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  1. #91
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    So out of curiosity, when does Fudging get the same treatment as Edition Warring?

    "Oh no, ENWorld, don't open that door! The Fudging monster is gonna get ya!"

 

  • #92
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    Quote Originally Posted by JustinAlexander View Post
    Most people who talk about fudging being a good idea talk about using fudging to "increase the fun".

    But I've discovered that fudging usually does the exact opposite of that: It removes the memorable and unique experiences and replaces them with whatever prepackaged experience the GM was planning.

    A key example is In the Depths of Khunbaral. If I was the type of GM who fudged outcomes, I'd probably think something like, "Oh no! They've just killed the BBEG in a single action! That's no fun at all! I'll just fudge this by claiming he had fortification armor."

    But if I had done that, I would have eradicated one of the most memorable moments I've experienced in 20 years of gaming.

    Meanwhile, on the other side of the screen, I can frequently tell when the GM is fudging. It rarely seems to have a positive impact on the game: It lowers the stakes, trivializes my involvement, and generally deflates the table.

    Ultimately, I've come to the conclusion that fudging is a deeply flawed technique that's used to paper over the failures of weak GMs. (Or, in many cases, reinforce their failures. For example, when fudging is used to keep a railroad on track.)
    So basically you are saying that those of us do fudge don't have a clue about what we are talking about that we are weak DMs?

    I have a real issue with people who can't acknowledge that their experiences may not be universal.


    I fudge if I think it is in the best interest of the game. I don't do it to protect my plot because while I have an idea what is going on in the world the PCs have all the power to change it and just have my world react to what the PCs do.

    I don't do it to stop the PCs from winning and don't often do it to stop the PCs from losing. In my current campaign I think I have fudged twice maybe three times to give a PC a chance to live and this campaign has been running since 2008. And in two of those times there were reasons. Like not having a player lose two characters back to back. I still hurt him and he had to spend action points to save himself. I just didn't choose to kill him outright.

    I really think anyone using the term cheating or lying is really in the wrong. If your players know upfront that you may fudge then you are not cheating and as DM it is only lying if you say you don't do it but you do.

    I had a conversation about this at my son birthday dinner. He is a gamer and so are all of his freinds. I was surprised to hear one of his friends say that as a DM I didn't have the right to change monsters to fit my game better that the fact that sentient creatures in my game get to choose their alignment the same as PCs so a silver dragon maybe be evil and a red dragon may not be is a form of cheating.

    He also felt that if you introduce a plot hook about something bad being planned for the world and the PCs chose not to do anything about it but something else instead and you let the plot unfold where the bad thing happens that is rail roading. That is such a foreign way to play to me I like a living breathing organic world where while the story is the PCs the world does not revolve around them things happen off stage.

    That is also the style of game I prefer to play in as well. In one of my favorite campaigns we didn't manage to stop an apocalypse we missed some clues had some encounters where we lost so that BBEG won the war. That changed our game to instead of trying to stop it but now trying to fix it. I ceertainly didn't see this has any kind of rail roading as a matter of fact I see it as the opposite.
    Last edited by Elf Witch; Wednesday, 10th October, 2012 at 04:15 AM.
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  • #93
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    Quote Originally Posted by Umbran View Post
    I asked my players about this before I began my Deadlands game - they have no problem if I fudge on occasion.
    I have no problem with this.

    Here are my personal criteria for when it is ok to fudge:

    1) If the game is centred on drama and story, not on challenge or the exploration of an objective environment.
    2) If the ruleset used does not fully support drama/story creation play, eg you are trying to use d20/D&D for this. I played in a Midnight campaign, d20 ruleset terrible fit for the dramatist campaign. This assumes there is no metagame mechanic such as Fate Points available, or they are undesired for some reason.
    3) If you have player consent.

    If all three criteria are met, then the GM can, and probably should, use their discretion to fudge.

    I would tend to think that in most cases a player-side resource such as Fate Points used to influence the story might be a better approach than GM-side fudging; fudging in practice often seems to be kept secret in order to maintain an illusion that the players are actually playing a challenge-based or environment-simulation game, not a story-creation game, and I don't like that sort of illusionist play. But other groups may like that illusion, where eg the player can believe they overcame a genuine challenge, but the GM knows he fudged to save them.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Olgar Shiverstone View Post
    Average DMs fudge die rolls; great DMs fudge tactics. You can roll in the open and let the chips fall where they may, and the players will never notice when the evil ogre fails to take the finishing swing on the wounded wizard in favor of the "more dangerous" fighter.
    I normally pre-decide this sort of thing based on the creature, so I don't regard it as fudging. Certainly in 4e my ogres or orcs won't initially CDG dying PCs (although they would certainly finish off a wounded wizard before turning on the Fighter!*). Often I will be explicit to the players. Eg on Monday with the black dragon, leader of an assassins' gang, first time a PC went down I said:

    "The black dragon currently believes downed PCs are dead or dying, so will not coup de gras them. Once you start popping up again her tactics will change."

    So they were forewarned when after the first PC bounce-back she started using actions to CDG. For two very badly wounded PCs just off neg-bloodied I gave her DC 25 Perception rolls (+12 on check) to tell they weren't dead yet, but she made both checks. I was particularly vicious as I let her CDG on a First Bite, so she was doing it twice a round.

    *One player did express some resentment when the demon Naarash turned away from pounding on the very tough Paladin, sucked up a Mark sanction, and squashed his Bard PC Esme instead, taking a final attack to finish her off. It seemed both tactically optimal & dramatically appropriate to me. Esme did get raised later.
    Last edited by S'mon; Wednesday, 10th October, 2012 at 08:55 AM.
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    eriktheguy, on S'mon's latest idea:
    There are 2 major problems with your idea:
    1: It is far too awesome
    2: see 1

  • #95
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cadence View Post
    Thanks for all the answers. Always interesting to see whats going on outside of my own little gaming bubble.

    For the non-encounter-fudgers, what do you do if a party member (or two) can't attend a game session? (e.g. have the characters NPC'd, have someone else run them, robot them in the background unless there's and emergency, or come up with an excuse for them to wander off and adjust things down? -- needing everyone isn't an option for us unless we want to give up all hope of a regularly scheduled game).
    Normally I just run the encounter as-is and the depleted PC group takes their chances. Absent player = absent PC.

    Occasionally if there is a depleted group, and I am running 4e adventure-of-the-week rather than status quo sandbox, and I have previously upscaled a lower level adventure by eg making monsters Elite, and several players/PCs are absent, then before the fight starts I may remove some or all of my upgrades. It seems unfair to upscale a threat for a stronger group and then not downscale when they are weaker. I'm not all that comfortable with upscaling/downscaling, but with 4e it seems necessary. I don't do it once the fight starts, and I don't fudge dice rolls.
    ***Henry/S'mon Super Quick d20 NPC Generation System*** The Gods of the Copybook Headings With Terror and Slaughter Return!

    eriktheguy, on S'mon's latest idea:
    There are 2 major problems with your idea:
    1: It is far too awesome
    2: see 1

  • #96
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cadence View Post
    Tangentially, shouldn't the really old evil thing with the high int and wis, who has led lots of other past do-gooders to their deaths and seen how they've fared against his minions, have figured out that they should train their less intelligent minions to always stab the unconcious invader one more time?
    No, not in 4e D&D - in 4e only PCs and PC-associated Companion Characters normally bounce back. The BBEG, his cohorts, and any prior non-PC adventurers all die at 0 hp.
    ***Henry/S'mon Super Quick d20 NPC Generation System*** The Gods of the Copybook Headings With Terror and Slaughter Return!

    eriktheguy, on S'mon's latest idea:
    There are 2 major problems with your idea:
    1: It is far too awesome
    2: see 1

  • #97
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    Sorry - multi-post while system problems persisted...
    Last edited by Balesir; Wednesday, 10th October, 2012 at 04:41 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Elf Witch View Post
    I had a conversation about this at my son birthday dinner. He is a gamer and so are all of his freinds. I was surprised to hear one of his friends say that as a DM I didn't have the right to change monsters to fit my game better that the fact that sentient creatures in my game get to choose their alignment the same as PCs so a silver dragon maybe be evil and a red dragon may not be is a form of cheating.

    He also felt that if you introduce a plot hook about something bad being planned for the world and the PCs chose not to do anything about it but something else instead and you let the plot unfold where the bad thing happens that is rail roading.
    It seems to me that what you are guilty of, here, is stifling your son's friend's creativity. He has all sorts of creative new ways in which to interpret the (previously narrowly understood) words "cheating" and "railroading". A good set of (language) rules would not limit these words to the boring and limited meanings that you seem to ascribe to them - it would allow the speakers to use their creativity to come up with new meanings and uses for the words, just as your son's friend did.

    And, yes, just for the avoidance of doubt - I am joking!
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    Sorry - multi-post while system problems persisted...
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    Quote Originally Posted by Umbran View Post
    Note how nobody seems to be saying that they *always* fudge to make things come out exactly as they want them?
    [snip]
    It isn't a "one-method-fits-all" kind of thing. For some groups it is a good tool, for others it is a lousy one. Know your players, and you can figure out if it is right for your table.
    Absolutely. What works well for one group can go over like a rocket exploding too early for another.
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