[RPG] Metagaming Concern? Or just normal player culture


I am a DM for 5e who recently gave the team a magical item. Everyone is very excited for it, however the player who chose to keep it in their inventory has been researching it. He has looked up how other people online have used it and ways to make it extremely optimal.

I'm not the biggest fan of this, I worry it will turn into looking up how other players online handled situations in adventures or modules, eventually leading to spoiler like content.

I have mentioned to the team, "Please be cautious with researching anything while we are playing this module" (Curse of Strahd), and think that's probably all I really can do.

Am I worrying about nothing that's pretty normal and harmless? I understand people look up optimal builds for characters and ideas for what they might play in the future, perhaps this is no different and I just need to drop it and change my DM perspective.

Best Answer

Always talk to your players in advance

If metagaming is such a worry, the game is not fun for anyone. Bring the matter to the table, and if there is ever a dubious outcome, remember you're the DM and you have the final say.

This doesn't mean to be a tyrant, but an effort to not stall the game in a discussions that's going to take no one to nowhere.

If such an event happens, make a call such as: I'm not sure how this should play out in the future, but in the meantime, let's do it this way and let's discuss it later.