Don’t you just hate it when your fudge falls out?
This is a continuation of Wednesday’s article on fudging. In that article, the events that led up to the fudging, my rationale for doing so, and the actual fudging was laid out. This article covers the reaction from my players, and possible reactions that you may face if you decide to fudge.
One point that was raised in Wednesday’s comments was taking the party prisoner. 20-20 hindsight found a reason for keeping the party alive and in chains, but it didn’t really seem valid at the time.
Another point not fully addressed was how it went wrong. The players used reasonable tactics, but did not “bring their A-game” as it were. Dice rolls and initiative cards definitely favored the GM, but the party did not fight as a team, did not focus on individual opponents, and did not use their fullest abilities at critical junctures. I’m not blaming the players at all (not every group can be perfectly efficient), but this encounter called for synergy, concentration of fire, and aggression.
Probably the most surprising thing about my little incident was the reaction from the players. Player 1 goes through characters like Lady Gaga goes through hairstyles. P2 enjoys playing his characters, but is not especially attached to them. P3 and P4 seem to have a somewhat stronger attachment to their characters. P5 is very strongly attached to his characters, to the degree that he was visibly uncomfortable with the idea of a permanent injury.
We had a discussion afterwards, which continued online. Anyone who’s read my advice knows that my default answer is to communicate, so I put everything out there and asked for feedback. And thanks to my excellent players, I got it.
I expected the first two players to frown at the fudge, but everyone else to be fine with it as a story-saving device. I was wrong. P1 and P3 were strongly anti-fudge, and might consider it a deal-breaker in future sessions. P2 and P4 weren’t keen on it, but understood my rationale. P5 was the most comfortable with the fudge, but I even got the vibe that he wasn’t entirely happy about the GM assisting with his victory.
I was surprised, to say the least. Perhaps I expected the players to share my own level of attachment to characters? Perhaps I felt that they were at least as invested in the story as I was? I don’t know, but I did expect less resistance to the fudge.
So if you are looking to pack some fudge into your game*, be aware that it’s not for everyone. Talk about it first, and (if it’s overt fudging) again afterwards.
Got something to add to the discussion? Sound off in the comments and let us know!
* Yes I went there. Do you know how difficult it is for someone with my one-track gutter to write multiple articles about fudge and not use the word “pack” at least once?