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  1. - Top - End - #211
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    Default Re: Talakeal's Gaming Horror Stories Continued (not really)

    Quote Originally Posted by geppetto View Post
    I think what he's saying is your not shooting craps. You cant cheat. Your telling a collaborative story with friends and the point is to enjoy the telling of that story, not to beat the house (GM).

    Course I fudge all the time too. Random chance does not control my table, the people sitting around it do.
    And if you want to be bad at RPGs then that's fine. Being bad at RPGs is no sin. What is a sin is lying to the other players about it and claiming that you're not fudging dice when you actually are. Because consent is important.

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

    Quote Originally Posted by Koo Rehtorb View Post
    And if you want to be bad at RPGs then that's fine. Being bad at RPGs is no sin. What is a sin is lying to the other players about it and claiming that you're not fudging dice when you actually are. Because consent is important.
    No the illusion of consent is important.

    And the only way to be bad at RPG's is to not create an enjoyable time. Something that has never been a problem in my 20 years of GMing. Maybe your crappy gamist attitude is actually the problem?

  3. - Top - End - #213
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    Default Re: Talakeal's Gaming Horror Stories Continued (not really)

    Quote Originally Posted by geppetto View Post
    No the illusion of consent is important.
    "Lying to your friends is okay so long as you get away with it"

    Maybe you play with dumb players?

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

    Quote Originally Posted by Koo Rehtorb View Post
    "Lying to your friends is okay so long as you get away with it"

    Maybe you play with dumb players?
    There are plenty of games where "lying to your friends" is a fundamental part of the game. Poker, for example. In D&D there are many many scenarios where a DM is expected to mislead or deceive other players. The DM's primary responsibility isn't just to create a fun world but to create an interesting experience for the players and arbitrate the rules.

    Now if you find yourself fudging a lot or bending the rules a bunch, maybe you should be playing in a different system but occasionally bending the rules is not even a little bit of a problem. And acting like it isn't inherent in the design of most RPGs is ridiculous, it's like claiming that bluffing in poker is "lying to your friends".
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  5. - Top - End - #215
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    Quote Originally Posted by AMFV View Post
    There are plenty of games where "lying to your friends" is a fundamental part of the game. Poker, for example. In D&D there are many many scenarios where a DM is expected to mislead or deceive other players. The DM's primary responsibility isn't just to create a fun world but to create an interesting experience for the players and arbitrate the rules.
    That's not what I'm talking about. I'm talking about a situation in which the player says "I'm not okay with you fudging dice. Please either don't do it, or tell me right now that you're going to do it so I know not to play in your game." Acceptable responses include:

    "Okay. I won't do it if you feel that way about it."
    or
    "I'm sorry. I think fudging is an important DM tool and I'll be doing it when I feel it is necessary".

    Not acceptable is "Okay. I won't." And then doing it anyway.

    If you have (bad) players that are okay with you fudging dice then more power to you. I'd run for the hills, but you're certainly welcome to be bad at RPGs together, so long as you have informed consent about it.

  6. - Top - End - #216
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    Quote Originally Posted by Koo Rehtorb View Post
    That's not what I'm talking about. I'm talking about a situation in which the player says "I'm not okay with you fudging dice. Please either don't do it, or tell me right now that you're going to do it so I know not to play in your game." Acceptable responses include:
    How does the player know that I'm fudging dice? Is this a conversation that comes up often in games you have? I mean I've run dozens of games for friends IRL and dozens of games for folks online, and it's come up, like maybe one time, and that was only when I was chatting about player death.

    Quote Originally Posted by Koo Rehtorb View Post
    "Okay. I won't do it if you feel that way about it."
    That is one way to go about it, but again, this is probably not going to come up in-game.

    Quote Originally Posted by Koo Rehtorb View Post
    "I'm sorry. I think fudging is an important DM tool and I'll be doing it when I feel it is necessary".
    I'd normally say something like this, sometimes I'll mention it at the start of a campaign, but generally I don't find it necessary.

    Quote Originally Posted by Koo Rehtorb View Post
    Not acceptable is "Okay. I won't." And then doing it anyway.
    What if I later change my mind? What if I'm like "the rules are cool with it, but this guy needs that belief that I'm not doing it?" Like if somebody needs to believe that I'm not fudging any rolls to have fun, I'm going to convince him I'm not, not because I'm a ****, but because my responsibility is to maximize enjoyment.

    Quote Originally Posted by Koo Rehtorb View Post
    If you have (bad) players that are okay with you fudging dice then more power to you. I'd run for the hills, but you're certainly welcome to be bad at RPGs together, so long as you have informed consent about it.
    See THIS sentence is the problem, this is where your attempt to act like you're not judging people as liars, who choose to fudge falls apart. Also "fudging" doesn't make players bad players or make me a bad DM. Let's say I fudge on an encounter table, I roll for a random encounter and there are dozens of encounters that could be fun and advance the plot, but when the dice come up, I think to myself, "I know I rolled an 11, but the encounter that would have happened if I rolled a 12 looks much more fun" this is an actual thing I've done. When I rolled the dice, I had no preference, but when I was reading the encounter table to see what the result was, then I made a snap decision.
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  7. - Top - End - #217
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    Default Re: Talakeal's Gaming Horror Stories Continued (not really)

    What if I later change my mind?
    You are allowed to say "I changed my mind, that's how things are going to be from now on". The fact that you said something in the past doesn't bind you forever.

    my responsibility is to maximize enjoyment
    I agree, but in this case wouldn't that mean not starting a group under false pretenses, giving both you and the other player the chance of finding someone who actually likes to play the same way as you instead of wasting time lying/being lied to? I mean, your reasoning is solid only on the assumption that you can't find any other player ever, and the player who doesn't like fudging can't find any other GM ever.

    I mean, I have no strong opinions about fudging rolls but I would still be pretty angry if I realized the GM pulled such a trick on me. I'm an adult, and I definitely don't need anybody who thinks they know better than me how I'm supposed to have fun.
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  8. - Top - End - #218
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    Quote Originally Posted by AMFV View Post
    How does the player know that I'm fudging dice? Is this a conversation that comes up often in games you have? I mean I've run dozens of games for friends IRL and dozens of games for folks online, and it's come up, like maybe one time, and that was only when I was chatting about player death.
    It doesn't come up for me because I either roll all dice in the open, or I'm playing games where the GM never rolls anything anyway.

    What if I later change my mind? What if I'm like "the rules are cool with it, but this guy needs that belief that I'm not doing it?" Like if somebody needs to believe that I'm not fudging any rolls to have fun, I'm going to convince him I'm not, not because I'm a ****, but because my responsibility is to maximize enjoyment.
    Then you tell him that. It also makes you kind of a jerk because now he's in a position where he either has to suck it up or quit in the middle of something he's invested actual time and effort in at this point. But sure, whatever. You're allowed to change your mind about stuff.

    See THIS sentence is the problem, this is where your attempt to act like you're not judging people as liars, who choose to fudge falls apart.
    I've never said I'm not judging you. If you fudge dice in an RPG I'm judging you super hard. This is me shaking my head at you for being "bad at RPGs" across the internet right now. My opinion here also doesn't matter. If you have a group of players that's all fine with fudging then what I think genuinely doesn't matter. People do all sorts of things in life that I judge them for but isn't actually "wrong".

    But if you know someone isn't okay with it and you do it anyway behind their back then yes, that is actually wrong. That is a bad thing you are doing.

  9. - Top - End - #219
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    Default Re: Talakeal's Gaming Horror Stories Continued (not really)

    Quote Originally Posted by AMFV View Post
    What if I'm like "the rules are cool with it, but this guy needs that belief that I'm not doing it?" Like if somebody needs to believe that I'm not fudging any rolls to have fun, I'm going to convince him I'm not, not because I'm a ****, but because my responsibility is to maximize enjoyment.
    So what you are saying is that you know better than the player himself what he actually enjoys. Maybe that's true, but it sounds very disrespectful.

    If the player says "No, I really want you to keep that 11 and have a boring encounter, than you changing it to a 12 for a fun one", who are you to question his preferences? Rather just say that for the sake of the fun of everyone in the group you will reserve the possibility to change the result if you think it will improve the experience.

    I love board games where players are supposed to lie to each other (The Resistance, ONUW, etc), but they are no fun if the players participating don't understand that it is allowed to lie, it's playing under false premise.

  10. - Top - End - #220
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    Default Re: Talakeal's Gaming Horror Stories Continued (not really)

    Quote Originally Posted by Pelle View Post
    So what you are saying is that you know better than the player himself what he actually enjoys. Maybe that's true, but it sounds very disrespectful.
    It's not really, people are notoriously bad at figuring out exactly what they'll enjoy. Being honest about that will definitely help you.

    Quote Originally Posted by Pelle View Post
    If the player says "No, I really want you to keep that 11 and have a boring encounter, than you changing it to a 12 for a fun one", who are you to question his preferences? Rather just say that for the sake of the fun of everyone in the group you will reserve the possibility to change the result if you think it will improve the experience.
    Here's the thing, the player will NEVER know if you've done that. A player should never know if you're doing a random encounter, a scripted encounter, or part of a pre-written adventure. A big part of your job as a DM is to blend it to where they can't tell if you're improvising, and sometimes even to where they can't tell what has plot significance until later. This also allows you to add things to the plot, make things significant that weren't before.

    Take the 11 or 12. Let's say that you're playing a campaign with political intrigue, the 11 encounter would be something like 1d4 wolves or something. The 12 encounter is 1d4 bandits. So you say "Okay, if I put the bandits in there the players might decide that they're involved, or I might later decide that they're involved in the main plot." So that's why you might change things, to make things better.

    As far as "who am I to question his preferences?" I am the person who is designing the scope nature and encounters in the campaign. I reserve every right to change up any encounter as I see fit. Random encounter tables aren't the law, they're things to help a DM produce random encounters, the vast majority of encounters should be non-random, in most games. So you're just changing something from a random encounter to a semi-scripted one.

    Quote Originally Posted by Pelle View Post
    I love board games where players are supposed to lie to each other (The Resistance, ONUW, etc), but they are no fun if the players participating don't understand that it is allowed to lie, it's playing under false premise.
    But the thing is that a DM isn't a player in the same sense that you're all players in "The Resistance". The DM has a unique role that means that they already have different rules that apply to them, which is typically documented in the rules for almost every game. Now sometimes they have less legroom to work with, but typically because their goal isn't to "win" by rolling high and dominating the encounter, that would mean that "cheating" isn't exactly the same for them, since they aren't directly competing with the players.

    Quote Originally Posted by Koo Rehtorb View Post
    It doesn't come up for me because I either roll all dice in the open, or I'm playing games where the GM never rolls anything anyway.
    I don't roll dice in the open as a DM, ever. Not even because of fudging but because players aren't always aware if they succeeded. If a player knows instantly if his bluff has worked, that'll change his experience, and for the worse. If a player knows that his stealth roll wasn't good enough, his tactics will change drastically. So I roll behind a screen so that I can help to preserve the integrity of the game.

    Quote Originally Posted by Koo Rehtorb View Post
    Then you tell him that. It also makes you kind of a jerk because now he's in a position where he either has to suck it up or quit in the middle of something he's invested actual time and effort in at this point. But sure, whatever. You're allowed to change your mind about stuff.
    Yes, I am.

    Quote Originally Posted by Koo Rehtorb View Post
    I've never said I'm not judging you. If you fudge dice in an RPG I'm judging you super hard. This is me shaking my head at you for being "bad at RPGs" across the internet right now. My opinion here also doesn't matter. If you have a group of players that's all fine with fudging then what I think genuinely doesn't matter. People do all sorts of things in life that I judge them for but isn't actually "wrong".
    Eh, and I'm judging you for letting players know if they were able to successfully hide, I'm judging you for taking random encounter tables as a sort of law instead of being willing to improvise or script encounters to be better. If you are bound by the rules so completely that you literally cannot break them, you are not being the best DM. If you could be replaced by googling the rules and rolling on tables, why are you even there.

    Quote Originally Posted by Koo Rehtorb View Post
    But if you know someone isn't okay with it and you do it anyway behind their back then yes, that is actually wrong. That is a bad thing you are doing.
    Not necessarily. If somebody is drunk and I hide their car keys from them, that's not "wrong", even if they aren't okay with that. Agency doesn't trump moral correctness.

    Quote Originally Posted by Cozzer View Post
    You are allowed to say "I changed my mind, that's how things are going to be from now on". The fact that you said something in the past doesn't bind you forever.
    This is true, but you can't say that if you change your mind in the moment, so you have that one moment where you say "okay this is some BS for the players, I'm going to fudge this roll" and so you do, but if you're like "Okay, dudes, I'll be fudging from now on", they'll know you have, and so that's a problem.

    Quote Originally Posted by Cozzer View Post
    I agree, but in this case wouldn't that mean not starting a group under false pretenses, giving both you and the other player the chance of finding someone who actually likes to play the same way as you instead of wasting time lying/being lied to? I mean, your reasoning is solid only on the assumption that you can't find any other player ever, and the player who doesn't like fudging can't find any other GM ever.
    Ah, see this is I think a difference between people who play mostly with strangers and people who play mostly with friends. I play games with people I'm already friends with, not with people I met to play a game. It means that there's a lot more compromise of tastes going on.
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  11. - Top - End - #221
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    Default Re: Talakeal's Gaming Horror Stories Continued (not really)

    Fudging is a gateway drug. And drugs are bad.

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    Quote Originally Posted by The Insanity View Post
    Fudging is a gateway drug. And drugs are bad.
    Again, that's a debate out of itself xD
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    Quote Originally Posted by AMFV View Post
    Take the 11 or 12. Let's say that you're playing a campaign with political intrigue, the 11 encounter would be something like 1d4 wolves or something. The 12 encounter is 1d4 bandits. So you say "Okay, if I put the bandits in there the players might decide that they're involved, or I might later decide that they're involved in the main plot." So that's why you might change things, to make things better.

    As far as "who am I to question his preferences?" I am the person who is designing the scope nature and encounters in the campaign. I reserve every right to change up any encounter as I see fit. Random encounter tables aren't the law, they're things to help a DM produce random encounters, the vast majority of encounters should be non-random, in most games. So you're just changing something from a random encounter to a semi-scripted one.
    Those are all good reasons for not wanting to be bound by the results of rolling on encounter tables. That's NOT what people are reacting to, however. The issue is you not wanting to just say the above to the player in a session zero, but rather having the player play under false pretenses. Just say to the player that you acknowledge their preferences, but due to compromises with the rest of the table you can't promise to always adhere to the rolled results. In session zero, get buy-in to you maybe sometime changing that 11 to a 12 if it's necessary, and you are good. You don't need to announce it as it happens, you already have consent.

    I also use a mix of scripted, semi-scripted, random and improvised encounters, that's not problematic. I admit this to the players though, but I don't divulge what is what. I also have NPCs lie to the PCs, and try to be convincing enough myself to fool the players, but the players know that this can happen. Letting the players know what kind of game they are playing before it starts is only fair.

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

    Quote Originally Posted by Koo Rehtorb View Post
    It doesn't come up for me because I either roll all dice in the open, or I'm playing games where the GM never rolls anything anyway.



    Then you tell him that. It also makes you kind of a jerk because now he's in a position where he either has to suck it up or quit in the middle of something he's invested actual time and effort in at this point. But sure, whatever. You're allowed to change your mind about stuff.



    I've never said I'm not judging you. If you fudge dice in an RPG I'm judging you super hard. This is me shaking my head at you for being "bad at RPGs" across the internet right now. My opinion here also doesn't matter. If you have a group of players that's all fine with fudging then what I think genuinely doesn't matter. People do all sorts of things in life that I judge them for but isn't actually "wrong".

    But if you know someone isn't okay with it and you do it anyway behind their back then yes, that is actually wrong. That is a bad thing you are doing.

    I resent this statement. People are not "bad at RPGs" just because they play differently than you. RPGs are not like other games. They are, by intent, malleable; the golden rule is that you are allowed to change the rules. There are a million ways to play RPGs, and all of them are correct. Some play RPG as a tactical experience that pits players vs the DM; others prefer a story-oriented approach with barely any or even no dice rolls. Some like linear stories with a clear progress from A to B; others find more enjoyment in a sandbox approach. Some like to have the randomness of the dice be an integral part of how things turn out, while others prefer to have the story trump die rolls. None of these, or any of the many other ways to play RPGs is inherently superior to the others. They are all correct in their own way. The trick is not to find the one right way to play an RPG, but to find a group that enjoys playing RPGs the same way you do.

    I do agree with you on one point, though. The style of play needs to be clear to everyone involved. If you do something that is not in the rules (goes for house rules as well as things like fudging dice), you need to be upfront about it and let the players know beforehand that this is going to happen in your game, and to let players opt out if they don't agree with it. Telling the players you don't fudge dice and then doing it anyway is wrong in my eyes as well.
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    Ah, see this is I think a difference between people who play mostly with strangers and people who play mostly with friends. I play games with people I'm already friends with, not with people I met to play a game. It means that there's a lot more compromise of tastes going on.
    I only play with friends too, which makes me less inclined to lie to them, not more.

    This is true, but you can't say that if you change your mind in the moment, so you have that one moment where you say "okay this is some BS for the players, I'm going to fudge this roll" and so you do, but if you're like "Okay, dudes, I'll be fudging from now on", they'll know you have, and so that's a problem.
    Well you know, you can just be honest from the beginning and say "I won't fudge rolls unless there's some extremely unlikely chain of circumstances that you guys couldn't predict and would just make things less fun for everybody". It's my usual attitude towards fudging. What I mean is, I'm not against fudging; it's just this "lie to my players/friends for their own good" thing that irks me the wrong way.

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    Quote Originally Posted by The Insanity View Post
    Fudging is a gateway drug. And drugs are bad.
    What does fudging lead to though?

    Quote Originally Posted by Pelle View Post
    Those are all good reasons for not wanting to be bound by the results of rolling on encounter tables. That's NOT what people are reacting to, however. The issue is you not wanting to just say the above to the player in a session zero, but rather having the player play under false pretenses. Just say to the player that you acknowledge their preferences, but due to compromises with the rest of the table you can't promise to always adhere to the rolled results. In session zero, get buy-in to you maybe sometime changing that 11 to a 12 if it's necessary, and you are good. You don't need to announce it as it happens, you already have consent.
    It doesn't usually come up for me, that's the thing. I don't typically mention it ahead of time, since again most of the systems I play with have Rule Zero, which gives the DM permission to alter the rules as needed.

    Quote Originally Posted by Pelle View Post
    I also use a mix of scripted, semi-scripted, random and improvised encounters, that's not problematic. I admit this to the players though, but I don't divulge what is what. I also have NPCs lie to the PCs, and try to be convincing enough myself to fool the players, but the players know that this can happen. Letting the players know what kind of game they are playing before it starts is only fair.
    The thing is that "fudging" doesn't fundamentally alter the "kind" of game that's being played. And in games where fudging is likely, the DM will already be established as somebody who is not only operating under a fundamentally different set of rules and not only that is allowed to alter the rules.

    I have ran multiple different styles of game and my views on fudging stay the same, if I play in a OD&D dungeon crawl, I'll fudge the rules and the dice when it's appropriate. The same holds true for a story based WoD game, or a 3.5esque game.

    Quote Originally Posted by Cozzer View Post
    I only play with friends too, which makes me less inclined to lie to them, not more.
    The thing is that you guys are treating this as though it's a BIG lie, but it's a minor thing at best. That's the thing. It's not changing the way the game is played that much, because in most RPGs DMs are not required to follow the rules completely and are given some sort of permissions to alter the rules. Now admittedly there are systems where that's not the case, but those are kind of rare.

    Quote Originally Posted by Cozzer View Post
    Well you know, you can just be honest from the beginning and say "I won't fudge rolls unless there's some extremely unlikely chain of circumstances that you guys couldn't predict and would just make things less fun for everybody". It's my usual attitude towards fudging. What I mean is, I'm not against fudging; it's just this "lie to my players/friends for their own good" thing that irks me the wrong way.
    Like I said it doesn't usually come up for me. The games I play most often, Pathfinder and D&D, have rule zero permissions and so the ability of the DM to alter the rules (and therefore allow fudging) is inherent in the system. So I don't see that it's something that needs to be discussed. I think that even discussing it can be something that's a problem for people, it makes it seem like it's open for discussion (when it may or may not be), and it makes it more obvious when it happens.
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    Default Re: Talakeal's Gaming Horror Stories Continued (not really)

    @AMFV: Hmm, well, that's true too. Let's say I wouldn't bring it up myself and would assume my players trusted me with choosing whether/when/how much fudging is for the best. If one of the players asked me, though, I would be sincere, no matter how much my opinion and theirs differ.

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    Quote Originally Posted by AMFV View Post
    It doesn't usually come up for me, that's the thing. I don't typically mention it ahead of time, since again most of the systems I play with have Rule Zero, which gives the DM permission to alter the rules as needed.

    The thing is that "fudging" doesn't fundamentally alter the "kind" of game that's being played. And in games where fudging is likely, the DM will already be established as somebody who is not only operating under a fundamentally different set of rules and not only that is allowed to alter the rules.

    I have ran multiple different styles of game and my views on fudging stay the same, if I play in a OD&D dungeon crawl, I'll fudge the rules and the dice when it's appropriate. The same holds true for a story based WoD game, or a 3.5esque game.
    If the premise of the game is that the DM may fudge, and everybody understands that, you have consent - no problem. If they don't understand it, you don't have it. If everyone's expectations are unclear, better check then.

    However, you earlier described lying to a player who explicitly wanted to play without fudging. That's not consent. The player is led to believe he is playing a game without Rule Zero or similar. Fudge all you want, but please don't lie to your friends about it maybe happening sometimes.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Pelle View Post
    However, you earlier described lying to a player who explicitly wanted to play without fudging.
    A player like the poster above that made such a demand of a DM likely wouldn't be welcome at my table. Not because of this reason in and of itself, but because he's the kind of guy (as DM) that would let a bad dice roll wipe out a party who had done nothing wrong, were engaged with the story, working collaboratively, and having fun for no other reason than gravity.

    It tells me that our reasons for playing differ. He's trying to 'beat the DM' while the DM's definition of winning is 'ensuring his players have a good time'. I could just tell I have an antagonistic player on my hands there and then, and that it's almost certainly not going to work out.

    But on the off chance I met a new player and he was explicitly clear on this point (he wanted all rolls out in the open for his character, thats how he preferred to play, and he gets more enjoyment out of randomly getting killed etc) then I'd likely consent.

  20. - Top - End - #230
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    Default Re: Talakeal's Gaming Horror Stories Continued (not really)

    @Malifice: While I agree with the general sentiment of your comment, I think there's something important to mention. If a "single dice roll" risks wiping out "a party who had done nothing wrong", this means there's something extremely wrong either with the system or with how the adventure is built. (Unless the party being randomly wiped is part of the genre/basic gameplay, I guess, in which case fudging would be counterproductive anyway)

    It's OK to fudge in that case, in my opinion, but after the fact the GM should ask themselves why the party, having done nothing wrong, was in such a situation. Fudging is a temporary bandage that keeps things going while you work out how to solve the underlying problems (houserules for the problematic parts of the system, better adventure/encounter design), not a solution to these problems nor an excuse to ignore them.

    What I mean is, I think the best approach is to consider fudging a necessary evil. Don't let idealism prevent you from doing it when the alternative is worse, but the long-term goal should still be to put yourself in a situation where you don't need to do it anymore.

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

    Quote Originally Posted by Koo Rehtorb View Post
    "Lying to your friends is okay so long as you get away with it"

    Maybe you play with dumb players?
    LOL my friends arent sitting around in a religious inquisition.

    They know we are there to tell a story, its all fake. I hate to break it to you but we dont actually kill things and take their stuff or cast really real spells either.

    The whole thing is and every action is one big fun lie.

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

    Quote Originally Posted by geppetto View Post
    LOL my friends arent sitting around in a religious inquisition.

    They know we are there to tell a story, its all fake. I hate to break it to you but we dont actually kill things and take their stuff or cast really real spells either.

    The whole thing is and every action is one big fun lie.
    There's a fairly big difference between lying and telling a story. If you don't distinguish between them...that's unusual.
    Quote Originally Posted by Red Fel, on quest rewards View Post
    "Is a stack of ten pancakes too many pancakes to give to the party, even if most of them fell on the floor and one or two were stepped on? I wanted to give my party pancakes as a reward but I'm unsure if it's too much. The pancakes are also laced with blowfish poison so the party would have to get an antitoxin before they could eat the ones which weren't pulverized by shoes."

    I don't think anyone would want those pancakes even if you paid them to eat them.

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

    Quote Originally Posted by Cozzer View Post
    @Malifice: While I agree with the general sentiment of your comment, I think there's something important to mention. If a "single dice roll" risks wiping out "a party who had done nothing wrong", this means there's something extremely wrong either with the system or with how the adventure is built. (Unless the party being randomly wiped is part of the genre/basic gameplay, I guess, in which case fudging would be counterproductive anyway)
    By 'single dice roll' I mean an encounter that risks wiping the party (and ending the campaign) due to a series of bad rolls by them and/or 'good' rolls by the DM.

    Fudging a roll to keep the Paladin 'up' an extra round or two so he has a chance to kill the monster and survive the TPK (or simply ruling his damage kills the monster when it really has 30 hit points left) is no different to not fudging the roll, the Paladin going down and (after a moments thought) stating... 'After some time you ll wake up on 1 HP in a dark cell...' (guarded only by a single incompetent henchman of course!).

    The dice don't remove my ability to exercise narrative control over the campaign and game when necessary. They don't dictate to me how my game is ultimately run. I have discretion (indeed, an obligation to my players) over and above that of 'random number generator'. The dice are a tool, and nothing more or nothing less.

    My players trust my discretion. They know I'm not out to get them (although sometimes I pretend I am). They know when I curse them for stomping an encounter (Im secretly pleased they did). The antagonism is friendly, they know I put work into the campaign for their enjoyment, and that being a DM is a long, tough and hard job. I'm firm but fair. They dont engage in petty alignment disputes, gaming the system, murder-hobism and so forth (because the game I run doesn't reward such behavior, and they're adults committed to creating a fun engaging co-operative experience).

    On another level (and If I can say it without sounding up myself) they know they have an experienced DM who is pretty good at the job, and that good DMs are as rare as hens teeth.

    They're also a great bunch of players.

    I've been doing this caper for 35 years, and I shudder looking back at my earlier mistakes in the game (everything from DMNPCs that overshadow the party, fantasy heartbreakers, too-hard fantasy underground Vietnam DMing, let the dice fall where they may competitiveness with the players and worse. All the mistakes; I've made all of them). You live and learn. I've seen what works and what doesnt over 5 iterations of DnD and across dozens of different systems, hundreds of different groups, dozens of my own DMs (good and bad) 3 continents and 35 years of play.

    Just my take. Maybe I secretly suck at it, and my players have been lying to me this whole time. Beats me.

  24. - Top - End - #234
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    Default Re: Talakeal's Gaming Horror Stories Continued (not really)

    Quote Originally Posted by Cozzer View Post
    @AMFV: Hmm, well, that's true too. Let's say I wouldn't bring it up myself and would assume my players trusted me with choosing whether/when/how much fudging is for the best. If one of the players asked me, though, I would be sincere, no matter how much my opinion and theirs differ.
    Well for me it would depend on when they asked me. Like if it was immediately after a roll that I had altered or something, probably not. Just the same way that I probably wouldn't be immediately inclined to tell a player if an encounter was random padding or plot relevant (and I might change that). Basically there are some things that when you see behind the screen it makes the game worse for the players; In my experience, at least, that is the case.

    Quote Originally Posted by Pelle View Post
    If the premise of the game is that the DM may fudge, and everybody understands that, you have consent - no problem. If they don't understand it, you don't have it. If everyone's expectations are unclear, better check then.
    Well it shouldn't come up, because your players should not know when you fudge rolls. Just like your players should not necessarily know about your encounter design. Letting them know about it is going to make for a worse experience. It's the same idea as if the players are rolling badly, or if they've burned more resources so you adjust the next encounter to not kill them, if you tell them it's going to be a problem.

    Quote Originally Posted by Pelle View Post
    However, you earlier described lying to a player who explicitly wanted to play without fudging. That's not consent. The player is led to believe he is playing a game without Rule Zero or similar. Fudge all you want, but please don't lie to your friends about it maybe happening sometimes.
    You're acting as though a little fib about a game is equivalent to like a serious real lie. That's the issue here. If I tell somebody a sea story and exaggerate the size of the sea creatures involved it's technically a lie but not one that really matters. There's no money on the line here, it's not that big a deal.

    Quote Originally Posted by Cozzer View Post
    @Malifice: While I agree with the general sentiment of your comment, I think there's something important to mention. If a "single dice roll" risks wiping out "a party who had done nothing wrong", this means there's something extremely wrong either with the system or with how the adventure is built. (Unless the party being randomly wiped is part of the genre/basic gameplay, I guess, in which case fudging would be counterproductive anyway)
    Well the thing is that usually the "single die roll" comes at the very end of a long string of bad luck for the players. Imagine that you roll several critical hits in a row, that could be very bad for the players and isn't really something you can account, so you fudge the last one.

    Quote Originally Posted by Cozzer View Post
    It's OK to fudge in that case, in my opinion, but after the fact the GM should ask themselves why the party, having done nothing wrong, was in such a situation. Fudging is a temporary bandage that keeps things going while you work out how to solve the underlying problems (houserules for the problematic parts of the system, better adventure/encounter design), not a solution to these problems nor an excuse to ignore them.
    True, but you can't stop a run of bad luck, or that sort of thing. Fudging is normally something you can do as needed, but it's not a huge deal.

    Quote Originally Posted by Cozzer View Post
    What I mean is, I think the best approach is to consider fudging a necessary evil. Don't let idealism prevent you from doing it when the alternative is worse, but the long-term goal should still be to put yourself in a situation where you don't need to do it anymore.
    True, but you're probably not going to do that in any kind of system with a high granularity combat system, just because luck is not predictable.
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    Default Re: Talakeal's Gaming Horror Stories Continued (not really)

    Well the thing is that usually the "single die roll" comes at the very end of a long string of bad luck for the players. Imagine that you roll several critical hits in a row, that could be very bad for the players and isn't really something you can account, so you fudge the last one.
    True, but you can't stop a run of bad luck, or that sort of thing. Fudging is normally something you can do as needed, but it's not a huge deal.
    True, but you're probably not going to do that in any kind of system with a high granularity combat system, just because luck is not predictable.
    While I agree with the above quotes, I can't help but think that fudging rolls as needed is kind of a brute-force solution to this particular problem, and there must be some better, less arbitrary ways to deal with this kind of randomness without ruining the game. (Note that I've tried several rule tweaks to improve the situation but didn't find anything I feel 100% confortable with yet, so it's not like I'm claiming to be better at this than anyone).

    Well for me it would depend on when they asked me. Like if it was immediately after a roll that I had altered or something, probably not. Just the same way that I probably wouldn't be immediately inclined to tell a player if an encounter was random padding or plot relevant (and I might change that). Basically there are some things that when you see behind the screen it makes the game worse for the players; In my experience, at least, that is the case.
    Well, I agree that players don't get to ask about single rolls or events. If a player can't even trust me to be trying to do the best thing for the game and demands an answer, then we have a bigger problem than our opinions on fudging.

  26. - Top - End - #236
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    Default Re: Talakeal's Gaming Horror Stories Continued (not really)

    If you have a so-called 'plot' that isn't ENTIRELY BASED on random dice-rolls on tables tables tables tables tables, you are a filthy fudging liar and a TERRIBLE GM.
    Imagine if all real-world conversations were like internet D&D conversations...
    Protip: DnD is an incredibly social game played by some of the most socially inept people on the planet - Lev
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kelb_Panthera View Post
    That said, trolling is entirely counterproductive (yes, even when it's hilarious).

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

    Quote Originally Posted by AMFV View Post
    I don't roll dice in the open as a DM, ever. Not even because of fudging but because players aren't always aware if they succeeded. If a player knows instantly if his bluff has worked, that'll change his experience, and for the worse. If a player knows that his stealth roll wasn't good enough, his tactics will change drastically. So I roll behind a screen so that I can help to preserve the integrity of the game.
    Well if we're just going into me teaching you good GM practises at this point... Don't call for rolls when you aren't going to immediately make a decision based on the result of that roll. If you fail a bluff then you're going to know about it because the vizier sighs, annoyed, and casts White Fire on you. If you fail a stealth roll I will narrate forward until the results of that failed stealth roll become painfully apparent to you.

    Not necessarily. If somebody is drunk and I hide their car keys from them, that's not "wrong", even if they aren't okay with that. Agency doesn't trump moral correctness.
    Well we're broadening the scope of this now (and being absurd in the process because comparing someone drunk driving to someone wanting the GM to not be **** is pretty funny). But yes, if you hid a drunk person's car keys you should probably still be telling them "Hey. You're drunk. I took your keys. I'll give them back when you're sober." over lying and pretending you have no idea what they're talking about.

  28. - Top - End - #238
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    Default Re: Talakeal's Gaming Horror Stories Continued (not really)

    Quote Originally Posted by AMFV View Post
    What does fudging lead to though?
    To be blunt, fudging is railroading. Fudging is saying "What I want to happen is more important than the rules of this game". If I can't trust you to play the game fairly then I don't see any point in using any of the rules at all. We can just sit down and listen to you tell us a story about what happens. It invalidates the entire game. If you fudge dice you are not trustworthy in any way and you're just wasting my time.

    The thing is that you guys are treating this as though it's a BIG lie, but it's a minor thing at best. That's the thing. It's not changing the way the game is played that much, because in most RPGs DMs are not required to follow the rules completely and are given some sort of permissions to alter the rules. Now admittedly there are systems where that's not the case, but those are kind of rare.
    The fact that some people care a great deal about this should be apparent to you by now. So let me say this again. If you fudge dice I will not play with you. This, in fact, makes lying about doing it a big damn lie.

  29. - Top - End - #239
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    Default Re: Talakeal's Gaming Horror Stories Continued (not really)

    Quote Originally Posted by Malifice View Post
    A player like the poster above that made such a demand of a DM likely wouldn't be welcome at my table. Not because of this reason in and of itself, but because he's the kind of guy (as DM) that would let a bad dice roll wipe out a party who had done nothing wrong, were engaged with the story, working collaboratively, and having fun for no other reason than gravity.
    And everything you've posted has been a big red warning sign that I shouldn't touch your games with a ten foot pole. And now, through the magic of communication, we both know that and can avoid ever playing with each other. Which is why being honest about your (terrible) preferences is so helpful for all parties involved. Why on Earth would anyone think lying about your preferences is a good idea when we've just demonstrated how helpful this is?

  30. - Top - End - #240
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    Default Re: Talakeal's Gaming Horror Stories Continued (not really)

    Quote Originally Posted by AMFV View Post
    What does fudging lead to though?
    Playing systems that don't suit your needs.

    In my mind the desire to fudge dice usually comes from a system/expectations mismatch. Generally the system is harsher or more about gaming skill than weaving a story than what you are actually looking for. Fudging rolls is a bandage on that wound.

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