Fighter is a cheating bastard. That said, cheating is not always a bad thing in TRPGs. As per the Starfinder Core Rulebook, “Player cheating can ruin a game, but as a GM, you may sometimes find yourself in situations where cheating might actually improve the game. We prefer to call this “fudging.'” In other words, there’s a reason that the GM screen exists.

There are two clear sides to this debate. On the one hand, you have GMs that like to roll in the open. They want their players to know whether they won or lost fair and square, and would sooner start a new campaign than meddle with the whims of fate. On the other hand, you have the GMs who only roll the dice because of the noise they make. These GMs desire above all else to craft a satisfying story for their players. That’s why they’ll look you straight in the eye and tell you that Lord Evildark failed his save vs. death, knowing that it’s a lie, but also knowing it will make an epic moment for the heroic assassin.

Between these two points you’ll get all kinds of equivocation. I only fudge in favor of the players. I only do it to help newbies  survive. I’ll only fudge if it’s an important villain that would otherwise go down like a chump. I don’t pretend to have the answers here. The only thing I will say is that, if you do decide to bend the rules, you better have a high Bluff score. Changing the dice is one thing. It might or might not make for a better game. Letting your players know that you’ve changed the dice is something else entirely. It’s like a magician explaining his tricks. The magic disappears when you get a glimpse behind the curtain, and no PC wants to live knowing that their legend has an asterisk next to it.

Any dang way, what do the rest of you guys think? GM fudge, yea or nay? Let’s hear it in the comments!


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