Sunday, August 19, 2012

[Gaming Thoughts] Why DM cheats

I was reading this article and this was a short post cheating. In particular, the author wrote that cheating should be encouraged.

From my years of experience, I would have to admit that I have cheated. Many a times, it was because the encounter was too easy or too difficult for the players. Sometimes, it was to push the game along. But why do we do it? The fudging of dice is often instinctive and even newbie DMs would do it by reflex.

But when would the DM abuse this rule ?

For me, DM chating is all about dealing with quitter's rage. I admit that I picked the term from the brilliant Leverage series. But I think the concept was similar.

Imagine playing tic tac toe for 4 hours straight. No fun , right? Because the game is so simple, players loses interest out of boredom

Likewise if the game is overly hard, the player would quit because they just cannot win. Case in point, one of my DM played a bleak game. This was one of the games that whatever the players do, there seems to be a dire consequences. A step forward would result in two backwards. Now, Walking Dead is the same bleak concept and most like to watch such a show. But to play it was really horrible.

So to make the game interesting,  I cheat. If the encounter of a boss was a pushover, I gave the boss higher resistance. If it proved too devastating, I toned it down. By trying to keep the balance between challenging and impossible, the DM should keep the players engaged and interested,

But that are pitfalls. DMs may overly fudge their rolls because the game is too important to them. But the issue of DM versus player is too complex to describe in a blog post. So i think i would do a blog post on ot later.

Maybe a drama point system should do the trick. If the player is having a too easy time, the DM could offer them a drama point. This forces the player to reroll. If the player refuses, the player must offer a drama point to negate it. This gives the player an edge if they are having a bad time. And the DM would think twice before fudging their dice.

1 comment:

  1. With so many things, I think intent is key here. Fudging to keep the players engaged and excited can't be too bad a thing, but if you're doing it too much, re-think how you put a game together. Doing it for your own reasons, not so good, and you might want to think about why you're running the game that you are, in the way that you are.