This has really happened to me as a player, and a player that I have killed myself in a shot. In short, when we enter a dungeon, every time a DM describes an object in a strange way, we become very cautious when approaching that object. This is very true with objects that can normally be an animated object.
- "You see a dusty armor in the corner of the room." Animated armor
- "You see an iron chest on the side of the pedestal." Imitate
- "You see a couple of statues of winged beasts on each side of the stairs." Gargoyle
- less common, but "You see that this corridor is decorated with at least 6-8 paintings of various subjects". (I was in Curse of Strahd)
The most common response will be "I shoot the [object] with my crossbow /fire bolt", or" I throw detect magic"Less common will be to go into hand-to-hand combat and destroy it." While this usually results in laughter when the items are not really a monster, this usually slows down the exploration.
- Only describing important objects.
- Describing that they did not find anything special about these objects.
The first solution usually exacerbates the problem by limiting my ability to describe how the room looks and, at the same time, highlight important objects. For example, you automatically try to search the wall for a hidden switch for a secret room or passage because I told you "there is a part of the wall that is less dusty", or start polishing and automatically attacking the pair of gargoyle statues because now I describe them, and they should be important.
The second solution is related to the first solution, because I can not say that nothing special has been found with these objects, if in fact they contain important information and, of course, I do not want to reveal it or hide that they are important.
The problem is that this type of approach slows down the game and restricts the way I, as a DM, describes the environment; I can only describe important things, but I also want to immerse them in relevant details. This also gives them an essentially free turn before the fight.
As a DM, how can I deal with your constant suspicions with random objects?