Your Experience: Is 2E Combat Shorter or Longer?


Pathfinder Second Edition General Discussion

51 to 91 of 91 << first < prev | 1 | 2 | next > last >>

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

One thing I do as a GM, even in published adventures is focus on the motivations of the NPCs and giving them complex and interesting goals. This makes encounters a lot more dynamic and can challenge the idea that combat isn’t still role playing time. Sometimes it might make encounters linger, and break them down so that NPCs might fight for a while, then talk, or try to run, transitioning into a chase scene, only to Re-enter combat later.

It also serves the function of giving NPC powerful things to do that are not kill the PCs and make it where you don’t have to worry so much about killing the whole party. They can be trying to take prisoners, or escape with loot, or even be cultists intent in casting Sigil on the PCs gear for some reason the PCs don’t understand yet, and it can make things way more interesting, keep stakes high, and not make it where you worry too much about killing PCs even with boss encounters. Also player death can be a really fun narrative element that you can help make more interesting by allowing new PCs to come in with uncommon or rare character options based upon the part of the story they enter. A lot of board and computer games are picking up on it and the adventurer’s tool box makes it a lot easier to do too.


2 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

Regarding fudging rolls, I absolutely do this - but nearly 100% of the time it's in favor of my players, and almost always when the player has just attempted something really cool and unique and it will disappoint everyone if they fail.

Although I suppose that is less "fudging the roll" and more "fudging the DC".

The only other time I'll usually fudge rolls is if I've misjudged the severity of an encounter and it's either much more dangerous than expected, or - more likely - much more boring than expected. I'll absolutely fudge rolls to get a boring combat over with more quickly.

Happily, both of those things happen much, much less in 2e, so I find myself fudging rolls vastly less often in 2e than I did in 1e, and it wasn't that common of an occurrence in 1e.

As far as the people who say that fudging rolls "disrupts the players' faith in the sanctity of the dice" or what not... rule zero, anyone? Players are there to have fun, and having fun is more important than the "sanctity of the dice".

If knowing that absolutely every roll and DC is run exactly as written/as it lands is critical to your fun at the table, then... well, I'm a bad DM for you.

And that's fine. :)


I forget what it's called, but as a GM, if I feel I need to fudge, I will use the system from the WoD/CoD line of games where the player and story teller will negotiate a situation. Basically, if my party and I feel that the dice have been particularly cruel one day, or something just didn't work out the way we'd hoped, I'll try to gage the table and ask if someone would like to propose an alternate way that things can end outside character death. Things won't end well, the party has to retreat, bad guy escapes, there is some long-lasting debuff they might have to deal with before returning to the problem, but sometimes that feels more appropriate than having a character just die and risk that player's investment in the story's narrative.

Then again, I'm actually pretty anti-PC death if I can help it. Sometimes it's gotta happen, the player is just making poor decisions, or it really fits the story, but one thing I enjoy about PF2E is how it's made it easier for characters to go down, while in most cases making it more difficult to take characters out.


2 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Pawns, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

I never fudge dice. If the party TPKs, then they TPK. However, afterwards, I have a conversation with them about how they might like to proceed.

Would they like to reset the encounter and try again in a different way? Would they like to bring in new characters? Start a different adventure altogether?

I recently had a TPK when the PCs attempted to raid a demon-infested stronghold. Of my four players, three wanted to try new characters and the fourth wanted to keep his old character. So they created a new party of four new characters, which went into the stronghold, ostensibly to find and rescue the previous heroes. When they found irrefutable evidence of their prior characters' deaths* they had to take over their predecessors' mission. While fulfilling their mission, they were able to save one of the previous team members (who would then join the new team while one of the other members retired).

*:
These were always gruesome. One became a fiend's face mask, another was cooked into a stew, the third was turned into a ghoul (which the new PCs had to fight), and the fourth--the only survivor--was found hanging from a chandelier after having his nose bitten off, his limbs broken, and his mangled form left for dead.

It was surprisingly easy to give everyone what they wanted and keep the larger story going despite the TPK.


Ravingdork wrote:

I never fudge dice. If the party TPKs, then they TPK. However, afterwards, I have a conversation with them about how they might like to proceed.

Would they like to reset the encounter and try again in a different way? Would they like to bring in new characters? Start a different adventure altogether?

I recently had a TPK when the PCs attempted to raid a demon-infested stronghold. Of my four players, three wanted to try new characters and the fourth wanted to keep his old character. So they created a new party of four new characters, which went into the stronghold, ostensibly to find and rescue the previous heroes. When they found irrefutable evidence of their prior characters' deaths* they had to take over their predecessors' mission. While fulfilling their mission, they were able to save one of the previous team members (who would then join the new team while one of the other members retired).

** spoiler omitted **

It was surprisingly easy to give everyone what they wanted and keep the larger story going despite the TPK.

This is how I do it as well. I talk with the players. If the players are playing poorly and refusing to use teamwork and they TPK, that is on them. If I overtune an encounter and cause a TPK, that is on me. It depends on how they TPK as to how we figure out what to do next.


WWHsmackdown wrote:
Easy enough in homebrew. Less so published content

Identical in difficulty in both cases.

In fact, just the last session I played, we were in a published adventure and got to an encounter that as we started playing it the GM realized was over-tuned - which presented a very significant issue because it was already supposed to be an Extreme difficulty encounter, so the numbers on the creatures involved being higher than they should was putting into a very obnoxiously difficult place. So the GM says, "This encounter is ridiculous, I'm applying the Weak template to [the highest level creature in the encounter]."

And boom, done with the nudge in the right direction, but without the risk that any of us players begin to doubt the validity of our die rolls or the GM's intentions.

Grand Lodge

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Quote:
poker face

I challenge my players to know when I'm fudging. Since I'm not out to kill them, only give them a fun experience, I'm not emotionally invested in the dice. I don't fudge very often, but when I do, I seriously doubt anyone at my table is aware of it. Even the players who know I am willing to fudge from time to time, have never correctly guessed when it happened.

Quote:
plenty of opportunity and means...risk of negative player experience that fudging does

No one can predict everything when there is random dice rolling involved. Sometimes evolving circumstances could not be predicted (happens a lot when players decide to go off the rails) which leads to an undesirable outcome that in the moment can only be changed if the dice results are ignored.

If you fudge often enough that players are used to it and can pick it out when it happens, that's a problem that could lead to a negative experience. OTOH, if you plan well and fudge rarely, your players should not have any idea when it happened.


Pathfinder Pawns, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
Deriven Firelion wrote:
This is how I do it as well. I talk with the players. If the players are playing poorly and refusing to use teamwork and they TPK, that is on them. If I overtune an encounter and cause a TPK, that is on me. It depends on how they TPK as to how we figure out what to do next.

That IS an important distinction.


TwilightKnight wrote:
Quote:
poker face
I challenge my players to know when I'm fudging.

What, like they win a price if they get a good hit/miss record on times they think you fudged throughout the campaign or something?

TwilightKnight wrote:
Since I'm not out to kill them, only give them a fun experience, I'm not emotionally invested in the dice.

My thought here is that what clues the players into their GM fudging isn't being emotionally invested in the dice (which I will take a side note to mention I'm not even sure what you mean by that, and am working on the assumption it's different from what I'm about to mention because it would make more sense for your experience to differ from mine if that is the case), but rather that what they are emotionally invested in has just had a die roll land at odds with it.

To phrase that differently; The GM wanting the players to have a fun experience rolls a die, and when they see the result they find that it has - unexpectedly - spoiled that experience. And that realization shows on their face, because the GM isn't focused on their poker face and making sure they don't give anything about what they are looking at away, they are focused on running a fun game.

TwilightKnight wrote:
I don't fudge very often, but when I do, I seriously doubt anyone at my table is aware of it. Even the players who know I am willing to fudge from time to time, have never correctly guessed when it happened.

I think there's a name for it that I can't recall off hand, but there is a thing, a perculiar phenomenon, where people that have been exceptionally lucky in a particular avenue believe that they are actually extremely skilled or that the thing in question they've had luck with is extremely easy.

Like how someone can believe they are doing a great job driving even though they ignore a wide variety of traffic laws and constantly speed and/or operate the vehicle while distracted - but they've never had a serious collision or gotten a ticket, so they are certain the reason is how good of a driver they are.

You may simply have the luck of having players that don't care that you fudge, don't mention they know you're doing it because they wouldn't want you to feel bad about it, or are actually less capable of picking up the various clues that a GM is fudging than most people, or some mix of the above. But the explanation is definitely not that it's so easy to lie and get away with that it's accurate to tell other GM's "just fudge, there is no way anyone will notice."

TwilightKnight wrote:
No one can predict everything when there is random dice rolling involved.

No one has to. All that is required is knowing what you would consider unaccpetable outcomes, and then not pretending you're leaving it up to a die roll if one of those outcomes is a potential result of the roll.

Even an after-the-fact "nope, I don't like that, let's change it" - basically doing the fudge, but deliberately informing the players instead of attempting to conceal that something is being changed - is one of the means I was talking about. Same result, doesn't have the risk that fudging does.

TwilightKnight wrote:
If you fudge often enough that players are used to it and can pick it out when it happens, that's a problem that could lead to a negative experience. OTOH, if you plan well and fudge rarely, your players should not have any idea when it happened.

In my experience, it's the GMs that are fudging more frequently that are harder to notice are fudging, as the GMs that do actually try to save it for a rare occasion are less practiced and as a result have more noticeable tells, even just the hesitation that comes from considering it important not to fudge too often.


As a player, I have felt the frustration when it looks like everything you try is useless (because of bad rolls or other reasons), and that the fight you are in is unwinnable. I have told on another thread about the dragon that forced us to flee not one but three times, and who seemed to be an unavoidable enemy if we wanted to go on with the story.

So, when I GM I think that my duty is to make the players feel challenged, but also to understand when they have that bad feeling of being useless and stuck in a situation they don't have to means to get out of.
I've been playing only via VTT for a while, and all rolls are visible so there is no way to fudge them. But a GM can help the party in other ways, like making suboptimal decisions for the enemies, or creating situations that allow the players to get the upper hand. In our case, it was the dragon getting both frustrated with our repeated escapes and overconfident in its superiority, so it retreated to its lair wanting to get some sleep, thinking that blewing up the entrance and setting traps and alarms would be enough to stop us.
The same can be done when a combat is slugging. Imagine a foe who can teleport at will and keep harassing the group before blinking away: you let the party come of with some countermeasures, but if they don't work what do you do? Do you keep doing hit and run until they are all dead? That would make sense, but not make the game any fun.


7 people marked this as a favorite.

There are different philosophies on GMing on fudging vs not fudging, and both are completely valid and group dependent. I don't think we should try making people feel bad for their style of GMing if it works for their group. All that matters is if their players are having fun, and if they are, then who are we (random internet strangers) to judge?


fanatic66 wrote:
There are different philosophies on GMing on fudging vs not fudging, and both are completely valid and group dependent. I don't think we should try making people feel bad for their style of GMing if it works for their group. All that matters is if their players are having fun, and if they are, then who are we (random internet strangers) to judge?

Agreed


1 person marked this as a favorite.
fanatic66 wrote:
There are different philosophies on GMing on fudging vs not fudging, and both are completely valid and group dependent. I don't think we should try making people feel bad for their style of GMing if it works for their group. All that matters is if their players are having fun, and if they are, then who are we (random internet strangers) to judge?

I agree with that.

I also think that while anyone has its methods, it also comes down not only to the style of a DM, but also the party the DM plays with.

On the one hand, given a party who likes to min max and face difficult challenges, it wouldn't be strange if the party'd require a fair and square approach ( no screen during fights, for example ) as well as a competitive tactical approach.

On the other hand, given a party who simply likes to enjoy the game ( and could somehow feel bad not achieving anything because of bad rolls in that specific evening ), the DM might consider providing some twists meant to provide excitement in that player.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
HumbleGamer wrote:
fanatic66 wrote:
There are different philosophies on GMing on fudging vs not fudging, and both are completely valid and group dependent. I don't think we should try making people feel bad for their style of GMing if it works for their group. All that matters is if their players are having fun, and if they are, then who are we (random internet strangers) to judge?

I agree with that.

I also think that while anyone has its methods, it also comes down not only to the style of a DM, but also the party the DM plays with.

On the one hand, given a party who likes to min max and face difficult challenges, it wouldn't be strange if the party'd require a fair and square approach ( no screen during fights, for example ) as well as a competitive tactical approach.

On the other hand, given a party who simply likes to enjoy the game ( and could somehow feel bad not achieving anything because of bad rolls in that specific evening ), the DM might consider providing some twists meant to provide excitement in that player.

I completely agree. If a DM's style clashes with the party, then everyone is in for a rough time. It doesn't likely mean that either side is "playing wrong", but just that they aren't well suited for each other. Again, if your DM/GM style works for your group, and everyone is having fun, then don't worry about what random people on the internet think.


3 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber

I find PF2's combats are more consistent more than anything else.

PF1 combats could vary wildly from a few minutes to several hours even if those two combats lasted the same number of rounds and had similar groups of enemies... depending on how much math juggling and other stuff like that the players were dealing with.

Deriven Firelion wrote:
If the players are playing poorly and refusing to use teamwork and they TPK, that is on them.

Generally I agree, but if the players want to play unoptimized, reckless characters who don't always work the best together because that's the type of story they want to tell and the GM is smashing them to pieces to teach them a lesson, I'm not sure that's particularly great either.


1 person marked this as a favorite.

I have yet to meet a GM who didn't give away tells when they were fudging rolls. I am not arrogant enough to assume I can pick it every time, but often enough that I have been able to surprise GMs I have shared my suspicions with.

Thing is, we are human and we don't go into running games with the intention of "I am going to lie to my players here", or I hope most of us don't.

So when we end up fudging a roll we pause for a little longer, have minor facial or hand movements (like going for damage dice and stopping because you decided it wouldn't be a hit), eyes darting to HP or notes.

It just makes us human, so to anyone who is paying attention it can be FAR more obvious than you would think in clinch moments when the player is already paying hyper attention to see whether their character's ability went off when they really needed it to or if the enemies attack was low enough not to kill them.

This even applies to people who decide in advance to fudge the roll when the player determines what they will be doing.

Don't get me wrong, fudging is fine for GMs who like doing it and for parties of players who are okay with the GM doing it. But it really needs to be agreed upon during sessions zero.

I hate having dice fudged, and I hate catching GMs doing it when it comes to my character even if it is in my favour (and REALLY hate it when a GM does it to keep an NPC alive).

But I can share that with a GM/group before I start playing with them. I am less bothered if the GM fudges for other players, would rather it be equal for all but don't mind overly.

I have outright houseruled massive damage away, as well as the dying increase on a crit for level 1 characters though. They can still die but it won't be due to purely bad luck.
With really new players I made crit rolls vs level 1 characters just be max damage on a single roll rather than x2 damage.

But the players all know this is how I am running it.


The Gleeful Grognard wrote:
But it really needs to be agreed upon during sessions zero.

This part being so rare in my experience is why I bring up "maybe don't fudge because your players don't actually like it" at every opportunity.

There are, at least as far as I've seen, a lot of GMs out there making the assumption that their players don't mind fudging, or at least that they won't mind if it's done in their favor rather than in the favor of an NPC they wanted to survive a little longer for story reasons... but they have never actually asked their players if they mind.

I've even had discussions with GMs that fudge liberally that were insistent that they can't ask their players, or it would "spoil the magic." And to me at least, that's evidence of believing that the players would want the GM to not fudge, but the GM would rather fudge anyway than risk asking and having to change the way they GM (or do something with full knowledge that the players are against it).


thenobledrake wrote:
I've even had discussions with GMs that fudge liberally that were insistent that they can't ask their players, or it would "spoil the magic." And to me at least, that's evidence of believing that the players would want the GM to not fudge, but the GM would rather fudge anyway than risk asking and having to change the way they GM (or do something with full knowledge that the players are against it).

I have heard this before and I am very much of the opinion that if players would be unhappy with the "magic being spoiled" then it is better for that group to not have fudging as they would be unhappy if they suspected the GM was fudging anyway.

If the party wants an easier campaign just plan for easier encounters, that is incredibly simple to do in PF2e imo.

And for NPCs who need to stick around, it is utterly trivial for a GM to write in defenses / items / magic that lets them escape when necessary. But taking away player agency entirely even for the plot is never a good idea so I cannot fathom a situation where I would railroad that hard. (having a set storyline is fine, but if something cannot be allowed to die and there is no mechanical reason that it would survive, it is probably best that it doesn't enter a combat at that point in time narrative wise)

The last book of Abomination Vaults handles this well imo, it is simple in that case given the type of foe in question but it is an example of the author making sensible choices for the narrative.


thenobledrake wrote:


I've even had discussions with GMs that fudge liberally that were insistent that they can't ask their players, or it would "spoil the magic." And to me at least, that's evidence of believing that the players would want the GM to not fudge, but the GM would rather fudge anyway than risk asking and having to change the way they GM (or do something with full knowledge that the players are against it).

Not using a DM screen, or roll in public chat ( if you are playing on a vtt ), is the way.

There's literally no use for the screen during a combat, unless the DM wants to cheat ( somebody might argue that a player might see the enemy saving throws modifiers, and because so change attack pattern, but this wouldn't be an issue ).

Squiggit wrote:


Deriven Firelion wrote:
If the players are playing poorly and refusing to use teamwork and they TPK, that is on them.
Generally I agree, but if the players want to play unoptimized, reckless characters who don't always work the best together because that's the type of story they want to tell and the GM is smashing them to pieces to teach them a lesson, I'm not sure that's particularly great either.

Shouldn't that be on them too?

Knowing you are playing a game which rely on tactics, party cooperation and so on and creating a whole reckless party ( one character would bring no harm imo ) or even deliberately bad character ( which would be , in my opinion, intentionally given how stats work here ) seems more like a choice of them.


HumbleGamer wrote:


There's literally no use for the screen during a combat, unless the DM wants to cheat ( somebody might argue that a player might see the enemy saving throws modifiers, and because so change attack pattern, but this wouldn't be an issue ).

So you say it wouldn't be an issue. Could you elaborate on why you believe it won't be an issue?

I know that myself and a few other players in my PF1e game would absolutely change our tactics if we knew. Not because we want to but because the odds would become clear and in the moment it would be very difficult to ignore facts rather than hunches we are discovering mid play.

e.g. in PF2e I can see someone forcing a fort/ref save and knowing immediately whether the target is capable of resisting assured athletics rolls or not and changing their tactics entirely to go with guaranteed effects rather than weighing up options.

Also secret rolls are exceptionally useful for RP reasons and need a GM screen.

The unknown elements of play can add a lot to the decision making process and experience of players. I tested this via a VTT where it would show the full roll, nothing or just the result. My players quite enjoyed the speed of seeing the result, only one liked seeing the numbers and nobody saw the purpose of hiding the result if I wasn't fudging.

I have only had one player complain about secret rolls (and he has only played 3 sessions of the game). And everyone else has really enjoyed not knowing their results other than the information I give them and have leaned into roleplaying sharing of information from knowledge checks, continuing to sneak when otherwise they would have been extra cautious or turned back because their rolls were low or knowing they likely missed something in an area while searching because they rolled low.


The Gleeful Grognard wrote:
HumbleGamer wrote:


There's literally no use for the screen during a combat, unless the DM wants to cheat ( somebody might argue that a player might see the enemy saving throws modifiers, and because so change attack pattern, but this wouldn't be an issue ).

So you say it wouldn't be an issue. Could you elaborate on why you believe it won't be an issue?

Because of the aesthetic of a creature, as well as its traits.

Large ones = High fortitude and low reflexes
Slim ones = Low fortitude and high reflexes
Spellcasters = High wisdom and low fortitude
Captain/Boss/Leader = Highest enemy AC around
Undeads = Immune to mental effects
Animals = High fortitude and low will saves

All of this is general, common knowledge.
If you also perform a successful recall knowledge check you might also get additional information ( It's a fiend, Fiends are vulnerable to cold iron, or maybe that it's immune to poison, or resistant to fire, or able to cast spells, or to teleport. Depends on your score and what your DM shares with you ).

Apart from that, I am all up for using a DM screen outside the combat ( for what concerns lore, story and so on ) because a player who doesn't know something acts differently from a player who knows and have to move a character that doesn't know.

If anybody said that he would be able to move his character like he didn't know he would be lying.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
HumbleGamer wrote:
Because of the aesthetic of a creature, as well as its traits.

A creature's appearance doesn't always bely its strengths. Undead aren't all mental effect immune for instance.

Other creatures can be hiding their true form or simply don't look as threatening as their level gap may suggest.

And again, knowing a ballpark is in no way equal to knowing the exact number.


The Gleeful Grognard wrote:
HumbleGamer wrote:
Because of the aesthetic of a creature, as well as its traits.

A creature's appearance doesn't always bely its strengths. Undead aren't all mental effect immune for instance.

Other creatures can be hiding their true form or simply don't look as threatening as their level gap may suggest.

These are the exceptions I already mentioned in my example ( requiring a recall knowledge ).

The Gleeful Grognard wrote:


And again, knowing a ballpark is in no way equal to knowing the exact number.

It's different, I agree, but it doesn't change your approach at all.

Knowing that a Giant of huge size has +40 fortitude while your spell DC is 42 would help you in any way or, eventually, makes you consider not doing what you already plan to do ( which is not trying a spell which requires a fortitude save against a big creature )?

As you can see, while it's different, it won't change the player approach in any way.


3 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Pathfinder Accessories, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
HumbleGamer wrote:
There's literally no use for the screen during a combat, unless the DM wants to cheat ( somebody might argue that a player might see the enemy saving throws modifiers, and because so change attack pattern, but this wouldn't be an issue ).

I use a screen, and often have bestiary cards/minis for creatures in combat behind it. Sometimes those creatures are not yet known to the party (ambushes, summoning). Not using a screen would reveal their involvement in the combat before they do anything. Also the APs have art for creatures and hazards in them, and players that can see the art would know/suspect such a thing is coming up in the adventure, possibly in the very combat they're involved in.

So no, using screens during combat isn't literally only for GMs to cheat.


Read past that one, please.
I was only referring to combat encounters.

As for invisible creatures or not present creatures, no you won't reveal a thing in either vtt ( hidden feature) or during an encounter ( roll it before or roll different dice regardless the number of enemies, so players won't know the exact number).

Leaving apart the fact it doesn't matter when it comes to attack rolls and saves.

There you won't be able to cheat, while with a DM screen you easily could.

I am not saying it's the right thing to do, but pointing out that's the only way if you want to prevent cheating ( though you might not cheat even with a smile screen, players won't be sure of it). Leaving apart that, until now, there hasn't been a single point in favor to use a DM screen when it comes to fairness ( combat encounter, beware).


2 people marked this as a favorite.

Ironically it seems we are still discussing and putting down people that fudge even though it works for many groups. Even as going as far as to say DM screens are for “cheating” only. People need to learn that we have different ways of how to play to game and they are all valid if the group likes playing that way.

I personally don’t need the DM to roll openly as that would reveal crucial information since I often play on roll20. I don’t mind my DM fudging (if he fudges) because I trust my DM after we’ve played together for the last almost 5 years and have been friends for much longer. I trust he will do what it takes to make the game a fun experience for my group.

Now, if you are playing with a new DM or a DM with bad blood, where trust hasn’t been earned (or lost), I can see why open rolling is appealing. Either way I’m not going to knock those that like open rolling just as much as I’m not going to criticize those that prefer hidden DM rolls (secret rolls exist after all).


1 person marked this as a favorite.

Is the GM fudging if they don't meticolously plan all enemy moves to be as optimal as they possibly can?
Is the GM fudging if they decide that the enemies actually fall for the trap or decoy the players have laid?
Is the GM fudging if the foes take the party as prisoners instead of executing them?
Is the GM fudging if they don't make a deadly landslide happen while the party is moving through the dangerous canyon?

It's a fictional story, and the point is having fun together. There is always going to be some degree of fudging; saying that it can only happen (or is only 'bad') in regard to dice rolls is totally arbitrary.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
HumbleGamer wrote:
somebody might argue that a player might see the enemy saving throws modifiers, and because so change attack pattern, but this wouldn't be an issue

True. That is just one of the many instances in which people can confuse information characters should have because of what they can see/sense going on around them being communicated clearly to players via knowing the way the game works for "metagaming."

The Gleeful Grognard wrote:
So you say it wouldn't be an issue. Could you elaborate on why you believe it won't be an issue?

I'm not the poster you asked, but I can elaborate on why I agree with their statement:

If the player seeing the roll that got the result they were informed of would benefit from using that information to choose their character's next action, and the roll was a saving throw... that just means the description accompanying the result of the saving throw wasn't communicating enough information to the player in the first place.

If a character throws a spell at some creature and it doesn't work, there should be some kind of indication to the character why it didn't work out - does it seem like they just got lucky? is the explanation the caster just didn't quite nail the execution this time? or is the creature making it look easy for it to shrug this kind of effect off or get out of the way? By which I am meaning that the various different ways to arrive at a 25 result, just to put a number on it, should seem different to the character because they represent different things; 25 when adding only 6 to the die could look like the creature succeeded and they are surprised about it too, while a 25 with a 17 modifier could look like one of those moments in an action movie or a pro wrestling match when someone hits their opponent and that opponent's only visible reaction to the blow is to smile.

So being worried that players will have their characters behave differently that they currently do if they could see the dice rolls is, basically, bewing worried that the characters in the game might actually start seeming like they genuinely know whats going on around them in-world.


Megistone wrote:

Is the GM fudging if they don't meticolously plan all enemy moves to be as optimal as they possibly can?

Is the GM fudging if they decide that the enemies actually fall for the trap or decoy the players have laid?
Is the GM fudging if the foes take the party as prisoners instead of executing them?
Is the GM fudging if they don't make a deadly landslide happen while the party is moving through the dangerous canyon?

It's a fictional story, and the point is having fun together. There is always going to be some degree of fudging; saying that it can only happen (or is only 'bad') in regard to dice rolls is totally arbitrary.

Fudging is a term that refers not to any form of ad-hoc difficulty adjustment a GM can make, but to the specific case of rolling a die to generate a result and then choosing a different result to replace that one with.

And no, it's not "totally arbitrary" to single out the using results other than the ones the dice generated as a "bad" way to adjust the game experience while not labelling all the rest of these as "bad" too. It is a conclusion arrived at through reasoned thought, not arbitrary declaration, that comes down to what the players think is happening:

When a GM picks the actions of an enemy, the players think the GM is picking the actions of an enemy.
When a GM has the enemies fall for the party's ploy, without dice rolls, the players think the GM is playing into their plan (they may even feel like they are being rewarded for a good plan by the GM choosing not to randomly determine if it worked)
When a GM has the party taken prisoner instead of killed, the players think the GM is again just picking actions of the enemy (or setting the scene, as is also standard for the GM to do).
When the GM doesn't elect to have a "random disaster" strike the party, the players don't think anything of it because clearly that just wasn't the kind of challenge on the books for the day, and there is nothing that implies to them that there "should have been" one either.

But when a GM rolls a die, or has the player roll a die, and picks a different result than came up, the players think the GM is determining something randomly but that's false. It's deliberate deception, as opposed to the GM just knowing things the players don't.

And in all of the above cases you created as examples, there's no moment wherein the player can learn about what the GM actually did and feel like it invalidates the game-play they've been through - which is the case with finding out that, at least part of the time, what you thought was luck was actually your GM's whim.


I fee like thats not quite equivalent megistone. You can ‘fudge ‘ for narrative because what else is a human supposed to do? There’s no hard stats and rules on the line for those situations so it’s not a fair comparison.

However the dice rolls do have an effect. Supposedly because there are rules for their resolution even for a softer one like a diplomacy skill check. And even then there is usually a good idea of how bad failure can be.

The question is: If you are fudging why are you even rolling? And if you’re not telling your players why aren’t you?

I overtuned an encounter a few months back and straight up admitted it to the party that I had to nerf it mid battle. Because I’d rather be honest than ruin any magic in the moment.

Personally I want to know upfront if someone is fudging rolls. I may not like it but at least I know and I can respect them telling me.

My main problem with fudging is this: If you don’t want the character to fail this task then don’t ask for a roll. If it happened because of a combat think about maybe removing death from the table and be upfront with the players on this intention.


3 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
thenobledrake wrote:
But when a GM rolls a die, or has the player roll a die, and picks a different result than came up, the players think the GM is determining something randomly but that's false. It's deliberate deception, as opposed to the GM just knowing things the players don't.

With the disclaimer that I completely understand why some players and some GMs don't like fudging dice, can we please not pretend like deliberate deception isn't a decent part of what a GM does normally?

Because the majority of GMs, unless they are running straight combat encounters with little to no roleplay or politicking, are going to be deliberately deceiving their players at one point or another.

Because the players agreed to be deceived.

It's kind of a basic premise of the game.

I also don't like the suggestion that making an ad-hoc adjustment to a monster's stats is somehow different or more noble than fudging dice. Dice rolls are not some sacred thing, and mechanically speaking there's no difference between giving a monster an ad-hoc penalty to its attack roll, and just declaring that the monster missed.

Same to the suggestion that players will be able to tell when a GM fudges dice, but somehow totally incapable of noticing when a GM stops to adjust a monster's stats in the middle of combat. Both can be noticed in the same ways.

In summary, it's perfectly fine to not like fudging dice roll or ad-hoc monster adjustments on a personal level, but can we please stop implying that GMs who do so are bad GMs or are in some way abusing their players' trust?

Thanks.


MaxAstro wrote:
can we please not pretend like deliberate deception isn't a decent part of what a GM does normally?

I'm drawing a line between "I, the GM, am lying to you, the player." and other things which you may be conflating as being that same thing, such as an NPC lying to a character, or the GM simply not telling the players something.

Because yes, the players have agreed to a game in which the fictional characters can and probably will deceive each other at least some of the time, and the GM has details that they aren't going to share.

But players haven't, at least not unless specifically asked, agreed to never knowing what is a random thing and what's the GM's choice because the GM is going to tell them it's a random roll even when that's a lie.

MaxAstro wrote:
I also don't like the suggestion that making an ad-hoc adjustment to a monster's stats is somehow different or more noble than fudging dice. Dice rolls are not some sacred thing, and mechanically speaking there's no difference between giving a monster an ad-hoc penalty to its attack roll, and just declaring that the monster missed.

If you're talking about my example of my GM deciding to apply the weak template to a creature mid-combat, you've confused the difference I was saying made that a better option. It's not that it is the monster's stats, rather than the roll, were changed - it's that the change was made with the players knowing it was being made rather than the GM trying to pretend he wasn't making any adjustments.

And if you were speaking generally, I agree - it doesn't matter if you say the die was a 10 when it was actually a 15, or you decide the creature only has a +20 to the roll instead of a +25, that's the same thing if you're doing it mid-encounter and trying to hide that fact from the players. And as it's the same thing, I don't support the GM doing either.

MaxAstro wrote:
can we please stop implying that GMs who do so are bad GMs or are in some way abusing their players' trust?

I'm drawing another line here, too. There's good GMs who use fudging as a tool in their repertoire, but they are open and honest with their players about that being the case and as a result the players are actually able to say "I'm fine with that" or "I'll find a different group to play with, then, thanks."

The ones that I will not stop stating, as it's not an implication, are bad GMs are the ones that insist on fudging even if their players don't like it, and the ones that have no idea whether or not their players like it because they refuse to ever admit to the players that they use fudging in the first place. Because that is, definitionally, an abuse of their players' trust.


5 people marked this as a favorite.

This thread has devolved into a strange hill to die on. If the group is having fun (both players and DM) then who are we to judge, fudging or no fudging? Don’t fix what isn’t broken. Now if players are upset because they dislike fudging and they think their DM is fudging, well that’s a different story that can be resolved with an adult discussion between the players and DM. Certainly nothing that this online discussion will help resolve


thenobledrake wrote:
MaxAstro wrote:
can we please not pretend like deliberate deception isn't a decent part of what a GM does normally?

I'm drawing a line between "I, the GM, am lying to you, the player." and other things which you may be conflating as being that same thing, such as an NPC lying to a character, or the GM simply not telling the players something.

Because yes, the players have agreed to a game in which the fictional characters can and probably will deceive each other at least some of the time, and the GM has details that they aren't going to share.

But players haven't, at least not unless specifically asked, agreed to never knowing what is a random thing and what's the GM's choice because the GM is going to tell them it's a random roll even when that's a lie.

MaxAstro wrote:
I also don't like the suggestion that making an ad-hoc adjustment to a monster's stats is somehow different or more noble than fudging dice. Dice rolls are not some sacred thing, and mechanically speaking there's no difference between giving a monster an ad-hoc penalty to its attack roll, and just declaring that the monster missed.

If you're talking about my example of my GM deciding to apply the weak template to a creature mid-combat, you've confused the difference I was saying made that a better option. It's not that it is the monster's stats, rather than the roll, were changed - it's that the change was made with the players knowing it was being made rather than the GM trying to pretend he wasn't making any adjustments.

And if you were speaking generally, I agree - it doesn't matter if you say the die was a 10 when it was actually a 15, or you decide the creature only has a +20 to the roll instead of a +25, that's the same thing if you're doing it mid-encounter and trying to hide that fact from the players. And as it's the same thing, I don't support the GM doing either.

MaxAstro wrote:
can we please stop implying that GMs who do so are bad GMs or are in some way abusing their players'
...

As a player, I don't want to know if the GM fudged the dice. I did not sign on to know everything they do or why. I do not need to know that. Doing so is not a violation of my trust.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
MaxAstro wrote:
thenobledrake wrote:
But when a GM rolls a die, or has the player roll a die, and picks a different result than came up, the players think the GM is determining something randomly but that's false. It's deliberate deception, as opposed to the GM just knowing things the players don't.

With the disclaimer that I completely understand why some players and some GMs don't like fudging dice, can we please not pretend like deliberate deception isn't a decent part of what a GM does normally?

Because the majority of GMs, unless they are running straight combat encounters with little to no roleplay or politicking, are going to be deliberately deceiving their players at one point or another.

Because the players agreed to be deceived.

It's kind of a basic premise of the game.

I also don't like the suggestion that making an ad-hoc adjustment to a monster's stats is somehow different or more noble than fudging dice. Dice rolls are not some sacred thing, and mechanically speaking there's no difference between giving a monster an ad-hoc penalty to its attack roll, and just declaring that the monster missed.

Same to the suggestion that players will be able to tell when a GM fudges dice, but somehow totally incapable of noticing when a GM stops to adjust a monster's stats in the middle of combat. Both can be noticed in the same ways.

In summary, it's perfectly fine to not like fudging dice roll or ad-hoc monster adjustments on a personal level, but can we please stop implying that GMs who do so are bad GMs or are in some way abusing their players' trust?

Thanks.

Thank you. A lot of people made me feel like a bad guy in this thread. Dm screen is one of my tools for making sure my players enjoy themselves


2 people marked this as a favorite.
WWHsmackdown wrote:
MaxAstro wrote:
thenobledrake wrote:
But when a GM rolls a die, or has the player roll a die, and picks a different result than came up, the players think the GM is determining something randomly but that's false. It's deliberate deception, as opposed to the GM just knowing things the players don't.

With the disclaimer that I completely understand why some players and some GMs don't like fudging dice, can we please not pretend like deliberate deception isn't a decent part of what a GM does normally?

Because the majority of GMs, unless they are running straight combat encounters with little to no roleplay or politicking, are going to be deliberately deceiving their players at one point or another.

Because the players agreed to be deceived.

It's kind of a basic premise of the game.

I also don't like the suggestion that making an ad-hoc adjustment to a monster's stats is somehow different or more noble than fudging dice. Dice rolls are not some sacred thing, and mechanically speaking there's no difference between giving a monster an ad-hoc penalty to its attack roll, and just declaring that the monster missed.

Same to the suggestion that players will be able to tell when a GM fudges dice, but somehow totally incapable of noticing when a GM stops to adjust a monster's stats in the middle of combat. Both can be noticed in the same ways.

In summary, it's perfectly fine to not like fudging dice roll or ad-hoc monster adjustments on a personal level, but can we please stop implying that GMs who do so are bad GMs or are in some way abusing their players' trust?

Thanks.

Thank you. A lot of people made me feel like a bad guy in this thread. Dm screen is one of my tools for making sure my players enjoy themselves

You're not a bad guy. It seems that some here have very strong opinions on how others should run their games and what constitutes a good time. Fun is entirely subjective and don't let others beat you down for what works for your group.


Pathfinder Pawns, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

Closest thing to a fudge I've ever done in several years was when 3 of the 4 PCs are trying to take an NPC alive, then the 4th PC uses a cantrip that KILLS said NPC (because most spells don't have a nonlethal option and the PC wanted to feel like they were doing something). For all intents and purposes, the NPC was dead, as many of them at 0 HP are want to do. However, when another player said "I move up and cast a healing spell to stabilize the dying NPC" I simply said "sure, you stop the bleeding. He is now unconscious and Wounded 1."


2 people marked this as a favorite.
fanatic66 wrote:
WWHsmackdown wrote:
MaxAstro wrote:
thenobledrake wrote:
But when a GM rolls a die, or has the player roll a die, and picks a different result than came up, the players think the GM is determining something randomly but that's false. It's deliberate deception, as opposed to the GM just knowing things the players don't.

With the disclaimer that I completely understand why some players and some GMs don't like fudging dice, can we please not pretend like deliberate deception isn't a decent part of what a GM does normally?

Because the majority of GMs, unless they are running straight combat encounters with little to no roleplay or politicking, are going to be deliberately deceiving their players at one point or another.

Because the players agreed to be deceived.

It's kind of a basic premise of the game.

I also don't like the suggestion that making an ad-hoc adjustment to a monster's stats is somehow different or more noble than fudging dice. Dice rolls are not some sacred thing, and mechanically speaking there's no difference between giving a monster an ad-hoc penalty to its attack roll, and just declaring that the monster missed.

Same to the suggestion that players will be able to tell when a GM fudges dice, but somehow totally incapable of noticing when a GM stops to adjust a monster's stats in the middle of combat. Both can be noticed in the same ways.

In summary, it's perfectly fine to not like fudging dice roll or ad-hoc monster adjustments on a personal level, but can we please stop implying that GMs who do so are bad GMs or are in some way abusing their players' trust?

Thanks.

Thank you. A lot of people made me feel like a bad guy in this thread. Dm screen is one of my tools for making sure my players enjoy themselves
You're not a bad guy. It seems that some here have very strong opinions on how others should run their games and what constitutes a good time. Fun is entirely subjective and don't let others beat you down for what works for your...

Yea as long as the players are enjoying themselves you've accomplished your mission as game curator


Pathfinder Pawns, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
WWHsmackdown wrote:
Yea as long as the players are enjoying themselves you've accomplished your mission as game curator.

That's certainly enough! :)


WWHsmackdown wrote:
MaxAstro wrote:
thenobledrake wrote:
But when a GM rolls a die, or has the player roll a die, and picks a different result than came up, the players think the GM is determining something randomly but that's false. It's deliberate deception, as opposed to the GM just knowing things the players don't.

With the disclaimer that I completely understand why some players and some GMs don't like fudging dice, can we please not pretend like deliberate deception isn't a decent part of what a GM does normally?

Because the majority of GMs, unless they are running straight combat encounters with little to no roleplay or politicking, are going to be deliberately deceiving their players at one point or another.

Because the players agreed to be deceived.

It's kind of a basic premise of the game.

I also don't like the suggestion that making an ad-hoc adjustment to a monster's stats is somehow different or more noble than fudging dice. Dice rolls are not some sacred thing, and mechanically speaking there's no difference between giving a monster an ad-hoc penalty to its attack roll, and just declaring that the monster missed.

Same to the suggestion that players will be able to tell when a GM fudges dice, but somehow totally incapable of noticing when a GM stops to adjust a monster's stats in the middle of combat. Both can be noticed in the same ways.

In summary, it's perfectly fine to not like fudging dice roll or ad-hoc monster adjustments on a personal level, but can we please stop implying that GMs who do so are bad GMs or are in some way abusing their players' trust?

Thanks.

Thank you. A lot of people made me feel like a bad guy in this thread. Dm screen is one of my tools for making sure my players enjoy themselves

Not much to do with good or bad. My players just wouldn't like it. They like everything done out in the open. If your players don't mind, then no harm no foul.

Dark Archive

I roll openly anyway, so only sort of "fudging" I do is being like "Eeeeeeeeeeh, I can maybe give you circumstance bonus based on that" if that counts xD

But yeah, is this derail now finished? I know people have strong feelings on fudging but this thread isn't about that

51 to 91 of 91 << first < prev | 1 | 2 | next > last >>
Community / Forums / Pathfinder / Pathfinder Second Edition / General Discussion / Your Experience: Is 2E Combat Shorter or Longer? All Messageboards

Want to post a reply? Sign in.