Tuesday, August 10, 2021

Disagreement On Every Level

Recently, it feels like every time I comment on someone else's blog, it's almost always some super-negative, ranty bit of spite and bile. Which (and I'm sure I've written THIS before in multiple blog posts) isn't all that helpful/constructive: telling someone "you suck" is a good way to get them to ignore you and continue on their merry way, wrong-headed or not.

Also...ugh...I don't need to swim in the negativity. I already spend too much time swimming in that particular sea on a mostly daily basis. And my life is awesome! Jesus H, I have nothing to complain/worry about...why I bother getting worked up about shit like climate change or racist politics or folks dying of some disease that I'm vaccinated against. Shit...why should I care? I bought a share of Moderna stock back in February when it was around $150...that bitch just hit $492 yesterday! Life is good, the weather's sunny (again...been a lot of that this summer). Probably grill up some steaks for dinner tonight while the family reclines in front of our flatscreen, checking out some mindless show like Holey Moley or Family Game Fight.


This morning I read this post from Cavegirl on fudging dice that...well, I just found her conclusions to be stunningly bad. Which is to say, I disagree with most about every sentiment expressed in the post. Which is...um, fine? Everyone's entitled to an opinion? Something-something-or-other?

But me being me, there's some stuff I can't just let "sail by" unchallenged. And rather than post some sort of ranty, batshit comment on her blog, I'll scribble it up here:

What the F?! What are we doing here? I mean, what exactly is the point of playing these games? What is the reason for designing them and writing them down and selling them and buying them and running them? What is the point of including randomizers and fortune mechanics like dice and card draws and coin clips? What is the reason for establishing rules and boundaries and limitations?

Why don't we just hang out with our buddies, sipping tea (or beer or vodka or whatever) kabitzing about interesting shit and having a grand old time? Why don't we just watch a movie? Or read a book?

Are we out of money? Are we out of ideas? Are we out of options? Or are we just some sort of delusional idiots going through monkey-see motions, an ancient ritual of play long-ago established in our formative years and repeated now like a superstitious canticle to ward off the specter of boredom or the miseries inherent in daily life? What the actual hell?

Let's think about this for a moment...I mean really think about this. About what the point of it all is. If it's pointless, well, okay then, Do As Thou Wilt shall be the whole of the law. But then...why are you bothering to play such-and-such game? Why are you wasting your time with this? You may be dying of cancer and not even know it...isn't there some other way to enrich your life?!

But if we want to play a game...any game! Pick your poison!...I assume it's because this particular game (any game!) is one that we want to play. And the game has rules. And the rules are part of the game. And we like the game (that's why we want to play) and we like the parts that make up that game (including the rules). 

Ugh. Words are failing me at the moment. It's like trying to explain elementary principles like, I don't know, how to breathe or something. "You suck air down your throat, and then you blow it out again." Something. My brain is melting here. Maybe I'm the one that needs a deep breath.


I'll try this a different way: in a role-playing game that uses a fortune mechanic (like a die roll), the mechanic is presented for a particular reason and that reason isn't simply to give the participants a physical action to perform while sitting around the table. 

[at least not in an RPG that's had some thoughtful design go into it]

Instead, the fortune mechanic is provided to give a random chance of some particular in-game event occurring: success or failure, a spread of potentialities, a degree of achievement, whatever. In my experience, thoughtfully designed games generally have sensible reasons for calling for a particular die roll (i.e. for the use of a fortune mechanic). If the system/setting/design would deem use of the fortune mechanic to be inappropriate or nonsensical, then no such use of the mechanic is preformed.

In other words: don't roll dice if there's no question about what's supposed to happen in a given instance.

As an example: these days I've been playing AD&D. Many of the die-rolling mechanics found in AD&D pertain to combat. That's because the game models battle to be an iffy, chaotic affair that could result in death or defeat for either side depending on tactics, abilities of the combatants involved, and the whims of fate. The "abilities of the combatants" provide the probabilities (a high level fighter is more likely to hit and damage an opponent) while the dice account for the "whims of fate." Tactics, however, can influence both of these things: striking from ambush increase the probability of success (a bonus to attack rolls) as does use of weapon (more or less damage) and may even negate the whims of fate altogether (cutting the throat of a bound prisoner or sleeping opponent results in an auto-kill without dice rolling). 

I can totally understand that some people may not enjoy the "iffy-ness" of AD&D combat. They are certainly welcome to play other games that are more to their liking. They are certainly welcome to modify the AD&D system to their liking, creating their own game...perhaps one where PCs automatically hit or where damage from monsters can never "kill" a player character, only knock them out or something. That is fine and dandy, so long as everyone at the table can come to an agreement that THAT is the game they all want to play.

Because games have rules. When we sit down to the table, we are agreeing to play by the rules of the game being played.

There is never a reason to "fudge" the result of a die roll. There are times when dice are rolled by mistake ("oh, wait, I didn't need to make you roll for that...that's automatic") and a DM who has made a mistake in calling for a die roll at an inappropriate or nonsensical time has two options: 
  1. fess up to the error and reverse ("retcon") the events that occurred due to the die roll, or 
  2. plow ahead with the results. 
Generally, option #1 is recommended unless the result of the die error was either A) trivial in nature, and/or B) provided a favorable result for the players at the table.  But if the die roll was made appropriately (i.e. not a mistake) then there is no reason to not stand by the result of a die roll.

A die roll expresses a number of possibilities: it should be used only when a range of different possibilities are needed.  If my dungeon has a balrog wandering the halls of the 6th level and I want there to be a chance of a dithering bunch of adventurers encountering said balrog while they debate the best choice of a particular crossroads to take, I may roll a die to see if such an encounter occurs...given that there is also a possibility that such an encounter does not (because the balrog is in a different wing of the level, perhaps dining on some corpse the party left in their wake). On the other hand, I may know with absolute certainty that no balrog will be encountered at all (because it was called away on a mission for Sauron or something) OR that it will be 100% encountered (because it has no interest in eating corpses but incredible interest in slaying interlopers and its keen sense of smell allows it to track the bloody bandages of wounded party members), and in such cases no die roll is needed at all. In these latter cases, even rolling a die would be a mistake on my (the DM's) part.

Rules are present in a game for a reason. Secret doors make some things difficult to find (unexplored sections of a map, special monsters, super-cool treasure, etc.). If a DM wants something to be absolutely definitely found by the players, then it shouldn't be located behind a secret door. If there is a clue that the DM absolutely must have the PCs discover, then don't hide it, and don't assign a "random chance" of discovery. Just have them find it. It's not really a "clue" at that point, but a piece of exposition ("the bandits will be meeting at the old church at midnight!") which the players can then choose to ignore or not. 

Don't complain about die results: design and run your adventures better. 

"Playing by the rules" is not something "subjective" or "a matter of taste." If I'm running out of money in a game of Monopoly and I fudge my die roll to not land on my opponent's hotel (or if I slyly gift myself with a no interest "loan" from the bank funds) I am failing to play by the game rules, clear and simple. Yes, it IS cheating...literally, "violating the rules" is a definition of "cheating." Choosing to ignore the result of a die roll is just that. 

Now, rather infamously (since I mentioned AD&D) Gary Gygax wrote in his DMG (with regard to rolling dice) on page 110:
Now and then a player will die through no fault of his own. He or she will have done everything correctly, taken every reasonable precaution, but still the freakish roll of the dice will kill the character. In the long run you should let such things pass as the players will kill more than one opponent with their own freakish rolls at some later time. Yet you do have the right to arbitrate the situation. You can rule that the player, instead of dying, is knocked unconscious, loses a limb, is blinded in one eye or invoke any reasonably severe penalty that still takes into account what the monster has done. 
The emphasis is added by me. Note that Gygax is not advocating for the result a die roll to be fudged; he is instead arbitrating a penalty more-or-less equivalent to death (remember characters can be returned to life in D&D), in order to allow a PC to survive...albeit maimed, blinded, captured, etc. 

Earlier in the same section, Gygax writes it is the DM's "right" to "control the dice at any time," a phrase some might interpret as authorizing the fudging of dice results. I disagree. For me, "controlling" the dice simply means the DM is the one who says when and how (and by whom) the dice will be rolled. Gygax also writes that the DM "has every right to overrule the dice at any time if there is a particular course of events that you would like to have occur." Again, I see this as a mandate to call for there to NOT be a dice roll (when a desirable result is a certainty) rather than a call for the DM to fudge actual dice results.

*sigh* (again)

There are so many problems in the world, and here I sit, complaining over the way someone wants to play their particular game. Stupid of me. Oh so stupid. And writing all this up (or any of it) won't make a whit of difference as to how people play their games...I'm just, once again, pissing all over their "fun" and telling them their way of doing things is bad/wrong. They will cite references found in all manner of RPGs saying things like "never let a bad die roll get in the way of telling a good story." And they shall remain unmoved by one old man's ranting on the internet.

You know what else you shouldn't let get in the way of telling a good story? Wasting time with a game. Just go tell your story! You don't need a game to do that! Find a damn writing group. Get your friends to collaborate with you. Start a community theater thing, or some shared oral storytelling tradition or something. Theme it with tropes from your favorite RPG setting if that's what floats your boat. But why waste time with dice and instructions ("rules")?


This is a stupid thing to rail against...I admit that. It's stupid to get worked up about...and I am worked up about it. And, no, it has nothing to do with challenging "assumptions about GM authority." The GM shouldn't be "fudging" (i.e. cheating) to get a more desirable result any more than a player. And (sorry Cavegirl) I really, REALLY disagree that the subject is "subjective" or a matter of "individual taste." 

There's playing a game by rules. And there's cheating.

OR (I suppose) everyone can agree that the rule of the game is "there aren't any rules, at least not when they inconvenience one or more participants at the table." In which case, you're not really playing a game; you're simply playing. Which is fine, by the way...but you don't need dice for that.

Okay. Spleen vented. Sorry about all that.


  1. An axiom I learned that I find very useful (and folks like Cavegirl should take to heart): if you aren't willing to accept the results of a die roll, don't roll the die. The game will be better for it. You will be better for it. Trust a guy who had to learn the hard way.

  2. I don't think this is as trivial as you make it out to be. Accepting the roll of a die is akin to telling the truth. Lies destroy relationships. RPGs thrive on relationships.

    As someone who has seen this kind of thing ruin games and hurt friendships, don't roll a die unless you are willing to accept the results. Believe it or not, your game will be better and you will be a better person.

    1. @ Fr. Dave:

      In good games, players (including the DM) can become exceptionally invested in the play at hand, so much so that a failed die roll that leads to an unpleasant outcome CAN feel like a terrible, tragic loss with much gnashing of teeth and pulling of hair. I understand and appreciate that it's difficult to NOT fudge in such circumstances.

      However, all the more reason to stick to one's guns. To preserve the sanctity and power of those moments.

    2. You're describing catharsis. And catharsis is a good thing.

    3. Is it catharsis? I'm not sure I'd call it that.

      [I agree catharsis is a good thing]

    4. Alexis is correct. The best RPG moments I've had in my life were a result of a die roll made in front of an entire table — whether a good or bad result. It feels so good to let those emotions out honestly.

      In contrast, some of my worst moments at the table all have to do with hidden/fudged dice rolls. Those emotions were not earned and therefore were never really expressed.

    5. Catharsis is the release of strong and repressed emotions; and thereafter the relief of same. Anyone who loses their shit during an RPG, who gnashes their teeth or pulls their hair, is undergoing severe stress from SOMETHING. The RPG fret is just a symptom of that stress and the need to release it.

      Which connects to the fudging, after all. People need their world to "go well," what with all the unpleasantness and unreliability of plans, hopes, dreams, etc. We can't control the hell that is work, family, health, getting to and from places, money, etcetera ... but we can control this stupid, disobedient die roll by acting as "super-entitled gods" for two seconds. So we bundle up all that lack of control and use it to subtly justify cheating at a game. Then we argue it out like this is one of the great questions of philosophy.

      It's pathetic, really.

  3. Huizinga equates play with ritual performance. I think this is the key to understanding Cavegirl's (and others') desire to allow dice fudging. The dice can disrupt the flow of the ritual of play.

    But I agree with you. If the dice have the potential to disrupt the ritual of play, they shouldn't be rolled in the first place.

    1. And Cavegirl (in her post) is, I think, quite clear that she prefers a game system uninterrupted by many dice rolls, save at "high stakes, uncertain, dramatic situations." That makes perfect sense to me (I've played many RPGs that aren't D&D)...but for goodness sake, how can one EVER advocate for fudging a die roll in such a game? That would take all the wind out of the dramatic uncertainty of the moment!

    2. Again, I agree. And I think Huizinga would agree (his book is about play in general, not just games). He has a fairly good description of why cheating is frowned upon in games, as it goes against the rules of the ritual.

      The problem, I think, is that if the rules of the ritual are to have a cathartic experience akin to reading a good novel or watching a well made film, it's the dice that break the rules.

      So yes, might as well just engage in a group storytelling activity rather than an RPG if the ritual of dramatic catharsis is what someone is after.

      A game dependent on fortune mechanics may or may not provide that, and that's a different type of ritual to engage in.

  4. Did you just compare D&D to Monopoly?

    What many a gamer means when they say fudging is probably just arbitrating the dice rolls.

    Lastly, if all GMs were also game designers, they'd be able to come up with a mechanic to give above average players a +1 swag bonus. But most aren't, regrettably.

    1. There are many parallels I could draw between D&D and Monopoly. One of the exceptions, however, is Monopoly's refusal to reinvent its core rule system half a dozen times over its lifespan.

      For what it's worth: no, Venger, I think MOST gamers are not simply meaning "arbitrating" dice rolls (as...I assume you mean...per my Gygax example above). I think that for MOST folks, "fudging" means "not liking the result of the die and choosing a different number to replace the number given." For example:

      - a wandering monster does (or does not) appear, in contradiction to the die result
      - a secret door hidden trap is (or is not) discovered, in contradiction to the die result
      - an attack or saving throw is (or is not) successful, in contradiction to the die result

      In Gygax's example, he is providing an alternative to DEATH that may or may not be "more acceptable" to a player than the loss of a character (much internet ink has been spilled over awful DMs that "de-protagonize" player characters in this way and that would prefer being killed outright than to be captured and held prisoner). He is NOT advocating a DM fudge the die roll so that the hit was actually a miss, or that the damage roll was a bit less than the number needed to zero out the character or any number of "get out of jail free" type fiat decisions...which is what most fudging would (in my opinion) generally entail.

    2. I haven't done a survey or anything, but it could be as much as 50-50. All you need is justification to plausibly arbitrate a roll.

  5. I share your sentiments... and ire... at the contingent of people who I see as wannabe thespians and writers rather than game players.
    'High Fives & Handjobs' has never been my preferred style and I've left groups when I realized the GM was fudging rolls.
    One of them told me that 'bad rolls are bad for the story'... what story? I'm not there to TELL a story... though one may emerge, later.
    Whatever... now I'm cranky too.

  6. I've enjoyed your comments on my posts of late.

    Also yeah, I don't find Cavegirl's argument especially compelling either. Yes, there are styles of play where dice fudging is accepted and a part of producing a directed narrative - A CoC adventure where you must find a clue to move on is a good example. Also a good example of terrible adventure design.

    Of course that's the thing, you fudge dice (assuming you aren't a mean-spirited murderous GM exercising power badly) because the mechanics or scenario are broken, but if your system and game are working harmoniously with the play style you don't need to.

    Want the PCs to always survive - build that into your rules, balance it somehow to retain tension and fun. Need the PCs to find a secret door for an adventure to proceed? Write in how the secret door is easily found - maybe someone comes out of it and leaves it ajar or something, maybe it's not secret.

    Oh yeah and fudging dice makes the players distrust the Referee, system and their own agency.

  7. We know what I think. Seems to me, the dozens of times I've written this rant of yours, JB, my inbox fills up with people telling me how wrong I am. Maybe the world is changing.

    Things are good just now, for me anyway. So good that I hesitate to write about it; for days now I've been figuring out what I dare say and how positively I express it.

    Hell man, enjoy yourself.

    1. @ Alexis:

      Your rants echo (and reinforce) my own...they have, in fact, both informed and crystalized my thoughts on the matter.

      It's probably silly that we still (feel the) need to write these kinds of rebuttals. Ah, well.

      I'm glad things are good for you right now. I hope they continue to be good...best wishes to you and yours.

      Hopefully I'll find some joy here soon, too (dammit...really trying not to be melancholy). Maybe tomorrow.

  8. I agree with pretty much everything.

    Except for one thing. It is subjective. The mere fact that there's a debate is kind of proof of that, isn't it?

    If /everyone/ at the table is OK with fudging, I wouldn't call it "cheating" either: they just have a shared unwritten house rule that says it's OK to fudge. Their game, their rules.

    As for myself, I'm in the "don't fudge" camp. Accept the roll, or don't roll at all. If I feel the need, I'd grant a bonus or adjust the potential outcomes (like in the Gygax quote), rather than disregarding the roll.

    1. @ Emarsk:

      Um. Just because there are two sides arguing different sides doesn't make something "subjective." Something subjective is a matter of opinion. For example, Joe Biden won the U.S. presidential election and is now my president. There happen to be a lot of people in my country who disagree with this fact, who say that "Trump Won!" (and I just passed a large roadside banner stating this over the weekend), but the results of the election aren't "subjective;" they are OBJECTIVE and factual and one side is 100% incorrect.

      A subjective debate would be discussing whether Trump's four years in the presidency was worse and more damaging to the country than Bush W's eight years in the White House. People of right mind might differ on the subject, but unless some objective means of measuring is found, you're just comparing one rotten apple to another.

      Disregarding the result of a rolled die is ignoring an objective fact...it is violation of reality. If we have an agreement (in playing a game) that the die roll has meaning and contributes something to the procedure of play, then ignoring the result of the die is a violation of the game rules (its system). This is the very definition of "cheating" when it comes to playing a game.

      If we have a table agreement that a die result may be ignored at any time that it isn't convenient, then the rolling of dice (or the use of any other fortune mechanic) is a pointless exercise, not a procedural system or game mechanic. If the rule book says "you roll a D20 here; feel free to ignore the result and substitute your own" then why am I bothering to roll the die? In order to burn a couple calories? Because I am imitating a gamer? Because it brings back fond memories of my trip to Vegas? What?


    2. But is Biden really the President if he won by fudging?

      Dozens or perhaps hundreds of Democrat operatives fudged several die rolls in order to get that result. Illegally (by that I mean against their own state's Constitution) changing voting procedures just before the election, fraud (recounts are still taking place), fake news propaganda, and other irregularities (runaway mail-in ballots and ballot harvesting).

      That's not arbitrating the rolls, that's just cheating. Since it's not a game but involves real world consequences, I'm firmly against fudging when it comes to politics.

    3. You appear to be missing the point of the topic.

      “Fudging” a die roll means claiming the result of the die was something other than it was. Has nothing to do with arbitration or die handling.

      In Gygax’s arbitration example, a PC has met with death…presumably due to a loss of hit points or a failed saving throw. He is suggesting a substitution for the result of “death” that is equally penalizing.

      Fudging is not changing the method of rolling the dice, or changing the rules of the system BEFORE the die is rolled. If racist pieces of shit want to gerrymander districts before an election in order to ensure a racist piece of shit politician ends up in office come voting day, well then (unfortunately) we all have to live with the fallout of that.

      Just like a blown saving throw.

  9. Disclaimer – I do not fudge dice. Nor do I advocate doing so.

    That being said, Cavegirl’s article is talking about playing with a house rule. Cavegirl has stated that there will be dice fudging when they DM. It has nothing to do with cheating or lying. There are published tabletop RPG’s that do have rules written for how and when to fudge dice (examples: Ryuutama, d20 Munchkin). This is not dishonest. This is akin to the reroll rules in Monopoly.

    1. @ McG:

      Okay. It seems like there’s a little miscommunication going on here.

      “Fudging” dice rolls, as I think the term is generally used means: you roll a dice (based on a particular system/game mechanic) and then…because the roll landed on an undesirable result…you IGNORE that result in favor of an arbitrary one. OUTSIDE the rules of the game.

      A “re-roll” is an accepted game mechanic in MANY games. I played a game of Blood Bowl this evening (skaven vs. goblins and I won 3-2) that saw MANY re-rolls in the game, by both players, all per the strict function of the rules as to how and when they could be used. In BB, re-rolls are a RESOURCE and their manipulation is part of the tactics of the game.

      That’s not “fudging.” Is the difference really so unclear?

      If Cavegirl (or anyone) declares that each person at the table receives one or two or five re-rolls during a session, that’s just a house rule, no different in nature from me saying my AD&D game doesn’t use alignment and there are no stat limits based on sex/gender.

      I really don’t think that’s what Cavegirl (or any other proponent of “fudging”) is talking about. Fudging is cheating based on whim to come to a “better result,” a subjective idea that ignores the objective result gained by the use of a fortune mechanic. Might as well say the dice don’t matter…because they don’t. So why bother rolling them?

    2. I do not follow. What fundamentally makes "fudging" dice impossible to have as a house rule?

    3. Oh boy.

      "What fundamentally makes 'fudging' dice impossible to have as a house rule?"

      How would you go about defining a house rule for "fudging?" Let's try:

      **FUDGING: if at any point a die roll indicates a result that the GM or group finds distasteful or undesirable at that particular moment, the result of the roll shall be ignored in favor of a different result.**

      Does that suit the bill? It pretty much defines "fudging" and answers the standard procedural questions of how, when, and why the rule should be used.

      It's also asinine. Or lazy...take your pick. Why would one bother rolling dice in the first place, if the result can be overridden on a whim? Change the standard operation, change the rule, change the design.

      Don't like the wandering monster appearing at that particular moment? Why are you checking for wandering monsters?

      Don't like the particular wandering monster that appears? Why aren't you adjusting the chart?

      Don't like a saving throw being failed? Why are you calling for a save? Or using an attack that has a save? Or using a monster that has an attack that requires a save?

      Don't like the PCs missing the roll to find the secret door, hidden note, deadly trap? Why are you making them roll to find it?

      Don't like a character being reduced to zero hit points by an attack? Um...why are you playing D&D? That's the game. BUT you could still create house rules that A) increase character hit points, B) decrease damage from attacks, C) never result in "death" at zero hit points (instead resulting in unconsciousness, capture, maiming, inconvenience, whatever), or D) some or all of the above.

      Change numbers, change probabilities, change the type of dice rolled...or remove dice rolls from the equation altogether (for example: latter edition D&D's assigning of ability scores rather than having players roll 3d6).

      But don't "fudge." It makes you look like an ASS, a person who was either too stupid or too lazy to take the time to pick a game that fits their desired criteria of play and/or make the necessary corrections to achieve those desires. OR it makes you look like a CHEAT who simply can't abide the results generated by the rules of the game and must alter the rules to suit their whims of the moment...failing to consider that perhaps the rules were put their by the designer for good reason.

      You know what's fun to see in a baseball game? Some batter hitting a home run for your team. It's usually a cause for celebration. It's hard to do: not only does it require hitting a pitch, but the ball must both stay within the foul lines AND go over the back fence. If the flight of the ball fails in either of those two stipulations, it doesn't count as a home run. Should we fudge the rule to make a more "dramatic" game? Allow the umpire to call a foul ball a home run because it's the 9th inning and the home team really needs that run in order to go ahead, tie the score, or make the game "interesting?"

      Of course not...that's not how sport (or game) works. There are rules. We agree to a set of rules and we play by them.

      There are "games" out there that have are little more than loosely structured role-playing / story-telling exercises that allow for all manner of negotiated narrative authority...I own a couple myself. Why not play/adapt those? No fudging needed in a game that doesn't use dice, only procedural elements of narration.

    4. > **FUDGING: if at any point a die roll indicates a result that the GM or group finds distasteful or undesirable at that particular moment, the result of the roll shall be ignored in favor of a different result.**

      Yeah, why not. That's not a house rule that I would be fond to play with, but as much as you or I can think it's "asinine", if there's a table that likes it, then it can be a legitimate house rule for them. Our opinions aren't gonna change the fact that they can play as they like.

  10. I find that writing a response while lamenting one is writing a response is a sign of cognitive dissonance. If there is, somewhere, a fire within you that demands you take up the gauntlet at Cavegirl's silly dice rules, then you should embrace that fire, strike without hesitation and do so unapologetically and without remorse.

    In the end, you will be judged for the result of your actions, and all the motions surrounding it are just theatre.

    Until Part II of Mortis Dei.

    1. The thing is, Prince, when I *do* embrace that “fire” (as I am wont to do) I often come off as sounding “mean.” Like a big meany. An asshole. A bully.

      And perhaps I AM all those things…but since that was the first time I’d read (and commented on) Cavegirl’s blog, I figured it best not to be my first stamp impression. On my own blog I can burn all I want…and she’s free to ignore it. No harm and I still get to express my opinion.

      Dude…it’s not like I want to stir shit up or something.
      ; )

  11. To me, in my gaming old age, I find fudging die rolls to be pointless. As a player, I want the risk. Playing a character whom I know will survive any adventure because the DM is further die rolls takes away the tension.

    As a GM, I want the players to think and play smartly. If they know they're characters are going to survive no matter what, they get sloppy.

    1. @ Chris:

      Here’s my difference of opinion: I do NOT think “fudging” dice rolls are “pointless.” They are actually VERY pointed…they are disrespectful and contemptible of the game being played.

      And since I tend to be the DM (and it is thus my work and effort that goes into making the game) fudging dice rolls at my table is being disrespectful of ME and holding MY work in contempt.

      And if *I* fudge my own rolls. I am disrespecting MYSELF and my own time and effort. And I am just too old (and too proud) to insult my own dignity in that way.

      Maybe some DMs need more self-respect.