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TO ALL DF GMs: Regarding Meta-Gaming..
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TOPIC: TO ALL DF GMs: Regarding Meta-Gaming..
#52777
TO ALL DF GMs: Regarding Meta-Gaming.. 1 Year, 5 Months ago  
TO ALL DF GMs: Regarding Meta-Gaming, how do you avoid it?

With a pre setup Dwarven Forge 3D dungeon on the table, how do YOU deal with players who (invariably?) allow their own eyes to influence their character's actions? Such as avoiding dangerous, dead ends or red herring areas? Or from heading directly to a goal instead of playing the setup the way it was designed? I've seen all sorts of variety of 'meta-gaming' from
Insignificant (to overall progress) all the way to blatant excessiveness (knocking down a wall to shorten the distance in a maze), with all manner of reasoning as to why their character would act in such a manner (coincidentally with the foresight of a god/goddess).
Short of only building what the player-character can 'see', how do you keep them from allowing their 'bird's eye view' of a 'sealed' dungeon dictate character actions?
Please PLEASE feel free to comment and give YOUR experience(s) as well as insight(s)!!!
Thank you for your time. I hope others will benefit from this discussion as well!
TexasStu
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#52781
Re:TO ALL DF GMs: Regarding Meta-Gaming.. 1 Year, 5 Months ago  
I don't have any experience here yet, we'll be using all my recent acquisitions tomorrow night for the first time. I'm not the DM, but it is all my DF stuff. I'll try to capture how it works for us.

Here's some of my thoughts
1) You can pre-build, yet cover/mask regions of the dungeon(poster board, cloth, etc). People might get a sense of the linear progress towards goal, but not what the best path is. You might need to pre-plan "reveals" to keep mutliple apparent paths.

2) Pre-build, revealed, but not populated. The "obvious" path might be trapped, have harder encounters, might miss useful NPCs, or treasure. Perhaps you get to a magically locked door and they have to back track to find a key. Perhaps the huge "boss" room is actual just the fake burial chamber designed to attract thieves.

3) In extreme cases: "magic happens" and the dungeon re-arranges itself :)

Basically, if your gamers are meta-gamers, I think you have to accept that just plan to deal with it.
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#52783
Re:TO ALL DF GMs: Regarding Meta-Gaming.. 1 Year, 5 Months ago  
I usually prebuild and don't populate and/or decorate. Recently I started building room by room, but this takes a bit. It's good if you have smokers, they go for a break.
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#52787
Re:TO ALL DF GMs: Regarding Meta-Gaming.. 1 Year, 5 Months ago  
I wouldn't think 'building as you go' would take a long time.
With pathfinder it's 20'-40' per turn (at dungeon investigation speeds).
That is 2-4 tiles (in an arc, of course) 'line of sight'. Most rooms are filled in (with 60'-120' visibility) and passages added to quickly. Only on complicated room (ie. boss rooms, split levels, etc.) would I think it would take considerably longer.
My own thought is build on a chessex mat and draw the lines for walls and let the players build the dungeon. Then you can pop in special pieces (IF discovered) like replacing a straight wall with a secret door, a floor tile with a floor trap or arrow slit when a trap triggered. Optimally it would be cool to have a longer map on rollers (lengthwise on both sides of the table), advancing the dungeon as you go (or backing up!) and removing pieces from behind and adding them ahead (or Vica-versa!) and so there is a record of the traveled path (assuming characters can recall which way they went - I'd assume at least one in a party would be able to remember?).
Did I mention I'm going to build a custom table? Or that I think to dam much?
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#52789
Re:TO ALL DF GMs: Regarding Meta-Gaming.. 1 Year, 5 Months ago  
We hide unexplored parts of dungeons with pieces of cloth.

Another strategy we use is to pre-build only areas where combat will take place. I pre-build encounter places on a piece of board that we bring on the gaming table once the fight starts. We rarely need beautiful visuals to represent possibly boring movement and once the fight starts, everything is supposed to be revealed (no cloth necessary) anyway.
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#52790
Re:TO ALL DF GMs: Regarding Meta-Gaming.. 1 Year, 5 Months ago  
I always pre-build. Cover with black cloth. Reveal as the party explore.
(Otherwise it is a bit to slow for everyone to sit & watch me build)



I have tried to do what BioWizard suggests and have smaller 'rooms' or areas that I can bring on to the table...
My problem is that they are heavy and ANY slip and crash slide wallop. Ouch!
I have thought about finding and getting a nice range of sturdy wooden trays with a edge Lip. But not done so yet.
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#52792
Re:TO ALL DF GMs: Regarding Meta-Gaming.. 1 Year, 5 Months ago  
It's probably no surprise to the long time DF posters here (see Monkplayers Medieval Game room post) that I pre-build all my dungeons inside my table. I cover the entire dungeon with cloth and then remove one section at a time. I haven't had any trouble with meta gaming. My player though know I watch meta gaming closely, because I don't allow the players to announce how many hit points their characters have left, plus I squelch table talk during combat that involves tactical strategy the characters wouldn't know or understand. I hope the feedback helps some.
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#52795
Re:TO ALL DF GMs: Regarding Meta-Gaming.. 1 Year, 5 Months ago  
I usually have PC's find a map of a dungeon they are exploring, which translates into the pre-built, and exposed dungeon. They have come to realize though, that those "maps" are not necessarily accurate:

1) I use a regular wall unless the PC's find the secret door.
2) They take the "obvious route" and when they get to the corridor, find that it is collapsed.
3) A whole section is rotated, so they can't actually get to the area they want to.
4) Some sections are just faded out (particularly the boss room!), especially if the map is old - like an ancient map found as part of a previous treasure horde.

If there is a reason I would like to keep the setup hidden, I use the cloth, or sometimes, pieces of cardboard cut to the shape of the room/area to cover the setup and reveal as they find.

Variants I have done of both are to cover it up, but if the hacker is able to break into the computer system, he can pull up the entire map, then I will reveal it all. And if he can break into the video surveillance, then place the occupants of the rooms in there as well.


EDIT: I realized I missed a "not" before necessarily above!
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#52796
Re:TO ALL DF GMs: Regarding Meta-Gaming.. 1 Year, 5 Months ago  
Like Dandare, I prebuild and cover with sections of 1' squares of felt. That way I can uncover sections as the game progresses. I don't really worry about metagaming for two reasons. First, my group rarely does it, and second, I switched us over to Dungeon Crawl Classics RPG so they really do not know all the rules anymore. Or the spells. Or the monsters. Or whatever crazy weirdness I steal from Lamentations of the Flame Princess or other sources. They really have no clue and the game feels like 1980 all over again.

But for very instance someone does metagame, eg doesn't want to open a door etc, there are at least two un my group that will always say "I open the door".
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#52809
Re:TO ALL DF GMs: Regarding Meta-Gaming.. 1 Year, 5 Months ago  
I inform players up front that while I may forgive a wee bit of meta here and there (by wee I mean very small and infrequent), any abuse of it carries dire consequences. Like kidnapped by kobolds, tortured for command words, and robbed of magic gear kind of consequences. Meta-gaming makes the game less fun. The point is to tell an awesome story and have fun doing it. Zipping straight to the ending and avoiding all the juicy bits is scarcely a good tale and it is far less fun for everyone.

Adding DF to the mix, I have to say that I have not used DF in game yet. I do like the sound of both premade setups brought to the table and the cloth coverings. It is hard for some people to separate what they see from their character's choices, these methods can help them stay honest.

Also, for the truly difficult players, illusions and trickster deities can provide a nice smackdown that is entertaining without being too brutal.
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#52812
Re:TO ALL DF GMs: Regarding Meta-Gaming.. 1 Year, 5 Months ago  
I thought of covering but then pondered how to uncover only section discovered, like a long passage down the center for example. The 1' squares is a good idea too. Could even have room sized cutouts under larger felt/cloth/cardboard. It does give away some overall dimensions. I think it would depend on the dungeon as to how to proceed. I could see players not being able to stop themselves from working towards that huge 'covered bump' at the far end though?
Thanks for the contributions! I'm enjoying reading each and every one!
They all entice the mind and provide some things to think upon!
TexasStu
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#52813
Re:TO ALL DF GMs: Regarding Meta-Gaming.. 1 Year, 5 Months ago  
TexasStu
I use white slightly see through mesh material that I have to double layer at times. I remember one layout when I have one room of Hellscape laid out, and the players were curious about that room due to its different coloring. I may need to change to a black cloth to better hide the rooms.

As for trying a stationary item like cardboard it won't work for me. I hate minis and items that are taller than the DF pieces, which is why I use the cloth pieces (sized about 1-2'). I also have the additional challenge of being able to stack 3 levels of a DF build so once again the cloth is flexible and more suited to my purposes.

As I mentioned in an earlier post I haven't had any challenges with Metagaming.
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