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Old 06-25-2015, 11:58 AM   #31
Peter Knutsen
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Default Re: GM Secrecy and Metagaming

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Originally Posted by Skarg View Post
In my games, you could only see people's high Move scores when they move or dodge. Even a not very perceptive character can of course notice when someone runs faster than others, or when someone keeps successfully dodging attacks. In my games, players are only "entitled" to know what they see in terms of who moves first, how far they move on the map each turn, and any information the GM gives them in descriptions based on their characters' actions and abilities (and possibly perception rolls) to remark that someone seems so fast or slow or agile or clumsy.
So if my anatomy-savvy Ranger character sees a new-to-him monster, he cannot even make an educated guess as to its movement capabilities, based on what he can see of its body shape and musculature?
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Old 06-25-2015, 12:19 PM   #32
Nymdok
 
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Default Re: GM Secrecy and Metagaming

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Originally Posted by Tinman View Post
I find that in my group they have pretty much figured out the stats by the end of the first fight. After that, I let them know so they can help with calculations ect...

However, when a 'new' monster comes up they have to figure it out for themselves again. Also, if it's a variant on something they have encountered before, I make sure they know.
This is me as well.

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Originally Posted by ericthered View Post
I think most of us use people as the primary opposition.
I dont. Especially in DF. Make up weird stuff and throw it in there.

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Originally Posted by johndallman View Post
Oh, it can. One of the best GMs I know for story and characterisation has to count on their fingers to add up some combinations of 3d6. They don't run GURPS and don't like to play it, calling it "too number-crunchy". They're happy with a fairly simple standard of D&D, or oWoD.
This boggles me in ways I cant describe. After the first round or 2 in a Combat encounter, Things settle down quite a bit and the math from the previous rounds guides you.

ALSO, alot of that math should be sorted in the Design of the Encounter. You know the party AND the opposition before hand. YOu dont know exactly what they'll do, but you have a pretty good idea of what their ads/dissads/skills/gear are. That helps narrow the set of possibilities of what will happen and what math will be needed.

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Originally Posted by Culture20 View Post
My BS includes a minor in mathematics, meaning I've gone through diff-eq, stats, etc. but I have what GURPS would classify as incompetence with basic arithmetic. After middle school, the math portions of my brain were filled with other things, and calculators worked better than my faulty rote memory. Thankfully, my fellow gamers can add better than me, so I sometimes just start saying the dice numbers and bonuses. :)
Funny isnt it? As soon as you learn Algebra, arethmetic goes out the window. As soon as you get Calculus, Algebra goes out the window. Fortunately my education in PDE didnt cost me my Calculus.

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Originally Posted by Peter Knutsen View Post
So if my anatomy-savvy Ranger character sees a new-to-him monster, he cannot even make an educated guess as to its movement capabilities, based on what he can see of its body shape and musculature?
Depends on how odd the monster is. How can you be educated about a monster that you've never see or heard of before?

Is it more plausible (for those of you who dig that sort of thing) that he know or NOT know the location of a Beholders gonads? DO these species of ogres have spleens? If you de-scent a were-feret while in feret form, and he changes back into a human and back again into a feret, does he come back with or without those scent glands? What bits are he missing in his human form?

Body shape and musculature? Hippos top out about 9 yds/sec, Rhinos at 15 and Elephants at 12.

Deer = 23
Gazelle = 15
Impala = 16
Bongo = 21

Zebra = 10
Horse = 15

And these are all mundane animals in our real dirt and meat world.

The ranges are broad enough that Id say its relatively useless except to say 'faster than me'.

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Old 06-25-2015, 12:31 PM   #33
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Default Re: GM Secrecy and Metagaming

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Originally Posted by Skarg View Post
In my games, you could only see people's high Move scores when they move or dodge. Even a not very perceptive character can of course notice when someone runs faster than others, or when someone keeps successfully dodging attacks. In my games, players are only "entitled" to know what they see in terms of who moves first, how far they move on the map each turn, and any information the GM gives them in descriptions based on their characters' actions and abilities (and possibly perception rolls) to remark that someone seems so fast or slow or agile or clumsy.
This is what I do, as well. I put the names on the whiteboard when it becomes obvious how quickly the opposition acts and reacts, but I don't fill in any numbers. The players have to see that happen on the battle-mat.
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Old 06-25-2015, 12:39 PM   #34
Peter Knutsen
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Default Re: GM Secrecy and Metagaming

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Originally Posted by Nymdok View Post
Is it more plausible (for those of you who dig that sort of thing) that he know or NOT know the location of a Beholders gonads? DO these species of ogres have spleens? If you de-scent a were-feret while in feret form, and he changes back into a human and back again into a feret, does he come back with or without those scent glands? What bits are he missing in his human form?
I'm talking very specifically about *movement* capabilities, not bizarre details of internal anatomy.

And I'm positing a very expert big game hunter / monster slayer, who has personal experience with a wide variety of enemy types. Probably don a tonne of dissections too.
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Old 06-25-2015, 12:46 PM   #35
Nymdok
 
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Default Re: GM Secrecy and Metagaming

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Originally Posted by Peter Knutsen View Post
I'm talking very specifically about *movement* capabilities, not bizarre details of internal anatomy.

And I'm positing a very expert big game hunter / monster slayer, who has personal experience with a wide variety of enemy types. Probably don a tonne of dissections too.
Thats kind of the point I was making by posting the mundane real world animals. THeres a large range in there for animals you could expect to encounter that look at least somewhat similar to each other but as far as thier speed goes, they aint.

If you extend that into a sufficiently bizzare fantasy setting, and its a never been seen monster, where would you even begin to guess? How fast can a giant stampeding centipede move? Vs a Caterpillar? IF hese never seen them before, how can he even BEGIN to guess.

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Old 06-25-2015, 01:28 PM   #36
Peter Knutsen
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Default Re: GM Secrecy and Metagaming

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Originally Posted by Nymdok View Post
Thats kind of the point I was making by posting the mundane real world animals. THeres a large range in there for animals you could expect to encounter that look at least somewhat similar to each other but as far as thier speed goes, they aint.

If you extend that into a sufficiently bizzare fantasy setting, and its a never been seen monster, where would you even begin to guess? How fast can a giant stampeding centipede move? Vs a Caterpillar? IF hese never seen them before, how can he even BEGIN to guess.
Real-world big game hunters mostly shoot at prey that can't fight back, and even when the prey is dangerous, those real-world big game hunters only need to discern between animals that "can run faster than a Human can" and animals that "can't", unlike a fantasy world monster hunter who might very well have the ability to buff his own movement speed at small or great expense, and so needs to discern rather more finely than just the binary distinction of the RW big game hunter.
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Old 06-25-2015, 01:35 PM   #37
Nymdok
 
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Default Re: GM Secrecy and Metagaming

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Originally Posted by Peter Knutsen View Post
Real-world big game hunters mostly shoot at prey that can't fight back, and even when the prey is dangerous, those real-world big game hunters only need to discern between animals that "can run faster than a Human can" and animals that "can't", unlike a fantasy world monster hunter who might very well have the ability to buff his own movement speed at small or great expense, and so needs to discern rather more finely than just the binary distinction of the RW big game hunter.
Pete my argument has nothing to do with Big Game Hunters, whether they hunt with rifles, bare handed or not at all is far removed from the point.

My point as I attempted to illustrate with real world examples is that Animals with similar shape and musculature can have a rather broad range of Basic Move, so in short:

Of course YES, your Ranger with the Suitable skill in your Monster Hunters Game CAN make an 'Educated Guess' but, having never seen the animal before, there should be no expectation for him to be remotely close to accurate in that guess.

Come to think of it, if hes THAT well versed on the topic, he'd know ahead of time that you cant reliably judge an animals move just by looking at it.

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Old 06-25-2015, 09:37 PM   #38
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Default Re: GM Secrecy and Metagaming

And in my most recent battle, it was a starship boarding action, and I gave the marines and crewmen of each side "generic" stats. The opponents are regular marines, using the same standard issue body armor they've been using for a decade, using the same standard issue rifles. There wasn't much room for surprises, since everybody would know what the other side has, except for a particular person with above or below average stats. It also ended up using a flexible scale - in the big shootouts I often didn't bother with death checks, simply assuming "casualty," while every last thing was taken into account when in melee in a small room with a pair of hostile marines.

I also bent the rules once and ruled a rifle hit to the left hand, instead of crippling it, gave something like 1-2 HP of damage and -1 DX until it healed. (Or more accurately, for the rest of the battle, since sickbay would be setting any broken bones and that's where he's headed once it ends anyway, and that's far from the most important of his injuries.) Perhaps instead of a direct hit, it was a ricochet or fragment off of or from the barricade he was shooting over.
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Old 06-26-2015, 04:49 AM   #39
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Default Re: GM Secrecy and Metagaming

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Originally Posted by Skarg View Post
"What's your policy on keeping the statistics of monsters secret? What are the pros and cons in your opinion?"

I almost always keep all game statistics of things that aren't on a PC record sheet, described only in terms of what the PCs perceive about them.

Reasons:
I think game stats (attributes, damage, skill levels, die rolls, etc) tend to "break the third wall" and move the experience in the direction of game rules and away from the fictional situation the game is about. I want the primary source to be the game world, not the game system. The reason our group converted from The Fantasy Trip to GURPS, was because after several years playing TFT, we couldn't help relating to the game system (which we had mastered) more than the imagined situation (and the limitations in that system), which is particularly disappointing when the rules don't represent the situation well, and where they give advantage to strategies that are gamey and wouldn't really happen that way in that situation.

What I do do instead, is provide information in English descriptions and hints appropriate to the PCs' abilities (and often die rolls). For example, a decent perception roll may tell a fighter watching another what that person's skill levels seem like in comparison to their own. Similarly for what attacks seem to be doing to targets, and how injured other people are. I DO want aware characters to have a good idea what is going on, but I don't want them to relate to it in terms of numbers, let alone to have accurate information what the numbers are.

If they showed a "health bar" during the final fight in the film Rocky, it would (be hilarious and) undermine the tension and wonder about it.

....
Basically what I was going to post so +1


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Originally Posted by Peter Knutsen View Post
So if my anatomy-savvy Ranger character sees a new-to-him monster, he cannot even make an educated guess as to its movement capabilities, based on what he can see of its body shape and musculature?
For me yes, if he takes the time to study (and I roll a result good enough for the specific situation), however as the GM I'll tell him what they think is correct not what actually maybe correct. And I certainly won't describe it as "oh it has Move X with and probably enhanced move Y) but in terms of "it looks a bit like a lighter built version of an 'X' so you think it may be bit faster than an 'X"

Obviously anything magical will mess that up

One thing thing studying the creature as it moves about in general way is one thing getting a look at it as it exerts itself are two very different things when it comes to making an accurate assessment.
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Old 06-26-2015, 06:22 AM   #40
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Default Re: GM Secrecy and Metagaming

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Originally Posted by Peter Knutsen View Post
One specific thing I'm curious about:
Are GURPS characters entitled to know the Move stats of creatures they can see? Are they entitled to know if such creatures have some amount of Enhanced Move, and if yes are they entitled to know how much it has?

I mean, in some cases the answer for Enhanced Move is obviously "no", such as with the Dungeon Fantasy Monk with his EM with the chi Power Modifier. That's clearly meant to come as a surprise. You can't see that he has that ability before he actually uses it.

But what about other cases?

A large creature, that has a certain Move value and might have a little EM too, solely based on the shape of its body and its natural musculature?

What about a Scout or Thief PC (or NPC) who has bought many levels of Move? Can you see that he has those? If yes, when can you see it?
The PC can know anything he can perceive. The players can know as much as the GM wants to tell them.
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