one thing if the DM meant to be focused on one particular style. But the other players need to be able to enjoy the game how they enjoy playing in general.

I am not saying there couldn't be a cause for a disagreement, or an argument. I am just saying the DM should try to host all the players individually.

Quote:
Originally Posted by TanaNari View Post
No. It was very much metagaming. They had zero in-character reasons to believe these actions would work.
Did they have any out-of-characters reasons to believe these actions would work, either? Like I said, thinking the DM will bail you out is also a form of metagaming. Just being stupid, though... well, it arguably is too, in a sense, but it's kind of impossible for a stupid person to RP a smart one (at least with any great accuracy) which is where we're reminded that it is indeed a game and the characters are played by players and really, not metagaming at all is more or less impossible.
Quote:
Originally Posted by TanaNari View Post
Yes, (some terrible) DMs do it, too. What's your point? It doesn't make it any better.
My point was that DMs do it too and that the fault is often (at least partially) theirs, even when they may be blaming the players. No, it doesn't make it better. I didn't say it did.

I have to agree with TanaNari about the grenade. It's metagaming to think "I have enough hit points. I'll survive this grenade and they won't." But it's a different kind of metagaming than most of us have been thinking of: it's working the rules instead of acting like a real person would act.

Quote:
Originally Posted by TheFred View Post
Did they have any out-of-characters reasons to believe these actions would work, either?
Why for do you keep insisting I repeat myself?

Quote:
Originally Posted by TanaNari View Post
Always with the "I didn't think you'd actually kill us" excuses afterwards.
Quote:
Originally Posted by TanaNari View Post
they- the players- assumed that since they're the main characters, that means I wouldn't put them in situations they couldn't fight their way out of. Which is the definition of Metagaming: they use OOC knowledge (that the story is, in fact, a story and not real life) to make actions their characters (or, indeed, any mentally sound human) would never make.

Quote:
Originally Posted by TheFred View Post
My point was that DMs do it too and that the fault is often (at least partially) theirs, even when they may be blaming the players. No, it doesn't make it better. I didn't say it did.
If you're saying it's my fault that they took actions ranging from blowing themselves up to starting brawls with disinterested wild animals... then I really can't imagine how or why that makes any sort of sense.

Especially since most, if not all, of these events were the first actual combat encounters of the game. I didn't have *time* to teach them bad habits. They brought those with them from elsewhere.

Quote:
Originally Posted by TanaNari View Post
Why for do you keep insisting I repeat myself?
I'm not. I was trying to clarify the point I made earlier, which is that "stupid actions" is not synonymous with "metagaming". There may be some overlap, as in fact I said in the first place, but they're not the same. Even if we do include stupid actions in our definition of metagaming, they tend functionally to be different to the sorts of use-OoC-knowledge-to-your-advantage things most commonly thought of as metagaming, such as exploiting a monster's weakness you shouldn't be aware of, etc.
Quote:
Originally Posted by TanaNari View Post
If you're saying it's my fault that they took actions ranging from blowing themselves up to starting brawls with disinterested wild animals... then I really can't imagine how or why that makes any sort of sense.
Hmm. Seeing as I'm not saying that, can you imagine how or why that makes any sort of sense?
Quote:
Originally Posted by hakootoko View Post
I have to agree with TanaNari about the grenade. It's metagaming to think "I have enough hit points. I'll survive this grenade and they won't." But it's a different kind of metagaming than most of us have been thinking of: it's working the rules instead of acting like a real person would act.
Mmm... is working the rules instead of acting like a "real" person inappropriate or not? This is a world governed by those rules, not real life - if people regularly get hit by grenades or, you know, fall from space, and don't die (as is typical of D&D, for example) then it's not really irrational for a character to try and do the same.







 

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