Dicing with the truth.

Our Pathfinder group got a new member last night. Which is great because up till now we’ve been floundering a bit with only three characters. He doesn’t fill the massive hole that is our lack of healing unfortunately.That isn’t my problem with him though.

He is also of the Dubious Dice persuasion. The lowest result he managed to announce last night was a 19. Other than that he regularly got above 20 on his results, and managed to score at least two successful critical hits, both of which he conveniently announced only after he picked up multiple dice.

I’ve played in groups where rolls were fudged every so often by players, but generally the GM managed to keep it in check, and it wasn’t an issue. It helped that our group are all close friends so calling each other out on it was never something anyone had trouble with. Sadly that’s not the case with the current group. The GM and said player are friends and have played together before, so the GM doesn’t seem to notice it, and the player, as apparent from discussion of previous characters, seems to enjoy playing dick characters. You know you’re in for a rough ride as an experienced player when the GM casually says “I love it when he does things like this and no one ever calls him out on it.” after the player has just slit the throat of an unconscious opponent as everyone else leaves the room.

Cheaters, like Goblins, ruin everything.

Cheaters, like Goblins, ruin everything.

I don’t know about the rest of the group but for me that’s a problem

The other reason that this is an issue is because the other players in the group are new, and when I mentioned to one that he shouldn’t feel bad about not knowing what to do with his character, he bought up that he thought the Mr Dubious had been fudging dice rolls. I feel that in an established group where everyone knows what to do, it becomes a bit easier for other players to deal with cheaters in game. When players have never played before and don’t know how to do this, it ruins the game for them; not just because they feel like they’re not doing well enough but also because they’re being told that the game is a competition and the only way to win is to cheat.

I dislike players that disrupt games by cheating, grandstanding or dickish play, but also think it should be up to the GM to deal with these things. A good GM knows how to make sure everyone is playing fair, and having fun at the same time. Roleplaying is also a team effort, is it only up to the GM to deal with these issues? At what point do players have to step in and ensure that they have fun and are treated fairly? No one individual is responsible for the health of a group, much like a party has to work together, players have to as well. At the end of the day, roleplaying is a co-operative narrative. It has room for individual stories, and personal moments of glory; but it’s meant to be co-operative. When one player tries to ensure that they have the majority of the fun and never have to deal with the randomness that dice bring to the table it takes that away; it breaks the trust players have in each and it ruins the game for everyone. It’s always sad when a party fails in game because of bad dice rolls, or characters not working well. It’s even worse when a party fails because one player doesn’t want to play fair.

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