To take advantage of information you obtained as a player that your character would not have been exposed to or have knowledge of. Common phrase used in role playing games, and is sometimes used in casual conversations regarding the use of Out of Game knowledge.
Accelerant Metagaming PolicyEdit
For information regarding the official rules around metagaming, see the Accelerant core rules entry under Always In Game
Exposure to Metagaming InformationEdit
There are many ways that a PC can be exposed to information that was not directly stated to their character. It typically happens during times when you and/or the other person are out of character at the time the information is made known. Common ways this can happen include:
- Overhearing a conversation about another character or plot device while hanging out at a dinner once the game concluded
- Reading information about an NPC posted to someone's facebook account
- Someone tells you a story about something that happened during gameplay even though your character was not there to see it
Usage of Metagmaing InformationEdit
Once a PC has knowledge of something that their character does not, the act of taking advantage of or reacting to that knowledge in game is called "metagaming". Types of actions could include:
- Confronting another character about a secret that you learned about Out of Game
- Being hostile towards an NPC because of what you personally know about them, even though your character has never personally met the NPC or heard of them before
- Overhearing the solution to a puzzle out of game and then applying that knowledge to solve the puzzle once in game
Among some circles, it may be considered faux pas to actively obtain information as a PC for the purpose of furthering your character during the game. This is particularly true in cases where you are doing so to bypass a limitation of your character, and/or doing so in an aggressive manner.
Hypothetical Example: Your character is forbidden from going to a certain location that holds an important document that your character needs. Once the game concludes, you decide to pester a member of staff for information regarding what the document says. If they tell you, you later use the information obtained from the document in another encounter, even though your character was never able to access the document during gameplay to read the document and obtain the information.
Some players who engage in excessive metagaming might be ostracized by other players - particularly if it involves pressuring others Out of Game to reveal information that should not be revealed publicly. This is an entirely social behavior that may vary wildly between game settings and players, as the rules system places responsibility on the person who knows the information in the first place, rather the person who overhears the information. The staff or players of some games may be more (or less) tolerant than others regarding metagaming behavior beyond the stated Accelerant rules.
Conduct & Rules Regarding MetagamingEdit
Chapter One of the Accelerant Rules system includes several passages regarding metagaming. The Always In Game sections detail acceptable behavior regarding metagaming, as well as any exceptions.
- Players are expected to keep sensitive information to themselves.
- Information overheard by players is no longer a secret, regardless of whether they were in or out of character when they heard the information.
- The only direct references to players actively (and personally) abstaining from metagaming is
- They are playing an entirely new role. In these situations, players are asked not to take advantage of information they know via the previous role.
- They are assisting the staff in a game where they have an existing character role.
There are many ways that a player can chose to avoid metagaming, but it is up to the individual whether or not they conduct themselves in such a way. Methods of mitigating exposure include:
- Politely interrupting someone before they can divulge the sensitive information
- Politely refusing to answer questions about a topic due to sensitive information
- Verbally warning staff that they are a PC prior to engaging in a discussion
- Closing ones ears or eyes if they are in an area that could expose them to sensitive information that they'd rather not know about