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What to do with a Cheater?


Kingmaker


Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

I have a player who I suspect is listening to podcast spoilers of the Kingmaker Adventure Path. I'm about to start book 4 and I want to take it completely off the rails to shake it up. Suggestions?

And if you are reading this thread, Jon. You're going to have to stop playing in my game.


What makes you think he's getting spoilers? Experience tells a lot of players to take a left or talk to certain people.


Take an encounter that by the book he would love (a twist he "guesses") or especially a treasure he wants (Oh look, a flaming bastard sword...upgrade time!) and completely change it. If it's a red dragon the adventure calls for, give him a psionic crystal half dragon half hydra. Screw with him. Take the bastard sword he craves and turn it into a really awesome, totally-useless-for-him lute. If he gets pissed, or seems frustrated, it's because he had an expectation, and it was not realized.

I've had cheaters. Confront them privately once you have confirmation. Tell them to come up with a solution to resolve this. Are they cheating because they are bored? Because they don't want to look foolish? Because they have to look cool in front of their friends? Tell them if it happens again, you'll take it before the group. Most (most) idiots won't screw their real world friendships just to cheat and make themselves look cool.

Most.

Good luck.

Qadira

the idea of trapping him in a lie might be good, but it might cause a lot of drama. I've not played KM myself, but if he knows what he's up against before hand, he'll probably exploit weaknesses. Change up a few monster types, and watch it squirm. For heaven's sake though do it before he orders his weapon to specifically beat the foes before him.

ie: change skeletons to zombies for DR change, or dragon colors.


Cursed items. Severely cursed items. I do not tolerate cheating at all.


Pendin Fust wrote:
What makes you think he's getting spoilers? Experience tells a lot of players to take a left or talk to certain people.

I'd want an answer to this before giving advice as to how to alter things, but using DM_Dudemeister's changes would be a good start. I'm not sure if his book 4 changes are posted yet.


1 person marked this as a favorite.

Take him to the side and talk to him calm and seriously.

Look him in the eye when you ask him if he either played or read the AP.

If he actually did, ask him why he never mentioned it and that this would be reason enough to kick him out.

Look how he reacts and either do kick him out or ask him how much he already knows and alter these parts.

BUT ALWAYS STAY CALM AND OBJECTIVE


DracoDruid wrote:

Take him to the side and talk to him calm and seriously.

Look him in the eye when you ask him if he either played or read the AP.

If he actually did, ask him why he never mentioned it and that this would be reason enough to kick him out.

Look how he reacts and either do kick him out or ask him how much he already knows and alter these parts.

BUT ALWAYS STAY CALM AND OBJECTIVE

This. If he cannot handle it like an adult, there's no reason for you to play with him, because cheating lessens The Fun. For all, sooner or later.


I'm curious about how one would cheat in an rpg? Is he using a d20 that has no 1s and 2 20s? Loaded dice?

Aside from that, if he seems to be able to second guess the modules, is he perhaps a fairly intelligent person with a lot of RPG experience? I'm not trying to be snarky, just curious -- many players in my own game are smart and RPG savvy, and are able to guess the plots fo the modules pretty quickly. Might be similar with your group?

One of the things I'm doing is using the modules as a very rough guideline, and expanding the power players in the regions. This allows me to use the modules as a starting point and then run rampant with new/awesome stuff for the players to discover and put together. For instance: my players have run across evidence of a necromancer moving throughout the stolen lands, Stone circle sites scattered amongst stolen lands, The Bandit activity has increased substantially (Including a slaving operation southwest of Oleg's), there are fledgeling towns here and there, Strange clockwork machines turnign up now and again, and additional ruins scattered throughout. All of these are additional story threads that can be explored, and will play into the overarching story of Lady N trying to do her thing, in the end. Perhaps taking an approach more like this may help in this situaiton?

Regardless of how you approach it, as DracoDruid said, syaying calm and objective is the most important thing you can do when talking to your player.


Cheating in an Adventure Path (such as Kingmaker, which is where this particular thread is located) can be done easily by simply reading the book and using that knowledge to your character's benefit. You can also read the Kingmaker forum and read the trouble areas, which can tell you to make sure to watch out for X, be prepared for Y, and be absolutely sure you search under --> that rock for the shiny that you might otherwise miss.

There are also podcasts apparently of folks about their games and such- that players could listen to to know whats going to happen.

Basically its like the PC opening the Bestiary when you say what they are fighting and checking it out. Its having info they shouldn't know and using it ingame for an advantage.

Its the same thing as using a loaded die, or claiming you rolled X when you rolled Y, or "re-memorizing" your spells when you realize Fireball won't do you any good against that fire elemental, or the fighter pulling a silver weapon that he never bought (or otherwise offically acquired) out of his bags during combat.

While I'm in favor of the DM changing something to see if there is a cheater, he shouldn't have to rewrite modules just to keep someone from cheating.
If you have a cheater they need to stop and if they don't they get ejected.

-S

Qadira

Selgard wrote:
Cheating in an Adventure Path (such as Kingmaker, which is where this particular thread is located) can be done easily by simply reading the book and using that knowledge to your character's benefit.

The bolded part is the important part, and needs to have an 'intentionally' put in there somewhere.

Unless agreed beforehand, I'd never expect a player to have avoided (or continue to avoid) reading a module or AP. I'd also be unsurprised if they mistakenly mixed player/character knowledge from time to time.

The solution to this depends entirely on how badly 'Jon' is spoiling the fun of the group as a whole.


I guess I just see it differently, especially after playing RPGs for so many years with friends who all share ideas, books, and information. We’ve got a group of about 10 folks who all like to play, and many of us find ourselves in the DM seat from time to time. Because of that we can’t help but know that a troll neeeds to be burnt to keep it from regenerating, or that dragons can usually cast spells, or what particular resistances and weakenesses a given undead has.

Along the same lines, we also can’t help but be able to guess a plotline once we’re exposed to it or on its railroad track, or be able to figure out that there’s likely to be treasure in an area like this, or that, or a trap here or there.

What I was gathering with the original poster was that he suspects one of his players was using outside information in a spoilery fashion, and as a DM he wants to prevent this from happening. I agree wholeheartedly – this sort of thing winds up decreasing the fun had by all at the table, and thus diminishes the game. I just see a big difference between spoilery investigation, and “ "re-memorizing" your spells when you realize Fireball won't do you any good against that fire elemental”, or cheating as is put.

My suggestion was simply what works for me, and was never an expectation that any, or everyone out there change their game to suit my method. And really, what better AP to do this sort of thing than Kingmaker – an AP Sandbox that is specifically designed to allow and (I would say) encourage DM creativity and additional content?


I'm not sure that I regard reading the AP as cheating, actually. I regard it more as consuming spoilers. And there are a lot of benefits to reading spoilers in a game like Kingmaker: you can tailor your RP to what best advances the story, you can better understand what's expected of you as a player, you can think about what your character would do in certain quandries ahead of time, etc.

APs don't have to be improv theater. There are advantages to other ways of playing the game.


Jabberwonky wrote:

I guess I just see it differently, especially after playing RPGs for so many years with friends who all share ideas, books, and information. We’ve got a group of about 10 folks who all like to play, and many of us find ourselves in the DM seat from time to time. Because of that we can’t help but know that a troll neeeds to be burnt to keep it from regenerating, or that dragons can usually cast spells, or what particular resistances and weakenesses a given undead has.

Along the same lines, we also can’t help but be able to guess a plotline once we’re exposed to it or on its railroad track, or be able to figure out that there’s likely to be treasure in an area like this, or that, or a trap here or there.

What I was gathering with the original poster was that he suspects one of his players was using outside information in a spoilery fashion, and as a DM he wants to prevent this from happening. I agree wholeheartedly – this sort of thing winds up decreasing the fun had by all at the table, and thus diminishes the game. I just see a big difference between spoilery investigation, and “ "re-memorizing" your spells when you realize Fireball won't do you any good against that fire elemental”, or cheating as is put.

My suggestion was simply what works for me, and was never an expectation that any, or everyone out there change their game to suit my method. And really, what better AP to do this sort of thing than Kingmaker – an AP Sandbox that is specifically designed to allow and (I would say) encourage DM creativity and additional content?

I see what you are saying- but I don't think you are getting what the OP is saying.

Sure metagaming is an issue with the bestiaries but..

What about something like "Well, i read the book so I know that we're going to a big castle, and at the top of the castle is a vampire lord so i need to bring wooden stakes and make a reminder to get that magic circle up before we go to the staircase leading up there..
Oh and there's a dragon in the basement who's red but uses cold spells alot so I need to prepare a resist energy Cold and make sure I cast it before I go in there.
oh and wow those are alot of high SR monsters in there so I'll be positive to use lots of spells that don't allow for SR.. maybe i'll stick to buffing the party for awhile so those pesky SR checks don't keep hitting me. *turns page* ooH some swarms! I'll be extra sure to buy a wand of fireballs, that'll take care of that"

** so far as I know the above does not exist anywhere, especially in Kingmaker, any relation to an actual adventure is coincidental.

I mean sure its annoying when you see a troll and some guy yells FIRE! before ever having seen one or rolling a knowledge check but its not the end of the world.

*knowing* whats coming and using that knowledge to your advantage though *is* a problem.
Its like taking an exam when you stole the answers from the teacher's desk- it defeats the point entirely of taking the exam in the first place.

If players are intelligent and can guess whats coming then that shows they are intelligent, and very engaged in the game.. I say go for it!
If the DM is dropping hints about the vampire in the belfry then it takes a truly daft group Not to prepare for it.
But thats not the same as reading the entry for that vampire in the AP and preparing to counter everything it has. "oh how handy its an evoker, i'll take care of that with a few resist energy spells" is a far cry from "its a vampire, lets make some knowledge checks to see what we know about them in general and lets go to the library back into town and see if we can dig up some dirt on this one in particular"

Myself? I definately consider pre-reading an AP to be cheating.
When we started RoTL I came up to the Dm and told him flat out that i'd read the first two books at least and maybe the 3rd but that for the things that I remembered I'd keep my yap shut about it. I've done my best to do so and we're now well past the parts that I'd read.

While its true you can somewhat tialor some RP if you know whats coming- I feel that such things are better left to discussions with the DM rather than reading up on it yourself.
the DM has a hard enough time with AP's in keeping it a challenge and keeping folks engaged without everyone having read about it all before hand.

When assaulting one well defended place we used magic to great effect and- quite accidentally- managed to get to the BBEG before touching another living creature. It was a bloody stomping mess, what we did to that poor guy. And it was completely accidental. 'we'll go in from the roof rather than the front door". We had no idea the Big Bad was just inside the staircase from the roof.
The DM wasn't impressed at all but its what happened, and we went with it.
I can only imagine his disappointment if we had actually read ahead, knew where he was, and figured out some way to get him while we were at full strength (rather than 3/4 or whatever we'd have been fighting through the area as the AP expected.

The game just loses its challenge, and imo alot of its fun, if the players know whats coming. Not just in a general foreboding sense "omg this is the troll's lair and.. there's a troll inside! everyoen be careful!" compared to "there's a troll in there. he has 13HD and wields a great axe.. You disarm him and we'll prep the fire, combat should be over in 2.5 rounds. yeah he ac is pretty low so hitting him shouldn't really be an issue, we'll just bottle neck in the entrance to where he's holed up so he can't do much but attack the shield bearer."

I mean dang.. where's the fun in that? Might as well just skip the AP altogether and read the book. It'd be more fun and waste less time.

-S


To return to the original topic: Spaceman – Dudemeister may be the ticket you are looking for. I remember him stating something about how he was planning some heavy changes in book 4 and 5 of the AP with all sorts of steampunk craziness gong on. From what I recall it sounded pretty amazing.

Alternatively, maybe theres a way to throw some curveballs at the party: Take an objective in the AP (I have not read past book 3 so I’m in unfamillar territory as far as specifics, but the concept should hold) and change it’s location/power base. Think about ways to bring in different portions of other APs for pieces of the structure, but reskin to suit. For instance, slide in some content/buildings from a drow based storyline, but swap out drow for a Numerian Barbarian tribe. I could see someone using parts of the Wake of the Watcher (From the Carrion Crown AP) and modifying it so that instead of old god influenced fish people, you’d have fey madness influenced faeries. Not only a way to pull in the whole Lady N influence bit, but pretty off the wall, out of left field, and (hopefully) not something your player has spoilered himself with.

I like to reference some of the oldies but goodies for inspiration, or to simply lift whole encounters/areas and replace in the AP if you have access – Tomb of Horrors, Expedition to Barrier Peaks, Demonweb Pits, Lost Caverns of Tsojcanth… Or just toss in some homebrew goodness that isn’t out there for players to be spoilered by. The Caves of Chaos from the old B2 Keep on the Borderlands seems to crop up in all my campaigns.

Additionally, you might want to consider simply changing the monsters as they are printed in the AP. Perhaps give them different strengths and weaknesses, powers, or items to change they way the encounter is setup. Thus if your player is expecting to fight a raging barbarian berserker who specializes in sundering, maybe it’s a Crazed barbarian wizard with a crack team of berserker bodyguards and a real love of dispel magic and pit spells, with a staff of telekenetic bludgeoning (Can you tell I like to add in custom made magic items as well as content?). Or maybe what should be the end encounter with the BBEG is just a stark, empty room with a pedestal, a dusty outline of something that was recently on the pedestal but is now missing. (Someone else got to the prize before the players and now they need to figure out what they missed and where to get it.)


Upon further inspection, Dudemeister is looking at spicing up the rushlight tournament, which I believe is part of AP 5. Heres the link to the discussion: Spicing up the rushlight tournament

Thus it may not be the right fit for what you are lookign at with #4.


You can always try holding him down and covering most of his body with tar. Next throw some feathers on him.

I guarantee he will never chaat in your game again.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Modules Subscriber

Once I had a cheater in my group. By randomly changing monsters and treasures he was jut very upset. He once told me that it was the "wrong treasure". But in the end, I kicked him from the table because he spoiled fun from other players as well


Roncolord wrote:
Once I had a cheater in my group. By randomly changing monsters and treasures he was jut very upset. He once told me that it was the "wrong treasure". But in the end, I kicked him from the table because he spoiled fun from other players as well

lol! Not only a cheater but a really, really stupid one at that!

Had one suspected cheater in one group - he was the 'pick up the hard to read dice quick' type and nearly always succeeded on any die-roll based task. He really hated it when I would RP out painful and tricky situation rather than just let him roll 'Acrobatics' or 'Diplomacy'.


Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

I know this was a while ago, But I just wanted to say I followed a lot of your advice and really changed book 4 and in my opinion made a much more interesting game. I also looked him straight in the eye and asked... if he lied, that's on him, but he said he didn't spoil the game for himself. Either way, I am going to be changing QUITE a bit of all adventure paths from here on out! (thanks herolab!).


Also be careful accusing someone of cheating, I had a good friend I played Shadowrun with. We only played self made modules, so no way of "cheating", but he acted as he already knows what will happen... why? because he know me and we both have the same mindset.

Maybe the player only made a awesome high "RL Sense Motive" Check^^ or the path works as his mind work.

Had a similar issue with a player in my group during the VV Modul and I led towards he simply thought "this is how it should go".


To be fair, Ive played in APs where I have already read them,1) I seriously have better things to memorize so I dont have perfect memory of them and 2) if I do recall something I typically take a back seat dont say much and just support other members of the group in the actions they decide to take.

I play because it's fun, not for some imaginary gain. I have only twice ever gotten really (temporarily) upset that my character died. One time I literally spent three entire game sessions rolling nothing higher than an 8, and i was just completely frustrated and literally blew my top when i died.
the other time I spent about 5 hours trying to kill an un killable vampire that I later found out WAS a vampire (there was no in game information that it could have been a vampire other than the fact it turned into smoke to escape once, and it had already cast spells) and was attacking us for 3d6!! con drain.
I later quit the campaign (in which everyone had died anyway but the DM wanted us to make new characters) when I found out the completely made up monster (that later became known as "the cr 25 vampire") had NOTHING to do with the AP we were in (legacy of fire) and was literally three times as powerful as it should have been for our level (8 at the time).

Other than those two times, I really could care less if my character dies, because I usually have another idea in the wings im dying to try!

there for I have no real incentive to cheat.

Cheliax

Reading the modules ahead of time is definitly cheating. If you happen to have read some of the modules for a legitimate reason, like say you were playing to run the path but it never got off the ground, you need to talk to your GM about it, and see if he's comfortable with you still playing.


I've a cheater in a game I GM, too.
At first I was just suspecting it but now it gets to a point where I can say I'm sure.
She allways rolls dice secret and always rolls really high.
Only when one of the other players mentions how high her rolls always are she has one low dice roll and then it's back to 15+ (straight d20 rolls)

Along with that come some problems:
1)She has a very fragile personallity and would most likely get a nervous breakdown and start crying if I confronted her with cheating.
2)She is one of the other players girlfriend and since they are a couple they behave like a twoheaded being. And critisising one makes the other freak out. That way her last crying fit was caused, because someone critisised a plan he made.
3)Until the two became a couple he was one of my two best friends, so I don't want him to quit the game and be angry with me because I tell his GF that she's cheating.


Umbranus wrote:

I've a cheater in a game I GM, too.

At first I was just suspecting it but now it gets to a point where I can say I'm sure.
She allways rolls dice secret and always rolls really high.
Only when one of the other players mentions how high her rolls always are she has one low dice roll and then it's back to 15+ (straight d20 rolls)

Sounds like the best (only) way to address this is to remind people that players need to roll on the table, were everyone can see the rolls. You may even go so far as to roll your own dice out where everyone can see as well (though that can get touchy with some DMs). Don't make it about cheating, make it about everyone being equal around the table.

RPG Superstar 2008 Top 32

I removed a post and a reply to it. Don't call out people like that.


I've been Gaming for a while now and have dealt with all levels of cheaters from the secret dice rollers to the precogs that like to have the same books you do ready to turn to the same page your running, even had a player tell me he would wreck my game if I didn't GM it correctly.

I hate to say it's modified my storytelling style but as a GM you have to adapt I can only assume that you're not doing this to fluff the ego of one player in your group I can only speak for myself when I say a simple set of expectations as a GM

1. All dice are rolled on the table in front of all players and the GM to witness (at minimum you as the GM must witness the roll)
a. Stats are rolled or point calculated the same way.
b. As GM you have the right to audit any character sheet at any time.
c. the player must announce what the intended dice roll is for and wait for GM acknowledgement/DC or other modifications to such before the dice are dropped.

2. All books and other media are to be off unless relevant to running the game. (yes put your damn cell phones down. lol)
a. I prefer dice to digital rollers.
b. laptops and the like must be casually observable to the GM at all times.

3. Any player that has previous experience with the a module or public accessible content that is to be drawn off of for backbone game ideas must let the GM know about such experience before hand so the GM can adjust accordingly.

remember as GM your in this to have fun as well


I find it funny how many people have cheated during their times.

Hell, even I've cheated once.

Then again, I had rolled nothing but 2 and 4 that day so I was feeling frustrated about being dead weight.
I'm surprised that nobody saw me push the d20 with my finger so the number suddenly changed when I did cheat.


I have a player in a Dark heresy campaign I run who is very, very genre savvy. he has a vast knowledge of the 40k universe and is pretty smart, so he could skip several links in the chain of events and work out what was happening. After guessing a couple of things because of that I started deliberately messing with him and abusing his genre savvyness. Making him leap to the conclusion that Tyranids were about to eat the planet was fun, and taught him that I'm just as genre savvy as he is...and can modify it. He stopped trying to guess what I was up to for the most part after that.

So yeah, changing monsters stats, treasures and key events should shut down a cheater. But don't change all of them. It's entertaining to see confusion dawn as they realize that it's not going where they thought it was going.


I cheated when in the game I talked about in the post that Citizen Byers erased.

Spoiler:

After Pavel Axelrod, evil dwarven necromancer, had been killed by a necrophidius because I am not a noob and know my f#*!ing D&D monsters, my charduni battle ram (goat) familiar, Jenna, was still alive.

I had stormed about the house yelling and they went on with the game when someone said, "But, Doodlebug, why don't you play Jenna?"

"This is bullshiznit! Reduced to playing a f$@&ing goat!"

So, anyway, the party at this point was fighting a necrophidius AND an iron cobra. I attacked a couple of time, but my goatly +2 to hit wasn't cutting it, so I started getting devious.

I decided I was going to grapple the iron cobra. I figured that even if it was technically impossible, I could bullshiznit the worst DM ever and bully my way through. My initiative came up and I declared my intentions. There was some fast and furious ruleslawyering as the rest of the players instinctively backed me up.

Finally, he agreed that I could roll for it. In the heat of all the arguing, things had been displaced and books had been moved. I rolled and got a 5. +2. 7. Crap.

I looked up and noticed that the worst DM ever was busy putting some books back. Two of the other players were putting their notes away, too.

My evil nature took over and I feigned a shout of surprise and triumph. "25!" I screamed and quickly grabbed the die. My eyes shot around the room and locked on to those of the player of Deirdre, the cannibalistic Titan-worshipper. He had seen everything.

At first, he just stared at me and in his inscrutable eyes I saw the balance of my fate tipping back and forth as if on the edge of a precipice. My heart froze and time stood still, but then he smiled evilly and nodded his head conspiratorially.

"25!" yelled my accomplice.

"Huh," said [Redacted], "Yeah, that beat's the iron cobra's CMD. But how is a goat going to grapple an iron cobra?"

"Jenna reaches forward," I say, "and gets the iron cobra in her mouth. She then takes a five foot step AND JUMPS DOWN THE 400 FOOT HOLE after her master! F+@& you! F!~# you! In your f+@~ing face!"

Then I threw my character sheet on the table and stormed out of the room.

Yeah, I cheated. I don't feel bad at all.


seriously tho, I am the worst dice roller on the planet. I could know everything about the entire module, have it memorized, and have a map of the dungeon glued to my eyelids.

Even with that, I can guarantee 1) Im the first person unconscious
2) I will do the least damage in the whole party
3) nothing I could do would possibly have an effect on derailing your dungeon mastery plans.

I roll so badly, when I GM, I usually get someones five year old to throw the dice for me.

Edit: But this is like Temple of elemental evil, I ran through this at least four times in my adventuring career.... "Dude this is the room where that secret door was isn't it?" "Yea I think so"...."ok we search for secret doors!" Gm "Roll" Players "Crap! a 4!" Gm: you find nothing.

So in the end, honestly, what does it really change?

I played a live action role playing quest where I happened to be drinking beer with the guy who WROTE the scenario months before and unwittingly ended up playing that weekend in that scenario, i KNEW there was a magic potion in that ROOM, I KNEW it! but I still didn't find it, because I didn't flip the chair over and see it scotched tapped to the underside of the cushion.... SERIOUSLY! that was cheap.
that live role playing character NEVER got anything magic, EVER ( i was seriously annoyed) so I took levels of night blade (the same as assassin) just so I could sap people (they call it waylaid) and steal their shizz!

Even when I knew there was something to find, I never found it.

I think the cheating thing is over rated, seriously, cheating on dice rolls is another matter, but whether or not you might be privvy to out of game knowledge is really all up to maturity levels, if you know it out of game, so what. If your character would not have reason to know it in game, don't act on the out of game knowledge.


Hot tar and feathers.


Okay, serious response.

Step one:
If you can't get them to admit to it then they simply have to go.

step two:
If they do admit to it they probably have an excuse and it might be a reasonable one. If it is somewhat reasonable then tell them that to be fair you will ask each other player privately their thoughts on the matter and come to a consensus.

step three:
If the consensus is that the other player are uncomfortable with a player cheating (however reasonable the excuse) then politely explain this to the player. If the consensus is that the other players are okay with the player cheating tell him he can continue playing as long as he promises to refrain from cheating and to do his best to not metagame.

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