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  1. - Top - End - #391
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    ClericGuy

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    Default Re: Talakeal's Gaming Horror Stories Continued (not really)

    Quote Originally Posted by noob View Post
    Except you can instead of fudging say "at appropriate moments you might get results changed if it makes a better narrative heck we can even start at appropriate moments to instead do theater instead of rolling dice" and that kind of thing can shape memorable events and be transparent.
    Mate there are other techniques in a DMs arsenal to bluff, obfuscate, build tension, focus the players, keep them guessing etc.

    But why remove fudging (which does all of the above and more) from your tools?

    For some of the other methods I use when I want to get the players attention, I'll sometimes turn to the nearest player and announce "So you're taking the 500gp diamond, and leaving the others to fight the bugbears?' and when all eyes are suddenly on me, and the off topic talking stops, state (with a smile) 'Good, now that I have your attention...'

    Sometimes I'll ask a player what his passive perception is, and then roll a dice (ignoring the result). That gets them all focussed again (and means that when there ACTUALLY is something there to spot and I repeat this same thing, they are none the wiser about if it's real or not).

    Sometimes I'll pass a note to a player. Sometimes that note will be relevant. Sometimes it just says 'roll a d20 please, and tell me the result.' The end result is the same (the players suddenly get curious, and zone back into the game.

    I'll also sometimes ask them all as players (and people) to keep down the chatter and refocus. Politely, or very occasionally with a more authoritarian tone. I prefer to use funny or entertaining methods (or showmanship) because this latter method isnt very fun or collaborative.

    You have a number of different tools at your disposal to get the results you want.

    It's the same difference between a good manager at work, and a crappy one (either doesnt have control over his staff, or is a total tyrant, or isnt very good at his job, or lacks man management skills, despite being in a management position). A good manager can get his staff working together, and having fun, without being a total monster at the same time.
    Last edited by Malifice; 2019-01-11 at 12:50 PM.

  2. - Top - End - #392
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    ClericGuy

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    Default Re: Talakeal's Gaming Horror Stories Continued (not really)

    Quote Originally Posted by noob View Post
    All I said is that players should hear when a gm makes a change that pertains to them.
    If its a rules change, then for sure the DM should communicate that to the players and not hide it. If possible without breaking the flow of the game, the DM should also explain why rule zero was invoked, or why a house rule exists, and have a discussion with the players about it.

    Why would a DM hide it? Remember we're assuming a collaborative DM who is actively working so the players are engaged, having fun and are entertained. He's only exersizing his discretion towards those goals.

    (by the way are you the same Malifice as the one on the werewolf forums?)
    Nope. Been using this handle for a while, so someone is copying me. I am the same Malifice from the Bigfooty forums (Australian rules football site) where I moderate.

  3. - Top - End - #393
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    Default Re: Talakeal's Gaming Horror Stories Continued (not really)

    Quote Originally Posted by Malifice View Post
    Mate there are other techniques in a DMs arsenal to bluff, obfuscate, build tension, focus the players, keep them guessing etc.

    But why remove fudging (which does all of the above and more) from your tools?

    For some of the other methods I use when I want to get the players attention, I'll sometimes turn to the nearest player and announce "So you're taking the 500gp diamond, and leaving the others to fight the bugbears?' and when all eyes are suddenly on me, and the off topic talking stops, state (with a smile) 'Good, now that I have your attention...'

    Sometimes I'll ask a player what his passive perception is, and then roll a dice (ignoring the result). That gets them all focussed again (and means that when there ACTUALLY is something there to spot and I repeat this same thing, they are none the wiser about if it's real or not).

    Sometimes I'll pass a note to a player. Sometimes that note will be relevant. Sometimes it just says 'roll a d20 please, and tell me the result.' The end result is the same (the players suddenly get curious, and zone back into the game.

    I'll also sometimes ask them all as players (and people) to keep down the chatter and refocus. Politely, or very occasionally with a more authoritarian tone. I prefer to use funny or entertaining methods (or showmanship) because this latter method isnt very fun or collaborative.

    You have a number of different tools at your disposal to get the results you want.

    It's the same difference between a good manager at work, and a crappy one (either doesnt have control over his staff, or is a total tyrant, or isnt very good at his job, or lacks man management skills, despite being in a management position). A good manager can get his staff working together, and having fun, without being a total monster at the same time.
    There is a risk for the players to guess you are fudging by thinking of the odds that they succeed that far without all their characters dying all stupidly to a random goblin(or just by seeing which dice you rolled by mistake or just guessing by looking at you).
    If your players are people who really does not likes being lied to then fudging can have effects out of the game that are unpleasant (Such as lowering the overall confidence of the others in your assertions or even disputes).
    If you say in advance to those players that the dice rolls might be altered then there is no problems with changing the results even if they find out you do because they have not been lied to.
    I think that the players not knowing you can change the dice rolls does not improve the game.
    Last edited by noob; 2019-01-11 at 01:07 PM.

  4. - Top - End - #394
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    ClericGuy

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    Default Re: Talakeal's Gaming Horror Stories Continued (not really)

    Quote Originally Posted by noob View Post
    There is a risk for the players to guess you are fudging by thinking of the odds that they succeed that far without all their characters dying all stupidly to a random goblin(or just by seeing which dice you rolled by mistake or just guessing by looking at you).
    Actually fudging reduces the ability of players to metagame.

    I suppose I could be bad at bluffing, or my players be really good at telling when I am, but I'll take that risk.

    If your players are people who really does not likes being lied to then fudging can have effects out of the game that are unpleasant (Such as lowering the overall confidence of the others in your assertions or even disputes).
    Human interaction is a little more complicated than that, and you're ignoring context.

    If a mate of mine 'lied' to me as part of a magic trick, I wouldnt be upset or start to not trust him. I play with friends, and they're well aware that when I DM I am fair, a good DM, and am running the game for them (not for me).

    I expect them to run the same way when they're DMs as well.

    If my players are the kind of dudes that would be upset at me ensuring they have a good time, by exercising my discretion to ignore a dice result that goes against that objective, or by making a 'fake' dice roll just to work towards that objective, then I'd probably be choosing different people to spend my spare time on and with.

    If you say in advance to those players that the dice rolls might be altered.
    Then you strip a ton of tension and drama from the game, for no real net benefit.

    I cant ever imagine telling my players: 'Hey guys, Im going to be pulling punches and fudging dice for this campaign. Also sometimes Ill just roll dice for no other reason than showmanship or to keep you guessing.'

    Id get a lot of blank stares, and the tension would be sucked out of the game there and then.

  5. - Top - End - #395
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    Default Re: Talakeal's Gaming Horror Stories Continued (not really)

    Quote Originally Posted by Malifice View Post
    Actually fudging reduces the ability of players to metagame.
    No.

    If you fudge, the players can rely on there being no results too far out of expectations and that things go the way of genre conventions and proper story flow/pacing. And that it matches your taste in drama.

    It is far easier to metagame with fudging if one knows the DM.



    If my players are the kind of dudes that would be upset at me ensuring they have a good time, by exercising my discretion to ignore a dice result that goes against that objective, or by making a 'fake' dice roll just to work towards that objective, then I'd probably be choosing different people to spend my spare time on and with.
    Your players probably do know you are fudging and are fine with it.

    That is how 99% of tables with fudging work. Because if the players don't know, it tends to not work for a longer period of time and the group dissolves after they inevitably find out.
    Last edited by Satinavian; 2019-01-11 at 01:30 PM.

  6. - Top - End - #396
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    ClericGuy

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    Quote Originally Posted by Satinavian View Post
    That is how 99% of tables with fudging work. Because if the players don't know, it tends to not work for a longer period of time and the group dissolves after they inevitably find out.
    In your experience.

    Mine differs.

  7. - Top - End - #397
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    Default Re: Talakeal's Gaming Horror Stories Continued (not really)

    @Malifice:


    Do you actually not understand the distinction I am making between "cling to" and "use" and the distinction between changing a dice roll and making a ruling?



    Because I make rulings or simply ignore rules all the time. If a rule would be tedious or annoying to play out I will hand wave it, if a rule is unclear I will make a ruling, and if a situation comes up that is non-sensical I might do either of the above, which is hardly the stance of someone who treats the rules as a sacred holy text.
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    ClericGuy

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    Default Re: Talakeal's Gaming Horror Stories Continued (not really)

    Quote Originally Posted by Talakeal View Post
    Because I make rulings or simply ignore rules all the time.
    And the difference between ignoring a rule, and ignoring a roll is?

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    Default Re: Talakeal's Gaming Horror Stories Continued (not really)

    Quote Originally Posted by Malifice View Post
    And the difference between ignoring a rule, and ignoring a roll is?
    Transparency.

    I get that you are big on theatrics, but if I don't bother to roll the dice if I am not prepared to handle the results, otherwise I just tell my players not to worry about it.
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  10. - Top - End - #400
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    Quote Originally Posted by Satinavian View Post
    No.

    If you fudge, the players can rely on there being no results too far out of expectations and that things go the way of genre conventions and proper story flow/pacing. And that it matches your taste in drama.

    It is far easier to metagame with fudging if one knows the DM.
    Only if you're fudging literally ALL of the time, and if you're doing that then you might as well set up a houserule to fix whatever is causing you to fudge all the time. Again fudging is useful in very specific circumstances, it shouldn't be used all of the time.

    Quote Originally Posted by Talakeal View Post
    Transparency.

    I get that you are big on theatrics, but if I don't bother to roll the dice if I am not prepared to handle the results, otherwise I just tell my players not to worry about it.
    Transparency is NOT a positive quality for a DM to have. It's required to lack transparency to be able to manage a large amount of the game, I don't see this as being any different than that.
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    Default Re: Talakeal's Gaming Horror Stories Continued (not really)

    On Rule Zero: As much as I acknowledge that no rule set is perfect, if you are depending on your ability to override the rules than FOR THE LOVE OF GAMING* get better rules. I mean it existing as a failsafe is one thing, but it coming up frequently is a problem. The rate given before of once every eight to ten sessions (which depending on your length of session is probably at least 24 hours of play) sounds like a fine rate to me. But more than that and you have deeper problems you should probably address.

    * Which I figure is something everyone here can get behind.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Cluedrew View Post
    On Rule Zero: As much as I acknowledge that no rule set is perfect, if you are depending on your ability to override the rules than FOR THE LOVE OF GAMING* get better rules. I mean it existing as a failsafe is one thing, but it coming up frequently is a problem. The rate given before of once every eight to ten sessions (which depending on your length of session is probably at least 24 hours of play) sounds like a fine rate to me. But more than that and you have deeper problems you should probably address.

    * Which I figure is something everyone here can get behind.
    I have addressed the problems, successfully. Why would I switch up a methodology that is working?
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    Default Re: Talakeal's Gaming Horror Stories Continued (not really)

    @Talakeal:

    Rule zero and transparency. Rule Zero is very specific to the 3E/4E D&D environment. The idea how to solve the classic "two hats" situation most GMs are in was by trying to shift over most of the decision-making aspects over to the mechanics (system) in the first step, then handing those over to the players to empower them as a second step.
    For example, the Climb skill includes all the information necessary to gauge your characters success chance at climbing something, as all DCs and modifiers are plainly laid out.

    Plainly speaking, that approach didn't work out and the system produces a lot of nonsensical or undesirable results. Rule Zero was in 3.0E (and PF) as a means for the GM o still make judgement calls and ad-hoc rulings to prevent this, but was taken out of 3.5E because the system-first mentality of the player base was so strong.

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    To AMFV: I wasn't saying you needed to fix something, I even quoted your rate as a pretty acceptable rate of having to override the rules after all. But I will answer the question anyways, but to some pretend person who is really relying on it and you can figure out what if any takeaways apply to you.

    To Rule Zero-er: It basically boils down to "why not a better solution?" If you have a problem that needs to be fixed with rule zero most sessions than actually have a system for applying hot-fixes to problems. Yes this solves it, but it has a bunch of disadvantages over coming up with a single overarching solution (better base rules):
    • Predictability is lost as players have less information about rules that govern character actions, which means they are trying to control character in a world what doesn't always act the same on the "physics simulation level".
    • You also have to do this mid-whatever-you-were-doing-when-the-problem-came-up. If you can smoothly switch modes and quickly think up this particular fix, good work. What about the times where you have to stop and think about it, pausing the whole game?
    • Some of the real challenge seekers really hate this because now it means they can't tell if they overcame the challenge or you made it easier. Don't know if you have any such players in your group.
    Yes it requires a higher up front cost, so my suggestion is: Come up with rules to try to fix the problems you encounter, and if they don't work use rule zero to get rid of them. You can even base them off of the forms of your hot-fixes.

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    Default Re: Talakeal's Gaming Horror Stories Continued (not really)

    Something seems odd to me; people are saying that specific mechanics and numbers are very important when they are talking about a fiction first character generation system, but at the same time saying that dice rolls are not important and that a good DM is not just an impartial arbiter but actively driving the narrative. Don't these attitudes seem kind of contradictory?

    For me when I play, and I think most people are the same way, they like to feel special. I know I have had games ruined by GMs "rule zeroing" to make my character irrelevant, for example I had one DM giving beasts double HP because my ranger with favored enemy beast was killing them too fast and another DM have my psychic whose only power was mental shields be dominated by a "custom mind control charm that ignores mental defenses" to get force me onto the plot train. This is bad.

    On the other hand, the barbarian in my current group is, on paper, extremely deadly, but when actual combat starts she can't roll above a 10 (of course outside of combat its nothing but 20s from her). In this case I could actually see it being nice for a DM to fudge so that the character she built feels more special, although I still won't do it because the other players would notice and would accuse me of favoritism.


    Quote Originally Posted by AMFV View Post
    Transparency is NOT a positive quality for a DM to have. It's required to lack transparency to be able to manage a large amount of the game, I don't see this as being any different than that.
    This thread is actually making me glad that I am gaming in Bizarro world for once.

    Quote Originally Posted by Florian View Post
    Rule zero and transparency. Rule Zero is very specific to the 3E/4E D&D environment. The idea how to solve the classic "two hats" situation most GMs are in was by trying to shift over most of the decision-making aspects over to the mechanics (system) in the first step, then handing those over to the players to empower them as a second step.
    For example, the Climb skill includes all the information necessary to gauge your characters success chance at climbing something, as all DCs and modifiers are plainly laid out.
    I have played a lot of RPGs over the years besides 3.X, mostly Mage and AD&D 2E, and I have never had a real need for a rule that gives me ultimate power in any of them. If the rules are ambiguous or nonsensical the players are fine with me making a house rule to cover it regardless of what the rulebook says, and if the PCs catch me fudging a number or changing a rule to screw them they will rake me over the coals regardless of what the rulebook says. I don't really change my GMing style based on what system I am using at the time, nor have I really noticed other DMs do the same.


    Quote Originally Posted by Florian View Post
    Plainly speaking, that approach didn't work out and the system produces a lot of nonsensical or undesirable results. Rule Zero was in 3.0E (and PF) as a means for the GM to still make judgement calls and ad-hoc rulings to prevent this, but was taken out of 3.5E because the system-first mentality of the player base was so strong.
    I am skeptical about this claim. I don't have the 3.0 books anymore to be sure, but I do not recall a significant difference between how they described the GMs power to change rules (except for literally removing the heading: STEP 0 from the chargen rules) and the article I mentioned several posts ago that had a pretty in depth breakdown of changes between the 3.0 and 3.5 editions made no mention on it.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cluedrew View Post
    To AMFV: I wasn't saying you needed to fix something, I even quoted your rate as a pretty acceptable rate of having to override the rules after all. But I will answer the question anyways, but to some pretend person who is really relying on it and you can figure out what if any takeaways apply to you.

    To Rule Zero-er: It basically boils down to "why not a better solution?" If you have a problem that needs to be fixed with rule zero most sessions than actually have a system for applying hot-fixes to problems. Yes this solves it, but it has a bunch of disadvantages over coming up with a single overarching solution (better base rules):
    • Predictability is lost as players have less information about rules that govern character actions, which means they are trying to control character in a world what doesn't always act the same on the "physics simulation level".
    • You also have to do this mid-whatever-you-were-doing-when-the-problem-came-up. If you can smoothly switch modes and quickly think up this particular fix, good work. What about the times where you have to stop and think about it, pausing the whole game?
    • Some of the real challenge seekers really hate this because now it means they can't tell if they overcame the challenge or you made it easier. Don't know if you have any such players in your group.
    Yes it requires a higher up front cost, so my suggestion is: Come up with rules to try to fix the problems you encounter, and if they don't work use rule zero to get rid of them. You can even base them off of the forms of your hot-fixes.
    Because learning a new system is time consuming, and also because a new system is likewise imperfect there are very few cases where learning a new system is going to fix all your problems without creating new ones. I've seen plenty of players and DM's seduced by the idea that once they find their perfect system they'll just be better, instead of having them look around at ways to improve their skills within said system.

    Now there are cases when changing or finding a new system is worth it, but those are in my experience, edge cases, typically the problems will persist into a new system because most of them aren't system rooted problem but approach rooted problems. Of course jumping from something like D&D to something like FATE or PbtA might fix problems but normally it's not the best solution.

    Quote Originally Posted by Talakeal View Post
    Something seems odd to me; people are saying that specific mechanics and numbers are very important when they are talking about a fiction first character generation system, but at the same time saying that dice rolls are not important and that a good DM is not just an impartial arbiter but actively driving the narrative. Don't these attitudes seem kind of contradictory?
    I don't think it's the same people saying those exact things.

    Quote Originally Posted by Talakeal View Post
    For me when I play, and I think most people are the same way, they like to feel special. I know I have had games ruined by GMs "rule zeroing" to make my character irrelevant, for example I had one DM giving beasts double HP because my ranger with favored enemy beast was killing them too fast and another DM have my psychic whose only power was mental shields be dominated by a "custom mind control charm that ignores mental defenses" to get force me onto the plot train. This is bad.
    That is bad, now it might be reasonable to occasionally have beasts that your ranger can't deal with easily, but normally what I would do is vary encounters so your ranger gets his beast encounters and your party members also get non-beast encounters.

    Quote Originally Posted by Talakeal View Post
    On the other hand, the barbarian in my current group is, on paper, extremely deadly, but when actual combat starts she can't roll above a 10 (of course outside of combat its nothing but 20s from her). In this case I could actually see it being nice for a DM to fudge so that the character she built feels more special, although I still won't do it because the other players would notice and would accuse me of favoritism.
    This is one situation where it's difficult to fudge since people can see the dice she rolls, and will be able to deduce the AC of enemies from other rolls. I wouldn't use fudging here. In D&D what I would do is occasionally throw in some enemies that are large piles of HP and resistances with low AC, because she'll be able to hit those more consistently and they'd play more to her strengths, but don't overuse that. It's about giving players moments to shine, and that sort of thing could give her moments to shine despite her poor luck. I wouldn't try to fudge her to competency though, just present scenarios where she can shine despite her poor rolls.

    Quote Originally Posted by Talakeal View Post
    This thread is actually making me glad that I am gaming in Bizarro world for once.
    So as a DM you never have to hide what is actually going on from the players? Transparency is bad for a DM in the same reason it's bad for a magician, knowing the nuts and bolts of what is going on does not improve the experience.
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    Default Re: Talakeal's Gaming Horror Stories Continued (not really)

    Quote Originally Posted by AMFV View Post
    Because learning a new system is time consuming, and also because a new system is likewise imperfect there are very few cases where learning a new system is going to fix all your problems without creating new ones. I've seen plenty of players and DM's seduced by the idea that once they find their perfect system they'll just be better, instead of having them look around at ways to improve their skills within said system.
    You are correct. But there are a couple points that I think are important:
    • Learning any new system will take time. Some will take as little as a minute.
    • "That perfection is impossible is no excuse not to strive for it." -The Paladin. The fact that two options are flawed does not mean one can't be better for you.
    • Problems that can't be fixed by switching systems shouldn't be made any worse in other systems either. You have to practice your skills and fine-tune your approach either way and a lot of it is even transferable.
    That being said, if you like rules-heavy systems, have found other systems to be farther from your perfect game than D&D and you are working on your base skills, continue as you were. But to someone else maybe it will be worth it.

    Now there are cases when changing or finding a new system is worth it, but those are in my experience, edge cases, typically the problems will persist into a new system because most of them aren't system rooted problem but approach rooted problems. Of course jumping from something like D&D to something like FATE or PbtA might fix problems but normally it's not the best solution.
    In my experience switching to Powered by the Apocalypse has improved the quality of just about every game I have played as compared to D&D. (I play other systems, but just looking at the two for a moment.) No I am not going to say that everyone switching would be a good idea, but I think there are people who would enjoy a game in, if not Powered by the Apocalypse than Fate or GURPS or Fudge or Fiasco or any of a dozen other systems that seem to get rejected because they are not D&D.

    So yeah, I'm going to stay here and suggest switching systems, neither you nor anyone else reading this actually has to. I wouldn't make you if I could. But just don't dismiss the idea out of hand.

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    Quote Originally Posted by AMFV View Post
    So as a DM you never have to hide what is actually going on from the players? Transparency is bad for a DM in the same reason it's bad for a magician, knowing the nuts and bolts of what is going on does not improve the experience.
    It does not makes it worse either.
    Also did you see that series where someone explains magician tricks?
    Some tricks are equally awesome once explained.(like the trick where the magician shoots a gun and people reflectively close their eyes and during that a very powerful engine puts very quickly a veil in position that looks like the wall behind so that people thinks what is now behind the veil disappeared(people have poor depth perception for stuff that is far) really good engineering is needed for the veil to be placed fast enough)
    Last edited by noob; 2019-01-12 at 04:09 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Cluedrew View Post
    You are correct. But there are a couple points that I think are important:[LIST][*]Learning any new system will take time. Some will take as little as a minute.
    Not always true, many systems have major philosophical differences that can make it much harder to learn, usually switching from one that's complex to one that you think will take "less than a minute" involves changing a great deal of playstyle philosophy and that's something that can take many sessions to get down, also it requires a different skillset.

    Quote Originally Posted by Cluedrew View Post
    [*]"That perfection is impossible is no excuse not to strive for it." -The Paladin. The fact that two options are flawed does not mean one can't be better for you.
    Yep, and the fact that there are multiple options for me doesn't mean inherently that I haven't already picked the one that's best for me, particularly if I've done the requisite research.

    Quote Originally Posted by Cluedrew View Post
    [*]Problems that can't be fixed by switching systems shouldn't be made any worse in other systems either. You have to practice your skills and fine-tune your approach either way and a lot of it is even transferable.
    That's categorically untrue. There are many systems that handle some things worse than others, or that may be worse for you in a particular area, and switching can make things worse. Particularly if you haven't correctly diagnosed the problem. Or if the system you're switching to is one that's worse for youo.

    Quote Originally Posted by Cluedrew View Post
    That being said, if you like rules-heavy systems, have found other systems to be farther from your perfect game than D&D and you are working on your base skills, continue as you were. But to someone else maybe it will be worth it.
    Possibly, I just wouldn't imply that switching to other systems is always going to improve matters, because it could result in a worse experience.

    Quote Originally Posted by Cluedrew View Post
    In my experience switching to Powered by the Apocalypse has improved the quality of just about every game I have played as compared to D&D. (I play other systems, but just looking at the two for a moment.) No I am not going to say that everyone switching would be a good idea, but I think there are people who would enjoy a game in, if not Powered by the Apocalypse than Fate or GURPS or Fudge or Fiasco or any of a dozen other systems that seem to get rejected because they are not D&D.
    There certainly are. But if I were going to switch to PbtA it would make my entire experience worse, I loathe that system and the assumptions behind it (not that you shouldn't like it), but for me switching to that would be bad. I'm not too fond of Fate or Fudge or Fiasco either. GURPS I don't mind, but it's not always the experience I'm looking for. I've done enough research and reading and playing to know what I like, and many other people have as well. It's also the case that for some (many) people D&D may offer the best experience possible, and switching would degrade their experience. I would just caution you to be aware of that possibility when you're giving that piece of advice.

    Quote Originally Posted by Cluedrew View Post
    So yeah, I'm going to stay here and suggest switching systems, neither you nor anyone else reading this actually has to. I wouldn't make you if I could. But just don't dismiss the idea out of hand.
    The reason that I might dismiss that idea out of hand is that I've already got a working system that I enjoy. I occasionally try other ones, cause I like playing with systems and what-not. But I usually go back to what I enjoy because I enjoy it. And I can manage it without doing too many houserules, or so many that I feel I'm creating a different system.

    Also switching systems as I've said, can be worse, if you're switching to one you like or enjoy less.

    Quote Originally Posted by noob View Post
    It does not makes it worse either.
    Also did you see that series where someone explains magician tricks?
    Some tricks are equally awesome once explained.(like the trick where the magician shoots a gun and people reflectively close their eyes and during that a very powerful engine puts very quickly a veil in position that looks like the wall behind so that people thinks what is now behind the veil disappeared(people have poor depth perception for stuff that is far) really good engineering is needed for the veil to be placed fast enough)
    Some tricks are, but not all tricks. There are plenty of times when knowing what's going to happen beforehand can make the experience less fun.
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    Default Re: Talakeal's Gaming Horror Stories Continued (not really)

    Quote Originally Posted by GloatingSwine View Post
    Not in proper sports.

    Weird turn based variants of Rugby don't count as proper sports.

    In proper sports it's the ref and match officials who decide how much stoppage time is added due to injury, substitutions, penalties, etc.
    Fair enough. The ref does also sometimes have to care about pacing in sports ball - but said instances are very specific one-offs, with defined parameters, whereas the players or coach could, if that is their style, be "playing the clock" throughout up to the entire game.

    Quote Originally Posted by Malifice View Post
    A DM is not just a random number generator and impartial rules referee. We can get computers to do both.

    A DM has a higher obligation. He's a man manager (he has to manage his players). He usually hosts the game. His overall responsibility is to ensure the enjoyment, entertainment, challenge and co-operation of the players.

    It's more of an art than a science.

    I've always likened the DM to more of a conductor of an orchestra than a referee of a sports match, with the players being both the audience and the musicians.
    There was a thread some time back about what roles are inherent to the GM - IME, most of the things you listed are, more often than not, done by someone else / not done by the GM, or not done so exclusively. Anyone can host, anyone can manage personnel, everyone should care about the group's enjoyment, etc. And, really, I'm more and more preferring groups where the GM isn't even the exclusive rules arbiter - where, often, the players know the rules (whether the GM does or not) and can generally handle that side of things.

    Quote Originally Posted by Satinavian View Post
    No.

    If you fudge, the players can rely on there being no results too far out of expectations and that things go the way of genre conventions and proper story flow/pacing. And that it matches your taste in drama.

    It is far easier to metagame with fudging if one knows the DM.
    Strongly agree. I had one fudging GM who, halfway through the first session, I could predict the entire campaign, up to and including how many and which characters would be conscious at the conclusion the final battle with the BBEG, because I knew that's what he believed would make the "best" story.

    Fudging increases, not decreases, the capacity for metagaming.

    Quote Originally Posted by AMFV View Post
    So as a DM you never have to hide what is actually going on from the players? Transparency is bad for a DM in the same reason it's bad for a magician, knowing the nuts and bolts of what is going on does not improve the experience.
    You've lost me here.

    The players being able to see how everything works and fits together seems like a huge plus in my book. Otherwise, it is indistinguishable from GM Fiat or meaningless Chaos.

    Quote Originally Posted by AMFV View Post
    Some tricks are, but not all tricks. There are plenty of times when knowing what's going to happen beforehand can make the experience less fun.
    One can know how chess pieces move without knowing what specific move(s) one's opponent is going to make.

    So, which layer(s) are we discussing here?

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    To AMFV: Great, sounds good. I just have one follow up which is: You realize I'm not trying to convince you to switch systems right? I'm speaking about why a person in general might switch systems. I tried to make that clear but I'm not sure if it came across so I'm going to say it very explicitly before we finish.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Cluedrew View Post
    To AMFV: Great, sounds good. I just have one follow up which is: You realize I'm not trying to convince you to switch systems right? I'm speaking about why a person in general might switch systems. I tried to make that clear but I'm not sure if it came across so I'm going to say it very explicitly before we finish.
    I do understand, I was trying to explain why "switching systems" is not always good advice, and it seems that people (especially people who play certain non-D&D systems) always immediately offer it as though nobody had ever thought of it before as a solution for every single problem in every single thread. I'm not saying that for some people switching systems isn't good, but I am saying that if somebody comes into a thread asking for advice about their D&D post-apocalypse game and the response is "Don't use D&D" that's usually the least useful advice in the thread in my experience.

    Quote Originally Posted by Quertus View Post
    Fair enough. The ref does also sometimes have to care about pacing in sports ball - but said instances are very specific one-offs, with defined parameters, whereas the players or coach could, if that is their style, be "playing the clock" throughout up to the entire game.
    This isn't proper sports. Not even close. Most DMs roll is more like that of an MC or a stage director than a referee in sports. The players are generally not competing. The DM is generally not competing. Though there are games where there are exceptions. But in sports because of its competitiveness the role of the ref involves putting the rules above all else.

    Quote Originally Posted by Quertus View Post
    There was a thread some time back about what roles are inherent to the GM - IME, most of the things you listed are, more often than not, done by someone else / not done by the GM, or not done so exclusively. Anyone can host, anyone can manage personnel, everyone should care about the group's enjoyment, etc. And, really, I'm more and more preferring groups where the GM isn't even the exclusive rules arbiter - where, often, the players know the rules (whether the GM does or not) and can generally handle that side of things.
    That's a specific case of different game systems though. In the ones I was mentioning that is not part of the way it works unless the DM is willing to drop rules.

    Quote Originally Posted by Quertus View Post
    Strongly agree. I had one fudging GM who, halfway through the first session, I could predict the entire campaign, up to and including how many and which characters would be conscious at the conclusion the final battle with the BBEG, because I knew that's what he believed would make the "best" story.

    Fudging increases, not decreases, the capacity for metagaming.
    Bad fudging does. That's the problem is that you guys are claiming that this tool can only be used in one way. And often the problems that you're describing are not fudging related.

    Quote Originally Posted by Quertus View Post
    You've lost me here.

    The players being able to see how everything works and fits together seems like a huge plus in my book. Otherwise, it is indistinguishable from GM Fiat or meaningless Chaos.
    The key is to have a world with some mystery in how things work, but not only mystery in how things work and fit together. Because otherwise you might as well just play Chess or House on Haunted Hill or a board game. If you fudge too much and bend the rules too much your game becomes meaningless chaos.

    Also FUDGING IS GM FIAT. That's literally what it is.
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    Quote Originally Posted by AMFV View Post
    I do understand [that you are speaking in general], but I am saying that if somebody comes into a thread asking for advice about their D&D post-apocalypse game and the response is "Don't use D&D" that's usually the least useful advice in the thread in my experience.
    Great, just wasn't quite sure. That being said I am one of those people. Yes it is not likely to be useful, but for me it is there for that once in a blue moon chance that it is in fact a useful piece of advice. And the rest of the time people can just ignore my post.

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    Default Re: Talakeal's Gaming Horror Stories Continued (not really)

    So, we had another session.

    It went all right, but there were a few issues. (Note that I am only talking about the issues here, a lot of the evening went fine).

    1: I have a player who has memory issues and refuses to take notes. They started the session seeking out an NPC to ask questions, and when they finally got there the player couldn't remember what she went there to ask about. We had an OOC conversation and I asked if the player wanted me to remind them, I said that I felt it wasn't my job as the GM to do so, but I would if it made them happy. They said yes, and then proceeded to pout for the next few hours and refused to say a word in character, forcing me to RP their character for them all the while insisting nothing was wrong.

    2: They continued their "PC mafia" tactic of wanting to negotiate with monsters, but refusing to actually offer the monsters anything. It got to the point where they were actually trying to recruit monsters, saying "Fight for us or we will kill you!". Then when the monsters say no, the game stalls out for quite a while as nobody in the party can think of an actual diplomatic / deceptive approach to use but doesn't want to risk actually fighting the monster.

    3: On a related note, they were planning on making an alliance with an ogre tribe. The guard was a stupid ogre who demanded their "best thing" to let them pass. In my mind I intended this to be a bluff based challenge where they would try and see if they could talk the ogre into accepting something relatively worthless by talking it up. Instead they did their usual "let us pass or we kill you!," the ogre said no, so they killed the ogre. Then they were inside the ogre compound, but they had no guide and freshly murdered guard behind them, and suddenly realized that they wouldn't be able to talk to the rest of the ogres now, but they weren't sure they could take on the whole ogre tribe in a fight, yet knew they couldn't progress on without dealing with the ogres lest the ogres choose to attack them while they are in ogre territory and weakened by fighting something else.

    4: They had an encounter with that hurts everyone in melee range of it when damaged. I expected this to be a sort of "tank swap" fight. Instead the fighter engaged the monster and then the party unloaded on it despite the fighter's player asking them not to, and he went down within a couple of rounds. At that point he pouted and got up and left the table, and even when they healed him to get him back in the fight he refused to participate in the fight and said their was no point.

    5: So, this is where we get to one of my personal pet peeves, the PCs nagging the DM for metagaming. Basically they started bitching that I was using basic tactics for a mindless monster. At that point I asked them if they really wanted me to RP the monsters more appropriately, and they said yes, so I switched from "combat as sport" to "combat as war". This meant that monsters started using hit and run tactics, targeting the back line first, grappling, focusing fire, and trying to separate the PCs and pick off the lone member. After the sorcerer was grappled by a giant and effectively taken out of the fight that player started pouting.

    And yeah, I know it is a bit vindictive for me to take them at their word. I know when they say "they want me to RP monsters better" they really mean "we want to feel clever and have an easy time by outsmarting enemies," but man, I really really hate it when players accuse a DM of metagaming.

    6: This one is less of an in game issue, but man nobody coordinated their breaks. It seemed like we only actually played in 15 minute chunks as somebody would invariably have to leave the table to go to the bathroom, or get a snack, or take care of a dog / kid, or answer a phone call, or something. We are gaming at somebody else's house, so I feel weird trying to set a strict schedule, but man it is annoying to constantly be sitting around waiting for a player to get back to the table and start the game up only to have another player leave the second they get back.


    Quote Originally Posted by Malifice View Post
    A DM is not just a random number generator and impartial rules referee. We can get computers to do both.
    The DM is not a random number generator, that is the dice's job. By arguing in favor of fudging

    A computer can't really be an impartial rules referee, because it simply does what it is programed with, and if un unanticipated situation comes up the computer either crashes or introduces an exploit / bug.

    Likewise the GM has a plethora of jobs which are far more important than referring such as creating content, playing NPCs, or describing how the world reacts to the players actions. Computers can only do these things in very limited pre-scripted ways. Trust me, if they computer could I would never choose a tabletop over a video game.
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    Default Re: Talakeal's Gaming Horror Stories Continued (not really)

    I have a few points that should hopefully help.

    Quote Originally Posted by Talakeal View Post
    2: They continued their "PC mafia" tactic of wanting to negotiate with monsters, but refusing to actually offer the monsters anything.
    This seems like a bit issue with video game assumptions. Sort of like if your social stat is high enough you unlock another choice in the dialogue tree. Or the option is already there, your character says the same thing either way but the option depends on a number buried away.

    In other words they are having issues with the world vs. the systems used to represent them. I know at least one player who had a similar issue (who shall be known as Bob after their character... yup). And unfortunately we never really solved that problem (they play with a different group now) so I don't have a solution other than I think they need to think about the in-would view of what is going on. But I don't know how to help them do that.

    5: So, this is where we get to one of my personal pet peeves, the PCs nagging the DM for metagaming.
    Just warn them what "playing the monsters appropriately" means before you make the switch. I mean they may have figured it out by now but for future reference that might help things go over better.

    Actually this actually may relate to the above issue, in that they are not expecting enemies to act stupid so much as they are expecting enemies to act like video game enemies. Which is kind of stupid but more importantly hugely limited and often very predictable. Enemy intelligence is limited to cut-scenes.

    6: This one is less of an in game issue, but man nobody coordinated their breaks.
    Even if you don't want to enforce a schedule, maybe suggest that people do. Even just say, "OK well if anyone else has something to do you can do it now." or get up and grab a drink yourself as an example. Or you can play into the break a bit, nothing important (this isn't a punishment) but maybe encourage some side stuff while they are gone. When they get back everybody else is ready to go and they can join the stream. I have no real evidence for this strategy but anecdotally I have found a couple people ready to go helps things move.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Talakeal View Post
    1: I have a player who has memory issues and refuses to take notes. They started the session seeking out an NPC to ask questions, and when they finally got there the player couldn't remember what she went there to ask about. We had an OOC conversation and I asked if the player wanted me to remind them, I said that I felt it wasn't my job as the GM to do so, but I would if it made them happy. They said yes, and then proceeded to pout for the next few hours and refused to say a word in character, forcing me to RP their character for them all the while insisting nothing was wrong.
    The way to deal with this IMHO, is to not roleplay their character, if they are pouting and standing around doing nothing then so is their character. That would be my way of dealing with this.

    Quote Originally Posted by Talakeal View Post
    2: They continued their "PC mafia" tactic of wanting to negotiate with monsters, but refusing to actually offer the monsters anything. It got to the point where they were actually trying to recruit monsters, saying "Fight for us or we will kill you!". Then when the monsters say no, the game stalls out for quite a while as nobody in the party can think of an actual diplomatic / deceptive approach to use but doesn't want to risk actually fighting the monster.
    The correct thing here is that when the monsters say no, you roll initiative. If somebody says "Join me or I'll kill you," and I say "No". I know that I'm going to have to kill them instead, there's no reason why the monsters should let the PCs get away after they just threatened to kill them.

    Quote Originally Posted by Talakeal View Post
    3: On a related note, they were planning on making an alliance with an ogre tribe. The guard was a stupid ogre who demanded their "best thing" to let them pass. In my mind I intended this to be a bluff based challenge where they would try and see if they could talk the ogre into accepting something relatively worthless by talking it up. Instead they did their usual "let us pass or we kill you!," the ogre said no, so they killed the ogre. Then they were inside the ogre compound, but they had no guide and freshly murdered guard behind them, and suddenly realized that they wouldn't be able to talk to the rest of the ogres now, but they weren't sure they could take on the whole ogre tribe in a fight, yet knew they couldn't progress on without dealing with the ogres lest the ogres choose to attack them while they are in ogre territory and weakened by fighting something else.
    The guard didn't call for help? He must have been a terrible guard then.

    I'll get to the rest later, but that's my thoughts on those ones.
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    Default Re: Talakeal's Gaming Horror Stories Continued (not really)

    Quote Originally Posted by AMFV View Post
    The correct thing here is that when the monsters say no, you roll initiative. If somebody says "Join me or I'll kill you," and I say "No". I know that I'm going to have to kill them instead, there's no reason why the monsters should let the PCs get away after they just threatened to kill them.
    That's actually a really great idea. I think I need to make the PCs aware of this though.

    Quote Originally Posted by AMFV View Post
    The guard didn't call for help? He must have been a terrible guard then.
    Not a great guard, no, just the biggest and dumbest ogre in the group. There were, however, no other ogres in earshot when the fight occurred.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Talakeal View Post
    That's actually a really great idea. I think I need to make the PCs aware of this though.
    It sounds like you are not giving them enough warning of potential consequences of their actions before they make them. Perhaps because you don't want to influence their decision making process? It sounds like this group of players needs a little more assistance than average to understand what their actions may lead to. Even if you help them figure out potential things they can do and what might happen, let them make their own decisions about it.

    Before they roll Intimidate on the ogres, just tell them outright that the DC is X, and it looks like the ogres are going to be quite hostile if they fail, and probably start a fight.

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    Default Re: Talakeal's Gaming Horror Stories Continued (not really)

    To be honest, they sound like poor quality players. I'd kick them to the curb and find better players.

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    Default Re: Talakeal's Gaming Horror Stories Continued (not really)

    @AMFV - I think that we're not on the same page on some of these items. I'll try to tailor the length of my response to how interesting I think that continuing that piece of the conversation will be. Also, if you're interested in an intellectually honest conversation, please stop generalizing (if not, and you're just trolling or trying to "win" the internet or something, well, I'll just stop engaging you on this topic).

    Quote Originally Posted by AMFV View Post
    This isn't proper sports. Not even close. Most DMs roll is more like that of an MC or a stage director than a referee in sports. The players are generally not competing. The DM is generally not competing. Though there are games where there are exceptions. But in sports because of its competitiveness the role of the ref involves putting the rules above all else.
    Thank you for supporting my position.

    Quote Originally Posted by AMFV View Post
    That's a specific case of different game systems though. In the ones I was mentioning that is not part of the way it works unless the DM is willing to drop rules.
    ... What? I'm guessing you're not saying that, by RAW, the GM is supposed to host the game (if so, citation please). So, what are you saying?

    Quote Originally Posted by AMFV View Post
    Bad fudging does. That's the problem is that you guys are claiming that this tool can only be used in one way. And often the problems that you're describing are not fudging related.
    So, 1) is the specific problem I'm describing fudging related; 2) can you describe a good example of "good" fudging, 3) especially one that you believe will not increase the power of metagaming? Because even the "best" example of fudging (the one I quoted and said was the most persuasive argument in this thread) would increase, not decrease, the capacity for metagaming.

    Quote Originally Posted by AMFV View Post
    The key is to have a world with some mystery in how things work, but not only mystery in how things work and fit together. Because otherwise you might as well just play Chess or House on Haunted Hill or a board game. If you fudge too much and bend the rules too much your game becomes meaningless chaos.
    Let's say that I agree with that last sentence. If fudging leads to meaningless chaos, why start down that path?

    The advantage of an RPG over a board game is the ability of the GM to add rules not covered by RAW, the existence of an "outside the box".

    But, to try to get back to the point at hand, the GM is the eyes and ears of the character. It's simple calculus - the GM's headspace finite, attention span finite. Why would you advocate the GM spend time trying to obfuscate information? Aren't there more important things for the GM to be concerned with, including making sure that the players have enough information?

    Quote Originally Posted by AMFV View Post
    Also FUDGING IS GM FIAT. That's literally what it is.
    Thank you for supporting my position.

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