Content of the article: "Online Dice Fudging"
Hello, fellow DMs. This will be a bit long to make sure you have all of the context, so I apologize in advance.
I have been DMing a homebrew D&D 5e campaign for 4 friends these past few weeks over Discord. We use "theater of the mind" style gameplay, so nobody needs to have a camera and everything (including battle maps) is narrated over voice chat. When we first started playing, I gave everyone the big spiel about how "cheating in this game is cheating yourself" and "I trust everyone here to make this an enjoyable experience, so please don't betray that trust". I also convinced a few friends to even go out to a game store and purchase their own sets of dice. We have had about 5 sessions now, and 3 of the players have been very forthcoming about their rolls (we have already had some fun interactions due to repeated poor rolls, such as a PC failing three deception checks in a row against the same NPC), but one player has ruined it for the others.
This one player has not rolled less than a 12 in any ability check or attack roll since the game began. This is statistically improbable, and my suspicions were pretty much confirmed when I began arbitrarily raising the DCs of certain tasks for them, and their rolls began to get higher and higher to meet these DCs without having a single failure once they found the new one.
Obviously, this was a bit annoying on it's own, but the real issues began once the player began insulting and complaining about the other players rolling poorly. There were multiple times where a player would fail a task (they're all level 2 at this point, so failed tasks is bread and butter), and the problem player would whine about how they're useless and how "I would have rolled better and we should stop letting you do this since you never roll good enough".
I eventually downloaded a Discord bot that rolls in the chat for you, and now am forcing everyone to use it. This last session was literally the first time in this entire campaign that that player has rolled below a 10, and the complaining and whining got so bad that I almost stopped the game just to reprimand them. As a DM, I feel like I am punishing my other 3 players by forcing them to waste their dice purchase and just roll in the chat, but I also do not want to start drama by only forcing the cheating player to roll with the bot. If anyone else has dealt with an issue like this, I would greatly appreciate hearing about how you handled it.
- What kinds of downtime activities do your players have? Or: what’s your gwent?
- Fudging your dice is holding you back as a DM. Here’s three reasons to roll in the open
- Letting player re-roll/change ability scores mid-campaign?
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