Cheating gm?


Pathfinder First Edition General Discussion

351 to 371 of 371 << first < prev | 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | next > last >>
The Exchange

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Jay0143 wrote:
If you don't like the way a GM runs their game.

Problem being (and we've already gone over it), that there are less GMs out there than players. So you might only have the choice to partake in this GM's game or not play at all. And this can easily destroy the game for all participants because you might find that out the hard way (when it's to late to save the campaign)

Quote:
Everything else I do as GM to run an entertaining campaign, is my business and mine alone.

Entertaining for whom? Because the only person you know for sure that it'll be fun this way is you. For everyone else, you'll have to ask and talk to the players. At least, if you're interested in that they also have fun.

Quote:
There may be players out there who want their characters to die meaningless deaths to random bad rolls.

Has nothing to with meaningless. Has much to do with the life of an adventurer being really dangerous and some players wan't to feel that the game is really dangerous accordingly (and not only when you consider it to be relevant). Has also to do with the players' wanting their own choices to really matter (having meaning), even if that means they'll die for chosing wrong.

And by not talking about that to your players, you take this choice away from them. If you're lucky enough, they don't care, so it doesn't matter. But they might care and leave your game (which could deprive your campaign of a really good player and maybe friend) or worse, they might care and still put up with the game, probably not having the fun they could have, probably even causing unintentionally others to have less fun, because they are not as engaged in the game as they could be).

Quote:
The last time It was an awesome group cool character concepts really fun game. Right up until the GM overestimated the group and made an encounter we could not have won on a good day. Then crit killed half the party in the first two rounds. And then hid behind this annoying defense of...he was just following the rules. He doesn't fudge the rolls.

You know what? The problem in this case is not that the GM don't fudge. The problem is that he didn't communicate to the players how he intended to run the game beforehand and obviously didn't take into account if his style of running the game could be detrimental for the player's fun. And when that did cause problem, he wasn't willing to change the game accordingly. There's probably a lot of bad GMing involved, but not fudging is only a symptom, not the root of it.


"I just don't see why one would keep that secret from your players. I don't mean telling them each time it happens...What's the benefit of not declaring that's how you run things?"

The most bizarre thing about this is who even does this? I've never in all my years as a player and all my years as a GM sat down and discussed with the players/GM anything besides rules for character creation, back ground stories, and setting. I guess maybe we are having different conversations. What to you is "fudging"?

"Especially if you happen to run into a player who says they don't want to play in a campaign where the DM fudges. Why not give them the option to bail early? (This is hypothetical, it doesn't matter if you've never met such a player)."

It does matter, because I've literally never found any player who said to me. "Never fudge any rolls because if you do all the enjoyment I have possibly gotten and could possibly ever get out of the game is then null and void." Because that scenario actually only exist in the minds of the people in this thread.

Bad GM's are bad. Good GM's are good. There are very few GM's out there who won't occasionally go..."oh crap I'm just gonna ignore the fact that i rolled all those crits. and go with it. So as not to end the campaign here and now." Or "Oh crap the players are underground, they have no means of resurrection, This will kill one of them, and that player will have to just not play for however many sessions it takes to get out of this dungeon." How would that be fun for the player who died?

"Problem being (and we've already gone over it), that there are less GMs out there than players. So you might only have the choice to partake in this GM's game or not play at all."

Which kind of makes the point moot right? Since if for some reason the off chance that at some point your GM might fudge a dice roll or two will apparently utterly ruin the game for you forever. If his game is the ONLY game in town and he tells you he will fudge dice rolls at the start of it well, then what? Your still not gonna play right?

"And by not talking about that to your players, you take this choice away from them. If you're lucky enough, they don't care, so it doesn't matter. But they might care and leave your game (which could deprive your campaign of a really good player and maybe friend) or worse, they might care and still put up with the game, probably not having the fun they could have, probably even causing unintentionally others to have less fun, because they are not as engaged in the game as they could be)."

I could not possibly be rolling my eyes harder at this. If the off chance that your GM might decide to change a couple of the outcome of the rolls on the players behalf in certain unfair situations would make this supposed friend and "Great player" stomp off into the sunset. They were neither to begin with. So bye.

"You know what? The problem in this case is not that the GM don't fudge. The problem is that he didn't communicate to the players how he intended to run the game beforehand and obviously didn't take into account if his style of running the game could be detrimental for the player's fun. And when that did cause problem, he wasn't willing to change the game accordingly. There's probably a lot of bad GMing involved, but not fudging is only a symptom, not the root of it."

Actually while I appreciate your "professional" assessment of the scenario. You are wrong. He told us all up front the he never fudges rolls and, though as a fellow GM I think that's kind of silly since it can and almost always does end in everyone dying in stupid and random ways. It never occurred to me to demand he reconsider. Because I wasn't RUNNING the game. No one has a constitutional right to play in a DND game run the exact way they want it run. Its was his game. He was running it. kk? When he crit killed the first party member in round one. A sane GM would have then not Crit killed the healer in round two. Choosing to "Not fudge" is why the game ended. And why whenever we talk about the game among ourselves its THAT battle we talk about not any of the other cool stuff that happened. How can it not be the root of the problem with this scenario?


PossibleCabbage wrote:
RDM42 wrote:
There are people here who seem to think they can detect a 'suspicious sequence of rolls' during the course of just one game here.(shrug). I find that unlikely.

People are very, very bad at naive estimation of probability but often think they are good at it (there are plenty of academic studies of this and a large temple devoted to this phenomenon in the Mojave desert).

The thing about any series of die rolls is that they are random and thus will almost never be so improbable as to clearly indicate malfeasance. So I think even cultivating suspicion that the GM might be up to no good is a bad idea.

When I crank the DC of a 1st level spell to 19 and 90% of CR appropriate creatures make the saves over multiple sessions I get real suspicious. While it is theoretically possible to roll that well that consistently the odds are against it.

Sovereign Court

Tarik Blackhands wrote:
137ben wrote:
The fact that people are advocating lying to their friends because they are confident they won't be caught is, quite frankly, pathetic.
Up next, bluffing in poker is a betrayal of trust, liar's dice is a game for only the most pathetic tools, and we dare not speak about Munchkin.

In those games bluffing/lying is an inherent part of the game. That's why I have no issue with fudging if it talked about beforehand, therefore making it a part of the game.


Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Maps, Pathfinder Accessories, PF Special Edition Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Starfinder Superscriber

I'll respond to your post in more detail shortly, but can you clarify this for me (this isn't any kind of 'gotcha' moment, I just really, really don't understand the reluctance to talk about the issue. The decision to fudge occasionally is totally understandable and it seems my question about discussion keeps getting answered with justification for fudging).

Jay0143 wrote:

"I just don't see why one would keep that secret from your players. I don't mean telling them each time it happens...What's the benefit of not declaring that's how you run things?"

The most bizarre thing about this is who even does this? I've never in all my years as a player and all my years as a GM sat down and discussed with the players/GM anything besides rules for character creation, back ground stories, and setting. I guess maybe we are having different conversations.

you later wrote:
...He told us all up front the he never fudges rolls.

I can't reconcile this, which makes me think we're talking past one another. All I'm suggesting is that people discuss it up front, which you say never happens (and seem incredulous that it ever would) yet then say it happened with this other guy.

Presumably I'm not getting what you're saying, I'm just really very confused.


Some people value the story of a game more then the mechanics and vice versa but i don't know why i'm still reading this its pretty well played out at this point.


Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Maps, Pathfinder Accessories, PF Special Edition Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Starfinder Superscriber
Jay0143 wrote:

"I just don't see why one would keep that secret from your players. I don't mean telling them each time it happens...What's the benefit of not declaring that's how you run things?"

The most bizarre thing about this is who even does this? I've never in all my years as a player and all my years as a GM sat down and discussed with the players/GM anything besides rules for character creation, back ground stories, and setting. I guess maybe we are having different conversations. What to you is "fudging"?

To me it means occasionally not taking the roll as it happened but substituting a different result. It could also be a change in the scenario on the fly (like 'these guys are doing much better than I expected - I'll say there's four guards for the BBEG, rather than two' or 'okay, reinforcements were supposed to come in, but this is really tough already. I'll just leave things as is).

I discuss the kind of campaign the players would like up front. In general, I know their preferences so I won't do so every time. But we like to mix it up from time to time. In the current campaign, for example, I'm doing three things I've never done with them before - all of them were discussed first:

1. I'm making absolutely no adjustments to the dice rolls. All DM rolls are out in the open. (I am continuing fudging of the other variety).

2. I'm placing treasure in the form of "3 consumables and 2 permanent items" which they are then rolling for. This was kind of to 'prove' that the hoards were random (I usually assign magical items, rather than relying on random determination) and it's been remarkably fun for them.

3. Levelling is incredibly slow. They are finding extraordinary wealth though - it's an experiment to see if we can cover for lower level PCs with huge amounts of loot.

Quote:

"Especially if you happen to run into a player who says they don't want to play in a campaign where the DM fudges. Why not give them the option to bail early? (This is hypothetical, it doesn't matter if you've never met such a player)."

It does matter, because I've literally never found any player who said to me. "Never fudge any rolls because if you do all the enjoyment I have possibly gotten and could possibly ever get out of the game is then null and void." Because that scenario actually only exist in the minds of the people in this thread.

I don't think anyone in this thread has suggested the extreme view you put here - it almost seems like caricature. I certainly don't hold that view (I prefer taking results as they come with common PC death, but a game with even heavy, obvious fudging and 'plot armor' for PCs is still fun for me).

However, it really doesn't matter - the point of my hypothetical was to understand your position. Whether you're ever actually going to be in the position of meeting a player who would turn down a game-with-fudging or not is irrelevant - I'm just trying to understand what motivates your position.

I have zero interest in changing how you run your games.


Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Maps, Pathfinder Accessories, PF Special Edition Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Starfinder Superscriber
Vidmaster7 wrote:
Some people value the story of a game more then the mechanics and vice versa but i don't know why i'm still reading this its pretty well played out at this point.

For my part the issue of fudging is totally uncontroversial - some people do some people don't. End of story, as far as I'm concerned.

What I've been trying to ask (unsuccessfully for some reason) is why some people seem to think that shouldn't be discussed at the start of the campaign? Often the reply to that question has been "here's why I like fudging..." so I guess I'm wording it badly.

Nonetheless, I find it interesting that some groups apparently have a kind of 'black box' approach to DMing - maybe it's desirable for the processes being followed behind the screen to be a little more mysterious(?) Our group is very up front about how we're going to do things (partly perhaps because we rotate DMs so it's all kind of a learning experience for the others as well).


As I think about it My group knows it happens but happens rarely and knows that I will kill them. I have one player that says don't go easy on me if I pause to look over things. (and I oblige) but I haven't sat down and specifically spoken directly about it. When one of them runs I just accept that they will do what works best for them whether they fudge or kill me.


Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Maps, Pathfinder Accessories, PF Special Edition Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Starfinder Superscriber
Vidmaster7 wrote:
As I think about it My group knows it happens but happens rarely and knows that I will kill them. I have one player that says don't go easy on me if I pause to look over things. (and I oblige) but I haven't sat down and specifically spoken directly about it. When one of them runs I just accept that they will do what works best for them whether they fudge or kill me.

It's different in a longstanding group, of course. The DM in our group who is the most pronounced fan of fudging has never discussed it but we all know he does it and we'd all be able to bring it up if we had any issue.

If I had a new player though, there's many things I'd like to know about them before I ran a long-term campaign: their view on fudging, whether they like randomly generating PCs or 'building' them, whether they like the campaign to tie in with their backstory or whether that is just history, whether they start with a backstory and personality in mind or let it develop through the campaign, whether they like combat/roleplaying/puzzles/intrigue, whether balance between PCs is important to them...

I'd probably run a quick game first, just to see and discuss things like the above as we go, before embarking on a long-term campaign.

I don't understand how one can run a game otherwise - although I have a longstanding and very static group, so perhaps in a larger community with multiple, competing games to choose from things like that just sort themselves out. It's rare that I find myself totally unable to see where the other poster is coming from. It's really quite frustrating! :p

The Exchange

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Jay0143 wrote:
Because that scenario actually only exist in the minds of the people in this thread.

this scenario existed at at least twenty tables I sat as GM or as a player. it's not just a figment of our mind. You know that your own experience is nothing more than anecdotal evidence, so just because you never had this (well and because you don't ask you wouldn't even know about it), doesn't mean that it doesn't exist.

Quote:
Which kind of makes the point moot right? Since if for some reason the off chance that at some point your GM might fudge a dice roll or two will apparently utterly ruin the game for you forever. If his game is the ONLY game in town and he tells you he will fudge dice rolls at the start of it well, then what? Your still not gonna play right?

Exactly. Now I don't mind fudging, so this wouldn't be a dealbreaker for me, but if said GM did only run a game for evil characters, that would be. And yes, I'd rather not play at all before playing an evil character.

The Exchange

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
WormysQueue wrote:
Jay0143 wrote:
Because that scenario actually only exist in the minds of the people in this thread.

this scenario existed at at least twenty tables I sat as GM or as a player. it's not just a figment of our mind. You know that your own experience is nothing more than anecdotal evidence? So just because you never had this (well and because you don't ask you wouldn't even know about it), doesn't mean that it doesn't exist.

Quote:
Which kind of makes the point moot right? Since if for some reason the off chance that at some point your GM might fudge a dice roll or two will apparently utterly ruin the game for you forever. If his game is the ONLY game in town and he tells you he will fudge dice rolls at the start of it well, then what? Your still not gonna play right?

Exactly. Now I don't mind fudging, so this wouldn't be a dealbreaker for me, but if said GM did only run a game for evil characters, that would be. And yes, I'd rather not play at all before playing an evil character.

Quote:
Actually while I appreciate your "professional" assessment of the scenario. You are wrong. He told us all up front the he never fudges rolls

So he told you before how he intended to run the game, you didn't say anything so he had to think that you'd agree with him doing it this way and then it was suddenly his fault? Well, in this case I apologize to the GM for assuming it could have been a case of bad GMing.


1 person marked this as a favorite.

I have met (but not played with) like half a dozen people who were absolutely against all fudging. They could generally be divided into... well, masochists (in my opinion) and survivors.

The masochists were old-school AD&D grognard die-hards who spent lots of time complaining about "care bear DMs coddling their players". Their fighter got a name if he managed to live to level 5 (or 7?), not before. 3d6 straight down. I personally don't see the enjoyment, but they seem very dedicated to their "here's some @#$%, now make me a sandwich!" style. They wanted a world in which they could suddenly die to anything. They would absolutely flip if they found out the GM was letting them live (or other people, honestly). When I referred to one end of the fudging spectrum as "let the dice fall where they may", I was quoting one of them.

The survivors were just people who had been burned by bad GMs (who fudged regularly, for their own benefit, and obviously). I think in both cases it was also their first GM (possibly second). Now, they didn't know the terminology, so it wasn't called out as fudging, instead they just didn't trust the GM to roll behind a screen (and kept meticulous track of what the die was and what numbers the GM gave out). While I didn't ask their opinion on other fudging, their general opinion was essentially "no changing anything". They might have mellowed (I haven't seen them recently), but at that point in time they were very anti-fudging.

So, they definitely exist. In both cases their enjoyment of the game is absolutely tied to whether the GM fudges (negatively). While the survivors can hopefully get over it eventually, the masochists actively enjoy the consequences of no fudging and won't change. People still play Nethack, right?

I'm also not seeing why discussing this is such a problem. I can understand not discussing fudging in particular, but before I start running for any new players I'll ask if they have strong feelings about any particular aspect of the game. One player had arachnophobia, one had an issue with "rape as backstory", one really didn't want to roll HP, one wanted to roll everything (stats, HP, etc.). Someone who is very anti-fudging (to the point it affects their enjoyment) will bring it up if you ask them. And while I can understand not bringing up every possible issue beforehand (there's probably an infinite amount) not discussing anything sounds like an easy way for your game to end in disaster.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
WormysQueue wrote:
Has much to do with the life of an adventurer being really dangerous

After reading this thread and a pro-point buy thread simultanously, this sentence right here (which basically summons up a lot of Posts over the last couple of pages) puzzles me. Consensus on these boards seems to be that rolling stats is bad, because it is unfair (like real life) and every hero should be born with the overall same amount of abilities, because that's just (even though we all know that reailty isn't that way).

However, when it comes to fudging NOW it suddenly seems that more realism is wanted and life has to be dangerous.
There is a certain discrepancy in these views I do not understand.

As a GM, I fudge from time to time. not always, not often, but sometimes I decides it is in the best interest of the group not to kill their characters off with a series of crits or to give the monster at least a chance every few rounds to hit. or my players have a fun and great idea, but my dices are against it, even though it would make spectacular storytelling if I had just rolled 8 instead of 11

Sovereign Court

Hythlodeus wrote:
However, when it comes to fudging NOW it suddenly seems that more realism is wanted and life has to be dangerous.

I don't think that there really is any inconsistency there. While I agree that the arguments aren't the same, they aren't contradictory either.

1. Stats are long-term. Unlike attack/damage rolls, they will affect your character for the life of a campaign. (Which attack/damage/saves could only do if they kill you.)

2. While the end dice are random, your character put themselves in that situation to begin with. And, if you're careful with your build/actions, there are ways to limit your risk.

3. Part of the reason to play a TTRPG is to play a bad-ass. This is probably where the two arguments are most in-sync. (not that they are otherwise inconsistent) You want solid stats because you want to be mechanically relevant and don't want the person who rolled poorly to just be a spear carrier. And you may not want fudging in your favor, because triumphing against all odds is what makes your character cool, in the same way that heroes are only as cool as the villains they defeat, and if those villains are being artificially gimped by the GM they lose (in my opinion) some of the awesomeness.

Of note: While I prefer to avoid fudging, I'm not going to freak out if I find out that you do so.


As to freak out;
I met a GM I used to game with a long time ago and we were talking about just how good his rolls could be. He confided in me that he had two sets of dice that looked exactly the same (which we knew about as we often did the same thing) and most of one of the sets was crooked. By that I mean he found out they had flaws and rolled very high a lot of the time. And when he thought the game needed to be more tense he made sure to roll those dice and at other times he made sure to roll the other dice.
I was not really happy when he told me this as at the time we had thought we had survived/died something more on our wits vs what I consider now cheating.

MDC


Wait, how did that work? Unless he was using a counting d20 (where the high numbers are all on one side), it would be extremely difficult for a weighting error to change the average significantly, since, for example, the 20 is next to the 2 and the 19 is next to the 1.


Steve Geddes wrote:
What I've been trying to ask (unsuccessfully for some reason) is why some people seem to think that shouldn't be discussed at the start of the campaign?

When I've fudged dice, it was to make players think they had narrowly and excitingly succeeded at something - instead of succeeding too easily, or ruining the story by dying at the wrong time.

Telling the players in advance, "I'm going to fudge dice occasionally druing this campaign, I hope that's OK with you," sounds like it would destroy half the purpose of fudging. The players would then believe they were in a game where it didn't matter what they did because I'd already decided the result. If they won a dramatic victory, they'd attribute it to my fudging. And if they died, they could reasonably complain: "Why didn't you fudge that in my favour like you did for the Ranger?"

(In the end I got better at balancing my games and stopped rolling behind a screen.)

The Exchange

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Hythlodeus wrote:
WormysQueue wrote:
Has much to do with the life of an adventurer being really dangerous
After reading this thread and a pro-point buy thread simultanously, this sentence right here (which basically summons up a lot of Posts over the last couple of pages) puzzles me. Consensus on these boards seems to be that rolling stats is bad, because it is unfair (like real life) and every hero should be born with the overall same amount of abilities, because that's just (even though we all know that reailty isn't that way).

Well in my defense, I absolutely prefer rolling for stats instead of using Point Buy. Though it seems that I'm a member of a tiny minority of people to think so, so I've learned to live with PB characters. (And as I'm more of a story-oriented type of player/GM, there are other things more important to me than stat block values, so it's not that big of a sacrifice to me).

And like others, I don't mind fudging. I just wanna know it beforehand if the GM occasionally fudges.


Hythlodeus wrote:
WormysQueue wrote:
Has much to do with the life of an adventurer being really dangerous

After reading this thread and a pro-point buy thread simultanously, this sentence right here (which basically summons up a lot of Posts over the last couple of pages) puzzles me. Consensus on these boards seems to be that rolling stats is bad, because it is unfair (like real life) and every hero should be born with the overall same amount of abilities, because that's just (even though we all know that reailty isn't that way).

However, when it comes to fudging NOW it suddenly seems that more realism is wanted and life has to be dangerous.
There is a certain discrepancy in these views I do not understand.

As a GM, I fudge from time to time. not always, not often, but sometimes I decides it is in the best interest of the group not to kill their characters off with a series of crits or to give the monster at least a chance every few rounds to hit. or my players have a fun and great idea, but my dices are against it, even though it would make spectacular storytelling if I had just rolled 8 instead of 11

Equal stats puts everyone on an equal playing field, pt buys or stat arrays or having one person roll for everyone are all fine ways to accomplish this.

Fudging is ignoring player choices. It's saying that you, one person, knows better for all the other people at the table.

Sovereign Court RPG Superstar 2011 Top 32

Fudging die rolls is a tool in the GM's toolkit. Some may never choose to use that tool, and it's fine, but it is there and has a purpose. Generally I find I have to fudge less nowadays than in the past, so in a lot of ways it's good crutch for an inexperienced GM when used judiciously. It can help rescue a poorly planned encounter. Basically you cheat on the player's behalf to make up for your own mistakes. The more you GM the less you'll find you need it, at least IMO.

This game isn't an antagonistic board game like Descent where the person running the monsters can "win" and you have to make sure the game is fair for both sides. This is supposed to be a cooperative experience. Also, player expectations vary. I have players that are hardcore "let the dice fall where they may" types and I have other players who are there to play their character and experience an interactive story. There are players who will walk from a game if their character dies, because of the emotional investment involved. It's not bad GMing to make sure all your players are having fun.

If you fudge for the players who do want it, and don't for the players who don't, and only do so sparingly in any case, I don't think there's a problem.

351 to 371 of 371 << first < prev | 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | next > last >>
Community / Forums / Pathfinder / Pathfinder First Edition / General Discussion / Cheating gm? All Messageboards

Want to post a reply? Sign in.