Dual-Cursed Oracle's Misfortune (Ex) and showing GM's dice rolls.


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Adam Mogyorodi wrote:
Jiggy, I would argue that having the BBEG fall to a save or suck on the very first round before his initiative would be unfun for quite a few players. I will allow myself the possibility for fudging, depending on the situation.

Good lord. Please do all your players a favor and tell them before hand that you'll pull this stunt. Please tell any VC's you might be playing under the same.

At some point, my frontliner is going to get screwed by the dice. Some BBEG will crit him for max damage. If someone in the party who I've been protecting from damage all game long KO's the BBEG before I have to burn through a bunch of potions and what not? A-frickin-men. I'll take that everyday of the week and twice on Tuesday because I know I won't be able to count on it.

The last thing I want is the DM trying to tell me what fun is. I honestly would appreciate it if Mike Brock would permanently ban every DM who pulls a stunt like this.

Dark Archive

N N 959 wrote:
Adam Mogyorodi wrote:
Jiggy, I would argue that having the BBEG fall to a save or suck on the very first round before his initiative would be unfun for quite a few players. I will allow myself the possibility for fudging, depending on the situation.

Good lord. Please do all your players a favor and tell them before hand that you'll pull this stunt. Please tell any VC's you might be playing under the same.

At some point, my frontliner is going to get screwed by the dice. Some BBEG will crit him for max damage. If someone in the party who I've been protecting from damage all game long KO's the BBEG before I have to burn through a bunch of potions and what not? A-frickin-men. I'll take that everyday of the week and twice on Tuesday because I know I won't be able to count on it.

The last thing I want is the DM trying to tell me what fun is. I honestly would appreciate it if Mike Brock would permanently ban every DM who pulls a stunt like this.

First of all, I am a VC. Secondly, please read my most recent post.

Avoid being hostile to me based on hypothetical situations as well, if possible. It's likely you will never have the 'problem' of having me as a GM anyway.


If he doesn't trust you, show him why he should.

Let him see the rolls for now.


Adam Mogyorodi wrote:

First of all, I am a VC. Secondly, please read my most recent post.

Avoid being hostile to me based on hypothetical situations as well, if possible. It's likely you will never have the 'problem' of having me as a GM anyway.

Apologies if you've suddenly reformed, but the main reason why I've embraces PFS is to get away from homebrew and GM's who feel they can set aside the rules whenever they want.

I'll be honest, it's mind-blowing that you would even suggest such a practice as a VC.


Furious Kender wrote:
"N N wrote:

As an aside, what I don't get is DM's who allow players to issue parameters, "use misfortune if it's a 20 or scimitar 18 and above." I have no idea where that interpretation comes from.

It is a work around that players use to either not to slow the game down or to use the power when you cannot see the GMs dice for whatever reason. It also is useful in online games where the roll also shows the outcome.

Perhaps I misunderstood, but I thought people were doing this when the DM was refusing to let them see the dice. If the DM is okay with a player seeing the dice, then yes, I understand this can be used.

Lantern Lodge 3/5

GM 101 wrote:

When do you fudge rolls?

Fudging dice rolls should never be commonplace, but there is
a time and place for adjusting tactics: helping a low level and/
or inexperienced table group that has fallen on a streak of bad
luck. One of the fastest ways to lose a new player is to kill off
his character, so as a GM you have some leeway to help these
fresh faces succeed, have fun, and have a reason to come back
to play again.

N N 959, fudging dice rolls is mentioned in the PFS: GameMastering 101 guide.

While the examples given is to save a player/party. The meaning remains the same. GMs can use fudge rolls as a tool to adjust the game experience for players.
It is not and should not be used commonly or often, but if there is a need for it, it is a viable tool for GMs to use. Even in PFS.

I hope you are able to see this as a means for GMs to make your game more enjoyable and not as a "anti-player" tactic.

N N 959 wrote:
Adam Mogyorodi wrote:

First of all, I am a VC. Secondly, please read my most recent post.

Avoid being hostile to me based on hypothetical situations as well, if possible. It's likely you will never have the 'problem' of having me as a GM anyway.

Apologies if you've suddenly reformed, but the main reason why I've embraces PFS is to get away from homebrew and GM's who feel they can set aside the rules whenever they want.

I'll be honest, it's mind-blowing that you would even suggest such a practice as a VC.

On a last, but VERY important note, please do apologise sincerely to Adam M.

The tone of your last reply is insincere, hurtful and demeaning.

By your own words, you are "suggesting" that Adam has been supporting dice fudging as a means to cheat, by ignoring the rules of the game.

SHAME ON YOU, N N 959.

In none of Adam's posts, did he ever suggest cheating or by bending the rules do take away the enjoyment of the game for players.
On the contrary, Adam has been suggesting/supporting methods to make the game more FUN for Players.
It may not be to your taste of what fun is, but FUN is what every GM wants to have at their table for ALL their players.

In addition, your sly suggest of banning GMs, is just mean and shows a lack of comprehension of the work that goes into good GMing, much less upstanding how much more effort it is to be a VC.

Being a VC is NOT an easy job. VCs have to organize games, ensure fair play among all pathfinders in their area and help settle many dispute over rules/game play. It is a voluntary job, that can take up much personal time for the benefit of others.

I sincere hope you can come to understand how hurtful you have been with your words.
We are all here to help one another enjoy this game better.

Silver Crusade

I don't see any compelling reason to fudge die rolls.

It's just weak to fudge die rolls against the players. Maybe I'm just too used to these scenarios getting owned, but there it is. I've just accepted that as a DM, I'm not going to get much, if any satisfaction. But I don't get upset or anything because I didn't write these scenarios/modules. You can bet if I did, they'd be significantly harder in the combat department.

Fudging rolls for the players? I'll do it homebrews to aid my story, but not PFS. First, the rules seem to strongly imply that DMs are not supposed to do this. Secondly, I'm ecstatic when the NPCs in PFS get to do something! I would consider it a pinnacle of DMing if I ever achieve a TPK, which PFS (for better or for worse) has made very, very challenging to achieve. The PCs shouldn't need the help in PFS.

And also big props to GMs who stand in there and run the scenarios for people. I don't understand all the hating on the GMs. Go play a few scenarios with munchkins, or better yet, GM some with munchkins, and you will very quickly see how exasperating it can get.

Sovereign Court 5/5 RPG Superstar 2009 Top 32, 2010 Top 8

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@David
Oh I can see a couple compelling reasons.

Last week I ran a table with a new player who showed up, and played the level 7 iconic gunslinger. He shot the BBEG, and the damage left him with 1 HP. I 'fudged' that it dropped him.

Why?

Because another more experienced player was going to go next, and he'd have dropped anyway. Because it was later than I planned. And because it gave the newbie the 'Big Damn Heroes' moment of dropping the bad guy. Everyone cheered and the new guy felt like he really was a part of the game.

PArt of the key of GMing, to me, is to keep the story flowing. Yes there is an urge to fudge against the players when you're dealing with, and not used to, completely tricked out builds, like my nemesises Sir Trips-a-Lot and Sir Grabs-a-Lot. But fudging in that case is encouraging the 'Us-vs.-Them' mentality. The game is better served by switching the spotlight away from them to Knave-of-all-Trades, Sir-Sub-par-choices, or Sir-Just-showed-up-and-is-playing-an-iconic. It helps support that you don't need to be Optimal Prime to be in PFS and have fun, and gets the players hooked.

Silver Crusade

I can understand the arguments made in this thread from both sides.

In my view, as a GM in a homebrew campaign, your goal is to make sure everyone has a fun and engaging experience first, and be an impartial adjudicator second. In PFS, it's the opposite. You can imagine why reversing the priority can throw off a GM's typical instincts.

N N 959 wrote:

Apologies if you've suddenly reformed, but the main reason why I've embraces PFS is to get away from homebrew and GM's who feel they can set aside the rules whenever they want.

I'll be honest, it's mind-blowing that you would even suggest such a practice as a VC.

A bad GM can make a a perfectly "impartial" game according to the PFS rules miserable and un-fun. There is a lot of grey area in the rules. Table variance exists for good reason... PFS is not a perfect shield against bad behaviour.

And as a player who had my first PFS game under Mergy, I would have to say that he embodies the spirit of what PFS can and should be. Just because you might have had some bad experiences around hidden dice doesn't mean it should get personal.

Sovereign Court 5/5 RPG Superstar 2009 Top 32, 2010 Top 8

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Erath wrote:
And as a player who had my first PFS game under Mergy, I would have to say that he embodies the spirit of what PFS can and should be. Just because you might have had some bad experiences around hidden dice doesn't mean it should get personal.

I'd say this works the other way too. I had a player who didn't want to tell me his AC, just what I rolled. He felt he'd been 'picked on' in the past for a high AC and I'd guess felt that someone was fudging die rolls to hit him. Because I knew the player I quelled my offense and rolled with it. If a new player did that with me, I'd be a lot more offended. In his case it was a bad day that made him a bit, eccentric.

In a stranger's case? IT tells me you're assuming sight unseen that I cheat. If you're going to sit down and assume that the GM is cheating right out of the gate, get the hell away from my table.

5/5

Erath wrote:
And as a player who had my first PFS game under Mergy, I would have to say that he embodies the spirit of what PFS can and should be. Just because you might have had some bad experiences around hidden dice doesn't mean it should get personal.

Seconded--the table I played with him at Gencon 2012 was notably our group's favorite of that year, and we played or GMed PFS in every slot. And this was with a kid who needed guidance and a scenario that was the lowest-rated scenario we played that year, plus our same group that played at every table, so as a scientist, I can say that those controls allow me to deduce with high probability that Mergy's GMing was the contributing factor to the increased fun. He GMed with patience, grace, and good humor, and we all worked together to encourage the younger player to explain his character's position while rolling Diplomacy and things like that. Also--enigmatism!

The Exchange RPG Superstar 2010 Top 16

Before this discussion goes much further, it would be great to get Mike or Mark or John to weigh in here:

The GM 101 document might be read in such a way to recommend GMs fudging dice in vaguely-defined but limited circumstances. Does the PFS campaign leadership stand behind this recommendation?

I ask 'cause I've been letting the dice fall where they may, even when there are new players at the table, because that's the expectation I want new players to come away with. Fun, but fair. And the honest death of a PC, played well with courage and character, isn't the end of the world.

If the campaign staff tells me that I should start cheating to softball encounters, I'll comply.


Jiggy wrote:

Oh man, I just had a hilarious thought:

So I'm sure you all know how much people like to differentiate Pathfinder from MMOs or other video games. Almost every thread that discusses GM fudging (I'm actually kind of surprised that this one hasn't gone there yet) will have 2d6 posts with statements to the effect of "I should be able to change things, because this isn't a video game".

You know what's a common feature of video game RPGs? Bosses having immunity to pretty much every worthwhile non-damaging spell/effect, in order to force the fight to last at least a few rounds. It's so common it's even got its own TV Tropes page.

And now we have GMs insisting on implementing that exact same mechanic in PFS.

I'm finding the irony incredibly funny:
"I can fudge, because Pathfinder isn't a video game! Except for the times when I fudge out some of its differences and *make* it more like a video game than it would be if I didn't fudge, but, uh, try not to pay attention to that..."

Bwahahaha! Oh man, I'm having trouble keeping a straight face at work here. The laughter would be hard to explain to a co-worker... :)

Additionally, video games often *do* fudge on the die rolls. I would be surprised if a Pathfinder GM fudged more than any video game. Why? Because you can't see any of the dice in a video game.

When the BBEG in a Pathfinder game rolls four 20s in a row, players chalk it up to terrible luck and continue on.

When the BBEG in a video game 'rolls' four '20s' using it's internal random number generator, players feel cheated and give hell and high water about how the game is broken or rigged, even though the roll was completely fair & random. The best way to stop that is to actually rig the game to never roll more than one '20' in a row.

Point is, the dice rolls in Pathfinder only really work because the GM establishes a covenant of trust and fairness with his players. That covenant is lacking in a video game, which is why video games end up fudging the dice to make the game feel more fair than a true random would be.


Secane wrote:

N N 959, fudging dice rolls is mentioned in the PFS: GameMastering 101 guide.

While the examples given is to save a player/party. The meaning remains the same. GMs can use fudge rolls as a tool to adjust the game experience for players.

No. I emphatically disagree. The meaning is not even in the same universe as what Mergy is suggesting. Mergy is advocating disallowing a caster who succeeds with "save or suck" spell so that the party can face more risk and possibly more consumption of resources. The fact that you are trying to equate the two as being similar undermines your credibility.

Quote:
It is not and should not be used commonly or often, but if there is a need for it, it is a viable tool for GMs to use. Even in PFS.

Preventing low level characters from dying on their first adventure, is one thing. Extending a battle because you think that's what the players want with absolutely none of them indicating so, is not, and never should be acceptable. In fact, Mike Brock and Mark Moreland have both emphatically stated that the very reason they have the "GM as written" rule is to prevent GM's from upping the difficulty because they feel it would make the game more enjoyable. I'll quote Mike Brock "this is not a gray area."

Quote:
I hope you are able to see this as a means for GMs to make your game more enjoyable and not as a "anti-player" tactic.
The road to ruin is paved with good intentions. A GM can make my game more enjoyable by letting the chips fall where they may. If the DM is going to "fudge" dice, it undermines the integrity the game. For me, the game loses its purpose if someone is scripting the outcome by fudging dice, regardless of their intentions.
Quote:
By your own words, you are "suggesting" that Adam has been supporting dice fudging as a means to cheat, by ignoring the rules of the game.

I suggested no such thing. SHAME ON YOU SECANE. You need to apologize to me immediately for insinuating I have accused anyone of cheating. I have done no such thing. I am admonishing the practice of disregarding successful spells by a player character because the GM has arbitrarily decided that's what makes the game more fun.

Accusing me of doing something I have not is both hurtful and offensive.


Matthew Morris wrote:

Why?

Because another more experienced player was going to go next, and he'd have dropped anyway. Because it was later than I planned. And because it gave the newbie the 'Big Damn Heroes' moment of dropping the bad guy. Everyone cheered and the new guy felt like he really was a part of the game.

It's unfortunate that GM's feel they need to script the outcome to trick players into enjoying the game. What happens when the player decides to read the scenario and finds out they really didn't kill the bad guy? What happens if other players (GM's) at the table know that X player really didn't do enough damage to kill the BBEG, do you think they might expect you to do them similar favors?

It's a Pandora's Box to start monkeying with the game to manipulate people, regardless of the intention. It's a shame people don't agree that PFS/PF is fun as is.

The only time I can agree with fudging rolls if the GM royally screwed up something previously and they needed to rebalance the game i.e. thought there was only one monster but there were suppose to be two.

EDIT: But even then I wouldn't used fudged rolls to fix things.

as they say, YMMV

Grand Lodge RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

Though my memory may be fuzzy, I think this is at least the second time in this discussion that someone has said something along the lines of "shame on you" or "you owe me an apology".

Could we all please just take a minute to cool the frick off before making our next posts? Good points don't get heard when they're buried under screaming indictments, whether said indictments are true or not.


I was being facetious. You know how that works right? :)


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walks in... shakes head... walks out

Silver Crusade

"Last week I ran a table with a new player who showed up, and played the level 7 iconic gunslinger. He shot the BBEG, and the damage left him with 1 HP. I 'fudged' that it dropped him.

Why?

Because another more experienced player was going to go next, and he'd have dropped anyway. Because it was later than I planned. And because it gave the newbie the 'Big Damn Heroes' moment of dropping the bad guy. Everyone cheered and the new guy felt like he really was a part of the game."

Perhaps I should qualify this with "mathematically meaningful fudging". I would likely do the same in this case, since its already a foregone conclusion.

Scarab Sages

Jiggy wrote:

Though my memory may be fuzzy, I think this is at least the second time in this discussion someone has said something along the lines of "shame on you" or "you owe me an apology".

Could we all please just take a minute to cool the frick off before making our next posts? Good points don't get heard when they're buried under screaming indictments, whether said indictments are true or not.

+1.

Although, do we need to discuss this more? There are plenty ideas for misfortune use with all types of GMs, just look through the thread . If you want to talk about fudging, I'd check other threads or start a new one. I don't think this is the place for it.

My 2cp.


Adam Mogyorodi wrote:
Jiggy, I would argue that having the BBEG fall to a save or suck on the very first round before his initiative would be unfun for quite a few players. I will allow myself the possibility for fudging, depending on the situation.

I've been pondering this. When you manage to nail the BBEG with a save-or-suck on the first round, it's fantastic. The players all get a kick out of it.

Besides, what's the point of even using a save-or-suck on a BBEG once you've whittled him down a bit? You fire those off at first in the hopes they'll work, then go for HP damage when there's nothing else.

Basically, I disagree with the idea that this is somehow acceptable fudging. I don't think it would be for anyone's benefit except, perhaps, the GM who wants the combat to last a while. Unless the party has a controller who has been shutting down every fight in the first round, it's really weak to deny them their moment of glory just because it's the boss fight.

Sovereign Court 5/5 RPG Superstar 2009 Top 32, 2010 Top 8

*Shrug* don't like it? Don't play at my table, simple.* My VC's email is columbuspathfindersociety@gmail.com It's not difficult to see what games I'm GMing. I don't even have an alias.
Rant

Spoiler:
If I have a player who a) is keeping track of the exact amount of damage the BBEG has, b) has read the scenario and remembers the exact amount of HP the BBEG has or c) reads the scenario later and remembers the exact amount of damage done, then they really need to apply that edictic memory to something useful.

In the same game, when the cleric was chanelling energy, he would only exclude the mooks on the table (as we removed dead/dying mooks who were out of the fight.) Strictly speaking I could have ruled he didn't exclude the 'off the table' mooks at negatives and healed them. (He had the charisma to do so) Instead I reminded him to remember to exclude them since "I wasn't going to be a smart <word we didn't use at the table> and heal them, but there might be an GM who would be a <word we didn't use at the table>"

I find sad that there seems to be a pre-concieved notion that 'GM's cheat to screw over the party' among so many. I GM to have fun. I play to have fun. I have had characters (not players, redward ;-)) die at my tables. Actually we joked about it Wednesday.

Me: "Don't worry, we've not had a permanent death at my table."
Other player: "Because they had the prestige to get better."
Me: "Shhhhhhhh don't tell them that!"

If something is unclear, I'll rule in the player's favor, and check later (see, immediate actions and channel vs incorporeal) It's a lot easier to twirl my moustache** and say "I'll get you next time, Pathfinders!" than "Oh, gee, that shouldn't have been a TPK. Let me bug Mike to fix records. That's what table variation is for.

On the original topic, I am curious. If I agree with the Misfortune player that I'll tell him "Any time I threaten." for rolling to hit, is it fair if I threaten w/o hitting? For example, if I roll a 18 with a scimitar, but need a 19 to hit, telling him it's a threat roll. By my logic it keeps the spirit of the power (He doesn't know the result of the die roll) but I'm wondering if the people who use the power would consider it 'unfair'.

*

Spoiler:
Under the 'can't win for losing' I walked away for a couple years because people were upset that my tables (without modding) were too lethal.

**
Spoiler:
Moustache twirlling may not be included

Grand Lodge RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

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Patrick Harris @ SD wrote:
Adam Mogyorodi wrote:
Jiggy, I would argue that having the BBEG fall to a save or suck on the very first round before his initiative would be unfun for quite a few players. I will allow myself the possibility for fudging, depending on the situation.
I've been pondering this. When you manage to nail the BBEG with a save-or-suck on the first round, it's fantastic. The players all get a kick out of it.

Another thought on this:

If a PC cast a save-or-suck spell on Round 1, then you know something: that PC spent one of their limited spells known or spells prepared on that spell instead of something else. That means they wanted to cast it, and presumably if they wanted to cast it then they wanted it to work. This in turn means that the player would have more fun with the spell succeeding than with it failing.

This means that if a GM chooses to fudge that save into a scripted success, they are intentionally choosing to reduce at least one player's fun at that session.

The GM has chosen to deliberately reduce the fun had by one of his players. And allegedly, this is done in the interest of improving the fun for the table as a whole.

So how much "fun" does the rest of the table need to gain by a spell's failure to make it worth throwing that one player under the bus? How exactly does that decision get made?


Matthew Morris wrote:
*Shrug* don't like it? Don't play at my table, simple.*

I have no problem if the GM makes it clear that this is his/her policy before I am committed to the scenario. As long as I have the information so that I can make an informed decision about joining the table. If everyone at your table feels that this is in their long term interest, more power to you. If people give informed consent, that's their perrogative.

I would like to know if the GM's who do this tell players that they will do this before the player commits to the table?

While I acknowledge that there is no "right" answer on dice fudging, let me leave you and the others, who have varying degrees of compunction about fudging dice, a thought:

Players will eventually figure out what is going on. Even if you come clean about it, you've created distrust which may never be repaired. If a GM is going to fudge something as sacrosanct as dice, then anything might be fair game. And once players see you fudging to help one of them, you're going to have a hard time convincing everyone you're being fair to the rest of them.

Spoiler:

Quote:
...then they really need to apply that edictic memory to something useful.

Not really a compelling argument in favor of your philosophy.

Quote:
In the same game, when the cleric was chanelling energy, he would only exclude the mooks on the table (as we removed dead/dying mooks who were out of the fight.) Strictly speaking I could have ruled he didn't exclude the 'off the table' mooks at negatives and healed them. (He had the charisma to do so) Instead I reminded him to remember to exclude them since "I wasn't going to be a smart <word we didn't use at the table> and heal them, but there might be an GM who would be a <word we didn't use at the table>"

You're conflating two separate issues. A player who fails to do something that their character would intuitively know to do is categorically and fundamentally not comparable to fudging dice.

Quote:
I find sad that there seems to be a pre-concieved notion that 'GM's cheat to screw over the party' among so many.

Quite the contrary. There is a pre-conceived notion that GM's who have good intentions end up causing more harm than good. Mike Brock's rationale for the "GM as written" rule is given with the explicit assumption the GM has good intentions. Good intentions don't equal good result. More importantly, there are often repercussions downstream that the GM will not be aware of.

In your case, you act with the the belief that the dramatic result for one player was a net gain. But what happens when that player's next game fails to provide the same end-game fireworks? What about the game after that?

You've run the risk of setting the "fun" bar high, artificially. The rest of this players's gunslinger career might be considered downhill and the player may get disillusioned with the game because something happened that shouldn't have. If the difference between that player continuing to play PFS and not was killing the end boss, then I think his career will be short-lived. The point is you can't be certain what you're doing is really in someone's best interest in the long-term.

Quote:
If something is unclear, I'll rule in the player's favor, and check later (see, immediate actions and channel vs incorporeal) It's a lot easier to twirl my moustache** and say "I'll get you next time, Pathfinders!" than "Oh, gee, that shouldn't have been a TPK. Let me bug Mike to fix records.

I don't think anyone has suggested you do otherwise.

Quote:
That's what table variation is for

I thought TV is something that just happens? I didn't realize it was an intended occurrence.

Dark Archive

Patrick Harris @ SD wrote:
Adam Mogyorodi wrote:
Jiggy, I would argue that having the BBEG fall to a save or suck on the very first round before his initiative would be unfun for quite a few players. I will allow myself the possibility for fudging, depending on the situation.

I've been pondering this. When you manage to nail the BBEG with a save-or-suck on the first round, it's fantastic. The players all get a kick out of it.

Besides, what's the point of even using a save-or-suck on a BBEG once you've whittled him down a bit? You fire those off at first in the hopes they'll work, then go for HP damage when there's nothing else.

Basically, I disagree with the idea that this is somehow acceptable fudging. I don't think it would be for anyone's benefit except, perhaps, the GM who wants the combat to last a while. Unless the party has a controller who has been shutting down every fight in the first round, it's really weak to deny them their moment of glory just because it's the boss fight.

I'm not saying I've ever done this, but you have yourself just mentioned a scenario where a GM could feasibly have the idea to do so.

I do not go into a game planning on the fights lasting so many rounds, and I certainly don't give anything a blanket immunity to mind-affecting effects just to artificially lengthen a scenario. However, I will not be told that I am a bad GM because I leave options open.

To the people who are STILL attacking me for saying there may be situations where fudging is acceptable, I don't expect to change your minds.


Adam Mogyorodi wrote:

I'm not saying I've ever done this, but you have yourself just mentioned a scenario where a GM could feasibly have the idea to do so.

I do not go into a game planning on the fights lasting so many rounds, and I certainly don't give anything a blanket immunity to mind-affecting effects just to artificially lengthen a scenario. However, I will not be told that I am a bad GM because I leave options open.

To the people who are STILL attacking me for saying there may be situations where fudging is acceptable, I don't expect to change your minds.

Yes, but that's one specific case. I'm saying that there might be one specific reason for doing this, but I was responding to your rather general statement: "I would argue that having the BBEG fall to a save or suck on the very first round before his initiative would be unfun for quite a few players." I don't think that statement, as it stands, is a fair one, and I wouldn't enjoy that kind of fudging as a player or as a GM.

Also, I'm not attacking you. I'm responding to your statement. Other people are attacking you, and that's between you and them--but if you can't handle your statements being challenged by Person A because Person B was mean to you, the Internet is probably not a good place to be debating people.

Dark Archive

Patrick, I didn't say you were attacking me. I tried to make it come across that I was not referring to you.

My earliest post in this thread was more of a blanket statement, and I'm revisiting it now. While I do still believe fudging for or against players should remain an option on the table, I would not give something complete immunity to a SoS just because it was the first round of combat.

Please continue to attack my arguments! :) I much prefer that to the part where people start claiming I should be banned from GMing.


Adam Mogyorodi wrote:
Please continue to attack my arguments! :) I much prefer that to the part where people start claiming I should be banned from GMing.

The issue is the practice, not the person. I specifically said GM's who do this. You haven't done it so no one is advocating you get banned. Just as you want to make it clear you are talking hypo, I am talking about GM's who actually do it.

I do disagree with presenting it as a valid option, but everyone is entitled to their opinion.


Adam Mogyorodi wrote:

Patrick, I didn't say you were attacking me. I tried to make it come across that I was not referring to you.

My earliest post in this thread was more of a blanket statement, and I'm revisiting it now. While I do still believe fudging for or against players should remain an option on the table, I would not give something complete immunity to a SoS just because it was the first round of combat.

Please continue to attack my arguments! :) I much prefer that to the part where people start claiming I should be banned from GMing.

Ah, fair enough. Well, cheers to both sentiments, then.

Shadow Lodge 5/5 Regional Venture-Coordinator, Northwest aka WalterGM

Some things I thought while reading this...
1. This format of organized exists through the grace of tireless volunteer work and kind-hearted individuals. I refuse to accept that those same people that contribute in a such meaningful way to its perpetuity are actually as callous or petty as they are often accused of in these forums. We are all adults (or almost adults). There is no need to act so childish over a game.

2. In general, getting into spiteful arguments is a terrible idea, online or off.

3. As a player, whenever I cast a save or suck spell, I realize that if it goes off the fight will effectively be over. That is why I use them up during the early fights, so that the final encounters can be more drawn out and feel epic. I think it makes for more well rounded monumental fights that make everyone feel important, rather than just me casting a spell. That is, however, my play style. I would not presume to dictate to others how to play.

4. Perhaps consideration, moderation, and wisdom in all regards leads to stable, happier tables. I'll admit that the last session I GM'd I got off on a bad foot with one of the players, but after a brief and candid dialogue, we were able to move past our disagreement (which started due to a rules misunderstanding on my part!) and ended the session with everyone in smiles, happy for the experience.

5. Any talk of banning GMs puts a sour taste in my mouth. As does any talk of banning players. Just as nations wanting to peacefully in a global setting must endure and embrace the differences of their neighbors -- so must we act in PFS. We are a worldwide community of gamers, and serious discussion of exiling our people should be reserved for those that fall far outside the margin of common decency. Squabbles over "GM fudging," which in non-PFS games is often standard practice, should not devolve into talk of banning people from PFS. We are better than that, I think.


Walter Sheppard wrote:


3. As a player, whenever I cast a save or suck spell, I realize that if it goes off the fight will effectively be over. That is why I use them up during the early fights, so that the final encounters can be more drawn out and feel epic. I think it makes for more well rounded monumental fights that make everyone feel important, rather than just me casting a spell. That is, however, my play style. I would not presume to dictate to others how to play.

I am stunned at this behavior. You're essentially admitting to playing a sub-optimal game in order to introduce more risk at the end of the game? The safety of the rest of the party be damned? Wow.

As far as banning GM's. When a GM intentionally protects a BBEG and that results in a TPK, what do you suggest should be the consequence? A stern word or two from a VC?

Shadow Lodge 5/5

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Rulebook Subscriber
Patrick Harris @ SD wrote:
I've been pondering this. When you manage to nail the BBEG with a save-or-suck on the first round, it's fantastic. The players all get a kick out of it.

What I am about to write is not a statement on the validity or lack of validity of fudging but I do have to comment to this.

I was VC at an event where a PC sorcerer locked down the final fight with a single spell on the first action of the first round. The table was NOT amused and in fact I was told by a number of players afterwards that given a choice they would rather not ever play again with that PC at the table.


MisterSlanky wrote:
Patrick Harris @ SD wrote:
I've been pondering this. When you manage to nail the BBEG with a save-or-suck on the first round, it's fantastic. The players all get a kick out of it.

What I am about to write is not a statement on the validity or lack of validity of fudging but I do have to comment to this.

I was VC at an event where a PC sorcerer locked down the final fight with a single spell. The table was NOT amused and in fact I was told by a number of players afterwards that given a choice they would rather not ever play again with that PC at the table.

Well we can certainly find a GM for them here :)

Shadow Lodge 5/5 Regional Venture-Coordinator, Northwest aka WalterGM

N N 959 wrote:
Walter Sheppard wrote:


3. As a player, whenever I cast a save or suck spell, I realize that if it goes off the fight will effectively be over. That is why I use them up during the early fights, so that the final encounters can be more drawn out and feel epic. I think it makes for more well rounded monumental fights that make everyone feel important, rather than just me casting a spell. That is, however, my play style. I would not presume to dictate to others how to play.
I am stunned at this behavior. You're essentially admitting to playing a sub-optimal game in order to introduce more risk at the end of the game? The safety of the rest of the party be damned? Wow.

Actually, what I said is quoted above.

I don't think that any one character should 'carry' a fight. I think that if I cast baleful polymorph five times in a row in five encounters, everyone else would be bored -- as would I. Turning one thing into a ferret is enjoyable, turning everything into them is just a waste of my time. I like mixing up the spells that I cast, and reserve other, very useful spells for final fights. Spells like communal air walk, high level summon nature's ally, and others.

To assume that I put my party at risk by not participating in a singular fashion with my actions in a game is to invite you to dictate how I play my character. This is something that I would find gravely offensive.

Quote:
As far as banning GM's. When a GM intentionally protects a BBEG and that results in a TPK, what do you suggest should be the consequence? A stern word or two from a VC?

Any instance of this should be brought to the attention of the local VO. They will then deal with it as the situation warrants or converse with other VOs and the campaign leadership to determine further action. Speculation on hypothetical or "what ifs" is both tiring and a nonproductive use of time. Only if instances have arisen where such GMs are "repeat offenders" and the VO appears to have taken no action, should players communicate at a direct level with the campaign leadership.

What do I think? It would depend on the situation. Luckily, I personally know a majority of my regions GMs and what they are like at a table, and have expedienced few to no complaints with their performance.


In the first post, you claim to use up effective spells early so that the final encounters "can be more drawn out..." As someone who plays a front-liner, the longer the fight goes, the more chance I'm going to get hit and possibly crit'd. The more saves against disease or rot or whatever I might have to make. As a person who plays a barbarian, the last thing I want is a drawn out fight.

Personally, I do everything I can to save the party from harm. I also make an effort to conserve Rage or potions or whatever because the BBEG (if the scenario really has one) is usually an order of magnitude more lethal than anything else we might encounter (a certain underground temple on an island in season 4 comes to mind). If I knew certain party members were sandbagging simply to make the battle more "epic" I'd probably step aside and let them face off with said BBEG to their hearts content.

Then you said this...

Quote:
...and reserve other, very useful spells for final fights.

Now maybe the fault is mine, but I see those as two very different things. I have no problem with the latter.

If there are people who don't want a wizard to lock down the BBEG because they like the risk of getting permanently KO'd, hey more power to them. I'm certainly not one of them. The very reason I protect the squishies from danger all scenario long is so that they can take out the BBEG without me having to make a stabilize check. I love casters because they can usually deal with the things that brute force can't.

Walter Sheppard wrote:
Speculation on hypothetical or "what ifs" is both tiring and a nonproductive use of time.

When ever someone creates a policy or statute or ordinance or rule, it is imperative that people explore the effect of that rule against various scenarios and fact patterns, even hypothetical ones. More to the point, you've clearly dodged the question.

A GM wipes out 6 players with 12 total years of effort in their characters because he swatted aside a single failed save. Yes, his attitude is that swatting aside rolls is his prerogative as GM. He's not going to to stop. What is the policy?


People can choose to play how ever they want. IF someone wants to hold back and play their character weak that is their choice. If someone wants to make a super character and kill everything before everyone, that is thier choice to. But this is a social game and the actions you take either way have different reactions from different player.

Shadow Lodge 5/5 Regional Venture-Coordinator, Northwest aka WalterGM

N N 959 wrote:
In the first post, you claim to use up effective spells early so that the final encounters "can be more drawn out..."

I will repost what I wrote originally.

Quote:
As a player, whenever I cast a save or suck spell, I realize that if it goes off the fight will effectively be over. That is why I use them up during the early fights, so that the final encounters can be more drawn out and feel epic. I think it makes for more well rounded monumental fights that make everyone feel important, rather than just me casting a spell. That is, however, my play style. I would not presume to dictate to others how to play.

So I use "save or suck" spells in earlier fights, rather than final fights.

N N 959 wrote:


Then you said this...

Quote:
...and reserve other, very useful spells for final fights.
Now maybe the fault is mine, but I see those as two very different things. I have no problem with the latter.

The two things I mentioned are:

1) casting save or suck spells early, and
2) reserving other useful spells for final fights

These are not mutually exclusive. And regardless, that is part of my play style and is my decision to make. It is not yours.

Telling me what to do with my actions is tantamount to a GM telling you what to do with yours. As this is something you bemoaned earlier, it is strange to me that you seem to be pushing this issue.
----------------------------

N N 959 wrote:
Walter Sheppard wrote:
Speculation on hypothetical or "what ifs" is both tiring and a nonproductive use of time.
When ever someone creates a policy or statute or ordinance or rule, it is imperative that people explore the effect of that rule against various scenarios and fact patterns, even hypothetical ones. More to the point, you've clearly dodged the question.

There has been no new policy, statute, ordinance, or rule created. The current discussion seems to be "if my GM fudges a dice roll, what is his punishment?" And in that regard, I have already offered my thoughts as to what a calm approach towards satisfactory ground between both parties might be. If you believe I have dodged the question, allow me to refrain: it depends on specifics, but the situation should be brought to the VO, and then they will deliberate and decide what the best course of action should be.

N N 959 wrote:
A GM wipes out 6 players with 12 total years of effort in their characters because he swatted aside a single failed save. Yes, his attitude is that swatting aside rolls is his prerogative as GM. He's not going to to stop. What is the policy?

There is no flat policy, it depends on the situation. If this is your example, and I am to provide my answer as to what I would do -- I would like to know all the specifics. Who were the players? What was the atmosphere at the table? Were people upset all night? Why did the GM choose to do that? How do 6 seasoned players not have the ability to recover from a single successful saving throw? How are those players unable to recover from a death after 12 years of combined PFS play time? Most importantly -- why didn't one of my seasoned volunteers step in when the saw the situation develop? Why was a resolution not reached at the table? If it ever reached me, which I doubt it would because it would get taken care of sooner by my VL, I would need far more information than what you have provided in your example.

And this is why hypotheticals fall apart, and are, in my opinion, not worth delving into.


Quote:
Telling me what to do with my actions is tantamount to a GM telling you what to do with yours. As this is something you bemoaned earlier, it is strange to me that you seem to be pushing this issue.

No one is "telling" you how to play your character. To suggest otherwise is disingenuous.

I have every right to express an opinion on a playstyle that endangers my characters: "drawing out fights to make them epic." The hope is that other players will recognize that drawn out fights are not in everyone's best interest and adopt a more comprehensive understanding of such actions.

I live in Washington state, so I am curious about what VC's are advocating.

Shadow Lodge 5/5 Regional Venture-Coordinator, Northwest aka WalterGM

The only thing I'm advocating is a fun table for everyone. That and communal respect for people on these forums. In general, I've found that most of my players enjoy "more epic," for lack of a better phrase, fights. We once enjoyed a several hour long battle against a dragon at our FLGS, and the story is beyond legendary.

I have many frontline characters, so I understand the frustration of people not always selecting the optimal action during difficult combats. I don't believe I ever make any actions that cripple the party, and as anyone that I've partied with can tell you, I am all about supporting my fellow PCs. Actually, I have several characters specializing in that role.

You are free to voice your opinion on my play style. I thought you were correcting me. That is not the case, and for that I apologize.

That said, without playing with me or meeting me, I think it is rash to assume what my decisions at a table lead to. However, since you are in Washington, perhaps this can be rectified! Where are you located and where do you play?


MisterSlanky wrote:

What I am about to write is not a statement on the validity or lack of validity of fudging but I do have to comment to this.

I was VC at an event where a PC sorcerer locked down the final fight with a single spell on the first action of the first round. The table was NOT amused and in fact I was told by a number of players afterwards that given a choice they would rather not ever play again with that PC at the table.

That's really unfortunate. Was the player disruptive or otherwise upsetting them before that point? Because if they were having fun and then somebody pulled something like that, I can't imagine a dynamic in which the fun would suddenly stop.

... and if it did, why wouldn't everyone just say, "Okay, well, let's do the boss fight without that, just to see what would have happend!" I've done that before.

Silver Crusade

Save or suck has long been a staple in any D+D derivative. Maybe not 4th, I don't remember. It is a risk that both the PCs and NPCs are constantly faced with. This is why cloaks of resistance often get a higher priority on my PCs than AC gear or even dpr gear. That slow spells makes your two weapon fighting machine look pretty stupid.

BBEG's can be provided with better support to make this whole argument not necessary. Perhaps more of them should have resistance gear or perhaps a caster flunky that can remove the debuffs. My standard BBEG fight for homebrew usually involves the BBEG, caster support, AND mooks to get in the way. PFS rarely seems to incorporate all three critical aspects of a good BBEG fight.

All this being said, I let the dice fall where they may, unless as Matthew pointed out before, its a foregone conclusion that makes a new player's day or something like that. But I will NOT give BBEG's passes on save or suck. If they suck, the author needed to build a better encounter, which is not my fault and not my responsibility to fudge rules to try to "fix" it. It is what it is.

This whole conversation makes me want to roll up a transmuter who specializes in debuffs and just go nuts with it. Even the simple ray of enfeeblement makes many BBEG fights easy mode.

Grand Lodge RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

1 person marked this as a favorite.

Congratulations, MisterSlanky, on posting the first non-hypothetical account of players having less fun due to a successful SoS spell against the BBEG.

Prior to that point, the only statements to that side of the debate have been theoretical claims by GMs of what their players would like, including two rhetorical questions (i.e., "Seriously, between the BBEG falling on the first action, and actually getting to have an exciting fight for a few rounds, which would you prefer?") which have been, unless I missed a post, unanimously answered with "I'd have more fun letting the dice fall where they may".

Multiple GMs in this thread have stated their personal beliefs that their players might have more fun if they fudge a successful round 1 save, but your story is the first actual data point in support of that belief, as opposed to the half-dozen or so players who have counted themselves as the opposite.

Anyone have any other data?


Walter Sheppard wrote:
...

I suspect you are a phenomenal player and have a vast database of experience as a player and GM compared to me. I'm sure I would feel it a privilege to play alongside your or have you as a GM.

The Internet is a wonderful tool which allows us to jump to conclusions when people express things differently. I use it every day.

[Please don't pay any attention to this webcam I'm setting up behind your GM screen :)]

Grand Lodge RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

Oh, and speaking of getting more data, there are some things that I was really hoping to read more responses to in this thread.

For instance, yesterday I made a comparison between fudging a d20 roll and fudging the BBEG's attack/save bonus. The latter is explicitly illegal for GMs to do, while the former is being treated as a legal option in the GM's toolbox, yet both have the same effect. I had hoped to read a rebuttal from one of the GMs in this thread who believes fudging dice in the BBEG's favor is a legal option, but (unless I missed a post) not one of them has replied.

Similarly, I also brought up the point that if a GM fudges the BBEG's save into a success, then by definition he has done so at the expense of at least one player's fun (the caster). I asked how the decision is made to that; that is, under what circumstances does it become apparent that enough fun can be produced for the rest of the table that picking one player and deliberately ruining their fun becomes the right thing to do?

I would be very interested in hearing commentary on these issues, from whomever would care to share.

Shadow Lodge 5/5

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Rulebook Subscriber
Patrick Harris @ SD wrote:
That's really unfortunate. Was the player disruptive or otherwise upsetting them before that point? Because if they were having fun and then somebody pulled something like that, I can't imagine a dynamic in which the fun would suddenly stop.

It depends on your definition of disruptive I guess. The player is generally well liked and makes some interesting characters. Also to be clear the players requested not to play with that PC, not the player. To your point though, at that point they did go from having fun to decidedly NOT having fun (at least according to a number of players at the table). I was called over to the table to mitigate simply because there was a certain degree of stunned disbelief.

Quote:
... and if it did, why wouldn't everyone just say, "Okay, well, let's do the boss fight without that, just to see what would have happend!" I've done that before.

Which is what I suggested they do. The character then locked down the fight on the second round of combat (because the character was built 100% around SoS spells).

Shadow Lodge 5/5

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Rulebook Subscriber
Jiggy wrote:
Anyone have any other data?

We had another local player show up with a horribly built monk (Jiggy, I think I've told you this story). I could tell he was new to the game so when auditing his sheet I made the polite suggestion that perhaps a 7 CON on a monk was a poor decision. I should also note that in his fairly newness he also spent his extra favored class point on skills.

On the first round of combat in the first fight of his first ever PFS game he ran up and one-shotted with a crit a horse (which at the time had a rider). He was pleased with himself and the table was happy for him. The rider had the second action of the round so he stood up returned the favor by critting the monk, and did 15 points of damage with his weapon. The GM at the time was not aware about how poorly built this new player's character was.

I was called over to the table due to sheer stunned disbelief by the GM. We gave him a pregen to play the rest of the game just so he could participate, but we never saw him again. So in a similar situation, we lost a potential local player to a very poor roll. Again, not speaking to whether it's a good idea to fudge or not, but this is a situation where it may have made a difference.


MisterSlanky wrote:
So in a similar situation, we lost a potential local player to a very poor roll.

Based on what you described, I don't see how you can determine that but for the crit, he would have returned.

Shadow Lodge 5/5

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Rulebook Subscriber
N N 959 wrote:
MisterSlanky wrote:
So in a similar situation, we lost a potential local player to a very poor roll.
Based on what you described, I don't see how you can determine that but for the crit, he would have returned.

Well I could say "he was very enthusiastic until that moment."

Silver Crusade

I don't know what to tell you. Dumping CON has been suicide since 3.0. Inverse munchkins sometimes can not be saved from themselves.

Lantern Lodge

I will share an experience GMing though I will stay as vague as possible about details. (No need to upset anyone.) It involved the spell Color Spray at relatively low levels. I understand there is a lot you can do to get the save high, but have the recipient count as having fewer hit die than they actually do.

The caster in question had a combination of an incredibly high save and a very high initiative. So the combat would start, they would Color Spray, and then the combat would stop. Unless I lucked out and rolled a 19 or 20 the monsters or bad guys or whatever were essentially done. Maybe I should have fudged and switched out for beetle swarms and robots as they would ignore that spell.

The game ended with an uncomfortable and awkward silence from the majority of the group. I had one player tell me they wished I would have fudged some rolls so that the enemies would have had a chance. This is a paraphrase of what else they said on the matter, "I felt like putting on a skirt and grabbing some pom poms. I was just there to be a cheerleader anyway". The person felt they had wasted several hours of their time. Just as everyone has a right to their opinion they also have a right to feel as they do. I wondered if I should have not been so stringent in the rules and instead fudged the roll in a more positive light for a bad guy or two.

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