Players Make Monster ‘To-Hit’ Rolls?

This is an idea I came across on the Labyrinth Lord forum:

Maybe players could make the ‘to-hit’ rolls for monsters who are attacking their characters.

(Note that this is just something I’m pondering at this time, not something I’ve tried or plan to try or am advocating.)

I already make virtually all of my GM rolls in the open, even when players have no idea what the roll is for. Only a few rolls where players/characters are unsure of success, such as searching for traps or listening for noise, are made behind the screen. First, this keeps the GM honest. No fudging, either for or against the PCs. Secondly, I think this open rolling gives some additional information to the players. They don’t know that the monster hit them, they know that the monster hit them with a ‘9’. Though this is meta-game information, it can help players feel out things that characters would have a good chance of knowing by being there. So I don’t have to say “he hits you easily” to send a message that their opponent is tough; they see that they were hit pretty easily and can act accordingly.

In addition to most rolls being in the open, I’ve already pushed some of non-player rolls off onto the players. For instance, when an NPC cleric casts a cure light wounds on a PC, I have the PC make the roll. No more getting mad at the GM or the NPC if they only get one hit point restored. Plus, it gives the player something more to do and little more sense of control over things.

So, given that players already see monsters’ ‘to-hit’ rolls and they already make some rolls that aren’t strictly within the PC’s territory, would there be any harm in having players make the ‘to-hit’ rolls for whoever is attacking their PC?

The thread on the LL forum words it as the player making a “defense” roll and suggests a specific method of doing the math, but it seems to me that it could be handled in any number of ways.

I’m not sure that doing this would really speed anything up or make the GM’s job any easier, but I wonder if this might not make playing more fun for the players.

Has anyone tried this before?

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