April 2, 2021

Fudging


This episode is (unfortunately?) not about the delicious sugary treat, but instead the DM tool of "fudging dice"; changing the outcome of a roll behind the screen. For this discussion, I'm joined by Bart Wynants, a.k.a @critographer, author, historian, and all-round inspiration machine. Off the back of Bart's extensive, seven-part Twitter thread, we discuss the finer points of this particular incarnation of DM fiat, and how it's a bit of an iceberg of unseen issues. Firstly, it's not limited to just altering the result of a dice roll in secret, and it's pervasiveness can take many forms: dice tables, magic items, difficulty DCs, etc. I go through my personal realisation of how public rolling completely changed the game for the better, with no drawbacks! We come to the conclusion that fudging is less a DM tool, and actually a symptom of a deeper problem - seen as an exceptional occurrence. Through the use of the "five-whys" methodology we can get to the bottom of why the need for fudging has manifested, and fix it at the root, which is easier than you might expect!

  • 02:32 - Transparent rolling: the silver bullet?
  • 09:19 - Improvising/fudging DCs
  • 18:46 - Single points of failure and the 'rule-of-three' cure
  • 26:20 - Finding peace in the absolution of responsibility
  • 32:13 - Fudging dice table results - why bother & how to remain flexible
  • 38:04 - Tier 1 life support - a failing of the framework?
  • 43:48 - Miscellaneous fudge
  • 53:26 - The Five Whys - how to get to the root of your fudging habit

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Intro Music: 'Local Forecast' by Kevin MacLeod
Intermission Music: 'Chill' by Kevin MacLeod
Outro Music: 'Local Forecast - Elevator' by Kevin MacLeod

Bart Wynants (Critographer)

Author

Bart’s first brush with the hobby started with the discovery of HeroQuest, in the early 90s. He was always the kid who played the bad guy, and it seems he’s been stuck behind the GM screen ever since. His three campaigns are currently on a covid-hiatus and he can’t wait to revisit Curse of Strahd which, thirteen sessions in, has already gone completely off the rails! “As any good campaign should” he claims.
Since 2018, Bart has been working as a freelance writer, designer and fantasy cartographer and is currently involved in several exciting projects! He’s also active on Twitter, sharing bits of history and folklore to serve as writing inspiration, as well as banging out the odd article on GM tips and advice.