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Page 971 in Cocoyashi Village
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Average Rating: 5
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By the same author as Grand Line 3.5


8th Mar 2017, 1:08 AM
"Tell a Story: You're not suppose to know that"

Out of character knowledge is a bit of a sticky point in games. The players will always know things their characters don't, like the appropriate level for fighting orcs or dragons. But a line had to be drawn somewhere.

Tell a story about when the GM made plain and clear that the player character did not know something, and how it was enforced.

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8th Mar 2017, 5:01 AM
"The Box(tm)"

Well in a recent seaworld campaign we fished up a box.
A well closed, locked up box. We had no idea what could be in it, so in the next harbor we were in we hired a lockpick to open it for us (Believe me, lock picking is not really a useful skill on board of a ship).
It turned out to be a pretty difficult lock that would take about an hour to open, so the captain and others left the room so he could trade and left me with the lockpicker, so that I could call the rest as soon as it opened. Realizing that we didn't have a lot of time, I said I was drawing a map while also keeping a close eye on the lockpicker.

Of course it turns out that the box was trapped (otherwise I wouldn't tell you this story).

While drawing a map I suddenly heard a loud smack, I look up, and the box is open.
But the lockpicker was gone. Vanished in tin air.
And in the box was Nothing. I mean, there wasn't even a bottem, it was endless Nothingness.
So of course I freaked out, and called the captain to ask what to do.
After some stuff happens, the captain finally is there.
The box suddenly has a lot of gold and treasures in it, instead of nothingness, so he of course doesn't believe me and wants to touch it to test if it's real gold (he out of character knew perfectly well that was a terrible idea, but he had the flaw that he was greedy, so he had to)

We were really thankful that just at that moment a fight broke out so the captain had to get to deck.
He went out of the room. I stayed in it, alone, with the box.
And without even a saving trow, I got told that there was a loud bang, and that I woke up in a new place without realizing that I even had lost consciousness...

By that point we were all convinced that being alone in the same room als what we then started to call The Box(tm) was a real bad thing. But we could not find *any* in-character justifications for the captain to not go back in there alone, so the box took him too.
And then one of the other players came back from the harbor, with information that had to go straight to the captain...
and there was no way he could have known that the captain had vanished after entering that room...
Long story short, due to terrible circumstances we all got captured by The Box(tm), except the one player that was bound to the mast of the ship due to having gotten into a fight and about to be punished for that.

In the end, I'm out of character really glad that we all got captured like that (even though I was just as panicking as everyone else at that moment, and trying real hard to come up with in-character excuses why the should went in with someone else, anyone, even an NPC). Because The Box(tm) basically turned out to be a Lotus Machine, and our GM again turned out to be an amazing story teller, making for a real nice rollplaying experience for living your dream while knowing it isn't real...
But that is a story for another time.

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8th Mar 2017, 6:48 PM

The description of how The Box worked sounds a lot like The Luggage from the Discworld novels. Only thing missing is giving it hundreds of tiny legs to walk around on.

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8th Mar 2017, 11:13 AM
"Really poorly"

So in a PTU campaign the GM had me help stat out the BBEG Zygarde... who she ended up having unconcious next to us all in the next session... while my character could talk to Darkrai and go "hey this guys weird should I get rid of him?"
Now despite the fact that Zygard goes around eating goddamn Legendaries Darkrai just goes "Naaah. Don't worry about it" while all the legendaries are also raising hell about someone usurping Giratina. It was really poorly done and she shouldn't have introduced the guy unconscious and had other NPCs insist on bringing him along. And then there was the fact that all the higher-up NPCs were assholes and hypocrites who were keeping secrets from each other (when the secrets were important safety of humanity level secrets) and getting mad when they learned the others were keeping secrets from them.

That campaign didn't last much longer.

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8th Mar 2017, 6:59 PM

I once made a character that had such a ridiculous knowledge/perception that he could sherlock style figure anything out. It got to the point where I could tell that there was a rebellion against the king just from a single comment from a passerby. The drawback, however, was that my character was so used to being right, that he couldn't believe that he was wrong! So on those rare occasions where I rolled a 1, oh boy that sparked some crazy party conflicts!
The rouge in our party lied to the guard that he was actually a part of the royal family and that he was "cousin jimmy". I rolled a one on perception and through a convoluted knowledge believed that he was actually the rightful king, and that he was actually a part of the royal family that the current royal family usurped decades before. Good times!

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8th Mar 2017, 7:02 PM

Oh and yeah, they were many times where the DM told me, "you don't know that!" and then all I had to do was roll my perception and knowledge to figure it out, lol! My min maxing in that game almost literally blew up the entire world!

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9th Mar 2017, 10:15 PM
"That time nobody could find one another"

My first campaign, the DM was getting a more than a little annoyed at our characters' pretty blatant use of Out of Character knowledge. More and more, he was starting to put his foot down, and while it was the right thing to do, you have to understand, this guy was bad at doing it without seeming pointlessly confrontational and railroady.
So, what else could we do? My Wizard went shopping one day, and while he was committing a new ritual to memory, the rogue asked the Shopkeep what was a good place to stay the night. He shouted "Meet you there!" and left.
He then asked the first person he met on the street the same question and got directed to a different Inn. He went there.
I went to the first one, because that was the plan.
The rest of the night was the two of us running all over the city, looking for each other, visiting every Inn in the city, and insisting every time the DM tried to nudge us in the right direction that "That would be using Out of Character Knowledge."

The best part is we didn't plan this. This happened totally by accident and we wasted an entire session doing it.

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8th Mar 2017, 3:34 AM

Kind of a subversion of that. I was running The Mask of Death, the module from The Gamers 2. Everybody had seen it so I was expecting them to metagame more than they did, I was actually kind of proud of them for that, anyways we got to the big confrontation with Mort Kemnon. They had failed to Web the reinforcements, and I had cast darkness on the fighter's shield so they were getting thoroughly trounced when Warpig, my sister's chihuahua, comes in clearly needing to be taken outside, so I take her and when I got back practically all of the enemies were down and some people had raised their hp above zero. It was beautiful how well it lined up with the events of the movie, so I allowed it and we moved on.

It was fun, but only because of the novelty. Lodge is not good at adventure design.

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Joe the Rat

8th Mar 2017, 9:12 AM

The main thing I took away from the story is that your sister has an awesomely named chihuahua.

I think I've done a pretty good job of balancing the metagame for my group. Just enough that player knowledge is rewarded, but enough gates and twists that it can bite them in the ass if they don't check. Changing descriptions. Shuffling resistances and vulnerabilities. Swapping powers. Using Gygax references enough times that they become complacent.

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