How much cheating do you tolerate?


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Jiggy wrote:
As for being "fair", what's your criteria?

Design and quality control high enough that the bulk of their dice pass a chi-square test, I guess. Not that I'm expecting anyone to have done chi-square with high n-values on a significant portion of their dice, but presumably folks would notice shoddy design or poor quality control.

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Hm. I've never done any real testing, but the Chessex dice I mentioned have always seemed good enough to me; plenty of hits and misses both. :)


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I think that's a pretty solid understanding, Jiggy.

I think one of the disconnects, however, is that there are some elements of the group "contract" that are, whether known to all or not, kept private, and just kind of accepted locally.

This is layered upon things that just aren't talked about (because people have different expectations) and it's when these thing conflict that badness happens.

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Tacticslion wrote:

I think one of the disconnects, however, is that there are some elements of the group "contract" that are, whether known to all or not, kept private, and just kind of accepted locally.

This is layered upon things that just aren't talked about (because people have different expectations) and it's when these thing conflict that badness happens.

What are you suggesting? That communication is central to healthy relationships? That conflicts can be resolved through clear communication rather than needing to teach the other person a lesson or abandoning the relationship? Nonsense!

;)


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Morzadian wrote:
No offence intended: even though you are a ghoul, you surprisingly have some really interesting stories to tell people about.

It is only surprising to people who are unaware of the great stories which came about because of failures. The Lord of The Rings trilogy can be traced to a halfling missing his survival check during a fight with some orcs and getting lost - Bilbo gets acclaim for starting a major war by not being able to tell his left from his right. A party of uber-competent heroes going down a railroad track and saving the world can make a decent story, a party of heroes-in-name-only getting side-tracked and overcoming their weaknesses to save (or fail to save) the world can make a great story.


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Greg the Ghoul wrote:
Morzadian wrote:
No offence intended: even though you are a ghoul, you surprisingly have some really interesting stories to tell people about.
It is only surprising to people who are unaware of the great stories which came about because of failures. The Lord of The Rings trilogy can be traced to a halfling missing his survival check during a fight with some orcs and getting lost - Bilbo gets acclaim for starting a major war by not being able to tell his left from his right. A party of uber-competent heroes going down a railroad track and saving the world can make a decent story, a party of heroes-in-name-only getting side-tracked and overcoming their weaknesses to save (or fail to save) the world can make a great story.

Very much so. The stories of failure or mistake can be great role playing experiences or even give a player a way to broaden and think differently about their character, to grow in a direction they never even dreamed about, to step out of the pre-planned buy-this-at-that-level and let the character breathe.

Sovereign Court

I saw someone mention GM's and cheating, so I figured I'd add my $0.02. A GM can not cheat. GM's are the god at your table and they can do what they want. I almost always roll behind the screen and if I think a miss would have been a hit, it will be. Especially if I need to knock a player off of their high horse. To me this is no different that adding the advanced template to creatures.

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DonKeebals wrote:
I saw someone mention GM's and cheating, so I figured I'd add my $0.02. A GM can not cheat. GM's are the god at your table and they can do what they want. I almost always roll behind the screen and if I think a miss would have been a hit, it will be. Especially if I need to knock a player off of their high horse. To me this is no different that adding the advanced template to creatures.

This whole quote is a perfect example of terrible GMing, and the part I bolded is a good illustration of the level of blindness required to not see it.

Sovereign Court

I had to tl;dr through the thread. Sorry. Usually I read everything related.

I don't have a tolerance for cheating. The moment I notice it, the player is out. Or if I notice that a player is cheating and nobody does anything about it, I'm out, if I'm a player.

As a GM I understand errors, omitting stuff and honest mistakes. It happens. No big deal. We fix it and move on.

There was a mention of a player who keeps rolling his dice on his Laptop keyboard and picks a better number. That kind of player would be warned to stop it once. Then summarily kicked out.

Friendship plays no role in that. I've kicked out lifelong friends and distant family from my games.

I also do not put up with cheating when I'm a player. If I triple check my character sheet and roll dice honestly, I expect that from every player at the table. If someone is cheating, I will call them out on it. If people brush it off, I'll leave.

Sovereign Court

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Jiggy wrote:
DonKeebals wrote:
I saw someone mention GM's and cheating, so I figured I'd add my $0.02. A GM can not cheat. GM's are the god at your table and they can do what they want. I almost always roll behind the screen and if I think a miss would have been a hit, it will be. Especially if I need to knock a player off of their high horse. To me this is no different that adding the advanced template to creatures.
This whole quote is a perfect example of terrible GMing, and the part I bolded is a good illustration of the level of blindness required to not see it.

A terrible GM is one that allows the players to run the table. And yes, GM's are the gods at their tables. What they say goes, period.


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Jiggy wrote:
DonKeebals wrote:
I saw someone mention GM's and cheating, so I figured I'd add my $0.02. A GM can not cheat. GM's are the god at your table and they can do what they want. I almost always roll behind the screen and if I think a miss would have been a hit, it will be. Especially if I need to knock a player off of their high horse. To me this is no different that adding the advanced template to creatures.
This whole quote is a perfect example of terrible GMing, and the part I bolded is a good illustration of the level of blindness required to not see it.

Yeah. I'm not a fan of calling people terrible GMs, but this is really just being a poor game player in general. Using In Character means to punish people for Out of Character behavior is just wrong. Talk to the other person or part ways. The days that "bolts from the blue" were even considered vaguely a good idea passed years ago.

I don't "cheat" as a GM. I make a challenge or bad guys or whatever and if you beat it, hurrah! If you don't, then you hopefully learn and do better next time. Changing the bad guys, dropping in more mysteriously or adjusting hit points just sort of smacks of a "I'll never let you win!" mentality that I don't think a Game Master should have. It isn't me against the table, it's the adversary against the players, and I am supposed to be impartial.

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DonKeebals wrote:
A terrible GM is one that allows the players to run the table.

That's not mutually exclusive with what I said, you know. There's a whole lot of fun to be had in the ENORMOUS space in between "GM is god" and "players run the table". That's where the good GMs are. The terrible ones populate the two situations you and I have now identified (and probably some other spaces as well).

Quote:
And yes, GM's are the gods at their tables. What they say goes, period.

Unless of course the GM is a healthy, high-functioning adult. In that case, the GM makes adjudications where needed but listens to complaints/rebuttals and is willing to accommodate reasonable requests.


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Jiggy wrote:
There's a whole lot of fun to be had in the ENORMOUS space in between "GM is god" and "players run the table". That's where the good GMs are.

I tend to agree. That said ...

... it isn't a matter of the DM not rightly possessing such power as DonKeebals describes. He or she does, without question, by default. It's instead a matter of seldom if ever having to rely on its brutal application, because instead he or she oversees the game with wisdom and restraint.

If you pull out the smack-down hammer for the least issue, you're a bully and an idiot. If you refuse to employ it even when it is necessary, you're a doormat.

Frankly, if you wield your authority properly, subtly and never when unnecessary, your power is rarely if ever required.

In addition, players always have the ultimate power (and rightly so). They wield the Horn of Your Game Sucks, I'm Leaving, and can sound it at will.


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DonKeebals wrote:
Jiggy wrote:
DonKeebals wrote:
I saw someone mention GM's and cheating, so I figured I'd add my $0.02. A GM can not cheat. GM's are the god at your table and they can do what they want. I almost always roll behind the screen and if I think a miss would have been a hit, it will be. Especially if I need to knock a player off of their high horse. To me this is no different that adding the advanced template to creatures.
This whole quote is a perfect example of terrible GMing, and the part I bolded is a good illustration of the level of blindness required to not see it.
A terrible GM is one that allows the players to run the table. And yes, GM's are the gods at their tables. What they say goes, period.

Isn't the purpose of a GM to facilitate the enjoyment of all the players(including the GM) at the table?

Doesn't acknowledging that if a player disagrees enough to argue with the GM about something then the player might have a point that makes the game better for all involved (or at least better for some and the same for others)?

Do you think that having the attitude of "what I say goes" is likely to prevent acknowledging the above and improving the game via player input?

On a slightly different note, do you think that you actually have any power other than what the players give you, aside from the small amount that comes from your seat being slightly less convenient to fill than a non-GM seat? If a player refuses to accept what you say due to a perception of unfairness (regardless of whether it is true) do you actually think you can just ignore it without telling the player to leave? Do you actually think that if the player responds by telling you that you should leave instead then you are going to continue being GM unless the other players side with you instead of siding with the player and telling you to go take a hike?

GMs don't really have any power unless the players give them power. The players will usually give you some power in order to facilitate the enjoyment of all, but they can (and should) take it away if they think that you are inhibiting said enjoyment. Bear that in mind the next time you "knock a player off their high horse".

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Jiggy wrote:


As I talked about before, it's as simple as this: whatever the group agreed (explicitly or not) was going to be happening is "fair", while any deviation from that is "cheating".

So, for example, suppose the players build their characters under the impression that encounters will be CR-appropriate, or X level of challenge, or whatever. Maybe they lowball their optimization because they want a gritty meatgrinder that forces them to think tactically, or maybe they optimize highly because they want a fun roflstomp of carnage-joy, or maybe they go somewhere in between with an understanding of a sandbox world where they'll be constantly gauging their own power against that of potential obstacles.

If the GM then goes outside that group agreement by providing encounters that are different enough as to provide a different play experience (such as turning the meatgrinder into something easier, or the roflstomp into something harder, or the open sandbox into "everything is a level-appropriate encounter no matter where you are"), then the GM has betrayed the other people at the table. Maybe you use the word "cheating" or maybe not, but either way, the GM's being a selfish jerk.

I can agree with the entirety of the above post.

Jiggy wrote:
DonKeebals wrote:
A terrible GM is one that allows the players to run the table.

That's not mutually exclusive with what I said, you know. There's a whole lot of fun to be had in the ENORMOUS space in between "GM is god" and "players run the table". That's where the good GMs are. The terrible ones populate the two situations you and I have now identified (and probably some other spaces as well).

Quote:
And yes, GM's are the gods at their tables. What they say goes, period.
Unless of course the GM is a healthy, high-functioning adult. In that case, the GM makes adjudications where needed but listens to complaints/rebuttals and is willing to accommodate reasonable requests.

That one, not so much agreement from me. Just because a GM's word is final doesn't mean the GM has to be deaf to players' concerns.

Yes, it's possible to be a tyrant jerk with that attitude. But it's not integral/inevitable. As I said before, a happy medium where wants/desires from both sides of the screen are communicated and respected is best.

But humans will be humans, and despite the best of intentions it periodically breaks down. In those cases where you can't maintain communication and respect, there are two options. Players laying down the law, or the GM. I think the GM avenue is better for the same reasons that chains of command in emergency response/military organizations aren't committees.

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deusvult wrote:
As I said before, a happy medium where wants/desires from both sides of the screen are communicated and respected is best.

Agreed; I said so myself, in fact.

Quote:
But humans will be humans, and despite the best of intentions it periodically breaks down.

Granted.

Quote:
In those cases where you can't maintain communication and respect, there are two options. Players laying down the law, or the GM.

No.

In those cases where you can't maintain communication and respect, someone needs to grow up and learn to be a better person than they currently are. And the person who needs to do so is most likely the person who thinks there could ever be a situation in a (non-professional) game where the it's truly necessary for someone to "lay down the law".

A group of people who, when getting together to play a game, actually manages to come to a point of one or more parties wanting to lay down the law, is a socially dysfunctional group that has bigger things to fix than GM/player role expectations.

Quote:
I think the GM avenue is better for the same reasons that chains of command in emergency response/military organizations aren't committees.

See above. The need for one gamer to tell another gamer "submit or leave" is a sign of problems, not a necessary or fundamental element of gaming dynamics.


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deusvult wrote:
But humans will be humans, and despite the best of intentions it periodically breaks down. In those cases where you can't maintain communication and respect, there are two options. Players laying down the law, or the GM. I think the GM avenue is better for the same reasons that chains of command in emergency response/military organizations aren't committees.

It should be noted that it is permitted (if not outright required) for military personnel to refuse to obey orders that are not lawful, chain of command be damned.

Likewise, while letting the GM run the show and not arguing much when a dispute arises is generally the better move for a lot of the trivial issues that tend to arise at the table, the players have the right to tell the GM to stop being a tosser when the GM stops acting in the best interests of the table as a whole and does whatever they feel like.


DonKeebals wrote:
I saw someone mention GM's and cheating, so I figured I'd add my $0.02. A GM can not cheat. GM's are the god at your table and they can do what they want. I almost always roll behind the screen and if I think a miss would have been a hit, it will be. Especially if I need to knock a player off of their high horse. To me this is no different that adding the advanced template to creatures.

OLD SKOOL! (Yes, the "K" is correct.)

I've found a healthy flogging of players before the game starts goes a long way towards a good game, as well.

Just make sure the nails are extra-rusty.

(And if you're not at least occasionally kicking them in the crotch, can you really be sure they're enjoying the rest of the game, when they're not being kicked in the crotch?)


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DrDeth wrote:
bookrat wrote:
Devilkiller wrote:
I expected the "cheat sheet" to be more dramatic and include some really awesome abilities. It appears to just be a handmade sheet created by a guy who makes a lot of spelling errors, doesn't edit things carefully, and might not fully understand stacking. Something like Hero Lab might be a good idea for such a player. I've seen some problems with Hero Lab created sheets too, but at least with those you might not have to worry so much about whether the player is making intentional "mistakes".
That's a good point. I may request to the group that he use Hero Lab or ScoreForge.

Yeah, and considering that many of these errors were against him, I think accusations of 'cheating" are unfair. He just made some mistakes and he didnt care about them- as the DM didnt seem care about them.

Why do these mistakes make such a bid deal to you? I mean, I didnt see anything that makes his character game breaking to the point where it'd reduce the fun for the other players.

Are you sure there's nothing personal between the two of you?

Most of the mistakes are in his favor. Only one was against him.

These are a big deal to me because I am strongly against people who lie, cheat, and bully - and he has led me to believe that he's willing to do all three of those in order to make a character powerful. I noticed it right off the bat when I met him, and in private I asked someone who knew him and they confirmed my suspicions. So I kept an eye on his character. What led me to these suspicions was how he treated our GM - a shy non-confrontational young man who has a difficult time standing up for himself. Our GM prefers to to tell someone "ok" rather than argue if they keep pressing him. This person knows that, because he and the GM know each other (for how long before I met them both I do not know). To me, he's being a bully. And when someone called him on something during character creation, he claimed he didn't know - just after we had a big discussion about it; so he either lied about not knowing or is so self-absorbed that he can't be bothered to listen to anyone else.

Now, I know this is just a game, so who really cares, right? Who cares if someone wants to lie, cheat, and bully in something that's just a game?

I care because I know that if a person is going to do those things in something as simple as a game, then they're likely to do it in other aspects in life as well - and someone could get hurt from it. I have; and many of my loved ones have been hurt because of liars, cheats, and bullies. I've lost entire groups of friends because of liars; and I've had family members waste a lot of money on liars and cheaters (most of my family is uneducated and cannot tell the difference between a real product and a fake one, like a lot of the alternative medicine industry). I even know people who have been killed because someone lied, and I know of people who have been killed or died because of cheats and bullies.

And I hope that by standing up to someone who is a liar, cheat, or bully, I can help people in two ways: 1) I can protect those who are being harmed and help them know that they're not alone and there are those who will stand up for the weak (this is particularly true when I've helped people back from potential suicide because of bullies), and 2) that I can teach the liar, cheater, or bully that what they're doing is wrong and hopefully they'll change their ways.

Now, granted, sometimes I don't do 2 very well; this is because I, too, am human and am prone to mistakes. And sometimes I do it wonderfully. In my past, I've shown people that they're actions harm others and they've listened to me. I've also failed to show someone that, and to this day they are still speaking lies about people behind their backs, and ruining people's lives (at least those who haven't learned the lesson not to listen to those individuals anymore).

So that's why it bothers me. Simply put, I do not like people who lie, cheat, or bully.


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Snowblind wrote:
deusvult wrote:
But humans will be humans, and despite the best of intentions it periodically breaks down. In those cases where you can't maintain communication and respect, there are two options. Players laying down the law, or the GM. I think the GM avenue is better for the same reasons that chains of command in emergency response/military organizations aren't committees.
It should be noted that it is permitted (if not outright required) for military personnel to refuse to obey orders that are not lawful, chain of command be damned.

Slight correction: unlawful or immoral. And yes, it is a requirement. At least it was when I served.


How we've handle it is laugh, mock, a bit of shame and from then on all of their rolls must be rolled right in the centre in front of everyone. If you roll it a bit off to the side, or they hide it, it doesn't count (because we know you cheat), even if it is a natural 20. It reined the cheater right in.

We had one guy that was making more real life sleight of hand checks than he was skill checks in game. A compulsive cheater. A friend ran the numbers of his average roll and it came up as pretty much statistically impossible (his average roll was 18, with him mostly reporting 20s, 19s and 17s. Don't know why he didn't pretend he was rolling 18s but he needed 19-20 to crit).


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I used to roll away from everyone. I never got accused because the other players heard far too many, "Crap. Three," for me to be cheating.


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Jaelithe wrote:
I used to roll away from everyone. I never got accused because the other players heard far too many, "Crap. Three," for me to be cheating.

That has also happened to me... >.>


So after talking with some of this person's friends, cheating and lying are known problems for this individual. I guess they've just gotten used to him doing this and don't even bother with it correcting it anymore. As one of his friend's told me, he has an urge to "win" at every game, and if he has to cheat to do it he will. I was also told "I don't even have to look at his character sheet to know that all of his 'mistakes' are in his favor, and if you call him on it he'll just lie and say he didn't know."


bookrat wrote:
So after talking with some of this person's friends, cheating and lying are known problems for this individual. I guess they've just gotten used to him doing this and don't even bother with it correcting it anymore. As one of his friend's told me, he has an urge to "win" at every game, and if he has to cheat to do it he will. I was also told "I don't even have to look at his character sheet to know that all of his 'mistakes' are in his favor, and if you call him on it he'll just lie and say he didn't know."

See, I used to be so confrontational that I'd have said, "And now, to stay, you need not only to admit that you cheated, but apologize publicly. If not, GTFO."

Now? I'd take him aside and say, "No tolerance for that. If you don't think you can control yourself, then invent an excuse to save face and stop showing up ... or eventually I will humiliate you before the group. Don't test me."

Cheating, even at a game, is a character issue. I don't want friends like that.


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bookrat wrote:
So after talking with some of this person's friends, cheating and lying are known problems for this individual. I guess they've just gotten used to him doing this and don't even bother with it correcting it anymore. As one of his friend's told me, he has an urge to "win" at every game, and if he has to cheat to do it he will. I was also told "I don't even have to look at his character sheet to know that all of his 'mistakes' are in his favor, and if you call him on it he'll just lie and say he didn't know."

Sounds like a clear-cut case of "either he's out or I am."

I wouldn't want to play with someone like that, and I don't think I'd even want to play with people who think that's even remotely acceptable, to be honest.

Sovereign Court

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bookrat wrote:
So after talking with some of this person's friends, cheating and lying are known problems for this individual. I guess they've just gotten used to him doing this and don't even bother with it correcting it anymore. As one of his friend's told me, he has an urge to "win" at every game, and if he has to cheat to do it he will. I was also told "I don't even have to look at his character sheet to know that all of his 'mistakes' are in his favor, and if you call him on it he'll just lie and say he didn't know."

I wouldn't even give him a chance to explain. He would be booted so fast...


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Arnwyn wrote:
DonKeebals wrote:
I saw someone mention GM's and cheating, so I figured I'd add my $0.02. A GM can not cheat. GM's are the god at your table and they can do what they want. I almost always roll behind the screen and if I think a miss would have been a hit, it will be. Especially if I need to knock a player off of their high horse. To me this is no different that adding the advanced template to creatures.

OLD SKOOL! (Yes, the "K" is correct.)

I've found a healthy flogging of players before the game starts goes a long way towards a good game, as well.

Just make sure the nails are extra-rusty.

(And if you're not at least occasionally kicking them in the crotch, can you really be sure they're enjoying the rest of the game, when they're not being kicked in the crotch?)

So you're saying your players neither flee, nor fight back, nor call the police nor refuse to return to your game in future sessions?

What strange magic did you use on them?


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I see a lot feel the same way as I do. accident is one thing as long as it is corrected. I have done that more then once put the wrong number in a spot or add things the wrong way it happen but I corrected right away. the other there is no call sometimes the dice just don't go your way sucks but it happens.


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At our table the heartless fates tumble across the table in open view and feast on the tears of lesser men.

Cheating of any kind is not allowed and this starts with the GM. The closest I've ever seen to player cheating at our table (in recent years) are players who roll attacks or skill checks before being promoted or before I as GM have given approval. These are most often honest mistakes of eagerness on the players part. In such cases I just ask that they re-roll in the open for all to see.

We are all grown ups and this arrangement has never been an issue.


Muad'Dib wrote:

At our table the heartless fates tumble in open view across the table, feasting on the tears of lesser men.

Cheating of any kind is not allowed and this starts with the GM. The closest I've ever seen to player cheating at our table (in recent years) are players who roll attacks or skill checks before being promoted or before I as GM have given approval. These are most often honest mistakes of eagerness on the players part. In such cases I just ask that they re-roll in the open for all to see.

We are all grown ups and this arrangement has never been an issue.

I'll often roll attacks and damage while the person before me in initiative is still doing his turn (I'm not sure what "being promoted" means in this context). It's not cheating, it's speeding up the game. I have my numbers ready to go when he turns to me.

Only when I don't expect my actions to change based on the PC before me , of course.


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thejeff wrote:
Muad'Dib wrote:

At our table the heartless fates tumble in open view across the table, feasting on the tears of lesser men.

Cheating of any kind is not allowed and this starts with the GM. The closest I've ever seen to player cheating at our table (in recent years) are players who roll attacks or skill checks before being promoted or before I as GM have given approval. These are most often honest mistakes of eagerness on the players part. In such cases I just ask that they re-roll in the open for all to see.

We are all grown ups and this arrangement has never been an issue.

I'll often roll attacks and damage while the person before me in initiative is still doing his turn (I'm not sure what "being promoted" means in this context). It's not cheating, it's speeding up the game. I have my numbers ready to go when he turns to me.

Only when I don't expect my actions to change based on the PC before me , of course.

Yeah if we're all rolling in the open and still adjudicating one players actions the next player doing his/her roles during the previous players turn would be a big problem for me and would be heartily discouraged.

I'm focused on that player and what they're doing and shouldn't have to split my attention from them to monitor another player rolling because they didn't want to wait their turn. I know it looks like it's speeding up play. But if we're rolling in the open and I didnt see the actual die roll? Then I'm just gonna make them roll over anyway. If another player saw the rolls and vouches for the player I let the roll stand but ask them to wait until their turn next time.

That may be just me though...


thejeff wrote:
Muad'Dib wrote:

At our table the heartless fates tumble in open view across the table, feasting on the tears of lesser men.

Cheating of any kind is not allowed and this starts with the GM. The closest I've ever seen to player cheating at our table (in recent years) are players who roll attacks or skill checks before being promoted or before I as GM have given approval. These are most often honest mistakes of eagerness on the players part. In such cases I just ask that they re-roll in the open for all to see.

We are all grown ups and this arrangement has never been an issue.

I'll often roll attacks and damage while the person before me in initiative is still doing his turn (I'm not sure what "being promoted" means in this context). It's not cheating, it's speeding up the game. I have my numbers ready to go when he turns to me.

Only when I don't expect my actions to change based on the PC before me , of course.

"Being promted" is just an acknowledgment that we (the GM and the other players) are paying attention to the upcoming dice roll. The dice rolling in open view is dramatic often eliciting high fives, fist bumps, cheers, and at times groans.

I make no judgement on your actions or your game theJeff.


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Muad'Dib wrote:
thejeff wrote:
Muad'Dib wrote:

At our table the heartless fates tumble in open view across the table, feasting on the tears of lesser men.

Cheating of any kind is not allowed and this starts with the GM. The closest I've ever seen to player cheating at our table (in recent years) are players who roll attacks or skill checks before being promoted or before I as GM have given approval. These are most often honest mistakes of eagerness on the players part. In such cases I just ask that they re-roll in the open for all to see.

We are all grown ups and this arrangement has never been an issue.

I'll often roll attacks and damage while the person before me in initiative is still doing his turn (I'm not sure what "being promoted" means in this context). It's not cheating, it's speeding up the game. I have my numbers ready to go when he turns to me.

Only when I don't expect my actions to change based on the PC before me , of course.

"Being promoted" is just an acknowledgment that we (the GM and the other players) are paying attention to the upcoming dice roll. The dice rolling in open view is dramatic often eliciting high fives, fist bumps, cheers, and at times groans.

I make no judgement on your actions or your game theJeff.

It tends to happen most often in the combats that are starting to drag and have lost most of the drama.

We roll in the open, but don't worry too much about monitoring everyones rolls every time. If someone was actually cheating even semi-regularly, someone would catch it.


Muad'Dib wrote:
Cheating of any kind is not allowed and this starts with the GM.

What would constitute GM cheating, pray tell?


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Jaelithe wrote:
Muad'Dib wrote:
Cheating of any kind is not allowed and this starts with the GM.
What would constitute GM cheating, pray tell?

This is beating a dead horse but GM "fudging dice" is cheating for us. We (all the players and the DM) prefer the honest brutality of the dice. Please note, This constitutes cheating at our table. What other groups do is their own business.

Excessive railroading is a form of cheating. Harder to prove but most players know it when it happens.

Stacking the deck unfairly against the players. Example: Requiring players make excessive successful rolls just to succeed. "Yeah, I'm going to need a int check, followed by a dex check and an acrobatics roll" The problem with this is you are stacking the odds unfairly against them when all that is needed to fail is one bad roll. Stacking the deck really just the GM trying to discourage the player from whatever they are trying to do.

Anyway that's a few Jaelithe


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Hama wrote:
bookrat wrote:
So after talking with some of this person's friends, cheating and lying are known problems for this individual. I guess they've just gotten used to him doing this and don't even bother with it correcting it anymore. As one of his friend's told me, he has an urge to "win" at every game, and if he has to cheat to do it he will. I was also told "I don't even have to look at his character sheet to know that all of his 'mistakes' are in his favor, and if you call him on it he'll just lie and say he didn't know."
I wouldn't even give him a chance to explain. He would be booted so fast...

So fast... And his name written in the codex stupidicus under "lost causes".


Muad'Dib wrote:
Jaelithe wrote:
Muad'Dib wrote:
Cheating of any kind is not allowed and this starts with the GM.
What would constitute GM cheating, pray tell?

This is beating a dead horse but GM "fudging dice" is cheating for us. We (all the players and the DM) prefer the honest brutality of the dice. Please note, This constitutes cheating at our table. What other groups do is their own business.

Excessive railroading is a form of cheating. Harder to prove but most players know it when it happens.

Stacking the deck unfairly against the players. Example: Requiring players make excessive successful rolls just to succeed. "Yeah, I'm going to need a int check, followed by a dex check and an acrobatics roll" The problem with this is you are stacking the odds unfairly against them when all that is needed to fail is one bad roll. Stacking the deck really just the GM trying to discourage the player from whatever they are trying to do.

Anyway that's a few Jaelithe

Ahh, a true follower of the dice gods. Hello brother Muad'Dib. *bows*


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Sometimes as a GM I fudge a die to help a player. Sometimes as a player I fudge it if the outcome is important and one more point is needed on my die. I rarely do it though.

So my advice is that if the player is willing to suck at his rolls as much as succeed at them, there is no problem, it evens things out.

But I would not be ok with someone strangely being successful all the time when other players are not. I sometimes ask to see how player A gets such a high AC. I also roll their perception rolls, fortitude saves...


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Muad'Dib wrote:
Anyway that's a few Jaelithe.

Thanks. Always informative to hear what others consider out of bounds.

I consider "GM cheating" an oxymoron.


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Muad'Dib wrote:
Jaelithe wrote:
Muad'Dib wrote:
Cheating of any kind is not allowed and this starts with the GM.
What would constitute GM cheating, pray tell?

This is beating a dead horse but GM "fudging dice" is cheating for us. We (all the players and the DM) prefer the honest brutality of the dice. Please note, This constitutes cheating at our table. What other groups do is their own business.

Excessive railroading is a form of cheating. Harder to prove but most players know it when it happens.

Stacking the deck unfairly against the players. Example: Requiring players make excessive successful rolls just to succeed. "Yeah, I'm going to need a int check, followed by a dex check and an acrobatics roll" The problem with this is you are stacking the odds unfairly against them when all that is needed to fail is one bad roll. Stacking the deck really just the GM trying to discourage the player from whatever they are trying to do.

Anyway that's a few Jaelithe

I'd disagree on the stacking the deck part, or at least on how I'd do it. If I am asking for multiple rolls to accomplish something, failing one doesn't -- or shouldn't -- mean total failure. Often, at least to me, it seems that what the player is attempting requires more than one aspect to pull off, so if you are trying some complicated maneuver you might get partial success.

No discouragement, just looking to give partial credit instead of pass/fail. :)


knightnday wrote:

I'd disagree on the stacking the deck part, or at least on how I'd do it. If I am asking for multiple rolls to accomplish something, failing one doesn't -- or shouldn't -- mean total failure. Often, at least to me, it seems that what the player is attempting requires more than one aspect to pull off, so if you are trying some complicated maneuver you might get partial success.

No discouragement, just looking to give partial credit instead of pass/fail. :)

I think my description is far from how you run it. I described and all or nothing approach loaded with unnecessary rolling.

The way you are running your game is great as , I like it.


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The only time I've used such an all or nothing multiple rolls approach is when the PCs want to try to circumvent something with an off the wall idea that might, but really shouldn't, work.


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Jaelithe wrote:
What would constitute GM cheating, pray tell?

When I'm the DM, I hold myself to very strict standards. The bad guys are meticulously built, proper stats, exact skill points, correct hp, WBL, no more followers than their Leadership allows. Their abilities are strictly according to their race, class levels, feats, and items. They act according to their intelligence and situation. I roll in the open, and I don't fudge the dice (PCs have a limited supply of hero points to ameliorate fate, but again, that's subject to clear limits and is right out in the open).

I understand that some or even most people very, very strongly insist that the DM is entitled to do whatever he/she feels like, whenever, and are a lot looser about all that. That's fine for them, and as long as the players are both aware of it and are also OK with it, then it works for them. But it's not a ground state of existence -- people play differently, and just because the DM is God for Tables A and B, doesn't mean that every DM is god at every table everywhere. I, personally, feel like that style of DMing would be a cop-out on my part, and I'm very glad I left it behind in previous editions.

Sovereign Court

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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion Subscriber
Kirth Gersen wrote:
Jaelithe wrote:
What would constitute GM cheating, pray tell?

When I'm the DM, I hold myself to very strict standards. The bad guys are meticulously built, proper stats, exact skill points, correct hp, WBL, no more followers than their Leadership allows. Their abilities are strictly according to their race, class levels, feats, and items. They act according to their intelligence and situation. I roll in the open, and I don't fudge the dice (PCs have a limited supply of hero points to ameliorate fate, but again, that's subject to clear limits and is right out in the open).

I understand that some or even most people very, very strongly insist that the DM is entitled to do whatever he/she feels like, whenever, and are a lot looser about all that. That's fine for them, and as long as the players are both aware of it and are also OK with it, then it works for them. But it's not a ground state of existence -- people play differently, and just because the DM is God for Tables A and B, doesn't mean that every DM is god at every table everywhere. I, personally, feel like that style of DMing would be a cop-out on my part, and I'm glad I left it behind in previous editions.

Other than the roll-in-open thing, I'm exactly the same. Thankfully, Herolab helps me do so - only so much time in the week.

I generally roll in secret, but for Carrion Crown, I started rolling save-or-die in the open. It's added a lot of excitement to the campaign. ^_^


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Kirth Gersen wrote:
Jaelithe wrote:
What would constitute GM cheating, pray tell?
When I'm the DM, I hold myself to very strict standards. The bad guys are meticulously built, proper stats, exact skill points, correct hp, WBL, no more followers than their Leadership allows. Their abilities are strictly according to their race, class levels, feats, and items. They act according to their intelligence and situation. I roll in the open, and I don't fudge the dice (PCs have a limited supply of hero points to ameliorate fate, but again, that's subject to clear limits and is right out in the open).

The parts of the above to which I feel bound are now italicized.

Quote:
I understand that some or even most people very, very strongly insist that the DM is entitled to do whatever he/she feels like, whenever, and are a lot looser about all that. That's fine for them, and as long as the players are both aware of it and are also OK with it, then it works for them.

I'd actually say that the above is the default, and that players who want it differently would have to negotiate to change that. They need to make the request, and the DM has to be OK with limitations on his customary and rightful authority. Nothing wrong with it, but ... if I were DMing some one-shot for a group of strangers and they challenged me on, say, rolling behind the screen, I'd consider, "Because I'm the DM, that's why," a wholly acceptable and valid answer. If they didn't, that'd be their problem.

I do agree, though, that a DM is bound by any agreement he or she makes, so if he or she says, "Nope, I won't fudge ever for this group, either for or against," then he or she should be using the screen only to avoid showing the players what hits and misses, saves and doesn't, and most emphatically not fudging.

Quote:
But it's not a ground state of existence -- people play differently, and just because the DM is God for Tables A and B, doesn't mean that every DM is god at every table everywhere. I, personally, feel like that style of DMing would be a cop-out on my part, and I'm very glad I left it behind in previous editions.

If you could not in good conscience DM that way, then avoiding it is very much in everyone's best interests. Ultimately, it's not a measure of maturity, or even integrity, but a stylistic choice.

I've gotten to the point now where I DM so seldom this may never be an issue again, so ... perhaps the game has just passed me by.

Shadow Lodge

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Kirth Gersen wrote:
no more followers than their Leadership allows

Question for you. If the king of a nation doesn't have the Leadership feat, does that mean he can't even command his own royal guard, much less his armies?

Speaking of armies, if a king's Leadership feat does limit that nation's army, then how do you deal with the fact that a decently optimized mid-level party with decent tactics can essentially completely overthrow the entire military might of any conceivable nation?

If a party invades Hell with the express purpose of killing an archdevil, does only that archdevil's personal summons get to engage the party?

For certain individuals, a strict adherence to WBL or number of followers makes no sense. If you are the king of a nation, a being of vast power in the multiverse, or even the head of government for a decent-sized city, you have "followers" that don't depend on your (possibly non-existent) Leadership feat, and you should basically ignore WBL.

Grand Lodge RPG Superstar 2015 Top 32, RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

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Jaelithe wrote:
I'd actually say that the above is the default, and that players who want it differently would have to negotiate to change that.

I'm gonna type my way through a train of thought that I haven't figured out the end of yet:

The norm for games in general is that "the default" is whatever is written in that game's rules. Deviations are houserules, and can't be assumed to of anyone who hasn't agreed to them. When you say "Let's play game X", by definition you're agreeing to go by the printed rules of that game.

So, what rules are printed for Pathfinder?

Well, one rule that's printed for Pathfinder is how saves work: roll a d20, add a specific modifier, and the result has to equal or exceed the DC in order to save.

So if that's what's printed, then that's "the default", right?

Now lemme dig out a quote that I don't remember very clearly... ah, here it is:

The Pathfinder rules also wrote:
Most Game Masters have a number of “house rules” that they use in their games. The Game Master and players should always discuss any rules changes to make sure that everyone understands how the game will be played.

So here we have a printed acknowledgement of the possibility of houserules, with a printed expectation that any such houserules are discussed in advance.

So, "the default" for Pathfinder is that the rules are followed as printed except in such ways as the group discusses in advance. Since this is "the default", then this is what is reasonable to assume a player will be expecting.

Therefore, that whole "the GM is entitled to do whatever" sentiment that you said was "the default" is, well, not. That is, unless the GM discusses that notion with the group in advance.

So, a reasonable expectation is that a player comes to your game with the knowledge that you might have some houserules, and also that anything not discussed will be assumed to be done "by the book".

So if we're talking about "the default", the GM has a social responsibility to openly discuss his/her desire to run a game in which he or she can alter/fudge the game's mechanics. If you fail to mention it, players have a right to be surprised and upset when they later find out, because it wasn't reasonable to assume they'd be expecting that.


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Jiggy wrote:
Therefore, that whole "the GM is entitled to do whatever" sentiment that you said was "the default" is, well, not. That is, unless the GM discusses that notion with the group in advance.

Except that your point is overridden by statements that preceded and followed your very judicious quote.

"Remember that these rules are yours. You can change them to fit your needs ... Although the Game Master is the final arbiter of the rules ... "

Were someone particularly inflexible and tyrannical, they could say, "That also means arbitrating whether or not discussion is required, because 'should' and 'must' are not synonyms."

Oh, and ... here's another: "The Game Master must be the arbiter of everything that occurs in the game. All rule books, including this one, are his tools, but his word is the law."

So ... yeah, it is.

We are agreed, though, that to be injudicious or irresponsible in the use of such power is ill-considered at best, and the mark of a tyrannical jerk, at worst.

This discussion is mostly theoretical, in that if you don't discuss things with your players, including reiterating your inherent right to employ Rule Zero if you ever deem it necessary (a point I make before any campaign I run), you're not going to have players very long.


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Kthulhu wrote:
Question for you. If the king of a nation doesn't have the Leadership feat, does that mean he can't even command his own royal guard, much less his armies?

It means they're no more loyal than their pay and their own self-interest imply, and no more.

Kthulhu wrote:
Speaking of armies, if a king's Leadership feat does limit that nation's army, then how do you deal with the fact that a decently optimized mid-level party with decent tactics can essentially completely overthrow the entire military might of any conceivable nation?

That happens regardless of army sizes, unless you do stupid stuff like declaring the average soldier is a 10th level magus or something, which I think is lame.

Kthulhu wrote:
If a party invades Hell with the express purpose of killing an archdevil, does only that archdevil's personal summons get to engage the party?

See above.

Kthulhu wrote:
If you are the king of a nation, a being of vast power in the multiverse, or even the head of government for a decent-sized city, you have "followers" that don't depend on your (possibly non-existent) Leadership feat, and you should basically ignore WBL.

In terms of gp? Sure, you gotta pay the troops. In terms of gear? Still strictly within limits.

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