Here for a while
(3/18/03 3:55 pm)
Re: I need a post-mortem|
I'm going to toss in a couple of coppers on the topic of "DM cheating". I'll try not to turn this into a rant.
As a DM, I roll most dice in the open, including attacks, damage, saves, caster level checks, and (some, mostly combat related) opposed skill checks. On the downside, the players gain metagame knowledge about the gaming world. As ZansForCans said:
I've thought about rolling out in the open before, but my players are experienced enough that they would tempted to calculate bonuses and intrinsic stats from the success or failure of the rolls. That can ultimately lead to tactical decisions, which I really don't want to happen (subconsciously or not): "Gee, he rolled a 4 and still beat my DC 20 Will save. Oh well, no more of those spells this combat."
However, the plus side is so huge. I build trust with my players by demonstrating that they are being treated fairly. More importantly, I get to bask in the atmosphere of gleeful anticipation as all eyes watch the outcome of an important roll. Picture, if you will, the two outstanding examples:
1) The BBEG saving throw, where (especially late in the combat) I often announce the target value before rolling. After the player calculates his DC, it's intimidating to hear, "The Avatar of Orcus needs a four to shrug off your spell", and watch with baited breath as the dice tumble to a stop. Conversely, the players feel powerful when they hear, "Egad, the gnolls each need 19s to save. This is going to be ugly."
2) The potentially fatal attack on a wounded character. This is one of the most tense moments in a game, because there's no room for DM quarter. It could miss. It could hit. It could critical.
It's a question of personal preference, and of course, YMMV. Behind the curtain, however, I constantly "fudge" details outside of combat to keep the story moving. This is always to the benefit of the players (NOT necessarily their characters) because it keeps the game fun.
Editted for clarity.
Edited by: blakwind at: 3/18/03 3:59:42 pm