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  1. #161
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gibili View Post
    Yes, if it helps the fun of the game to have the monster hit when the dice say that it missed, then I say the monster hit. If the monster is missing all the time and so is no threat to the players, then I might well ignore the dice and say that it hit.
    There's another way to look at this. Some players will try to boost their armor class, so that they can tank monsters. Your armor class provide a rough estimate of the likelyhood of getting hit by monsters. By declaring misses as hits, you are undermining the armor class system, by skewing the statistics in favor of the monsters. I have a player in my group who is able to boost his armor class to ludicrous amounts, but what I will not do is have monsters hit him, when in fact they missed. Instead, I'll occasionally throw opponents at my players that undermine some of their most popular strategies and attack their weaknesses. I'll have spellcasters dispell their armor-class boosting spells, or I'll use monsters with abilities that ignore armor class, or can grapple. I'll have the occasional foe ignore their tank, and deliberately attack their squishy backline. This means that I'm challenging my players, without completely undermining their character builds.

    Quote Originally Posted by Gibili View Post
    I very, very rarely convert an ordinary DM dice roll into a crit. Sometimes it can be done to great effect though. If you actually tell the players that your NPC has crited then it usually gets a sharp intake of breath from the players, which is great. Use this with suitable care I would say. Less is more effective. If you fudge a crit, and then roll a real one on the next turn, make a judgement about whether to convert back the other way.
    So you effectively solve a problem that you've created for yourself. This is the problem with fudging; players and monsters will always have lucky and unlucky streaks from time to time. By fudging the dice, you can make these streaks much worse. During my last session, one of my monsters scored a crit twice in a row, which was bad. But at least those two crits didn't get stacked on top of a crit that I already fudged.

    And sometimes monsters will just be rolling like garbage throughout the fight. That's okay. If the monsters are doing bad, maybe they flee, or maybe they try a different strategy? Your players will not mind having an easy fight every now and then. Not every fight has to result in severe or moderate injuries to their characters. It is okay if their solid strategies and character builds are rewarding for them. If you want to challenge them, there are other ways to do it without a need to fudge.

    I'm saying this as a DM who used to fudge in the past, and has since learned that the game is a lot more fun when you don't.
    Last edited by Imaculata; Saturday, 23rd June, 2018 at 10:15 AM.
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  2. #162
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    Quote Originally Posted by Imaculata View Post
    There's another way to look at this. Some players will try to boost their armor class, so that they can tank monsters. Your armor class provide a rough estimate of the likelyhood of getting hit by monsters. By declaring misses as hits, you are undermining the armor class system, by skewing the statistics in favor of the monsters. I have a player in my group who is able to boost his armor class to ludicrous amounts, but what I will not do is have monsters hit him, when in fact they missed. Instead, I'll occasionally throw opponents at my players that undermine some of their most popular strategies and attack their weaknesses. I'll have spellcasters dispell their armor-class boosting spells, or I'll use monsters with abilities that ignore armor class, or can grapple. I'll have the occasional foe ignore their tank, and deliberately attack their squishy backline. This means that I'm challenging my players, without completely undermining their character builds.
    He isn't, though. If a player can expect his PC to be hit 20% of the time, but the luck gods have the DM rolling at a 5% hit rate, fudging the numbers up so that you hit that 20% mark does't really skew the statistics in favor of the monsters. Especially if you do the reverse when the luck gods have you rolling crit after crit. It's reeeaaaaally easy for the DM to see and modify things so that the players are having more fun.

    So you effectively solve a problem that you've created for yourself. This is the problem with fudging; players and monsters will always have lucky and unlucky streaks from time to time. By fudging the dice, you can make these streaks much worse. During my last session, one of my monsters scored a crit twice in a row, which was bad. But at least those two crits didn't get stacked on top of a crit that I already fudged.
    There is no such problem with fudging. As he said, if you fudge a crit and someone luck provides one or two more, it takes less than half a second to make one of the following crits a hit or a miss. No problem at all.

    And sometimes monsters will just be rolling like garbage throughout the fight. That's okay. If the monsters are doing bad, maybe they flee, or maybe they try a different strategy? Your players will not mind having an easy fight every now and then. Not every fight has to result in severe or moderate injuries to their characters. It is okay if their solid strategies and character builds are rewarding for them. If you want to challenge them, there are other ways to do it without a need to fudge.
    I agree with this. However, it's a letdown for the players if this happens during a BBEG fight. I will fudge things to keep the BBEG fight from being a let down, and I will fudge things during those very, very rare times when the luck gods have the players rolling like crap, and my dice rolling crit after crit. I'm not going to TPK the group over bad luck during some piddly encounter. In the latter instance, I will fudge a few rolls in favor of the PCs to even things up. They might still lose or even TPK, but it won't be just due to some bad luck.
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  3. #163
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    Quote Originally Posted by Imaculata View Post
    There's another way to look at this. Some players will try to boost their armor class, so that they can tank monsters. Your armor class provide a rough estimate of the likelyhood of getting hit by monsters. By declaring misses as hits, you are undermining the armor class system, by skewing the statistics in favor of the monsters. I have a player in my group who is able to boost his armor class to ludicrous amounts, but what I will not do is have monsters hit him, when in fact they missed. Instead, I'll occasionally throw opponents at my players that undermine some of their most popular strategies and attack their weaknesses. I'll have spellcasters dispell their armor-class boosting spells, or I'll use monsters with abilities that ignore armor class, or can grapple. I'll have the occasional foe ignore their tank, and deliberately attack their squishy backline. This means that I'm challenging my players, without completely undermining their character builds.
    Yep, totally agree. There are many ways to balance and adjust, and they are almost always better than fudging dice. The thread was about cheating, primarily on dice rolls in my mind, so I only really focused on that but I also do everything you write above. At the end of the day we just want to make sure it is exciting. The dice adjustment is something I only do rarely. Personally I also like the random element the DMs dice create in a fight, or any other situation. It makes it more interesting for me as a DM, which probably means it wil be more interesting to the players too.

    Quote Originally Posted by Imaculata View Post
    So you effectively solve a problem that you've created for yourself. This is the problem with fudging; players and monsters will always have lucky and unlucky streaks from time to time. By fudging the dice, you can make these streaks much worse. During my last session, one of my monsters scored a crit twice in a row, which was bad. But at least those two crits didn't get stacked on top of a crit that I already fudged.
    Yep, it is a slippery slope, which is why I rarely do it. If you are constantly adjusting DM dice rolls you are like a driver swerving from kerb to kerb across a road, constantly over compensating. Not good and not fun. If I fudge a crit, it is for effect a crit has on the players rather than say simply damage output of the NPC. I'm engendering a sense of extra risk or impact.

    Quote Originally Posted by Imaculata View Post
    And sometimes monsters will just be rolling like garbage throughout the fight. That's okay. If the monsters are doing bad, maybe they flee, or maybe they try a different strategy? Your players will not mind having an easy fight every now and then. Not every fight has to result in severe or moderate injuries to their characters. It is okay if their solid strategies and character builds are rewarding for them. If you want to challenge them, there are other ways to do it without a need to fudge.
    I'm saying this as a DM who used to fudge in the past, and has since learned that the game is a lot more fun when you don't.
    Again, I agree. If you as a DM can come up with a plausible reason for the choices the NPCs make then it is a much better sell, it is better story building. much more interesting for the players, and the likely responses you get from them as a result. It can lead to them coming up with ideas or why the monster ran, it can lead to you the DM coming up with ideas for why the monster might have run and whole side quests and more can come to fruition. I think some of our most fun moments have come from bits of the game that came about spontaneously. Just "the monster hits, the monster misses, the monster hits" adds very little to anything. If you as a DM can be more creative then it tends to engender the same in the players. I've always found players a great source of storylines with the things they say sometime even just in jest. I remember one situation where someone jokingly said, "It would be really funny right now if these rocks turned out to be living". No sooner said than done sir. And it was!

    So ignoring dice, is the DM cheating when he changes the story, capabilities and action of the NPCs?

    Every fight shouldn't be a toughie. It's like a piece of music where you need the quiet bits to throw the louder bits into sharper relief and visa versa. Hmm, I think I'm badly mixing art forms here
    So similarly. you need the troughs in action to make the peaks work. Combat itself needs breaking up with travel, investigation, NPC interaction (that doesn't involving hitting them), intra-party discussion...or bickering, shopping, or whatever.
    I remember the first time I saw Peter Jackson's The Hobbit. It just felt to me like constant, unrelenting action, which got boring quite frankly. Don't these people ever talk to each other?

    Anyway, this is a fun discussion. I hope there are budding DMs out there taking notes.
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  4. #164
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    Quote Originally Posted by Maxperson View Post
    I agree with this. However, it's a letdown for the players if this happens during a BBEG fight. I will fudge things to keep the BBEG fight from being a let down, and I will fudge things during those very, very rare times when the luck gods have the players rolling like crap, and my dice rolling crit after crit. I'm not going to TPK the group over bad luck during some piddly encounter. In the latter instance, I will fudge a few rolls in favor of the PCs to even things up. They might still lose or even TPK, but it won't be just due to some bad luck.
    Yes, exactly. Of course sometimes as a DM there is nothing you can do. We were playing many years ago and the players, of which I was one, could not roll dice for toffee. I have never seen an entire party roll like that in 30+ years of playing. Individuals certainly but not everyone! Poor DM didn't stand a chance. There wasn't even something subtle he could do. Something extreme on the DM's part wouldn't have helped because even if mysteriously the enemy were suddenly replaced by school kids, they still would have kicked sand in our faces. We really were that bad. Of course it has become legendary in the group and still makes us laugh to this day, but it also led to some interesting twists in the overall plot as we then had to work out how to continue to pursue the quest in the light of the abject failure. A silver lining.
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  5. #165
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    Now, that it is clear you all are cheaters or lie about your cheating - can I interest you in some finely crafted dice towers?



    Only had one player in 40+ years of gaming who was a habitual cheater. Asked everyone to roll in the middle of the table in a custom dice bowl and it took care of that problem. I probably would not have done anything, but it was really bothering another couple of players. I'm in the camp - if it is so important to you to cheat so your PC can succeed - let it go.
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  6. #166
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gibili View Post
    Yes, exactly. Of course sometimes as a DM there is nothing you can do. We were playing many years ago and the players, of which I was one, could not roll dice for toffee. I have never seen an entire party roll like that in 30+ years of playing. Individuals certainly but not everyone! Poor DM didn't stand a chance. There wasn't even something subtle he could do. Something extreme on the DM's part wouldn't have helped because even if mysteriously the enemy were suddenly replaced by school kids, they still would have kicked sand in our faces. We really were that bad. Of course it has become legendary in the group and still makes us laugh to this day, but it also led to some interesting twists in the overall plot as we then had to work out how to continue to pursue the quest in the light of the abject failure. A silver lining.
    Yeah. Sometimes there's nothing you can do. I will also address something I missed in @Imaculata's post. Solid strategies. If the players come up with a great plan and turn a challenging encounter into an easy, or even trivial one, so be it. I'm not going to negate player effort and planning.
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  7. #167
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sunseeker View Post
    I think a lot of people are misunderstanding what cheating fundamentally is.

    Personally, the perception is the only thing that matters to me. If the players feel cheated, I'm going to avoid doing things that make them feel cheated, even things that aren't cheating! If the players don't feel cheated, I'm going to keep doing things that may even include cheating! Because "fun" is not defined by adherence to the rules, "fun" is defined by a positive collective experience. If the players have that, who cares?
    IMO, one of the most difficult aspects of the game, for a DM, is to do something which the players don't like(which, basically, is what you are there to do, with the tacit agreement they will accept it) and NOT give them the perception they have been cheated.

    Imaculata, as to unlucky streaks, one thing you can do for a player suffering from one-itis is to offer to allow them to roll
    3D6 instead of a D20. This will reduce their lowest roll to a three, and generally produce results at or slightly ahead of the
    bell curve.
    Last edited by Les Moore; Sunday, 24th June, 2018 at 01:43 AM.

  8. #168
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    Sorry Maxperson but this is just rubbish. "Solid strategies"? "players come up with a great plan"? Who are these mythical beasts of which you speak
    I can definitely say that when we play, we check our brains in at the door. Some of the plans we've come up with over the years have been just truly, madly, deeply insane, but hugely funny

    Being serious for a second, I agree. I would never do anything negative because the players are out thinking the DM...albeit that it isn't that hard to do.

    In a similar vein, if a player comes up with a great idea, something brilliantly spectacular or some wonderful dialogue/bull with an NPC, I won't even ask them to roll for it. I'll just tell them they succeed. Hell, I want it to happen, let alone the player!
    Again, it's about making the game fun, not about slavishly following the rules and mechanics. It would be a terrible thing, as you say, to reward their ingenuity, sense of fun and attempts to be more creative by slapping them down.
    Last edited by Gibili; Sunday, 24th June, 2018 at 08:30 AM. Reason: change forbidden word
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  9. #169
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    Quote Originally Posted by pogre View Post
    Now, that it is clear you all are cheaters or lie about your cheating - can I interest you in some finely crafted dice towers?


    As a player, on big, important rolls, I like rolling very conspicuously in the middle of the table so everyone can see. It does add a sense of drama and tension to the result, especially for me if I turn away as I roll so the other players have to tell me the outcome.

    Quote Originally Posted by pogre View Post
    Only had one player in 40+ years of gaming who was a habitual cheater. Asked everyone to roll in the middle of the table in a custom dice bowl and it took care of that problem. I probably would not have done anything, but it was really bothering another couple of players. I'm in the camp - if it is so important to you to cheat so your PC can succeed - let it go.
    Yeah, that's a real shame. There's fudging things a bit on a rare occasion, which I have no problem with, and then there is habitual cheating, which just spoils it for everyone. There is something painfully desperate about someone who does that.


    So here's a question for everyone...has anyone ever cheated their dice roll to make the result worse? I've done that on a couple of occasions, when I've known that a fumble will just throw everything into chaos and make an encounter that even more fun, so I've "cheated" and declared that I fumbled.

  10. #170
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    Quote Originally Posted by Les Moore View Post
    IMO, one of the most difficult aspects of the game, for a DM, is to do something which the players don't like(which, basically, is what you are there to do, with the tacit agreement they will accept it) and NOT give them the perception they have been cheated.
    Sure, and there are times when it's obviously on the DMs side to adjust for a perceived cheat, and there are times when the player needs to adjust their perspective.

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