F.A.Q. – Cheating or Metagaming

  • Cheating or Metagaming
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  • 1. What is Metagaming?

    Metagaming means that a player (or group of players) have taken out-of-game knowledge and used it in-game to their advantage. It's all about drawing lines between what YOU as a player knows and what you as a **character** knows

    Metagaming is any strategy, action or method used in a game which transcends a prescribed ruleset, uses external factors to affect the game, or goes beyond the supposed limits or environment set by the game. Another definition refers to the game universe outside of the game itself.

    Metagaming is a term used in role-playing games, which describes a player's use of real-life knowledge concerning the state of the game to determine their character's actions, when said character has no relevant knowledge or awareness under the circumstances.

    Metagaming is considered unsporting or cheating in a competitive gaming context, and is in general poorly received as it subverts the emphasis of accurate character depiction based on in-game experiences and back-story that defines role-playing games. Outside of role-playing, metagaming simply refers to players using knowledge or understanding of external factors (such as community trends or coincidental events) to gain an advantage in competition.

    More broadly, metagaming can refer any or all aspects of play that occur outside of a given game's fictional setting. This most prominently includes any discussion among players and/or the game's master about the game's events and contents. Metagaming is frowned upon in role-playing communities, as it upsets the suspension of disbelief and affects game balance.


    Gathering knowledge:

    Any action that is based upon the real-life knowledge that one is playing a game.

    Gaining knowledge from Out-Of Character scources.

    Using in-world knowledge from a previously played or dead character.

    Bending the rules:

    Adjusting a character's actions based on foreknowledge of the long-term intentions of the storyteller.

    Basing a character's decision on knowledge of the game's mechanics to gain an advantage, when the resulting action goes against that character's personality, history or motives.

    As a form of powergaming during character creation, when a player takes flaws or liabilities that they know the storyteller is unlikely to fully exploit, thereby acquiring extra creation options without paying a corresponding penalty.

    Altering behaviors:

    Using certain types of attack or defense based on the strengths and weaknesses of an opponent of which the player's character has no knowledge.

    Acting on any knowledge that the character doesn't know and could not learn - for example, applying real-life chemistry to create gunpowder in a pre-firearms setting, without said character having any foreknowledge or interest in chemistry or any precedence for its development.

    Adjusting a character's behavior towards other player characters based on real-life relationships with other players. This extends to and includes attempts to engender friendships or relationships, and manipulate those of others, via favouritism in-game.

    Deciding on a character's course of action based on how the game's abstract mechanics will affect the outcome.

    Assuming that something that appears to be wrong or unlikely in the game world is a mistake of the storyteller rather than something that could be investigated. (There are incidences where a Storytellers depiction of the world is genuinely at fault, causing players to gain knowledge their character's should not know - however, it is incumbent on players to not utilize that knowledge for their character's future decisions.)

    Assuming that if an item (such as a chest, desk or book-case) is mentioned by the storyteller during the initial description of an area, it must have some relevance to the storyline, and immediately searching or examining it. (while ignoring other furnishings or objects that are most likely there as well).

  • 2. How do I report Cheating or Metagaming?

    Players should fill out the form HERE to report issues with metagaing/cheating at AIT.