No, that's not 100% the case. It's a lot of the time, but it's also often a question as to what's 'fair' or at least seems fair. One way of looking at what's fair is noted in the 1st edition DMG - that is, let the freakish roll stand, because the players will have freakish rolls from time-to-time as well.
But another way of looking at whether that is fair or not is the fact that the players will have far more attack rolls made against them, then they will against any given creature. That is, if going by strict statistics, the players should always die eventually during the course of the game. Is that fair?
The player decides what is fair by deciding to play the game. Deciding to play D&D without fudging is saying "I think this is fair and these are the odds I want to play by".
But now we're once a week for about 3 hours a week, statistics aren't our friend. At least not for the sort of epic story that ties these specific characters closely together.
Then you have (pretty explicitly) just stated that right now you are more interested in the in-game drama then in the challenge.
It's ok to prioritize that, but abolishing some outcomes always means that: you prioritize something else over challenge.
I was not the one that discussed the minor over major encounter.
Yeah, so that comment wouldn't really be relevant to your concerns.
Others state that challenge-oriented players are naturally against fudging. I'd also question that. If they don't know fudging is happening, how would that alter their perception?
I already said it wouldn't above. However:
-They often figure it out. Or otherwise "just get the feeling" this game isn't as hard as their other games
-Many will ask.
-If they ask and you don't tell them you're being dishonest.
-More important than any of this: Know that the reason you're doing it is you're willing to risk sacrificing challenge for some other value.
But the reality is that not fudging is also disallowing a possibility the rules allow, which is, well, fudging.
Incorrect, it's house-ruling.
Fudging is changing a die rule's result mid-game, but not altering the rules forever after (i.e. not taking "20=crit" out of the rules). House ruling is making a change that you tell the players about that is consistent forever or until the players are informed of (and, in a well-run table, ratify) that change.
Totally different thing.
If fudging is against the rules, that's one thing. But it's not. Explicitly so.
We are not discussing what RAW is. Everyone knows that. We are discussing what effects fudging (a thing allowed in the DMG to enable a variety of playstyles that nobody I know uses--like bards) has on the game.
Again: outside the scope of the discussion. Hopefully everyone at the table has agreed to every rule or rule change. Including whether the GM will be given discretionary power to fudge at chosen moments.So since they are both allowed by the rules, then the question becomes who gets to make that decision?