Meta-gaming Pigeon (5e Creature)
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Tiny monstrosity, chaotic neutral
Saving Throws Dex +15, Wis +18, Cha +5
Meta-existence. The Meta-gaming Pigeon doesn't sleep, doesn't eat, doesn't drink, and cannot become exhausted. Its existence is universally accepted and many creatures feel an unexplained urge to kill it.
Meta-knowledge. The Meta-gaming Pigeon can successfully communicate meta-gaming information to any creature, even if the creature doesn't know any language.
Meta-presence. The Meta-gaming Pigeon normally exists outside of reality but it can physically manifest itself at any time and place of its choosing. Also, the pigeon can enter any combat at any point that way, even during another player's turn. Once the pigeon cannot be seen or sensed by any other creature at the start of its turn, or is simply ignored, it disappears from reality again. If the pigeon was controlled by a player when it disappeared, the player regains control of their original character.
Meta-speed. The Meta-gaming Pigeon cannot be surprised, and it always enters combat at the top of initiative order regardless of its initiative roll (for the purpose of book-keeping use initiative count 99).
Meta-mortality. If its hit points drop to 0, The Meta-gaming Pigeon doesn't die, but instead disappears from reality. If the pigeon is at the time being controlled by a player, the player instantly regains control of their character and must succeed on a DC 30 Intelligence saving throw (using their character's stats, not the pigeon's) or be forced to choose the consequences of their actions in real life. The consequences can be one of the following: 10 pushups, 10 situps, get yelled at by the DM for 10 seconds, or get smacked across the head by the DM. The pigeon can manifest itself again immediately after, with full health, as if nothing happened.
Beak. Melee Weapon Attack: +4 to hit, reach 5 ft., one target. Hit: 1 (1d1) piercing damage.
Force player control. At any point during the game the Meta-gaming Pigeon can use its reaction to force one of the players to control it. The player immediately stops controlling their own character, which appears frozen in time and cannot be moved or harmed, and becomes the Meta-gaming Pigeon. The DM hands over this stat-block to the player. This reaction can be prevented at the DMs discretion. (Variant rule: The taking of control can happen at the player's discretion, unbeknown to the DM. In this case the pigeon becomes invisible and is assumed to have automatically succeeded on its stealth checks until it reveals itself voluntarily or the DM realises the player is controlling the pigeon.)
Check source material. At any point during the game the Meta-gaming Pigeon can use its reaction to consult any piece of information, be it a character sheet, a rulebook, a monster stat-block or any other materials at its disposal in order to seek meta-gaming information. When controlled by the player the pigeon can only use information at the player's disposal, unless the DM allows otherwise.
Relay meta-gaming information. At any point during the game the Meta-gaming Pigeon can use its reaction to relay a piece of meta-gaming information it knows to one or more creatures of its choice. It can choose to do so using telepathy, but every time it does so it makes a cooing sound that alerts nearby creatures.
Meta-gaming has always been a problematic feature in any D&D edition, so why not give a name and a physical form and at least give yourself, as the DM, a chance to swat it away like a vermin that it is. This creature was inspired by Critical Role, specifically episode 12 of campaign 2. Without spoiling too much, a bunch of meta-gaming antics involving pigeon sounds ensue as the players struggle to extract a vital piece of information. These antics culminate with Matt Mercer asking: "Can we make the Meta-gaming Pigeon a thing?" So when Matt asked that question, it just hit me. Why isn't it a thing? As in, a literal, physical thing that you can smack with your sword or shoot with your arrow? And it being a pigeon, the vilest vermin that defiles this Earth, just makes it that much more of a delicious target. So, if you want to have some fun, teach your players a lesson, or just give a name and physical representation to one of the most annoying things in D&D universe, then here you go. The way it works is that when you hear one of your players start meta-gaming, you go: "I see you've become the meta-gaming pigeon. Well, let the hunt begin!" Explain to them that the meta-gaming pigeon transferred their consciousness into its pigeon body, give them the stat-block so that they know what they're working with and try and kill them. If you succeed you can punish your player accordingly. It's in the rules so they can't say no. I specifically meant for the pigeon to be hard to hit, hard to catch and hard to be prevented from using its features and abilities. But once you hit it, it is pretty much a guaranteed kill. Just like in real life. And just like in real life you can be sure it will eventually rear its ugly pigeon head again. Keep in mind this is more of a joking representation of meta-gaming in game (as in, taking a phenomenon that is quintessentially "out of game" and translating it into the D&D ruleset in a humorous manner), rather than an actual monster your party should come across in the actual game world, but it is still meant to be playable within the constraints of the game, and perfectly killable with the right tools at your disposal. So next time one of your players decides to tip the balance by helping their friends out of game, instead of politely explaining for the hundredth time why that's a no-no, take a short, unscheduled break from your usual campaign, whip this bad boy out and let the games begin.