I’m kinda surprised that it’s taken me so long to cover this topic but then again it’s not something I’ve encountered (to my knowledge) recently. One of my hobby principles is to have fun when playing games and I’ve also touched on how unimportant winning is in achieving that fun. I however haven’t cover cheating in games.
So what do I mean by cheating?
It can be blatant cheating either through fabricating dice rolls, illegal deck builds, fudging stats in games or something more extreme.
Now I’m not referring to the GM fudging a dice roll to ensure the party stays on the railroad. That’s permissible to a point, isn’t it? Suppose that depends on your gaming group and whether “dice as rolled” is part of the mantra. I’ve been known to fudge a situation to ensure that the game doesn’t end early as a result of total party kill or indeed to provide the party the opportunity to find something out that they otherwise wouldn’t learn. Now is that cheating? I suppose technically it’s “cheating the game” rather than “cheating the players”; unless of course that fudging results in the PCs missing out on something…
Cheating your fellow gamer is wrong and I don’t think anyone will disagree with me when I say that but why do some people cheat? I suppose it’s similar to the “must win” attitude that comes with some from my fellow gamers to the point that they forget that it’s a game which is supposed to be fun…
People might also cheat because of the nature of the contest. Any game that has a “pro” circuit brings with it a highly competitive environment. That environment is, in the main, very cordial and fair but there are some gamers out there who take the competitive element too seriously and are prepared to cheat to win.
Tolerance levels of cheating vary from community to community. I know game store owners who ban players for life on the basis of cheating during a tournament irrespective of whether it’s a first offence or not. That may sound extreme but I understand why they do that. Similarly I know clubs who have had disruptive individuals due to persistent foul play during games and those individuals have been excluded from participating in tournaments and at times been ostracised by other gamers.
Have you encountered cheating when playing games and if so what happened?