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 .
Makes me feel like I'm on a railroad. Very negative. Don't like it. Why bother rolling if the GM is going to change the results to fit their pre-written story?

As a DM, I often roll the dice (then feign a concerned look on my face, and pretend to look something up, and shake my head ominously) and dont even look at the result.

The dice are a tool, not just a random number generator.

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Game Designer
As a DM, I often roll the dice (then feign a concerned look on my face, and pretend to look something up, and shake my head ominously) and dont even look at the result.

The dice are a tool, not just a random number generator.
That's not fudging though. Most DMs I've known will ask some random rolls of players to hide some real perception rolls, or roll some fake rolls to hide the real ones. It does not lead to any of the aforementioned consequences.


Goblin Queen (She/Her/Hers)
Some kinds of fudging are an abuse of authority. Others are not. I do not fudge to favor either myself or the players. In the extremely unlikely event that A) the players made no bad decisions, B) the players are having extreme(not just plain ole) bad luck, and C) I am having extreme(not play ole) good luck, I will fudge a bit to allow them a fighting chance at survival. A TPK should not happen due to extreme die luck. That's not an abuse of authority. That's just good DMing.
I don’t think it’s bad DMing, but to me, extreme luck is part of the game. It’s what allows the game to organically take turns no one expected, which for me is one of the most appealing parts of the game. That doesn’t mean it’s inherently wrong, but it is wrong for me.


Goblin Queen (She/Her/Hers)
I think that there are some important things for everyone to remember regarding Fudging. The DMG talks about fudging and gives advice about it. So it is part of the game and cannot rightly be called cheating. If the game says it is a tool the DM can use IT IS NOT CHEATING.

BUT, and it is a BIG but (I like them, I can't lie) you have to consider what the DMG actually says about fudging, basicly: Don't do it too often and don't let your player know you are doing it.

So while it is not cheating, it is advised it will likely lessen the players enjoyment of the game if they know you do it.
This is, in my opinion, the absolute worst piece of advice in the DMG. If you feel like you have to hide something, it’s a sign you probably shouldn’t be doing it in the first place. You’re literally doing something the players wouldn’t like if they found out. That’s not cool.


As I said in the other thread, if I was one of the many very strident anti-fudgers posting in this thread who are also DMs I would want my players to see how very anti-fudging I am. “Sure [Insert Previous Posters Here] 😉 Fudging is really bad 😉😉 I don’t know how some DMs have the brass balls to do it. 😉😉 shame on them’”

On the other hand. As Shakespeare would say “The lady doth protest too much, methinks” if you know what I mean.

I’m not saying I do it, but I strongly believe there is no moral divide between adding a couple of hp so the monster gets an extra round than there is deciding that reinforcements arrive (or don’t arrive when you intended them to). Come to think of it, what is legendary resistance other than sanctioned fudging. It is impossible for players to know whether those 4 orcs that came in from the next room were supposed to or not, without the players reading the DMs notes… which definitely IS cheating.

If a DM decides the game is dragging and cuts several foes/rooms/perhaps an entire AP chapter from the game is that fudging? Or is the DM expected to run every single encounter that has been written down - either by them or the AP they’re running, even if it makes the game less fun

Its also worth noting that DMs make mistakes, either through missing things or not having time to complete stuff. If a DM creates an advanced monster and increases size and weapon attacks but forgets/doesn’t have time to increase saves and ability stats. It’s only in combat that they realize they haven’t chosen saves to increase. So if they do that on the fly in the game when a player casts a spell, is that fudging or just finishing off game prep. What if the DM has only selected a handful of spells for a caster and decides on the fly they also have a common wizard work that wasn’t written on the page?

Are DMs that wing it and ad lib furiously, cheating all the time by default?

The whole game is an illusion from start to finish. Complaining that fudging is somehow shockingly bad is very funny to me. It seems indicative of an adversarial Player v DM relationship. They same as when I see forum posters use the phrase ‘DM may I’.

Trust your DM. Go along for the ride and stop seeing it as them and us. I’m glad to see as many people are ambivalent/positive about fudging as seem to loath it.
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I mean, legendary resistance has a set number of uses, and typically you announce when you’re using it. You don’t have to hide it from the players, because it’s not something they would be upset to find out that you’re doing.
It’s intentionally ignoring the dice rolls a number of times to prolong the encounter. The only difference is that it was written down somewhere that this could be done.

Presumably you have decided how many uses that creature has. Nobody know apart from you right? Unless the players are looking in the MM and holding the DM to account for the number of times written there?

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