How do you deal with an overly inquisitive player

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I have a player who wants to look under every rock, climb every hill, inspect every nook and cranny of a room, sees a "shiny" and immediately wants to check it out.  The player wants to question every NPC for information, that quite simply I am not ready or able to divulge.  The player also wants to play out all these "encounters."

Granted I put some of these things into my game for the player's benefit, but it is starting to get in the way of campaign progress.

The rest of the group wants to "explore" as well, just not the extreme the one player does.

I've already started an out-of-game conversation (via e-mail), explaining that: not every rock has something under it; not every hill has a vista to be seen; not every room has something of value or interest; that locked chests and puzzles and other such "shiny"s do not need immediate attention; if after two or three attempts the player gets the same information from NPCs it can be safely said that is all the information I can/am willing to give at that time.

Is there anything else I can do to assist this player in toning down their curiosity?

 

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Are you really "entitled to your opinion"?
RedSiegfried wrote:
The cool thing is, you don't even NEED a reason to say yes.  Just stop looking for a reason to say no.
Is there anything else I can do to assist this player in toning down their curiosity?



Don't play out scenes that have no tension. Narrate scenes with no dramatic question and move on to those that do.
Is there anything else I can do to assist this player in toning down their curiosity?



Don't play out scenes that have no tension. Narrate scenes with no dramatic question and move on to those that do.



That's just it, I've been trying to and the player has said that the game feels rushed as a result.

Like when the player wants to question all the NPCs possible, after one or two I say something to the effect of, "you question ten more persons and they all have basically the same story to tell."

 

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Are you really "entitled to your opinion"?
RedSiegfried wrote:
The cool thing is, you don't even NEED a reason to say yes.  Just stop looking for a reason to say no.
That's just it, I've been trying to and the player has said that the game feels rushed as a result.



Have you explained that "D&D heroic fantasy" generally means not chatting up random NPCs and looking under tables for old chewed gum? That it generally means kicking in the face of an orc in while leaping over him to slay a troll, then rolling around in their loot when you're done?

Is your game mostly in cities and towns?

What do you think would happen if you just ask him to tell you what's under the rock or what the NPC says?
That's just it, I've been trying to and the player has said that the game feels rushed as a result.



Have you explained that "D&D heroic fantasy" generally means not chatting up random NPCs and looking under tables for old chewed gum? That it generally means kicking in the face of an orc in while leaping over him to slay a troll, then rolling around in their loot when you're done?

Is your game mostly in cities and towns?

What do you think would happen if you just ask him to tell you what's under the rock or what the NPC says?



Mix of cities and towns, wilderness, and dungeons.

I have not explained it in that way...I think I will .

She would most likely get tongue tied.  The funny thing is she has difficulty role-playing convesration encounters; she knows what she wants to ask but when she goes to ask "in-character" she stumbles.

She is very new to D&D and table top RPGs in general, although she's been playing in this campaign for almost six months (11 sessions)

 

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Are you really "entitled to your opinion"?
RedSiegfried wrote:
The cool thing is, you don't even NEED a reason to say yes.  Just stop looking for a reason to say no.

Shewould most likely get tongue tied.  The funny thing is she has difficulty role-playing convesration encounters; she knows what she wants to ask but when she goes to ask "in-character" she stumbles.

Perfect opportunity to use the skill rules. 


Ask her the gist of what she wants to know. Have her roll a check and then narrate the entire conversation to her, both sides. Let her tweak her side a bit if she wants.

"In a way, you are worse than Krusk"                               " As usual, Krusk comments with assuredness, but lacks the clarity and awareness of what he's talking about"

"Can't say enough how much I agree with Krusk"        "Wow, thank you very much"

"Your advice is the worst"                                                  "I'd recommend no one listed to Krusk's opinions about what games to play"

Is there anything else I can do to assist this player in toning down their curiosity?

No. Don't tone it down. It's valuable, and if you try to tone it down you risk dousing it completely.

I recommend using it to your advantage. If the player looks under a rock, and wants to know what they find, and you don't have anything prepared, turn it around on him. Tell him he finds something interesting that has bearing on the quest, the world, or another character, and then ask him what (within those parameters) it is. Then accept and add on to the answer. If he drops that and goes to the next rock, tell him he found something related to what he just found and ask him what it is.

If a player has received the information and keeps getting the same answer and isn't acting on that, then find out why. If he's not interested in what you've given him, that calls for one solution. If he thinks he's being led down a garden path and will be tricked if he doesn't find every possible clue, that calls for a different solution.

If I have to ask the GM for it, then I don't want it.


Shewould most likely get tongue tied.  The funny thing is she has difficulty role-playing convesration encounters; she knows what she wants to ask but when she goes to ask "in-character" she stumbles.

Perfect opportunity to use the skill rules. 


Ask her the gist of what she wants to know. Have her roll a check and then narrate the entire conversation to her, both sides. Let her tweak her side a bit if she wants.




I've done that too, and again she feels like I am rushing through it.  No matter how elaborate I make the conversation she wants more.

Is there anything else I can do to assist this player in toning down their curiosity?

No. Don't tone it down. It's valuable, and if you try to tone it down you risk dousing it completely.

I recommend using it to your advantage. If the player looks under a rock, and wants to know what they find, and you don't have anything prepared, turn it around on him. Tell him he finds something interesting that has bearing on the quest, the world, or another character, and then ask him what (within those parameters) it is. Then accept and add on to the answer. If he drops that and goes to the next rock, tell him he found something related to what he just found and ask him what it is.



But as I explained, any time she's in the spotlight like that, she gets tongue tied and leans on me for something I can't give (because as you said, I hadn't prepared for it).  Should I prepare a million little quests (exaggeration) just so she (one player) gets something out of turning over every stone AND sidetrack everyone else who wants the game to progress a certain way?

If a player has received the information and keeps getting the same answer and isn't acting on that, then find out why. If he's not interested in what you've given him, that calls for one solution. If he thinks he's being led down a garden path and will be tricked if he doesn't find every possible clue, that calls for a different solution.



The latest example...

They are in a realm where a faction of cultists have convinced a majority of the human population that non-humans (elves, dwarves, etc) are abominations.  The party found a dungeon where humans were taking non-humans.  Upon seeing masses of non-humans in pens the party noticed that dwarves were not to be seen.  As they were freeing the non-humans, she stopped one of them and asked, "where are the dwarves?"  The NPC she stopped was panicked and only gave the curt answer, "they disappeared about a month ago."  She asked another, using the spell calm emotions she made sure that this one was more responsive.  I responded with, "I really don't know, one day they were in their shops, walking through town, going about their normal business.  And the next day, they were just gone.  That was about three months ago."  She tried to press for more information from that NPC, and he said, "I'm sorry I wish I could help, I have dwarven friends, but I just don't know."  She let that NPC go and tried again.  I explained to her that no matter how many persons she asks she would get the same basic story: "sometime between one and three months ago, before all the problems arose, the dwarves just left." 

Now as the DM, I do know where they went, but the NPCs she was talking to did not know.  Now I know what you are going to say...that I should have let her decide what happened, but the fact is I do not run that sort of game. And even if I had let her decide what happened to the dwarves, she would have probably gotten tongue tied and not known what to say anyway.

 

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Are you really "entitled to your opinion"?
RedSiegfried wrote:
The cool thing is, you don't even NEED a reason to say yes.  Just stop looking for a reason to say no.

How do people IRL react when you continue to pester them with questions after they are done talking to you? NPCs could probably react in a similar manner. 


"Look lady, I told you everything I know. Now beat it"

"In a way, you are worse than Krusk"                               " As usual, Krusk comments with assuredness, but lacks the clarity and awareness of what he's talking about"

"Can't say enough how much I agree with Krusk"        "Wow, thank you very much"

"Your advice is the worst"                                                  "I'd recommend no one listed to Krusk's opinions about what games to play"

But as I explained, any time she's in the spotlight like that, she gets tongue tied and leans on me for something I can't give (because as you said, I hadn't prepared for it).

There's a reason people become tongue tied. A lot of the time it's because they are afraid of being told that they're wrong. Find out what her reason is and work around it.

Or, you can say that she finds something and is not sure what it's useful for but it may become apparent later. When she's had some time to think about what the thing is, maybe she'll open up and tell you.

  Should I prepare a million little quests (exaggeration) just so she (one player) gets something out of turning over every stone

No, but she should get something out of what she does.

AND sidetrack everyone else who wants the game to progress a certain way?

There's no reason it needs to sidetrack anyone. That's why I phrased it the way I did. And if that's your primary concern, state that she finds something relevant to the quest, or the other characters and ask the other players what she finds.

Now as the DM, I do know where they went, but the NPCs she was talking to did not know.

Why not? You could have decided that they did know and fixed the entire issue then and there. What would have happened if one of them knew, or knew who knew, or knew who knew who knew? Anything other than the dead end that appears to have frustrated this player.

Now I know what you are going to say...that I should have let her decide what happened, but the fact is I do not run that sort of game.

Then you leave yourself vulnerable to this sort of situation.

If I have to ask the GM for it, then I don't want it.

Why not? You could have decided that they did know and fixed the entire issue then and there. What would have happened if one of them knew, or knew who knew, or knew who knew who knew? Anything other than the dead end that appears to have frustrated this player.



Agreed. I don't know if you do this, DaBeerds, but one thing I see a lot of DMs set up is the "chain of NPCs doling out information." First you go to the shopkeep. Then the bartender. Then the constable. Then the mayor. Then eventually you get somewhere. Along the way, you get dribs and drabs of planned information. I personally get frustrated by this because it's almost always a waste of table time in my opinion. I don't really want to go through the DM's cast of thousands. I want some tension and action. Info-dump NPCs get burned at the stake in my games. If that's how you approach it, and since she's new to RPGs, perhaps she's picking up on that on some level. (If this doesn't apply to you, disregard.)

I wonder if when she says "the game feels rushed," what she's really saying is "I'm feeling rushed," but can't or won't express herself directly. Meaning the player, not the character. My job training tells me there's an objection behind the objection here.
As with EVERY thread about this sort of thing: if something about a player's behaviour is bugging you... have a rational, adult discussion with the player about it, outside the game, and try to resolve the problem like rational adults.  If you're becoming irritated with her play style, ask her to moderate her behaviour, and explain why it's bothering you.  Come to an agreement between you.
Harrying your Prey, the Easy Way: A Hunter's Handbook - the first of what will hopefully be many CharOp efforts on my part. The Blinker - teleport everywhere. An Eladrin Knight/Eldritch Knight. CB != rules source.
Yeah, he said he's already doing that in the first post and was seeking additional ideas.
As with EVERY thread about this sort of thing: if something about a player's behaviour is bugging you... have a rational, adult discussion with the player about it, outside the game, and try to resolve the problem like rational adults.  If you're becoming irritated with her play style, ask her to moderate her behaviour, and explain why it's bothering you.  Come to an agreement between you.

Be open to the possibility that something about the DM style is irritating her.

Talking is definitely good, but if she's tongue-tied trying to add cool details, I'd be she's be tongue-tied trying to articulate her needs as a player. See if you can recommend her coming here with questions.

If I have to ask the GM for it, then I don't want it.

She sounds like a completionist, the kind of person who would 100% every game she played. What if you used a similar system to show her when there was something to find? Call it a sixth sense and put a little flag on the table if there's still something to discover in a scene. Once she's found/learned everything she can in a scene, take the flag off.

The downside is that it removes any chance of the players overlooking treasure or missing a vital clue, but I suspect her fear of overlooking/missing something is causing this problem in the first place.
When player knowledge "impinges" on character knowledge, and someone asks on these forums how to resolve it, the most common response here is to have the DM ask the question of the player, "how does your character know that?"  Sometimes the player can come up with a viable reasoning (within the confines of the established campaign setting and rules) and sometimes they cannot.

If I apply the same logic to the NPCs, there is no logical or sensible way those NPCs could know what I, the DM, know.  I guess I could have crowbar-ed in a reason, and spill the beans, but honestly I wanted the question to hang in the air and the rest of the group was OK with that.  While the rest of the party wanted to move on and they announced actions to that effect, she wanted to keep on questioning NPCs.  Is that not blocking?  I guess I could have split the party - her and everyone else.

One of the specific thing she mentioned that did irritate her was that she wanted to participate in a bardic duel - an event where two bards do their thing against one another for honor, prestige, etc.  I was OK with this.  Problems arose because she had the book with the rules in it and I did not.  She did not read the rules ahead of time.  I gave her 15+ minutes to figure it out but she could not articulate the rules in any fashion.  So per my standard policy on rules (one which I thought she was aware: it is in my house rules hand-out) - I made something up, to get the game going again.

I only recently learned of her displeasure with my resolution.  I apologized and then detailed my policy on "rules."  I explained to her and the rest of the group, that I make stuff up to keep the game going...ALL THE TIME.  That I would rather say yes, make something up, keep the flow going, and move on, than take precious time from the session to look up rules.  If I know a particular mechanic will be used again, I research it between sessions.  The fact that only one of the group is an experienced D&D player, so no one knows any better, makes that task easier (no rules lawyers to bicker with).  Add to it, that I usually err on the side of the players and even the veteran does not mind, when I go against RAW and/or RAI .  I also made it clear that if she wants to engage in a bardic duel again I would be more than willing to set up a situation, but she has to know what to do - that I will defer to her "expertise."

 

IMAGE(http://www.nodiatis.com/pub/19.jpg)

Are you really "entitled to your opinion"?
RedSiegfried wrote:
The cool thing is, you don't even NEED a reason to say yes.  Just stop looking for a reason to say no.
When player knowledge "impinges" on character knowledge, and someone asks on these forums how to resolve it, the most common response here is to have the DM ask the question of the player, "how does your character know that?"  Sometimes the player can come up with a viable reasoning (within the confines of the established campaign setting and rules) and sometimes they cannot.

That doesn't mean the character doesn't know. It also doesn't mean someone else, including the DM, can't help them figure out a reason why.

"How does your character know," isn't meant as a way to gatekeep, it's meant as establish some interesting fiction.

If I apply the same logic to the NPCs,

Why would you?

there is no logical or sensible way those NPCs could know what I, the DM, know.

There is if you create one.

  I guess I could have crowbar-ed in a reason, and spill the beans, but honestly I wanted the question to hang in the air and the rest of the group was OK with that.

Right. It's your decision whether they know or not. The player wanted them to know, you wanted them not to. Therefore, they didn't. The rest of the group was okay, with that, but they might have been okay with the NPC knowing, leaving you as the only person not okay with it.

You're having an issue with this player. Is keeping that question, or any other question, in the air, worth having this issue? You can't "make" the issue go away, because you can't reliably change her behavior. But you can adjust your own behavior.

  While the rest of the party wanted to move on and they announced actions to that effect, she wanted to keep on questioning NPCs.  Is that not blocking?

That depends on a lot, mainly on the timing of the declarations. One way to read what happened is that you had a particular path in mind ("The information is elsewhere"), and when her declaration ("I'm going to get the information") ran into that, you blocked her. If the others saw that you two were just going to keep blocking each other, they might very well have just wanted to continue. What else could they do? Blocking is boring, and even if they backed her up, you wouldn't have given them the information.

I guess I could have split the party - her and everyone else.

No reason that can't work.

I only recently learned of her displeasure with my resolution.  I apologized and then detailed my policy on "rules."  I explained to her and the rest of the group, that I make stuff up to keep the game going...ALL THE TIME.  That I would rather say yes, make something up, keep the flow going, and move on, than take precious time from the session to look up rules.  If I know a particular mechanic will be used again, I research it between sessions.  The fact that only one of the group is an experienced D&D player, so no one knows any better, makes that task easier (no rules lawyers to bicker with).  Add to it, that I usually err on the side of the players and even the veteran does not mind, when I go against RAW and/or RAI .  I also made it clear that if she wants to engage in a bardic duel again I would be more than willing to set up a situation, but she has to know what to do - that I will defer to her "expertise."

I think you handled that well. Glad to hear she was able to bring this up, and you were able to work it out.

If I have to ask the GM for it, then I don't want it.

Is there anything else I can do to assist this player in toning down their curiosity?

No. Don't tone it down. It's valuable, and if you try to tone it down you risk dousing it completely.



I would strongly recommend against this.

Only because I have a player quite similar in my own campaign. I asked all my players about 2 months ago what they found most boring about D&D (for all except 1 my campaign was the only one they'd been playing for the last year, so it was an less confrontational way to say what they found most boring about my games). Everyone (except for this person) said the most boring part was when I go back and forth with him. It bogs down the story/adventure with tedious conversations (to them) where they either don't care, or want to do other things. It means 1 player is "hogging the spotlight" by constant asking for checks for interacting with the DM.

The player definately found out good information, solved problems and gleefully interacted with the game world (so it was quite frequently relevant to a quest or two), but it meant everyone else had to take a back seat or play "his way" and force themselves to ask lots of banal questions. It's not fair in either "traditional" or "collaboration" style to let just 1 player control the game by being the most out-spoken or inquisative.

If I apply the same logic to the NPCs, there is no logical or sensible way those NPCs could know what I, the DM, know.  I guess I could have crowbar-ed in a reason, and spill the beans, but honestly I wanted the question to hang in the air and the rest of the group was OK with that.  While the rest of the party wanted to move on and they announced actions to that effect, she wanted to keep on questioning NPCs.  Is that not blocking?  I guess I could have split the party - her and everyone else

I'd call it accidental selfishness. Not malicious or intended, but hogging the spotlight/DM-attention/game time regardless.

As to how to deal with it? I'm still not sure. I've chatted with a few of players (including the inquisitive one) but nothing concrete has been hashed out, except that I shouldn't have NPCs all eventually go " d'aww, okay" and go along with what he wants, but to have more "believable" NPCs that occasionally tell his character that No means No.
While responding to Centauri's latest comment I had a revelation - (getting away from the specific example I've shown here) maybe my dislike for getting bogged down in minutia is getting in the way of "product quality."  Maybe I use "quick fixes" too much.  I have a saying, "perfection is overrated."  While striving for perfection (in anything one does) is laudable, being obsessive about it, annoys me.  And this player obsessing over exploring is pushing that button.  I (and most of the group) am OK with, "Good enough for now.  Let's move on."  Maybe that is why she feels the game is rushed.

 

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Are you really "entitled to your opinion"?
RedSiegfried wrote:
The cool thing is, you don't even NEED a reason to say yes.  Just stop looking for a reason to say no.
I talk a lot about "the dramatic question." This is the thing that frames the "point" of the scene either implicitly or explicitly. The trick is when it's answered (one way or another) or can't be answered due to some in-game circumstance that arises, the scene is over. Move. The. Hell. On.

Failing to have a dramatic question or failing to move on once it's resolved is when players start robbing shopkeeps and burning down taverns. And I don't blame them.

Perhaps you might explain it that way to her. That each scene has a "point" to it like in a movie or TV show, even if it wasn't prewritten or scripted. Do the characters find out the information they seek from the NPC? Does Ragnar finally admit what happened to him at the Battle of Gulgor? Do the PCs defeat the orcs or get defeated? Once that question has been answered, the scene ends. Searching under every rock and beating a dead horse with NPCs makes very little sense in that light.
While responding to Centauri's latest comment I had a revelation - (getting away from the specific example I've shown here) maybe my dislike for getting bogged down in minutia is getting in the way of "product quality."  Maybe I use "quick fixes" too much.  I have a saying, "perfection is overrated."  While striving for perfection (in anything one does) is laudable, being obsessive about it, annoys me.  And this player obsessing over exploring is pushing that button.  I (and most of the group) am OK with, "Good enough for now.  Let's move on."  Maybe that is why she feels the game is rushed.

I can definitely understand that. I'm more on the side of "Ok, moving on."

It feels like there's a disconnect. In your specific example, she thought the goal was to find the dwarves, so she kept at that. Perhaps she felt that if she kept at it, she'd achieve her goal. Is the group often stymied at first, only to find that more effort along the same lines is what's required? Maybe she thought that was what was happening here.

Is she used to computer RPGs? Those are known for having lots of PCs with no information and then a hidden or hard to find one with just the right info. A lot of them are also solo endeavors, which means that seaching every nook doesn't impact anyone else's time.

If I have to ask the GM for it, then I don't want it.

I would be tempted to say something to the effect of, "You're sure this tactic has yielded all the valuable information available.  What would you like to do now?"
While responding to Centauri's latest comment I had a revelation - (getting away from the specific example I've shown here) maybe my dislike for getting bogged down in minutia is getting in the way of "product quality."  Maybe I use "quick fixes" too much.  I have a saying, "perfection is overrated."  While striving for perfection (in anything one does) is laudable, being obsessive about it, annoys me.  And this player obsessing over exploring is pushing that button.  I (and most of the group) am OK with, "Good enough for now.  Let's move on."  Maybe that is why she feels the game is rushed.

I can definitely understand that. I'm more on the side of "Ok, moving on."

It feels like there's a disconnect. In your specific example, she thought the goal was to find the dwarves, so she kept at that. Perhaps she felt that if she kept at it, she'd achieve her goal. Is the group often stymied at first, only to find that more effort along the same lines is what's required? Maybe she thought that was what was happening here.

Is she used to computer RPGs? Those are known for having lots of PCs with no information and then a hidden or hard to find one with just the right info. A lot of them are also solo endeavors, which means that seaching every nook doesn't impact anyone else's time.



At the time, I felt I had made the situation clear that, the NPCs...

- were from various villages, towns, and cities
- noticed the dwarves went missing from where they lived at various intervals from one to three months ago.
- Since then, the NPCs were rounded up and brought to (what amounts to) a "concentration camp" (no offense intended).
- The NPCs did not know anything beyond that the dwarves disappeared.

...by basically stating to her, "you stop and question ten to a dozen more escapees, and they all have the same basic story: one day the dwarves were going about their business the next they were just gone.  End of story."  How much clearer could I have been?

The point was to drop a bit of information that was not immediately critical but might prove useful later.  And while I did not tell her (or the group) that outright, I had done similar information drops in the past.  The fact is I use their reactions and comments to these information drops to help me prepare the campaign (I may have some idea as to what I want to happen, but sometimes their reactions and comments give me ideas I hadn't thought of).  As I have said before, I only ever prepare one session in advance and while I do have a long term plot arc in mind, who does what, where, how, and when is in constant flux until it actually happens.

The group also had a map of the camp/dungeon (which fit on a single 8.5x11, piece of paper, with a total of six rooms) and I cannot believe that considering the total lack of space of the dungeon she thought for one second that "ALL the dwarves in the kingdom could be located in this camp and it was the group's task to find them IMMEDIATELY."

And no, while I do sometimes limit the information I give out, I make it clear that it is all I have to offer at that time.   Sometimes, it is because, I as DM, do not want to give it out, but other times it is because the group has done or asked for something I hadn't prepared.

The dwarf bit is the former.  An example of the latter, in the same session as the dwarf information, the cleric of the group used speak with dead to try to get information from the leader of a group of (supposedly government backed) thugs.  the cleric asked for a name of the thug's superior.  I hadn't thought of one yet, so I randomly generated a name and gave it to the group.  They then used knowledge skills to try to associate that name with some important group.  this flustered me, but I managed to come up with three possibilities.  Later in the session, I confirmed that the name given was the leader of the cultists who had divided the nation (one of the three possiblities), and that she was in the city that the PCs were headed towards before finding the dungeon.

As far as I am aware, she currently plays Guild Wars 2, and she has played computer based RPGs in the past.  But she has been playing in this campaign now for several months.

 

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Are you really "entitled to your opinion"?
RedSiegfried wrote:
The cool thing is, you don't even NEED a reason to say yes.  Just stop looking for a reason to say no.
Where do things stand with her currently after you opened up that discussion with her over email?
She has not responded.  Not all that surprising.  That being said, another player (the one veteran) has clarified the Bard Duel thing.  Although I think it is more convoluted than it has to be.

 

IMAGE(http://www.nodiatis.com/pub/19.jpg)

Are you really "entitled to your opinion"?
RedSiegfried wrote:
The cool thing is, you don't even NEED a reason to say yes.  Just stop looking for a reason to say no.
Well, I don't know then. Keep being as clear as you can, and be as flexible as you can. It's not necessarily worth holding on to your own ideas of how the game works if going a different way would help this player, and the other players would go along with anything.

If I have to ask the GM for it, then I don't want it.

Everything has something horrible in it. That rock you just picked up? Brown mold underneath it. That log? Infested with brain eating termites who happened to be hibernating until you disturbed it. That NPC you keep bothering for information he doesn't have anymore? Yeah, he just put a curse on you for bothering him (and no, I don't care that he's a level 1 farmer). The pond in the corner over there? Yes, you realize the ring you're looking for is in it, but it turns out to be a form of ooze that paralyzes you when you put your hand in.

... no, but seriously. Just talk to the player. Back in the early days, I couldn't run wilderness adventures because the players would constantly want to go into places I had absolutely zero details for (despite the fact the NPCs clearly told them where they needed to go). And I piss on the collaborative style so leaving it up to them to create the area is a big no in my book.

Anyway, I found ways to resolve it. Mostly just by talking to them. 
My username should actually read: Lunar Savage (damn you WotC!) *Tips top hat, adjusts monocle, and walks away with cane* and yes, that IS Mr. Peanut laying unconscious on the curb. http://asylumjournals.tumblr.com/
She sounds like a completionist, the kind of person who would 100% every game she played. What if you used a similar system to show her when there was something to find? Call it a sixth sense and put a little flag on the table if there's still something to discover in a scene. Once she's found/learned everything she can in a scene, take the flag off.

The downside is that it removes any chance of the players overlooking treasure or missing a vital clue, but I suspect her fear of overlooking/missing something is causing this problem in the first place.



This is a pretty cool idea, for the record.

It made me think of every old school computer version of D&D out there. Like in Temple of Elemental Evil, you have the adveture areas on the map. You click them, you KNOW you are going to something that has something to do with something, and you turn it upside down, kill all the monsters, and loot all the Things. But the parts where you are just walking are done off screen. 
So many PCs, so little time...
She sounds like a completionist, the kind of person who would 100% every game she played. What if you used a similar system to show her when there was something to find? Call it a sixth sense and put a little flag on the table if there's still something to discover in a scene. Once she's found/learned everything she can in a scene, take the flag off.

The downside is that it removes any chance of the players overlooking treasure or missing a vital clue, but I suspect her fear of overlooking/missing something is causing this problem in the first place.



This is a pretty cool idea, for the record.

It made me think of every old school computer version of D&D out there. Like in Temple of Elemental Evil, you have the adveture areas on the map. You click them, you KNOW you are going to something that has something to do with something, and you turn it upside down, kill all the monsters, and loot all the Things. But the parts where you are just walking are done off screen. 

Tell her to hold down the tab button to highlight all clickable objects.  Ha, ha. 

OD&D, 1E and 2E challenged the player. 3E challenged the character, not the player. Now 4E takes it a step further by challenging a GROUP OF PLAYERS to work together as a TEAM. That's why I love 4E.

"Your ability to summon a horde of celestial superbeings at will is making my ... BMX skills look a bit redundant."

"People treat their lack of imagination as if it's the measure of what's silly. Which is silly." - Noon

"Challenge" is overrated.  "Immersion" is usually just a more pretentious way of saying "having fun playing D&D."

"Falling down is how you grow.  Staying down is how you die.  It's not what happens to you, it's what you do after it happens.”

Is there anything else I can do to assist this player in toning down their curiosity?



Don't play out scenes that have no tension. Narrate scenes with no dramatic question and move on to those that do.



That's just it, I've been trying to and the player has said that the game feels rushed as a result.

Like when the player wants to question all the NPCs possible, after one or two I say something to the effect of, "you question ten more persons and they all have basically the same story to tell."



Try to prevent the game from feeling rushed, but don't go too far.  If other players complain, create a time limit for player actions out of combat, and if it's just you and you're becoming upset, just tell your players that you are and you'll need to look for another game if too much of this continues.

It's all communication.
I have to agree with zippy's (mostly ignored) comment that there's also a problem here that your player doesn't seem to mind that everyone else is ready to move on but she's dragging her feet and prolonging the scene. The one-on-one bard duel kind of seems similar - that she's trying to play D&D like a 1-player RPG and not really considering the fact that several other people are playing the same game with her.

I know if this player was in my group, the ipads and cell phones would start to come out as she starts looking under rocks.

Maybe you could do some of this one-on-one stuff with the player outside the regular session, through email or whatever. This way you could give her the extra info and detail she craves without wasting everyone else's table time. At the start of each session she could make a brief report on what she's learned.
Maybe you could do some of this one-on-one stuff with the player outside the regular session, through email or whatever. This way you could give her the extra info and detail she craves without wasting everyone else's table time. At the start of each session she could make a brief report on what she's learned.


That sounds like a feasible idea to me.
I've had a similar problem at the beginning of my campaign. What ended up happening was we had a reoccuring "joke" that a large (and slightly terrifying) spider would be hiding under said rock or in that one cabinet across the room or yadda yadda. Upon being found the spider would leap at their face and latch on. Then hilarity would ensue. After a while the spider would change to a snake or something else along those lines. So a few of my players are still overly inquisitive but alteast now something silly/funny happens when the look through every nook and cranny

IMAGE(http://www.nodiatis.com/pub/21.jpg)

Maybe you could do some of this one-on-one stuff with the player outside the regular session, through email or whatever. This way you could give her the extra info and detail she craves without wasting everyone else's table time. At the start of each session she could make a brief report on what she's learned.


That sounds like a feasible idea to me.


While I agree that some one-on-one time could prove useful, due to time constraints on both sides and distance between us, finding that extra time is nigh impossible.

 

IMAGE(http://www.nodiatis.com/pub/19.jpg)

Are you really "entitled to your opinion"?
RedSiegfried wrote:
The cool thing is, you don't even NEED a reason to say yes.  Just stop looking for a reason to say no.
She sounds like a completionist, the kind of person who would 100% every game she played. What if you used a similar system to show her when there was something to find? Call it a sixth sense and put a little flag on the table if there's still something to discover in a scene. Once she's found/learned everything she can in a scene, take the flag off.

The downside is that it removes any chance of the players overlooking treasure or missing a vital clue, but I suspect her fear of overlooking/missing something is causing this problem in the first place.



This is a pretty cool idea, for the record.

It made me think of every old school computer version of D&D out there. Like in Temple of Elemental Evil, you have the adveture areas on the map. You click them, you KNOW you are going to something that has something to do with something, and you turn it upside down, kill all the monsters, and loot all the Things. But the parts where you are just walking are done off screen. 



Not that I'm one to talk, seeing as I kill my own campaigns more regularly than my players kill monsters... But if I can offer an insight?

I just finished up "LA Noire" last night. Something along the model of that little flag might be having a number of on-scene NPCs who have a small info-dump, and a couple of pointers to The Witness. Once you establish that The Witness has The Information, she can go up and have her needs for investigative dialogue fulfilled from one source.

But she has to draw her own conclusions, of course, based on their responses to her questioning.

"I don't know much about the dwarves who disappeared. Happened about three months ago. Jal'ran says he saw something that night, but that's Jal'ran. He's prone to seeing stuff every night, in the bottom of that bottle of his."

Interview with Jal'ran. Branching dialogue paths optional, of course. And she knows her opportunities to learn information are over when he decides to leave the interview.


I'm an investigator-type player, too. I've always enjoyed tracking down leads and doing NPC interviews. There are certain tropes and genre-savvy tools you can apply, especially if you're using a video game paradigm (like the flag, or Witness Interviews) to help your player feel like she's fulfilled her need to go gumshoeing.

58286228 wrote:
As a DM, I find it easier to just punish the players no matter what they pick, as I assume they will pick stuff that is broken. I mean, fight after fight they kill all the monsters without getting killed themselves! What sort of a game is this, anyway?

 

An insightful observation about the nature of 4e, and why it hasn't succeeded as well as other editions. (from the DDN General Discussions, 2014-05-07)

Rundell wrote:

   

Emerikol wrote:

       

Foxface wrote:

        4e was the "modern" D&D, right?  The one that had design notes that drew from more modern games, and generally appealed to those who preferred the design priorities of modern games.  I'm only speculating, but I'd hazard a guess that those same 4e players are the ones running the wide gamut of other games at Origins.

       
        D&D 4e players are pretty much by definition the players who didn't mind, and often embraced, D&D being "different".  That willingness to embrace the different might also mean they are less attached to 4e itself, and are willing to go elsewhere.

    This is a brilliant insight.  I was thinking along those lines myself.  

 

    There are so many tiny indie games that if you added them all together they would definitely rival Pathfinder.   If there were a dominant game for those people it would do better but there is no dominant game.  Until 4e, the indie people were ignored by the makers of D&D.

 

Yep. 4E was embraced by the 'system matters' crowd who love analyzing and innovating systems. That crowd had turned its back on D&D as a clunky anachronism. But with 4E, their design values were embraced and validated. 4E was D&D for system-wonks. And with support for 4E pulled, the system-wonks have moved on to other systems. The tropes and traditions of D&D never had much appeal for them anyway. Now there are other systems to learn and study. It's like boardgamegeeks - always a new system on the horizon. Why play an ancient games that's seven years old?

 

Of course, not all people who play and enjoy 4E fit that mould. I'm running a 4E campaign right now, and my long-time D&D players are enjoying it fine. But with the system-wonks decamping, the 4E players-base lost the wind in its sails.

It occurs to me that some of this could come down to scene framing. It never hurts to brush up on the basics. Here's a good article on it.

In this case, it could be she's picking up on details that you've stated are in the scene but aren't in any way interesting or relevant. If you've mentioned a rock is in the scene and there's nothing under that rock, then maybe the rock shouldn't have been mentioned. That article has a nice little formula for presenting a tight scene. Is it a color scene or a conflict scene? All of these things could be contributing to her wanting to wring every last bit out of a scene before wanting to move on, even if it would make the Worst Movie Ever.

As well, she may not be picking up on who's a Lead (the PCs), who's a Feature (not-PCs but who are still important), and who's an Extra (not important). Extras don't get lines! (Otherwise you have to credit them and give them SAG insurance.)
iserith, in some cases you are right.

When I describe terrain as being not just open flatness or an empty room, she is interested in what is over the next hill, behind that large rock next to the road, what is on the table in the corner, why is the chair broken, etc.  I want to encourage that curiosity, but she just tends to take it one or more steps too far.

Then there are times like the dwarves going missing.  That is important information, but it is not immediately critical.  I try to end the scene with a narrative, but again she takes it a step or more too far implying that she is not satisfied that the scene is in fact over.

And I do not know how to discourage that "taking it too far" behavior without simply (and rudely) cutting her off.

 

IMAGE(http://www.nodiatis.com/pub/19.jpg)

Are you really "entitled to your opinion"?
RedSiegfried wrote:
The cool thing is, you don't even NEED a reason to say yes.  Just stop looking for a reason to say no.
Then there are times like the dwarves going missing.  That is important information, but it is not immediately critical.

What if you made it critical information, then and there?

  I try to end the scene with a narrative, but again she takes it a step or more too far implying that she is not satisfied that the scene is in fact over.

Ask her what would satisfy her.

Good for you for not wanting to cut her off.

Here's something you might suggest: have her run a session. Just a one off. Let her see how you all like to play, and learn from her maybe what she'd like to see players do.

If I have to ask the GM for it, then I don't want it.

Then there are times like the dwarves going missing.  That is important information, but it is not immediately critical.

What if you made it critical information, then and there?


What I meant by immediately critical was that she and the group did not have to drop everything they had planned to do when this bit of information was dropped (FYI they had planned to rescue a large number of NPCs from being executed).  I guess theoretically the group could have decided that looking for the dwarves was more important than saving all those lives (NOT an alignment issue by the way), but it was ONLY she who was THAT interested; the rest of the group wanted to liberate the camp.  Was I supposed to appease her and her alone by implying that the dwarf question was more important?

  I try to end the scene with a narrative, but again she takes it a step or more too far implying that she is not satisfied that the scene is in fact over.

Ask her what would satisfy her.

Good for you for not wanting to cut her off.

Here's something you might suggest: have her run a session. Just a one off. Let her see how you all like to play, and learn from her maybe what she'd like to see players do.


Not gonna happen, she is BRAND NEW to table top gaming (she's done some free form forum RPGing); and barely knows the rules for her character's class let alone DMing.

 

IMAGE(http://www.nodiatis.com/pub/19.jpg)

Are you really "entitled to your opinion"?
RedSiegfried wrote:
The cool thing is, you don't even NEED a reason to say yes.  Just stop looking for a reason to say no.
Was I supposed to appease her and her alone by implying that the dwarf question was more important?

No, but you could have used the fact that she clearly found it important to get her to focus on the main quest. For instance, have a prisoner tell her that someone in the other camp knows or can determine that answer. If you can't come up with something like that, just make it vague "This guy tell you something that makes it clear that liberating the other camp will lead to the information you seek." Then anyone with ideas can fill in the details to that as you go.

Not gonna happen, she is BRAND NEW to table top gaming (she's done some free form forum RPGing); and barely knows the rules for her character's class let alone DMing.

Have her run or teach a free-form RPG for you then, to show you what she's used to. That actually explains a lot. From what I understand of free-form games, they proceed very much at one's own pace.

If I have to ask the GM for it, then I don't want it.

Was I supposed to appease her and her alone by implying that the dwarf question was more important?

No, but you could have used the fact that she clearly found it important to get her to focus on the main quest. For instance, have a prisoner tell her that someone in the other camp knows or can determine that answer. If you can't come up with something like that, just make it vague "This guy tell you something that makes it clear that liberating the other camp will lead to the information you seek." Then anyone with ideas can fill in the details to that as you go.

I did imply that there was more information in the city they were already heading towards.  I guess I should have been more explicit.

Not gonna happen, she is BRAND NEW to table top gaming (she's done some free form forum RPGing); and barely knows the rules for her character's class let alone DMing.

Have her run or teach a free-form RPG for you then, to show you what she's used to. That actually explains a lot. From what I understand of free-form games, they proceed very much at one's own pace.

Again, I just don't see that happening.  She already gets tongue-tied when she is in the spotlight as a player.  I cannot imagine her reacting well if she were to attempt GMing.  Especially if I were to single her out and ask her to do a "one-off."

But I think I understand what you are suggesting: get her "behind the screen" to better understand what DMs have to deal with; that maybe with that experience she would better understand when her inquisitiveness goes too far.  I know that worked for me.  As a former "rules lawyer," being a DM with a rules lawyer player (not as bad as I was) showed me the light .

 

IMAGE(http://www.nodiatis.com/pub/19.jpg)

Are you really "entitled to your opinion"?
RedSiegfried wrote:
The cool thing is, you don't even NEED a reason to say yes.  Just stop looking for a reason to say no.