A couple of days ago I ranted a bit on G+ about how fudging was a symptom of dissatisfaction with the rules. What I mean by that is this: What you want is in conflict with what the game delivers.
When you accept that fudging is the way to go, you're closing an eye to the fact that the game isn't working for you. People usually accept that, because it's easier than accepting you're playing the wrong game. Because hey, look, it can't be the wrong game, it's still working, we're still playing and having fun!
Yeah, except you're not really playing that game anymore, but a game you've created on your own. You've molded it, through fudging and GM techniques and willful ignorance or whatever into something that closer resembles what you want.
There's nothing wrong with that! I just want it to be transparent. Put it out there, make it clear. These are the rules we're really playing by. Houseruling is game design. Judgement calls are non-codified houserules.
Game design is about harnessing the rules to do what you want. Maybe a game doesn't work the way you want it to, or maybe you've never seen a game that does what you want (but look harder): let's call that a problem. Game design is about solving that problem.
Like, I dunno, whatever: "I don't like it when the PCs die in my game, because they're supposed to be the heroes."
Make or change a rule, a subsystem. Or, heck, make a new game. Just please don't fudge and pretend it didn't happen. This is a personal request that I kindly make, so do whatever the fuck you want really. But please consider it.
I've designed, off the top of my head, seven or eight games (and discarded at least three or four times that many). Each of them was to solve a particular problem. I made a gladiator game, because I wanted to be able to play a game that emulated the fights in the Spartacus: Blood & Sand/Gods of the Arena tv show, but didn't know of an existing one that could do it. And so on.
In simpler words: I designed them to scratch a gaming itch that no existing game could scratch.
We make rules - house or otherwise - so that the game fits our vision, satisfies our gaming goals, achieves something (instead of just hanging on), solves a problem we have.
There's a particular large-scale gaming itch, that I, as a player, do not feel very much or very often. It's mostly been in my peripheral vision somewhere. I tried to pin it down a couple of times but it was like trying to spear a fish - you keep going for the reflection, not seeing your real objective.
I think I see it now and I want to make a game to talk about it. It's going to be tough, because it's not something I explicitly enjoy, but I think I get it. It's also a test, because it's for a friend. If he likes it, then I guess I'll know I'm doing the right thing.