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Thieves Can’t Win the Metagame

Thieves Can’t Win the Metagame published on 8 Comments on Thieves Can’t Win the Metagame

I’ll be releasing a whole bunch of new paper minis on the Patreon later today, Monday the 8th, as well as (with any luck) a video sort of highlighting all the stuff we’ve made / are working on.

Original Script

Thieves Can’t Play With their RHOD


Keelie is leading a huddle.
Guys, I think she’s got us in a module called “Red Hand of Doom.” If there’s an ambush by this farm-house up ahead, then it’s basically certain.



The party is in front of a pile of dead hobgoblins.



Keelie: Yep. Definitely RHoD. Okay, here’s the deal. There’s nothing we can do to save the town up ahead–

Candor: Uh. But we can at least try!

Keelie: Hear me out. The module SAYS we can’t save Drellin’s Ferry, but it’s a 3.5 module. They weren’t ever ready for 5e characters. Reynauldo, I need you to prepare “Sending.”


The party has their own army at Drellin’s Ferry.

General Keelie! A messenger from the west!

What is it?

The Army of the Red Hand has gone around Drellin’s Ferry and burned the entire countryside!


So what you’re saying is we saved Drellin’s Ferry?


Tables I play at tend to be so anti-metagaming that they end up nerfing their characters with their play, or at least insulting their intelligence.

…Says the guy that went an entire encounter against a Troll without once remembering I have a fire breath weapon… But at least Red Wildblood now knows you can’t just hack a Troll to death with a normal Greatsword! Not at 3rd level, anyway…

This is one of my biggest stumbling blocks with tabletop gaming: the disconnect between what *I* know and what my *character* knows. Though in my case, usually it’s the case that my character knows something that I don’t, because they’re much more familiar with the setting and lore, having lived in it for 30-odd years. It’s irritating to have them make a decision that’s completely nonsensical given their understanding of the universe.

I can see people having trouble with it. I don’t but I’m pretty sure I have some sort of disorder given the wide variety of characters I have played and how easily I have switched between them… A good idea would be look at your applicable knowledge skill (mostly for gms) and the challenge rating of the creature. The higher the challenge rating the less likely people are to survive and therefore the less likely the tale was told and information began disseminating. Other modifiers can also apply like how prevalent the monster is in real world folk lore but CR vs Skill Ranks should be a good starting place. No player’s character should know anything about the Jabberwock for instance because even talking about it can cause it to seek you out and kill you. This is also the reason Vorpal weapons should be limited in your campaign. Whenever someone makes one the Jabberwock puts them on its hit list.

I think we have arrived at some parallel to the old trolley problem 😛

“On one track, there is a minor character fated to die based on how this encounter was written.
On the other track, there are 5 major characters, 2 of which are almost necessary to get a rare artifact.
The trolley is going on the minor character’s track. There’s a switch you can flip to redirect it to the major character’s track, but-”
“So, we need to flip the switch so we can defy destiny and save the minor character!”

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