r/dndmemes 8d ago

One of my players is too smart ✨ Player Appreciation ✨

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27.8k Upvotes

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u/Mistrunning-ranger 8d ago

I swear they fucking rake me over the coals, they’re playing 4d chess and I’m stuck figuring out checkers

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u/djfigs25 8d ago

It's not about if the players know the twist. It's about how well you can execute it.

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u/GorktheGiant Fighter 8d ago

Yeah, just because you can see the twist coming doesn't make it a bad twist.

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u/Skreevy 8d ago

In fact most twists that you can’t see coming are really bad. A good twist is hinted at.

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u/Royal_Bitch_Pudding 8d ago

It's even better if you see the twist coming and then it turns out to be only half of the twist

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u/TheCleverestIdiot 8d ago

The best way to hide a twist is to hide it behind another twist.

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u/grapesforducks 8d ago

Hint at multiple twists, muddies the water and gets them second guessing themselves as to which twist is the REAL twist

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u/Hylian_Crusader Sorcerer 8d ago

then kill the dude. fuck the twists. go into a madness filled eldritch campaign

I think I went too far, actually

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u/squid_actually 8d ago

This is my campaign right now. Levels 1-14 court politics and a race to colonize uninhabited islands rich in resources. Level 15-20 They were uninhabited because everyone got abducted by aliens and the aliens are coming back.

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u/TheCleverestIdiot 8d ago

The fun thing is, there's a non-zero chance the aliens will themselves be drawn into the court politics if they have become labyrinthine enough. The game changer instead gets distracted by the original game.

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u/TheCleverestIdiot 8d ago

I think you just described where a Song of Ice and Fire seems to be going after Tywin died.

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u/thenseruame 8d ago

Imagine if after a long campaign you get to the end and realize Tucker's Kobalds were behind it all.

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u/gamerz1172 8d ago

WARNING: If you are too good at this even you the DM will be left wonderign what the real twist was

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u/TheCleverestIdiot 8d ago

The players: "Holy shit, the vampiric prince was behind everything, even the bandit lord back from the first session. It makes total sense! What a great villain, DM"!

The DM, who knows for a fact that the vampiric prince was only initially meant to be behind a quarter of that and was meant to die at the end of the second arc, but the players had indirectly helped and hindered their plans enough that they've managed to become a much bigger player than they initially were thanks to being good at improvising: "Thanks, I'm really happy with how they turned out".

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u/undiurnal 8d ago

Lol yeah.

"Players inadvertently turn expedient, throw-away NPC into locus of entire campaign" is its own bloody meme.

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u/sh4d0wm4n2018 8d ago

Wait, that's the twist?

Always has been.

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u/Cinderstrom 8d ago

Then have no twist. Everything was honest from the start but they were reading into it all too far.

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u/AgentWowza 7d ago

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u/COinAK 7d ago

Hold my Chubby Checkers, I’m going in

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u/Royal_Bitch_Pudding 8d ago

What's the best way to hide something from the world's greatest detective? You shove it right under his pointy little nose.

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u/ThatMerri 8d ago

I like the Clue) approach, where there's actually two or three different completely valid outcomes to the mystery developed.

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u/FathomlessSeer 8d ago

There’s always another secret.

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u/ejdj1011 8d ago

Mistborn: the only series where you can go "Oh, now I get it!" at the end of every book and still be wrong.

There's always another secret.

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u/ThorsMightyBackhand 8d ago

What a twist that would be!

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u/figgityjones Artificer 8d ago

Also fun when you don’t see it coming at all, but as soon as it’s revealed you have flash backs of all the hints throughout the story and you have that “it all makes sense now 😮“ moment. Those are so awesome 😄

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u/Royal_Bitch_Pudding 8d ago

Just play a barbarian and have amazing revelations all the time! "Omg, the puppet was you all along?"

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u/Samuraiking Wizard 8d ago

"Yes... you knew I was Hitler 2 for weeks now... but did you know I only became Hitler 2 in order to.... SAVE YOU ALL FROM THE LIZARD PEOPLE?!"

DUN DUN DUN

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u/Curious-Accident9189 8d ago

I fucking hate that I can literally sum up one of my setting characters exactly like this.

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u/Royal_Bitch_Pudding 8d ago edited 8d ago

Did they eat his family or is it the standard "thing" is a looming danger no one else is strong enough to fight? Or is it both.

You shouldn't feel too bad . There's only actually a few different stories.

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u/bwk66 8d ago

A twist inside a twist

Twistception

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u/PlacetMihi 8d ago

Persona 5

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u/Anal_Goth_Jim 8d ago

Or you see it just before it happens.

"Son of a b---" then you get stabbed in the back

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u/Zagorath 8d ago

IMO the best twists are obvious in hindsight, but you still didn't see it coming on first read/watch.

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u/chowindown 8d ago

I think that's what a twist is. Otherwise, it's just:

a) a straightforward plot, or

b) random thing happens.

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u/NakoloHitori 8d ago

A really good fucking twist is something that you understand only to go : "FUCK, that was right under my nose since the beginning !"

Best exemple I can think of is TUNIC

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u/Skreevy 8d ago

Thats what my favourite movie, Oceans 11, does. And part of why its my favourite movie. It gives you all the information to figure out whats happening, but you only realise it after the first watch.

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u/yifftionary 8d ago

Stares at every show runner who panic flips the script because they saw some fan theory figuring out the way the show is going.

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u/Omsus 8d ago

Yeah, twists you can't see coming, or twists without an adequate (if any) amount of hints give off the same feeling as a generic detective series where the detective just connects the dots afterward because reasons, dots which didn't exist before the aftermath.

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u/PeacefulKnightmare 8d ago

Exactly, if you figure out the twist and choose not to act on it and it results in the king getting assassinated that's on you. And who knows, maybe the captain of the guard overhears you saying "I knew that guy was bad news and gonna try something." Well guess what now you have a guard captain who doesn't trust you and things you're a terrible person for letting the king die, and starts spreading a rumor you were in on the plot to the rest of the noble families.

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u/PUB4thewin Sorcerer 8d ago

“A good twist isn’t one you didn’t see coming. A good twist is one that you should have seen coming.
Example: The Red Wedding in Game of Thrones.”

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u/EisVisage 8d ago

Cinema Sins has lied to me ;_;

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u/MadolcheMaster 8d ago

They do that a lot

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u/MercenaryBard 8d ago

They get a lot of hate for being the tip of the ignorant online movie critic iceberg, but I think they deserve more regardless

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u/VarianArdell 8d ago

do I detect a fellow Th3Birdman15 fan?

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u/QuickSpore 8d ago

Yep. Years ago it was actually an amusing channel doing 5 minute riffs on actual problems with popular movies. Now that they’re doing hour plus essays on imagined flaws and beating their dead horse jokes that haven’t been funny in like a decade… it’s significantly less amusing.

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u/CupcakeValkyrie Forever DM 8d ago

Exactly. If the reveal causes the players to excitedly shout "I fucking knew it!" then you're doing something right.

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u/raltoid 8d ago

Yeah don't go all Lost and try to write around peoples correct guesses. A good story is a good story even if you guess the outcome.

People don't sit down and watch most movies expecting to the hero to lose, yet they're still entertained with the hero wins in the end.

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u/mangled-wings Warlock 8d ago

There's a web serial I like where there's a lot of mysteries. At least twice, there were a few suspects that seemed to obviously be the culprit, but there were so many other twists that I tied myself in knots wondering if they were red herrings or if we were just supposed to think they were red herrings.

Then the most obvious people ended up being the culprits and I was still surprised. It was amazing

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u/Rellint 8d ago

This, reward their attentive interest in what you've built. In my experience most times it's best to not subvert expectations. Even if you're going to have a 'big twist' leave little bread crumbs hinting as much that only the adventurers would have gathered enough pieces to solve the puzzle.

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u/Beledagnir Forever DM 8d ago

See how the twist was the exact same twist in every Harry Potter book, yet somehow it still always worked and Harry didn't just start pre-emptively attacking every new Defense Against the Dark Arts professor.

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u/Somekindofcabose 8d ago

glass onion has entered the chat

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u/Millenniauld 8d ago

I LOVE when I can figure out a twist. Like, puts me on top of the world for a bit. It's also nice when it's a surprise, but if the DM seeds enough foreshadowing in that I can catch it early, I get so happy. XD

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u/TimmJimmGrimm 8d ago

Like mental Christmas Eve, that you get an awesome gift the day 'before'.

Then if you are prepared for the event with the right weapons, spells & gear (Big Betrayal, Ridiculous Reveal, Sudden Surprise, whatever) even better.

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u/RustyShuttle 8d ago edited 8d ago

Hey checkers are fun just like knowing a twist can still be fun! I recently watched Knives Out (the first one) and I knew one twist because I was spoiled and guessed another but I still had a blast seeing everything unfold, especially because there was so much more too it then just the twist. If anything having the vary first twist spoiled made it better in a weird way because I could try to predict how some of the oddities at the start fit in

So a way to do a twist would be to have surrounding things the player can't entirely just guess at

An example would be an obviously evil duke (who they can't touch do to his status) but the surrounding mysteries are a monster that somehow appeared in the city and a beloved adventurer's guild receptionist disappearing. While they know the duke is evil they don't know that the day before the receptionist disappeared they were actually replaced by a doppelganger who, under the duke's orders, got rid of evidence that'd reveal dangerous monsters have been getting smuggled into the city to be illegally experimented on in secret by the duke in the name of some evil force

The players would know fishy things are going on but the escaped monster would be ordinary and the missing receptionist wouldn't directly be hinted at to be a doppelganger, both avoiding revealing too much of the bigger picture. It's not about putting them completely in the dark but just enough so they don't have enough to put the pieces to put the bigger picture together or randomly guess the entire picture correctly

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u/brokennchokin DM (Dungeon Memelord) 8d ago

Knives Out is fantastic at this - [No spoilers] I watched the second one recently and pretty early on made a crucial observation that clued me in on one of the final twists. But there were multiple twists, and the journey through the bulk of the film waiting to be proven right wasn't a slog, so the anticipation built up even more and then the payoff was so satisfying!! Absolutely masterful mystery jaunts, both of them.

Not sure what the takeaway from those movies is for Dnd though. I think if I were to implement something in their style it would be to include innocuous details early on that can't in any way be recognized as important until much later when you have outside context. But it can be a struggle to include the right amount of 'chaff' detail that your players aren't either suspicious of everything you say or bored because there's too much.

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u/RustyShuttle 8d ago

I gotta watch the second Knives Out, that sounds good!

For DnD innocuous details will be forgotten between sessions so the clues have to stick out as important/noteworthy but hide why they're important, Knives Out has a lot of details but there are also a few things (especially near the start) that stick out but are too odd to make any sense of

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u/brokennchokin DM (Dungeon Memelord) 8d ago

Hmm, yes. Details maybe has a different connotation than I meant it to - I was thinking more along the lines of large environmental features that can really color the encounter and be memorable, but aren't obviously relevant. Kind of struggling to come up with examples.

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u/cfspen514 8d ago

As the player that makes conspiracy boards and figures out the plot by Session 3, don’t sweat it! Personally I find it just as exciting as if I didn’t know (and I’m never 100% sure I’m right so there’s that tease too). Regardless, I always look forward to the reveal to see how my GM executes it. The RP is always a better experience than reading the plot outline anyway.

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u/DirkBabypunch 8d ago

Figuring out the twists is a game, just like "what's the most incorrect way I can still complete this puzzle?". That's why people got so mad when Game of Thrones and Star Wars "subverted expectations", because suddenly the rules and characters didn't matter anymore.

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u/MadeOnThursday 8d ago

out of curiosity: how do you make these? I've been thinking about making one, but I want a portable one I can take to game night, and I haven't really found an online tool that works. Or if it's a paper one: Do you use sticky notes? Or mindmap everything?

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u/cfspen514 8d ago

I have a notebook for each campaign (yellowed parchment paper style for the RP immersion). So it’s very portable and a great reference at the game (my GMs even borrow it sometimes). I dedicate pages to different pieces of the puzzle and make little mini bubble charts to compile information, detailed world/terrain maps tracking key events and locations, and sketches of story elements just to spruce it up. I use a mix of pen and pencil to allow for some flexibility in my note taking. Then I just keep adding to the pages as I learn more. The best part of it is they feel like my characters’ real journals since i always write them in their voices. I’m playing a bard right now and she’s also a conspiracy nut so my current notebook is pretty fun.

An example: my current notebook has pages designated for each major location we’ve been to or any we keep hearing about/are working toward, for the landscapes that are important (like the cave network our foe travels through), the goal we’re working toward, friendlies and hostiles, our primary foes (mostly a list of clues until I figure out what it means), details on my party, and any other campaign specific elements that seem important (like local disappearances or weird rumors). It’s best to organize it however your brain best visualizes it, but this example is a decent way to think about it if you’re stuck.

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u/asilvahalo Wizard 8d ago

Honestly, for a non-zero number of players, figuring out the twist ahead of time is part of the fantasy. It makes you feel smart, even if it's maybe not that complicated.

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u/Jugaimo 8d ago

If they can tell the twist, that means your story is coherent enough for then to understand what is going on. It is a good thing, especially when they discover it themselves.

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u/Phizle 8d ago

It's 3-6 brains vs one

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u/HungryRobotics 8d ago

8 had the guy that everyone always thought was stupid instantly say the solution to every puzzle I ever made for a group to be ignored for HOURS cause "that's stupid"

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u/Sirsir94 Team Kobold 8d ago

A good twist SHOULD be able to be figured out by those paying attention.

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u/onepassafist Rogue 8d ago

I read “stick figuring checkers”. you have no idea how confused I was.

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u/Hawkeye_x_Hawkeye 8d ago

"How did you figure it out?"

"It was the only thing that made sense."

"... Thank you."

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u/Saavedroo Paladin 8d ago

"It was the least non-sensical outcome."

"Ah"

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u/Royal_Bitch_Pudding 8d ago

"You literally described the BBEG's second in command as a 'Darth Vader looking mother fucker' and my character never knew his dad."

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u/Rakonat 8d ago

Surprise! He was Jar Jar, you're actually half-yaunti.

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u/ThoraninC 8d ago

Thank I hate It.

*Proceed to clock his father*

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u/IknowKarazy 7d ago

To be fair, the only job in the dnd universe more dangerous than being an adventurer is being a parent of an adventurer.

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u/Cheesetress 8d ago

"It's what I would have done."

"... Oh."

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u/Regunes Necromancer 8d ago

"it was. The logical. Outcome" - shockwave, Gargantuan warforge

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u/SeaGoat24 8d ago

A great way to describe occam's razor

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u/DerpyDaDulfin DM (Dungeon Memelord) 8d ago

I have a twist that's been hiding in one of my players backstories for over two years, slowly teasing out hints but they still haven't quite put the pieces together...

Only a handful more sessions and those secrets will be laid bare, I'm kinda hoping someone in the party has put the pieces together like this before it gets revealed.

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u/Ededsd-NonHackedVer1 7d ago

2 years is a lot of time for people to remember such little things.

... At least, it is for my players.

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u/chiksahlube 8d ago

My friends are getting frustrated with how good I am at predicting movies.

The thing is, I just know basic plot devices and graming techniques.

You can't unsee these things once you see them.

Someone driving down the road is always shown from the front. UNLESS they want you to see out the window because something (usually another car) needs to be seen through it.

"It just makes sense" applies to everything. And a good plot twist uses your sense of that to lead you one way then shows you the bread crumbs meant different things than what your first instinct saw.

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u/CharmedThirdTry 8d ago

Someone driving down the road is always shown from the front. UNLESS they want you to see out the window because something (usually another car) needs to be seen through it.

Or unless they don't want you see from the front, because the car's about to hit something.

"This scene switched to the passenger seat camera and has been there for about a minute... they're about to go 'OMG!' and crash dramatically into something."

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u/yrtemmySymmetry Artificer 8d ago

The anxiety is real though lol

Especially if the driver is turning towards the camera/passenger seat occasionally

I'm just waiting for the crash

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u/MildlyShadyPassenger 7d ago

Seriously. That's almost as dangerous as being related to Peter Parker and saying, "With great power comes great responsibility," as far as movie tropes go.

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u/The5Virtues 8d ago

Same here. My close circle of friends have a rule, if we’ve never seen the movie I’m not allowed to talk about the movie in anyway until it’s over.

I inadvertently spoiled one too many games/films/shows by virtue of being a writer and knowing how storytelling is done.

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u/atatassault47 8d ago

Fantastic story telling sets up Chekov's Red Herring

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u/[deleted] 8d ago

[deleted]

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u/MildlyShadyPassenger 7d ago

I have a sore throat, a bad cough, and you made me laugh.

How dare you.

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u/StingerAE 8d ago

What you do is put chekov's gun in a box with a cat and then it is literally impossible to know if it goes off or not until you open it. Or something

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u/Carrotfloor 7d ago

what im hearing is the cat now has a gun

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u/StingerAE 7d ago

Damn, you have seen though my twist!

The BBEG's grand plan was to create an army of gun welding quantum cats (like blink dogs only cooler).

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u/midnighthana 8d ago

I'm not always right, but enough times that I'm also not allowed to comment on movies while watching. Glass and Avatar 2 were my most recent victims of predicting some mayor plot points and I admit I felt very validated at the end.

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u/Et_tu__Brute 8d ago

I similarly try not to talk, but sometimes I'll see a plot point coming up that I think is exceptionally stupid and make and say something like 'oh shit that's so stupid' and I get weird looks because the shitty twist hasn't come yet.

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u/The5Virtues 7d ago

Same here. Sometimes it’s not even for a bad twist, there was a show we were watching that had a clever bit of foreshadowing that made me realize how it was going to go WELL in advance and I just said “Oh nice!” and everyone else is just giving me weird looks because who the hell am I talking to?

I just flat out cannot talk during movie nights. To quote my best friend “Keep your mouth shut, you’ll spoil it without even knowing you’re spoiling it!”

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u/ThoraninC 8d ago

I always debrief various media with TVTropes reading sessions. Oh boy how much it ruin my life.

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u/semiseriouslyscrewed 8d ago

I do the same, but I think I actually enjoy media more for it by treating media like puzzles, I either get the victory of predicting the plot and or the delight of being surprised by cleverness.

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u/yrtemmySymmetry Artificer 8d ago

I got "kicked out" of a whodunit murder mystery campaign because I solved half the mystery from just the announcement of the campaign itself lol

Well now I'm consultant for the DM. I don't mind

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u/HeirOfHouseReyne 8d ago

Benoît Blanc? Is that you?

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u/skytzo_franic 8d ago

"It's so dumb!"

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u/Indy1612 8d ago

"It´s so dumb.. It´s genius"

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u/skytzo_franic 8d ago

"NO! It's JUST dumb!"

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u/Archi_balding 8d ago

Players figuring a whodunit is only the first step. Then there's gathering evidences and knowing what to do with the thorny situation at hands.

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u/FreeUsernameInBox 7d ago

There's a reason why so many police procedurals use the 'howcatchem' format.

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u/YerLam Bard 7d ago

OK but what has feline chemistry skills got to do with the murder?

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u/Top-Challenge5997 8d ago

'Hey Dwight, do you want to steer the boat?'

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u/PM_NUDES_4_DEGRADING 7d ago

Yep. When I started writing novels, I suddenly got way better at predicting movies and tv. Not as a result of studying or anything, just the experience of “making a sausage” for yourself does that. Once you understand how one is made, you see the same steps in everything else.

It’s actually a little annoying. And then sometimes my predictions are wrong but it genuinely feels like the movie went with a worse option than what I thought of, and that’s just super annoying.

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u/DontEvenKnowWhoIAm 7d ago

My favorite example for this remains Hot Fuzz. His entire investigation makes sense, even the motives appear plausible and yet it turns out to be something so much more banal and yet more bizzare at the same time. And it STILL made sense.

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u/Pale_Cartoonist8140 8d ago

I'm really good at turning off and being in the moment. Hate it when people talk during movies though.

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u/Binarytobis 8d ago

One time my GM was absolutely railroading us with this unbeatable ninja that countered everything we did with crazy skills and an inexhaustible supply of items. I was pissed until he dropped his fourth altered Batman line and I realized of course this robbery wasn’t going to succeed.

No danger of me seeing the plot twist early.

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u/BoogieOrBogey Barbarian 8d ago

Owlbearman is the true crime fighter the Sword Coast needs.

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u/MacroPirate 8d ago

"Dang I didn't know the twist until about 15 mins ago!" -me as the DM

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u/ogrezilla 8d ago

seriously, only way a player could figure out my twist that far in advance is if they threw it out and I decided to steal it and make it happen lol

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u/t_oad Forever DM 7d ago

One of my players got really antagonised by an entirely inconsequential NPC to the point they were saying how he "must" be evil and will be out to get them before long. Your wish is my command, my friend. This NPC quickly went from just "a fey collector of unique oddities" to "The Collector, an Archfey who collects people, memories, dreams, etc."

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u/103589 DM (Dungeon Memelord) 7d ago

Hippity Hoppity, this BBEG is now my property

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u/supagirl277 8d ago

Sometimes everything just comes together to make a great story based on reactions from both dm and player.

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u/ymOx 8d ago

Inception-BWAAAAMP

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u/olo7eopia 8d ago

Hey that just means you presented it well, if they can figure it out it’s good writing

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u/No-Zookeepergame9755 Dice Goblin 8d ago

CAEK!

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u/abcd_z 8d ago

You realize that response is going to make no sense tomorrow, right?

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u/No-Zookeepergame9755 Dice Goblin 8d ago

Absolutely.

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u/TheAJGman 7d ago

It already doesn't make any sense to me lol

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u/nightauthor 8d ago edited 8d ago

Eh… it’s halfway there, I’d say.

If the twist is important, then carefully misdirecting, or at least leaving possible ambiguities, while still maintaining coherence of the real outcome is necessary

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u/groundzr0 8d ago

Exactly! Leave some false clues, hints, or trails. Keep ‘em guessing!

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u/Taldius175 8d ago

So true. And happy Cake Day

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u/MechGryph 8d ago

I mean, jusr because they figured it out doesn't mean it's bad. Which is something I'd seen people say for movies or books. "Oh I figured that out ages ago. It's horrible." So you read the foreshadowing or have seen a lot of this type of storytelling. Doesn't mean it's bad.

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u/AChristianAnarchist 8d ago

The worst thing about this logic is that I think that it has objectively made media worse as creators try to think this way with regards to the whole internet. Good writing should have foreshadowing. In order for a twist to be earned, it needs to have been theoretically possible for the reader to have figured it out before the reveal, if they had just had the benefit of hindsight and knew what to look for. This means that for literally any well written work with a twist, some small minority of the community will anticipate what the author was going for, unless it is a complete non-sequitur that will feel stupid and improperly set up when it happens. When a particular individual happens to be part of that minority that sees something coming, I think "complaints" that they could anticipate a twist on well written works are often closer to humblebrags that they were smart enough to crack the author's code in that case. The thing is though, that now, with the internet being a thing, everyone gets to broadcast their theories in a way that the author can see, and it is inevitable, if the first movie/book/season/whatever was written well, that someone will get it right when everyone is saying what they think will happen next, but rather than just accepting that and going "good job, this is what I was planning." to those couple of media super sleuths when the thing they were anticipating happens, authors seem to, more and more, be stuck in this positive feedback loop where they continually make their stories shittier in response to what fans say about them online.

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u/Chicero 8d ago

I still believe a couple of series did rewrites because they wanted to avoid fan theories. And it was a terrible idea.

I like murder mysteries. I’m pretty good at guessing the murderer. (I went through a phase where I did humblebrag Ill admit) but nowadays I just want to talk about the show/movie/book with people. And that means I have theories. Its just part of being of a nerd.

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u/bi-bingbongbongbing 8d ago

Rip Westworld. Died trying to outsmart internet nerds 😞

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u/olo7eopia 8d ago

Lost did that.

Side note: couldn’t remember the tv shows name to save my life and ended up googling the other side of the plane is on the other side of island tv show cause for some reason that’s the only thing I could remember

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u/DenebSwift 8d ago

Lost STARTED that way. I stopped watching in season 1 when they pulled an obvious ‘red shirt’ character the same episode they had a big reveal as to what the ‘Blackrock’ was that was not hinted at and made it clear they were fine wasting the audience’s time with unearned twists.

The writing felt like it was just burning time until the next mystery macguffin could be introduced and discarded.

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u/Royal_Bitch_Pudding 8d ago

It's always the person you most medium suspect

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u/scw55 8d ago

Nothing worse that a good predicted twist or plot bomb and the writers never go there. Perhaps because of what you said. They'd rather sacrifice good narrative that the collective consciousness identified, for unexpected swerves.

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u/legomaple 8d ago

I don't understand the logic either. When I figure something out early and it turns out to be correct, I get excited. Because the movie made me feel smart for figuring it out. Why not take joy in figuring out the twist?

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u/Scapp 8d ago

Right? The worst kinds of twists are the things that just give you information you were missing, that you never could've possibly solved the mystery without

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u/Royal_Bitch_Pudding 8d ago

This is why the twist in Arkham City is so amazing, it's right there under our noses the whole time.

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u/J_train13 Rogue 8d ago

"But I only started planning it four sessions ago..."

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u/IdealDesperate2732 8d ago

hands you written, dated, player notes I took "See, I circled it."

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u/z_rabbit 8d ago

Fuck. One of my players takes perfect notes, to the point that I just for hers after every session.

She's totally gonna be this person

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u/ogrezilla 8d ago

I have absolutely asked my players for notes on some of my details I gave them on multiple occasions. Sometimes I get into it when I'm improvising stuff and forget to write it down myself.

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u/Myronal 8d ago

"Oh, that's what you thought, but I know your tastes Mr.GM."

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u/Allian42 Forever DM 7d ago

Player: "You obsess over Monty Python and Princess Bride. It's not that hard to guess one of the two"

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u/PaladinNorth 8d ago

I’d take the compliment, it means your setting up a cohesive narrative that’s easy to follow. Don’t pull the rug out from under them and keep going your doing a great job with your story!

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u/wsdpii 8d ago

I'm worried that I'm doing this to my party. I have an urban/intrigue focused game with lots of plots and different threads. I've left hints towards certain outcomes, hoping my players see it.

They take all the evidence I give and run in completely the wrong direction. Their assumptions are so wrong that I keep making earthshattering reveals every session without meaning to.

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u/TheOtherSarah 8d ago

Can you add an NPC that agrees with them, and show them to be unreliable, as an extra hint that they’re on the wrong track?

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u/Myhumanlife 8d ago

Honestly, if you're worried about it i'd retrace your bad-guy's plans as a flash back with your players or something. If you outline your storytelling when the players get something wrong they'll start to see how you as a person plan and execute your stories. It's meta knowledge, but it might help them have satisfying mystery experiences and see those twists coming. If intrigue is central to your plot you could do it like the flashback in a mystery novel; play out the moment when the detective outlines the series of events before a big reveal. Your players might have fun seeing where they figured it out and where they didn't.

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u/androkguz 8d ago

Here is a tip to make your crucial plot twist ALWAYS land:

Make it have three or more layers, and the topmost make it pretty obvious while the deeper one is literally impossible to guess.

A good mystery reveal has that sensation of "i should have known all along" that makes it feel like it was fair. By making it a many layers reveal, you make sure that they guess some part (and therefore feel smart about it) and that they are also surprised by something. Usually the part that will be the reveal is not the deepest layer, but instead it's the one that's one level deeper than the deepest one they guessed. The rest will just feel like something impossible to guess so it will just be the story moving forward.

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u/TransTabletop Cleric 8d ago

I accidentally did this to my poor DM once. We’re coming up on the end of our campaign soon and we’re talking through some ideas for our next campaign. The DM starts talking about this world where magic is very rare and can only be acquired from studying these ancient cursed artifacts, but that everyone who studies them comes down with an illness called The Living Death where they start rotting away while still alive. He was hyping it up as a hardcore mystery game where we’d be uncovering secrets the whole way through.

The DM gets through his whole campaign pitch and I, sleep deprived (it was 3am) and stupid as I am, made a joke along the lines of “hey wouldn’t it be cool if the cursed artifacts were radioactive waste and the living death was just radiation poisoning?”

And the DM gets really quiet

Apparently I had accidentally guessed the endgame mystery from the campaign’s pitch, which is probably my proudest moment in solving a puzzle but also the one I feel worst about lmao. We all laughed it off and it wasn’t a huge deal since we had plenty of other games that we were honestly more excited about running, but damn I will never forget that.

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u/Luna_Crusader 8d ago

A player figuring out the plot twist isn't a bad thing. Often it's an example of them paying attention and picking up on the clues and hints you leave. And, in fact, if the player figures out and says nothing? Then that's a good player. Because it shows they respect your narrative by not spoiling it for others.

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u/The5Virtues 8d ago

Last session my DM asked me to make a perception check while in the middle of a conflict. I sent him a private message:

“Do I get advantage on the check because the enemy is a dragon and my character has so much experience with dragons?”

“HOW DID… just make the damn check.”

The noise he made after my initial text had the whole party wondering what the hell was going on.

Later on he asked “How long have you known?”

“About 8 sessions.”

“I love hate you.”

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u/secretstar69420 8d ago

Once I played a silent hill inspired campaign and during most part of the campaign we got pursued by a soul/sanity eating monster and at session 13 or something we had to solve a puzzle with items we got midway, a maze and answer a riddle to seal the creature, long story short i knew the answer for all of them since the first session because I knew the most important part of the mystery being "memory" and because of that the last and most dangerous chase became a cutscene because I solved it in seconds

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u/Piecesof3ight 8d ago

If you as a player fimd yourself with the power to take all the excitement out of the game, especially if it affects everyone, and especially at the end of a campaign.. don't.

Just lean into the RP and act threatened and unsure. Make the most of the story, it isn't a competition.

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u/secretstar69420 8d ago edited 8d ago

It wasn't the end of the campaign it was just the end of second arc and I we actually did not have the knowledge at the time it would seal the creature. as far as our characters and even us the players knew it just another puzzle to escape just like we had others before, we knew that part was a little important because we would be escaping from the asylum and since our characters could die I didn't had to think twice, and my DM allowed me to take notes in character since my character was a type of paranormal detective so he was writing most of the stuf it happened along the way. He did complain I was too smart at the time but he killed me once before because of a failed puzzle so I was taking no chances

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u/killersquirel11 8d ago

Yeah, I realized halfway through a session once that my DM was running a False Hydra. Really had to focus on what my character knew and role playing from that

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u/RealRamessesII 8d ago

For me it’s 50/50 I either figure out a twist way ahead of time or I am totally blindsided

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u/Current-Ad-8984 8d ago

I just had my first ever DND session last Sunday and got a little taste of this. We were traveling on a cart when we came across a fallen tree blocking the road.

I immediately said, “this is an ambush isn’t it.” My DM gave me a look, right before he described the goblin’s emerging from the trees.

I know it’s a little thing, but it was damn satisfying.

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u/Phionex141 8d ago

Ah, Lost Mines of Phandelver. That fallen tree has seen many a new player. Welcome to the party!

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u/TheOtherSarah 8d ago

LMoP has a dead horse, not a fallen tree. Though of course some DMs would reflavour it

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u/TheFelRoseOfTerror 8d ago

Acquisitions Incorporated has the players head out there only to be attacked by the undead horses.

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u/groundzr0 8d ago

I mean, it’s a trope

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u/CommissarAJ 8d ago

I remember being in a session like that. After half-through through the forest and the DM describes that we hear 'a loud crashing noise of heavy footsteps coming approaching from the depths of the woods' and I just immediately blurted out 'oh crap, I think we've got a minotaur incoming.'

Everyone at the table just looks at me and are just 'why do you say that?'

I point to the DM. 'He said at the very start of the session that this forest was home to minotaurs. I promise you, that ain't no deer we're hearing.'

I was rewarded with being first on the initative order in the subsequent encounter.

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u/TheOncomimgHoop 8d ago

One of mine figured it out literally the first time I gave a clue. They later gave me a comprehend rundown of their theories, a lot of which were right

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u/croutonicknight DM (Dungeon Memelord) 8d ago

I have a super clever player. Way back in the beginning, they saw the body of an NPC and got a description of her as she was important, noting in particular a blue dress. Almost a year later they're tracking down a ghost and I say in passing that the ghost is wearing a blue dress. They had figured it out based on that one statement that I didn't even remember saying. Fuckin genius

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u/Mistrunning-ranger 8d ago

This is the shit my player does, they’ll just notice details I mentioned months ago and figure it out

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u/croutonicknight DM (Dungeon Memelord) 8d ago

Do they take notes? I have my players take notes specifically because I've had parties before who simply missed even the most obvious things, but now I get super quick realizations and honestly, it's so insanely satisfying to say something and hear someone take a quick breath in a gasp before saying "holy shit" when they connect the dots.

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u/Mistrunning-ranger 8d ago

They’re a religious note taker

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u/croutonicknight DM (Dungeon Memelord) 8d ago

I love those players so much. It makes it worth it to drip feed plot relevant details cause I know they're a sponge and soaking all the info up. I get a page's worth of bullet points of notes from them for each session (about 5 hours) and I record the sessions so they have even more ability to catch stuff and I am LOVING it

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u/cas47 8d ago

Meanwhile my party is just like “Wow, a major NPC who is sending us on quests and is shady about her past is saying things that are in direct conflict with things we know to be true from other sources. Must be a plot hole”

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u/simplefighter 8d ago

I had something similar happened in what if my games, a player word for word stated exactly what I had written down as the ending of the campaign 6 levels before the end while they where speculating about what was going to happen

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u/axestraddler 8d ago

I'm sorry Connor, I was making a joke, I didn't mean to ruin he overarching plot of the campaign.

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u/Merevel 8d ago

Lucky, my players are kind of dense sometimes. Except when they are cracking jokes. I am just lucky I can keep a straight face.

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u/Ashzaroth 8d ago

I love trying to guess where a story is going. My wife hates everything I'm right, but in no way does that diminish the quality of the story for me. I love being wrong as much as I do being right.

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u/TraptorKai Warlock 8d ago

That means they're invested and the story follows its own logic. Time to make the clues less specific and give more red herrings/false flags.

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u/UltimaDeusUmbra 8d ago

Me to my players: When did you figure out the twist?

My players 50% of the time: As soon as you started setting it up, we've been joking that would be the twist for a while now.
My players the other 50% of the time: There was a twist? When?!

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u/The_Observer001 7d ago

One of my players (the note keeper no less) figured out a huge twist a long while before it happened, and I had a feeling she knew. The twist in question was a forgotten character coming back as a new villain. She came to me in private and half jokingly asked if this new threat was said character. It's known that I have a great poker face and am amazing at lying. So cut to the big reveal and she is ecstatic she figured it out and also jokingly mad at me for being a fucking liar. Now, even though she figured it out, her character is a known idiot with memory problems, so he had no idea. She could have just blurted out "I've solved your new villain puzzle" in character, but she didn't. She's wonderful with roleplay.

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u/ADRASSA 8d ago

Me: And the changeling was the missing kid Violet all along!

My players: Yeah, you said her name a while ago and we just went with it...

Me:

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u/lordBBQ_85 Forever DM 7d ago

I'm currently writing a book based on my campaign. It's set in the same world and a similar setting. One of my players has access to and, to my surprise, has read most of the story. I forgot I'd let him read it and was caught completely off guard when he started using official in-world terms I hadn't introduced yet so casually. Turns out, he knows every single NPC before I introduce them, what their jobs are and how close they are to the BBEG. But he's playing it cool and only ever brings it up out of character to help explain certain tropes.

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u/erdtirdmans DM (Dungeon Memelord) 8d ago

A twist is only worth it if you signaled it well. Consider this a victory. And then maybe consider that you don't have to signal as hard going forward

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u/what_hole 8d ago

It's really just how it goes if people are media savvy. Like if a outcome or situation makes sense in the context of the story it also makes sense that someone who has experienced a lot of stories can see it coming. It is kinda disheartening though. Like creating a truly original conclusion is impossible.

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u/gugus295 8d ago

One of my players guessed one of the grand reveals of my last full campaign about a year before it was revealed. It was entirely a hunch based on very little and cryptic information and an artifact that he didn't even know existed in the system we were playing.

He asked me about it and I kept him guessing for that entire year, his absolute joy when it turned out he had been right was a great time.

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u/Inglorious186 8d ago

I don't ever have to worry about figuring out the twist because my dm doesn't plan that far in advance

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u/Awsomer76 8d ago

Bait them by making it simple

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u/Arch3m 8d ago

My players usually figure things out early. The one time they didn't, it was delicious. I managed to get them to believe that one of them was responsible for a genocide, had them figure out the real culprit, and at the end think "his plan was actually pretty good and he might have even been right". I don't know if I'll ever pull that off again, but I'm happy I at least got to do it once.

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u/shuukenji92 8d ago

Its not that bad bro! Hell its pretty nice occasionally you knowing the twist and you've got that "Ha! I knew it!" feeling as long as its not really condescending or like giving you know-it-all smugness I think thats pretty cool that you've made a cohesive plot

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u/SamuelCish 8d ago

Happened to me once. Player called the twist right before I announced it. Dude figured it out a month or so prior. I had only written the twist the night before the session.

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u/I_Feel_Guilty 8d ago

During a recent session I realized our DM had homebrewed his own version of the false hydra that we had been discussing. Said monster involved switching perceptions of party members. When my character got taken I handed it oover to the DM and left a note on the character sheet saying, "it's a lovely false hydra". He then gave me that look.

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u/ElysianAscendant 8d ago

One of mine in my homebrew figured out the huge lore twist around the gods that wasn't even going to be revealed in that campaign to begin with. Granted he's my best friend but I told him very little and snap figured it out. I both appreciate him, and think my ability to come up with a good twist was garbage.

Edit- typo

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u/bigredjohn 8d ago

My fiance called a sort of deus ex machina in the last session of the campaign I had previously planned with only one himt once six months prior to the final session. Dropped my jaw.

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u/Ol_JanxSpirit 8d ago

One of my players insists he didn't trust the gnome that betrayed them.

Didn't stop them from giving that sneaky little fucker their backstory and plans.

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u/TraumSchulden 8d ago

Im always 10 steps ahead, i NEVER prepare a story, the players look around and i make shit up on the spot.

Some things like items and character and stuff i prepare

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u/Todo744 8d ago

Me introducing the bbeg:

My player: oh he's a absolutely going to do the exact thing from an obscure book that I swear they've never read.

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u/jrm67 DM (Dungeon Memelord) 8d ago

“I didn’t even have the twist prepared 6 sessions ago”

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u/CorruptedArc 8d ago

Player: "I found out because of the butler six sessions ago".

Me: who haz literally no idea what they're talking about but yet somehow this unrelated character led them to the correct answer

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u/asilvahalo Wizard 8d ago

First of all, if your players figure out the twist, that just means you're good at foreshadowing. Also, a lot of times they might not figure out the whole twist, just part of it. In the regular campaign I play in, I figured out that we were missing names/info on two of the ancient wizards whose tower the party found, and could make some realistic guesses about their specialization, just based on the aesthetics and information we got about the tower, the wizard society, and its function. But I didn't figure out the missing necromancer was pre-ascension Vecna until the reveal.

That said, if you are friends with your players and play with them a lot, they might just start picking up on vibes. My regular DM is also my fiance, and he runs one-shots at the local game store sometimes. He ran a homebrew thing and told me beforehand that he was interested to see how much information the party figured out because there were three distinct ways to play the adventure. I ended up playing to round out the party, and we figured out enough to get the "good end," but when my fiance and I got back in the car to drive home, I asked if the brother of one of the NPCs was actually alive and if they were were-tigers, and he was just like "how the fuck did you know that?" And, man, I could not tell you how I knew that; I just picked up on the vibes because I know my DM and the kind of stories he tells and how he tells them really well.

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u/Nickel5 8d ago

The fact they show up at the table means they like it, and that's really what matters.

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u/drewdp 8d ago

Man, that's 5 sessions ahead of me, and I'm the DM

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u/TheWhexican 8d ago

What was the twist?

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u/RagnarokBringer Forever DM 8d ago

I wish I could do this. I once got pretty far but ending up scraping it because all the PCs died

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u/Bromjunaar_20 8d ago

Is pedro paskal really taller than Boba?

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u/Freakychee 8d ago

As the person controlling the narrative you can always “cheat” and change the story at any time and say their conclusion was just misdirection and the twist was something else.

It seems cheap but if you can pull it off and make fun for the players, why not?

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u/Terror-Of-Demons 8d ago

I know a MAJOR plot twist (confirmed by our DM) that nobody else has figured out and when the big reveal happens it’s gonna emotionally DESTROY both a player and her character… it’s wonderful.

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u/DaytimeTurnip 8d ago

Please tell me his character is a low int barbarian

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