Do you fudge die rolls? Creature Stats? On the fly?

Open Discussion on all things C&C from new product to general questions to the rules, the laws, and the chaos.
Post Reply
User avatar
DMSamuel
Red Cap
Posts: 345
Joined: Thu Jun 19, 2014 2:48 am
Location: Downstate NY
Contact:

Do you fudge die rolls? Creature Stats? On the fly?

Post by DMSamuel »

I was having a conversation on another website and it prompted me to write a blog post about fudging die rolls.

A PC died in my 2e D&D session a few weeks ago. As the DM I could have saved him. I could have fudged a table read (for potency of poison). I could have simply ruled the poison made him fatigued and given him mechanical penalties for a while. Instead, I had him roll on the potency table. He rolled a 20 – death within 6 rounds. The PC died.

Some would say it was a senseless, unnecessary death. The PC died after the party was attacked by venomous snakes. It WAS a random encounter that occurred while they were resting and on watch. Does it matter that they were warned about the potent venom before they went to the area? Should I have saved him by DM fiat? After all, if I had done so, the players would have never known – it would have been completely invisible to them.

The way that I run games I roll all attack and damage dice out in the open and I let them fall where they may. My players know that I don’t pull punches and if they choose to stay in a fight with a dangerous foe (rather than strategically retreat or flee) then they have the possibility of going down/dying/dropping (whatever your preferred term).

There is another type of fudging that is different from die roll changes – fudging in terms of encounter/creature strength. I have adjusted that on the fly occasionally in the past, though I don’t do so any longer. The games I run nowadays are easy enough to prep for, and I have been doing it long enough with the same group, that I don’t end up adjusting that stuff on the fly anymore.

I do also want to say that I am not strongly for or against ‘fudging’ as a strategy. If it is what a GM chooses and fits how they run their game, as long as the players are having fun, then that sounds good to me. It’s a strategy – some like it and some don’t like it. I am neutral. I know what I like, and I know how I run my table, but I don’t judge those who do it different than than I do.

Some people are morally opposed to fudging anything – they consider it the same as lying or cheating. I’m not so strongly opposed to it, but I would prefer to run/play a game that basically has no fudging (or very very little).

My reasons for not liking fudging isn’t because I am morally opposed, but because I want the threat of death to be real (in the game) – that’s part of the excitement and wonder and danger of playing RPGs. If, every time my character gets down toward death, the GM suddenly decides that the creatures we are fighting have 75% less hit points or suddenly have very low armor class, then the GM just took away my threat of death. That is the part of fudging that I dislike in my RPG experience.

I had a game where my PC should have died – it was a dark sun game a long time ago and I was in an arena match, fighting as a gladiator – my opponent struck the killing blow and as my PC went down, the DM decided that I would have one final spasm of activity and I slammed my sword into my foe, killing him. Not only that, but I suddenly was NOT in negative hit points anymore!

It sucked. I didn’t choose it, the DM did, and I would have rather my PC went down honestly, heroically fighting.

It was a very unsatisfying session because it was the DM having us play out his story, NOT letting the randomness of the dice sometimes decide what was going to happen. If my character died, it would have destroyed the DM’s next planned campaign arc, and so he couldn’t let that happen. I consider it an all-too-common DM mistake. But if he had fudged a little earlier and had my PC take out the enemy with the last hit that I had landed, would I have known? After all, I didn’t know the stats of the creature I was fighting.

In any case – it was shortly after that session that I decided that I would try my hardest to not fudge again. I try very hard to create interesting situations for the PCs to deal with and sometimes they will die. Sometimes the things they meet are too powerful for them to beat (at least right now) and they will have to retreat and come back later – usually (95% of the time) they have some clue that the thing is more powerful than they are and they have a choice to make. If they choose to stay and fight knowing that they could die, then so be it – I’ll not rob their characters of an heroic death. If, however, they choose to flee, then I appreciate that they made a decision that let them live to fight another day and the story goes on. Either way, their decision was meaningful. Then again – I run games where the PCs chance of death at low level are very high and the players all know that, so the system supports that style.

So… I don’t know how much fudging is appropriate for a game or a group. I have this idea that fudging runs along a continuum. Some people are 100% hard-core no fudge what-so-ever. Some are on the other extreme – having the opinion that it’s okay to fudge to mold the story as long as everyone is having fun and the story calls for it. Some are clearly in the middle and possibly conflicted about fudging, but seeing it as a GM strategy to facilitate fun for everyone at the table.

So... do you fudge rolls?
Do you find the question completely unnecessary in C&C?
In any other game?
Do you have bad/good/interesting experiences?

Share your thoughts!

(note that this was also posted on my blog, in slightly modified form: RPG Musings)
~DMSamuel
---
Website: RPG Musings
Actual Play Podcast (5e): D&DeBrief

alcyone
Greater Lore Drake
Posts: 2727
Joined: Mon Oct 15, 2007 7:00 am
Location: The Court of the Crimson King

Re: Do you fudge die rolls? Creature Stats? On the fly?

Post by alcyone »

I guess that once I decide that I want a random result for something, I live with it. If I want to select a result, or make something up, I do that instead. I am not sure what the point is of deciding you will roll, but only taking the roll if it's what you want?

I think if you are rolling on a table and decide before hand, i will roll again if I get this or that, that's fine.

That said, I don't think that fudging dice makes the CK a cheater. I think a cheater might fudge dice, but I think a cheating CK is a rare thing, it's pretty hard to do, since you are creating the world and adjudicating the rules at your discretion.
My C&C stuff: www.rpggrognard.com

User avatar
DMSamuel
Red Cap
Posts: 345
Joined: Thu Jun 19, 2014 2:48 am
Location: Downstate NY
Contact:

Re: Do you fudge die rolls? Creature Stats? On the fly?

Post by DMSamuel »

Aergraith wrote:I am not sure what the point is of deciding you will roll, but only taking the roll if it's what you want?
This is exactly my thought and is the main reasoning for not fudging.

Apparently this is a hot button topic for some - I was just wondering if it was among the C&C players.
~DMSamuel
---
Website: RPG Musings
Actual Play Podcast (5e): D&DeBrief

User avatar
Sir Ironside
Lore Drake
Posts: 1595
Joined: Sat May 02, 2009 7:00 am

Re: Do you fudge die rolls? Creature Stats? On the fly?

Post by Sir Ironside »

I admittedly fudge things, on occasion. It is a very rare occurrence and only if the situation demands it, in the sense that it would add drama, or another way of looking at it, it would've taken away some drama. Rarely does this happen when it is for a foil of my making, I mostly do it in favour of the players. Though all my players well know that I'll let horrible things happen to their characters and there is always the real threat of dying. I also try very hard to not put them in a no-win situation. There is always a way out and sometimes that way out could have multiples of options, and sometimes it may not be apparent.

One time I had a character that was running away from some pretty badass aliens on a ship where half of the ship was turned to stone. He was left with the choice of standing and fighting or doing a spacewalk/jump to his waiting ship. Seeing as how all his mates, which just got a shit kicking from the aliens, abandoned him and had already made the jump to the ship. Everything would've been fine except, in the struggle, his face plate got cracked and was getting worse each second. If his face plate failed he'd be exposed to space and the likely hood of his survival was slim to none. I decided then to make this moment more dramatic than it had any right to be, which would require a series of rolls to determine the outcome. Even fudging the dice, twice, he still ended up not making it... but in the process everyone was on their edge of their seat. Had I just played it straight his death would've felt cheap. I'm always for making the experience a good one over going totally RAW the entire way.
"Paranoia is just another word for ignorance." - Hunter S. Thompson

User avatar
ThrorII
Red Cap
Posts: 326
Joined: Tue Oct 23, 2007 7:00 am

Re: Do you fudge die rolls? Creature Stats? On the fly?

Post by ThrorII »

I rarely fudge rolls. When I do fudge things, it usually revolves around fudging hp's for adversaries. I've upped hp's a few times during fights with Big Bads or Big Bad's Lieutenants, when the party is tearing through them too fast and too easy. I've turned a 5HD Ogre chieftain in to a 6HD Ogre chieftain (for example) based on how the players are doing. I want them to have epic fights.

I don't fudge rolls for stupid player decisions, but if the player is taking actions that move the story along or create good drama, then I've erred on their side if it keeps the story moving.

User avatar
pawndream
Red Cap
Posts: 230
Joined: Wed Feb 15, 2012 6:25 am
Location: Texas

Re: Do you fudge die rolls? Creature Stats? On the fly?

Post by pawndream »

If I am going to roll a dice to determine something, I don't then change that result after I have rolled. So, no fudging from me as a GM.

I roll everything in the open though, so that helps keep things transparent and fair.

jdizzy001
Ulthal
Posts: 532
Joined: Thu Jul 19, 2012 5:26 am

Re: Do you fudge die rolls? Creature Stats? On the fly?

Post by jdizzy001 »

I won't fudge dice rolls, but I'll change a cl in the middle of an ongoing encounter if it proves too daunting for the pc's. I try to encorperate the change thematically (something crumbles, breaks, or moves) but sometimes if the pc's havent figured out the cl, i'll just change it.

I usually make up monsters on the fly. However with the easy of which a monster block is created in cnc, I find i don't need to do that.
Image

serleran
Mogrl
Posts: 13866
Joined: Mon Oct 13, 2008 7:00 am

Re: Do you fudge die rolls? Creature Stats? On the fly?

Post by serleran »

I will do anything that makes the game more interesting, dynamic, and fun. If that means my super boss monster dies from one hit because the player said something and rolled well... so be it. Likewise, if the monster does something awesome and the player has to suffer... so be it. Sometimes, it might mean changing a roll or two, but generally not against the players (except for treasure.) Its usually about finding a loophole circumstance that makes things the way they become, and then forgetting about it later so it cannot be abused. The dice are servants. The rules are too. They even say so.

Of course I make up monsters. If I planned everything in advance, the players would never experience it because they'd be dead. Or their characters, probably. No Black Leafs allowed.

User avatar
Buttmonkey
Greater Lore Drake
Posts: 2031
Joined: Fri Jun 15, 2007 7:00 am

Re: Do you fudge die rolls? Creature Stats? On the fly?

Post by Buttmonkey »

I don't fudge in terms of altering combat rolls. I stopped using a GM screen a few months ago and much prefer the excitement and immediateness of rolling things out in the open. However, I do adjust encounter strength on the fly all the time. I frequently don't even decide how many hit points a creature has until halfway through combat.

There were several threads on Dragonsfoot concerning fudging that the OP might want to check out. It was a very hot topic approximately two months ago.

I don't think there is anything about C&C that would encourage or discourage fudging compared to other RPGs.
tylermo wrote:Your efforts are greatly appreciated, Buttmonkey. Can't believe I said that with a straight face.

Fizz
Lore Drake
Posts: 1081
Joined: Mon Feb 19, 2007 8:00 am

Re: Do you fudge die rolls? Creature Stats? On the fly?

Post by Fizz »

I think fudging is ok so long as it's in the name of fun.

If a particular lucky roll would wipe out half the party and ruin the adventure outright, then that doesn't seem worth it. I'd fudge that.

Alternatively, if they encounter a brand new particularly-deadly danger, then some warning to the party might be a good thing before killing them off. I might fudge the result so it hurts them, but gives them a chance to recover or learn from it. Of course, if they continue to push it from there, all bets are off.

Basically, i like the party to have a choice. If a situation arises where they don't have a choice, i'm more likely to fudge the numbers to give them a fighting chance.


-Fizz

User avatar
Omote
Battle Stag
Posts: 11560
Joined: Wed May 03, 2006 7:00 am
Location: The fairest view in the park, Ohio.
Contact:

Re: Do you fudge die rolls? Creature Stats? On the fly?

Post by Omote »

Fudge only when necessary to make game better.
Better is good.
Fire is bad.

~O
@-Duke Omote Landwehr, Holy Order of the FPQ ~ Prince of the Castles & Crusades Society-@
VAE VICTUS!
>> Omote's Advanced C&C stuff <<

User avatar
Fiffergrund
Lore Drake
Posts: 1082
Joined: Thu Mar 30, 2006 8:00 am
Location: Toronto, Ontario

Re: Do you fudge die rolls? Creature Stats? On the fly?

Post by Fiffergrund »

Die rolls? Almost never, unless it's a random encounter table, and I've already told myself certain results are re-rolls.

Monster stats? All the time. If I created the encounter to begin with, there's nothing forcing me to keep it as written, if it was written down at all. As long as I'm not unfair about it, I don't see a problem with tweaking some things to make the fight interesting.

I do draw the line at opposing spellcasters, though. Giving them "the perfect spell" on the fly is being adversarial and not neutral.

Other than that, in-game reality is what I say it is.
Marshal Fiffergrund, Knight-Errant of the Castle and Crusade Society

User avatar
Sir Ironside
Lore Drake
Posts: 1595
Joined: Sat May 02, 2009 7:00 am

Re: Do you fudge die rolls? Creature Stats? On the fly?

Post by Sir Ironside »

pawndream wrote:I roll everything in the open though, so that helps keep things transparent and fair.
I know many people have these same views, but I don't think I'll be abandoning secret rolls anytime soon. Especially for any game that has things like random encounters, discover hidden doors etc. I do many "faux" rolls in an attempt to keep the mystery a mystery. This is particularly useful with the two above examples as it is human nature to pick-up on cues and use them even if the character has no idea what is going on. I'm not saying that my players are "cheating" I'm saying they are just human and if I just rolled when was necessary then the players know something is up. If my players know I just chuck my dice for no reason and it amounts to nothing, there are no cues that can easily be worked out.

So, that roll I just did maybe it was me just screwing around or I could've been rolling to see if the Elf stumbled across that secret door.
"Paranoia is just another word for ignorance." - Hunter S. Thompson

User avatar
Buttmonkey
Greater Lore Drake
Posts: 2031
Joined: Fri Jun 15, 2007 7:00 am

Re: Do you fudge die rolls? Creature Stats? On the fly?

Post by Buttmonkey »

Sir Ironside wrote:
pawndream wrote:I roll everything in the open though, so that helps keep things transparent and fair.
I know many people have these same views, but I don't think I'll be abandoning secret rolls anytime soon. Especially for any game that has things like random encounters, discover hidden doors etc. I do many "faux" rolls in an attempt to keep the mystery a mystery. This is particularly useful with the two above examples as it is human nature to pick-up on cues and use them even if the character has no idea what is going on. I'm not saying that my players are "cheating" I'm saying they are just human and if I just rolled when was necessary then the players know something is up. If my players know I just chuck my dice for no reason and it amounts to nothing, there are no cues that can easily be worked out.

So, that roll I just did maybe it was me just screwing around or I could've been rolling to see if the Elf stumbled across that secret door.
When people say they roll everything in the open, I think that is generally code for "I roll everything in the open except for checks the players shouldn't know the results of such as secret door detection, trap door detection, wandering monster checks, etc." Rolling everything in the open just refers to monster attack rolls, damage rolls, and saving throws.
tylermo wrote:Your efforts are greatly appreciated, Buttmonkey. Can't believe I said that with a straight face.

User avatar
Sir Ironside
Lore Drake
Posts: 1595
Joined: Sat May 02, 2009 7:00 am

Re: Do you fudge die rolls? Creature Stats? On the fly?

Post by Sir Ironside »

Buttmonkey wrote:When people say they roll everything in the open, I think that is generally code for "I roll everything in the open except for checks the players shouldn't know the results of such as secret door detection, trap door detection, wandering monster checks, etc." Rolling everything in the open just refers to monster attack rolls, damage rolls, and saving throws.
I'm sure there is truth to this, but I do know that there are many that roll everything in the open. I'm not saying there is anything wrong with that, it is just a difference of play style. But, even doing it this way you are still providing cues, to your players, that something is up. Some people are very good at keeping player knowledge and character knowledge separate, but there are many others that have difficulty in doing so, forcing the CK to constantly remind them that their character doesn't know what they know. I just find it easier, all around, to do secret and faux rolls of the dice. In my own experience I find the game to run smoother and keeps everyone invested.

I do think that a part of these styles maybe because the CK is adversarial rather than neutral or plot driven. I could definitely see the players wanting open rolls in this case.
"Paranoia is just another word for ignorance." - Hunter S. Thompson

User avatar
DMSamuel
Red Cap
Posts: 345
Joined: Thu Jun 19, 2014 2:48 am
Location: Downstate NY
Contact:

Re: Do you fudge die rolls? Creature Stats? On the fly?

Post by DMSamuel »

Yes, I only roll attack and damage rolls in the open - other checks are kept secret and I also do the "faux roll" because it keeps them guessing.
~DMSamuel
---
Website: RPG Musings
Actual Play Podcast (5e): D&DeBrief

User avatar
pawndream
Red Cap
Posts: 230
Joined: Wed Feb 15, 2012 6:25 am
Location: Texas

Re: Do you fudge die rolls? Creature Stats? On the fly?

Post by pawndream »

Buttmonkey wrote: When people say they roll everything in the open, I think that is generally code for "I roll everything in the open except for checks the players shouldn't know the results of such as secret door detection, trap door detection, wandering monster checks, etc." Rolling everything in the open just refers to monster attack rolls, damage rolls, and saving throws.
No. I actually roll everything in the open.

I have never used a screen and have the players roll their own dice for secret door/trap detection, etc. Players handle their own dice rolls for their characters actions. I handle NPCs and monsters.

I also do not do the faux roll thing. If I am rolling the dice, it is for an actual reason, not just to play mind games with the players. Nothing wrong with faux rolls: it's just not my style.

User avatar
Buttmonkey
Greater Lore Drake
Posts: 2031
Joined: Fri Jun 15, 2007 7:00 am

Re: Do you fudge die rolls? Creature Stats? On the fly?

Post by Buttmonkey »

pawndream wrote:
Buttmonkey wrote: When people say they roll everything in the open, I think that is generally code for "I roll everything in the open except for checks the players shouldn't know the results of such as secret door detection, trap door detection, wandering monster checks, etc." Rolling everything in the open just refers to monster attack rolls, damage rolls, and saving throws.
No. I actually roll everything in the open.
That's why I said "generally". How do you handle things like trap detection? If the player rolls poorly, do you just say, "Well, if there is a trap, you didn't find it"? Or how about move silently checks? I'm guessing you've got a very mature group of players who do a good job of keeping PC vs. player knowledge separate.
tylermo wrote:Your efforts are greatly appreciated, Buttmonkey. Can't believe I said that with a straight face.

User avatar
pawndream
Red Cap
Posts: 230
Joined: Wed Feb 15, 2012 6:25 am
Location: Texas

Re: Do you fudge die rolls? Creature Stats? On the fly?

Post by pawndream »

Buttmonkey wrote:
pawndream wrote:
Buttmonkey wrote: When people say they roll everything in the open, I think that is generally code for "I roll everything in the open except for checks the players shouldn't know the results of such as secret door detection, trap door detection, wandering monster checks, etc." Rolling everything in the open just refers to monster attack rolls, damage rolls, and saving throws.
No. I actually roll everything in the open.
That's why I said "generally". How do you handle things like trap detection? If the player rolls poorly, do you just say, "Well, if there is a trap, you didn't find it"? Or how about move silently checks? I'm guessing you've got a very mature group of players who do a good job of keeping PC vs. player knowledge separate.

Pretty much. We laugh about it and move on. For a move silently check that is not rolled very well, the players might even describe their botched attempt as well.

I keep things transparent and have been fortunate to play with mature players who are capable of separating in-game and out-of-game knowledge. I occasionally have run into situations where it is obvious a player is acting on metagame knowledge of a die roll, in those case I gently remind them of this and we move on.

I am definitely not an adversarial GM. I am always pulling for the PCs to be victorious in every endeavor, but I don't treat them with kid gloves either. I want them to succeed, but allow for them to fail.

User avatar
seskis281
Lore Drake
Posts: 1775
Joined: Thu Jul 20, 2006 7:00 am
Location: Manitowoc WI
Contact:

Re: Do you fudge die rolls? Creature Stats? On the fly?

Post by seskis281 »

The beauty of C&C is that you really don't have to "fudge..." I do roll some things in open for dramatic effect but mostly roll on a table to my side - not "hidden" but not easy to see, but mainly the answer is in applying a CL that is appropriate (some things are just not going to happen), and while I use crits (both nat 1s and nat 20s) in combats and saves, I also use hero pts and luck pts from the CKG that give characters the ability to heroically overcome epic disasters.... of course we still had an NPC henchman have his head bit off by the Vorpal bite of a 3e Famine Spirit I dropped into the last campaign.
John "Sir Seskis" Wright

Dreamer of Ilshara
Lands of Ilshara: http://johnwright281.tripod.com

User avatar
Captain_K
Greater Lore Drake
Posts: 2278
Joined: Sun Dec 29, 2013 10:37 pm
Location: North Coast

Re: Do you fudge die rolls? Creature Stats? On the fly?

Post by Captain_K »

Did the death of a PC kill the fun for all? Slow the game down? What did the player do without his PC that night???

In general, if you expect deaths, plan for them and have ways for the group and the PC to keep having fun.

Fatalities are nice from time to time, but don't let them ruin even one night for one PC..

So should you fudge, only to keep things moving, so you have to be ready both ways.
Wow, Another Natural One! You guys are a sink hole for luck. Stay away from my dice.

User avatar
DMSamuel
Red Cap
Posts: 345
Joined: Thu Jun 19, 2014 2:48 am
Location: Downstate NY
Contact:

Re: Do you fudge die rolls? Creature Stats? On the fly?

Post by DMSamuel »

Captain_K wrote:Did the death of a PC kill the fun for all? Slow the game down? What did the player do without his PC that night???
In this particular case that I mentioned above, the PC died at the very end of a 12 hour session. So it didn't slow down the game at all, IN C&C and Basic D&D, chargen is quick enough that a new PC can be made and join the party that same game.

In the 2e D&D game, they are using all sorts of splatbooks, so it would not have been viable to do that. So what I usually do is either 1) give that player a stand-in PC (I always have a few of those ready), or 2) have the player run the monsters and some NPCs for the rest of the session.

I make sure than any player who has a PC die isn't stuck for the entire session having no fun.
~DMSamuel
---
Website: RPG Musings
Actual Play Podcast (5e): D&DeBrief

User avatar
seskis281
Lore Drake
Posts: 1775
Joined: Thu Jul 20, 2006 7:00 am
Location: Manitowoc WI
Contact:

Re: Do you fudge die rolls? Creature Stats? On the fly?

Post by seskis281 »

Res spells also do the trick...
John "Sir Seskis" Wright

Dreamer of Ilshara
Lands of Ilshara: http://johnwright281.tripod.com

User avatar
Buttmonkey
Greater Lore Drake
Posts: 2031
Joined: Fri Jun 15, 2007 7:00 am

Re: Do you fudge die rolls? Creature Stats? On the fly?

Post by Buttmonkey »

I'm pretty sure the only character deaths I've had in my campaign were either toward the end of a session or a TPK. If I had a lone death early on, I'd have the PC run one of the NPC meat shields that always seem to accompany the party and then roll up a new PC during a break.
tylermo wrote:Your efforts are greatly appreciated, Buttmonkey. Can't believe I said that with a straight face.

User avatar
trashheap
Ungern
Posts: 79
Joined: Fri Dec 23, 2011 2:56 pm
Contact:

Re: Do you fudge die rolls? Creature Stats? On the fly?

Post by trashheap »

I tend to fudge rolls, downgrade CLs, remove abilities from some monsters in the following scenarios:
  • When a player decimates a monster/npc within 1-3 of its last remaining hit points I may go ahead and drop it dead. Especially if its been a longer fight.
    The player fails a roll that means life or death when I feel that ive failed to convey how dangerous the environment or encounter was in practice.
    For whatever reason to few people are at my game table this session, and the encounter's difficulty is skewed.
    For whatever reason I failed to appreciate how difficult something I planed on is in practice.
I tend not to fudge things in the following scenarios:
  • When I feel like I have successfully conveyed how dangerous the environment is.
    When the players are doing something stupid stupid stupid.

Fizz
Lore Drake
Posts: 1081
Joined: Mon Feb 19, 2007 8:00 am

Re: Do you fudge die rolls? Creature Stats? On the fly?

Post by Fizz »

That is a well-spoken, concise list trashheap. It's consistent with my own philosophy.

-Fizz

alcyone
Greater Lore Drake
Posts: 2727
Joined: Mon Oct 15, 2007 7:00 am
Location: The Court of the Crimson King

Re: Do you fudge die rolls? Creature Stats? On the fly?

Post by alcyone »

Since the CK in most cases is free to make up a CL and keep it secret, fudging the actual roll is sort of odd. It's more likely the CK will change the CL secretly between attempts. I try not to do this; I like the idea of a CL becoming fixed in time so it becomes clear to players that as they advance they will get better at beating it and their level and attribute bonuses feel meaningful.
My C&C stuff: www.rpggrognard.com

User avatar
Sir Ironside
Lore Drake
Posts: 1595
Joined: Sat May 02, 2009 7:00 am

Re: Do you fudge die rolls? Creature Stats? On the fly?

Post by Sir Ironside »

Aergraith wrote:Since the CK in most cases is free to make up a CL and keep it secret, fudging the actual roll is sort of odd. It's more likely the CK will change the CL secretly between attempts. I try not to do this; I like the idea of a CL becoming fixed in time so it becomes clear to players that as they advance they will get better at beating it and their level and attribute bonuses feel meaningful.
I think you are relating the question as C&C specific and that fudged "anything" happens at a regular or even planned pace. I've taken the question as my over-all time as a DM/GM/CK that I have participated in many different types of games. And my fudging is rare and dependent on what is best for the story.

My Amazing Engine campaign that lasted for around 60 weeks one time a week or 60 sessions, I can count on one hand how many times I fudged anything.
"Paranoia is just another word for ignorance." - Hunter S. Thompson

serleran
Mogrl
Posts: 13866
Joined: Mon Oct 13, 2008 7:00 am

Re: Do you fudge die rolls? Creature Stats? On the fly?

Post by serleran »

I have a creature in my world called the fudge brownie. The reward for defeating it is the players can each select one die roll. Any die roll. But, they only have 3 sessions to use it.

Pat Payne
Hlobane Orc
Posts: 135
Joined: Mon Jun 30, 2008 7:00 am
Location: Los Angeles County, CA

Re: Do you fudge die rolls? Creature Stats? On the fly?

Post by Pat Payne »

Omote wrote:Fudge only when necessary to make game better.
Better is good.
Fire is bad.

~O
"...Richard Baseheart is good."

I steadfastly refuse to fudge in a way that harms the players. But if I really don't want them to die for some reason (what can I say? I'm an old softie... :D ) I'll fudge a natural 20 into a normal hit or fudge on damage.

The most I've ever done is flat-out faked a pick pockets roll... setup -- the PCs are in the Suss forest looking for an ancient Suel temple and dungeon to find an artifact that may mean TEOTOAWKI. They came across a group of Suel knights who tasked themselves with keeping intruders away by any means necessary as they too went looking for the hidden temple. Whether this meant feeding and sheltering lost pilgrims for a night then sending them on their way, or killing more purposeful visitors, it was all good. While the party was presumed to be the former, and were being given a meager meal of porridge and cheese, the party F/MU blurts out about the temple they're looking for. Whereupon, the cleric of Pyremius gives them each a second helping, with a sleeping draught.

After MacGyver-ing their way out of the cell under the motte of the wooden keep, they found themselves trapped in the keep. The knight in command was having none of it, and in the spirit of "even our own shelter will not stand in the way of our mission" ordered the staff-slings and burning oil to come out to burn them alive. After a running archery battle, the Suel managed to set the keep aflame, and it went up fairly quick. So, the NPC henchman dwarven thief, not wishing to die in firy burnination (and the CK, wishing to get the players to realize that retreat is indeed an option) decided to pick the F/MU's pack for one of the ultra-rare gunpowder bombs -- usually gunpowder doesn't work in Greyhawk, this was a hand-wave. I rolled a "5", and through "creative mathematics," wound up with a 20, and Dwuri, the thief had horked a gunpowder grenade. Whereupon the following occurred, paraphrased:

Wolf (Kevin's F/MU): We're going to keep firing. Everybody's here, right?
Me: Let's take a headcount -- You're here, Blanca's here, Drex's here, Pakalika's here...
Wolf: What about Dwuri?
Me: Dwuri? Well I promised I wouldn't say anything, but I did see that little moron running downstairs with one of your gunpowder grenades... *paff* (yes, shamelessly stolen from MST3K:TMP)
Everybody runs downstairs to see a hole big enough to crawl through, and Dwuri patting out a small fire in his beard. They took the hint and scarpered down the Motte, over the moat, and out to freedom. (I'd ruled that the wall only extended over the bailey and not around the motte, as the 10-foot height was going to be enough to ward off what they expected to face).

Post Reply