... now with 35% more arrogance!

Wednesday, December 5, 2012


One of the other endlessly repeated questions on RPG forums is "is it wrong for a GM to fudge rolls?" I don't believe I've ever really addressed this here, because frankly I don't care much about the moral issues around fudging dice rolls. As a player, I would hope that most of the in-game events arise naturally from my decisions and the decisions of other players interacting with the game world and the system, rather than being determined mostly by what the GM wants to happen. However, if the GM does fudge a roll or two, I don't want to know about it, for the same reason that as a player, I don't want to fiddle with the system. It's the same issue I raised in the distrust of system post: I want to make player decisions based on the way the game world works, not on the way the game system works.

That's not just a romantic ideal of how I would like to see myself. I have a friend who designed a system called the Organic Rule Components System, the engine behind Fates Worse Than Death, Tibet, In Dark Alleys, and several other games. I was in some playtests for Tibet and IDA, and also played in a FWTD game Brian ran at a convention. To this day, I really don't know many of the rules of the core engine. I know that your class determines point costs for skill categories, and that you roll a d20, and there are some modifiers. I don't know what any of the specific modifiers are. I don't want to know. It's better for me as a player to worry as little as possible about which choices are optimal in the game system, so that I can focus more on which choices make more sense in the game world.

As a game master, I can handle more rules, although I prefer rules that don't require much look-up time or that get bogged down in rule strategies. I still want the decisions I make as GM on behalf of monsters to relate more to the game world than to system strategies. But as a player? I want to offload as many rules to the GM as possible.

1 comment:

  1. Yep, I'm sympatico with your thoughts there. I sometimes end up feeling at odds with other players over it though... when they feel like I'm not properly 'optimized' and therefore somehow dragging them down with me.