Comments on 2020-05-06 I need strong guidance

I have read today and yesterday posts about fudging. I do not like fudging either, as a referee I always roll in the open.

The key question is why did you fudge the roll? To spare the life of a character? To avoid a TPK? To make an enemy tougher?

Fudging dice are not the only way referees can adjust the difficulty of the game on the fly. We can change the total hits a monster can take, how many enemies appear, modifications to the rolls... And enemy actions are also a way to manage the difficulty: focusing all attacks on the same character, being reckless/cautious... Do you feel guilty after doing any of these things?

An option is to announce the modifiers before the roll. If needed, agree on them with the players. Fast, a quick discussion of one or two sentences on how the fiction translates to mechanics. Do not negotiate; if players want something, they have to do it (as PbtA games say, “to do something, do it”). Then roll and adjudicate.

You can treat the opponents of Just Halberds the same as characters. A list of skills and powers; each one that applies to the situation at hand adds +1 to the roll.

As K’Dare the firebreather steps out the cave, his immense (+1) scaled (+1) body reaches to the sky, with a deep roar that make your bones tremble. From there, he unleashes hell on all of you, spitting fire (+1) as he flies (+1) above your heads. What do you do?

For the disadvantage, I am unsure about rolling 3d6 and drop highest. Then you will need an advantge roll (3d6 drop lowest). How will that skew the 2d6 roll statistics? Why not use modifiers?

– Ludos Curator 2020-05-07 12:31 UTC


Yeah, you’re right. And when you write it up like that, it’s clear that K’Dare the firebreather 😀 is quite easy to hurt using water magic. Maybe his immensity and his flying will help, but if you catch him in a cave, then it’s only his size (+1). And thus the might dragon is reduced from +6 in a fair fight to +1 vs. water magic.

I like it.

– Alex Schroeder 2020-05-07 13:11 UTC


Regarding advantage/disadvantage, I’ve thought of this rationale:

Occupations, skills and special abilities/powers are internal factors, inherent to the character or monster. Each one that applies adds +1 to the roll.

External factors are independent of the people acting. They represent extraneous aspects that can alter the task difficulty. If they make it easier, roll with advantage (3d6, drop lowest); if harder, with disadvantage (3d6, drop higher).

As a referee I constantly struggle to choose the proper modifier for a task. Is the rain distracting the archers enough to confer a -1, -2 or -4 to their attack? Who knows... 😕 Using advantage/disadvantage I choose with confidence. And players feel it more tangible.

So, players describe their characters actions. They know what occupations, skills and special abilities apply to the roll. The referee judges the situation and decides if any participant has advantage or disadvantage. Everyone rolls the dice, and the referee narrates the outcome.

– Ludos Curator 2020-05-10 09:27 UTC


I definitely think that advantage/disadvantage has the advantage 😁 of being super light on the referee. You can stop thinking about it immediately. There’s no need to concern yourself with determining how big of an advantage exactly. None of that. Just advantage/disadvantage. I like that.

Still now sure whether I want to add it to Just Halberds, tough. 😅

– Alex Schroeder 2020-05-12 11:23 UTC


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