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Suspected Cheating

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Hey guys, I'm looking for a little guidance here. After our last session, one of my players let it slip that he'd read some stuff online, about the mission we are currently running, and how other players dealt with some of the problems they are dealing with. Which i promptly and very firmly told him, that he is not to be reading about missions as that directly ruins the game for everyone.

A couple of my other players, informed me after our last session, that they believe, this same guy, has been fudging his rolls (he's 9 - 0 on Fear tests) I too have had doubts on some of his rolls, but I have no actual proof, and I don't really want to call him out on it, unless I know for sure that he is cheating.   To make it more complicated, he is also a longtime childhood friend of mine,

Thoughts, Comments, Advice ?? 

 

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I made people roll in the open after I had the very same experience, and that worked for a while. 

 

But similar discussions on these very forums led me to the conclusion that this "fudging" of dice rolls is part of what makes the gaming experience enjoyable for him, and in the end, having fun is what it's all about. At least when you're playing with friends, and the social experience is more important than the game and it's rules. 

 

And I've been in that position, as a player, and I know it sucks when the dice fail you and you feel that somehow it's wrong, it doesn't match your imagination of your character and how he "should" handle that situation. Which is fair enough: Role-playing games are basically power fantasies, and a good GM delivers what his players want :)

 

So in the end, you could also ask yourself: Does it really matter? Do the other players mind? Are you all having a good time? 

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Rule of thumb for me is, as long as he's not PvPing with fudged rolls and not somehow hampering the rest of the group's fun, stuff like this can be overlooked. If it seriously bugs everyone else at the table, though, then, yes, have a chat with him.

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Also consider how to work around his problems. Fate Points, for example, can do a lot. And can potentially do anything you want with a loosely framed houserule or two.

 

Like the other guys said: the goal is for everyone to have fun. The rules are just there to facilitate that, to the extent that they can. They most definitely do not exist to be blindly adhered to.

 

EDIT: Actually...

 

If your friend's issue is that luck plays too large a role in the game, take a look at systems where it doesn't. Depending on how heavy an emphasis you guys place on things like combat and investigation, GUMSHOE, Fate or Savage Worlds may better suited to your group's playstyle than the Dark Heresy system. And using any of those systems to play Dark Heresy wouldn't be a hell of a lot of work.

Edited by Simsum

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So it seems pretty unanimous, that fudging numbers isn't as big of a deal as I thought it was. You guys all have a pretty good point, if his rolls aren't actually hurting anyone else's experience of the game, I guess I can let it go. I'll talk to the other players and see how they feel about it, and then I will have a talk with him.

Thanks I appreciate the insight.

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I have one of the same problems in my group actually, people reading in books they ain´t supposed to (leave that radicals handbook this second! Yes it have nice stuff in it, but nice GM stuff!) and who rather rerolls their dices if they fail the first time instead of fudging the numbers. All I do is taking mental notes, trying to remember who that did what and why. Did he re-roll that seventy something on his fear roll without the use of fate, well he does still get some insanity as he should, but the rest slides. Did he re-roll his attack dice against my boss because I didn´t ask him for a result? Well my boss did suddenly also gain a re-roll.

 

As others have said, RPing is about power fantasies and having fun, and if something makes a thing fun for the players should it also be fun for the GM as well. Do just remember that there are a difference between one person having fun, and all having fun.

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So it seems pretty unanimous, that fudging numbers isn't as big of a deal as I thought it was.

 

Mind that this is only true of players, and only as long as the group doesn't have issues with it.

 

Despite what a lot of GM resources claim, as a GM fudging dice rolls is not a good idea, because the players will catch on eventually and it will suck the tension out of the game. If you're ever heading in the direction of a dice roll with a potential outcome you fear would negatively impact the game, it is a much, much better idea not to roll the dice at all.

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Whether RPGs are about power fantasies or not depends on the game and how it is approached. Horror games (which DH appears to have been originally designed as somewhat, although it has moved away from that) are really not about that. They're actually based on depriving the players of power.

 

But if you're not playing it that way, then it is about power fantasies, so that's fine. :)

Edited by bogi_khaosa

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After speaking to both of my players that voiced their concerns, and some thought on my part, I am going to speak to him about his dice rolls and ask All of my players to roll on the table top from now on.

If the test is that important that he feels the need to fudge his rolls, he can always spend one of his 4 fate points, and re-roll it.  It is not fair to my other players, that they have to accept the result of their rolls (taking the wounds, from a failed Dodge, or Fainting during combat, from a bad Fear Test) but one of the other players gets away with making up his numbers. 

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Sounds like a sensible way of resolving the issue. Personally I think a bit of Gm fudging is essential to maintain tension. The secret is knowing when.  However there are many different Gm styles. I might try next session with no fudging to see how it goes.

Edited by Visitor Q

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I agree with Visitor Q, from time to time you need to fudge.

Either to keep the tension or bring things to an end.

Gamers fudging their rolls ... yeah, that has been around in gaming since i can remember. In PvP something i frown upon, but in certain moments i don't mind much as long as the fun on the table is boosted/helped by it. Using it to powergame and ruin other players fun is a No-Go.

Checking an adventure a GM is running as a player ... i admit i did it once in my 17 years of playing.

Our GM at the time was IMO ruining the game setting by throwing incredible opposition (politicaly, military, socialy) against our group. I took a look at the adventure without telling even any other player because i could not believe the odds would be stacked that much against us.

Turned out that he could throw all that opposition but should adjust the difficulty to the group. Sadly he did not do the latter. That killed the group. Not the PCs, we don't play that group any more.

Edited by segara82

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If one of my players cheat/fudge and I see it, I ask them kindly not to.

If he/she does it after that, then that person is not my player. Simple.

 

Except for one guy, I've never had any issues - as most people do understand that cheating goes against the spirit of the game.

Edited by Keffisch

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I try not to fudge, but a select few times I have.
That is were a massive pile of dice AND a GM-screen comes into play.

 

Just arrange one of the dice to show succes or failure, as needed for that rare superimportant event that still should be rolled, and roll another dice. Then just say "GOSH DANG IT! Why wont you guys die!" and lift your screen and point at the dice.

 

Works like a charm, but dont use it to often.

 

 

As for players cheating I would advice a straight talk to the cheater... if you are comfortable with it.
Otherwise you can say something like
"One of you, who shall remain anonymous, said that she/he saw another player cheat with the dice. So from now on we will all roll on the table were all can see. It's no biggie and bygones are bygones, but it IS kinda unfair to the other players. So... no hard feelings you guys? Great! Let's get your characters killed... I mean let's track down that deamonhost."


Sidenote: We once played an adventure for the second time (not in DH), at it actualy worked out better / was even more fun, because we made sure to play according to our characters (no metagaming!), but could plan some cool (non cheesy) things to roleplay ahead of time.

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I made people roll in the open after I had the very same experience, and that worked for a while. 

 

But similar discussions on these very forums led me to the conclusion that this "fudging" of dice rolls is part of what makes the gaming experience enjoyable for him, and in the end, having fun is what it's all about. At least when you're playing with friends, and the social experience is more important than the game and it's rules. 

 

And I've been in that position, as a player, and I know it sucks when the dice fail you and you feel that somehow it's wrong, it doesn't match your imagination of your character and how he "should" handle that situation. Which is fair enough: Role-playing games are basically power fantasies, and a good GM delivers what his players want :)

 

So in the end, you could also ask yourself: Does it really matter? Do the other players mind? Are you all having a good time? 

 

I must say that this is a refreshing view on cheating. Most forums just go to the standard "tell him to stop or banish him from your table". 

 

But... If your objective is to do power fantasies, why hold on to a system at all? You could use all the fluff in all of the books, but when it comes to mechanics, abandon them and just describe what your character does. Obviously, you easily fall in the pitfall where someone goes: and my character jumps to the chandelier, swings towards the ogryn and lands square on its face, kicking it unconscious pronto.

 

Without mechanics (and dice, but Simsum made a good point about mechanics that are less dependant from dice-outcomes), you wouldn't be able to limit the power fantasy. Or you must be playing with some very self restraining players. 

 

So, I guess I'm all for mechanics. And to make them function, the players should follow the rules.

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My group once did this with Paranoia, when we wanted to play but none uf us had the books/dice with us; So our gm sais: "lets do this, just tell me what your character does. If it's intresting it happens, if it is something stupid, then it might fail or not work the way you intended to." Was a very nice session...

 

It helps that in Paranoia the Gm is the only one who's suposed to know the rules anyway.

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I tend to discourage cheating, mainly due to the fact that if they could Cheat they would most likely live, causing the survival horror aspects of DH to fall off.

But if I do catch them cheating I ensure that they meet a terrible fate in game.

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I'm reminded of yesterday's game session, that more interesting is when failures are not direct failures. 

 

For example one of them rolled a 100 and decided that the best way would be to short out a void shield by inserting his metal servo claw and slowly extruding himself through. He gets a lot of voltage into him, however the shield does go down!

Another time, a spyker runs out of the room for failing a fear test and runs into an argument between the puppet and the puppeteer. The puppeteer escapes, but they prevent valuable reinforcements from massacring more Calixian nobles.

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