D&D General Dice Fudging and Twist Endings

DMZ2112

Chaotic Looseleaf
In this particular area, however, it is possible to achieve perfection, at least where removing the necessity of fudging is concerned, and it's actually really easy. Here's how:

Before you call for a die roll, think about (and maybe even announce) what success and failure look like. Assuming everyone's good with those two outcomes, roll the dice and do what they say. Either way, you win!
Your mistake is in assuming that anyone is arguing that fudging is necessary. I don't believe anyone is. It's a choice, and indeed, a preference. Just like your style of play.

Also, any statement that begins with "it is possible to achieve perfection" is necessarily false. What you propose is a decent strategy if it aligns with the goals of your table, but it is hardly failsafe.
 

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iserith

Magic Wordsmith
Your mistake is in assuming that anyone is arguing that fudging is necessary. I don't believe anyone is. It's a choice, and indeed, a preference. Just like your style of play.

Also, any statement that begins with "it is possible to achieve perfection" is necessarily false. What you propose is a decent strategy if it aligns with the goals of your table, but it is hardly failsafe.
I see fudging as a kludge to deal with an underlying problem. So if it is a preference, it looks to me like a preference for not going a little deeper to the source of the issue and removing it. It's possible some DMs aren't aware how they are the cause, even though they are regularly setting the very stakes they are at times rejecting.

As for my statement on perfection, I qualified that in the post you quoted.
 

soviet

Hero
For me it's not about perfection because there isn't a right or wrong answer. Let's just roll to see what happens. If a PC fails, or dies, or whatever - fine.

I've run D&D 2e, WFRP, Rolemaster, and Other Worlds over the last few years and never fudged once. I actually make fudging impossible for myself by rolling out in the open and stating target numbers in advance.
 

ad_hoc

(they/them)
I'd go a step further and note that perfection is not achievable, regardless of how much control one exerts or thinks they are exerting over the variables, and a major part of the point of enjoying a TTRPG is ceding part of that control to others to allow oneself to be surprised.

But there are good surprises and bad surprises. When my players make a choice I didn't expect and don't like, I do my best to adapt and honor that choice. When a cheap plastic Platonic solid makes a choice I didn't expect and don't like, it can get f**ked.

It's worth noting that when one of my players makes a choice I didn't expect and that the other players don't like, in many circumstances, they can also get f**ked.

Lately my attitude has been that TTRPGs are non-competitive games, and if anyone isn't having a good time, a Mulligan may be best practice even when dice are not involved.

If you're not going to go with the roll why roll it?

This isn't about narrative vs combat games.

When I play sometimes we go for quite some time between rolling dice.

But when we do roll it has a meaning and consequence.

Things can happen that I don't just dictate and I love that about the game.

I'm happy with the DM making decisions but I'm quitting if they're just having me pretend to roll already knowing what they are going to make the result.
 

Xamnam

Loves Your Favorite Game
My thoughts on this were swayed a bit a little while ago when watching an Adventuring Academy episode, with Branson Reese. While not on the topic of dice directly, Brennan said:
[...]what is the difference in the authorial integrity of something I made up at the table in response to a question you asked or something I made up on my couch eating Oreos yesterday? Like, what is so much more valid? People put this magical importance on prep work as though, because I came up with it in my underwear, at my computer at one o'clock in the morning the night before, now it has this air of authority and integrity to it. Why? Based on what? And I said I think something that I make up at the table has just as much integrity and validity as something that I made up a week or a month prior.

Looking at it that way, if I'm sitting at the table, and I realize that I have miscrafted something that now isn't working towards the goals I had intended of it, why should I be beholden to the mistake I made earlier? Refraining from correcting my math error does not inherently make the game better when a creature is connecting far more frequently than designed, or a meant-to-be slight diversion turns into an implacable obstacle.
 

DEFCON 1

Legend
Supporter
I see fudging as a kludge to deal with an underlying problem. So if it is a preference, it looks to me like a preference for not going a little deeper to the source of the issue and removing it. It's possible some DMs aren't aware how they are the cause, even though they are regularly setting the very stakes they are at times rejecting.

As for my statement on perfection, I qualified that in the post you quoted.
Or it's that we just don't care about needing the situation to work out so cleanly in the moment that we have put in all this extra effort beforehand.

It's a kludge not because it's a problem... but because I have better things to do with my time before the game than trying to get thing "100% correct" so that fudging isn't necessary. That's a whole crapton of extra work for no gain. Just so I can say to myself "Self! You never have to fudge! Yay you! Good job!"? Yeah. no thanks. My ego can take me fudging on occasion if I need to. :)
 

iserith

Magic Wordsmith
My thoughts on this were swayed a bit a little while ago when watching an Adventuring Academy episode, with Branson Reese. While not on the topic of dice directly, Brennan said:
For my part, I'm specifically talking about fudging dice, not changing things in the context of the setting which is perfectly in the DM's remit.
 

iserith

Magic Wordsmith
Or it's that we just don't care about needing the situation to work out so cleanly in the moment that we have put in all this extra effort beforehand.

It's a kludge not because it's a problem... but because I have better things to do with my time before the game than trying to get thing "100% correct" so that fudging isn't necessary. That's a whole crapton of extra work for no gain. Just so I can say to myself "Self! You never have to fudge! Yay you! Good job!"? Yeah. no thanks. My ego can take me fudging on occasion if I need to. :)
What do you think you have to do with your "time before the game" to avoid fudging? Because I don't do anything, outside of occasionally making house rules at the start of the adventure or campaign. And that seems pretty common in my experience as far as prep goes.
 

Xamnam

Loves Your Favorite Game
For my part, I'm specifically talking about fudging dice, not changing things in the context of the setting which is perfectly in the DM's remit.
I look down behind my screen, and see that the six hits, and realize that I incorrectly statted this monster. To me, functionally, fixing the stat and fudging the dice in this scenario are identical.
 

billd91

Not your screen monkey (he/him)
I'm happy with the DM making decisions but I'm quitting if they're just having me pretend to roll already knowing what they are going to make the result.
That’s part of the often mistaken assumption. The DM may not be planning to use a particular result but may be content with a number of other results that may come from the roll. For example, if I’ve been on a hot streak with the dice, I may be rolling to hit, but I’m not going to inflict yet another crit. So I rolled a 20, definitely a hit, but I don’t roll the critical damage. I’m still rolling to see if the attack hits and will abide by results of miss/hit, but I’m treating a crit just as a hit.
 

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