D&D 5E Do you want your DM to fudge?

As a player, do you want your DM to fudge? (with the same answer choices as that other poll).

  • Yes

    Votes: 47 23.7%
  • Almost never

    Votes: 77 38.9%
  • No, never

    Votes: 74 37.4%

EzekielRaiden

Follower of the Way
It's not like that at all.

Would you be willing to elaborate? Because, at least at the moment, I'm absolutely with JRRNeiklot and Hussar on this. I do not see how it's different; the umpire is an allegedly impartial figure officiating the game, and is required to determine particular disputed results. The DM is required to maintain a specific kind of impartiality, lest the game descend into "rocks fall, everyone dies" territory, and decides how to resolve proposed actions. I see fudging as the umpire declaring that a particular rule will be applied to resolve the dispute, while secretly thinking, "It will be better for the game if I decide X," regardless of what the related rule says.

The analogy seems very, very close. What problems do you have with it?

The 1e DMG tells you to understand the rules and then cut portions as needed to maintain excitement. Then it gives an example of ignoring a wandering monster roll that indicates a wandering monster on the fly as it comes up. That's not just changing the rules. That's Rulings Over Rules. 3e in the adjudicating section of the DMG says that the DM can supersede the rules, overturning them. That's not house ruling. That's Rulings Over Rules. 2e was no different.

The only difference between those editions and 5e is the packaging of Rulings Over Rules.

So...uh...what IS the difference between "house ruling" and "rulings over rules"? Because it sounds like the only difference is that house rules are consistent and defined, while "rulings over rules" is...neither. Yet you have specifically said that your application of fudging, which you classify as a "rulings over rules" situation, is both consistent and well-defined. (And I thought--but I could be mistaken--that you believed fudging was *not* an example of Rule 0 in action...?)
 

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Zak S

Guest
That's untrue. Fudging is just a change. It can make the game more challenging if the DM desires.

In the short term, yes, but in the long term if you begin to realize that you can think really hard to solve the situation and the GM is willing to just alter it halfway through to make it harder then you realize there's no point to thinking as it provides no benefit, and it ceases to be a challenge, just you waiting for the GM to decide to let you win.
 

EzekielRaiden

Follower of the Way
In the short term, yes, but in the long term if you begin to realize that you can think really hard to solve the situation and the GM is willing to just alter it halfway through to make it harder then you realize there's no point to thinking as it provides no benefit, and it ceases to be a challenge, just you waiting for the GM to decide to let you win.

There's also the further problem that, as I had understood it, [MENTION=23751]Maxperson[/MENTION] has explicitly come out against fudging that "harms" the party. Yet something that makes things more challenging must, by definition, be a form of harm to the party, as any challenge in D&D entails some form of potential loss. Bumping up the challenge would thus appear to be an unacceptable form of fudging by the argument as I had understood it.
 

Zak S

Guest
There's also the further problem that, as I had understood it, @Maxperson has explicitly come out against fudging that "harms" the party. Yet something that makes things more challenging must, by definition, be a form of harm to the party, as any challenge in D&D entails some form of potential loss. Bumping up the challenge would thus appear to be an unacceptable form of fudging by the argument as I had understood it.

For me fudging is when there's a die mechanic _the players could potentially know about and therefore be using in their problem solving_ that the DM alters the result-of mid game. A 50% chance turned out not to be.

So the players have been sitting their trying to solve a rubik's cube and you go "I'll secretly add an extra blue face to make it easier or harder without telling them"--

You've just taken all the thinking they've done and made it not count. Which, as I said above, is not such a big deal one time, but if the players get used to that, they despair of thinking because it doesn't consistently help and the thinking is what makes the game fun for me.

Things like random treasure gen and wandering monsters are often not 'rules' so much as tools of convenience to pick through a lot of options for the GM in mid-game. A rule is something the players have been relying on.

Now there are some situations where I can see wandering monster tables get elevated to the status of a rule (like if they're dealing with modrons and realize a certain guy appears every 15 minutes, etc) but for the most part, they lack the essential element of _players using them to solve problems_.
 

Maxperson

Morkus from Orkus
Would you be willing to elaborate? Because, at least at the moment, I'm absolutely with JRRNeiklot and Hussar on this. I do not see how it's different; the umpire is an allegedly impartial figure officiating the game, and is required to determine particular disputed results. The DM is required to maintain a specific kind of impartiality, lest the game descend into "rocks fall, everyone dies" territory, and decides how to resolve proposed actions. I see fudging as the umpire declaring that a particular rule will be applied to resolve the dispute, while secretly thinking, "It will be better for the game if I decide X," regardless of what the related rule says.

Because an umpire is making a ruling on a play, fudging is not making a ruling at all. A correct D&D analogy of an umpire call is a DM making a call on whether simulacrum can go infinite or not. When the DM fudges a roll, he is not making a call on how a rule works.

So...uh...what IS the difference between "house ruling" and "rulings over rules"? Because it sounds like the only difference is that house rules are consistent and defined, while "rulings over rules" is...neither. Yet you have specifically said that your application of fudging, which you classify as a "rulings over rules" situation, is both consistent and well-defined. (And I thought--but I could be mistaken--that you believed fudging was *not* an example of Rule 0 in action...?)

There is no difference, which is my point. It's Tony Vargas and Iserith that are arguing that there is a difference between the two, and they are pointing to the older editions as proof. I'm saying that the older editions are the same as 5e, 5e has just put the idea in a different package in order to make it more palatable to D&D players.
 

Maxperson

Morkus from Orkus
In the short term, yes, but in the long term if you begin to realize that you can think really hard to solve the situation and the GM is willing to just alter it halfway through to make it harder then you realize there's no point to thinking as it provides no benefit, and it ceases to be a challenge, just you waiting for the GM to decide to let you win.

Except that fudging does not equal you winning, so your saying it does is a serious mischaracterization of the tool.
 

Maxperson

Morkus from Orkus
There's also the further problem that, as I had understood it, [MENTION=23751]Maxperson[/MENTION] has explicitly come out against fudging that "harms" the party. Yet something that makes things more challenging must, by definition, be a form of harm to the party, as any challenge in D&D entails some form of potential loss. Bumping up the challenge would thus appear to be an unacceptable form of fudging by the argument as I had understood it.

Ugh. Never said that. I said it doesn't harm the player. It can harm the party, but doesn't have to. Just like it can make something more challenging, but doesn't have to.
 

EzekielRaiden

Follower of the Way
Because an umpire is making a ruling on a play, fudging is not making a ruling at all. A correct D&D analogy of an umpire call is a DM making a call on whether simulacrum can go infinite or not. When the DM fudges a roll, he is not making a call on how a rule works.

He's not? He's not deciding that, in this case, a crit doesn't happen when a specific number appears on a die? He's not deciding that, in this case, a tie goes to the defender rather than the attacker? How is that NOT a call on how a rule works?? Perhaps you could clarify what "making a call on how a rule works" means?

There is no difference, which is my point. It's Tony Vargas and Iserith that are arguing that there is a difference between the two, and they are pointing to the older editions as proof. I'm saying that the older editions are the same as 5e, 5e has just put the idea in a different package in order to make it more palatable to D&D players.

Except I was saying I *do* see some difference: house ruling is consistent and pre-defined, "rulings over rules" is neither consistent (because it is purely contextual) nor pre-defined (because it only happens when the DM decides to, not because of a specified trigger). Those are some pretty big distinctions to me!

Ugh. Never said that. I said it doesn't harm the player. It can harm the party, but doesn't have to. Just like it can make something more challenging, but doesn't have to.

...how can you harm the party...without causing some amount of harm to at least one member of it? I don't understand.
 

S'mon

Legend
For everything else, though, I prefer open rolling.

For me, open rolling adds to the fun whether I'm GM or player. I'm not going to flip if the GM rolls encounter checks behind a screen, but IME my players enjoy see my encounter check rolls. I'd prefer it if GMs made combat rolls in the open but I'll tolerate secret rolls if they don't seem to be fudging (much).
 

S'mon

Legend
He's not? He's not deciding that, in this case, a crit doesn't happen when a specific number appears on a die? He's not deciding that, in this case, a tie goes to the defender rather than the attacker? How is that NOT a call on how a rule works?? Perhaps you could clarify what "making a call on how a rule works" means?

If he's fudging he's not applying a rule at all (unless "You can fudge" is a rule in the book.) He's certainly not applying the critical hit rules.
 

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