Fudged Results

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Ignoring or having hidden exceptions to the algorithms determining effects of actions.

Players often experiences setbacks during gameplay but some setbacks can be especially bad or destroy the gameplay completely. To avoid this, game facilitators can modify the outcomes to mitigate the worse effects and possibly do this without the players knowing this. Players can also be give the possibility to create Fudged Results but this is then typically done so it is only possible to do rarely during gameplay.


Game Masters in games such as GURPS and Basic Role-Playing can provide Fudged Results at all times except when players roll dice to determine overcomes. Players can however also be given limited powers to recreate Fudged Results, the fate point system used in Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay is an example of this, although game masters determines the effect of using these fate points.

The Get Out of Jail Free card in Monopoly is an early example of Fudged Results under the players control. Dominion has similar reaction cards such as the moat card which allows players to not be affected by the adverse effects of others players cards. The card Counterspell in Magic: The Gathering works similarly be interrupting and removing the effect of a spell that has just been cast by other player. Collectible Card Games in general can introduce such cards as balancing factors; the Star Trek Customizable Card Game went so far as to include the card Writ of Accountability which fudges the result of other players having fudged too many previous results so that these automatically lose the game.

Bloodbowl allows players to create Fudged Results by using rerolls that are provided for the team or for specific star players.

Using the pattern

A first decision regarding Fudged Results is if they should be possible to create for players or by Dedicated Game Facilitators. Fudged Results by Dedicated Game Facilitators or Game Masters need to be made secretly to not impede on players' perception of having a Determinable Chance to Succeed, e.g. through the use of Feigned Die Rolls. An exception to this is if the Fudged Results are in itself algorithmically determined, which simply removes the pattern itself since players' can incorporate that algorithm into the normal one when it is noticed. Dynamic Difficulty Adjustment is most often done after the fact to adjust difficult for the players' next attempt at something in the game, but can also be used to create Fudged Results sometimes.

Self-Facilitated Games let players (and possibly Game Masters) create Fudge Results when they wish due to them providing Free Game Element Manipulation as a default. If the Fudged Results instead are to be encoded into the rules, e.g. to empower players, this is easiest done through Extra Chances. Another possibility is to use Tokens that provide the Privileged Ability to ignore an adverse effect by being discarded (using Cards, as for example done in Monopoly or in Dominion with the moat card, allow these to be Surprises).

When players can perform Fudged Results the ability to do so needs to be a Limited Resource for balance purposes and making Value of Effort possible. They do not need to be Non-Renewable Resources however, since they can be replenished as Rewards (as is done for the fate points in Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay).

Save-Load Cycles let players ignore all the events in play sessions, and are thus a course way of creating Fudged Results.

Collectible Card Games or other games with Evolving Rule Sets can cause players to feel that some results are Fudged Results because they might not be aware of the presences of rules introduced.

Narrative Aspects

Improvised Fudged Results by Game Masters can require Storytelling to explain some unusual circumstance that changes the outcome. This can also introduce elements of Surprise into the game.


Fudged Results are Ultra-Powerful Events that in a paradoxically way may in some cases be initiated by players. They typically skews Randomness and the action perform by, or against, Enemies. Given that Fudged Results cannot be used too often without ruining players' Value of Effort, they are quite likely to be called on in situations to hinder Life Penalties, Player Elimination, or Game Termination Penalties; depending on their frequency this either modifies or cancels these patterns. These, and lesser events that may be controlled by Fudged Results make the pattern a way to support Social Adaptability in a game so that players have the gameplay experience they want rather than want the game system would mechanically produce for them.

When players can create Fudged Results, they are Facilitating Rewards providing them with Empowerment and quite possibly an Exaggerated Perception of Influence. They can also be used for Misfortune Mitigation by these players. In contrast, when created by Dedicated Game Facilitators they can instead provide Balancing Effects. In both cases, they can provide tools for Social Roles related to mediating or facilitating games.


Can Instantiate

Empowerment, Exaggerated Perception of Influence, Facilitating Rewards, Misfortune Mitigation, Privileged Abilities, Social Adaptability, Social Roles, Surprises, Rewards, Ultra-Powerful Events

with Dedicated Game Facilitators

Balancing Effects

Can Modulate

Enemies, Game Termination Penalties, Life Penalties, Player Elimination, Randomness

Can Be Instantiated By

Collectible Card Games, Dedicated Game Facilitators, Dynamic Difficulty Adjustment, Evolving Rule Sets, Extra Chances, Feigned Die Rolls, Free Game Element Manipulation, Game Masters, Save-Load Cycles, Self-Facilitated Games, Tokens

Can Be Modulated By

Limited Resources, Non-Renewable Resources, Storytelling

Possible Closure Effects


Potentially Conflicting With

Determinable Chance to Succeed, Game Termination Penalties, Life Penalties, Player Elimination, Value of Effort


New pattern created in this wiki.




Jason Begy, Kjell Claesson, Andreas Ekeroot, Malte Elson, Ken Hullett, Guy Lima, Jr., Jonathan Osborne, Johan Peitz, Gillian Smith, Tim Stevens, Richard Wetzel, Johan Wingård