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Fudging Rolls


Pathfinder RPG General Discussion

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Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Deluxe Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Storyteller: First and foremost, the Game Master is a
storyteller. He presents the world and its characters to
the players of the game, and it is through the GM that
the players interact with them. The Game Master must
be able to craft stories and to translate them into a verbal
medium. Page 396 of the Pathfinder Core Rule Book

Like it or not, sometimes, and mostly rarely, the die rolls just doesn't fit the story telling.

Personally, I would have no interest in playing in a campaign where the DM put the die rolls ahead of story telling. It is not a matter of lying or a lack of trust. It is a matter of what is best for the game. If you do not trust your DM to make good judgments for the sake of the story telling, then maybe you need to find another game.

Enough said!

Mazra


Mazra wrote:

Storyteller: First and foremost, the Game Master is a

storyteller. He presents the world and its characters to
the players of the game, and it is through the GM that
the players interact with them. The Game Master must
be able to craft stories and to translate them into a verbal
medium. Page 396 of the Pathfinder Core Rule Book

Like it or not, sometimes, and mostly rarely, the die rolls just doesn't fit the story telling.

Personally, I would have no interest in playing in a campaign where the DM put the die rolls ahead of story telling. It is not a matter of lying or a lack of trust. It is a matter of what is best for the game. If you do not trust your DM to make good judgments for the sake of the story telling, then maybe you need to find another game.

Enough said!

Mazra

And right after Storyteller it has Entertainer who must be a master of improvisation. Making everything still work when using the dice results are part of that as well.

I let the dice lie where they fall and take the result, but I do not put the dice ahead of storytelling as it is part of the storytelling. And as a player I don't want to be told the story, I want to be part of the story.

But you are right, I would leave that game. Not because I don't trust his judgments, but because I prefer a different way. No big deal and I could possibly lose out on a cool game. I'll call him on the phone and he can tell me his story.

Andoran

Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber
gbonehead wrote:
Kirth Gersen wrote:
Zaranorth wrote:
"Yeah, "honey, when you ask if you look fat in something, do you want me to lie or tell the truth?" That'll get you boxed on the ear.
LOL! My approach (if, say, the red dress in question truly is hideous when draped upon my lovely bride) is something like, "I think you look awesome in the blue one," which is 100% the truth, but doesn't involve me gratuitously insulting her, either.
Not childishly obvious in the slightest, I'm sure.

Well, again, I'd love for the world to be able to handle brutal honesty.

Unfortunately, whenever I give it, things go sour.


TriOmegaZero wrote:
gbonehead wrote:
Kirth Gersen wrote:
Zaranorth wrote:
"Yeah, "honey, when you ask if you look fat in something, do you want me to lie or tell the truth?" That'll get you boxed on the ear.
LOL! My approach (if, say, the red dress in question truly is hideous when draped upon my lovely bride) is something like, "I think you look awesome in the blue one," which is 100% the truth, but doesn't involve me gratuitously insulting her, either.
Not childishly obvious in the slightest, I'm sure.

Well, again, I'd love for the world to be able to handle brutal honesty.

Unfortunately, whenever I give it, things go sour.

"Brutal" doesn't always mean physical.

Andoran

Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber

Lets just say I'm still paying for things I said to my wife when we were dating. And our fifth anniversary is in January.


TriOmegaZero wrote:
gbonehead wrote:
Kirth Gersen wrote:
Zaranorth wrote:
"Yeah, "honey, when you ask if you look fat in something, do you want me to lie or tell the truth?" That'll get you boxed on the ear.
LOL! My approach (if, say, the red dress in question truly is hideous when draped upon my lovely bride) is something like, "I think you look awesome in the blue one," which is 100% the truth, but doesn't involve me gratuitously insulting her, either.
Not childishly obvious in the slightest, I'm sure.

Well, again, I'd love for the world to be able to handle brutal honesty.

Unfortunately, whenever I give it, things go sour.

I'm for honesty. Depends on whether you define brutal honesty as tactless or not. No reason not to be tactful in saying precisely what you mean. Unless you really hate a prick.

Andoran

Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber

Unfortunately, honesty can get you killed all too often.


Zaranorth wrote:
Ugh, the whole "do I look fat in this" white lie discussion happened a few pages back. :D

I could have missed it but I don't think anyone suggested lancing that boil and just saying, "Yes, you do look fat."


TriOmegaZero wrote:
Unfortunately, honesty can get you killed all too often.

Not in my neighborhood. Like, you're clearly hanging around with the wrong crowd if they would kill you for ANYTHING you did.


dunelord3001 wrote:
Zaranorth wrote:
Ugh, the whole "do I look fat in this" white lie discussion happened a few pages back. :D
I could have missed it but I don't think anyone suggested lancing that boil and just saying, "Yes, you do look fat."

I would definitely do that. But then I wouldn't be married to someone who didn't like me being honest or, at the very least, who wanted me to actively lie to them.

Shadow Lodge

Kirth Gersen wrote:


Any time there are multiple people involved, it pays to make sure they're all being heard, despite mcbobbo's thinly-veiled claim that most people are barely-sentient zombie sheep and should be treated as such.

DUDE! When did I EVER say that? Did Cartigan get your password or something??

Andoran

Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber

I was thinking of the people murdered for being homosexual. While we're much better about it, there are still horrible people out there.

And that's not even touching on the other places in the world where you can't speak your mind.

Shadow Lodge

Kirth Gersen wrote:


Again, I have no issue with the people who polled their players and got a consensus for fudging. I have no problem whatsoever with anything they're doing.

I'm not clear on the need to poll players on something that's in the rulebook.

Do we go page by page? "All in favor of permitting the Fighter class, say 'aye'"?

Andoran

Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber
dunelord3001 wrote:
Zaranorth wrote:
Ugh, the whole "do I look fat in this" white lie discussion happened a few pages back. :D
I could have missed it but I don't think anyone suggested lancing that boil and just saying, "Yes, you do look fat."

Well, Kirth kind of did with his endorsement of radical honesty, if I understood him right. Then he turned around and mentioned lying by omission, so I'm not sure.

Andoran

Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber
mcbobbo wrote:
Kirth Gersen wrote:


Again, I have no issue with the people who polled their players and got a consensus for fudging. I have no problem whatsoever with anything they're doing.

I'm not clear on the need to poll players on something that's in the rulebook.

Do we go page by page? "All in favor of permitting the Fighter class, say 'aye'"?

No, you have a nice rational discussion when the group first gets together about expectations. Given this thread, it's harder than it sounds, but doable.


TriOmegaZero wrote:

I was thinking of the people murdered for being homosexual. While we're much better about it, there are still horrible people out there.

And that's not even touching on the other places in the world where you can't speak your mind.

Well again, not around here. I live in Madison, Wisconsin. We have a gay congresswoman, had a gay fire chief for a while and are about the most liberal town this size in america.

But I take your point.


mcbobbo wrote:
Kirth Gersen wrote:


Again, I have no issue with the people who polled their players and got a consensus for fudging. I have no problem whatsoever with anything they're doing.

I'm not clear on the need to poll players on something that's in the rulebook.

Do we go page by page? "All in favor of permitting the Fighter class, say 'aye'"?

Question for you.

So by the rules the GM is always right. He can alter whatever he wants. So if you start playing that fighter and he says "what are you doing, in my game fighters don't get bonus feats. and no you can't re-roll". Are you fine with that? Would you prefer to be consulted? He's just exercising his right.

The question HAS NEVER BEEN whether a DM CAN do all these things. It's whether he SHOULD. I don't think a DM should ever fudge die rolls.

Shadow Lodge

TriOmegaZero wrote:
mcbobbo wrote:


Do we go page by page? "All in favor of permitting the Fighter class, say 'aye'"?
No, you have a nice rational discussion when the group first gets together about expectations. Given this thread, it's harder than it sounds, but doable.

The point I'm trying to make is that the onus would be on the anti-fudging player to bring it up. It's in the rules, and has been for more than thirty years. Aside from the fresh crop of gamers, and those taught to play by them, the concept of not making sure the game went smoothly is about as likely to come up as whether or not Fighters are permitted.

Am I not explaining that right somehow, or what?

Shadow Lodge

meatrace wrote:


Question for you.

So by the rules the GM is always right. He can alter whatever he wants. So if you start playing that fighter and he says "what are you doing, in my game fighters don't get bonus feats. and no you can't re-roll". Are you fine with that? Would you prefer to be consulted? He's just exercising his right.

Your answer: I quit games that use rules I don't like. I usually wouldn't even make a fuss about it.

My turn: How is this even REMOTELY the same issue? Is removing an entire class feature genuinely on the same level of GM fiat as modifying the outcome of the dice?

meatrace wrote:
The question HAS NEVER BEEN whether a DM CAN do all these things. It's whether he SHOULD. I don't think a DM should ever fudge die rolls.

Of course he should. Let's go back to the 'over at my house' example.

Imagine I serve my guests mac-and-cheese. I dish it up, pass it out, make sure everyone has something to drink, and all that. I grab my own plate and take a bite. It tastes like hell, because the milk I used went south.

Your world: "Deal with it, people! Eat your mac and like it. That's just how the dice fall..."

My world: "I am SO SORRY, guys! Give me that crap and we'll order pizza instead, my treat."

When your game has gone bad, you absolutely must fix it. When all the PCs are drowing in a river that doesn't even have a name on your campaign map, you MUST fix it.

If you don't then you must not like your friends as much as you think you do.

"I like you, but not enough to own up to when my mistakes harm you."

I've seen the whole 'fudging is cheating, and only for dirty liars' thing completely played out.

I'm countering with 'not fudging when you know you need to is a jackhole choice'.

As for the whole 'deception' angle, again I'm not being secretive about the content of the Core Rulebook. Fudging is in there, and I'll use it when I have to, as per the guidance from the designers of the game.

Andoran

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber
mcbobbo wrote:


The point I'm trying to make is that the onus would be on the anti-fudging player to bring it up. It's in the rules, and has been for more than thirty years. Aside from the fresh crop of gamers, and those taught to play by them, the concept of not making sure the game went smoothly is about as likely to come up as whether or not Fighters are permitted.

Am I not explaining that right somehow, or what?

I don't disagree, but the DM has the onus of finding out what his players want, even if the players don't know what they want.

Suppose you get your LG friend to join your game, and he's never played before. He doesn't know what fudging is, but like meatrace he calls it cheating and doesn't like it. You need to make sure you and he know that.

Or the player that has had bad experiences with DMs, and has left groups over differences. You need to take the time to find out what those differences were, even if the player just thought he didn't like the game without thinking about specifics.


So meatrace, do you only disagree with fudging die rolls or fudging as a whole?

Shadow Lodge

TriOmegaZero wrote:


I don't disagree, but the DM has the onus of finding out what his players want, even if the players don't know what they want.

Suppose you get your LG friend to join your game, and he's never played before. He doesn't know what fudging is, but like meatrace he calls it cheating and doesn't like it. You need to make sure you and he know that.

Or the player that has had bad experiences with DMs, and has left groups over differences. You need to take the time to find out what those differences were, even if the player just thought he didn't like the game without thinking about specifics.

Should a player bring this to my attention, I'd gladly share my point of view, explaining my position and experience on the matter, and ask that they simply trust my judgement. If they can't do that, that's totally cool, but they can't play in my game. I'm not going to stop the game and debate philosophy each time he thinks my dice should have said something other than what I described.

I do know how it must seem to the anti-fudge crowd very odd that I feel I have any sense of judgement at all, being a dishonest, soulless, baby-eating monster and all that. But I really do, and I've ran many successful games over the years, so I'm not super worried about not having any players at my table.


mcbobbo wrote:


Of course he should. Let's go back to the 'over at my house' example.

Imagine I serve my guests mac-and-cheese. I dish it up, pass it out, make sure everyone has something to drink, and all that. I grab my own plate and take a bite. It tastes like hell, because the milk I used went south.

Your world: "Deal with it, people! Eat your mac and like it. That's just how the dice fall..."

My world: "I am SO SORRY, guys! Give me that crap and we'll order pizza instead, my treat."

I think both arguments above are "not fudging" arguments

You "rolled bad" on making mac-and-cheese. First example is taking the bad die roll and doing nothing with it. The second example is taking the bad die roll and improvising (getting pizza to replace) allowing the bad roll to help tell the story.

A "fudging" example is changing reality so the milk was never bad in the first place so the night went on as planned.

Andoran

Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber

I'm pretty sure my wife would love the ability to erase the time she served me bad chicken so that it never happened.


mcbobbo wrote:


I do know how it must seem to the anti-fudge crowd very odd that I feel I have any sense of judgement at all, being a dishonest, soulless, baby-eating monster and all that.

For the record I do not feel that at all about you or anyone else that fudges the roll. I bet you run a great game (especially if you serve mac-and-cheese - the non spoiled kind!).

I've explained why I don't like it personally as a player and described my view that any die roll can be use to improve the story. I respect your view as well.


Vendis wrote:
So meatrace, do you only disagree with fudging die rolls or fudging as a whole?

Not to be mean, but I'll let you read the thread since I've stated my position on this many times already.


TriOmegaZero wrote:
I'm pretty sure my wife would love the ability to erase the time she served me bad chicken so that it never happened.

It would be a handy ability! But then again you have something memorable to tell (and lived to tell the tale!)

Andoran

Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber

Her constant guilt-tripping herself and obsessing over her cooking performance is not what I consider a good memory.


TriOmegaZero wrote:
Her constant guilt-tripping herself and obsessing over her cooking performance is not what I consider a good memory.

Nor would I. In the real world I would totally use that ability all the time. (far too much probably)

Andoran

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber

Leading to Spiral Nemesis!

I understand now. Meatrace is an Anti-Spiral.

*dons Kamina shades*


TriOmegaZero wrote:

Leading to Spiral Nemesis!

I understand now. Meatrace is an Anti-Spiral.

*dons Kamina shades*

wut


Mazra wrote:

Like it or not, sometimes, and mostly rarely, the die rolls just doesn't fit the story telling.

Personally, I would have no interest in playing in a campaign where the DM put the die rolls ahead of story telling. It is not a matter of lying or a lack of trust. It is a matter of what is best for the game. If you do not trust your DM to make good judgments for the sake of the story telling, then maybe you need to find another game.

Enough said!

Mazra

There are ways to not roll dice AND still continue the story.

I'm of the opinion that if the story can't work with unfavorable rolls, the story isn't good enough to begin with. In my games, there's ALWAYS a chance for failure (i.e. evil wins). It adds to the feeling of accomplishment at the end. I'm not out to kill the PCs. The combat is designed for taking the party as a whole down 50-70%HP. If it happens, so be it. Re-roll a new character and we'll pull you back into the party ready to go.

If the PCs take down something I wish they hadn't, I adapt to keep the story moving. Part of the fun of being a GM is having your best laid plans fail and having to come up with something that works in real time to keep things flowing.

If the game is so linear that a handful of rolls in one game can mess up the story, the GM doesn't have a good imagination.


Paizo Charter Superscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Deluxe Comics Subscriber
meatrace wrote:
Vendis wrote:
So meatrace, do you only disagree with fudging die rolls or fudging as a whole?
Not to be mean, but I'll let you read the thread since I've stated my position on this many times already.

Dude. TLDR. I have read the whole thread, and if you think I have a pointless thread like this committed to memory, you're mistaken.

I would not be at a party, in a conversation, and have someone walk up and join in and go "wait, you have to hear the entire conversation up to this point in order to speak." I'm fairly certain anyone who did say such a thing in a social situation like that would be viewed with disdain.

But sure, insist that newcomers go back and read every single one of those 800+ posts.

I'll point out that an actual answer instead of a snarky response would likely have been just about the same length.

PepticBurrito wrote:
If the game is so linear that a handful of rolls in one game can mess up the story, the GM doesn't have a good imagination.

And there you have it. If you don't treat the dice as God, you just don't have enough imagination.

Oh, and for anyone new joining the crowd, I'm a firm believer that the dice are a tool, nothing more, nothing less, just like encounters that I've written or anything else.

If I've put an encounter in that I think will drag the game, I omit it. If I think it'll be dull or not serve the purpose it's intended to, I'll adjust it on the fly. And if a die roll doesn't serve what I view as the purpose of the game, I won't use it. You'll note that as a result of this, I've been labeled a cheater and a liar, been told that by some that they would never ever sit at my table because their die roll radar would infalliby tell them when I didn't use the dice as they lay, and now I've been told I just don't have the imagination to run a game. I should probably immediately reture my epic, 5-year-long 3.5e campaign - I guess my players are still there out of pity.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Deluxe Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
PepticBurrito wrote:

If the game is so linear that a handful of rolls in one game can mess up the story, the GM doesn't have a good imagination.

Very rarely is it even one die roll. You must have been very fortunate to not have the TPK situations. Thankfully I have not had it too often. Many years ago I TPKed a party with a Lich. My best friends stopped playing for quite some time. They were very upset the party was killed off. Looking back I reallized with that powerful of a monster the die rolls can make quite a difference. I was a slave to the die rolls then. Never more! I learned my lesson. I sincerely hope that the DM dice slaves here are fortunate enough not to have that situation.

Later,

Mazra


gbonehead wrote:
Not childishly obvious in the slightest, I'm sure.

I'm sure it is -- I'm a terrible liar. But unlike most people I know, I don't delude myself into believing I'm a master of deception, either.

TriOmegaZero wrote:
Well, Kirth kind of did with his endorsement of radical honesty, if I understood him right. Then he turned around and mentioned lying by omission, so I'm not sure.

I find that there aren't enough hours in the day to not omit something. I mean, if someone asks me where a rock came from, I'll usually ask, "Most recently? Or do you want me to start with the formation of the Solar System?"

Explaining to Mrs. Gersen why that dress does not look particularly good on her, whereas another dress does, getting into all of the relevant issues of body shape, fabric properties, effects of the lighting wherever we'll be on the perceived color of the said garment, etc. would guarantee that we miss whatever social engagement we're getting dressed up to go to in the first place. Then again, if she asked for all that detail, I'd probably give it to her.

I actually asked her last night if she'd want me to lie about the question under discussion, and she replied something along the lines of, "No -- I think it would be dumb to get into the habit of lying to each other. And besides, I'm not fat; I'm pleasantly curvy." I had to agree on all counts.

Andoran

Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber

I admit, I love it when people ask me to be honest. It happens all too rarely.


gbonehead wrote:


Dude. TLDR. I have read the whole thread, and if you think I have a pointless thread like this committed to memory, you're mistaken.

Okay, I'll narrow it down for you. It was within the last 3-4 pages TOPS.


Paizo Charter Superscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Deluxe Comics Subscriber
meatrace wrote:
gbonehead wrote:


Dude. TLDR. I have read the whole thread, and if you think I have a pointless thread like this committed to memory, you're mistaken.
Okay, I'll narrow it down for you. It was within the last 3-4 pages TOPS.

I'm thinking you're not proving the point you think you're proving :)


Tangible Delusions wrote:
And as a player I don't want to be told the story, I want to be part of the story.

Please justify this.

The results of dice, being the determiners of a randomized numerical value, are entirely beyond the control of players or GM's in any legitimate manner, sparing hero point or action point systems which only add limited control under certain circumstances. The only way players themselves can affect this result even indirectly is by stacking modifiers, which is entirely a non-story-related, out-of-universe mechanical factor which scales with character level and challenge rating. That is to say, playing entirely by as-rolled dice results players have no direct control over the core mechanic.

How does fudging dice reduce player choice and impact below this? You're hedging notions of player control or impact with an inherently chaotic system. Hell, one could extrapolate this argument to a logical conclusion by saying that no diced system by merit of being chaotic maximizes player choice and impact on story, and the highest form of story-based role-play are diceless systems.


We hope that GM's are fair when they fudge.
We Know that the Dice are fair.
once an action has been determined, by an actual human (read as PC or GM) then for the most part most of us want a fair result with out other determinants from other Humans(read as PC or GM) outside of the games natural framework.
As a human i have set a ball in motion and i do not need you to adjust its path or momentum, there are rules in place for that. There are of course exceptions, but they can usually be handled in better ways than direct intervention. Changing a creatures saves "on the fly" is the same as modifying the save roll by the amount you adjusted the save by. The GM has massive amounts of control over the game world and should have plenty to keep them busy without this type of micromanagement. Judicial impartiality is something some never pick up.
If a game designer makes an adventure that requires fudging for it to be completed it would be considered a poorly thought out challenge. If your main tool you turn too is fudging then you are failing to grow as a GM because using that crutch will never teach you to think faster or use the other tools at your disposal more effectively. I have fudged in my time, when i was younger, i tried to get better though, to think about things more and not jump to that crutch. some of my players fondest memories are the bad beats and what happened after...and this type of story is pervasive in gaming. you are robbing yourself and your players of the opportunities that could be awaiting you...plus youll get better at the other aspects of game planning, and heck if all else fails, you will still have that crutch to fall back on if you really really need it, although i think once you get to hear one of your own players stories of there beloved whoever who died regardless of how hard they tried to do right... you might not want to fudge anyway. and tragedy can be fun sometimes too, though it too can be a sign of poor game mastery if it occurs frequently.


skrahen wrote:

We hope that GM's are fair when they fudge.

We Know that the Dice are fair.
once an action has been determined, by an actual human (read as PC or GM) then for the most part most of us want a fair result with out other determinants from other Humans(read as PC or GM) outside of the games natural framework.
As a human i have set a ball in motion and i do not need you to adjust its path or momentum, there are rules in place for that. There are of course exceptions, but they can usually be handled in better ways than direct intervention. Changing a creatures saves "on the fly" is the same as modifying the save roll by the amount you adjusted the save by. The GM has massive amounts of control over the game world and should have plenty to keep them busy without this type of micromanagement. Judicial impartiality is something some never pick up.
If a game designer makes an adventure that requires fudging for it to be completed it would be considered a poorly thought out challenge. If your main tool you turn too is fudging then you are failing to grow as a GM because using that crutch will never teach you to think faster or use the other tools at your disposal more effectively. I have fudged in my time, when i was younger, i tried to get better though, to think about things more and not jump to that crutch. some of my players fondest memories are the bad beats and what happened after...and this type of story is pervasive in gaming. you are robbing yourself and your players of the opportunities that could be awaiting you...plus youll get better at the other aspects of game planning, and heck if all else fails, you will still have that crutch to fall back on if you really really need it, although i think once you get to hear one of your own players stories of there beloved whoever who died regardless of how hard they tried to do right... you might not want to fudge anyway. and tragedy can be fun sometimes too, though it too can be a sign of poor game mastery if it occurs frequently.

This is the point that we who fudge have been trying to make. We don't rely on fudging as our main tool. It is merely a tool that requires proper use. There isn't anyone who has said that they think that they should fudge often. We have just said that we should fudge when necessary to maintain fun for the group. Since our groups have no problem with us fudging once in a while, there is no problem.

When I do fudge, I am not robbing my players of anything. Since my players know that I reserve the right to fudge and I will do it only when it enhances the game's fun for everyone, then there can be no robbing of that fun.

Also, while we often talk about fudging to prevent a character's death, and several examples have been given where that has happened, it is not the only time we might fudge. I have fudged after the character has died and is in the process of being brought back. I have seen people fudge so that an encounter that was not fun ended quickly. I have seen people fudge so that a randomly generated item that would have been too powerful was changed to something that would not break the game. The idea is to maintain a balanced game that is fun.

Game mastery should not be the goal of playing the game. Having fun should be the goal. If everyone in the group enjoys playing "wrong" but they are having fun without mastering anything, then I say keep playing.

I have played with GMs in other games that not only don't fudge, but they don't help players learn new systems either. Sometimes fudging is the best way to help someone learn a new system. Games like Shadowrun, Champions, GURPS, etc, where character creation is complicated, are a pain in the butt when a character dies because someone didn't understand the rules and is forced to deal with the dice as they fall. I know that I have been turned off to games like that. I don't want to spend the next several hours creating another character for a system I don't really understand. The GM needs to guide the player and, if necessary, fudge a little until the player is comfortable with the system and doesn't need fudging. A good GM can run a game for new players without much need for fudging but no GM can determine every possible plan the players will come up with. New players can sometimes try things that work well in one system and not very well in others.

Andoran

Mazra wrote:

Storyteller: First and foremost, the Game Master is a

storyteller. He presents the world and its characters to
the players of the game, and it is through the GM that
the players interact with them. The Game Master must
be able to craft stories and to translate them into a verbal
medium. Page 396 of the Pathfinder Core Rule Book

Like it or not, sometimes, and mostly rarely, the die rolls just doesn't fit the story telling.

Personally, I would have no interest in playing in a campaign where the DM put the die rolls ahead of story telling. It is not a matter of lying or a lack of trust. It is a matter of what is best for the game. If you do not trust your DM to make good judgments for the sake of the story telling, then maybe you need to find another game.

Enough said!

Mazra

And many of us have no interest in a story or a world that falls apart due to a single character death/dismemberment.

As fans of Game of Thrones will tell you, a little death can make a story a lot more interesting.

I want my GM to create a world and let the players decide how the story of that world plays out based on their actions.

If I want to be told a story, I'll pick up a book. At the table when I GM or play, we are making the story together, along with the dice.

The GM knows everything about the world, except what the players are going to do and what the dice have to say about it.

Fudging is cheating the table out of an opportunity for a dramatic twist.


Bob, I don't think it has anything to do with being wrong, i know some may have argued points of view that suggest that or blatantly state it. I just think that out of the tools that the GM has at their disposal it is the least elegant solution. I agree that you cannot plan for every possible plan the players will come up with, but you can have plans yourself, general courses of action and specific ones that don't involve altering the dramatic random elements of the game. I am not saying that players in games with even extreme amounts of fudging cant be having oodles of fun, i am quite certain they can, but as you have obviously realized from the posts in this thread many players find the practice ...ill say unfun even though i am sure there is a range from distracting to unplayable in terms of opinion. One thing i don't tend to find is players that argue for fudging in games. Now i know people here have been arguing their RIGHT to fudge, and the semantics of cheating, honesty, etc. but no one argues specifically FOR fudging. Generally this is because it usually means something has gone wrong, or has been PERCEIVED as wrong by either a player or a GM. So RIGHTS to fudge aside, NO FUDGING assumes either everything is going swimmingly, or the random element of the game is being respected even though its not going swimmingly, but it'll all work out in the end, and you will have more intense stories to tell, some of them may be much sadder, some may be frustrating at the time. But for people that lose touch with the fact that it is something that should be done only when something goes wrong(IF AT ALL) and lose objectivity, all of a sudden anything that didn't happen to be in the lazy part of their brain doesn't fit anymore, and is wrong, they start adjusting like mad. the most vocal of the anti-fudging camp most certainly have got to experience one or more of these types and i applaud them for sticking with the game if they were new, and for biting there tongue and trying to make the best of it if they weren't new.


skrahen wrote:
Bob, I don't think it has anything to do with being wrong, i know some may have argued points of view that suggest that or blatantly state it. I just think that out of the tools that the GM has at their disposal it is the least elegant solution. I agree that you cannot plan for every possible plan the players will come up with, but you can have plans yourself, general courses of action and specific ones that don't involve altering the dramatic random elements of the game. I am not saying that players in games with even extreme amounts of fudging cant be having oodles of fun, i am quite certain they can, but as you have obviously realized from the posts in this thread many players find the practice ...ill say unfun even though i am sure there is a range from distracting to unplayable in terms of opinion. One thing i don't tend to find is players that argue for fudging in games. Now i know people here have been arguing their RIGHT to fudge, and the semantics of cheating, honesty, etc. but no one argues specifically FOR fudging. Generally this is because it usually means something has gone wrong, or has been PERCEIVED as wrong by either a player or a GM. So RIGHTS to fudge aside, NO FUDGING assumes either everything is going swimmingly, or the random element of the game is being respected even though its not going swimmingly, but it'll all work out in the end, and you will have more intense stories to tell, some of them may be much sadder, some may be frustrating at the time. But for people that lose touch with the fact that it is something that should be done only when something goes wrong(IF AT ALL) and lose objectivity, all of a sudden anything that didn't happen to be in the lazy part of their brain doesn't fit anymore, and is wrong, they start adjusting like mad. the most vocal of the anti-fudging camp most certainly have got to experience one or more of these types and i applaud them for sticking with the game if they were new, and for biting there tongue and trying to make the best of it if they weren't new.

Several of the GMs in this thread have stated that their plays do want them to fudge. Several of my players came from a group where fudging wasn't just the norm, it was so common place that they never had a chance to learn the rules. In my games, I rarely fudge. When I do, it is to enhance the fun for everyone.

I don't think fudging has anything to do with how well a story is being told. My players always have parts of the sessions they remember fondly and the fudging will never be why. The two times I've fudged in this campaign (and it's 2 years old) was once that would have been a party wipe because I mis-judged how powerful a dragon alchemist would be. That was my fault as GM and I won't let the players fail because I made a mistake. They all lived and were able to come back against that dragon better prepared. They didn't beat that dragon the first time they encountered it. They ran for their lives. I had come from 3.5 and didn't fully understand some of the differences between Pathfinder and 3.5. I do now and that error in judgement has not happened since. The other time was a reincarnate roll. Out of all the options, the least favorable came up and had I stuck with it the game would have been less fun for everyone. I made a call, as GM, to alter the result. Had it been any of the other results, the roll would have stood as it did for 2 other characters.

Sometimes fudging is the most elegant solution. The dragon above did less damage, enough to scare the crap out of the characters so they would run and come back another day, and the changing of a 99 to 100 for a reincarnate roll are two quick and elegant solutions. There have been plenty of times when I needed to make adjustments to the game on the fly that didn't require changing of die rolls because that wouldn't have been the best option. One thing that I need to keep in mind is that my group of 7 players is often a group of 4, and not always the same 4. One week I might have a wizard, an archer, an inquisitor, and a rogue. The next week I might have all that and a two-handed fighter and paladin. The next week might have the inquisitor, wizard, monk, and archer. encounters need to be adjusted weekly. I don't always know who's going to be there until right before game time.

I agree that too much fudging makes for a less fun game for myself. I have walked out of games where the GM fudges too much. Usually those GMs do not run games the way I would like. I found a lot of favoritism as well as lack of consistency from session to session (and in one game, it felt like minute to minute). But those GMs were able to keep several others coming back to the table week after week. I would never tell them that they are playing wrong. I would tell them that their style is not for me. Ok, the one GM who favored his best friend over all else I would tell him he was playing wrong (and I did), but the rest are just not my style of GM. Just like a GM who never fudges, regardless of how the game is going, is not my style of GM.

How much fudging is too much? I have no idea. I know that I want it as little as possible but I also won't fault a GM who uses it very selectively. I would never accuse my GM of being a liar and a cheat who is a horrible friend because he altered a roll or event. That's going to far.

I think that the more experience a GM has, the less he will need or want to fudge. I also think that the more experience a GM has, the more he knows when it's ok to fudge. You have to know your players well. That's the advantage of playing with friends. I have played at only one convention and the GM never fudged. I think that's the best call at a convention. When you are playing with your friends though, you need to make sure you all agree on the rules beforehand. We all have our breaking points on what we expect from GMs.


1) Reinterpreting a dice roll is not taking control away from the player. The dice are not the player. They are a neutral third party that gives no consideration about what it rolls. Players have no control over the dice without cheating. Sometimes the dice take control away from the players which makes this argument complete and utter fail. A GM can take control away from players by limiting their selections, making all roads lead to the same place, and making all choices have the same answer, and he can do that all without fudging a single die roll.

2) Yes, Death can make a game more interesting, it can also ruin a game if done poorly. Some people enjoy death in their game, some people don't. Some people enjoy Horror, some enjoy Romance, some enjoy High Strung Fantasy, some people don't enjoy any of those and would rather just read about History, different people enjoy different things, Roleplaying games tend to support many genres, but players don't always want all genres to be shoehorned into their games. It really sucks for most people to be the one killed in a goblin ambush at the front entrance of the big bad's fortress on a remote island and having to miss out on the fight you were prepped for because of a freak accident and no way to introduce a new character without breaking the immersion of the game.

3) Reinterpreting a dice roll is not dishonest. If you decide that the goblin shouldn't crit and kill the character right before the boss fight, then the goblin doesn't crit. If a player asks you if you just ignored the dice roll and you say no, then you are being dishonest. Even though omission can be used to deceive, sometimes it's used to avoid unnecessary details that have the possibility of derailment and slogging.

4) Fudging should be discussed upfront, before the game, not afterwards. Some people want the dice to dictate their fates entirely, some want hero points, some want fudging (generally so they can cherish their immersion without a derailing metagame of whether or not to use their hero points), and still others want hero points but want the GM to handle it. Fudging is as important to discuss as the setting the majority of your campaign takes place.


Just gonna pose a question to the "Dice are Gods" group not those of you who understand that the game I play is cool to me and my players.

Do any of you run your own setting?

If you do you maintain continuity in it?

If so have you ever set the game up for a true end of the world as in it will cease to exist if the party fails?

Would you let the dice destroy this world?


I'll be blunt. I fudge on occasion - probably a little more than most, because I over-estimate an encounter occasionally and won't let the players die because of my own mistake.

Long explanation:
I believe in the power of the fudge. I hide my rolls for this very purpose, and when I taught my friend how to DM (with help from the DMG, in 3.5), I told him "This is why I hide my rolls".

I believe in the story first, and I think my players are the same. At the end of the day, we talk about the dramatic plot twist (Oops! She's evil!). In the end, what do you remember about a session, adventure, campaign? The interesting NPCs, the dramatic fights with villians, the Paladin gaining the love of the princess, and the heroic acts of self-sacrifice.

I remember 3 characters lying their lives on the line for our wizard, since he was the only one who could reliably damage a monster - ready to sacrifice ourselves so he might live and kill the damn thing. I don't remember his damage rolls. I don't remember Hit Points. I remember a Bard, Cleric, and Monk struggling to stay alive against vicious attacks as Magic Missiles flew around us, striking the monster.

Short explanation:
There are millions of people playing this game, and many like it. Everyone has their own reasons for playing, and I will never judge someone on how they want to enjoy D&D, Pathfinder, Shadowrun, or anything else. I do know that my group cares about the story more than anything else - and that crafting a fine one is the most important thing.

So...when the dice don't tell the story right, I fudge.

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