How do I deal with a cheating player?

boxstop7

First Post
Hello All!

First, I just wanted to say thank you for your help on the spellthief issue...I definitely know how I want to handle that now. However, this issue I've got now is with the same player who wanted to tweak out the spellthief. I'm 99.9% sure he's at a minimum fudging die rolls, if not boosting scores, abilities and skill points as well. I've been playing with him for over 6 months, and it's a trend I've noticed since the beginning. But last weekend was a new level. I still can't figure how a 4th level spellthief consistently rolls 20+ on attack rolls for the duration of a gaming session. That's right: not a single roll below 20. When he rolls skill checks (his favorites are hide and move silently), he's giving me numbers above 40 for the result....at 4th level! I'm going to have a look at his character sheet this weekend to try to make heads or tails of it, but I'm at a loss right now. I know he's a munchkin, and when I addressed the spellthief issue and told him that his description was too unbalanced, he suddenly "lost interest" in playing a spellthief and wanted to switch his character out for a monk (because we all know that powergaming munchkins would NEVER play a monk, right?... :\ ). Anyway, I know this topic has likely been done to death, so if you would be so kind as to either chime in or direct me to past threads on the topic, I'd greatly appreciate it. Thanks!

- Jason

Post: One final note: this needs to be dealt with in a tactful manner. I have both a strong social and professional relationship with this guy...I don't want bad feelings to come...
 

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Crothian

First Post
Why didn't you ask him when he got those 40's how he is doing that? Does he have to mplay in tyhe group, you can tactifully get his ass out of there.
 

shilsen

Adventurer
I'm a big fan of talking to one's players about any and all issues one has (which, incidentally, seems to prevent my groups from having any serious gaming problems), but you do need to be absolutely sure he's cheating before you can call him on it.

I'd definitely start by checking out the character sheet first. If that doesn't seem to have any errors, then the next time he pulls out a result in game that doesn't seem mathematically posisble, just look at him and say, "Dang! How did you get that high a result?" and wait for an answer. That should indicate you're aware of the problem without becoming an accusation.
 

Jim Hague

First Post
boxstop7 said:
Hello All!

First, I just wanted to say thank you for your help on the spellthief issue...I definitely know how I want to handle that now. However, this issue I've got now is with the same player who wanted to tweak out the spellthief. I'm 99.9% sure he's at a minimum fudging die rolls, if not boosting scores, abilities and skill points as well. I've been playing with him for over 6 months, and it's a trend I've noticed since the beginning. But last weekend was a new level. I still can't figure how a 4th level spellthief consistently rolls 20+ on attack rolls for the duration of a gaming session. That's right: not a single roll below 20. When he rolls skill checks (his favorites are hide and move silently), he's giving me numbers above 40 for the result....at 4th level! I'm going to have a look at his character sheet this weekend to try to make heads or tails of it, but I'm at a loss right now. I know he's a munchkin, and when I addressed the spellthief issue and told him that his description was too unbalanced, he suddenly "lost interest" in playing a spellthief and wanted to switch his character out for a monk (because we all know that powergaming munchkins would NEVER play a monk, right?... :\ ). Anyway, I know this topic has likely been done to death, so if you would be so kind as to either chime in or direct me to past threads on the topic, I'd greatly appreciate it. Thanks!

- Jason

Post: One final note: this needs to be dealt with in a tactful manner. I have both a strong social and professional relationship with this guy...I don't want bad feelings to come...


Get a copy of his sheet, first off. Second, make him roll in the open with clearly-marked dice.
 

Well, I don't know what to tell you about being tactful... If you think that the guy is cheating, and you ask him about it, it is likely to sound like you are accusing him of cheating. Which, of course, you are. But hey, sometimes there are only bad solutions.

Here are a couple of things that you can do without bringing this up...

1: You should have a copy of each character's statblock or character sheet. Not only will you be able to easily tell if the guy has been cheating (it is very very difficult for a 4th level character to consistently get 40+ on skill checks and 20+ on attack rolls), you can also use the information that you have of ALL of the characters to better tailor encounters to their abilities (this is, in fact, the reason that you should give for wanting this information in the case that you don't want to accuse anyone of dishonesty or shenanigans).

2: Make sure that die rolls happen in everyone's plain sight. Even if you are not able to see the die roll, the cheater's fellow players will likely comment on the roll and its result, "You got a 40 on that check!? Dude! You rolled a 2!" This one is going to be difficult to bring up without casting some aspirations, but just be careful not to single out any players as the reason for this change.

If that fails, or you don't want to compound the problem by being shifty yourself, just bring it up. You can do this either when the die roll gets made, or before or after (or between) gaming sessions. If you do it during the gaming session, make sure you do it in as non-acusatory a manner as possible, "are you sure your math is right on that?" or "are you looking at the right character sheet?" rather than, "you are a cheater and your pants are on fire!" If you do it outside the gaming session (when the other players are not around) you might want to be a bit more direct, "hey, man, you seem to be getting some pretty inflated check results, are you sure that there's not some chicanery going on?"

That's about all I've got. Not being the most tactful person in the world (I tend towards a good, solid smack upside the head for such juvenile transgressions), you may want to wait for some more advice... I hope this turns out for the best.

Later
silver
 

ForceUser

Explorer
I would just ask him to explain his results each time one comes up that you don't understand. There's no need to be a jerk about it, just say--"Whoa, 40? How does a 4th-level spellthief get a 40 on a Hide check? Can you break down the numbers for me?"

Also, it's your right as DM to be familiar with what a character is capable of doing, so ask to take a look at his character sheet before the next game. If it turns out that he is cheating, you should address it forthrightly. "Hey, man, I've looked at your sheet and I noticed that you have a 22 Dex, but your character is a 4th-level human with no magic items. What's the deal?"
 

Harmon

First Post
Player- "Hide 43."

GM- "43? Can you run that by me? Dex is a 20 (+5), Cloak of Elvenkind +10, and ranks of 4, that is a 19 total skill? Rolled a d20? And you rolled a 43?"

Player- "ya."

GM <blink,blink> "Okay."

Continue without pause.

GM- "roll for to hit."

Player- "39, and a threat. Confirmed. Sixty two points of damage."

GM- "39? Can you run that by me?"

And so on. Let the other Players hear, let him hear himself saying it. Do not call him on it. Count (a loud) the number of twenties he rolls in a single session. Count the number that everyone else rolls. Tell the other Players that you are figuring this out and you ask them to be honest.

At the end of the session ask everyone for their character sheets, and gear lists. Go over only his, double check all his ranks, hit modifiers, everything. Ask him to join you for coffee or come over early "Jack, I really like gaming with you, anyone else and I would have dealt with this differently. Your cheating, its hurting the enjoyment of the sessions. Please, man, just help me out. Could you remake your character using the books, and please- don't cheat on your dice rolls anymore. I am asking you this as a friend."

If you are calm, kind and not throwing his cheating in his face in front of the others or otherwise, things should turn out for the best.

Hope this turns out well for you.
 


Tsillanabor

First Post
Except for the DM and a VERY few other situations, all rolls should be made in the open. Those that should be hidden from the other players should still be made in front of the DM. I agree with the other posters-don't accuse him of cheating, just tactfully ask him to explain the result.

I'm amazed we haven't seen a "OMG BOOT HIM OUT!!!!" post yet. Politer forum than I'm used to. :D
 


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