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GM'ing question....sharing information with players? 6e

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Annoch

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« on: <03-22-20/2014:55> »
Wasn't sure that this was a rules question, so I am putting it here.

I have GM'ed a few times in my life, but I am by no means an expert...just a few sessions of D&D and some Cthulu.  Generally I always assumed that they sold you overpriced cardboard called a GM's screen  ;) so that the players wouldn't see exactly what was happening and you could surprise them/fudge things as needed.

For the 6E rules it would seem that it sometimes expects GM rolling/edge counts to be done in the open and other times not so much.  A lot of edge spenders for would seem to indicate that the players know what their opponents have rolled; 1xEdge allows reroll of opponents die, 2 edge negates 1 opponent edge, 5 edge counts 2's for glitches for opponent.

And then for things like the baby monitor program/check OS action, it would seem that you are supposed to keep the # of hits against the defender a secret otherwise this would not be all that useful.

Anyway, I don't know if there is a correct rules answer to this one.  What do you guys think?  What have you been doing?

Stainless Steel Devil Rat

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« Reply #1 on: <03-22-20/2030:49> »
It's a playstyle/preference thing.  Some GMs like to hide dice behind the screen, some prefer for the players to see the dice.

I'm more of a "hide your die rolls from the players" style, but certain edge expenditures are far less valuable if you can't see the opposing dice.  So I'm on the fence for this edition.  Old habits are hard to break so I tend to shield my dice, but I do try to make a point of saying how many hits there are, and call out freaky high instances of 1s so that the player is at least aware of the potential for making it a glitch.  If a player asked about the dice while mulling over possible edge expenditure, I just lift the shield and let them do their thinking without filtering the info.
RPG mechanics exist to give structure and consistency to the game world, true, but at the end of the day, you’re fighting dragons with algebra and random number generators.

Lormyr

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« Reply #2 on: <03-22-20/2200:51> »
As a GM I personally never hide my rolls, and more often than not I do not even roll, instead letting the players roll for the NPCs too. It has gone over quite well in my experience.

On the player side I will not even sit at a table unless everyone rolls in the open, GM included. Too many experiences with cheaters over the years.

Banshee

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« Reply #3 on: <03-23-20/0751:37> »
I honestly as a GM only roll dice as sound effects most times because I usually set a difficulty threshold based on how big a dice pool the player is rolling vs how challenging the test is supposed to be
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Michael Chandra

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« Reply #4 on: <03-23-20/0759:24> »
I tend to roll almost all publicly, only if they don't know IF there's opposition or OOC they also don't know if the other side is lying, do I roll in secret. Also my 'hm let me make a roll to figure out if/how much of this new plot component they thought of' rolls.
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skalchemist

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« Reply #5 on: <03-23-20/0948:07> »
Because the players can spend Edge to change the opposing roll, I think the rules essentially require at least any opposed roll to be made in public if the players have Edge. 

That's easy for me.  I've been GM'ing games of all types since about 1983 and I literally can't remember the last time I rolled dice in a hidden fashion as a GM.  First, I hate screens; I hate the feeling of being walled off from my players.  Second, I hate altering dice rolls; if I am running a game where I feel like I have to alter dice rolls I will quickly house rule that game so I don't have to do that any more, or stop running it.  A game that has a) lots of rules for the GM to roll dice but also b) expects or requires GM's to alter dice rolls routinely is in my opinion c) a poorly designed game.  At a minimum it is poorly designed for me.

As SSDR says, this is a preference thing (except see the first sentence above), but I'm strongly Team Public Dice.  :-)
« Last Edit: <03-23-20/0953:00> by skalchemist »

Hobbes

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« Reply #6 on: <03-23-20/1053:42> »
My rule of thumb, named NPCs and Hosts I roll dice, most everything else I buy hits/set a threshold and announce it. 

Generally if I've got a table full of experienced players, I roll out in the open.  If  I've got some newbies in the mix I roll behind the screen so I can fudge things.

Some players seem to enjoy the mini-game of "How Many Hits Did the GM Get?" and spending Edge, if they seem to like that I'll keep the screen up.

Tecumseh

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« Reply #7 on: <03-23-20/1301:23> »
My strong preference is to roll in the open. Unless there's GM sneakery afoot, I also try to be fairly explicit about dice pools and modifiers for both PCs and NPCs, which can help new players learn the game.

I don't fudge rolls. When you roll frequently enough, eventually you're going to get that "1 in a 1,000" or "1 in 10,000" improbable roll. I want the players to see it and know that it actually happened, and that I'm not trying to either 1) punish them or 2) go easy on them. Like that Yahtzee roll, where five dice produced five 6s - all exploding - one of which turned into three more 6s, so that five dice produced eight hits. That was a marvel and I'm glad everyone got to see it.

Shinobi Killfist

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« Reply #8 on: <03-23-20/1418:52> »
I roll in the open for pretty much everything. About the only time I might not is if I don't want the players to even know there was a roll happening at all for things that had already occurred. Like if person whose room they are searching had hid something last night, I make that roll while I am prepping the adventure not when the players are searching.

jman5000

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« Reply #9 on: <03-23-20/1516:43> »
I'm still learning how to do this GM'ing thing :).

I've been rolling out in the open for years now - for every single roll.  I would say the only time I miss this is by mistake or the roll is so fast that it's just easier to quickly grab a dice, roll it and tally its result. 

I also tend, where possible, to turn any situation that requires a roll to a player roll rather than a GM one.  so, for SR, so far, the vast majority of rolls have been player initiated where GM controlled resources are opposing.  this is my preferred method for other games as well - but I'm still learning how to GM.

I love screens.  but these days its pretty much used to keep my notes hidden and for some reference lookups.  I tend to have my screen off to a side where I sit in front of my players openly - save for my dice tray. 

Cheers,

J.

Shinobi Killfist

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« Reply #10 on: <03-23-20/1851:42> »
I'm still learning how to do this GM'ing thing :).

I've been rolling out in the open for years now - for every single roll.  I would say the only time I miss this is by mistake or the roll is so fast that it's just easier to quickly grab a dice, roll it and tally its result. 

I also tend, where possible, to turn any situation that requires a roll to a player roll rather than a GM one.  so, for SR, so far, the vast majority of rolls have been player initiated where GM controlled resources are opposing.  this is my preferred method for other games as well - but I'm still learning how to GM.

I love screens.  but these days its pretty much used to keep my notes hidden and for some reference lookups.  I tend to have my screen off to a side where I sit in front of my players openly - save for my dice tray. 

Cheers,

J.

Screens are pretty useful when a game first comes out and your familiarity with the rules is light, looking things up is can really slow down the game.  Of course that only works if the screens aren't outdated by errata day one.

Lormyr

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« Reply #11 on: <03-24-20/1103:49> »
Of course that only works if the screens aren't outdated by errata day one.

I had to lol.

MercilessMing

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« Reply #12 on: <03-24-20/1518:19> »
I bought the 6e screen and I enjoy it for the pockets, the sliders, and the graphics.  I put up NPC cards to show the players who they're talking to / fighting against, and have made some custom art for the big art pocket , as well as tracking mission heat and some clocks with the sliders. 

I'm also a hide-every-roll kind of GM.  It helps me be flexible if I've seriously misjudged the NPC dice pool sizes, and make secret meaningless rolls for narrative effect.

Stainless Steel Devil Rat

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« Reply #13 on: <03-24-20/1522:35> »
I bought the 6e screen and I enjoy it for the pockets, the sliders, and the graphics.  I put up NPC cards to show the players who they're talking to / fighting against, and have made some custom art for the big art pocket , as well as tracking mission heat and some clocks with the sliders. 

I'm also a hide-every-roll kind of GM.  It helps me be flexible if I've seriously misjudged the NPC dice pool sizes, and make secret meaningless rolls for narrative effect.

I admit to sometimes adding extra dice to a dice pool, of an off color that won't be counted, just to make the NPC sound like it has a bigger dice pool than it really has.
RPG mechanics exist to give structure and consistency to the game world, true, but at the end of the day, you’re fighting dragons with algebra and random number generators.