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Arch Lich Thoth-Amon
06-04-2009, 11:20 AM
Cheaters. How did you catch them, and deal with their cheating?

Everyone hates cheaters, myself included. And when you've played as long as i have, you will have crossed paths with a cheater. The two worst kinds of cheaters (probably because i cant grasp the fun-factor) are the ones that either memorize the Monster Manual &/or memorize the module we're currently playing.

So i thought it would be interesting is everyone shared with the rest of us just how you caught a cheater, and how you dealt with said cheater? The more details given, the better.

All rpgs welcome.

What share you?

Oldgamer
06-04-2009, 11:50 AM
So far when I've caught them, they've had it set up and play it off like it was a mistake and not cheating ... I had no physical proof but everyone knew. Usually public embarrassment works well enough.

There have been a few on PbP games I've played or run, but the dice roller on the site throws a flag up to anyone reading the post that "These dice have been altered or omitted!" So they get caught pretty quickly and disappear, usually to sign in as a different user because now their reputation is out there.

Moritz
06-04-2009, 11:53 AM
She was bi. She told me that she'd been with another woman. I said, "Well, invite her over."

---

Oh, yall are talking about cheating at the game table. Heh

MortonStromgal
06-04-2009, 12:51 PM
We switch to playing alot of nWOD (specifically vampire) and the problem went away just because "cheating" isnt as strait forward other than cheating on die rolls.

yukonhorror
06-04-2009, 01:30 PM
We stare at die rolls. Memorizing MM or something similar was never an issue. Just fudging die rolls.

Zzarchov
06-04-2009, 01:31 PM
Figure out why they are cheating.

Is it because they want to be the badass but the game is just full of things that hammer them down and make them feel useless. Everyone likes spending their free time feeling useless after all.

Is it because they don't want to kill off the Party or have the plot derailed and they feel as a GM they need to fudge the dice rolls, A simple conversation that you would prefer to have the dice land where they may and roll with where that takes you might suffice.

People cheat to do something they can't pull off, in the search of fun.



In your case. Make up your own monsters and alter the module in a way that someone who knows the layout will make a deadly mistake by assuming one choice.

Harwel
06-04-2009, 01:31 PM
Before it was common to make ten-siders marked 00, 10, 20, 30, etc., I knew a guy who would change which d10 represented the tens place on a d100 roll to suit his needs. Pretty common dice cheat, I just called him out and told him he had to roll a single d10 twice from now on. I watched all his die rolls more closely after that as well.

Valdar
06-04-2009, 02:28 PM
Depends on the cheating.

My rule on metagaming is this: "Any knowledge derived from metagaming may turn out to be false, at the whim of the DM."

I did have one player who read the module beforehand- Forge of Fury I think? One of the main series of 3e modules in any case. He stayed right out of reach of the chained creature's 10' tongue. Which turned out to be a 15' tongue and got him. He was like, "Are you sure it's 15 feet?" and I was like, "Yeah, you have some information otherwise?" That shut him up.

Dice cheaters get to play with bigger dice. They make some pretty huge D20s these days. I've always had a brain for probability, so significant statistical variations set off alarms in my head that make me pay pretty close attention to certain players' rolls. Also, I've read "The Munchkin's Guide to Powergaming", so I'm savvy to all the popular dice cheating methods- roll and pick up quick, "tens is high' for percentile rolls, "six is nine" for poorly labeled dice, poor-contrast dice, uninked dice, ambiguous d4, etc etc etc.

Why do people cheat? I've played with some players that seem to have a gaming-related version of kleptomaina- they do it to get caught to feed their need for attention. Or to pick fights.

Harwel
06-04-2009, 02:47 PM
Metagaming is an interesting subject, it can be pretty subjective. Take the following:

My wife and I are playing in a D&D 2e Planescape campaign. It's not, to my knowledge, module-based at all. My wife is a relatively inexperienced player. She owns no D&D books and doesn't spend time reading them. She's familiar with basic mythological creatures, but honestly if you said "gorgon" to her, she would think "medusa", not an iron bull that has a breath weapon, because she's familiar with the greek myth reference and not the D&D reference. She's playing a mage with the Academician kit... someone who has spent a lot of time studying and poring over dusty tomes of arcane and world lore.

So we walk into a bar in Sigil. The DM mentions a dancer on a stage wearing a veil and doing a belly dance. He goes on to describe the scene and mentions that the dancer's hair looks like it's moving under the veil. My wife narrows her eyes and conjectures "she's a medusa!" The DM accuses her of metagaming. Agree or disagree?

Zzarchov
06-04-2009, 02:52 PM
I would disagree, thats known as logic. Sometimes people evade clever traps, thats the point.

Side note, I play in a system where cheating die rolls (cheating fate) is a mechanic with actual in game penalties for getting caught and no allusions that you are a bad person for trying it.

RoryN
06-04-2009, 03:12 PM
I had to deal with a couple of "rules lawyers" in my DMing days. I don't really consider it cheating that they read and memorize rules/stats/etc., but it could be a pain in the butt.

The way I handled the situation was that when they said "The book says this..." I would answer "The book also says these rules are a guideline. Just because something works one way in one place doesn't mean it works exactly the same way in another." I almost always gave my monsters a little tweak here or there to keep things interesting. Usually creatures living in different areas of my campaign world had some different abilities, and sometimes even different alignments. I'll never forget the time the party was hired to rid a small wooded area of it's evil residents and they attacked and killed a small group of goblins on sight, only to find out later that the goblins were the goodguys and a group of elves had fallen under a curse and become evil. Ah, the good old days!

The dice roll cheaters are the ones I usually had to deal with. After a certain point in time, when one guy kept coming up with 15+ on all his rolls for our D&D characters, we started rolling characters with the DM present. That seemed to fix that problem pretty quickly.

Harwel
06-04-2009, 03:37 PM
I would disagree, thats known as logic. Sometimes people evade clever traps, thats the point.

Thank you. We both pointed out to him that he made it pretty obvious even to someone with limited D&D knowledge.


Side note, I play in a system where cheating die rolls (cheating fate) is a mechanic with actual in game penalties for getting caught and no allusions that you are a bad person for trying it.

That sounds like it could be pretty amusing. :lol:

templeorder
06-04-2009, 04:30 PM
Really depends on the reason and result. Some people are compulsively over competitive, some just have to win at any cost. Some are immature and have not developed a taste for defeat and style. I'll leave out the why's and matching of all the ways to deal with specific instances, but here is my top practices for dealing with it - assuming talking fails.

1) Make everyone roll in the open on even surfaces with well marked dice or use an electronic tool everyone can see, and that proper turn taking is observed.

2) Cheat back - make sure the character's opponents get the same advantage and that the player never seems to get ahead because of it. Use this only if you are great friends with the player, you don't want to upset people, and the rest of the group is the same. I only recommend this as a temporary measure until you can figure out why/what to be done.

Oh yea, if the cheating is out of game, like reading materials, change them on the fly and lure the PC's with fake knowledge.

Parzival
06-04-2009, 05:39 PM
Stopped using the BRP of Chaosium.

It's amazing how rolling 2d10 tempts otherwise honest people to reverse their rolls when the pressure is on. <shrug> I'd been playing with the same players for quite awhile in other systems, and never had any problems with them cheating. Then started running Coc, and suddenly, it was epidemic. Once we switched to GURPS, I never again had any problems with them cheating.

Odd, but true.

MortonStromgal
06-04-2009, 05:39 PM
Depends on the cheating.


Very good point. I've had some players who cant stop metagaming. I just dont play with them anymore.

Cheating by making my character more buff/bend rules, I pick an easier rule system that make it harder for Katana=win. Cheating with dice... well other than make them roll in front of everyone that one is harder, a little die cheating I don't mind but you know you cant roll exceptionally every time dude.

BrotherDog
06-05-2009, 04:58 AM
The one time I ever had a real problem with this, another player caught him. He then threw a fit, yelled at me, left the game taking a follower's character sheet with him, and never returned. He still associated with the guy that accused him, but was nasty with me from then on. I never even said word to agree or not with the accusation, was going to ignore it even. Yet still he was pissed at me? Why? No idea. His cheat would've led him to his death anyways, as it was foreshadowing incident. A hint at thing s to come at higher levels. Oh well, the only loss was the character he took. Who needs that kind of attitude?

Dytrrnikl
06-06-2009, 08:33 AM
This is always a touchy area. The only cheat I ever ran into was die rolling. It doesn't happen anymore. Reason: my player's are not allowed to have anything other than there character sheet, pencil, and two sets of die on the table - in order to cut down on things that can block die from sight. Food, drinks, and game books are set on TV trays sitting next to the players. Second, all die rolls must be confirmed by the people sitting on either side of you and me the GM. I don't care what the supposed logic is behind cheating in a game. Plain and simple, people who cheat are losers. The last time a player was caught flubbing die rolls and consequently what caused the above, got an immediate and permanent ejection from the game - this person is a friend. To this day he's still a bit bitter about being ejected.

As for memorizing modules or monsters or what have you. Never been an issue. Anything written in the books or modules are guidelines to be ignored as the GM - almost always me in my groups - feels is necessary to the game being run. I don't know about anyone else, but when it comes to modules I always change at least have of the material in the module to tie it into the campaign I'm running - particularly with the Dawn of Definace campaign for Star Wars saga.

Zzarchov
06-06-2009, 09:04 AM
Side note, does the "die rolls must be confirmed by other players" work for GM die rolls in your game?

Any logic that would cause the GM to fudge die rolls can just as well be used by the players to fudge die rolls.

Consequently I use open die rolls.

Dytrrnikl
06-07-2009, 08:37 AM
Side note, does the "die rolls must be confirmed by other players" work for GM die rolls in your game? Any logic that would cause the GM to fudge die rolls can just as well be used by the players to fudge die rolls.
As a GM, me or someone else, die roll verification is never required. Open GM die rolls equate to less drama and tension. I've played for GMs that did the open die roll thing. The moment the group realized that the baddies needed a 20 to hit, the encounter became immensely less dramatic and tense. I've never seen a player fudge die rolls to miss an attack, or fail a save, or perform a skill poorly in order to allow the baddies to win. While I know from my own experiences and stories from other GMs I've played for, we've fudged die rolls for baddies to miss attacks, or fail skill checks, or perform a skill poorly to allow for player's to have a better chance of survival. So, is this the logic you're referring to?

Zzarchov
06-07-2009, 09:00 AM
Yes, if the GM fudges a die roll because he wants the players to succeed in some action, so too can a player use the same defense.

Too often I see GM's keeping an Employer VS Employee mindset. If the GM is going to fudge die rolls to see a story he enjoys more, then so too should the players be able to fudge die rolls to see a story they will enjoy more.

The GM fudging the success of a tracking score to make sure the PC's find the bad guy is no different than the player fudging his tracking die roll to make sure he finds the bad guy.

Its a big disconnect in terms of Cheating I find, that GM's cheat and dont consider it cheating, even though many players hate it for the same reasons they hate other players cheating.

It lessens immersion and cheapens anything they accomplish. They didn't solve the puzzle or the beat the badguy, you let them win. Its about as satisfying as having an opponent in boxing pretend to faint and fall over.

But if its about an interesting story then they might let it slide. But if its about an interesting story, then the GM needs to let it slide too.

Valdar
06-07-2009, 09:26 AM
Yes, if the GM fudges a die roll because he wants the players to succeed in some action, so too can a player use the same defense.


The GM has to come up with new monsters for every encounter, and fit them all into a plot without having the combat invalidate some of the plot. The players just have to show up every week and play their one character all the time. I do not agree that the players have the same right to fudge rolls as the GM. The GM will occasionally have bad luck or unpredictable players that he'll need to fudge rolls for- not all the time, but it comes up. Players have no such worries at all.

If everyone can fudge the dice, why use them? I've found when players get to roll what they want (especially with attributes), there's no tactical play at all from the party, as it's much easier to just claim a high roll than have to think about strategy and resources and such.

Arch Lich Thoth-Amon
06-07-2009, 10:11 AM
I love it when players search all the tombs for loopholes. Heck, i actually applaud it. I say, find a loophole and you're welcome to it. It helps keeps the characters less balanced. Yeah, i'm different that way. Of course, i prize chaos, imperfections, and imbalance in my games. "Makeses thingsez darks and gritsies" -Gollum

Where am i going with this and how does it apply here? Well, i have played with a number of GM's that hate loopholes, even going so far as to deny them, arguing that it is cheating. I say, find it and it's yours. It's your reward for time and effort.

Now, metagaming (using information outside of the game) will grant you a quick trip to your car and a loss of an invite for another one of my games. Hidden die rollings will bring my ire too. But to be fair, i don't think i have had someone fudge their die rolls with me since i was a kid, so that's a good thing.

Oldgamer
06-07-2009, 11:01 AM
There's a sort of unspoken rule at the games I've been in that people roll in front of everyone else besides the DM. The tables are usually crowded around the edges with books, papers, snacks, etc to roll near the players, so the dice are tossed out into the middle. When I DM, I also use a DM screen so I can fudge rolls when needed, much to the occasional complaint from a player that I'm cheating.

The cheating doesn't usually come in the form of dice at my games, it is usually in the bonuses that the DM can't see on their sheet. You just about have to be a dealer from Vegas to catch some people because they know you're not going to be able to keep up with all of their skill bonuses and will figure on a DC of something in their head, roll the die, then bump their skill a little and add a couple of points to succeed what they think the DC is. Usually though, the way I keep that down, is I write down every chartacter's Spot, Listen, Search skills along with their AC, BAB, Saves, etc so I have a little cheat sheet of my own. But this doesn't catch Disable Device checks though.

deathboy
06-07-2009, 11:43 AM
I've seen two sides of the cheating coin. I've seen a player cheat out of frustration because their dice just hated them for the past four or five sessions. With this I would pull the player aside and just talk to them knowing that I can understand and that if need be they can hit up the spare dice bag for some new dice. I also ask they try not to do it again.

The other side is the players who find out what they are going to be facing next by reading the adventure I am running, as I tend to run published adventures. I've only had this happen once as a dragon fight had the total fun ripped out of the fight by this player. Later after he left another player told me he was approached by the offending player and was trying to get him in on the plan. Needless to say the player was not asked back to game.

Sascha
06-07-2009, 12:45 PM
Interesting topic. I guess I'm lucky that I've never ran into cheating in a game I've ran. The debate over a GM's ability to cheat is rather fascinating, though.


Open GM die rolls equate to less drama and tension. I've played for GMs that did the open die roll thing. The moment the group realized that the baddies needed a 20 to hit, the encounter became immensely less dramatic and tense.
Maybe it's just me, but a 5% chance of success (or failure) inherently makes a fight less dramatic and tense, whether or not the players know it. Somebody'll figure it out eventually, if the dice rolls are straight. Why not just tweak the opponent's stats before the fight?


I do not agree that the players have the same right to fudge rolls as the GM. The GM will occasionally have bad luck or unpredictable players that he'll need to fudge rolls for- not all the time, but it comes up. Players have no such worries at all.
The GM also controls when rolls are made, traditionally. No need to fudge a roll that isn't made. The exception case, of course, being combat - but hey, NPCs can misjudge or underestimate their opponents, too. Overconfidence and ego aren't just PC traits ;)


The cheating doesn't usually come in the form of dice at my games, it is usually in the bonuses that the DM can't see on their sheet.
To be fair (and I'm not suggesting this is your case, just a counter-point), sometimes the discrepancy isn't cheating, but juggling more modifiers than a tax return. 'Specially when all the spell effects start flying, or wearing off, or getting dispelled ... can make accurate bookkeeping a nightmare, mid-fight :\

mrken
06-07-2009, 03:41 PM
People cheat because they lack self-confidence/self-worth. They feel if they donít win at whatever, they loose. Because of the delicate nature of their ego they have to cheat so as not to risk the chance of losing. Loosing is the same as admitting they suck and no one wants to suck. So, to guarantee they donít suck, they cheat. Besides, everyone cheats. Itís cool.

As a player I found it disgusting to play with people like that. It was like all the other players were that to support the cheater. Like we were not even worthy of rolling the dice because we didnít matter, the cheater could do everything even without us.

One time I made the mistake of saying something about one guys dice rolls. He got real angry and accused me of not knowing how to play anyway so I was just making it up. One of the guys across the table looked at me like he had already gone down that road. I didnít stay in that game long. Have had people in games I have run at conventions who try to run that scam on me. During the start up I explain the dark dice is the hundreds dice and during the game they will say they forgot that rule but that they always use the light colored dice as the hundreds. Then later will say just to opposite. People at the table have sometimes get real upset at them. When I have people like that at the table who cheat this bad I will get around to killing off their character. Sometimes you need to give them some of their own medicine.

My solution to them has been to go from a d100 to a d10. The game is still d100 based, but 90% of the time I only need the first digit to know success or failure. If I find I do need that other digit, I will ask them to roll again. My simple way to get rid of the opportunity to cheat some people are unable to resist.

Another form of cheating I found was some people wind up and throw the dice, like they are shooting Craps in a casino. My rule to stop this behavior? Any dice that goes off the table is a miss. Someone generally has to test this rule, but it is fast and the rest of us can move on while the looser is looking for his dice. lol

Another form of cheating was those who somehow manage to get all 18ís when rolling up a character. My game uses a point buy system that will guarantee everyone at the table has above average stats, but there will be no one there with God stats.

While I have really disliked the GM who uses the module as a rulebook and have forces us to pick our options from those we are given, I do like the modules as a source for ideas. But I have had people complain that the game was not like the last time they played the module or they donít even realize what module I used, or that I in fact used six different modules in the game.

And my last one is my favorite way to thwart cheaters. My Monster Manuel is different from the one they memorized. My monsters may look different, have different mentalities, different motives, different personalities, different spells and different tactics. I could change everything. Take my orcs, my favorite monsters. When I was coming up, orcs were fun to kill. Always had half a dozen hit points and were easy to kill. Much like the kobols. In my game the orcs are near impossible for new players and their new characters to kill, though they always try. Run right up to them and start wailing. Lol Then after the third or fourth hit they look at me like, ďWhatís wrong here?Ē This is the general first monster I run in a new game with new players. Those who know my game tend to try to tell the new players to rein it in but the new players always now better. Generally I just knock them out and tell them they are luck someone knew healing and got to them fast so they didnít die. Anyway, all my monsters are like that. I mix and match everything up so as to provide a new game with wonder. They start to wonder what is next. Who wants to play a game where they know everything that is happening? Well, there are some out there. Those are the players who want to win, everything, every time. No challenges.



As for the GM to not be allowed to cheat, or that the GM must roll on the table too, I do not subscribe to that point of view. My biggest reason has already been touched upon. Once the players know how many hit points, points to hit or any of that stuff they start to meta game. Doesn't take a genius to see how long it would takes for the fun to come out of that game. Another reason, and one that would make me stop rolling in secret if not for the first reason, I can keep a player from dieing sometimes if I cheat. If the players wanted to make sure I didn't cheat and insisted I roll out there where they can see that I am not cheating, I would be forced to kill a lot more characters than I do. If not for the first reason, I think it would be my natural choice to use this method, but players really don't like to have their characters get killed all the time, and as a GM we all know the players do some real stupid stuff. Stuff that if they tried it in real life none of them would be alive. To me the characters are nothing more than letters and numbers written on a piece of paper. To some people the character is written down on a piece of paper. I don't get very attached to character like many do.

Oldgamer
06-08-2009, 11:13 AM
To be fair (and I'm not suggesting this is your case, just a counter-point), sometimes the discrepancy isn't cheating, but juggling more modifiers than a tax return. 'Specially when all the spell effects start flying, or wearing off, or getting dispelled ... can make accurate bookkeeping a nightmare, mid-fight :\


Oh definitely, not only do I understand, but I have a way to help with that somewhat. I use a small grease board (some call them white boards) with dry erase and magnets with the characters names on them and some for monsters. Besides each is their initiative and effects with rounds ticked off. I also have a sheet that I can use for the same purpose ion .pdf if I think to print them out before the game. It has more slots and places to write than the small board (about 18"x12", but to write with the maker takes up a lot more space than pencil).

GoddessGood
06-13-2009, 06:30 PM
Ugh, cheating is a touchy subject. As for metagaming, I always deal with it openly. I say, "No, your character wouldn't know that," or deal with it up front in some other way. Dice fudging, on the other hand, I have a long and odd history with.

The first several years of gaming, we never used dice for much. It was more open and narrative in style and usually there was only one player, so this wasn't a hindrance in any way. In the first real, by the books group I was in we had three players. One I still play with, but the other was a standard hack-n-slasher who played the main fighter in the group (I was the healer, the other player was the sneaky type). He cheated on dice and no-one said anything. The GM started to up the ante on the baddies we encountered to deal with his cheating in an attempt to get him to fess up (I guess). The two of them kept one-upping each other and the two of us found ourselves cheating just to stay alive.

In another group, we had two cheaters. Constantly high dice rolls, picked them up before others could see them, etc. We dealt with that by pulling one of them aside and telling him we suspected the other of dice cheating and needed his help to catch it. They both stopped cheating on rolls rather quickly, but the player we didn't talk to started stacking his stats instead. We sort of rolled our eyes and played around it.

Most recently, I had a player come in for a tryout session and he cheated rather obviously. It was one of the least of his faults, so we didn't really bring it up. Either way, he wasn't asked back.

Then there's GM cheating. I've cheated on rolls to keep an NPC alive because he was a sort of McGuffin for one of the players. I had a player as me, "Why is this guy still alive?" after launching three normally fatal attacks at the poor NPC. "Because he's part of a bargain to get your fellow player sorcery, remember?" "Oh." The only violence he suffered after that was totally epic and in character, and he would have survived it anyway, so I didn't feel it necessary to cheat to keep him alive. Generally, I roll behind a screen or away from player sight. I don't know why I do it, really. If I've got some idea in mind of what I want to happen, usually it just happens regardless of the roll. I guess it must have something to do with the illusion of randomness.

Arkhemedes
06-13-2009, 09:44 PM
Fortunately I've never had to deal with players who read forbidden material. Besides knowing better, they all agree that it would ruin their fun if they knew what was suppose to happen. I've even had players who got upset if they inadvertently found out something they weren't suppose to know.

Dice rolling on the other hand has been an issue with a couple of my players. In order to curtail this I make sure that all rolls are either done where I can see them or one of the other players who have no qualms about ratting on them. If there is ever any doubt I make them roll again. And if the problem persists I start docking experience points.

As for DMs cheating - there is no such thing. A GM is the creator of his campaign world and as such it is entirely up to him to decide what is and what isn't. This goes for dice rolls as well, which is why, for the most part they should be done behind a screen - keep the players guessing. They should never feel that they know for certain what will happen next. I fudge dice rolls in favor of the PCs as often as I fudge them against the PCs. If my group is having too easy of a time, then some of my misses might turn into hits. On the other hand, if the group needs a little help in order to get the story going in the right direction and not have it stagnate, they get that help. Just like the DMG, I treat dice rolls for the DM as guidelines, not hard and fast rules that must be obeyed no matter how badly it screws up the intended story line.

Zzarchov
06-14-2009, 10:28 AM
I consider GM fudging Die Rolls as much cheating as players Fudging Die Rolls.

If you let a die be rolled, stick with the result. Im not a "GOD GM" Im a "Guy playing with his friends"

Im not their boss, their master or their owner. Perhaps Im old school, but im the "referee". If Im not going to use rules I let the players know which ones Im not using before they decide to waste their one free afternoon a week off playing this game.

It may be a world I created, but so what? Wargaming roots strike hard for me. If I create a scenario game for Rogue Trader, once the game begins Its no longer my world.

Its the groups world and Im just the referee. Im not a boss, nor in control. And if they mangle every important NPC, thats for them.

I also play sandbox games for this reason.

Parzival
06-14-2009, 11:16 AM
As for the GM to not be allowed to cheat, or that the GM must roll on the table too, I do not subscribe to that point of view. My biggest reason has already been touched upon. Once the players know how many hit points, points to hit or any of that stuff they start to meta game. Doesn't take a genius to see how long it would takes for the fun to come out of that game. Another reason, and one that would make me stop rolling in secret if not for the first reason, I can keep a player from dieing sometimes if I cheat. If the players wanted to make sure I didn't cheat and insisted I roll out there where they can see that I am not cheating, I would be forced to kill a lot more characters than I do. If not for the first reason, I think it would be my natural choice to use this method, but players really don't like to have their characters get killed all the time, and as a GM we all know the players do some real stupid stuff. Stuff that if they tried it in real life none of them would be alive.
You're confusing the mechanics of your gaming system with a universal truth. I predominantly play GURPS. The players know that any humanoid NPC (or PC) will almost certainly have between 8-16 hp, because that's the way the system works. Knowing that does not take the fun out of the game.

You cheat to keep characters from dying.
But it does not follow that you'd be forced to kill more players if you didn't.
People *do* learn from experiance.
If they attempt "stuff that if they tried it in real life, none of them would be alive" and survive, they're going to use that experiance when making future decisions. And people being people, they will continue to push, looking for the edge of the envelope.
If they die in such an endevour, they'll realize where the boundry is, and take it into account when making future decisions.

I run gritty games in deadly systems, and I pull no punches. But PCs don't die very often. The players know what to expect, and act accordingly.

(Granted, if you attempt to make the transition, you'll have to deal with a TPK or two before your players accept that you were serious when you stated your intent. Be aware that the style of play will change, and the focus will shift away from combat.)

SilenzZzz
06-14-2009, 11:54 AM
about the only cheating i have ran into while GMing ... is one player .. that trys to cover up when she rolls a 1 on her D20 ... but that is mostly because i do events for rolls like that ... most everyone else gets a laugh out of rolling a 1 on their die and finding out they just shot another player in the butt with an arrow .... ... or when the fighter was trying to toss a halfling up a 10' wall that he could not climb .. and that fighter rolled a 1 ... which caused the halfling to get smacked face first into that wall ...

we play for fun and for laughs...

i do on occasion fudge on a DM roll or two ... depending on how the situation is falling ... but more then that i change the stats of the creature ... like if the players are not able to hit it at all (has an ac of 22) ... it would make sense that in the fight the creature would get to overconfident with his attacks and be more reckless causing him to get hit a few more times ...

Jackmoore
06-14-2009, 12:20 PM
I guess because im there for fun as a GM I dont monitor the cheating. My players usually do it for me. Once I had a guy that was doing it rampantly and the other players complained midgame via notes to me. I dont blame them this guy really too good to be real. So I started rolling his dice for all of them and he started losing fast. The others mantained, because they were not cheating. he never came back too embarrased I guess. As the Gm I do fudge dice rolls for drama or to make the story more out of a slow part, but It cannot cause the players deaths or destroy equipment. Rules lawyers I can contend with so long as they listen and understand the books are a guideline and not hard set in stone rules and they dont know more than me as I am the game master. I have decided if I catch people cheating im going to ask them to stop or leave. Role playing as in life sometimes you lose.

gajenx
06-15-2009, 02:25 PM
As a DM/GM I rarely monitor cheating in my games. I will double check skills and points during character building, but after that I rarely do. My thought is if you are slow low on self esteem that you have to cheat in a game to feel better about yourself you are said need the Self ego buffs. Though if you do it often then I just make everything you do harder and harder while the rest of the group gets the easy things until you stop cheating. I will not say anything to the player and none of the other players say anything else.

Though I will admit at times I do lie on what my dice get. Like if I pass a save or make a hit/damage roll that is completely outside what I see the character ever doing then I lie on the roll and make it lower for the RP experience and things. But that is just me being weird and making things harder on me then they should be or causing more humorous situations to be around my characters for the RP over the combat. Is that cheating that others as DMs are against and look out for as well.

Thelrain
07-01-2009, 11:24 PM
In my High School days a friend had a pair of 20 sided dice that only ranged 1-0. So basically a 10 sided dice on a 20 sider ( 2 ones, 2 threes etc). So when we were playing Rolemaster which depended entirely on a 1-100 roll he used these dice. No problem they were still 1-0. The funny thing is he could roll one dice and then 'drop' the second dice on the first die's edge to roll it one spot if he didn't like the number. So he might roll a 5 and then drop the second dice on it and rotate the 5 to become a 9. Sometimes he might get a 1 but he was pretty decent at it.

I allowed it for awhile because I thought it was creative and allowed him to alter potentially bad situations. ( Think action points now in D20). Of course this was basically when he and I were the only ones playing.

Cheating? Yes but in a creative way.

Lucian-Sunaka
07-02-2009, 01:42 AM
I consider GM fudging Die Rolls as much cheating as players Fudging Die Rolls.

If you let a die be rolled, stick with the result. Im not a "GOD GM" Im a "Guy playing with his friends"

Im not their boss, their master or their owner. Perhaps Im old school, but im the "referee". If Im not going to use rules I let the players know which ones Im not using before they decide to waste their one free afternoon a week off playing this game.

It may be a world I created, but so what? Wargaming roots strike hard for me. If I create a scenario game for Rogue Trader, once the game begins Its no longer my world.

Its the groups world and Im just the referee. Im not a boss, nor in control. And if they mangle every important NPC, thats for them.

I also play sandbox games for this reason.


This right here, is how I run my games. I pull no punches, I play hardcore and my players do the same. If they kill somebody important, they kill somebody important, it's how the game happened. If a character died, well then, I guess they need a new character (or need to undertake a solo quest in the afterlife to obtain a new lease on life) or something.

I do have a question though. Recently I was in a discussion in the chat, and somebody else brought up the term 'sandbox game' as a way of describing my DM style, but I was never told exactly what that term means. Could someone please enlighten me?

Also, why do people have a problem with somebody knowing the monsters? I mean, I know it can be a bit of a pain in the rear for DM's to deal with players who know the game, but why is it a bad thing? I love it when my players know what their doing, it gives me a huge thrill to see them exploiting weaknesses and fighting their hardest. And you know what. Nine times out of ten in my campaigns they have to if they are going to survive.

(I agree completely about reading the module though. It's totally cheap to try to skip ahead in the book to know what's coming next.)

Zzarchov
07-02-2009, 06:25 PM
Sandbox is thrown around as an opposite to Railroad.

in a Railroad/plot game you follow along a story path/plot arc till the end.

In a sandbox you roam around, and what happens happens, like a kid playing in the sandbox.

Lucian-Sunaka
07-02-2009, 07:28 PM
Yeah, thats my games all the way lol

templeorder
07-09-2009, 09:06 PM
I try and run a sandbox under the railroad. There IS an overall plot arc, and the enemy often survives loss of key characters (killed by PC's or there actions) and the group often goes through a few characters before getting to the end - most of the time the new PC's having a hook drawing them into the overall plot arc. Unless the group really just says "no way" and goes off in another direction, the plot arc gets followed. Its always a surprise though how the end is reached, if it does, which is a moving target from the beginning.

I like the term "sandbox" though...

gajenx
07-09-2009, 10:29 PM
I do the sandbox thing as well. I have a theme and plot arc they can see and follow. But I totally let them wonder and divert for almost anything and make it up improv style for the first session, flush it out then for the next one and then in the end link it to the original plot in some weird or subtle way, though many of the players miss the subtle tie ins.

Emrys
07-09-2009, 11:25 PM
My first game was with my husband and his friends. My husband will fub dice rolls because he has this "I hate to fail" complex. Anyway, the way the DM dealt with him was every time he new he was cheating, a red dragon got summoned. >_<

Duellist
07-10-2009, 09:50 AM
My brother once bought some weighted dice. We suspected something was up, so sent him off to get pizza and checked his dice and they rolled a 20 every other time. We just replaced it with an identical-looking dice from my wife's collection and watched his frustration as his 'lucky' dice decided to betray him.

The most poetic aspect of this was that he could not come out and accuse us of stealing his dice without admitting that it was weighted.


My rule on metagaming is this: "Any knowledge derived from metagaming may turn out to be false, at the whim of the DM."
So is mine. It is amusing to see the players' reaction in D&D when you change a werewolf's damage susceptibility or make vampires immune to sunlight.

I also like to change the name of a creature (often to match earth mythology) without changing its stats or to have people use the wrong term for a monster. So, for instance, I might have villagers talking about a gorgon; the players go looking for a gigantic bull-thing and don't even bother trying to look away from the strange woman's face. By the time they realise their mistake, you have the (lecherous) party fighter turned to stone and the cleric praying that they make their will save...

I even once let the monsters metagame slightly; the local orc tribe made a lot of money by trading potions of fire resistance and acid to the trolls.

Oldgamer
07-10-2009, 11:03 AM
My next one will be a themed sandbox. I have the map of the first continent everyone's on and where a lot of the action will be happening, I just have to come up with names for cities and give them histories. But when it gets going here in the next month or so, I want it to be open. There will be a timeline lined out in months at first, then down to weeks later on. If the group wishes to stray too far (and I will give them enough rope to hang themselves), the bad things they are trying to fix will instead begin to happen.

A devil is trying again after 3000 years of imprisonment to come back to the Prime Material Plane and things will begin to happen, NPC's will begin working for him, armies will begin forming by choice, greed, or by force. All of this takes time and the heroes will be given ample clues and opportunity to follow them. But if they don't, then the world will begin falling apart around them and they may soon find themselves slaves to Asmodeus and figuring out a new way to defeat him. There will be ways other than the ones I set out to defeat him, and the players will be encouraged to follow their own hunches. The closest I'll be getting to railroading, is the timeline. Unless this timeline is changed by player's actions, or by a ripple effect from their actions ... the timeline will remain the same. But the open sandbox part will allow the party to break that timeline however they see fit and try something new :)

Valdar
07-12-2009, 10:53 AM
So is mine. It is amusing to see the players' reaction in D&D when you change a werewolf's damage susceptibility or make vampires immune to sunlight.


Yeah, but if you reveal that vampires stay out of the sun because it makes them so sparkly, then you'd better have some good running shoes on :biggrin:

Parzival
07-12-2009, 01:16 PM
Yeah, but if you reveal that vampires stay out of the sun because it makes them so sparkly, then you'd better have some good running shoes on :biggrin:
Where's the rep button when I need it?

I run sandbox. But I do throw in a great number of meta-arcs. Players can follow them (or not). <shrug> I just don't want them wandering aimlessly around looking for something to do. If anything, there should be more that they want to do, than they have time to do.
Some of the arcs for the game I have coming up:
the temptation and cost of black magic
the mystery surrounding one of the PC's father
the mystery of the standing stones
intrigue between religions
intrigue between races
intrigue between the crown and the nobles
various combinations of the above three
the mystery of lycanthrope
conflict between civilization and barbarians

(I know that at least one of my players is registered on this site, so I'm not going to spill anything I want to be a suprise. Which means you got a very small sample awash in generalities.)