DM Metagaming and Monster's awareness of OoE, AS, WC, HM, etc.

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Ok, so the assassin class article has made me aware of the apparent rule that any power you use, the target knows exactly what power was used on them and exactly what it does.


So if you are a hidden assassin (who didn't waste a feat) that places his shroud on a target, that target is immediately aware of the invisible shroud that will allow an assassin to do more damage to him if he attacks. Similiarly, a sniping ranger's target will immediately know he is a hunter's quarry, etc.


So.. my question is, how are monster's supposed to react to this? When I DM, I usually insist that players don't metagame, but at the same time, I also have to hold that up with my monsters. With things like defender marks, I understand that the power itself is designed so the monsters realize that they have been challenged by the paladin, or that the fighter is poised to strike them more readily if they dare focus their attention on someone else, and have the monsters act accordingly.


But for shrouds, quarries, etc, I'm not sure how monsters should react. Should I be running LFR mods like they are set in Order of the Stick (where everyone is aware of game mechanics in-character)? Orc Leader: "Oh snap guys! There's a heoric tier assassin lurking around who didn't take the Hidden Insight feat. He just put a shroud on me. Quick, everyone start moving around and making active perception checks to find him, while I move into a well-lit area."

If you curse, quarry, shroud, whatever a target... that target gets an itch between their shoulder blades, feels that someone or something is out to gun them, might look around, ask others for attention, etc, yes...


It's a bit suboptimal, but not without precedent in fiction, and covers the game terms. Would-be snipers and assassins should apparently only use those powers immediately before striking or not use them at all.

Keith Richmond Living Forgotten Realms Epic Writing Director


If you curse, quarry, shroud, whatever a target... that target gets an itch between their shoulder blades, feels that someone or something is out to gun them, might look around, ask others for attention, etc, yes...


It's a bit suboptimal, but not without precedent in fiction, and covers the game terms. Would-be snipers and assassins should apparently only use those powers immediately before striking or not use them at all.



I'm totally ok with that, but is that within the rules? The rules state that the target knows he has a shroud/quarry/oath/etc on him and knows exactly what it does. Not just "feels that someone or something is out to gun them"

4e is built on the video game model for better or worse. Everything that affects creatures and applies an effect to them has a tooltip for that effect. Anyone can look at the tooltips for things affecting them.


In the example you gave, yes I would have the monsters start flipping over furniture, making active perception checks, etc. If the assassin wanted to be extra sneaky he should have taken the feat made precisely for that type of situation.

I'm totally ok with that, but is that within the rules? The rules state that the target knows he has a shroud/quarry/oath/etc on him and knows exactly what it does. Not just "feels that someone or something is out to gun them"


Getting 'Someone just gained the ability to deal more damage to me' sounds pretty strongly like an itch between the shoulders and that someone is out to gun them... but interpret it as you will. They know they're vulnerable. They know their lease on life is soon to be cashed. They know trouble, in the form of increased hp damage and decreased life expectancy, is imminent.

Keith Richmond Living Forgotten Realms Epic Writing Director


4e is built on the video game model for better or worse. Everything that affects creatures and applies an effect to them has a tooltip for that effect. Anyone can look at the tooltips for things affecting them.


In the example you gave, yes I would have the monsters start flipping over furniture, making active perception checks, etc. If the assassin wanted to be extra sneaky he should have taken the feat made precisely for that type of situation.




Interesting.


I'm curious, (if you don't mind me asking) if you were running a combat in thick fog, where the fighter could see an enemy but the wizard was too far away to know where the enemy was (or technically, even where the fighter was), would you intervene at all when the wizard decides to drop a Fiery Burst (therefore circumventing concealment penalties) that is precisely positioned to hit the target (that he can't see) and also miss the fighter (which he also can't see).

Check the rules for Stealth. Unless one or the other is making Stealth checks, the wizard can hear precisely where they are and throw their spell appropriately. If either is, then some guessing has to happen (and for example in my game last night a wizard guessed incorrectly and missed a monster).


It may be helpful to realize that the scale of D&D combats is actually extraordinarily generous - people fill up very little of a 5x5 area, so aiming a spell into the right side of a basketball court to hit an enemy and not hit a friend is a bit easier as people tromp about and call out battle cries. Even if those battle cries are 'Marco' and 'Polo'.


 

Keith Richmond Living Forgotten Realms Epic Writing Director

Another aspect of this discussion is whether enemies are aware of effects on other people, not just on them.  For example, if I put up an effect on myself that does damage to enemies if they swing at me, are they aware of that?  I've been ruling that they need to make knowledge checks to I.D. the power, but I don't really know.

They shouldn't know the exact details without a knowledge check, but the DMG does talk a little about things like creatures which have auras. Neither player nor DM should start their turn and go 'Wait, I'm dazed and take damage from what? But, why didn't I hear about this before that?'


Even if it's just 'You hear the echoed whispers of raving from all around you. As the spirit drifts closer, the voices get louder and more lurid in your ears' and 'I adopt a stance ready to strike at any enemy who dares be close to me' rather than direct rules text

Keith Richmond Living Forgotten Realms Epic Writing Director

I'm specifically thinking about "Avenging Echo".  The flavor text, which I like to read, gives a hint as to what the power does (damages anyone who swings on me before the end of my next turn), but I haven't found anywhere that says I have to tell my DM what will happen if a monster swings on me.


Sounds like I'm doing it right, just wanted to run it past you guys.

The way I've been running this is that every creature knows all of the details of every effect placed upon it and every ability used against it. 


Creatures do not know the details of abilities or effects placed upon others until those abilites or effects come into play.


For instance, creatures marked by a paladin's Divine Challenge know exactly what the Divine Challenge does, as if they had a copy of the power card in their own fictional hands. 


Creatures under a Divine Challenge do NOT know, however, that the paladin can theoretically hit them for extra damage with their Holy Strike while they are so marked (until the first time that they are hit like this, at which time they can learn the details of Holy Strike and know it henceforth).

More or less..unlike the other forum you asked this question at...the people who play D&D on this forum must follow certain rules, this includes the rule that if a creature has an effect on them, then they must know, in total, was the effect does to them.  As for the question about the assassin..let me ask you something.  In real life..if you felt your body getting slightly warm at a spot..looked..and saw a little red laser beam trained on that spot of you..what would you do?


I'm specifically thinking about "Avenging Echo".  The flavor text, which I like to read, gives a hint as to what the power does (damages anyone who swings on me before the end of my next turn), but I haven't found anywhere that says I have to tell my DM what will happen if a monster swings on me.


Sounds like I'm doing it right, just wanted to run it past you guys.




I have an avenger. DM's who NEVER hit me or end a monster's turn next to me when it's up, and do so because the power is up, piss me off to no end.  The monsters should NOT know that they will be burned by swinging at me until one of them does it.  As a player I'm not going to know that a bugbear strangler holding my buddy is going to use him as a humanoid shield when I swing at him unless I did a pretty good monster check etc.  But even without a check, once he does it I know about it.  When I DM with those gotcha moves, if the power doesn't directly affect the creature he has no knowledge of it unless he's observed it happen, then it's fair game to avoid.  Otherwise you really are just cheating people out of their powers effects.

Blah blah blah

Heh. I just immobilize the target with abjure undead or bound by fate before smacking him with avenging echoes. (It works best if I'm the only adjacent target). They may know it's coming, but they can't do anything about it.


(It also works to use the power on dazed or prone opponents; if they can't get away, they suck up the damage).

People really need to read the DMG, specifically the end of page 26, beginning of page 27.


Avenging Echo is an obvious example of a power that if the monster had it active, the PCs would know they would take damage by ending their turn next to the monster or by attacking the monster. The monster should have the exact same information.


People really need to read the DMG, specifically the end of page 26, beginning of page 27.


Avenging Echo is an obvious example of a power that if the monster had it active, the PCs would know they would take damage by ending their turn next to the monster or by attacking the monster. The monster should have the exact same information.




Don't lie. It's a well known fact that there is nothing useful in the 4e DMG.

Don't lie. It's a well known fact that there is nothing useful in the 4e DMG.


Unless of course you want to learn how to DM a game of 4e....

DCI Level 2 Judge WPN Advanced TO RPGA Herald-Level GM


Don't lie. It's a well known fact that there is nothing useful in the 4e DMG.


Unless of course you want to learn how to DM a game of 4e....




Nope. Even if you are DM, it's a fact that there is nothing useful in the DMG Tongue out


Nope. Even if you are DM, it's a fact that there is nothing useful in the DMG




For sufficiently broad definition of "fact" or sufficiently narrow definition of "useful"?

It's a tricky one, and in my opinion it depends how 'hardball' you're being as a GM.


Take the swordmage power transposing lunge, one of the biggest 'gotcha' powers of low levels. A well-timed Lunge can wreck a monster for the whole encounter. Now, a monster knows it's marked, and knows the effect of the swordmage Aegis. But does it have any idea that a swordmage can do other things to a marked target?


I often run it (behind the scenes) as monsters can have a 'PC knowledge check' if they're of sufficient level/intelligence/wisdom. So that high level intelligent monsters may know some of the tricks PCs can pull, in the same way that PCs can know what monsters can do. After all, it's a bit silly to say that every monster has been living in a cave somewhere all its life and never heard of adventurers. Heck, some monsters have killed NPC adventurers in their backstory.


I think everyone on the board is aware of power effects, unless it specifically says they're not. If someone dazes a monster, then everyone knows the monster is dazed. Some powers do weird things (like retribution avengers, who often get an 'if anyone ELSE other than the target attacks me) which don't really work if monsters don't know about the effect.


As for the blind targetting rule, we utilise the 'talking is a free action' fudge, so that as long as at least one member of a side can see the target and can communicate freely, everyone else is aware of what square its in, even if it is hidden from them. If no-one is aware, the DM (or player) is free to take the mini off the board and make people guess.

I often run it (behind the scenes) as monsters can have a 'PC knowledge check' if they're of sufficient level/intelligence/wisdom. So that high level intelligent monsters may know some of the tricks PCs can pull, in the same way that PCs can know what monsters can do. After all, it's a bit silly to say that every monster has been living in a cave somewhere all its life and never heard of adventurers. Heck, some monsters have killed NPC adventurers in their backstory.


I agree with this general plan, except I'm lazier. I just use the monsters's intelligence stat:


  • Mindless monsters and very low INT (1-5) have no idea what's going on. They know they are marked, but cannot understand what that means. They ignore all effects

  • INT 6-10 monsters understand the basics. They can distinguish foes' roles and understand marks -- not what will be triggered, but they understand the basic "if I do/don't do X, I will get hurt by person Y"

  • INT 11-15 monsters understand all common powers and class features of all classes. If I (the GM) know it, they probably do too.

  • INT 16-20 monsters know exactly as much as I (the GM) can recall. They are thus very easy to run.

  • INT 21-25 monsters are cleverer than I am, and so, if I do not know a power, I will ask the player t describe it in detail.

  • INT 26+ monsters are beyond what I can comprehend well. When running one, I might ask players what their plan of attack is, and the monster will anticipate it. They should behave like this is the 100th time they have fought this exact bunch of PCs in this exact situation, and they have learned from every fight.

In practice, most LFR monsters are "at or below my INT" and so I can pretty well just go with "no clue about anything", "understand if/then powers", "like a weak player" and "play naturally", which is fast and works pretty well.

Some powers do weird things (like retribution avengers, who often get an 'if anyone ELSE other than the target attacks me) which don't really work if monsters don't know about the effect.



Some people will disagree on this, depending on the effect -they- want to get from the power. I agree it is probably better if the monsters know, and the power functions as a porcupine defense. Some people, however, prefer to use it as a gotcha power and are annoyed by DMs studiously avoiding triggering the repercussion. Similar people get annoyed about DMs avoiding triggering marks, so take it for what it is.


INT 26+ monsters are beyond what I can comprehend well. When running one, I might ask players what their plan of attack is, and the monster will anticipate it. They should behave like this is the 100th time they have fought this exact bunch of PCs in this exact situation, and they have learned from every fight.




So when PC stats get that high, are you telling them the monter's plan of attack in advance?

So when PC stats get that high [INT 26+], are you telling them the monter's plan of attack in advance?


The earliest that can happen is when you hit epic (you can go from 25 to 28 in one level), so not an issue for a while. But the answer is probably "no". We have moved away from the symmetry requirement -- monsters are not player characters. Players learn monster capabilities by making knowledge checks. That is already well covered by rules.


- Graham

So when PC stats get that high [INT 26+], are you telling them the monter's plan of attack in advance?


The earliest that can happen is when you hit epic (you can go from 25 to 28 in one level), so not an issue for a while. But the answer is probably "no". We have moved away from the symmetry requirement -- monsters are not player characters. Players learn monster capabilities by making knowledge checks. That is already well covered by rules.


- Graham






There is no monster check which lets the PC know exactly what a creature is going to do at a given turn, which is exactly what you said you'll require your players to give up.

I think the article Andy Collins wrote on Transparency was pretty indicative of the desired level of information in 4E. A lot of the article is optional, but it really does play well. I've implemented a number of those features. For players, this includes tipping them off to a near miss so they can figure out defenses, letting them know clearly what powers do, etc.


On the monsters' side, they know any power used against them. If it was used on the PC, then they are ignorant, but they understand any marking type power or any attack and its various rules.


What this does is actually remove 'gotchas' and instead increase tactical play. For example, when i was first making a Taclord, I thought Viper's Strike (if the target shifts before the start of your next turn, it provokes OA from ally) was all about a gotcha. I later realize that it is actually a more tactical move. You are advertising what you will do, and thus giving them a choice: "move away and we will hammer you, punk!"


The same thing is true of marks and the various permutations. At the DMG2 gameday one PC used the ensnaring swordmage to constantly place a brute over a pit. Sure, it got a save, but it completely nerfed that foe over and over. It was a smart move, and the foe understood but had few options... because the player was clever. (I know, teleportation over open spaces is an open issue, but this seemed like a good time to rule in a player's favor).


It falls on us as players to be transparent with DMs. "I use Dire Radiance. It deals x damage, and y if it comes closer". It falls on DMs to be transparent with players. "You are in the aura, you will take 5 damage and be sad, save ends." 4E seems to play better with that level of transparency.


 

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You need to keep in mind that some things are still "gotcha" powers.


Shielding Swordmage with Transposing lunge being a good example, knowing what the Aegis will do (reduce your damage if you don't hit the swordmage) is very different from knowing that the Swordmage has Transposing as well. Yes I need to tell the DM what my Aegis does, no I don't need to tell the DM that I have Transposing Lunge as the power is not yet active. (Though I often give clues when I tell other players "Don't worry about it" when they are within 10 squares, line of site and provoking an OA from my Aegis targeted enemy.)


The issue of DM's never triggering the secondary effects of marks where the monster can take damage is a different but interesting one. On the one hand the Defender is marking things to say "hit me" but on the other hand part of the cool thing about playing a defender is being able to use those abilities that are only triggered when the monster ignores the mark (especially at low levels). If DMs never provoke one of those things they are shutting down part of the potential fun of those characters.


The role of the DM isn't to hide things from the players, but to reveal things. Mostly those things should be details of the world and environment, but once the fight starts the DM needs to reveal things their characters are aware of to the players, and in 4E it is very clear that marks, auras, and other powers of a similar nature are things characters are aware of and should be able to make decisions about. Heck DMG2 in the Creating Movement section (pg 56-57) talks specifically about using the players knowledge of auras etc to create movement by making areas that the players do and do not want to be.

In my experience it is best to tell your DM you are planning such a thing as transposing lunge. The monster might not know, but a DM is a player. Just like many players dislike cotcha-abilities, so does the DM. By warning the DM in advance, you actually change it from a "cotcha DM" into a "cotcha monster". The first can be really irritating, the 2nd is no issue at all. A second benefit is that you are not going to disrupt the DM's train of thought, which can speed up the game. Of course, this assumes you trust the DM, but when you don't you have more serious issues.


In any event, if you have a character that has some abilities that heavily depend on monster knowledge (such as the avenger or the rackless warlord) it probably is best to discuss this subject beforehand with your DM and adapt your tactics based on the way the DM runs it.

There is no monster check which lets the PC know exactly what a creature is going to do at a given turn, which is exactly what you said you'll require your players to give up.

I'm afraid I just don't run games as aggressively as you do. I generally run them to have fun. If my players ever get seriously upset with any rule, whether it is house or not, I'll work with them to fix it. Personally I tend to run knowledge checks pretty strong, so if you get a good roll, you might learn stuff not explicitly mentioned in the stat blocks ... like tactics, favorite foods, other monsters they hang with; whatever seems relevant. It leads to more fun if you tell a player "this tribe of orcs prides itself on taking out big enemies" or whatever.

I ran a critter just the other day who had the ability to as an immediate interrupt make an attack on someone 2 squares away and knock them prone... and it used it right after I'd clarified that the creatures who had an unusually large axes for their size did _not_ have threatening reach. Very gotcha moment, but the way it was setup.


So, yes, both sides can have gotchas. Things like Transposing Lunge, Shield, etc. But when you put up an aura or stance, it should be obvious what it does. For good (hey, less stuff is attacking me) and bad (aww, no one is taking damage from my thing).

Keith Richmond Living Forgotten Realms Epic Writing Director


I ran a critter just the other day who had the ability to as an immediate interrupt make an attack on someone 2 squares away and knock them prone... and it used it right after I'd clarified that the creatures who had an unusually large axes for their size did _not_ have threatening reach. Very gotcha moment, but the way it was setup.




I think that a situation like this one works well and keeps the players on their toes. There should really be no way to know this could happen without having faced this type of creature before. Transparency should cover effects that are active, not powers that could be used in a situation but are not yet active.


Now having seen those creatures with the oversized axes, my Dwarf Cleric will be wary of them in the future.


I'm afraid I just don't run games as aggressively as you do. I generally run them to have fun. If my players ever get seriously upset with any rule, whether it is house or not, I'll work with them to fix it. Personally I tend to run knowledge checks pretty strong, so if you get a good roll, you might learn stuff not explicitly mentioned in the stat blocks ... like tactics, favorite foods, other monsters they hang with; whatever seems relevant. It leads to more fun if you tell a player "this tribe of orcs prides itself on taking out big enemies" or whatever.





This has nothing to do with agressive games. I'm all for tactics, food, or anything that enhances a game. I'm all for transparency of powers and effects betwen players and DMs.

I am absolutely not for requiring players to state their intended actions for a given turn so I can metagame against them, regardless of how intelligent a monster is. That's not fun. That's cheating. I've played and DM'd epic level games in 3.5 and never seen or did anything like that. I've never heard of anything like that being done for any game system.


So what if your player decides to change his intended action due to somthing that happened in a previous player's turn? Are you going to force him to carry out what he said he might do anyway? Again, not fun. And since we're talking about RPGA games, not a home game, I'd say that something like this has no place in it.



I ran a critter just the other day who had the ability to as an immediate interrupt make an attack on someone 2 squares away and knock them prone... and it used it right after I'd clarified that the creatures who had an unusually large axes for their size did _not_ have threatening reach. Very gotcha moment, but the way it was setup.




I think that a situation like this one works well and keeps the players on their toes. There should really be no way to know this could happen without having faced this type of creature before. Transparency should cover effects that are active, not powers that could be used in a situation but are not yet active.



In truth though, a DC 20 monster knowledge check gives you their powers.  So it is very possible to know this ahead of time.

Sorry WOTC, you lost me with Essentials. So where I used to buy every book that came out, now I will be very choosy about what I buy. Can we just get back to real 4e? Check out the 4e Conversion Wiki. 1. Wizards fight dirty. They hit their enemies in the NADs. -- Dragon9 2. A barbarian hits people with his axe. A warlord hits people with his barbarian. 3. Boo-freakin'-hoo, ya light-slingin' finger-wigglers. -- MrCelcius in response to the Cleric's Healer's Lore nerf

On this issue, I'm going to come down in favor of 'monsters know when you have an ongoing power that will do something bad to them'.


As pointed out earlier in the thread, the idea of PC-monster equivalence is not one that really exists in 4E, so I don't see that as an argument against the idea.


More to the point, it's a question of class balance. For instance, monsters can pretty easily tell when a Wizard pops a Fire Shield that they're likely to get burned if they swing in melee at the Wizard. (In fact, a couple of players in our LFR extended family have had characters who've multi-classed to Wizard just to take that power as a 'stay off me' anti-aggro tool.)


If Swordmages, Avengers, and Assassins have similar powers, but the monsters have to make a skill check or simply can't tell that the PC has used a power with a 'hidden threat', then you're telling me that those other classes' powers are better than the Wizard's powers, since the Wizard's power can't be used as a 'gotcha' while the others can.


I don't believe the designers use 'visual special effects' as a tool to balance powers (this isn't Champions, after all); because of this, I'd rule that any class using a power with an ongoing effect broadcasts that effect when it uses the power.


Note that this is strictly different from using a Knowledge check against a monster: a successful Knowledge check should tell you the monster has that power before it ever gets to use that power. Once the power is used, it should be obvious what it does unless something in the description specifically notes that it's not obvious (in which case, I'd accept that as part of the power's balancing factors).


--


Pauper

 I am absolutely not for requiring players to state their intended actions for a given turn so I can metagame against them, regardless of how intelligent a monster is. That's not fun. That's cheating. I've played and DM'd epic level games in 3.5 and never seen or did anything like that. I've never heard of anything like that being done for any game system

Like I said, I don't have your level of aggression. I don't really care how much epic 3.5 you've run or what you think is "cheating"; if you cannot cope with a GM who wants to play an incredibly intelligent monster as, well, intelligent, then I think you're in serious need of chill. If you do end up on my table playing against the few epic intelligent monsters that there are, I'd suggest you just lie to me about what you intend. Hopefully it will satisfy your need to be combative and you can continue to have fun without feeling cheated. 


 I am absolutely not for requiring players to state their intended actions for a given turn so I can metagame against them, regardless of how intelligent a monster is. That's not fun. That's cheating. I've played and DM'd epic level games in 3.5 and never seen or did anything like that. I've never heard of anything like that being done for any game system

Like I said, I don't have your level of aggression. I don't really care how much epic 3.5 you've run or what you think is "cheating"; if you cannot cope with a GM who wants to play an incredibly intelligent monster as, well, intelligent, then I think you're in serious need of chill. If you do end up on my table playing against the few epic intelligent monsters that there are, I'd suggest you just lie to me about what you intend. Hopefully it will satisfy your need to be combative and you can continue to have fun without feeling cheated. 



I don't think Gristooth is alone in his opinion that asking players to tell you what they're going to do next turn so you can metagame against them is over the line. In fact, it's so far over the line that you can't even see the line from where it is. If a DM asked me to do that, I'd say, "no." And if he insisted, I would ask how much xp we had gained to that point and walk away from the table. My time is too valuable to be wasted with that kind of a DM. Sure, I could lie about what I intended to do or be purposefully vague and misleading without technically lying, but I shouldn't have to. And any DM who is enough of a control freak to ask is not going to appreciate being lied to any more than a good DM would appreciate lying about die rolls or intentionally misrepresenting attack or damage bonuses.

Wow, players expect to be told everything a monster can do just because they hit a somewhat low knowledge check because the rules say so, a DM suggests that while playing a monster with an int over 26 that they'd ask the players the tactics they think they'd use and play as if the monster was expecting those tactics and people freak and start calling him names like cheater?  Calm down and stop attacking him, read the forum rules first as well before posting attack posts like that.


Heck the lowest level creature I could find with 26 int was a Foulspawn Mystic level 14 elite, then the adult gold dragon a solo 17 controller, there was some matron from P2 in there too but you're only going to see her once I imagine since she was a unique named drow priestess


Anyway point being, if you think that this small fraction of monsters (even the epic tier sees very a really low percentage that would qualify) knowing your possible tactics is unfair, don't play at his tables, or don't answer if he asks.  It's really that simple.

Blah blah blah

Calm down and stop attacking him, read the forum rules first as well before posting attack posts like that.

It was mentioned earlier in the thread that this is, or at least ought to be, a discussion about RPGA-sanctioned LFR rather than somebody's home game. Therefore, it is perfectly reasonable to have a serious argument whether or not this kind of behaviour by an LFR DM is acceptable, along with some frank and open criticism. Neither a table DM nor a Senior GM has the right to enforce house rules at a sanctioned LFR event, and anyone proposing to do so on this forum should expect to receive a harshly critical response.

Personally, I think this house rule sounds quite clever and would make high-level games more fun and challenging for the players, not to mention easier for the DM to run...but it clearly has no place in LFR.


DCI Level 2 Judge WPN Advanced TO RPGA Herald-Level GM

There are no rules for or against this type of planning by the DM, so in LFR it violates no rules.  Please show me the rule that states how to play a monster and that this method voilates it.

Blah blah blah


There are no rules for or against this type of planning by the DM, so in LFR it violates no rules.  Please show me the rule that states how to play a monster and that this method voilates it.





Probably the best you're going to get for a specific rule is the monsters' tactics section, which should inform how you play the monster. If it says "At the start of your turn, ask each player what he expects to do on his next turn. Then act to thwart their plans", then you've got something. And maybe some mod will actually put that in for some 26 int monster.

Though why are we using Int for that? As opposed to Wis? Wouldn't Wis better allow you to read an opponents intentions, so you can thwart them? I mean these questions rhetorically.


Probably a much more practical solution is to have a high Int monster explicitly called out in the mod as somehow observing the party (magic scrying?) as they fight past its underlings so that by the time the party reaches it you are not in any way metagaming to know every power they've used and their general group tactics. Especially fitting for the conclusion to a two rounder, maybe a two-round special. you as the DM have had 5 encounters or, with an extended rest in the middle to observe the PCs working together. The big bad knows every at will and encounter power they've used, as well as the dailies that they used the first day and have thus far saved for the final encounter, plus a good idea of how they coordinate and work together.


Actually asking the players is fraught with peril anyways. It's almost certainly unfair to force them to go with their plan, particularly if you've just acted in a way that obviously negates it. So then if they don't have to go with their plan when it comes down to it, why can't they lie? Even if they are honest, and you make no (obvious) moves to thwart their plans, the other PCs may offer up an even better opportunity (or a more dire situation needing damage control from the PC).


At a high end limit I'd say looking at the character sheets and powers/feats/items/class features to know what the PCs -can- do -could- be appropriate, but I'd want it in the mod specifically saying "to represent the evil mastermind's awesome intellect and centuries of experience fighting adventurers, study each of the PCs' character sheets and make sure you understand all of the things they can do".


Probably the best you're going to get for a specific rule is the monsters' tactics section, which should inform how you play the monster.




It suggests how you play a monster. You can deviate from it.


I dont know 'what asking players will achieve though. I hardly know any party in LFR that has enough team-spirit that they actually have an attack plan. I generally try to do my best and use my characters capabilities, but there is hardly ever a real plan.


Gomez

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