How often do you go outside the rules?

I GM DnD but this can apply to whatever system you want. I'll give an example;

One of my players' characters was on the ground whilst fighting some commoners. A commoner approached him and tried to stab but rolled extremely low and failed the DC, so I had the PC roll a D20 and he rolled a 16 so I said he managed to roll out of the way to avoid it, getting him 5 feet away from the enemy and on his back instead of his front.

Do you think this is game breaking or just a bit of fun? The players seem to enjoy it and adds to their immersion. I still do give them fair challenge at times too so it's not to go easy on them. Do you guys do anything like this?
Pic semi-related

All the time. Maybe because I'm an oldfag and play predominantly oldfag systems where these sorts of things were more expected and the rules were much more loosely written, but I consider this part and parcel of an RPG.

The rules are there to support you, not restrict you.

As a GM, you are free to do whatever you wish as long as it is in the service of the fun of your players.

The system is there to make your job easier, to provide you a reliable backup for when things get complicated or difficult, as well as to provide a common frame of reference between you and the players.

Of course, context and nuance are key. Knowing when to bend or act outside the rules, knowing not to do it too much to leave the players without a solid frame of reference, and knowing how to do so in ways that make the game more fun are all part of the skills of GMing.

I pretty much never go outside the rules. DMs who fudge, do so because they (1) are too immature to handle character death, (2) their players are too immature to handle character death (grow up), (3) they are bad at DMing and can't handle their precious railroad being derailed.

There are no other reason to fudge or cheat the rules. So you should follow them 100% of the time, only making rulings when the RAW directly contradicts common sense (i.e. drowning-healing in 3.5) or when the rules do not cover something at all.

If you "fudge" as a DM, you are cheating, and no amount of rule zero "omg im in charge" bullshit is going to change that fact. You are a bad DM and I have no respect for you as a person if you do this. I have quit campaigns when I spotted the DM fudging rolls to save my character's life because for some reason a character dying was just too much for him.

>reddit spacing

>Blindly following the rules even if it's actively to the detriment of the experience has implicit value for some reason

>Also I hate legibility

>Blindly following the rules even if it's actively to the detriment of the experience has implicit value for some reason

t. control freak who thinks his "fun" is always the highest priority.

What is the highest priority if not fun?

Almost constantly. Use the rules as a structure to base your game on but never let the rules fuck up the story you want to tell. That being said, be careful not to break your game with going outside the rules.

My fun? No. The fun of myself and the whole group? Yes. We're undertaking a leisure activity for the purposes of enjoyment. Why would we not prioritise fun?

Of course, it's worth mentioning that different groups will have different priorities. For some groups, the GM sticking closely to the rules will be part of what they enjoy, which means that doing so directly contributes to the experience of the group and thus the GM is obliged to do so.

However, not all groups enjoy this, and some might actively dislike it. In those contexts, rigidly adhering to the rules has no value.

It's all about knowing your preferred playstyle and the playstyle of your group and how best to cater to that. No style is inferior or superior, it's all a matter of taste and what works best for the people you're playing with in the name of making an engaging, compelling and satisfying experience.


Creating a memorable story. Finding creative fulfillment in the game that doesn't involve writing some shitty novel no one will read.

>using Reddlt spacing

I shouldn't even respond to this seriously, but:

>We're undertaking a leisure activity for the purposes of enjoyment. Why would we not prioritise fun?

Because mathematically speaking that would mean you would stop playing an RPG. They just aren't that much fun compared to other things. That's what you get for being a hedonist.

>Because mathematically speaking that would mean you would stop playing an RPG. They just aren't that much fun compared to other things. That's what you get for being a hedonist.

I guess I'm just more into the hobby than you are? In my experience, RPGs are the most enjoyable hobby I participate in. They require more investment, but the enjoyment I get out of them is immensely rewarding, particularly when I'm GMing and know I'm letting other people have an enjoyable experience as well.

Always, but that's because I forget the rules easily and wing things.

I'm exactly the contrary, I use modern games almost all the time. Tough if that is what you guys decided at the table, I can respect it.

>creating a memorable story
Write a book, then. It seems like it's much more in line with what you enjoy.

See RPGs are fun for me and my group as well, more so than most anything the rest of us could be doing with that same time. Not sure why the experience sucks so much for you, by maybe you should reevaluate your priorities or your group.

As far as I'm concerned there are no rules, just a set of guidelines designed to work together as a system, any of them can be removed if you need them to be. Its a system for playing imagination, not jenga. Anytime a guideline designed to help us have a fun game is getting in the way of the fun, I consider changing it. That's not to say I just let whatever happen, PCs don't just start spontaneously flying, but in a game like d&d say, there are tons of tiny mechanical rules that don't effect the game overall. Someone is playing a class/using a feat designed for a specific weapon but wants to use a mechanically similar but aesthetically different one? That rule can fuck off. Someone wants a simulacra to cast wish to create an infinite simulacra chain? That can fuck off too, unless you want all the level 20 wizards in the setting to be using maximum cheese and I know that my players sure as hell don't. Pen and paper RPGs are systems designed to facilitate you and your friends sitting around a table with some dice and your imagination and have an amazing time. I can understand being a stickler for the rules when you are someone that plays with strangers and needs to hunt around for all kinds of weirdos to play with, but I've always had the privilege of loads of friends always wanting me to run a game and who trust me to make all the best calls when it comes to making sure the game runs smoothly. So in my case, yeah, the rules are only there to provide me with some advice.

>Common sense

The rules dictate what "common sense" means, and if you can heal drowning damage at a faster pace than you take it than its a legitimate means of underwater exploration, as is a high-level fighter surviving a jump from a mountain (which I must stress is small compensation when many other classes get access to flight by the same or an earlier point.) That you are willing to break this rule and others but not allow GM fudging makes you a hypocrite.

D&D physics do not equal real world physics.

>>reddit spacing
Considering you're also double-spacing I'm not sure if I should take your whole post as being ironic or not.

>The rules are there to support you, not restrict you.

The other idiot is either intentionally looking to fight or a fool.

What you did was add a fun little rule to make interpreting a low roll of an enemy more interesting and engaging.
This is great if the players seem to like it.
Being aware of how they appreciate it is the defining factor.
There was a GM that, when the PCs started playing high stakes poker, brought out a deck and had them actually play. His players enjoyed it, some might not.

However, there are some counter points to "going outside the rules".
You generally shouldn't call for rolls if the outcome is already decided.
If the rolls don't matter, don't roll.
If something calls for a roll, and the outcome is unexpected and might "ruin" the story, try to work with it before just fudging.
Great things can come from unexpected rolls.
And often, things going offscript, or different from what you think is best, is never as bad as you imagine.
Worse, it engenders a belief that how you imagine the events going is automatically better than anything random or unexpected that might occur, and that is a dangerous road.

Here's your (You)

Go outside the rules? I make the rules!

Screw the rules, I have money!