bigtroll So the numbers on the dice don't really matter at the end of the day?
I know you quoted Tyler, but I'd like to jump in on this.
For me, dice fudging is OK in very specific certain circumstances. One being the case of a new player who is sitting down for their first game (or one of their first games) and they're still learning the ropes, another being the case of a new system where everyone is learning the mechanics of the game. In those two situations, in those first sessions only, I will fudge my dice rolls if they're going to put a character to death. Outside of that, I don't think dice should be fudged. But in those two situations - where you've got a brand new player, or you're working with a brand new system - I think there should be some protection against character death. Because in those two situations, character death sucks.
Outside of that, I won't fudge dice. However, it is part of my job as a GM to tailor encounters for a specific purpose. If I have made an encounter too hard or too easy for that specific purpose, it's my responsibility to adjust it on the fly to meet the encounter's goal. Sure, characters can still die in those encounters if the dice go against them. But certain encounters are made to be against mooks, some are made to be level-appropriate, and some are made to be boss encounters; if I've made my mook encounters too hard, and I can tell that in the first round or two, then I adjust HPs and ACs and stuff like that behind the scenes to match what I was looking for in the encounter. The dice stand as rolled, but the details of the encounter may change as I deem necessary.
(Note: D&D terms have been used in all my posts in this thread. Adjust as needed to whatever game system you're playing. 🙂 )