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  1. - Top - End - #1
    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    Jolly Steve's Avatar

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    Default fudging rolls isn't as good as you think it is.

    My contention is that DMs tend to vastly over-rate the necessity/fun of fudging rolls.

    In case it's relevant: I play regularly, have never DMd live but have DM'd a little by email, and also run this.

    DMs seem to give two main reasons for fudging rolls:

    i) the players get upset if they die for no reason. It's frustrating and random. It's not fun.

    ii) you have a great dramatic moment coming up, then it doesn't happen
    because someone rolls a 1. That sucks.


    i) the players get upset if they die for no reason. It's frustrating and random. It's not fun.

    In my experience it's very common for DMs to say that it's necessary to fudge rolls. It's also very rare for players to say it's necessary.

    Of course players might think it but not say it. But it also raises the possibility that DMs have the wrong idea about what players want.

    Consider the following, an adventure idea which I just made up, deliberately designed to be as cliched as possible.

    "The caverns have always been full of monsters and other dangers. Many have entered, yet none have returned. Now an even greater danger has arisen. While others tremble behind thick walls, you have dared to face the undead sorcerer, and vowed to slay him, or die in the attempt."

    Now, with this pitch, the players have been told that their players might die, because they're going into danger. There's nothing in there about fairness, or dramatic appropriateness, or 'challenging the characters but not killing them'. There's a lot about, in game terms, the real possibility of a TPK. I just told you that a whole bunch of people haven't come back.

    Of course it could be the case that the game is presented as one thing, but that players want another. It could be that players, on the whole, don't say so, but that DMs have correctly guessed this desire.

    But if people turn up to your chess game saying they want to play chess, and you decide they mean checkers...


    ii) you have a great dramatic moment coming up, then it doesn't happen
    because someone rolls a 1. That sucks.


    Again, I've often heard DMs talk about how they provide drama and story for the players.

    I've rarely, if ever, heard players talk about how they want their DM to provide drama or story.

    I've often heard players talk about drama and story provided by the players' actions (including outstandingly stupid ones), and by randomness. Start a thread called "funniest player death ever", "luckiest roll" or "most stupid character", and another one called "best DM-created fantasy world" and see which one lasts longer.

    Sorry to say this DMs, but maybe your great fantasy epic isn't that great. Maybe you're called Game/Dungeon Master and not Fanfic Master for a reason.

    Secondly, and maybe more importantly, random player death is story.

    If you do any kind of writing course, you'll hear the phrase "show, don't tell."

    If you have this really great introductory paragraph about the dangers of your awesome world, and later on a TPK, which one do you think the players are going to remember? Which one's going to get across the idea of 'a dangerous fantasy world' better? Which one, in short, is effective 'story-telling'?

    In conclusion:

    i) the players get upset if they die for no reason. You don't know that, and the game is very clear that it's about dudes who can die for no reason.

    ii) you have a great dramatic moment coming up, then it doesn't happen
    because someone rolls a 1. That sucks.
    Maybe it's not nearly as great as the dramatic moment that happens precisely because someone does roll a 1.


    PS None of this should be assumed to apply to young children, who may well get upset if they die for no reason, and who can be assumed to want you to tell them stores.
    Last edited by Jolly Steve; 2009-07-20 at 02:16 PM.

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    ElfMonkGuy

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    Default Re: fudging rolls isn't as good as you think it is.

    Quote Originally Posted by Jolly Steve View Post
    i) the players get upset if they die for no reason. You don't know that.
    I'm sure many DM's know that.

    Character death can also introduce story problems, so you can hold it off for convenience.

    Personally, I prefer ad hoc'ing mechanics (say, to KO a player rather than killing them) to fudging rolls, unless I accidentally miscalibrated the difficulty of a combat.

    My players may not mind dying for no reason, but they would definitely mind (and realize) if they're dying because I screwed up the difficulty of an encounter.

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    EvilClericGuy

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    Default Re: fudging rolls isn't as good as you think it is.

    Too many maybes in your argument. It is the DM's call on what is best for the game. Period.
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    Default Re: fudging rolls isn't as good as you think it is.

    Quote Originally Posted by Jolly Steve View Post
    PS None of this should be assumed to apply to young children, who may well get upset if they die for no reason, and who can be assumed to want you to tell them stores.
    So you're basically saying that people who have a different approach to this aspect of roleplaying than you, and don't like when their character dies or a possibly great situation becomes a bad joke because of low rolls, have the mindset of young children?

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    Halfling in the Playground
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    Default Re: fudging rolls isn't as good as you think it is.

    Quote Originally Posted by archon_huskie View Post
    Too many maybes in your argument. It is the DM's call on what is best for the game. Period.

    This +1. There's just too many variables dependant from group-to-group in order for us to discuss this properly.

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    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    RedWizardGuy

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    Default Re: fudging rolls isn't as good as you think it is.

    Players usually don't like TPKs caused because you overestimated the party.
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    PirateCaptain

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    Default Re: fudging rolls isn't as good as you think it is.

    Quote Originally Posted by Jolly Steve View Post
    i) the players get upset if they die for no reason. You don't know that, and the game is very clear that it's about dudes who can die for no reason.

    ii) you have a great dramatic moment coming up, then it doesn't happen
    because someone rolls a 1. That sucks.
    Maybe it's not nearly as great as the dramatic moment that happens precisely because someone does roll a 1.


    PS None of this should be assumed to apply to young children, who may well get upset if they die for no reason, and who can be assumed to want you to tell them stores.
    You're right, I don't know that a player would rather have their character die due to a bad roll than continue playing. You have convinced me, I shall no longer fudge rolls to save PC's.

    On that note, I also don't know that my PC's want CR-appropriate encounters. From now on, I shall ignore CR's when making encounters.
    I also don't know that my PC's want Treasure or Experience from encounters. No more of that.
    Come to think of it, I don't even know if my Players really want to play DnD. From now on, rather than playing DnD, we shall make bricks. Because making bricks is useful, and everybody wants to be useful.
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    Titan in the Playground
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    Default Re: fudging rolls isn't as good as you think it is.

    you're not going to win this Jolly steve.

    on topic, I'd HATE it if my character died . and in the example of the adventure you gave you're not specifying the levels of the people who went in. were they commoners? were they level 5s while you're level 10? were they level 20? "many have not returned." is absolutely meaningless.
    Last edited by Mystic Muse; 2009-07-20 at 02:31 PM.

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    Ettin in the Playground
     
    Kobold

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    Default Re: fudging rolls isn't as good as you think it is.

    Fudging depends on the type of game you're running. I aim for lots of plot and intrigue. Sometimes this has to take precedence over game mechanics. That said, the GM is responsible for letting the players know what kind of game they're playing. I've been in a few games where die fudging doesn't happen. Those also happen to be the games where characters don't have names, just classes. I get bored of those games really quickly, but can see how someone more interested in tactical combat would prefer that type of game.

    Believe it or not, one of my groups has tried to tell me to fudge dice more often. I put them into single digits too frequently (no accidental deaths, just tough fights) and they suggested that I wasn't fudging enough. I've even suggested running a more tactical game where death will happen and the players refused to play it. They just weren't interested in that type of game.

    But the main reason why I fudge rolls is because I'm a demanding GM. I require pages of backstory. If someone comes up with a cool and interesting backstory, I don't want to invalidate their work because my d20 was mean. It's one thing if the character has been around and resolved some of his plot. But someone who spent 6 hours writing their backstory and 1 hour playing the character before dying isn't going to write a second backstory for the replacement character. It's too much to ask of PCs. And I wouldn't ask it of them if I was running a more hazardous campaign. I wrote 14 pages of backstory for my current Mage character. In Deadlands you're lucky to get half a page out of me. It's just not worth the work in some games. But I require the work in my games and I don't want to screw the players over for it.

    Finally, there are different kinds of fudging. Changing a crit into a hit is one thing and that seems to be what you're talking about in your post. Saving your players is one kind of fudging. Saving NPCs or encounters is another.

    My biggest struggle as a GM is figuring out how long a game session will take. If I expect a combat to run 90 minutes, but the last monster drops after 30, that's not fair to the players. Ideally I'd improvise the last hour of game, but that's not always an option. So I inflate the enemies' hit points and let the fight continue. I'd much rather do that than let the session end early and disappoint the players (though like I said before, if I can improv something else I'm more than happy to do that instead).
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    Default Re: fudging rolls isn't as good as you think it is.

    When I DM, I don't fudge rolls--I play by the same rules the players do, and tell them up front that if they do something stupid or if the dice come up badly I'm not going to change it. My players appreciate knowing this, and accept it just fine.

    When one of my players DMs, he sometimes fudges rolls--He prefers drama and heroism over strict rules adherence, and tells us up front that if we do something dramatic or heroic, he might change a bad roll (as long as it wasn't a stupid idea). While playing, we appreciate knowing this, and accept it just fine.

    Why is one of these approaches not as valid as the other?
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    Default Re: fudging rolls isn't as good as you think it is.

    Quote Originally Posted by PairO'Dice Lost View Post
    When I DM, I don't fudge rolls--I play by the same rules the players do, and tell them up front that if they do something stupid or if the dice come up badly I'm not going to change it. My players appreciate knowing this, and accept it just fine.

    When one of my players DMs, he sometimes fudges rolls--He prefers drama and heroism over strict rules adherence, and tells us up front that if we do something dramatic or heroic, he might change a bad roll (as long as it wasn't a stupid idea). While playing, we appreciate knowing this, and accept it just fine.

    Why is one of these approaches not as valid as the other?
    because Jolly Steve doesn't want it to be.

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    Default Re: fudging rolls isn't as good as you think it is.

    Quote Originally Posted by BRC View Post
    Come to think of it, I don't even know if my Players really want to play DnD. From now on, rather than playing DnD, we shall make bricks. Because making bricks is useful, and everybody wants to be useful.
    This part convinced me that your post was not sarcastic at all, and that you really meant it.

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    Default Re: fudging rolls isn't as good as you think it is.

    Quote Originally Posted by BRC View Post
    You're right, I don't know that a player would rather have their character die due to a bad roll than continue playing. You have convinced me, I shall no longer fudge rolls to save PC's.

    On that note, I also don't know that my PC's want CR-appropriate encounters. From now on, I shall ignore CR's when making encounters.
    I also don't know that my PC's want Treasure or Experience from encounters. No more of that.
    Come to think of it, I don't even know if my Players really want to play DnD. From now on, rather than playing DnD, we shall make bricks. Because making bricks is useful, and everybody wants to be useful.
    I lol'ed. BRC wins one internets.

    To the OP: I think you're misunderstanding how most people use fudged rolls. I've never heard of a group that actually ignored natural ones rolled in combat; those do add to the fun sometimes. And I really don't think that fudging the occasional roll in favor of drama and excitement makes the game "too easy." The challenges of RPG's are character building, teamwork, problem solving, etc...not appeasing the random number god.

    Quote Originally Posted by Jolly Steve
    I've rarely, if ever, heard players talk about how they want their DM to provide drama or story.
    Um...then what is the DM providing? Random collections of monsters to kill? That's not role-playing, that's just a miniatures game.
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    Archmage in the Playground Moderator
     
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    Default Re: fudging rolls isn't as good as you think it is.

    First off, in general, if the players know you're fudging then you aren't doing your job as a DM. Part of the social contract betweem player and DM is the consistent application of objective rules. It's assumed that the DM has veto power, but it's also assumed that the DM uses these powers as seldom as can be arranged.

    If you tell your players: "I'm going to fudge the rolls in this combat," then you're telling players that their own rolls mean nothing (at least in terms of game mechanics). And their bonuses and penalties. And therefore their choices and strategies. And so we might as well toss the dice away and play free-form.

    Players, in my experience, accpet that some manner of roll-fudging occurs but don't make a big deal of it so long as everything APPEARS fair. In the same we assume characters are using the bathroom but seldom make a bog deal of it.

    So, yes, DM's fudge rolls. For all kinds of reasons. But the fudging should CREATE the kinds of situations you're saying it prevents. Drama. Memories. Stories.
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    Default Re: fudging rolls isn't as good as you think it is.

    I don't mind losing my character to an ignoble death... every other member of my group has explicitly stated that they view it as "humiliating", "Frustrating", "Upsetting", and it's explicitly a failure on the part of the DM if it happens. When I DM, do you think I fudge rolls if the PCs are in danger? Of course.

    Instead of implying that most DMs are assuming their players are not okay with dying when they are, I'd suggest DMs simply ask how the players feel about character death, and play towards their preferences as best as possible.

    I think "dramatic moments" fall under circumstance bonuses... if the DM thinks a plan is good, and likely to succeed, the DM can apply whatever bonuses he feels are appropriate... this is identical to "fudging" the result. If a PC tries something cool and rolls poorly, he shouldn't be punished moreover than if he had tried something mundane and rolled poorly, because that's just mean for no reason.
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    Default Re: fudging rolls isn't as good as you think it is.

    Quote Originally Posted by truemane View Post
    First off, in general, if the players know you're fudging then you aren't doing your job as a DM. Part of the social contract betweem player and DM is the consistent application of objective rules. It's assumed that the DM has veto power, but it's also assumed that the DM uses these powers as seldom as can be arranged.
    This is why I prefer fudge up instead of down. It's a lot more believable to tell the players the dragon is still standing when it's at -100 hp than to tell them it misses with all 6 attacks.
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    ElfMonkGuy

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    Default Re: fudging rolls isn't as good as you think it is.

    Quote Originally Posted by truemane View Post
    First off, in general, if the players know you're fudging then you aren't doing your job as a DM. Part of the social contract betweem player and DM is the consistent application of objective rules. It's assumed that the DM has veto power, but it's also assumed that the DM uses these powers as seldom as can be arranged.
    But a game in which the players are experienced DM's will extend that social contract to understanding of actions the DM takes to streamline the game.

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    Default Re: fudging rolls isn't as good as you think it is.

    Quote Originally Posted by Jolly Steve View Post
    Again, I've often heard DMs talk about how they provide drama and story for the players.
    Yes. I do. They've told me so.

    I've rarely, if ever, heard players talk about how they want their DM to provide drama or story.
    Obviously, from the above example, you haven't sat at every gaming table ever. Which is understandable...I haven't either. But I do know that I've personally only had a few groups that didn't want drama and a story.

    I've often heard players talk about drama and story provided by the players' actions (including outstandingly stupid ones), and by randomness. Start a thread called "funniest player death ever", "luckiest roll" or "most stupid character", and another one called "best DM-created fantasy world" and see which one lasts longer.
    Yeah...because the first are funny, and can be summed up within a few sentences at most. Can I summarize to a group of people I've never met (within a single forum post, no less) the real majesty of some of the campaign stories I've been in? Nope. I can possibly link them to the thread if the game was online, but I'd never deign to lessen those adventures by summarizing them in a few lines.

    Sorry to say this DMs, but maybe your great fantasy epic isn't that great. Maybe you're called Game/Dungeon Master and not Fanfic Master for a reason.
    Or maybe we're not called the Fanfic Master because...wait for it...MAYBE WE'RE NOT WRITING A FANFIC! I'm personally quite offended by this statement. You're telling all of us that we're not capable storytellers. I happen to know that I am, thank you very much. I think so, my players think so, and those people who have read my games and commented on them think so. Your opinion of my work (which you've never seen) doesn't mean anything to me when compared to theirs...take time to actually do some research on a bunch of people who can write a story, and then we'll talk. I'll happily listen: I like debate.

    If you have this really great introductory paragraph about the dangers of your awesome world, and later on a TPK, which one do you think the players are going to remember? Which one's going to get across the idea of 'a dangerous fantasy world' better? Which one, in short, is effective 'story-telling'?
    For me? The description combined with a present threat that doesn't have to kill them. My player's know it's a dangerous world...they've seen it and had its effects described to them. Many times they've been beaten, and many times my players barely escape with their lives. They see their friends and allies fall around them. But they're the heroes, and I cut them some slack. I'm not just a Game Master, and they don't want me to be...I'm a Game Master and a Story Teller. When was the last time you saw a good movie that killed all the main characters twenty minutes into the film, hmmm?

    In conclusion: don't generalize. You're not always right. I have no objections to reading your experience, but if you try to pass it off as a universal truth I won't hesitate to point out that you're wrong. That said, I'm up for a civil discussion if you care to have one. Discussion is fun.
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    Default Re: fudging rolls isn't as good as you think it is.

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerthanis View Post
    I don't mind losing my character to an ignoble death... every other member of my group has explicitly stated that they view it as "humiliating", "Frustrating", "Upsetting", and it's explicitly a failure on the part of the DM if it happens. When I DM, do you think I fudge rolls if the PCs are in danger? Of course.
    Agh, I have exactly the same problem.

    Both my friends who play with me have been playing their character for 2 and 1 years, respectively, and at this point they'd throw a fit if they had an "unfitting" death. I still act like I'm not fudging any rolls, but yeah.... I think they know.

    Personally, I like the element of pure danger in a game, not just when a storyteller thinks it's appropriate. I want Climb Checks where if you fall, you're screwed, and Swim checks that come down to one Swim Check and a Fortitude Save or certain death. I want the real possibility that something our characters can't handle is lurking in the shadows and ready to drag one of us off.

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    Ettin in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: fudging rolls isn't as good as you think it is.

    Quote Originally Posted by Jolly Steve View Post
    In my experience it's very common for DMs to say that it's necessary to fudge rolls. It's also very rare for players to say it's necessary.

    ...


    I've rarely, if ever, heard players talk about how they want their DM to provide drama or story.
    When you DM more often you'll hear more feedback from the players about how much fudging or drama they want. I'm not about to tell you what your players will say on those matters, but it's possible you haven't heard this kind of commentary because you haven't DMed much so you haven't heard any feedback.

    I still say that with fudge or without, both are valid but I prefer to fudge.
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    Default Re: fudging rolls isn't as good as you think it is.

    Oh, Djinn reminded me:

    Quote Originally Posted by Jolly Steve View Post
    Sorry to say this DMs, but maybe your great fantasy epic isn't that great. Maybe you're called Game/Dungeon Master and not Fanfic Master for a reason.
    They're also called Storytellers.

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    Default Re: fudging rolls isn't as good as you think it is.

    On another note, I Think Steve is mistaking "Fudging a roll" for "Not letting PC's die, ever." Fudging a roll to save a PC means not letting that specific PC die in that specific instance. With you're standard 4-person group, one person dieing can cripple things. And it's one thing to die as the Boss is going down, it's another to step into the dungeon, and get taken down by a Greataxe Crit to the face. It's not a matter of the player crying like a baby, it's a matter of them wanting to do more than sit there for two hours while their buddies struggle to kill some orcs because they lost their wizard. I can almost imagine the following scene
    DM: Ooh, it looks like that kills you, here, I'll just have it knock you into negatives.
    Player: okay.
    Jolly steve: *Bursts through a wall* NO! THE DICE SAID YOU DIED. TAKE IT LIKE A MAN! DO NOT ACCEPT THIS CODDLING. IF YOU CAN'T HANDLE THE HEAT, GET OUT OF THE OVEN!

    Or, for another situation . We are in a fight, the PC's are winning, but the fight has gone alot longer than the DM expected. The DM wants to finish the adventure this session, so he fudges in the PC's favor so they can win faster and move on.


    Remember, the first rule of DnD is "Have Fun". What you are saying is that every game of DnD with every group will be more fun without fudging rolls. Unless the group in question consists of "Little Kids". Yes, some groups may prefer putting themselves completally at the whim of the dice, they may prefer a game where, if the dice say you die, you die and the party just has to make do. And for a group like that, a good DM will not fudge rolls.
    However, some groups would rather beat the dragon due to a few fudged rolls, than die horribly by playing strictly "By the book". I know that if my DM fudges a roll, I've forgotten about it thirty seconds later. I don't think "Man, I know we beat the dragon, but it dosn't count because the DM fudged that saving throw"
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  23. - Top - End - #23
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    mistformsquirrl's Avatar

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    Default Re: fudging rolls isn't as good as you think it is.

    Quote Originally Posted by PairO'Dice Lost View Post
    When I DM, I don't fudge rolls--I play by the same rules the players do, and tell them up front that if they do something stupid or if the dice come up badly I'm not going to change it. My players appreciate knowing this, and accept it just fine.

    When one of my players DMs, he sometimes fudges rolls--He prefers drama and heroism over strict rules adherence, and tells us up front that if we do something dramatic or heroic, he might change a bad roll (as long as it wasn't a stupid idea). While playing, we appreciate knowing this, and accept it just fine.

    Why is one of these approaches not as valid as the other?
    My thoughts exactly.

    There is no "One True Way" to do things; that goes for the vast majority of creativity as well; but roleplaying in particular.

    *edit*

    Also a big +1 to Djinn and Tonic.
    Last edited by mistformsquirrl; 2009-07-20 at 03:28 PM.
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    PirateGuy

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    Default Re: fudging rolls isn't as good as you think it is.

    "I've rarely, if ever, heard players talk about how they want their DM to provide drama or story. "

    What then do the players want the dungeon master to provide?
    YOUNG GOAT!

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    Better run, GOAT
    You're much to young, GOAT!

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    WhiteWizardGirl

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    Default Re: fudging rolls isn't as good as you think it is.

    Quote Originally Posted by GoatToucher View Post
    "I've rarely, if ever, heard players talk about how they want their DM to provide drama or story. "

    What then do the players want the dungeon master to provide?
    Loots and exp.





  26. - Top - End - #26
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    AssassinGuy

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    Default Re: fudging rolls isn't as good as you think it is.

    I like honesty. As DM I roll the dice right out in front of everyone. The players see if the enemies are doing well or poorly, and while they may not know what modifiers those enemies have, they can certainly tell when a 1 or 20 shows up.

  27. - Top - End - #27
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    OldWizardGuy

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    Default Re: fudging rolls isn't as good as you think it is.

    Well, I'm a little torn on the whole issue, because I'm torn between simulation and storytelling. What Jolly Steve advocates here is basically full-on simulation. The dice get to say what happens, the GM has no input. A computer game would run just the same in the instant in question. That has a certain appeal - the one with the encounter tables and random rumor lists - and I occasionally dream about a campaign evolving randomly from a consistent set of meta-rules. In the end though, I usually wind up more satisfied with producing a well thought-out story and running that. It's also a lot less work, because, what Steve omits is this: maybe the players don't want the GM to provide story and drama, but then something else has to do that. So you need die rolls simulating all the politics, monster migrations and rises-of-evil that power the game. Now think about the books you could fill with that....

    So, well, maybe players aren't looking for drama and story, and maybe they wouldn't mind being killed by chance. But I enjoy providing drama and story, and I prefer to decide myself if and when my PCs die. And, frankly, it's my game, I play it the way I want to, and if the players don't complain, I'll assume they're fine with it.

    That said, it doesn't always need a die fudge. Just let them screw up, then save their sorry behinds in-story.

  28. - Top - End - #28
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    OrcBarbarianGuy

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    Default Re: fudging rolls isn't as good as you think it is.

    Jolly Steve:

    I was going to quote your post, and give a line-by-line refutation, including my own experiences of 29 years of DMing (of which has shown me that some players *DO* want you to fudge to avoid meaningless deaths, and that some players *DO* want story, and that some DM's *ARE* storytellers.)

    But everyone else got to the thread before I did, and quite frankly their responses are far better than mine could be. I'll quote the one I liked the best, as it pretty much sums up the whole issue.

    Quote Originally Posted by PairO'Dice Lost View Post
    When I DM, I don't fudge rolls--I play by the same rules the players do, and tell them up front that if they do something stupid or if the dice come up badly I'm not going to change it. My players appreciate knowing this, and accept it just fine.

    When one of my players DMs, he sometimes fudges rolls--He prefers drama and heroism over strict rules adherence, and tells us up front that if we do something dramatic or heroic, he might change a bad roll (as long as it wasn't a stupid idea). While playing, we appreciate knowing this, and accept it just fine.

    Why is one of these approaches not as valid as the other?
    That really is a perfect response, in a nutshell. Like I've said in other threads, it's all D&D. We all play differently, some of us fudge, some of us don't. Some of us are storytellers, some of us are roleplayers, some of us just let the dice create the story, some of us don't bother with that at all and just play hack and slash.

    Somebody's signature line comes to mind right now: "There are roleplayers, and there are roll-players. The ROLEplayers are the real gamers."

    Nice quote. And utterly, completely, totally INCORRECT. People who game, are gamers. Roleplaying, story, fudge or no fudge... irrelevant. We all are gamers, and to each their own.

    So in conclusion, the only reason I'm debating you is that you seem to imply that we should only be doing it your way. You are wrong. But I do admit there is merit in your way. Enjoy your game, I'm sure your gamer group will too. I will enjoy my way.

    (Personally, I like walnuts in my fudge.) (I don't know why I wrote that, it just came unbidden.)

    *~*~*

    Edited, even though I haven't hit the 'Post' button quite yet...

    In defense of Jolly Steve, I should point out an interesting memory I just had.

    In 29 years of playing and DMing, I have run quite a few campaigns, seen story arcs run for years, characters who still are active after decades of play, and adventures I've played to the far reaches of the world (well, several different worlds, different DM's).

    And yet, of all those experiences, there are three gaming sessions that stand out, of dozens of campaigns and hundreds of sessions, three alone that pop to mind before all others.

    I died, in all three of those sessions.

    Actually, I've died many more times than that, but what makes them particularly memorable is that it was a TPK in two of the three sessions (I was the last man standing in each, before finally succumbing to injuries), and in the third, I was able to bring every single character I had ever had in that entire campaign world, and LOST EVERY SINGLE ONE of them, and of the total party size of over 80 PC's and NPC's, of which only FIVE survived.

    Three gamesessions, three total wipeouts. Two of them didn't matter, the campaign was either so early that we just restarted, or was just random play - but the 75+ kill session totally wrecked the flow of the game and forced the DM to come up with an entirely different grand finale. (No, we didn't lose 75 people in the grand finale.... we lost it in some random time filler the gamesession just before the grand finale! HA!!!)

    Two TPK's and a total trainwreck of a grand finale would seem like a disaster, and losing EVERYONE I'd ever played was also a bummer... but 20 years later it still is the most memorable game session I've ever played in.

    I think Jolly Steve understands the weird enjoyment one can have from experiencing such... 'occurances'. (I had trouble coming up with the right word there. 'Disasters?' 'Tragedies?' 'Dark Comedies?' Or how about 'Exhilarating, Bone-Chilling, Nerve-Wracking moments of Pure Awesome?')

    TPK's can wreck a game. Your players probably don't want to lose their characters. Losing a character to just a random die roll is even worse. But if it occasionally occurs, if danger sometimes overtakes you, if tragedy sometimes strikes... if outright disaster totally TPK's the party and the campaign... the players might still be talking about it with wistful eyes and excitement in their voice, unto their old age decades from now.

    I mean... wouldn't that be a tale to remember!
    Quote Originally Posted by Swordguy View Post
    Casters effectively lost every weakness they had (from AD&D), and everyone else suffered for it. Since this was done as a direct result of player requests ("make magic better!"), I consider it one of the all-time best reasons NOT to listen to player requests.

    Most people wouldn't know what makes a good game if it stripped naked, painted itself purple, and jumped up on a table singing "look what a good game I am!".

  29. - Top - End - #29
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    OrcBarbarianGuy

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    Default Re: fudging rolls isn't as good as you think it is.

    OK, I think PairO'Dice-Lost has just become the most quoted poster in recent history, all for his one single post. We should get an internet meme going and post his quote all over the web, till in chain letter fashion it starts getting posted back to us.
    Quote Originally Posted by Swordguy View Post
    Casters effectively lost every weakness they had (from AD&D), and everyone else suffered for it. Since this was done as a direct result of player requests ("make magic better!"), I consider it one of the all-time best reasons NOT to listen to player requests.

    Most people wouldn't know what makes a good game if it stripped naked, painted itself purple, and jumped up on a table singing "look what a good game I am!".

  30. - Top - End - #30
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    PairO'Dice Lost's Avatar

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    Default Re: fudging rolls isn't as good as you think it is.

    Quote Originally Posted by Jarawara View Post
    OK, I think PairO'Dice-Lost has just become the most quoted poster in recent history, all for his one single post. We should get an internet meme going and post his quote all over the web, till in chain letter fashion it starts getting posted back to us.
    Thanks...I think?
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