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D&D General How do players feel about DM fudging?

How do you, as a player, feel about DM fudging?

  • Very positive. Fudging is good.

    Votes: 5 2.7%
  • Positive. Fudging is acceptable.

    Votes: 41 22.4%
  • Neutral. Fudging sure is a thing.

    Votes: 54 29.5%
  • Negative. Fudging is dubious.

    Votes: 34 18.6%
  • Very negative. Fudging is bad.

    Votes: 49 26.8%

  • Poll closed .


Follower of the Way
This is a sort of a companion thread to the other poll on fudging, which asks DMs, not players. I figure, player responses also matter on this issue. It needs no further description: whatever you consider "fudging" to be, what do you as a player think of DMs doing it?

Word of warning: you cannot change your vote. Pick wisely!

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I voted for Positive. When I'm DMing I want my players to trust that sometimes I'm going to fudge things in an effort to provide a better gaming experience. It's only fair that I offer that same courtesy when I'm on the other side of the screen. I've got a pretty good group so trust is high and we've never had this come up as an issue for anyone that's DMed.


I agree with @beancounter and @DeviousQuail and can see times when the game does not match the events going on with the table and players that night. The DM should adjust things in the spirit of making the game more fun and exciting for the others. If it is done in the right spirit, then it is ok.

Things are another problem if the DM is rewarding friends or punishing a player for something. Then it is just a poor DM.


Morkus from Orkus
Fudging is bad. Very bad. I consider it cheating and demeaning to my players. If they are victorious, it will be their victory. They will have earned it in earnest. It won't be because I took pity on them or that I wanted to pursue "my" novel I wanted to write.
Same here, and I fudge on rare occasions. Yet they still earned every victory and it was never "my" novel. ;)


Game Designer
Fudging is very bad. Your players might never know you did it, but it many cases it robs them of their agency. They make some choices, you have to make some rolls and you just outright decide the outcome. It's very unfair and there's very few players I've DMed for that would have appreciated it being done to them.

The counter-argument is often something along the lines of "I'll fudge a roll to move things in a direction more interesting for the story". I disagree with this. The DM doesn't get to decide what's the story and where it goes. We already have a ton of agency over what happens, when the dices are cast, we must respect the outcome. If we don't, then we only do when it suits us, and then why roll dices at all? In my opinion, TTRPGs are not about crafting a story but discovering a story together. The players bring their characters, possibly some backstory and their decisions. The DM brings some content to explore, a situation and some reactions and what happens between these two things is the emergent things that's precious to these games. Fudging is one of the many ways where you make that spark wane.

The only times I've fudged a roll is when I took a bad call, and as I'm making the roll I'm like (this was a bad idea, it adds nothing). We often make split-decisions. Something that sounds awesome like "I'll make a roll to see if the ancient staircase crumbles under their feets" can quickly turn to "What happens if I fail this roll? Do they have any way of not falling? Do they have any agency? Does it further what's happening? Why am I rolling for this?". In these rare moment I might pull a quick "Oh, how lucky, it holds until you cross" and then spray myself with water for being a bad DM.

But that happens rarely. Once or twice a year, maybe.

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