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The question:

EDIT 2 (for more clarity):

I'll happily award the answer to the person who answers the following question with the most sincere and considered response:

Are there any major faux pas one should avoid when joining an existing RP game?

Bonus marks will be awarded for anyone who provides some helpful advice, or useful personal insight, for new table-top RPers, whilst still answering the above-mentioned question.

If you wish to continue reading, there is some unnecessary background information about this question below

Background

I've just been invited into a Rune Quest (possibly Rune Quest 2) game with a friend and some of his mates. I joined their game (which is a number of years old and still going strong) having never played a table-top RPG before. I think I'm picking up the game system pretty well.

So far (in the last month or so) we've not really moved from a particular stretch of a road, which seems to be a major highway for enemy patrols. Our GM loves describing brutal battles and, as I understand it, one of Rune Quest's features is the fact that each hit strikes a particular body part.

Build-up

Anyway, there was a particular point at which the GM rolled a critical failure whilst attacking me. I had to roll to see what happened (i.e. how bad it was), but I rolled a critical failure too (100). He then rolled another critical failure! We're talking several realms of failure further than I've ever seen before. The GM's falling about laughing. Everyone in the room is laughing. I'm laughing. I had to roll again to see what effect this is going to have, but I roll 50 and the GM (still laughing) says "roll again, that's crap". So I roll again and roll 53 - again, he says "roll again, mate. That's crap - we want something good!". I roll again and get 57 (what's going on with my dice I have no idea), but I call out "naught one" (which would be a critical pass) and the game continues.

Question

The battle was particularly epic. In fact, we managed to fight off a stupid number of enemies and the last guy ran off scared. However, I feel dirty for lying about the dice roll. I'm sure the guys I play with don't really care (but I'm not sure any of them actually realise I lied...). Is there a particular dimension of hell reserved for me?

Are there any other major faux pas I should avoid?

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I'm not clear if there's a specific question that can be answered here... Do you mind clarifying so that this isn't just open discussion? –  mxyzplk Dec 1 '11 at 13:31
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I'm not trying to hate (I enjoyed the story) but post-edit I think everything except the last line (the actual question) is unnecessary exposition and can be removed. –  dpatchery Dec 1 '11 at 14:32
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@dpatchery and mxyzplk. Thank you both for your feedback - I've tried to edit the question to make it more clear and more readable. –  LordScree Dec 1 '11 at 15:19
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Cool, but I'd delete the anecdote - it's really not on point at all. –  mxyzplk Dec 2 '11 at 2:27
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I... don't even know where to begin with this. The way the question is stated compared to the background given... they don't quite match up. The background has you in this group for an ok amount of time (about a month), but the question itself is more about what to avoid when you are joining a game for the first time –  DForck42 Dec 22 '11 at 22:24
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4 Answers

up vote 8 down vote accepted

You will go to Hell for all eternity unless you bring beer and cake to the next game. If you do this, all sins will be forgiven for that one dice roll alone.

Seriously, ask the rest of the players and say just what you said here. Maybe they care, maybe not. It's up to them and you to decide what matters. Personally, I run systemless games so dice roll matter not a little bit to me. Others think I am a heretic for this. Meh.

Fundamentally, good characterisation is made from characters failing at things and overcoming said failures. Dice roll fails can lead to situations that are interesting from a role play perspective: So, you lose the fight, maybe now your character becomes a drunk and learns drunken kung fu -- or whatever. I view dice as a mechanism for enhancing the story. In your example, I would say that the GM was looking at it in the same way -- he asked for re-roll to get better results. Next time, just ask him to pick something funny?...

Edit: To re-focus my answer to answer your question. You are (or should be) role playing to have fun. Anything you do that diminishes your fun and the fun of the other players is a bad thing (TM). What those things are vary between games, players, and situations. The only way to know is to be up front about it and talk to the other players.

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I'm not really sure if this is a question that falls under the topic here, but you do ask a rather general thing regarding joining an existing game. I will at least try to answer you based on my own RP experiences. It's difficult to make an answer to this that is solely based on fact because it deals with individual human experiences, ethics, and preferences.

Based on what you said, about the dice roll, it's an entirely grey area based on personal opinion. I'm sure there are many gamers that have lied about dice rolls, and some that even openly fudge rolls like your GM did, asking you to re-roll.

However, lying about a roll is not in spirit of the game that is based on chance. Feel bad about it if you wish to do so, but what can you do about it now? Just keep in mind that in the future, you may have more fun leaving the game entirely up to chance (and you wouldn't have to lament about your die-misdeeds).

As for faux pas, I recommend allowing yourself and your character time to establish themselves in the world. I've seen many times where people just inject themselves into a game and suddenly try to take the main role despite pre-established positions of other players. Doing something like that tends to rub the current players the wrong way and can give you a bad reputation in local RP circles.

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Honestly in this particular case I'd say you did the absolute best thing. Its a moment and you've already re-rolled twice, the lie lets everyone enjoy it and moves the game on. Each additional re-roll would just dilute the good fun of that moment.

If your GM was a stickler for the rules, he wouldn't have asked you to re-roll it twice before. Some GM's and groups are particular about that so fudging a dice roll is something to be cautious about.

I wouldn't mention it to them, just let it roll and be something they talk about. Sharing that you fudged it might tarnish an enjoyable memory.

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+1 for honesty. RPG isn't about True vs. False, it's about fun. At the end of the day, if everyone had fun, who cares if it was the result of of a fudged roll? Unfortunately, @sardathrion introduced a fly in that ointment - what if someone noticed and wasn't happy? I can only be sure that everyone was OK with the fudge if I ask them. –  LordScree Dec 2 '11 at 13:36
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I suspect that your gm realized what you did and that you choose an acceptable, if not his preferred, response. We(GM's) do things like that where we prefer you to think that you got one over on us rather than letting you think we would let you get by every time. Otherwise next time when I want to use the result despite the negative effect, you think I should just let you pass. You tried to play it straight and he gave you a pass. Don't sweat it.

The last thing we want to do when we have a new player is scare him off by killing his character though dumb luck.

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