The party has arrived at a massive stone arch, through which only darkness can be viewed. A single fire rune appears on the keystone of the arch.
Hemlock (Rogue): Before we step through the arch, I check for traps.
GM: Roll an Investigation check.
Hemlock rolls a natural 1. The party groans.
GM: You are confident that the arch is completely safe.
Hemlock (Rogue): Okay guys. Looks safe.
Mina (Paladin, party leader): So, uh … Who who wants to go first?
No one, of course.
They are all pretty sure there’s a trap, thanks to meta-game knowledge from seeing the die roll, and how the GM interpreted the roll that they all saw.
Now someone has to pick up the idiot ball and stick his or her head through the archway. Which can be fun, and some groups are mature enough that players will cheerfully go with the dice. But not all groups have the luxury of such players. In other groups, players will cross the metagaming Rubicon and act like they have new, good reasons to keep checking for that trap that they all know is there.
[Read more…] about Cryptochecks Meta-Check Knowledge — and What to Do about It