post on The Douchey DM about players who cheat on their dice rolls for one reason or another. After I finished the post and thought about it, I thought I would talk about my own thoughts on cheating in roleplaying game and whether it is a good thing or a bad thing.
While this might not be a shocking revelation, I believe cheating can be rather detrimental to the game as a whole. One of the elements that I have always loved about RPG's is the random element of the dice. I love how in certain situations the way the dice land can determine if a character succeeds or fails at an action. It's that chance of failure that makes a success even more sweet.
So, I just find it hard to understand the appeal of cheating at a game? Maybe it's just me, but I find it rather boring to succeed at everything. If there is not chance you will ever fail, every success is just more shallow than the last in my eyes.
Now, with that being said, I can understand why a GM might want to "fudge" a roll or two during the game. For example, you are playing the very first adventure of a campaign and you happen to roll critical hit after critical hit and you might end up with a TPK at this rate. Now, if this were me, I would probably fudge a roll or two so they are normal hits instead of critical hits so the characters still feel like the combat is dangerous, but I don't end up killing them because I was rolling rather lucky and I don't want to end the campaign with the first adventure.
However, I think the difference here is that while I'm fudging some of these rolls (and therefore "cheating"), I'm not taking away all of the challenge and giving them a free pass. I think if a GM fudges every once in awhile, but doesn't make it a perfect win for the characters, than it's fine. However, if he fudges the dice constantly to "protect" the party and his players immediately scoop up their dice after they have somehow rolled their fourth natural 20 in a row, I think that can really hurt the game in the long run because you will slowly erase any real challenge the game has.
What are your thoughts on cheating? Do you think it has a place in gaming? Do you think it's a horrible thing that should never be done?