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I have played with this same group of friends for over 20 years. However due to COVID we have had to play virtually using Roll20.
This has had the surprising and revealing effect of letting us see that one of the player cheats a lot. The other players and the GM don't seem to care. If I publicly call him out on his shenanigan's (in a very polite and non-accusing way), he just does it anyway and no one seems to care.

I have tried to roll with it and just ignore it, but it just feels so disrespectful to me that I think I may have to quit the group.

Does anyone have any suggestions, or experience, on how to solve this situation?

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    \$\begingroup\$ What the GM and the other players are actually saying when you point out this cheating behavior? \$\endgroup\$
    – Eddymage
    Commented Mar 22, 2021 at 8:09
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    \$\begingroup\$ Out of curiosity — and because I'm a relative newcomer to running games on Roll 20 — how does the player cheat? \$\endgroup\$ Commented Mar 22, 2021 at 8:18
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    \$\begingroup\$ It is unclear to me for what kind of advice you are aiming. How do you leave a group? How do you bring up cheating? Etc. there could be more than 20 different questions in this scenario, could you please provide some details in that regard? \$\endgroup\$
    – Akixkisu
    Commented Mar 22, 2021 at 12:58
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    \$\begingroup\$ I imagine you're not looking for suggestions on quitting the group, but suggestions for how to resolve this situation within your group so you don't have to (unless that's the only choice, which we'd tell you if so, of course). This is the kind of question we could handle, but I think it's important for you to tell us more detail about what's actually happening. The degree of detail we can give you walking through how to resolve this situation is proportionate to the detail you give us in turn. What's the cheating? What do you see? What's the group's response to it and to you? \$\endgroup\$ Commented Mar 22, 2021 at 13:13
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    \$\begingroup\$ I'm voting to close this until we can get details on the nature of the cheating. Given the use of Roll20, it should block a number of ways of cheating (lying about dice rolls, rolling until you get a good result, being two places at once, etc). It would also illuminate why "The other players and the GM don't seem to care". \$\endgroup\$
    – MivaScott
    Commented Mar 22, 2021 at 16:51

1 Answer 1

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Talk to the other player in private.

Feedback in private

Feedback of any kind should, as a rule, should be given in private. People very seldom respond in a productive way to negative feedback given in public. Some people might even not like to receive good feedback in public.

How to do it

Talk to him in private. I would suggest not talking about anything else during this conversation, but others will recommend the sandwich method. That is, sandwich the negative feedback between positive feedback. I'm not a fan of this method personally.

Explain what you observe and what that makes you think and/or feel. The key is to stay objective. Let him know what his actions result in for you.

A good formula is: When I observe [A], I feel [B].

[A] should not be cheating. That he is cheating is your truth. He might see it differently. Be specific and non-accusatory in what you observe. Some suggestions that might or might not be appropriate to your situation for a substitute for [A]:

  • Damage taken not being reflected on character sheets.
  • Used resources such as spell slots not being marked off.
  • Bonuses being applied to powers or features, but not the limitations.

Example

When I see the 1st level wizard using 9 level one spell slots during a day, I feel that the rules of the game the group agreed to follow are being broken. That feeling makes the game less fun for me.

Once you have said your thing let the silence work for you. Don't feel obligated to say more or fill the silence. Be prepared to listen to understand his response.

Preparation

Do prepare for the conversation. Write down the points you want to address and rehearse by saying them out loud.

It is very tempting to list all the person's faults, don't. Chose 1-3 points to talk about, and stick to them. I would keep the encounter short and only talk about this.

Truly consider how you feel about the situation. Make sure you share your honest feeling and that you don't inflate your hurt/pain when you present it. Do you really intend to leave the group if he continues to cheat? What if cheating is what makes it fun for him, will you still leave if he keeps it up? Let him know the truth of how it makes you feel.

Be prepared to get some hard feedback yourself. People often lash out when you give them negative feedback. This is a fairly common defense mechanism. Theory on feedback has also identified a ladder or stairway of responses, here listed from the least desirable/productive and gradually becoming better further down.

  • Deny - Problem me? What problem?
  • Defend - No, you don't understand
  • Explain - Yes but you see here is why I did that
  • Understand - Oh, I see what you mean
  • Change - Here's what I'll do to improve based on your feedback

You want to aim for Understand or even better change. If you can't do that, then settle for "Thank you." and leave it at that.

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    \$\begingroup\$ While there is a lot of good general advice in here, you could use some support in referencing how approaching table difficulties like this has gone and what to look out for. You do answer some of that in "be prepared" paragraph, but additional feedback on your experience can help even more. I'm not sure about your solutions, because we don't have the actual problem, so those feel a little ahead of themselves. The paragraph above the first set of bullets also looks like it's missing some words. \$\endgroup\$
    – NotArch
    Commented Mar 22, 2021 at 16:24
  • \$\begingroup\$ I suggest amending the formula for I-statements to avoid making any direct assertions about the actions taken by any other person. I.e. avoid "you" or naming people. Neutral tone statements of observations from the speakers point of view work well, e.g. "when the character took 8 damage from the trap, but the character sheet failed to reflect that, I felt...". It avoids the response "That's not what I did", and a lot of baggage with implicitly assigning blame. \$\endgroup\$
    – GcL
    Commented Mar 22, 2021 at 16:50
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Gcl I think I understand what you mean, and feel free to give it a go to improve it. The important part is that in processes like this is thatt I have to talk about what I observe you doing. The key focus is that I must talk about what I observe, and that trigger a response or interpretation in me. \$\endgroup\$
    – Marius
    Commented Mar 22, 2021 at 17:19
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    \$\begingroup\$ @Marius Discussion of observations needs to avoid accusation in order to be an effective I-statement. "When I observe you doing bad things, I feel angry." is not an I-statement, and is likely to be ill receive by the listener. I'll take a stab at the example presented here. \$\endgroup\$
    – GcL
    Commented Mar 22, 2021 at 18:03
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    \$\begingroup\$ There is a great deal of research on "feedback". It would be helpful if you could more clearly identify or cite which theory of feedback you were referencing in "Theory on feedback has also identified..." \$\endgroup\$
    – GcL
    Commented Mar 22, 2021 at 18:20

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