Discussion on the Topic of GMs "Cheating"


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To expound...

I am forced to turn this on the players. You are really quick to label GMs who run the game the way it has been run forever as cheaters. Are YOU aware how that behavior forces us to label YOU in response?

Not kidding here, this is an honest question. You realize the reason we react with such shock and surprise is because (to us) your reaction simply isn't normal.

It is an alien reaction. Not only is it alien, to me (and many others I know) it is suspicious. The old saying is that thieves have the best locks.

I do realize that this is a generational thing. It tends to be a split in gamers who are post 35 currently. Those of us who, for the vast majority of our formative gaming years, was 4-5 buddies sitting around a table in their parent's basement/kitchen with a couple bowls of various snacks (pretzels don't grease stain character sheets!) overnight on a Friday. (See the opening of Stranger Things.)

We gamed with (usually) only one, or maybe two, people who owned the books. What the GM said was how it was and you moved on. We trusted our GMs and our GMs trusted us.

Modern gaming is... Different. If the GM has a monster cast a spell you can expect the shuffling of pages and the frantic mouse clicks as players dive to ensure that no funny stuff is going on.

The point is this may also just be another generational divide.


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Rannik wrote:
Humans lie! All the time, to everyone, even to ourselves.

Some don't. Or at least, they try very hard not to.

It's a personality type I've encountered from time to time. They might be religious, or autistic, or simply Lawful Neutral.

It's a pretty logical standpoint. Most social institutions are basically worthless if people casually lie (whether it's Amazon reviews, people giving testimony at trials, or politicians making promises).

("Are you OK with pro-wrestling being rigged?" "Only if they explain to the audience before the match that they have decided the winner in advance." "Does this dress make me look fat?" "No, but the fact that you're a bit overweight does make you look a bit fat.")

Anyway, it seems clear from this thread that the people who value truth above all and the people who think casual lying is normal and socially acceptable should not hang out together.


The only thing I can glean from this thread is that there are a few people out there that feel you can win at role playing.

Since people cheat primarily to win.

I however will only go by the dice if it improves the game. I prefer the party fail forward than be stymied because no one can roll a survival check.

Shadow Lodge

HWalsh wrote:

To expound...

I am forced to turn this on the players. You are really quick to label GMs who run the game the way it has been run forever as cheaters. Are YOU aware how that behavior forces us to label YOU in response?

Not kidding here, this is an honest question. You realize the reason we react with such shock and surprise is because (to us) your reaction simply isn't normal.

What is normal to the spider is chaos to the fly.


Jader7777 wrote:
Entrenched Position wrote:

Posting to the forums about cheating is not covered in the rules and is, therefore, cheating.

This is an absolute fact because I said so and reasons.

I am almost certain that in the Core Rules I've read "Visit our message boards for more information!"

Hello new friend, did you roll/not roll the dice at one point? Shame on you.

You have visited the forums, which is stated in the CRB and is not cheating.

The rule stating that you must visit the forums for more information does not explicitly state that you are allowed to post about cheating, therefore, you are cheating by discussing cheating according to RAW.


Matthew Downie wrote:
Rannik wrote:
Humans lie! All the time, to everyone, even to ourselves.

Some don't. Or at least, they try very hard not to.

-----

"Are you OK with pro-wrestling being rigged?" "Only if they explain to the audience before the match that they have decided the winner in advance." "Does this dress make me look fat?" "No, but the fact that you're a bit overweight does make you look a bit fat.")

Anyway, it seems clear from this thread that the people who value truth above all and the people who think casual lying is normal and socially acceptable should not hang out together.

No, everyone does lie. Your brain is always lying to you regardless of what you want. You also lie about small stuff to yourself. I'm certain that at some point in your life, you called another driver something awful when in reality it was probably your fault, but you couldn't recognize it.

As to wrestling...

Please don't bring willing suspension of disbelief into this. Different animal entirely. Especially since no audience is ever told the outcomes are predetermined.

As to the dress...
Being an jerk doesn't make you any better here.


Adventure Path Charter Subscriber
Rannik wrote:
Wow, the amount of people reacting to some dice fudging as if it was the end of the world is baffling to me. I have never meet in all my years of gaming anyone with that attitude... ever.

For what it's worth, every game discussion board I've been on has been like this. The discussion between letting the dice fall as they may and the willing to fudge crowd always comes down to the former being pretty ideological and refusing to back away from the cheating and lying terms and the latter getting defensive against that approach.

Shadow Lodge

Indeed, as if the fudging crowd were just as ideological.


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TOZ wrote:
Indeed, as if the fudging crowd were just as ideological.

Or possibly just upset about being called cheats and liars.


Matthew Downie wrote:
Rannik wrote:
Humans lie! All the time, to everyone, even to ourselves.

Some don't. Or at least, they try very hard not to.

It's a personality type I've encountered from time to time. They might be religious, or autistic, or simply Lawful Neutral.

It's a pretty logical standpoint. Most social institutions are basically worthless if people casually lie (whether it's Amazon reviews, people giving testimony at trials, or politicians making promises).

("Are you OK with pro-wrestling being rigged?" "Only if they explain to the audience before the match that they have decided the winner in advance." "Does this dress make me look fat?" "No, but the fact that you're a bit overweight does make you look a bit fat.")

Anyway, it seems clear from this thread that the people who value truth above all and the people who think casual lying is normal and socially acceptable should not hang out together.

All fiction is lies, including all the gaming. :)

More seriously, I don't think the real divide is between the "truth above all" and "white lies" crowds, but rather splits on how much focus you put on the tactical combat aspect of the game. Those looking for the hardcore challenge are far more likely to be upset over any fudging.

Shadow Lodge

thejeff wrote:
TOZ wrote:
Indeed, as if the fudging crowd were just as ideological.
Or possibly just upset about being called cheats and liars.

I was going to say something more inflammatory, but it's not like I disagree with your sentiment.

"Stop being offended" never actually works.


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I'd normally use an alias for a topic this crazy, but screw it.

I rollplay proudly. I love the complexity that chargen is, and you can't make a story interesting enough to take that away. It's why we never got to level 4 using the beginner box ruleset, more interesting options were available. I think of roleplay rewards as exactly as metagame as reciting statblocks.

Funny thing about the BB, I don't remember it mentioning fudging. I.e. Fudging is not a central enough idea to be included in the introductory ruleset. I have fudged, once. I was found out immediately and told, in no uncertain terms, to stop. And because I love playing this game, I did. That was back when we were using the BB, before I had enough material to truly appreciate Pathfinder.

I DM because I know the rules and nobody else learns them, not because I can tell a story. My players know this, but they are here to PLAY a GAME. It's why fudging is so taboo here, it's no longer letting the GAME be played. Rolled dice IS the fun.

It may be as a rules construct, but I love Pathfinder. I feel that anytime someone says I should play something else because this isn't how Pathfinder is meant to be played, I feel their dismissing both how much I've invested in this and that it can be fun as a GAME.

As a player, I openly seek strange rules interactions. Not necessarily effective, mind you, but strange. I really think that the depth of this system is being missed if you can only Optimize in the optimal direction.

TL;DR: Its a GAME, and at least some people want to focus on playing it as such.


HWalsh wrote:

To expound...

I am forced to turn this on the players. You are really quick to label GMs who run the game the way it has been run forever as cheaters. Are YOU aware how that behavior forces us to label YOU in response?

Not kidding here, this is an honest question. You realize the reason we react with such shock and surprise is because (to us) your reaction simply isn't normal.

It is an alien reaction. Not only is it alien, to me (and many others I know) it is suspicious. The old saying is that thieves have the best locks.

I do realize that this is a generational thing. It tends to be a split in gamers who are post 35 currently. Those of us who, for the vast majority of our formative gaming years, was 4-5 buddies sitting around a table in their parent's basement/kitchen with a couple bowls of various snacks (pretzels don't grease stain character sheets!) overnight on a Friday. (See the opening of Stranger Things.)

We gamed with (usually) only one, or maybe two, people who owned the books. What the GM said was how it was and you moved on. We trusted our GMs and our GMs trusted us.

Modern gaming is... Different. If the GM has a monster cast a spell you can expect the shuffling of pages and the frantic mouse clicks as players dive to ensure that no funny stuff is going on.

The point is this may also just be another generational divide.

I already have a label thank you, it's Asperger's Syndrome. I don't think normally, and I'd appreciate it if people stopped assuming I would.


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thejeff wrote:
TOZ wrote:
Indeed, as if the fudging crowd were just as ideological.

Or possibly just upset about being called cheats and liars.

The only time anyone has been called a cheat or a liar is when the GM is actually doing so.

If the group is okay with Fudge then it's not a lie or a cheating thing.

If the group isn't okay with it and the GM does it in secret they are cheating and did lie.

It's not that hard to grasp.

The same is true for players. If a player is secretly altering die rolls they are cheating and lying.

Why this basic fact of gameplay offends some boggles my mind.

If my GM lies to my face about how the game is being run and fudges stuff they are literally lying and cheating.


thejeff wrote:
Matthew Downie wrote:
Rannik wrote:
Humans lie! All the time, to everyone, even to ourselves.

Some don't. Or at least, they try very hard not to.

It's a personality type I've encountered from time to time. They might be religious, or autistic, or simply Lawful Neutral.

It's a pretty logical standpoint. Most social institutions are basically worthless if people casually lie (whether it's Amazon reviews, people giving testimony at trials, or politicians making promises).

("Are you OK with pro-wrestling being rigged?" "Only if they explain to the audience before the match that they have decided the winner in advance." "Does this dress make me look fat?" "No, but the fact that you're a bit overweight does make you look a bit fat.")

Anyway, it seems clear from this thread that the people who value truth above all and the people who think casual lying is normal and socially acceptable should not hang out together.

All fiction is lies, including all the gaming. :)

More seriously, I don't think the real divide is between the "truth above all" and "white lies" crowds, but rather splits on how much focus you put on the tactical combat aspect of the game. Those looking for the hardcore challenge are far more likely to be upset over any fudging.

I'd agree its a divide on how much each party agrees with the mechanics of the game and the experiences they produce. "White lies" fall into effectively hacking the system to produce a different experience than what the base rules provide while "truth above all"* want to engage with the system and it's mechanics in a more unfiltered way.

* This is assuming "truth above all" is synonymous with "don't alter dice" in this instance. If it is indeed actually about truth/lying then it's a trust / social integrity issue.


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Note I was ninjad by multiple people, I started the message after theJeff's post.

Yes that is it. Some people are into rpgs for the essentially co-written story/improv acting, or whatever you want to call it. Of coarse those personality types love the idea of just ignoring the games rules for benefit of the story for lack of better word.

On the other side you have people who get large part of their enjoyment from game part of rpg. And if the the dice are not sacrosant, well then it is not really a game anymore.

Still with either it is a whole package, otherwise rpgs would have never formed and stayed as wargames, and the other group would be just doing freeform rp.

Just speaking for myself, but the visceral reaction against fudging comes from the fact that you were told that you would be playing an rpg. Instead what you got is something you don't even consider an rpg anymore. To top it off this was done intentionally.*

*It has been stated multiple times in this thread that as long as the cards are on the table no harm no foul. Everyone can then decide if that activity is something they would like to do.


I'm still pretty curious about whether "altering die rolls, or making ad hoc rules is cheating" is a thing that holds true in all RPG systems.

And if it does not, because there are some games that explicitly tell the GM to do it early and often, what specifically about Pathfinder makes it "cheating" here and not elsewhere?

Is it as simple as tone? Do people imagine a specific tone for Pathfinder and it's not "absurdist comedy" even though you can totally run Pathfinder that way?

Shadow Lodge

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PossibleCabbage wrote:
I'm still pretty curious about whether "altering die rolls, or making ad hoc rules is cheating" is a thing that holds true in all RPG systems.

Yes, if it goes against the wishes of the group.

Generally speaking, if the point of the RPG is blatant cheating, those who are against such play will not join those games.


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TOZ wrote:
PossibleCabbage wrote:
I'm still pretty curious about whether "altering die rolls, or making ad hoc rules is cheating" is a thing that holds true in all RPG systems.

Yes, if it goes against the wishes of the group.

Generally speaking, if the point of the RPG is blatant cheating, those who are against such play will not join those games.

Even if the rulebook explicitly tells the GM to do it? Really? What rule is being broken in that case?

It seems like in that case it's just a matter of "the players don't like the game being run" which is a different matter entirely.

When you use the word "cheating" to explain why something is "cheating" it makes it pretty clear your argument is circular. The point of an RPG, IMO, never has anything to do with the rules it has to do with the experience. It's certainly a different experience to play something that's very loose with the rulebook and the dice, than something that's strict with both, but it's also a very different experience to play in a horror game versus a light dungeon crawl. GMs running horror games when the players don't want those aren't cheating, are they?

Shadow Lodge

PossibleCabbage wrote:
Even if the rulebook explicitly tells the GM to do it? Really? What rule is being broken in that case?

The rule of "don't lie to me, and don't cheat me".

If you don't have that rule in your games, more power to you.


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TOZ wrote:
The rule of "don't lie to me, and don't cheat me".

I mean, as for the previous example that rule is very much not a part of Paranoia and a few other games I've played. That the GM lies to the players is an integral part of that game (I mean, look at the title.) You might not find it fun, but everybody I've played it with thinks it's a blast.

Also if the rule says "don't cheat" it doesn't tell us anything about what cheating is. A rule saying "don't break the rules" might be the least useful rule possible.

Shadow Lodge

Cheating, like pornography, is known when it is seen.

Sovereign Court

Buri Reborn wrote:
OilHorse wrote:
Still a Pathfinder base is it not? Core mechanics are the same? Just a little modding here and there, nothing to egregious. That to most people would still be considered Pathfinder.
Eh. While not entirely wrong, a heavily house ruled campaign can easily be a negative factor of if I want to play. It's not even a dislike of the particular house rules. It's more a matter of having to do huge mental shifts of how I play that particular game compared to the vast majority of my other games. The mere act of playing almost become a chore and likely turns into me declining to participate.

Then we are not talking about the same thing.

If a game is that heavily house ruled then I can see your point, it may not be Pathfinder enough and so could be branded under another name.

You are talking about something closer to Kirthfinder, though still probably not as extreme.

I am talking about somthing more akin to what I was replying to, a handful of minor changes.


TOZ wrote:
Cheating, like pornography, is known when it is seen.

With all due respect, that's just a cop out.

If you say "altering die rolls is cheating" even in a context where the rulebook says explicitly "DO IT! DO IT A LOT! LET EVERYBODY DO IT IF YOU WANT TO!" in a game where the GM is playing the role of an insane computer, I'd like to have some idea why you think that.

Or to slightly change the question, is it possible to have a roleplaying game in which "the GM alters rolls" is not remotely cheating, either because this is built into the rules or because it's central to the premise of the game and people tacitly agree to it when they sit down to play the game? How would you go about making this clear in printed material?


"Does this dress make me look fat ? "
-You never look fat, honey, but this dress doesn't suit you at all.

If you're gonna lie, don't be an amateur about it, g@+*!&it !
Amateur liars give true masters of deception a bad name ;-).

Shadow Lodge

PossibleCabbage wrote:
TOZ wrote:
Cheating, like pornography, is known when it is seen.
With all due respect, that's just a cop out.

Then I guess you'll need to talk to the people you're playing with to figure it out.


PossibleCabbage wrote:
TOZ wrote:
The rule of "don't lie to me, and don't cheat me".

I mean, as for the previous example that rule is very much not a part of Paranoia and a few other games I've played. That the GM lies to the players is an integral part of that game (I mean, look at the title.) You might not find it fun, but everybody I've played it with thinks it's a blast.

Also if the rule says "don't cheat" it doesn't tell us anything about what cheating is.

If it's explicitly a rule in the game like Paranoia, which doesn't even use the words "cheating" or "fudging" it just straight up gives the GM authority to alter rolls (at least in the version i was reading).

Then that is the game everyone has sat down to play. So no it's not cheating as it's something everyone has already agreed to by virtue of picking the system.

I will re-iterate Pathfinder uses the words "cheating" and "fudging" which means those actions described in that section are not actually part of the rules of the game (they can't be by definition of those words), thus by the rule-books own admission the act is cheating.

So I assert that the action is what it's labeled as. But weather or not that is seen a negative thing is entirely up to the individual.

Sovereign Court

Firewarrior44 wrote:
Ryan Freire wrote:
Firewarrior44 wrote:

They still use the word cheating and a synonym for cheating. As the action steps outside of the normal rules of the game. If it was truly a rule of the game that the GM can ignore the rules of the game then they would not have used that language.

Its advice that it might be a playstyle you may wish to engage in. not a rule. (also I beleive it's in the advice section)

'the section on running the game' wrote:
Likewise don't feel bound to the predetermined plot of an encounter, or the rules as written. Feel free to adjust the results or interpret things creatively-espcially in cases wher you as the GM made a poor assumption to begin with.

Its the Gamemastering section. Where people gamemastering go to learn to run the game.

At least if they're actually playing pathfinder and not "pathfinder with house rules"

Like I said that entire section is advice.

It's positing a myriad of suggestions on how one can adjudicate different occurrences in play. It does not offer a concrete rules, only the advice that cheating dice rolls can be a tool for smoothing over undesirable outcomes that the game produces. But it's still just that "cheating", (or "Fudging" if you prefer) as it is by it's own definition and admission stepping out of the bounds of the games rules.

No it isn't. It is the Gamemastering section.

It gives the rules about how to run a game.

In it are rules such as:

Creating encounters and how to balance them.

NPC and PC wealth by level.

Creating Treasures for the PCs to collect.

Those are directly before where they talk about GM techniques to be used during a game. Like Fudging, Divine Intervention, GM Fiat.

The next section is Environment, is that just advice?


Firewarrior44 wrote:
Then that is the game everyone has sat down to play. So no it's not cheating as it's something everyone has already agreed to by virtue of picking the system.

So it just comes down to what it says in the rulebook? Gotcha.

So if I'm sitting down to run a game with a system no one else at the table has played before, do I need to make sure people read the rulebook (or at least that section) so we can set boundaries? Or can I just run the game and just refer to the text as needed?

Seems like "here, read this book" is going to slow down play a bit. A better way might be for players who have strong feelings on this topic to just bring it up before the game starts. Then if that desire is compatible with the game sitting in front of them the GM will likely agree, if it's not they will likely explain why.

I don't think it's reasonable for a player to have an expectation that fudging die rolls, ad hoc rules adjustments, Schrödinger's plot twists, etc. are off the table for every single game in every single system. So if you're the person who cares the most, you should bring it up. The GM is probably not the person who cares the most.


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Bigger Club wrote:

Note I was ninjad by multiple people, I started the message after theJeff's post.

Yes that is it. Some people are into rpgs for the essentially co-written story/improv acting, or whatever you want to call it. Of coarse those personality types love the idea of just ignoring the games rules for benefit of the story for lack of better word.

On the other side you have people who get large part of their enjoyment from game part of rpg. And if the the dice are not sacrosant, well then it is not really a game anymore.

Still with either it is a whole package, otherwise rpgs would have never formed and stayed as wargames, and the other group would be just doing freeform rp.

Just speaking for myself, but the visceral reaction against fudging comes from the fact that you were told that you would be playing an rpg. Instead what you got is something you don't even consider an rpg anymore. To top it off this was done intentionally.*

*It has been stated multiple times in this thread that as long as the cards are on the table no harm no foul. Everyone can then decide if that activity is something they would like to do.

There's definitely elements of both and there's no hard dividing line. I've never played in something I'd consider "co-written story/improv acting" and doubt I'd enjoy such, but I still fall far from the "dice are sacrosanct" and any change makes it not a game crowd.

To suggest that any fudging makes the game not an rpg really seems to neglect that rpg manuals have talked about fudging from very near the beginning - rarely with anything like the level of condemnation we're getting here. Just from the manuals, I'd expect the general impression to be that fudging would likely happen, but would be rare and secret.

Sovereign Court

Bigger Club wrote:

I don't think you quite understand what it means to some of us when you lie like that. You are implying that your opinion matters more than mine, when it comes to how I spend my time, wich you have also wasted. Also I might have declined another game to join yours and now as a adult that time is very much premium. Those are no insignificant offenses, so yeah I do not need those kind of persons in my life.

If you took it so seriously then I would snicker in your face. Then I would tell you to calm down and not take it so seriously.

How do you react when you find out that people were not telling you the truth in real life about some things that may be embarrassing to you, like maybe something stuck in your teeth, or your breath is just not very pleasant. Things along that line. Do you throw hissy fits? I doubt it.

You probably would get more upset if that one person said your breath smells like turds in front of everyone,because he was being honest.


I wonder if it is really about the lying as much as the GM fudging rolls and data makes the player's knowledge unreliable.

I say this because some of the people I see adamantly against the idea are also the ones that are hardcore believers in RAW -- even to the point of absurdity (in my opinion, of course) -- and the idea that the GM may change the very variables that they worked so hard on angers them.

Just a stray thought over breakfast.


Let's see this from a different angle.

If I roll dice in the open like some people want it to happen. Am I, at the GM, allowed to change the hit bonus before the combat start? Or do I need to use the one in the book?

The party encounter a giant, the modules or bestiary says that this monster has a bonus of +10. Before the battle begins, can I change it to +8 or +12 if I stick to that new bonus for the entire fight? Would this make the "don't fudge the dice" people still upset even though they technically shouldn't know the bonus that is written down?


PossibleCabbage wrote:
Firewarrior44 wrote:
Then that is the game everyone has sat down to play. So no it's not cheating as it's something everyone has already agreed to by virtue of picking the system.

So it just comes down to what it says in the rulebook? Gotcha.

So if I'm sitting down to run a game with a system no one else at the table has played before, do I need to make sure people read the rulebook (or at least that section) so we can set boundaries? Or can I just run the game and just refer to the text as needed?

Seems like "here, read this book" is going to slow down play a bit. A better way might be for players who have strong feelings on this topic to just bring it up before the game starts. Then if that desire is compatible with the game sitting in front of them the GM will likely agree, if it's not they will likely explain why.

I don't think it's reasonable for a player to have an expectation that fudging die rolls, ad hoc rules adjustments, Schrödinger's plot twists, etc. are off the table for every single game in every single system. So if you're the person who cares the most, you should bring it up. The GM is probably not the person who cares the most.

I'd put equal onus all the players (GM and PC's) for knowing what game they are playing. If they are ignorant of the system that's being used and proceed to get inconsolably upset because of their ignorance then I am probably not very sympathetic to them.

But in general it comes down to don't lie to peoples faces without some modicum of consent and for the love of god know what game you are all playing otherwise it's just going to lead to hurt feelings, resentment and, wasted time; Time that could be better spent gaming.

Shadow Lodge

Rannik wrote:

Let's see this from a different angle.

If I roll dice in the open like some people want it to happen. Am I, at the GM, allowed to change the hit bonus before the combat start? Or do I need to use the one in the book?

If your players are cool with it, sure.


Rannik wrote:
If I roll dice in the open like some people want it to happen. Am I, at the GM, allowed to change the hit bonus before the combat start? Or do I need to use the one in the book?

I would add to this another question:

"Does it make a difference if I changed the hit bonus three days before the session rather than 5 minutes ago?"

I often, in my notes, include different sets of stats for the same monster/challenge so I can run, say, an easymode or a hardmode version depending on what's called for in the moment.

TOZ wrote:
If your players are cool with it, sure.

So is "this particular giant is especially clumsy" something I ought to clear with the players beforehand?

I think that putting the onus on the GM to constantly check with the players is probably more onerous than just expecting players who have strong feelings to made those known. If someone wants monsters to be run exactly as per their stats in the bestiary, I would be really curious as to why.

I mean, I use the X-Card system for potentially upsetting material, but I think "I want monsters to be exactly as they are in the bestiary" is probably something that's safe to interrogate.


The Truthers must know it : we the Cheaters we all stand together !

Sovereign Court

HWalsh wrote:

To expound...

I am forced to turn this on the players. You are really quick to label GMs who run the game the way it has been run forever as cheaters. Are YOU aware how that behavior forces us to label YOU in response?

Not kidding here, this is an honest question. You realize the reason we react with such shock and surprise is because (to us) your reaction simply isn't normal.

It is an alien reaction. Not only is it alien, to me (and many others I know) it is suspicious. The old saying is that thieves have the best locks.

I do realize that this is a generational thing. It tends to be a split in gamers who are post 35 currently. Those of us who, for the vast majority of our formative gaming years, was 4-5 buddies sitting around a table in their parent's basement/kitchen with a couple bowls of various snacks (pretzels don't grease stain character sheets!) overnight on a Friday. (See the opening of Stranger Things.)

We gamed with (usually) only one, or maybe two, people who owned the books. What the GM said was how it was and you moved on. We trusted our GMs and our GMs trusted us.

Modern gaming is... Different. If the GM has a monster cast a spell you can expect the shuffling of pages and the frantic mouse clicks as players dive to ensure that no funny stuff is going on.

The point is this may also just be another generational divide.

This deserves a repost.

I think some of who we see in the Fudge==Cheaters side in this thread are in the same age category as you and I, but they are playing more as you describe it.

In my opinion, I see the was I played inthe 80s compared to how I see the game played in the eary 2000s to today.

In the early days of my gaming there were no rules debates. No RAW discussions. The GM was the world and what they said was how it was. We all knew the rules, but it was that GM's game.

As you point out it has shifted from that view to a more, it is the players game and the GM takes a backseat. Even though it is a known fact that the GM puts the most effort into the game than the players combined.

I am not saying "Bad Players". Far from it. I am saying the norms of how the game is run has shifted. GMs don't have the trust of a group anymore. Even though every edition says that the GMs word is law, he can change any and everything, it is not appropriate unless it gets approval from the players.

Shadow Lodge

PossibleCabbage wrote:
So is "this particular giant is especially clumsy" something I ought to clear with the players beforehand?

Why do you keep asking specific questions, when you have already been given the answers to determine the appropriate responses on your own?


PossibleCabbage wrote:


If someone wants monsters to be run exactly as per their stats in the bestiary, I would be really curious as to why.

Take your pick from the following:

1) Being rewarded for encylopedically memorizing the bestiary entries
2) Ensuring all the math for their build works against a given creature ("I wouldn't have charged the giant if I knew he was hitting on 10s and not 15s!")
3) Because the bestiary is a sacrosanct document and adjusting It's holy Word is CHEATING and grounds to bombard the GM with d4s till he repents.


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Adventure Path Charter Subscriber
TOZ wrote:
Indeed, as if the fudging crowd were just as ideological.

I'm really having a hard time telling what you're saying here. I think, from the context, you really mean to imply that the fudging crows IS just as ideological? So I'll respond to that point.

I don't think the fudging-friendly are just as ideological. The absolutism is the real key here. Most of the fudge-friendly arguments aren't absolutist "I WILL fudge the dice" as much as pragmatic - "I may fudge the dice if it looks like it will make for a better game." They're not along the lines of "If you aren't upfront about fudging, you're a cheat and a liar." It's also the anti-fudging side of the argument that usually equates fudging with loss of player agency, loss of choices mattering, loss game integrity, and the argument "If you're going to fudge, why roll dice at all?" Those suggest a highly ideological approach in which any deviation is a slide into chaos or other typically pejorative connotations like cheating and illusionism. And usually, fudge-friendly arguments are advocating nothing of the sort.


Why is easy cabbage.

You'll note that most of the horror stories of gms fudging screwing characters over include bleeding edge munchkinized characters. Your save or suck debuffer with dcs over 36, your fae blooded kitsune sorcerers.

Gms fudge when the math of the game gets out of whack, these are characters designed to kick the math of the game in the nuts spit on it and take its wallet.


Tarik Blackhands wrote:

Take your pick from the following:

1) Being rewarded for encylopedically memorizing the bestiary entries
2) Ensuring all the math for their build works against a given creature ("I wouldn't have charged the giant if I knew he was hitting on 10s and not 15s!")
3) Because the bestiary is a sacrosanct document and adjusting It's holy Word is CHEATING and grounds to bombard the GM with d4s till he repents.

I think all three of those are weird, and I'm fascinated by weirdness.

I generally don't even read the bestiaries; I use my own stats for most things. As a kid I was fascinated with the MMII and the Fiend Folio, but nowadays I'm more interested in antagonists as thinking beings who have their own thoughts, feelings, personalities, and agendas.


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Firewarrior44 wrote:
Ryan Freire wrote:
Firewarrior44 wrote:

They still use the word cheating and a synonym for cheating. As the action steps outside of the normal rules of the game. If it was truly a rule of the game that the GM can ignore the rules of the game then they would not have used that language.

Its advice that it might be a playstyle you may wish to engage in. not a rule. (also I beleive it's in the advice section)

'the section on running the game' wrote:
Likewise don't feel bound to the predetermined plot of an encounter, or the rules as written. Feel free to adjust the results or interpret things creatively-espcially in cases wher you as the GM made a poor assumption to begin with.

Its the Gamemastering section. Where people gamemastering go to learn to run the game.

At least if they're actually playing pathfinder and not "pathfinder with house rules"

Like I said that entire section is advice.

It's positing a myriad of suggestions on how one can adjudicate different occurrences in play. It does not offer a concrete rules, only the advice that cheating dice rolls can be a tool for smoothing over undesirable outcomes that the game produces. But it's still just that "cheating", (or "Fudging" if you prefer) as it is by it's own definition and admission stepping out of the bounds of the games rules.

'You have to find it and cite it in the book!"

"Here it is in the book."

"But that doesn't count becaus, reasons."


PossibleCabbage wrote:
Rannik wrote:
If I roll dice in the open like some people want it to happen. Am I, at the GM, allowed to change the hit bonus before the combat start? Or do I need to use the one in the book?

I would add to this another question:

"Does it make a difference if I changed the hit bonus three days before the session rather than 5 minutes ago?"

I often, in my notes, include different sets of stats for the same monster/challenge so I can run, say, an easymode or a hardmode version depending on what's called for in the moment.

TOZ wrote:
If your players are cool with it, sure.

So is "this particular giant is especially clumsy" something I ought to clear with the players beforehand?

I think that putting the onus on the GM to constantly check with the players is probably more onerous than just expecting players who have strong feelings to made those known. If someone wants monsters to be run exactly as per their stats in the bestiary, I would be really curious as to why.

I mean, I use the X-Card system for potentially upsetting material, but I think "I want monsters to be exactly as they are in the bestiary" is probably something that's safe to interrogate.

My opinion is that they know the stats of said monster which allows then the use meta knowledge that their character shouldn't have to alter their decision during the fight.

Also, if I am unable to modifier, even the slightest thing from a published module or adventure path. What do I do about the errors that are in said published module or path?


OilHorse wrote:
HWalsh wrote:

To expound...

I am forced to turn this on the players. You are really quick to label GMs who run the game the way it has been run forever as cheaters. Are YOU aware how that behavior forces us to label YOU in response?

Not kidding here, this is an honest question. You realize the reason we react with such shock and surprise is because (to us) your reaction simply isn't normal.

It is an alien reaction. Not only is it alien, to me (and many others I know) it is suspicious. The old saying is that thieves have the best locks.

I do realize that this is a generational thing. It tends to be a split in gamers who are post 35 currently. Those of us who, for the vast majority of our formative gaming years, was 4-5 buddies sitting around a table in their parent's basement/kitchen with a couple bowls of various snacks (pretzels don't grease stain character sheets!) overnight on a Friday. (See the opening of Stranger Things.)

We gamed with (usually) only one, or maybe two, people who owned the books. What the GM said was how it was and you moved on. We trusted our GMs and our GMs trusted us.

Modern gaming is... Different. If the GM has a monster cast a spell you can expect the shuffling of pages and the frantic mouse clicks as players dive to ensure that no funny stuff is going on.

The point is this may also just be another generational divide.

This deserves a repost.

I think some of who we see in the Fudge==Cheaters side in this thread are in the same age category as you and I, but they are playing more as you describe it.

In my opinion, I see the was I played inthe 80s compared to how I see the game played in the eary 2000s to today.

In the early days of my gaming there were no rules debates. No RAW discussions. The GM was the world and what they said was how it was. We all knew the rules, but it was that GM's game.

As you point out it has shifted from that view to a more, it is the players game and the GM takes a backseat. Even though it is a known...

The norms have shifted, but the old days weren't quite that rosy either. The term "rules lawyer" goes back all the way. In the old days, since there was more focus on learning from the GM than in learning from books, issues often came up when two different GMs met or when someone who learned in one group moved to another. Finding either different interpretations of the rules or that something they'd learned as a rule was actually a house rule.


PossibleCabbage wrote:
Tarik Blackhands wrote:

Take your pick from the following:

1) Being rewarded for encylopedically memorizing the bestiary entries
2) Ensuring all the math for their build works against a given creature ("I wouldn't have charged the giant if I knew he was hitting on 10s and not 15s!")
3) Because the bestiary is a sacrosanct document and adjusting It's holy Word is CHEATING and grounds to bombard the GM with d4s till he repents.

I think all three of those are weird, and I'm fascinated by weirdness.

I generally don't even read the bestiaries; I use my own stats for most things.

I had a guy who was #1 could tell if the GM adjusted anything if the monster had 1 more hp than the MM entry he would ask why it wasn't dying.


PossibleCabbage wrote:
Rannik wrote:
If I roll dice in the open like some people want it to happen. Am I, at the GM, allowed to change the hit bonus before the combat start? Or do I need to use the one in the book?

I would add to this another question:

"Does it make a difference if I changed the hit bonus three days before the session rather than 5 minutes ago?"

I often, in my notes, include different sets of stats for the same monster/challenge so I can run, say, an easymode or a hardmode version depending on what's called for in the moment.

I personally wouldn't call that cheating so long as such changes were reasonably within the guidelines of the target CR, a target I personally see as wide as the broad side of a barn.

But with such things you get into the infinite nuance that is the social contract of your gaming group and or the individual assessment of every persons evaluation the situation.

PossibleCabbage wrote:


So is "this particular giant is especially clumsy" something I ought to clear with the players beforehand?

I think that putting the onus on the GM to constantly check with the players is probably more onerous than just expecting players who have strong feelings to made those known. If someone wants monsters to be run exactly as per their stats in the bestiary, I would be really curious as to why.

If it was a know issue that players constantly wanted to be informed when monster stats were changed then that is something that should be discussed and resolved within the group.

If the group or members thereof were adamantly opposed to not using RAW monster stats then that's a conflict in play styles that should be addressed as someone would need to cede ground in that case, be it by accepting the stats are to be changed or by deciding to not change stats or any other of infinite possible resolutions.


Talonhawke wrote:
I had a guy who was #1 could tell if the GM adjusted anything if the monster had 1 more hp than the MM entry he would ask why it wasn't dying.

Would a response of "this one's tougher" elicit protest?


TOZ wrote:
PossibleCabbage wrote:
So is "this particular giant is especially clumsy" something I ought to clear with the players beforehand?
Why do you keep asking specific questions, when you have already been given the answers to determine the appropriate responses on your own?

Perhaps because they can't determine your responses on their own? Possibly because there's a difference in basic assumptions they're trying to clarify.

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