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Kyle

Potential Cheating in Online Sessions

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I'm a GM running Call of Cthulhu 7e. Because of the pandemic, my group started playing via Zoom. Since some of us have to use our phones and it is easier to roll dice, we do not use a public roller. I thought this would be fine, because I trust my players. Last session, almost one half of one of my players' rolls were extreme successes including all of the important ones. I'm not sure if this means he is cheating but it is certainly suspicious. Maybe he is truthful but has a biased d10.

What should I do to prevent cheating in an online session?

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It's really sad GMs have to worry about this stuff but the only solution I can think of is to use online dice rolling. There are a lot of solutions for that but if you want something that intergrates dice rolling with audio and video I would recommend Discord. It supports audio and video as well as chat and dice rolling and there is a free version of it.

Edited by rsanford
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1 hour ago, soltakss said:

Use a Dice rolling APP on your phones. If challenged, get them to show you the result on the phone.

But how can you say the roll was made when you asked it ?

Is there a timestamp ?

Edited by Mugen

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15 hours ago, Kyle said:

What should I do to prevent cheating in an online session?

Trust. Like any group of individuals, you need to trust that what is going on is the way it is. Was this going on when you were face-to-face, if not, what has changed. If you are the GM, I'd make sure all of your rolls were out in the open (lead by example). 

In my current online game we have a mixture of players who roll, the dice themselves or use the dice roller built in to Roll20. Often when it's a good or bad roll, they move the camera onto the dice. 

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2 hours ago, David Scott said:

Trust. Like any group of individuals, you need to trust that what is going on is the way it is. Was this going on when you were face-to-face, if not, what has changed. If you are the GM, I'd make sure all of your rolls were out in the open (lead by example). 

In my current online game we have a mixture of players who roll, the dice themselves or use the dice roller built in to Roll20. Often when it's a good or bad roll, they move the camera onto the dice. 

I would roll in the open in the couple of sessions we had before the lockdown. My players all rolled in the open too and there were no signs of cheating. He does move the camera but it takes time and without seeing the roll, he could have just placed the dice on a low number without rolling. I think you guys are right and I'm going to have to use public rolling software.

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8 hours ago, Mugen said:

But how can you say the roll was made when you asked it ?

Is there a timestamp ?

If the Narrator asks for a D100 roll and I use a Dice app and get 03 I show it to the narrator. They ask again and it rolls 78 and I show it.

If all my rolls are 03 then I am cheating. If 03 then 02, then 01 I am lucky.

Of course, there is nothing to stop rerolls until you get a good role, but the Gm can ask you to stop that.

Anyway, I just trust players.

 

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30 minutes ago, soltakss said:

If the Narrator asks for a D100 roll and I use a Dice app and get 03 I show it to the narrator. They ask again and it rolls 78 and I show it.

If all my rolls are 03 then I am cheating. If 03 then 02, then 01 I am lucky.

Of course, there is nothing to stop rerolls until you get a good role, but the Gm can ask you to stop that.

Anyway, I just trust players.

 

Well if using Discord you could ask for a dice roll and then wait for it to be displayed on the Discord dashboard. I don't remember if it is time stamped or not but you can tell when something has been rolled.

 

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Hi @Kyle

As previously suggested by @rsanford, I think that you should just use an online dice roller that has group access, whether by using a dice room site, or using an app. 

I think they may be part of Discord. If not using Discord, there are other options, such as Dicerooms.com or DungeonZ Dice Calculaor. 

We have moved our monthly game to online at present, due to the social distancing measures. 

Even after the social isolation is ceased, we will probably continue to game this way. At least for the 'downtime' sessions or sessions with envisioned minimal combat. Some systems work better than others, as their combat systems are resolved in one roll. For RQ it takes several rolls, which is a bit more tedious with a dice calculator than rolling dice in person, but it is certainly doable. CoC is a little less tedious, due to just having total Hit Points, it seems to flow a bit quicker online than RQ.

The good thing is that our monthly in-person session is now a weekly online session, so we are actually playing more regularly. Damn this pandemic, heh heh.

We presently play by using our paper character sheets, and communicating over Skype or Zoom, with DungeonZ Dice Calculator for the dice rolls. DungeonZ Dice Calculator is a free app,  and it is quite good for a freebie. It also allows you to have pre-calcuated formulas, so you can have common abilities titled and ready to go. Interface is very simple with less than 5min learning curve. Highly recomended for no-cost online tabletop play

Your troupe and yourself can download the free app from here:

http://dungeonz.com/DiceCalc

Just an option 😎

Edited by Mankcam
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I'd also consider waiting to see if it happens again. Hot streaks happen, but not every week.

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Here's what I think of cheating. If your life is so sad and pathetic that you have to cheat at make believe then all I ask is that you don't make it obvious. I used to be super uptight about making sure all rolls were done under careful observation, and then it finally struck me that I really don't care if someone cheats in a RPG. I'm not scripting a story that must go "just so", and we're not playing for money, so it's no skin off of my nose. That said, if I ever catch somebody cheating in a game I run, I'll probably ask that person to not come back . . . not out of anger, but because I don't want to hang out with sad-sack losers in my free time.

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8 hours ago, rsanford said:

Well if using Discord you could ask for a dice roll and then wait for it to be displayed on the Discord dashboard. I don't remember if it is time stamped or not but you can tell when something has been rolled.

 

You just have to add a dice roller "bot" to the server; I think I googled around or maybe found one mentioned in a Reddit threat. The one we use is called Dash Delta, and I think it's a pretty good one (has macro support, exploding dice, etc., etc.)

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9 minutes ago, Nick J. said:

That said, if I ever catch somebody cheating in a game I run, I'll probably ask that person to not come back . . . not out of anger, but because I don't want to hang out with sad-sack losers in my free time.

Maybe they are not sad loser, maybe you story telling skills are so great, and your story so gripping, that the players can't bear to fail at the most inopportune moment! 😮 

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3 minutes ago, Lloyd Dupont said:

Maybe they are not sad loser, maybe you story telling skills are so great, and your story so gripping, that the players can't bear to fail at the most inopportune moment! 😮 

If that's true then those people picked the wrong guy to run them through a game. No stakes, no game.

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16 hours ago, Nick J. said:

Here's what I think of cheating. If your life is so sad and pathetic that you have to cheat at make believe then all I ask is that you don't make it obvious. I used to be super uptight about making sure all rolls were done under careful observation, and then it finally struck me that I really don't care if someone cheats in a RPG. I'm not scripting a story that must go "just so", and we're not playing for money, so it's no skin off of my nose. That said, if I ever catch somebody cheating in a game I run, I'll probably ask that person to not come back . . . not out of anger, but because I don't want to hang out with sad-sack losers in my free time.

I'm kinda-sorta in that space, but still a bit annoyed at player-cheating.

I also add that I feel a responsibility to my other players:  if they object to their "peers" cheating in this way, if the cheating interferes with THEIR fun... then I feel not just entitled but obligated to step in and stop it.

 

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19 minutes ago, g33k said:

I'm kinda-sorta in that space, but still a bit annoyed at player-cheating.

I also add that I feel a responsibility to my other players:  if they object to their "peers" cheating in this way, if the cheating interferes with THEIR fun... then I feel not just entitled but obligated to step in and stop it.

 

I was being a bit flippant, but you're right of course. I do find cheating annoying, and thankfully I haven't really spotted any in the wild since I played way back in the olden times of high school (aside from a GM whom I caught fudging dice rolls to save PCs -- which killed my interest in the game).

These days I've got a very stable online group, and everyone seems to be there for the same reason and that's to have fun and (presumably) let the chips fall where they may. To be fair the only real option to cheat at dice is during character generation where I usually let people roll up their characters on their own and then submit it to me (especially if it's a replacement character), everything else is handled with a dice roller where almost all dice rolls are done in the open

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23 minutes ago, Nick J. said:

... To be fair the only real option to cheat at dice is during character generation where I usually let people roll up their characters on their own and then submit it to me (especially if it's a replacement character)...

Back in college, another player remarked that characters I rolled seemed better than his... better than average.

I shrugged and said my dice just liked me better than his dice liked him (my characters were rolled "fairly")... but I admitted it could be possible that I had skewed dice.

So one evening we sat down and rolled (using my dice) the classic "4d6 drop lowest die" -- 500 times each.

Then we added and averaged.

My average was just over 1.5 points higher than his.

So he shrugged and said my dice just liked me better.

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4 hours ago, g33k said:

So one evening we sat down and rolled (using my dice) the classic "4d6 drop lowest die" -- 500 times each.

Then we added and averaged.

My average was just over 1.5 points higher than his.

A ) Did you each use your own dice for all rolls?
B ) Did you repeat the experiment switching each others' dice?
C ) Did you repeat the experiment using "neutral" dice provided by a third party?

I'm eager to get the two of you back in the room together.  I recommend a neutral space, too -- Las Vegas!  Or maybe Macau.  I'll write up the procedures and analysis.

!i!

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4 hours ago, g33k said:

So he shrugged and said my dice just liked me better.

Anybody who rolls dice once a week or more would benefit greatly from having been exposed at least once to one of Louis Zocchi's awesome diatribes about dice manufacturing... like in this video. You won't look at your dice the same way ever again!

Edited by lordabdul
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14 minutes ago, lordabdul said:

Anybody who rolls dice once a week or more would benefit greatly from having been exposed at least once to one of Louis Zocchi's awesome diatribes about dice manufacturing... like in this video. You won't look at your dice the same way ever again!

Wow.. great video!
It make question things I didn't even know were important before! :o 

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49 minutes ago, Ian Absentia said:

A ) Did you each use your own dice for all rolls?
B ) Did you repeat the experiment switching each others' dice?
C ) Did you repeat the experiment using "neutral" dice provided by a third party?

One set of dice (mine) -- I'd roll 4, record best 3 while he watched, then he'd pick up the same dice, roll & record while I watched.

No repeats of the experiment, sorry.

Edited by g33k
typo

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well.. you did use the same set of dice. So it's one important bias out!

did he also pick best 3 of 4?! :P 🤣
(sorry, just being silly here)

Edited by Lloyd Dupont

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21 minutes ago, Ian Absentia said:

Not even as an excuse for a trip to Vegas?  Or Macau!

I repeat:  college.  We were college students.

And not the "trust fund" kind of students; more the "starving student" kind of students.

Neither funds to travel, nor to stake games.

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