Cheating GMs


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Grand Lodge 2/5 RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

Chalk Microbe wrote:

Sometimes its better to bend the rules for dramatic affect. If you have the best intentions of the players in mind, you and your table will have more fun.

And sometimes your GM cheats and doesn't have the best interest of the players in mind. And then it sucks.

The problem is that every single GM in the latter category believes himself to be in the former category. :/


No. Of course not. But just like, "not being a jerk" its an subjective quality and therefor not quantifiable. And certainly not quantifiable on a messageboard.

Liberty's Edge 5/5

Chalk Microbe wrote:
No. Of course not. But just like, "not being a jerk" its an subjective quality and therefor not quantifiable. And certainly not quantifiable on a messageboard.

Because it is subjective, and often self-subjective, is the reason why making such changes is against the rules of PFS Organized Play.

If you continue to do so, eventually a Venture-Officer will find out, and eventually you will be asked to stop GM'ing.


I do think that GM's being called out on "cheating" is a bit overblown. It isn't cheating, a GM really has ultimate authority. He obviously wants to the story to progress in a certain direction. No one ever calls them on cheating when they flub something to make sure the players don't die!

If the GM is outright ruining a game, that is another matter, but most of the time the GM is in the right to make decisions. If a powergamer is ruining the game for everyone else, I'd fluff rolls to teach him a lesson too. :)

4/5 *

KapowLtd wrote:
If a powergamer is ruining the game for everyone else, I'd fluff rolls to teach him a lesson too. :)

Again, totally against the rules in PFS, and rude to boot. "Teaching someone a lesson" really has no place in GMing. Killing (or nearly killing) a character because the player is a jerk is an inappropriate response, especially if the player is merely exploiting the rules and not actually breaking them.

If the player is breaking the rules, the correct response is to warn them and correct the problem, not "teach them a lesson".

Grand Lodge 2/5 RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

KapowLtd wrote:

I do think that GM's being called out on "cheating" is a bit overblown. It isn't cheating, a GM really has ultimate authority. He obviously wants to the story to progress in a certain direction. No one ever calls them on cheating when they flub something to make sure the players don't die!

If the GM is outright ruining a game, that is another matter, but most of the time the GM is in the right to make decisions. If a powergamer is ruining the game for everyone else, I'd fluff rolls to teach him a lesson too. :)

Keep in mind that this thread is in the context of Organized Play. The campaign has rules in place for GMs to follow in order to ensure fairness across an internationally-shared campaign. If a GM breaks those rules, then he is "cheating". In organized play, the best GMs are generally the ones who recognize that, unlike at home, they are not the ultimate authority.

Liberty's Edge 1/5

KapowLtd wrote:

I do think that GM's being called out on "cheating" is a bit overblown. It isn't cheating, a GM really has ultimate authority. He obviously wants to the story to progress in a certain direction. No one ever calls them on cheating when they flub something to make sure the players don't die!

If the GM is outright ruining a game, that is another matter, but most of the time the GM is in the right to make decisions. If a powergamer is ruining the game for everyone else, I'd fluff rolls to teach him a lesson too. :)

Pathfinder Society Organized Play, which is the subject of this thread, has rules that GMs must abide by. So in this case you are wrong, GMs do not have ultimate authority.

Grand Lodge 2/5 RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

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Maybe we could get a "[PFS]" tag added to the thread title? This is at least the second person we've confused like this...

Sovereign Court 4/5 5/5 *** Venture-Lieutenant, Conventions—Gen Con

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KapowLtd wrote:

I do think that GM's being called out on "cheating" is a bit overblown. It isn't cheating, a GM really has ultimate authority. He obviously wants to the story to progress in a certain direction. No one ever calls them on cheating when they flub something to make sure the players don't die!

If the GM is outright ruining a game, that is another matter, but most of the time the GM is in the right to make decisions. If a powergamer is ruining the game for everyone else, I'd fluff rolls to teach him a lesson too. :)

Actually, I think it is cheating to make sure the players don't die (with the exception of making sure that new players come back). I want to live or die based on my own actions, not because the GM was afraid to kill me. If you're not going to let me die, then my choices don't matter.

The Exchange 5/5

Iammars wrote:
KapowLtd wrote:

I do think that GM's being called out on "cheating" is a bit overblown. It isn't cheating, a GM really has ultimate authority. He obviously wants to the story to progress in a certain direction. No one ever calls them on cheating when they flub something to make sure the players don't die!

If the GM is outright ruining a game, that is another matter, but most of the time the GM is in the right to make decisions. If a powergamer is ruining the game for everyone else, I'd fluff rolls to teach him a lesson too. :)

Actually, I think it is cheating to make sure the players don't die (with the exception of making sure that new players come back). I want to live or die based on my own actions, not because the GM was afraid to kill me. If you're not going to let me die, then my choices don't matter.

Yeah, at an event not to long ago, I had a last minute judge switch and the new guy arrived saying he had promaced the old judge that he wouldn't kill (my wife & my PCs)....

ouch! kind of made me not want to play at that table... felt like I was being treated like a little kid (beginner). Kid gloves and all that. It me feel even worse when it looked like he WAS trying to kill some of the other PCs.

The Exchange 5/5 RPG Superstar 2010 Top 16

There have been times when I've moved a heroic PC into the jaws of danger for the sake of his comrades. If you've played "Fortress of the Nail" or "Rats of Round Mountain I", you might imagine what I mean.

And I've had GMs that then procede to run lethal attacks against my charactr, and other GMs who are obviously trying to figure out how they can not put my PC in mortal danger. ("It takes a five-foot step so that it's also able to attack the other guy, and directs two of its attacks to each of you ...")

Dude! My character is a paladin of Torag. You think he's going to get bent out of shape because he was given a heroic death in battle against a dangerous and evil foe?

But I understand: there are a lot of players who do get bent out of shape if their PC dies, even temporarily, even after taking risky astions. As a player, I just need to reassure the GM that I'm not one of them.

3/5

There are often fights where PCs a worthless. So a fight starts you were built for. You take an AoO to get into space to use your big attack. Everything was setup for a win for your team,your time to shine. A 4 is rolled on the table for a save. Awesome I won. The DM says sorry he makes his save.
Everyone has their moments and knowing that every fight happens to be built against that player tells me that I am not allowed to help. Why continue playing?

Liberty's Edge 5/5

Finlanderboy wrote:

There are often fights where PCs a worthless. So a fight starts you were built for. You take an AoO to get into space to use your big attack. Everything was setup for a win for your team,your time to shine. A 4 is rolled on the table for a save. Awesome I won. The DM says sorry he makes his save.

Everyone has their moments and knowing that every fight happens to be built against that player tells me that I am not allowed to help. Why continue playing?

There are some badguys that have a particular high save, where a 4 could still net them between 16 and 22 depending on tier.

But that being said, come play at my tables. I guarantee you that you'll win or lose by either our dice and/or our tactics, not because I modified anything for or against you.

Lantern Lodge 3/5

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KapowLtd wrote:
If a powergamer is ruining the game for everyone else, I'd fluff rolls to teach him a lesson too. :)

I'm curious what your definition of ruining the game is. Do you mean simply trivializing encounters? Or actively disrupting gameplay by doing foolish things he knows he can get away with? Or simply outshining the other PCs, or some combination there of?

Furthermore, what sort of lesson do you hope to convey? I personally am a relentless min-maxer. Character builds and game mechanics are 1/2 of the fun of gaming for me (the other half being role-play). Do my characters often trivialize encounters? Yes. Do I game in such a way that it keeps the other player's from shining at the things they specialize in, and/or rudely disrupt the story that someone has kindly taken the time and effort to prepare and run for me? Absolutely not.

So for myself, and folks who enjoy the game the way I happen too, what sort of lesson is needed?

1/5

Andrew Christian wrote:
There are some badguys that have a particular high save, where a 4 could still net them between 16 and 22 depending on tier.

Exactly so. A 4 on a d20 isn't a 1. It's likely that it's a failed save, but there's a myriad of ways in which an NPC could have a tricked-out save modifier, all within the rules, and not requiring any fudging or "cheating" on the part of the GM.

It's no different from rolling a 17 on an attack roll, and being told that it's still a miss. Frustrating as heck for the player (trust me, I've been there), but, unless you've actually read the adventure, and know (not just suspect) that the NPC's save modifier isn't good enough to meet the DC with a 4 on the die, or the GM has admitted to fudging the die modifier, it's not prima facie evidence of cheating.

Liberty's Edge 5/5

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Mike Mistele wrote:
Andrew Christian wrote:
There are some badguys that have a particular high save, where a 4 could still net them between 16 and 22 depending on tier.

Exactly so. A 4 on a d20 isn't a 1. It's likely that it's a failed save, but there's a myriad of ways in which an NPC could have a tricked-out save modifier, all within the rules, and not requiring any fudging or "cheating" on the part of the GM.

It's no different from rolling a 17 on an attack roll, and being told that it's still a miss. Frustrating as heck for the player (trust me, I've been there), but, unless you've actually read the adventure, and know (not just suspect) that the NPC's save modifier isn't good enough to meet the DC with a 4 on the die, or the GM has admitted to fudging the die modifier, it's not prima facie evidence of cheating.

Secondly, nothing tempts me more, as a GM, to fudge the number, than a player adding my numbers up for me and telling me if I fail or not. Seriously, I’ve had a player do this. It was at that point that I didn’t care what the number said anymore, and I just said, “they succeed!” Player started to argue, “What’s their modifier!” I’m like, “Doesn’t matter, they succeed.”

I know how to do math. I also don’t appreciate players who do that sort of thing. And every GM has that weak spot, that when a player hits their buttons, they just go wonky.

So before you blame your GM for cheating, why don’t you first figure out if you did something specifically to irritate them beyond all patience. And I’m not talking about just having a strong build. I’m talking poor gaming etiquette (social skills) here.

Furthermore, just because you’ve tricked out your character to rock at certain things, doesn’t mean its an automatic success. Sometimes, your tricked out pony is gonna go to the glue factory!

5/5

To mitigate the "I'm picking on one person" attitude that can develop, if the NPC has more than one potential target, a dice is rolled, whomever got numbered and rolled gets hit... that way it's fair and I don't look like I'm picking on one particular person.

I do this even if it would be obvious who I should choose based on damage output etc., because I want to avoid threads like this one where I'm called out for picking on one specific person.

I don't think that GMs should have to have the added stress about everything they do being taken the wrong way and being called out on the boards. These types of threads frustrate me to no end.

put her 2 coppers in the soapbox stand

I agree with the overall opinion that it should be discussed somewhere, however, I have never seen one of these threads have a calm start or a calm ending. They are tumultuous and always leave at least one and generally more people with a bad tast in their mouth. As many times as it's been stated over and over again on these boards what the procedure is if there is a problem, people fracking insist on coming into the forums and yammering about how they were wronged and how the GM did *X.Y,Z and is a bad GM.

I can honestly say that I with there was an autolock policy on these types of threads with a clause that they are completely deleted once campaign staff has seen them. We as a gaming community have enough negativity on these boards with the arguements/sparring about rules in threads; in my opinion we don't need the added negativity of one of the GM ranks being called out in a public flogging.

All over the forums we have people asking how to get more people to GM... threads like this is not the way. Who wants to GM when there is the chance of a public flogging??
hops off the soapbox

4/5

Andrew Christian wrote:
I know how to do math. I also don’t appreciate players who do that sort of thing. And every GM has that weak spot, that when a player hits their buttons, they just go wonky.

Amen. Unless the GM has told you the creature's AC, don't say "I hit" unless you rolled a natural 20. Even if you do know the AC, I'd like to hear the number so I can confirm based on any number of possible modifiers. Big pet peeve.

My decision-making process for targeting PCs in combat goes something like this:

  • Is it called out in the written tactics?
  • If not, is the creature intelligent enough to choose one target over another?
  • If not, it attacks closest, with ties decided by a die roll
  • If so, it attacks based on who it thinks is the biggest threat
  • If it can't make that determination, it attacks based on who it thinks it can kill

And all those can be superseded by

  • Who has shown themselves to be unhittable
  • Who has done the most damage or harm

Machine-gun archers can very easily find themselves prioritized as a target. PCs with a sky-high AC can similarly find themselves ignored or targeted by casters.

4/5

redward wrote:
Andrew Christian wrote:
I know how to do math. I also don’t appreciate players who do that sort of thing. And every GM has that weak spot, that when a player hits their buttons, they just go wonky.
Amen. Unless the GM has told you the creature's AC, don't say "I hit" unless you rolled a natural 20. Even if you do know the AC, I'd like to hear the number so I can confirm based on any number of possible modifiers. Big pet peeve.

I'll have to be more cognizant of that. Most GMs I've played with after the first few times against the same monster don't even want to hear the total if it's well within my hitting range and just go ahead and roll damage, and the same for missing. Since then, I've also kind of fallen into this habit. If it's close or we don't know, obviously we'll calculate, but if a 10 on the die hit before, a 19 probably is going to as well for the same modifiers. If a 10 missed, a 2 probably will also. And I've also found I've been GMing the same way as well.

Different GMs like different things, though.

5/5

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Hi Thea! *hugs*

Hei Finlanderboy! It sounds like you had a bad gaming experience. I'm sorry that it happened. You might have had a terrible malicious GM who was out to get your character, whose entire reason for GMing a Pathfinder Society game was to sow misery upon your innocent character, just as you suggest. Or your could have had a GM who made a mistake. Or you could have had a GM who is inexperienced. Or you could have had a GM who had an unlucky roll of the dice. Or any of a myriad other things...but I don't know since I wasn't there.

What I do know is that GMs cheat. Yup. You're right. All of us are dang dirty cheating liars. And, as Jiggy so kindly points out, all of us think that we're exceptions to the rule and we are the East Asian mushroom. As the many posts on this thread has shown, we cheat at all kinds of things. We cheat to save player lives. We cheat to teach tactics. We cheat so that newbies will come back. We cheat to give players a higher level of challenge, because 1 round combats just aren't any fun, especially when your party is full of cheese monkeys. We cheat to deceive players when NPCs have a secret, to keep up roleplaying when it has momentum and everyone at the table is engaged in the story. We cheat to keep the game moving in a 4 hours time slot when everyone is hungry and tired on the 3rd day of a Con, and there's a 10 hour drive back home ahead of us. And yes, sometimes we cheat, and it doesn't go well. And you know what, sometimes we cheat not in the players best interest, to punish a player because we're tired of being slumber hexed, eidolon pounced, crane winged, play play played, ruled lawyered, whined at, and flamed on the boards.

So, now the secret is out. The question is, what are you going to do about it? Because if you condemn every single GM who has ever intentionally forgotten about a rule, used suboptimal tactics, fudged a dice roll or a modifier, ignored a scrap of difficult terrain, given kindly in-combat advice to a newbie, or targeted a player with out of game knowledge, then you might have a hard time playing a game. Ever. Your other choice is to just suffer under our maniacal rule, and play.

Spoiler:
For the record, I am the East Asian Mushroom.

EDIT:
In retrospect, it's not as funny as I thought it was. I should have just said "poobah"

3/5

Well you can look up the fight after. Everyone can do the math after. I did not get the mod a until a week after. But the opponent had a +10 the save.

The DM said he saved. I said that is impressive will save for X. His answer yep. The DM made the mistake of letting that roll slip to the open. The others the rolled for me were hidden.

Thats as much I said about it until I was given the mod to DM later. So I know it was cheated. It was high tier no mistake for that. I already took the time to consider mistakes. This is the third time I caught him against me(he first a possible mistake doubling the fall damage a crit trap, the other saying a monster had 2 more HD than it did). But this the most blatant.

If you have a problem with players a the dice rolls, roll them ALL hidden. Hide the DC&AC as well. But if one rolls into view; thats the one you are not smart to cheat.

If he has an issue with me, he should tell me. I can not read his mind to know. I have decided to offer him, me bowing out at his table for all future games(even the ones I paid for ahead of time). He could have taken 5 and pulled me aside. I do it, it the adult thing to do. Better than compromising yourself.

The Exchange 5/5

Yiroep wrote:
redward wrote:
Andrew Christian wrote:
I know how to do math. I also don’t appreciate players who do that sort of thing. And every GM has that weak spot, that when a player hits their buttons, they just go wonky.
Amen. Unless the GM has told you the creature's AC, don't say "I hit" unless you rolled a natural 20. Even if you do know the AC, I'd like to hear the number so I can confirm based on any number of possible modifiers. Big pet peeve.

I'll have to be more cognizant of that. Most GMs I've played with after the first few times against the same monster don't even want to hear the total if it's well within my hitting range and just go ahead and roll damage, and the same for missing. Since then, I've also kind of fallen into this habit. If it's close or we don't know, obviously we'll calculate, but if a 10 on the die hit before, a 19 probably is going to as well for the same modifiers. If a 10 missed, a 2 probably will also. And I've also found I've been GMing the same way as well.

Different GMs like different things, though.

Yeah, I'll often just anounce the target AC after the first round or two of combat. Makes combat faster. Kind of like when the party is making climb checks and the first guy gets up the wall with a 5... I'm not going to make everyone else tell me exactly what they got, just if they did better.

But often for perception checks for surprise rounds... those I have to know exactly what you have. After all, the guy in the front might see "it" with a 15, when the guy at the back of the party might not with an 18.

The Exchange 5/5

"...what to one person is a cheat, to another is just bad tactics..."

I like to think I (almost) never cheat.

5/5

I did not state the frequency of these cheatings, nor that all GM cheat. I simply stated that GMs do cheat :-)

3/5

I make mistakes all the time. If you want to consider them cheating that is up to you. With all the books and all the info you have everyone makes mistakes. I accept that, but when a DM willng bends/breaks/shatters the rules I think is unacceptable in a public PFS game. I personally do not like GMs that softball. I do not feel I earned it. I want what I earn punishiment or reward

Grand Lodge 2/5 RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

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Finlanderboy wrote:
If he has an issue with me, he should tell me. I can not read his mind to know.

If you have an issue with him, you should tell him. He can not read your mind to know.

4/5

Yiroep wrote:
redward wrote:
Andrew Christian wrote:
I know how to do math. I also don’t appreciate players who do that sort of thing. And every GM has that weak spot, that when a player hits their buttons, they just go wonky.
Amen. Unless the GM has told you the creature's AC, don't say "I hit" unless you rolled a natural 20. Even if you do know the AC, I'd like to hear the number so I can confirm based on any number of possible modifiers. Big pet peeve.
I'll have to be more cognizant of that...

It can be subtle, but for me there's a difference between everyone knowing the well-established AC on the 5th round, and just declaring "I hit" on the second round and proceeding to roll damage. It tends to come off a bit cocky.

We had someone doing that. Turns out he thought that a Crit threat was an automatic hit even if it was a 19 on the die. And I've had more than enough other instances of "I hit" turn out to not be so certain once we do the math.

That said, I'm not so fast with the mental math, so I will sometimes say "it's at least 25, should I keep going?" or the like to save time while I try to get my brain into gear.

3/5 RPG Superstar 2013 Top 16

redward wrote:
Yiroep wrote:
redward wrote:
Andrew Christian wrote:
I know how to do math. I also don’t appreciate players who do that sort of thing. And every GM has that weak spot, that when a player hits their buttons, they just go wonky.
Amen. Unless the GM has told you the creature's AC, don't say "I hit" unless you rolled a natural 20. Even if you do know the AC, I'd like to hear the number so I can confirm based on any number of possible modifiers. Big pet peeve.
I'll have to be more cognizant of that...

It can be subtle, but for me there's a difference between everyone knowing the well-established AC on the 5th round, and just declaring "I hit" on the second round and proceeding to roll damage. It tends to come off a bit cocky.

We had someone doing that. Turns out he thought that a Crit threat was an automatic hit even if it was a 19 on the die. And I've had more than enough other instances of "I hit" turn out to not be so certain once we do the math.

That said, I'm not so fast with the mental math, so I will sometimes say "it's at least 25, should I keep going?" or the like to save time while I try to get my brain into gear.

I had the opposite problem when I was running a combat with a large ooze. Players would roll, then declare "I miss." I asked, "Are you sure? You're only looking for a 5." Them: "Oh. I hit."

Funnily enough, I recently had the situation reversed when a barbarian at my table went around with no armor, 8 DEX, and the Reckless Abandon rage power, giving him 5 AC while raging. That threw the GM for a loop a few times.

1/5

Wow...and I thought my lvl 12 barbarian ditched AC. Full out (Rage, Charge, Enlarge Person, Reckless Abandon, Come and Get Me) I am at 12AC.

Silver Crusade 5/5

I'm very used to saying if its sub 15 for ac for assuming I miss and moving on unless I know it's someone who's tanked their ac.

Assistant Software Developer

I removed an unconstructive post.

Liberty's Edge 4/5 5/55/5 ** Venture-Lieutenant, California—Sacramento

Purple Fluffy CatBunnyGnome wrote:
because I want to avoid threads like this one where I'm called out for picking on one specific person.

Stop Picking on me!!! :(

Liberty's Edge 4/5 5/55/5 ** Venture-Lieutenant, California—Sacramento

Nani Pratt wrote:
East Asian mushroom.

ummm? I don't get this reference...

Nani Pratt wrote:
And you know what, sometimes we cheat not in the players best interest, to punish a player because we're tired of being slumber hexed, eidolon pounced, crane winged, play play played, ruled lawyered, whined at, and flamed on the boards

Argh!!!!!!

4/5

Understandable not wanting to confront someone, particularly someone you spend time with. Nor is reporting some ones actions always in best interest, however in the interest of the community doing so is probably the best thing.

No one here in this on-line community knows your area of gaming as well as you and your community. If true, if false, your Venture Officer likely wants to know. Past reports, on-going-concerns, sort things out, makes things better.

As VC Mr. Eric Brittain said over the weekend, and I paraphrase "I want to know it all. Tell me of those times you waited for only the end, to be done and leave. Tell me of when you wished the night could go on and on. What made it that way? Why was it good or bad? What scenario?" He was a bit more eloquent and energetic in his telling.


Hi I and my girl friend is new to pathfinder we are looking for a local group to game with, I hope you can help us out. We live in Peoria Az.

5/5 ** Venture-Captain, Massachusetts—Central & West

Hi Dazzal,

If you are looking for PFS (Pathfinder Society) games, check the Events Page to see what's going around you. Looks like there are some events in Glendale if that isn't too far from you.

If you just want Pathfinder players in general, try the Gamer Connection forums.


ty David for the info still trying to figure it all out lol.

1/5

Dazzal wrote:
Hi I and my girl friend is new to pathfinder we are looking for a local group to game with, I hope you can help us out. We live in Peoria Az.

http://warhorn.net/gathering/

It will tell you when events are happening near you, but there is always more tables than listed here. Basically the main group alternates between a place about 5-10 minutes from you and Mesa every other week. I believe there are some people that are at the store next to you weekly, but a lot of people will travel to the farther distance on off weeks. Take that for what it is worth. PM me and if you need more information.

If you want to get a feel for the rules ahead of time http://www.d20pfsrd.com/ is pretty awesome. Piazo has their own similar site but everything is grouped by book instead of by category and missing all the hyperlinks.

Edit: I just noticed that this site doesn't really specify locations very well. IOG is Imperial Outpost Games, which is close to you. Samurai comics is out in Mesa.


1 person marked this as a favorite.

Okay, this was a weird thread to post a "looking for group" request.

-j

Liberty's Edge 4/5 5/5

Nuku: This thread (the original purpose of it, at least) ended over a month ago; it's best to let it die.

Grand Lodge

Apologies. The post I replied to wasn't that old.

Grand Lodge 4/5 Pathfinder Society Campaign Coordinator

Removed a post. If you have complaints about a VC or VL, send an email, don't bash tem publicly.

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