Accusations of Cheating, has it come up and what can you do about it.

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Hello all.

We've just finished up another season of D&D Encounters, and despite all the great players who turn out and add to the experience I have one player who seems to be cheating at the table.

This player seem to be exhibiting all the classic signs, I can't remember a time when they've missed a roll (either for skill use or combat), they use a transparent uninked die (which my 40 year-old eyes can't read when I'm standing behind them, let alone at the other end of the table), and they never let the die rest after it hits the table.  It's scooped up before I have a chance to confirm the number rolled.  Every DM at my venue confirms that they have seen this individual cheat in the past, and this individual have been warned about this behaviour as well, yet the behaviour still appears to be going on.

Has anybody else had this kind of player at Encounters, and if so what can be done about this type of player?

That is really, really sad.  Why?  Why would anyone do this?  

If it was a home game you could easily handle it, but what do you do in an environment like Encounter where everyone and anyone is supposed to be welcome?

Unless the other players who might be able to see his dice start to call him on it, on every roll, or go out of their way to make him feel unwelcome (oh, I forgot you we're dying, I thought the fighter needed the healing more, he was almost bloodied), you may just have to live with it.  

You could ignore any damage he deals, or just half it all the time... monsters cheat all the time. 


One of my FLGSs had a podcast regarding this very thing a couple months back. Some suggestion were to have them sit by you do you can see their die rolls. Ask them to leave the die on the table between rolls just so you can see. If you still can't see the number (can't blame you, I'm 24 and can't read those bloody things either), request they use a different die with easier to read sides. An unspoken rule with my players is leave your attack die alone while you roll damage.
Otherwise, get your players to check, make sure he's not. And ask if THEY can bring it up to them.

Sorry, but while this is supposed to be open and inviting, cheating is still wrong and bad sportsmanship and grounds for being kicked out. In my opinion, anyhow.
We have an infamous cheater in my local gaming community. He's been banned from play in most of the shops. I went 8 rounds with the RPGA, documenting his cheating and trying to get him sanctioned so he wouldn't be allowed to participate in RPGA events. Locally, his last name is now a verb for "to egregiously cheat." We can't figure out *why* he does it, except he seems to get some kind of private thrill from being the most badass guy at the table.

My advice: Document everything the cheater does in one session. Deputize a player to be your eyes in this regard. Make sure you present this to the local shop owner, so you're sure if you tell the guy "GTFO" that the shopkeep will back you up.

After a session or before, if you prefer, pull the player aside and say "look, I know you're not playing by the rules. It's not cool, and here's what we're going to do so there's no question of improper play." Then lay it out: he has to use a different, more readable die, and he has to leave the die on the table until after you've confirmed the hit. If he can't or won't do that, then he is no longer welcome at Encounters, because he's making the game less fun for the players and the DMs. That last bit is important-- the players might not care, but your DMs are an important part of your gaming community, too. If they're not having fun, they will leave and nobody will get to play.

Most likely, when you call him on it, he will leave and not come back. Sucks, but that's what cheaters do-- they move on to another group they can con.
We almost had such a problem player, but fortunately I had already had to sort him out in other, unrelated circumstances, and have completely established myself as what Cesar Milan would refer to as "the Pack Leader" with him. 

In addition to instances of "almost-but-not-quite-violence," he would scoop the dice up before anyone could see them and all of that sort of stuff, but it came to a head when he tried to scoop a die after vetoing it because "it bounced against a waterbottle". Unfortunately for him, I had seen the number, called it out for the table, and asked him to add his attack bonus so we could play. After he spent a moment trying to argue with me, I shut him down. 

That's the only problem player experience we have that is specifically cheating. Fortunately, our venue is very involved with the player base, and it helps that as an employee as well as an organizer I can actually rule and enforce at the same time. It's important to think of everyone's rights, not just those of the one person, and everyone has a right to have fun in a gaming store!

While cheating at D&D may seem laughable and not that serious, it's been my experience that it's a symptom of more serious problems. Anyone who cheats at a game where there are no winners has some harsh issues. 
I'm the DM. Here are the rules:

Do not use dice that I can't read.
When you roll your dice (either to hit or for damage) leave them on the table where everyone can see them until your turn is over.
If a die is "cocked" ask me first before you reroll it.
Let me see your character sheet.

If you have a problem with that, you may not play at my table. It's that simple, and the store's coordinator will back me up on that. Period.
- Rico
Because this is a store program, my recommendation is to first discuss the issue with the store organizer. Come up with an agreement on how to handle this to everyone's benefit. In addition, avoid making any one DM the 'bad guy' to the player - this should not be a person vs person issue but rather a policy.

A possible solution that the store could enforce is a new policy: Either a player uses dice that the DM can read (DM's discretion) or they use dice provided to them by the DM or another player that the DM can read.

Under that scenario the player can be presented with the choice when they sit down. They have the option of leaving or staying. Having the store owner/organizer present the first time the rule is enforced is important so it isn't a DM thing.

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I had a player that was coming in for a run at Lair Assault and I knew he had a bit of a history of things like this.  So what I did was I should up to run the assault with a shoe box lid and an extra set of dice.  As we set up for the game I informed the players that everyone would be rolling with the provided dice and that all dice rollers were to be made on your turn in the box lid.  It slowed down the session a little bit but it resolved the problem for that session.  I was also able to explain it as just another challenge in the lair assault.

AlphaStream makes a great point that this is a store run event and you really should get the store Organizer involved.
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