Wednesday, January 18, 2012

@ReverbGamers Master List Number 18

#18: Have you ever "cheated" on a die roll/random chance outcome, or looked up a quest solution on a fan site? Why or why not? If yes, was it worth it?

As a player, I'd love to say no, but it isn't technically true. When I was a teen, and into my early 20s, I did fudge the occasional die roll when the GM wasn't looking. I had a need to "win" at the time, as it was long before I understood the value of falling forward in a game or the growth that comes from failure. I also think it was at least partly a result of the "whiff factor" prevalent in so many games. It's hard to take when you're facing down the "big bad" only to roll a "2" on your d20. I don't do it any more. I let the dice fall where they may.

As a GM, I used to fudge rolls all the time, all in the name of "story." In recent years, I've taken a "roll in front of the screen" mentality. It's improved my games because my players know there's real danger when I roll the dice. That said, I don't typically let a die roll be the sole arbiter of character death--I always involve the player when that comes up.

Since I've learned failure can have more to do with intent than the listed action, I take some liberty with that, as well. Hanging off a cliff and botch your climb roll? Rather than fall to your death, I may beat you up a bit on your way down. And if you want to get to the top of that cliff, you won't be climbing there. Find another way. This beats the heck out of: "You die. Here's a new character sheet."