Meta gaming at the table is actively discouraged in DM advice columns and literature from WOTC, yet they expect me to tell my players that the pipsqueak they are facing is a minion? I won’t do it! Let the players figure out for themselves that the creature they are fighting is a minion. I think labeling a monster as a minion when it is encountered encourages players to save their encounter and daily powers for “Real” threats and removes some of the creative problem solving required by past editions of Dungeons & Dragons. I want to see my players mow down minions with their dailies and encounter powers and then have to face the big daddy boss monster with nary a thing but their at-wills and a healthy dose of creative problem solving!
I’m in a unique situation, I currently DM a game for four teenagers who are relatively new to the game (with the exception of my daughter who was introduced to the corrupting influences of the D20 at a young age!). They are not familiar with the canon and lore of D&D from other editions. To them a kobold is as threatening as a troll is, I love it!
I have not explained to them the concept of minions and at this point I don’t intend to. They’ll figure it out….eventually.
The same goes for bloodied. It is not as bad as the minion mechanic with regards to meta gaming, but I still don’t like announcing “Your opponent is bloodied”. I would prefer to say something like: “The scent of so much blood on the creature you face drives you into frenzy” or “You feel your wounds are starting to slow you”. Instead of just announcing it to the player, explain the mechanic before the game and let them figure out the details. Soon they will just know that the mechanic is in effect without the announcement.