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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 .

iserith

Magic Wordsmith
To my understanding, yes, at least a few posters have included revising notes after play starts as fudging. My intent was to be as inclusive and non-judgemental as possible, and hadn't considered that including the broadest definitions might be interpreted as deliberately presenting others' arguments in a poor light. Thanks for pointing out that possibile interpretation--I can see it now that you mention it, and will give some thought as to how best to make sure my intention comes through accurately in the future.
For my part, I stick to a strict definition of fudging as stated upthread (or in the other concurrent thread): Changing or ignoring the result of a roll after it is made.

There are certain things that I've stated are akin to fudging (but not actually fudging) as they have largely the same effect, so I do what I can to avoid them. Changing prep on the fly to suit particular ends would fall into that category. In order to design and run games in a consistent manner that produces good results, I have GMing principles for myself and if something violates those principles, they're right out, no negotiation, no mercy.
 

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Xetheral

Three-Headed Sirrush
I don't purport to be a perfect individual, but I have seen no instance in any game with any group of players where the information I conveyed was in and of itself causing the players to reach an erroneous conclusion. They may well reach conclusions that are flawed, but that would be due to things they don't know or assume or ignore or downplay or assign more import to than is necessary. And even when they do, they tend to prepare for unforeseen eventualities anyway, which allows them to mitigate the result of their bad conclusions in the moment.

This leads me to believe the concern is way more overblown than is being asserted in this thread.
Thanks for sharing! For whatever reason my experience is different, and I find myself regularly clarifying descriptions of events, NPCs, and the environment, especially when we're playing theatre of the mind. Almost always those clarifications can be made before the PCs act on a mistaken understanding, but occasionally we've gone far enough to make retconning those actions less preferable that just running with the player's/players' understanding.

Maybe I'm simply not as clear in my communication as I could be. Or maybe some things you put in the "ignore or downplay or assign more import to than is necessary" I put in the miscomunication category. It's also possible that, since (to my understanding) I run a more improv-heavy game than you do, my descriptions for the players haven't had the benefit of forethought regarding which elements will be important.
 

Having clearish GMign principles is a good idea. But I still regard such self-imposed restrictions as the Pirate Code; they're more like guidelines. I'm sceptical of the "thou shalt never..." and "a good GM always..." type of proclamations. Beyond Wheaton's Law there usually is always some rare situation in which it is actually better to not follow such an axiom. And ultimately all such principles are simply in service of the ur-principle, which is to make sure that people at the table are having good time.
 


Charlaquin

Goblin Queen (She/Her/Hers)
I lie to my players all the time.

Player [rolls perception check, rolls a 1): Is the Chest trapped?

Me: Nope, No traps on this chest!
I would rather say “not that you can find.” Also, when a PC attempts an action that can succeed, fail, and has stakes, I tell them the DC and the stakes before they roll, so in this case it might be something like “make a DC 15 Wisdom check. On a failure you’ll spring any traps that might be there.” Just as an example.
 


Charlaquin

Goblin Queen (She/Her/Hers)
That doesn't mean all unpredictable outcomes are desirable. Most modern games buffer this by having some kind metacurrency as a drop-back, especially if the core system has a lot of swing (like D20 and D100 games do). But again, if you they don't, people aren't required to just find "let the chips lay as they land" acceptable.
D&D 5e has inspiration for that.
 

Charlaquin

Goblin Queen (She/Her/Hers)
Context. People can want the gamesmaster to be honest about how he's going to approach things outside the game, and still find doing so in the middle of it disruptive. Its not that hard to understand the difference, even if I don't share it.
Again, I think you're missing the issue that in many cases its not having to deal with it in the moment that matters to them.
But you can have that open, honest conversation before or after the game instead of in the middle of it. Establishing in session zero whether or not folks are ok with fudging and if they want to know when it happens, for example.
 

Charlaquin

Goblin Queen (She/Her/Hers)
I wouldn't call it fudging. It is illusionism though, and is a similar sore point for certain people, some of the most vocal anti-fudgers here included.
Is it even illusionism? Genuinely asking. Seems to me that if you accidentally give the players information that doesn’t match your notes, and then change your notes to match the information you gave, that’s maintaining world consistency, which is the opposite of illusionism, in my opinion. I suppose the alternative would be admitting that you messed up and correct the misinformation, which I think is also a perfectly acceptable approach (though I imagine a lot of folks here wouldn’t like that either.)
 

Is it even illusionism? Genuinely asking. Seems to me that if you accidentally give the players information that doesn’t match your notes, and then change your notes to match the information you gave, that’s maintaining world consistency, which is the opposite of illusionism, in my opinion. I suppose the alternative would be admitting that you messed up and correct the misinformation, which I think is also a perfectly acceptable approach (though I imagine a lot of folks here wouldn’t like that either.)
I don't know, and I don't terribly much care, but in previous threads people have called changing what has been prepped illusionism. 🤷
 

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