Today’s topic is Keeping Out of Character knowledge Out of Character. For many gamers this is a difficult concept. Why should you not be able to use all the myriad of knowledge that you have accumulated over the years in gaming to the best of your ability? If you know, for instance, that a displacer beast has the ability to blink in and out of reality or that a black dragon’s breath weapon is a line of acid spray because you have faced them before in other games why should you not know this with your current character? Even if you do attempt to not use this knowledge in character how do you keep it separate without either looking like a fool by running blindly into combat or making up excuses why your current character might have come across this knowledge?
What have you done as a player to keep from using knowledge you might have but your character might not have? What have you done as a player to use knowledge that your character might have but that you do not have or skills that your character has but skills you do not possess? Have you argued, “I would have known that” or “My character knows not to do that even though I don’t”?
On the flip side what have you done as a DM to keep players from using out of character knowledge? Do you reward their behavior if they do use out of character knowledge? Do you reward it if they do not? Do you not care and just let them use what knowledge they have? What do you do?
Lastly, does it even matter if you use out of character knowledge in the game? Your character obviously has skills that you do not have. For instance take someone who is tone deaf playing a bard or take a passive person playing a gung-ho fighter.
I invite you all to share your opinions on this. There are no wrong answers. This is an open forum topic.