Fudging Rolls: Yea or Nay?


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Chromantic Durgon <3 wrote:
blahpers wrote:
PossibleCabbage wrote:
blahpers wrote:
Question: Why do it matter to you how things go?
Because as a GM it is my job to make sure the people at the table are having a good time, and over like 20+ years of doing this I have learned to read the room. So if I'm picking up something like "nobody really feels like another fight here" then there's not going to be one no matter what I wrote down or what the dice say. If an "exploration scene" or "talking scene" or "puzzling scene" would go over better than a combat scene, then that's what's going to happen.
Do your players know that you've been lying to them and negating their agency based on your perception of what they're thinking but not saying?

Do you seriously think players are going to mad they didn't have to do something they didn't want to do and instead got to do something they wanted to do. That still challenged them and required them to use their characters?

I know I wouldn't be.

But hey having fun, in the game I am playing, for fun, is more important to me than being safe in the knowledge that the game went exactly as was planned by the DM to the detriment of fun. I don't understand your agency objection.

Being faced with a different challenge than was originally planned doesn't hurt my agency. My character still acts as I want my choices, still matter in that new scenario, its just a more fun scenario.

If a DM can't adjust his plans to enhance the fun at the table then I think I'm completely lost in this argument.

DMs aren't meant to make fun anymore, they just meant to lorde over some weird simulated reality that people don't need to enjoy, they simply must trudge through at all costs!

Funny; I thought we were discussing lording over a more fluid reality where the GM just up and decides what happens with the players not having any say whatsoever. If that's what you want, I recommend going to a nice book reading. They're a lot of fun.


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blahpers wrote:
Chromantic Durgon <3 wrote:
blahpers wrote:
PossibleCabbage wrote:
blahpers wrote:
Question: Why do it matter to you how things go?
Because as a GM it is my job to make sure the people at the table are having a good time, and over like 20+ years of doing this I have learned to read the room. So if I'm picking up something like "nobody really feels like another fight here" then there's not going to be one no matter what I wrote down or what the dice say. If an "exploration scene" or "talking scene" or "puzzling scene" would go over better than a combat scene, then that's what's going to happen.
Do your players know that you've been lying to them and negating their agency based on your perception of what they're thinking but not saying?

Do you seriously think players are going to mad they didn't have to do something they didn't want to do and instead got to do something they wanted to do. That still challenged them and required them to use their characters?

I know I wouldn't be.

But hey having fun, in the game I am playing, for fun, is more important to me than being safe in the knowledge that the game went exactly as was planned by the DM to the detriment of fun. I don't understand your agency objection.

Being faced with a different challenge than was originally planned doesn't hurt my agency. My character still acts as I want my choices, still matter in that new scenario, its just a more fun scenario.

If a DM can't adjust his plans to enhance the fun at the table then I think I'm completely lost in this argument.

DMs aren't meant to make fun anymore, they just meant to lorde over some weird simulated reality that people don't need to enjoy, they simply must trudge through at all costs!

Funny; I thought we were discussing lording over a more fluid reality where the GM just up and decides what happens with the players not having any say whatsoever. If that's what you want, I recommend going to a nice book reading. They're a lot...

I can't even decipher what point you're making.

Try less snarky none-sense and more coherent conversation.

at no point in this thread has anyone said or suggested anything even remotely close to "players not having any say whatsoever"


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Chromantic Durgon <3 wrote:
blahpers wrote:
PossibleCabbage wrote:
blahpers wrote:
Question: Why do it matter to you how things go?
Because as a GM it is my job to make sure the people at the table are having a good time, and over like 20+ years of doing this I have learned to read the room. So if I'm picking up something like "nobody really feels like another fight here" then there's not going to be one no matter what I wrote down or what the dice say. If an "exploration scene" or "talking scene" or "puzzling scene" would go over better than a combat scene, then that's what's going to happen.
Do your players know that you've been lying to them and negating their agency based on your perception of what they're thinking but not saying?

Do you seriously think players are going to mad they didn't have to do something they didn't want to do and instead got to do something they wanted to do. That still challenged them and required them to use their characters?

I know I wouldn't be.

But hey having fun, in the game I am playing, for fun, is more important to me than being safe in the knowledge that the game went exactly as was planned by the DM to the detriment of fun. I don't understand your agency objection.

Being faced with a different challenge than was originally planned doesn't hurt my agency. My character still acts as I want my choices, still matter in that new scenario, its just a more fun scenario.

If a DM can't adjust his plans to enhance the fun at the table then I think I'm completely lost in this argument.

DMs aren't meant to make fun anymore, they just meant to lorde over some weird simulated reality that people don't need to enjoy, they simply must trudge through at all costs!

Chromantic Durgon, I agree that fun is the reason to play the game. But if I, as a player, find out that my decisions are meaningless, my fun is ruined. I think that's what blaphers is driving at.


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Adventure Path Charter Subscriber
Corathonv2 wrote:


Chromantic Durgon, I agree that fun is the reason to play the game. But if I, as a player, find out that my decisions are meaningless, my fun is ruined. I think that's what blaphers is driving at.

Why would the GM fudging a die roll every once in a while make player decisions meaningless?


blahpers wrote:
Follow-up: Not that there's really anything BadWrongFun™ with running a game on rails such that the GM writes the plot and the players just act it out if that's what people signed on for.

Perhaps you could explain how saying "Okay, that's the fourth crit in a row against the PCs, that's crazy awful bad luck for them, I'll turn it into a normal hit" is stripping away PC agency?

Wheldrake wrote:
It's where you decide what actions the NPCs or monsters will take. If you need to give the PCs a little breathing room, you choose suboptimal actions for the NPCs or monsters. Maybe they waste an action gloating. Or they cast a spell that seems vaguely appropriate but doesn't involve killing PCs. Maybe they decide to run. Maybe they decide to do soemthing else.

I've been on the receiving end of that as a player. It sucked and was insulting when the dragon moved and single attacked rather than full attacked. Felt like the GM was trying to use kid gloves.

I would much rather the GM say "Okay, this RNG is crazy stupid and I'm bringing it back to something more reasonable" than have monsters act like complete idiots when they have no reason to.


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Corathonv2 wrote:
Chromantic Durgon, I agree that fun is the reason to play the game. But if I, as a player, find out that my decisions are meaningless, my fun is ruined. I think that's what blaphers is driving at.

So here's the thing- if every so often there's nothing to fight in the next room when there could have been something to fight, or the monster falls down dead when it could have had a few HP left, or you accuse the right suspect instead of the wrong one, how would you reach the conclusion that your decisions were meaningful or not? Some of those things might contradict what I wrote in my notes, but without reading those notes how would you ever know?

I'm not saying that a GM should arrange everything so the story goes exactly how she wants it to, but "deciding whether there are guards in the next room or not" is literally the GM's job since the GM controls all of the guards in the universe. I mean any GM tool can be overused or used badly but that's not an argument for not using those tools.

Silver Crusade

I will fudge rolls when I realize that I have made a mistake much earlier in combat. For example, I added damage wrong and an enemy was up another round than it should have been. That enemy will miss all of its attacks until it is dead. I will also change tactics to favor the players having to spend an attack on said should-be-dead enemy.


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You know what?

From reading all of you peeps, I realise how and why you think like you do and I can see the mastery and the expertise from the years if not decade of residence behind the screen. I'd love to play with you, I have no doubt I'd enjoy being at the same table with you, no matter who assumes which role in the story telling.

blahpers calls it an issue of trust. I can see I would have no issue entrusting my too rare leisure time to any of you because I can see each making damn sure everyone is enjoying the game by adapting it.

To answer blahpers about why you should trust me as a game master? Because I am fair, for example, pointing out obscure negative modifiers applying to my rolls when the G.M. forgets them. That I sometimes make it so that the P.C.s will reach a given scene in the story regardless of which path they take shouldn't be seen as depriving them of agency. It is part of the social contract between game master and players, the P.C.s are the main characters of the story and the story is interesting. Sometimes, insuring this requires a tad of suspension of disbelief.

You say preparation isn't part of the game. Isn't character creation an integral part of the game?


PossibleCabbage wrote:

One thing worth considering for people who have "all rolls are in the open" as a hard and fast rule-

Pathfinder 2nd edition has rolls that by RAW must be made in secret by the GM. Generally these are rolls which, if the player could see the die, knowing that the number was high or low could be used to infer success or failure which is metagame knowledge that player should not have.

I would probably ignore that rule. It doesn't bother me that the players have this much knowledge. I could let them use this knowledge (why shouldn't a PC know they did a bad job?) or I could trust them not to use it or I could have them not make the roll until it's too late to change their mind:

Player: "We advance steadily through the corridors, searching for traps as we go."
Later:
GM: "Stop: you just tried to walk on to a trap. Make a perception check to see if you spotted the trap in time."
Player: "Natural 1."
GM: "Make a Reflex save."

PossibleCabbage wrote:
For example, if you are searching for traps and you roll a 2 and the GM says "you don't find anything" you're not going to conclude "well, I guess it's safe" if you knew the die came up 2. Or at least knowing those two facts puts an uncomfortable tension between "roleplaying" and "wanting to succeed."

But the same could apply if they don't see the dice. "I didn't find anything, but I didn't see the dice, so I might have rolled a 1. I'd better search for traps again. Can I take 20?"


Agénor wrote:
That I sometimes make it so that the P.C.s will reach a given scene in the story regardless of which path they take shouldn't be seen as depriving them of agency.

If something is going to happen no matter what the players do, then it does take away their agency. But not all loss of agency is equal.

Let's say the GM plans a scene where the players bring a quest item to the king for a reward, and the court magician steals the item and teleports away. The players might in theory want to keep the quest item, or sell it to someone else, or abandon the quest and go off exploring the wilderness. But a skilled GM can keep the players on the railroad by making them want to stay on the railroad. The reward they were promised is too good to turn down. The court magician's plan includes distracting the PCs so they're unlikely to interfere with his theft.

If the players suspect I'm fudging things - for example, if the court magician has infinite hit points during his theft and gets a natural 20 on all rolls - then it will feel like a railroad. If I can avoid that, it's just part of of the story.

That's assuming the GM has a story to tell. It's possible to have a genuine sandbox where the GM prepares a situation, not a story. "Well, I know that the mayor is going to make a secret payment to the orc bandits at midnight to keep them from attacking the village. If the players interfere, they might cause the orc bandits to launch a full attack. But they might not notice what the mayor is up to if they're too busy trying to cleanse the haunted theatre or investigate the mystery of the abandoned well or take sides in the conflict between the forest witch and the woodcutters, and that's fine too."


Come on now, not every decision is til death do us part.

Sometimes you'll prepare some things you thought would contribute to the session, help everyone to enjoy it more, but games are unpredictable and it doesn't play out anything like expected. We're here to tell a story; if changing a few spells your wizard prepared or turning some spare gold into potions from the last place you shopped can help that living story grow that's a positive. Nobody expects anyone to be perfect, and it's not like it isn't anything that couldn't have happened anyway.

Maybe be careful if you're playing a more powergaming kinda class though.


Bill Dunn wrote:
Why would the GM fudging a die roll every once in a while make player decisions meaningless?

"If I'm going to win no matter what I do then what's the point of even rolling the dice?" or "If he was just going to get away then why'd you even go through the motions? Just have him get away". Basically, if fudging looks like fiat then making the player roll dice looks like a cruel joke where you force them to spend time and energy doing something before telling them it was all worthless.


Artificial 20 wrote:
We're here to tell a story; if changing a few spells your wizard prepared or turning some spare gold into potions from the last place you shopped can help that living story grow that's a positive.

Now, bear in mind that I can't tell if you're advocating players secretly fudging, or openly fudging, or if you're joking...

Sometimes stories are ruined because you happened to prepare the exact correct spell to instantly solve an otherwise interesting problem. Ever seen a player change a useful spell to a less useful one for the sake of storytelling?


Corathonv2 wrote:
Chromantic Durgon <3 wrote:
blahpers wrote:
PossibleCabbage wrote:
blahpers wrote:
Question: Why do it matter to you how things go?
Because as a GM it is my job to make sure the people at the table are having a good time, and over like 20+ years of doing this I have learned to read the room. So if I'm picking up something like "nobody really feels like another fight here" then there's not going to be one no matter what I wrote down or what the dice say. If an "exploration scene" or "talking scene" or "puzzling scene" would go over better than a combat scene, then that's what's going to happen.
Do your players know that you've been lying to them and negating their agency based on your perception of what they're thinking but not saying?

Do you seriously think players are going to mad they didn't have to do something they didn't want to do and instead got to do something they wanted to do. That still challenged them and required them to use their characters?

I know I wouldn't be.

But hey having fun, in the game I am playing, for fun, is more important to me than being safe in the knowledge that the game went exactly as was planned by the DM to the detriment of fun. I don't understand your agency objection.

Being faced with a different challenge than was originally planned doesn't hurt my agency. My character still acts as I want my choices, still matter in that new scenario, its just a more fun scenario.

If a DM can't adjust his plans to enhance the fun at the table then I think I'm completely lost in this argument.

DMs aren't meant to make fun anymore, they just meant to lorde over some weird simulated reality that people don't need to enjoy, they simply must trudge through at all costs!

Chromantic Durgon, I agree that fun is the reason to play the game. But if I, as a player, find out that my decisions are meaningless, my fun is ruined. I think that's what blaphers is driving at.

Okay so explain yourself

How is the DM turning an enemy crit on a low level player into just a hit “making all your decisions meaningless”.

Explain to me how a DM seeing his group is bored and adjusting the challenges they face to spice things up “making all decisions pointless.

I do not accept that. I think it’s emotionally driven hyperbolically drivel designed to win an argument on a forum.

Bob Bob Bob wrote:
Bill Dunn wrote:
Why would the GM fudging a die roll every once in a while make player decisions meaningless?
"If I'm going to win no matter what I do then what's the point of even rolling the dice?" or "If he was just going to get away then why'd you even go through the motions? Just have him get away". Basically, if fudging looks like fiat then making the player roll dice looks like a cruel joke where you force them to spend time and energy doing something before telling them it was all worthless.

Fudging a dice roll every once in a while =/= going to win no matter what you do.

Can we stop pretending they’re equal or mean the same thing. They don’t and aren’t.


Chromantic Durgon <3 wrote:
Fudging a dice roll every once in a while =/= going to win no matter what you do.

On the other hand, that's an impression you risk giving if the players start to believe you're fudging.

Player: "So, my PC didn't die because you decided that the dragon I provoked should roll a bunch of low attack rolls? Does that mean I'm immortal?"
GM: "No."
Player: "So, under what circumstances do I die? When it's me failing a save rather than you rolling attacks behind the screen? When it's dramatically appropriate?"
GM: "You know what, I think that dragon is going to roll a bunch of natural 20's next round..."


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Literally no-one has said they’re going to do that though.

Nobody in thread talked about making attacks of opportunity miss because a player did a dumb thing.

The amount of straw men in this thread is giving me hey fever

The examples people have been actually giving of when they actually fudge are nothing like that, they were more like

Low level fighter engaged with random mook melee opponent (as they should be), gets crit and the opponent rolls max damage. The fighter is dead in an anti climactic moment, the player did nothing wrong.

Proposed fudge, make the crit into a normal hit, so the opponent still hits they just don’t crit.

They players choices still mattered and they didn’t make any mistake choices to punish anyway.

Literally no-one is saying we don’t let players lose or we don’t punish bad decision making.


blahpers wrote:
born_of_fire wrote:
I do feel your position is extreme and your test of player agency incredibly rigorous—I doubt many GM’s are up to your standard if 100% honesty is your standard considering 100% honesty is not a social norm or a reasonable expectation or a thing that people actually appreciate when it happens.
That . . . that's a pretty cynical post, and that's saying something coming from me. You okay?

Thanks for taking the time to be condescending rather than addressing the point of my post: honesty is a spectrum with a tipping point at which the dishonest behaviour becomes unacceptable. I’m not going to quit a game because the GM once changed a crit into a regular attack any more than I’m going to unfriend someone who once told me my hair looked nice when they really thought it didn’t. I might quit a game where the GM made a significant number of decisions that didn’t reflect the dice rolls to the point that it affected my enjoyment of the game though, just like I might unfriend someone who lied to me about a lot more than just liking my hair.

It’s a virtual certainty that you have never had an interaction in your life with a person who was 100% honest with you. The vast majority of people aren’t even 100% honest with themselves for starters. As well, slavish truthfulness in all circumstances easily strays into cruelty, hence the common turn of phrase: brutal honesty or the brutal truth. Such extreme and needless behaviour is generally eschewed in favour of politeness and kindness to the point that those who choose not to be or are unable to be dishonest under any circumstance tend to struggle in social situations. To believe otherwise is incredibly naive.


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So, in conclusion:

1. It is okay to fudge sometimes (maybe).
2. Player expectations vary on honesty, politeness, outcomes, and social norms.
3. We all agree that fudging all the time is wrong.

Okay, I’m glad that is all cleared up.


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I'm with Chromantic Durgon... the assumptions from the "never fudge" crowd as to when the "fudging is fine sometimes" crowd is willing to fudge seems ridiculous.
When someone says that they occasionally fudge what the die says I'm fairly certain they don't mean "I want this thing to happen so I'm going to completely ignore the dice" and actually mean something more akin to "if my dice are rolling really high all night and it's going to result in a PC death that isn't fun then I'm going to miss a little more often/not confirm this crit" rather than "it doesn't matter what my players do, I'm never going to kill them based on the dice that I roll"
When a GM is fudging dice they have to be so incredibly careful so that the group doesn't figure it out. Constantly missing/the PCs always succeeding based on die rolls the GM makes out of sight would likely make the group think the dice are being fudged.
Enemies using stupid tactics is a terrible option and I'd suggest subtracting 2 from each attack roll and see if the enemy still hits or lower the amount of damage you're doing instead. Bad tactics are obvious and the players will probably feel insulted by them; doing 26 damaged instead of 34 won't be noticed by the players.

Occasionally saving a PC from a disappointing death brought on by a bunch of high rolls in a row isn't taking away their agency, it's making them not get frustrated at dying due to 3 crits in a row.

Never fudging a die roll is fine, so long as your group doesn't get frustrated/mad (and hold on to that for a long time) when a PC dies a disappointing death due to the enemies rolling stupidly well all night.

Fudging to save an NPC you/the group likes seems ridiculous.
Fudging so that the players succeed at a knowledge check/perception check seems weird to me because I prefer my players to roll those checks and I trust them to act accordingly. If there's something they NEED to know/find either make it so that it's not so unknown/well hidden or have more than one way for them to learn/find it.


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Gaming Ranger wrote:

So, in conclusion:

1. It is okay to fudge sometimes (maybe).
2. Player expectations vary on honesty, politeness, outcomes, and social norms.
3. We all agree that fudging all the time is wrong.

Okay, I’m glad that is all cleared up.

Another fruitful discussion on the Paizo boards :P


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Gaming Ranger wrote:

So, in conclusion:

1. It is okay to fudge sometimes (maybe).
2. Player expectations vary on honesty, politeness, outcomes, and social norms.
3. We all agree that fudging all the time is wrong.

Okay, I’m glad that is all cleared up.

No, this is the Internet. No conclusions allowed unless thay conclusion is that everyone agrees with me.

There is a single correct way to play the game and that is exactly how I play it. Everyone who even slightly disagrees with me is not only wrong, but is desecrating the game, and they are probably all Hitler.


A typical group of four players consists of:
Player 1: "I don't mind fudging as long as you warn me in advance that this is 'that type of game', rather than trying to fool me."
Player 2: "I will never forgive you if my character dies to a lucky crit by a random mook. But if I ever find out you fudged a single dice roll, the game is irredeemably tainted forever, so if you're going to cheat, make sure I never find out!"
Player 3: "I hate fudging. I'm happy to see my character die to a lucky crit by a random mook. That's what makes the game exciting. So roll openly!"
Player 4: "I'm good with whatever. It's your game. Make it fun your way."


Jared Walter 356 wrote:


I never fudge in favor of the NPCs, it just makes an unfun story. Having a character killed by a weak encounter through sheer bad luck is also unfun.

This right here. My goal is to help the players feel just as badass as their characters. If there is fudge afoot, it's not at the service of the NPC.

That said, I will occasionally "cheat" in other ways. For example, I might allow the six-fingered man to fight on at 0 hp, knowing that it will be more satisfying for Inigo to kill him than Fezzik.


Leitner wrote:
You shouldn't fudge rolls wantonly by any means. But Having a level 1 character on the receiving end of an unlucky crit by some random longsword wielding bandit could easily be lethal.

And this is exactly why I game the monsters x2 weapons rather than x3, and started my players at level 2. So far I have zero random greataxe deaths, but at least one PC down in most significant combats.


You know, my first stance was in favor of not. It's a game of chance, after all. Learn to roll with those random punches.

...but the vehemence on one side of the fence and the level-headedness of the other has swayed me.

I know my players trust me unconditionally. I know they'd waive any alterations I'd made along the line of "he knows what he's doing".

I'm not saying I would ever make use of that trust, and abusing it is obviously the best way to lose it. But it's there. And for that, I know my games have risen to heights they never could have reached otherwise.

Scarab Sages

I think it is okay to fudge the rolls in the player's favor if they are below level 11 and a roll would kill them and it would bother them or you. After that, I say you let the dice roll.


Lucy_Valentine wrote:
Leitner wrote:
You shouldn't fudge rolls wantonly by any means. But Having a level 1 character on the receiving end of an unlucky crit by some random longsword wielding bandit could easily be lethal.
And this is exactly why I game the monsters x2 weapons rather than x3, and started my players at level 2. So far I have zero random greataxe deaths, but at least one PC down in most significant combats.

I had my first ever PC death a few weeks back to a random crit. Literally nothing I could have done to prevent it. My character already had the highest HP and AC of the entire party. We were level 6 fighting a treasure golem. My wife rolled a 20 and then confirmed it with a 17(I happened to see the rolls unintentionally, so she couldn't really fudge them). She then proceeded to roll particularly well on the 2d6+9 which did exactly my remaining 2/3rd HP+con to kill me.

Was it unfair? Nah, sometimes those dice have it out for you. RNG is part of our wonderful hobby. Was it a very meaningful or fun death? No, definitely not. Nearly caused our entire campaign to collapse as the fight looked extremely dicey at that point. My wife pulled a few punches after that that and was more careful to roll behind the screen, but we probably should have TPK'd and had to quit the campaign right then. Not very narratively satisfying, but if those are the sorts of lethal stakes you prefer in your game by all means have at it.

But starting at level 2 with only x2 crits is not necessarily going to fix the problem. Simply mitigates it slightly, and I'd somewhat wonder why someone would be bothered by mitigating it further if you already wish to minimize the instances of random death.


Fudging is OK as long as it is OK with the table. It is part of the session zero/social contract. It is not something that the GM should unilaterally decide.


I don't so much fudge rolls as I fudge rules. Usually this is to get things to move along if a particular scene is taking so long it isn't fun any more.
The uncooperative but minor official who is standing in the way of the plot progressing and no other obvious things to do? He 'failed' his save against Charm Person. Let's get on to the important bits of the game.
One really long, drawn out fight where the outcome is obvious and everyone is just wasting time towards the end? Probably just cut-scene it.
It's late and we need to end the session? Whoops, looks like I forgot to note some damage on this guy, he's actually dead now.
On a couple of occasions I've even added a few hp to an opponent when what is supposed to be a challenging enemy is killed without being able to do anything. It doesn't end up changing the outcome in any meaningful way, it's just a consolation prize that the baddie gets the chance to do something.

Apart from that, we live and die by the rules and the dice. Sometimes the PCs roll s!#+ and feel useless. Last session of RHoD the sorc cast six spells on a dragon and SR took care of all of them. Sometimes the opponents roll s~~# and flail about like fish on land while the PCs are criting right and left. Sometimes PCs die, be it heroically or embarrassingly pointlessly.


If the GM fudges once in a while, will it go unnoticed? Probably. But I've seen GMs fudge and they weren't very hard to suss out. They were obvious, really.

Of course there's a selection effect here; the unsubtle fudgers were obvious, maybe others fudged and I never spotted it. But those who fudged did it so "The Story" would come out a certain way.


The idea that you don't want a character to die in a "meaningless way"...I get the thought behind it, but I don't agree with the result.

It's combat. Combat is deadly. I don't care if you're a fencing master of 30 years and your opponent is an elderly drunk armed with a filleting knife. Getting cut is bad and a no-holds-barred fight to the death should be one of the highest moments in the session in terms of tension and fear. I want my players sweating. I want them bordering on panic.

I guess some games are more...exaggerated. Where characters can wade through armies of weaker enemies with practically zero chance of real danger. But that's not how this game was built.

Still, none of that changes the core argumen, in my mind.


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Thats literally how this game was built, and the game it was based on, and the game THAT game was based on, and the game THAT game was based on. mid level adventurers murder the crap out of goblins, doesn't REALLY matter how many goblins because only so many can attack at a time and their nat 20's dont hurt that bad.

If you're looking for every combat should be a nailbiter, might i suggest 4th ed L5R, where i've lost more than one rank 2 or 3 samurai to a peasant with a spear and some lucky exploding dice?


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Quixote wrote:
...but the vehemence on one side of the fence and the level-headedness of the other has swayed me.

This probably sounds ruder than I intend it to, but that's a terrible pair of reasons to be convinced of something.


blahpers wrote:
Quixote wrote:
...but the vehemence on one side of the fence and the level-headedness of the other has swayed me.
This probably sounds ruder than I intend it to, but that's a terrible pair of reasons to be convinced of something.

Yeah, it's basically the Fallacy Fallacy.


blahpers wrote:
Quixote wrote:
...but the vehemence on one side of the fence and the level-headedness of the other has swayed me.
This probably sounds ruder than I intend it to, but that's a terrible pair of reasons to be convinced of something.

Well, there is a lot of... militant discussion coming from some people here. If you can see both sides of an argument and are on the fence I'd probably lean the same way.


Leitner wrote:
blahpers wrote:
Quixote wrote:
...but the vehemence on one side of the fence and the level-headedness of the other has swayed me.
This probably sounds ruder than I intend it to, but that's a terrible pair of reasons to be convinced of something.
Well, there is a lot of... militant discussion coming from some people here. If you can see both sides of an argument and are on the fence I'd probably lean the same way.

Why? "Level-headedness" does not improve the quality of an argument, nor does "vehemence" or "militancy" reduce its quality.


blahpers wrote:
Leitner wrote:
blahpers wrote:
Quixote wrote:
...but the vehemence on one side of the fence and the level-headedness of the other has swayed me.
This probably sounds ruder than I intend it to, but that's a terrible pair of reasons to be convinced of something.
Well, there is a lot of... militant discussion coming from some people here. If you can see both sides of an argument and are on the fence I'd probably lean the same way.
Why? "Level-headedness" does not improve the quality of an argument, nor does "vehemence" or "militancy" reduce its quality.

It does not make you inherently wrong. But when a lot of your arguments involve insults or outrageously contrived illogical situations to paint the other side as unreasonable it doesn't do much to make a convincing argument.


2 people marked this as a favorite.

This is how we get the absolute worst candidates politically.


Leitner wrote:
It does not make you inherently wrong. But when a lot of your arguments involve insults or outrageously contrived illogical situations to paint the other side as unreasonable it doesn't do much to make a convincing argument.

Is that directed at me? Where did I insult anybody?

As for "outrageously contrived illogical situations", I presented a pathological situation that utterly abandons the pretense of player agency to demonstrate that there are other, much less pathological situations being advocated in this very thread that similarly, if less overtly, damage that agency. And any action that damages a player's trust in their GM is one to be avoided.


blahpers wrote:
This probably sounds ruder than I intend it to, but that's a terrible pair of reasons to be convinced of something.

Well, that depends on how rude you intended it to be, I suppose.

And from my experience, most dicussions seem to devolve into two camps, each absolutely sure in their utter and compelte rightness and in the utter and complete wrongness of the other. The truth almost invariably lies somewhere in the middle. Anyone who claims that they hold the absolute correct answer in their hands and that their opponents offer nothing but foolishness of the highest order is almost always selling something.


There you jumped from Fallacy Fallacy to Golden Mean Fallacy and pretended they are the same. Care to tell me what sort of fallacy that is?

To address your original claim about vehemence vs. 'level-headed'.
Side A: SLAVERY IS BAD!!!!!!!!! RABBLERABBLERABBLE
Side B: now if you calm down and think about it there are many good reasons for slavery, like cheap labor for unpleasant chores....

Which one is right?

As for the Golden Mean Fallacy: one side can be entirely wrong. One side can be entirely right.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
blahpers wrote:
The truth almost invariably lies somewhere in the middle.

citation needed


Quixote wrote:
blahpers wrote:
This probably sounds ruder than I intend it to, but that's a terrible pair of reasons to be convinced of something.

Well, that depends on how rude you intended it to be, I suppose.

And from my experience, most dicussions seem to devolve into two camps, each absolutely sure in their utter and compelte rightness and in the utter and complete wrongness of the other. The truth almost invariably lies somewhere in the middle. Anyone who claims that they hold the absolute correct answer in their hands and that their opponents offer nothing but foolishness of the highest order is almost always selling something.

This is a tempting technique, as using it makes one feel more enlightened than everybody else in the argument. Unfortunately, it is a terrible technique for actually arriving at the truth. Very often, one side in an argument really is completely right and the other really is completely wrong. To ignore that possibility because one or all sides in an argument don't present themselves with what you feel is the appropriate level of conviction--not too much, and not too little--is irrational at best.


blahpers wrote:
Quixote wrote:
blahpers wrote:
This probably sounds ruder than I intend it to, but that's a terrible pair of reasons to be convinced of something.

Well, that depends on how rude you intended it to be, I suppose.

And from my experience, most dicussions seem to devolve into two camps, each absolutely sure in their utter and compelte rightness and in the utter and complete wrongness of the other. The truth almost invariably lies somewhere in the middle. Anyone who claims that they hold the absolute correct answer in their hands and that their opponents offer nothing but foolishness of the highest order is almost always selling something.
This is a tempting technique, as using it makes one feel more enlightened than everybody else in the argument. Unfortunately, it is a terrible technique for actually arriving at the truth. Very often, one side in an argument really is completely right and the other really is completely wrong. To ignore that possibility because one or all sides in an argument don't present themselves with what you feel is the appropriate level of conviction--not too much, and not too little--is irrational at best.

And once that strategy becomes common, the most effective approach is to make your argument more extreme in the hopes that someone aiming for the middle will come closer to what you actually want. And to never give an inch, since that will shift the middle towards the other side.

That isn't exactly helpful towards rational discussion.


thejeff wrote:
blahpers wrote:
Quixote wrote:
blahpers wrote:
This probably sounds ruder than I intend it to, but that's a terrible pair of reasons to be convinced of something.

Well, that depends on how rude you intended it to be, I suppose.

And from my experience, most dicussions seem to devolve into two camps, each absolutely sure in their utter and compelte rightness and in the utter and complete wrongness of the other. The truth almost invariably lies somewhere in the middle. Anyone who claims that they hold the absolute correct answer in their hands and that their opponents offer nothing but foolishness of the highest order is almost always selling something.
This is a tempting technique, as using it makes one feel more enlightened than everybody else in the argument. Unfortunately, it is a terrible technique for actually arriving at the truth. Very often, one side in an argument really is completely right and the other really is completely wrong. To ignore that possibility because one or all sides in an argument don't present themselves with what you feel is the appropriate level of conviction--not too much, and not too little--is irrational at best.

And once that strategy becomes common, the most effective approach is to make your argument more extreme in the hopes that someone aiming for the middle will come closer to what you actually want. And to never give an inch, since that will shift the middle towards the other side.

That isn't exactly helpful towards rational discussion.

Its actually pretty much textbook how you end up with fascists in the real world.


blahpers wrote:
...Unfortunately, it is a terrible technique for actually arriving at the truth. Very often, one side in an argument really is completely right and the other really is completely wrong. To ignore that possibility...is irrational at best.

That would be true, if I was actually claiming that absolute truth was in the dead center. The argument to moderation is not a way to determine what is fact or what is right.

What I said was the truth ALMOST invariably lies SOMEWHERE in the middle.
I hardly think that being able to look at both sides of an argument and find wisdom where you may is irrational.

You say it's a violation of trust. The other side poses that the trust at a gaming table is defined by other factors than you seem to claim
Is it so idiotic to consider that maybe, somehow, the people who oppose your stance aren't blithering morons, as your tone seems to suggest?

Another thing to consider: I have never once seen an argument go as follows:

"I believe argument A."

"I believe argument B, and you're stupid and a terrible person for believing argument A!"

"You know what? You're right. I have been stupid and a terrible person. Argument B it is!"

--if we want to actually sway the opposing side, we may just have to treat them with respect and listen to their arguments, as we hope they will listen to ours.


Quixote wrote:


What I said was the truth ALMOST invariably lies SOMEWHERE in the middle.

again, citation needed.


Quixote wrote:

Is it so idiotic to consider that maybe, somehow, the people who oppose your stance aren't blithering morons, as your tone seems to suggest?

Another thing to consider: I have never once seen an argument go as follows:

"I believe argument A."

"I believe argument B, and you're stupid and a terrible person for believing argument A!"

"You know what? You're right. I have been stupid and a terrible person. Argument B it is!"

--if we want to actually sway the opposing side, we may just have to treat them with respect and listen to their arguments, as we hope they will listen to ours.

I am respectful. Respect does not require me to grin and nod and pretend that an argument holds water when it does not. Pretending otherwise would in fact demonstrate a lack of respect, as it would mean I didn't take their stance seriously.

I never said people who oppose my stance are "blithering morons" or "stupid and terrible people". Please stop unduly escalating the argument by misrepresenting me as unduly escalating the argument. It's disrespectful.

(Edited because I fail at tags)


Ryan Freire wrote:
thejeff wrote:

And once that strategy becomes common, the most effective approach is to make your argument more extreme in the hopes that someone aiming for the middle will come closer to what you actually want. And to never give an inch, since that will shift the middle towards the other side.

That isn't exactly helpful towards rational discussion.
Its actually pretty much textbook how you end up with fascists in the real world.

As far as the shifting middle goes, I can't control what other people do in an attempt to manipulate the masses, except be aware of such attempts as best as I can and act in a way that seems reasonable and morally right myself. And maybe try to encourage other people to get on the same page. Or expose those attempts to mislead and misinform.

I mean...anyone who thinks two zealous sides to an argument have never heard what the founding fathers of the U.S.A. had to say about their two-party system. Or seen the same country's progress in regards to gun control, immigration and abortion.

I don't change my dice rolls, but if I was in a room where someone who does was being berated by someone who doesn't, I'd definitely be on the other side. Opinions can differ, but...I mean, I'm the first to say "it's not 'just a game'!" but come on.


Bjørn Røyrvik wrote:

Which one is right?

As for the Golden Mean Fallacy: one side can be entirely wrong. One side can be entirely right.

Obviously the first is right. Which is more effective, though. I'd say in most low-stakes, armchair discussions, you make more (but still slow) progress by approaching people more in line with your second example. Though, of course, that's hardly a low-stakes situation.

And yes, one side can be right and one can be wrong.
But when both sides mean well and are composed of intelligent people, it gets a lot more compilated.

I mean, look at this thread. I think it's pretty clear that it's not so obviously cut and dry as some feel.

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