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Arch Lich Thoth-Amon
04-30-2009, 02:26 PM
Since the 1970's, I've used critical hit and failures tables in all of my games with great enjoyment. There are even plenty to be found online with a simple search, or one could just create their own. Of course, to make it work, imo, the baddies must also follow the critical hit and failure tables in each game. If you gotta have balance, then this is the way to go. To me, it just brings more enjoyment to the game.

What say the rest of you? Please recount any stories you may have regarding these tables.

What share you?

Thoth-Amon

Dark
04-30-2009, 02:52 PM
I used them one time in my 1st AD&D campaign and end up with party members with eyes, nose, hands, and legs missing ran that game five years. :)

Sascha
04-30-2009, 03:41 PM
Anything that requires special tables, imo, slows down play, especially if it happens too rarely to keep the results in memory. Then again, I don't feel a "natural" anything should warrant special rules, heh, but that's most likely a wholly separate discussion. There's enough interesting things happening without worrying about whether or not the hero fumbles the sword, or the monster plays Operation blindfolded.

In the DnD game I'm playing in, a '1' on the attack roll calls for a reflex save (which, at this point, has us rolling a '1' to fail); failure on *that* roll calls for yet another roll on a table, which can have a result of "roll again" or "nothing happens." Way too many rolls and lookups slowing up the action. In the time I've been playing with them, it's happened in all of one session since September of last year. Not frequent enough to warrant tracking, if I ran things; the DM obviously thinks otherwise :P

Arch Lich Thoth-Amon
04-30-2009, 03:46 PM
This particular game, see below, went on for a few years too.

I had a fighter, 12th level, that lost an arm in combat. He was one of my favorite characters of all time. Even after losing his arm, at around 6th level, he still made due, retired years later as a captain of a small keep.

If you were to ask him if it was worth it, he would have say... yes! He had a successful life, after all. He saved alot of people from baddies, became kind of a hero to a small town, ended up retired with a wife and kid.

Why didn't i play him further? I would have but my brother and i moved across country, so i retired him.

yukonhorror
04-30-2009, 03:55 PM
I like them, because it adds a bit of flavor to the game. I don't have limbs being lost or anything of that sort, (unless it is a killing blow), and my table is simple enough that I keep it in my head.

I remember rolemaster had some crazy complicated tables for this sort of thing though.

Lucian-Sunaka
04-30-2009, 04:05 PM
When I'm GMing, I always use critical hit and failure rules. But here's my system.

Critical threats are followed by critical confirmation as normal.

Critical failures are followed by failure confirmation, wherin the player who rolled the natural one has a second chance to hit the target score. If he does, the initial role is treated as a simple one, and if a one+bonuses would still succeed, he still succeeds, otherwise if the faliure confirmation saves them but 1+bonuses won't succeed, its a normal miss.

On the critical failures, well, that's just a part of my style, I love the idea of bloody and gruesome battles, I've had players with arms hanging limp at their sides, etc etc. Nothing so far gone it couldn't be magically healed back in place, so far. (though if anybody ever crits on a Scythe and it doesn't kill I swear I will take an arm away lol)

cplmac
05-01-2009, 09:51 AM
One of the members of our Tsojcanath game group obtained both a deck of cards for critical hits and critical misses. We have used them when they are at the game, (which is most times now). They actually make things rather interesting. This is how the character of Hockerbrecht, in that Tsojcanth game, managed to bend his magically enchanted sword during a battle. He rolled the one and that is what the card he pulled out of the deck said happened. He has actually used it in a couple of encounters since, even thought it is bent.

tesral
05-01-2009, 10:00 AM
What say the rest of you? Please recount any stories you may have regarding these tables.

What share you?

Thoth-Amon

I use critical hits, I don't use any tables. I have found tables to be abusive at best. Stuff like cutting our own head off on an archery mischance? Oh give me a break. I'll use an improvement in damage or a some minor event if a critical miss, weapon malfunction or some such. I don't like the dice ruling too much.

DM_Running_Farland_3.5
05-01-2009, 10:24 PM
Here's my thing.
I have a good bit of real life experience with hand-to-hand combat in the military. I can tell you that the most inexperienced, lowly private can lay low an experienced, well-trained platoon sergeant with a well-placed blow or lucky choke hold or armbar. Those are the real-life critical hits.
As for critical misses or failures...stuff happens. Arms twitch, people sneeze, rocks get in the way, guns jam. All of these things can spell absolute failure for a warrior.

I use them and apply them as creatively as possible. I find that the players usually think it is fun and interesting.

Windstar
05-01-2009, 10:48 PM
Never played in a game or DM'd a game without them. Adds spice.

mrken
05-01-2009, 11:03 PM
Crits are a fun way of making a mundane roll special.

Most memorable crit was a Palidin hit an orc (twice as many hit points as a average PC). Killed that orc and the two behind that one. The players still talk about it five years later. Least memorable crit was when a PC fighter grabbed back the Paladin's sword from an invisible demon and wrestled it back with the second crit. Had to go to plan 'B".

BrotherDog
05-02-2009, 03:21 AM
I use them. Only when one is supposed use them, for combat/attack rolls only. Using it for saves and skills makes no sense.

I haven't used any special tables since 2.5e(Skils and Powers), as most of the ones I find are way over or under powered. I pretty use the same thing Lucien-Sunaka uses.

nijineko
05-02-2009, 12:56 PM
i use them. typically make up appropriate stuff on the fly. after all, someone who rolls 2-3 ones in a row, or 2-3 twenties in a row just deserves something special. ^^

Malruhn
05-02-2009, 05:15 PM
I use them both - and they apply for both sides. It adds flavor in my opinion.

cpljarhead
05-02-2009, 05:22 PM
i use the critical hits but kinda make up my own fumble as i assign a % they must roll depending on the situation to determine if dropped or whatever

ignimbrite
05-02-2009, 05:23 PM
I use the Critical hit and fumble decks for players only

tesral
05-03-2009, 09:29 AM
I use the Critical hit and fumble decks for players only

Why? Do PCs have some special existence in the universe.

Etarnon
05-03-2009, 04:54 PM
I use the Paizo critical hit and critical fumble decks in all d20 games I run nowadays.

I used to use a system I borrowed from an old judges guild module, I think it was called "dragon's crown."

After that, I used greivous injury charts from SPI's Dragonquest, and later, Rolemaster in the 90's.

If a game doesn't have a critical hit and fumble system, I definitely weld one into play when I am DMing.

Simplydone
05-05-2009, 10:08 AM
Depends on the game system I suppose.

D&D I use critical successes but a 1 in my campaign is just a "HaHa" moment for the other players. In Exalted you have the botch and the rule of 10 but the DM doesn't have to be sadistic about it. The Silhouette system had fumbles but no critical successes which seemed odd to me. And lastly Gurps had critical success and failures but it was the reverse of D&D in that critical successes were when you scored lower numbers such as 3, 4, 5, 6 while critical failures were scored with higher numbers such as 18, 19, 20. A real change to get used to but funny to think about with regard to systems that follow the 'higher number roll is better' ideology.

All and all there are a variety of ways to use/abuse/discard this idea of critical fails or successes.

MortonStromgal
05-05-2009, 12:58 PM
I don't use them if they slow the game down but I tend to play dice pool games where a crit success just means you rolled more successes.

templeorder
05-05-2009, 02:09 PM
As with everything, its situational dependent. Critical hits add a lot of flavor, and if the system used is fast enough, do not detract from the game. Massive tables and look ups do slow it down, but criticals also offer a way to bypass armor heighten risk, and take down opponents that cannot simply be whittled away easily with damage. Un-accidental criticals usually involve sacrificing the chance to hit with enhanced damage or effect.. this is a great way to put tension in a otherwise dull fight - have opponents try and take down a party.. a duelist may be specialized with certain maneuvers or styles making seemingly invulverable character much more vulverable.

Oldgamer
05-05-2009, 02:17 PM
Here's my thing.
I have a good bit of real life experience with hand-to-hand combat in the military. I can tell you that the most inexperienced, lowly private can lay low an experienced, well-trained platoon sergeant with a well-placed blow or lucky choke hold or armbar. Those are the real-life critical hits.
As for critical misses or failures...stuff happens. Arms twitch, people sneeze, rocks get in the way, guns jam. All of these things can spell absolute failure for a warrior.

I use them and apply them as creatively as possible. I find that the players usually think it is fun and interesting.


LOL, I agree with you there. I was in the USMC and went through a little extra CQB training than most and even after I left the service, I was a white belt in Wado-ryu and my instructor was also a former Marine. We were sparring, and he told me to use what I learned in class that day and he would throw simple attacks my way to see how I responded. This guy had military training and he had a hard earned black belt (anyone who knows the style knows they don't hand out black belts like Tae-kwon do). This guy threw 3 different attacks that left his inner thigh open everytime, to which I kicked him next to the huevos all three times and received a warning from him each time, "If you do it again, I'm gonna put you on your a**." I replied, "Stop leaving it open." After 3 tries, he stopped doing it and did not exact said revenge. But it goes to show ... even the best get beaten by the newest.

I personally use Crits for both hits and failures, and I balance it by making this an option for the monsters as well. Once you get in high levels though, they can become a little ridiculous. They either remain small damage, or you have to make them as epic as your characters which can ruin a game quickly when someone's 20th level wizard blows himself up with a fireball.

Malruhn
05-05-2009, 08:20 PM
In the huge majority of cases for crits, either hits or misses, the description runs, "What you thought would be a glancing blow, just cuts between the layers of armor and you realize that you really hurt him," and "Your mighty blow clearly slices your opponent's head in two - the problem is that your opponent is 36 1/4" away from your 36" blade."

It is rare that a critical hit does anything like, "You slice through your opponent, and your blade strikes his hand, knocking his blade into the throat of his neighbor." It is likewise rare that people throw their blades across the battlefield for a critical miss.

Panthro82
05-08-2009, 02:59 PM
Here's my thing.
I have a good bit of real life experience with hand-to-hand combat in the military. I can tell you that the most inexperienced, lowly private can lay low an experienced, well-trained platoon sergeant with a well-placed blow or lucky choke hold or armbar. Those are the real-life critical hits.
As for critical misses or failures...stuff happens. Arms twitch, people sneeze, rocks get in the way, guns jam. All of these things can spell absolute failure for a warrior.

I use them and apply them as creatively as possible. I find that the players usually think it is fun and interesting.

We've definitely had some moments in our campaigns both good and bad for the players based on this. First night of our old campaign the dungeon boss rolled a crit on me and my character died instantly. In our new campaign we were fighting orcs or a creature along those lines and one of them went to attack one of us and DMFarland rolled a 1 for attack for the orc. Then he rolled again and it was such a poor roll that the orc missed on his stab attempt on one of us and instead killed one of his own! Def. a cool moment.

DM_Running_Farland_3.5
05-08-2009, 03:40 PM
We've definitely had some moments in our campaigns both good and bad for the players based on this. First night of our old campaign the dungeon boss rolled a crit on me and my character died instantly. In our new campaign we were fighting orcs or a creature along those lines and one of them went to attack one of us and DMFarland rolled a 1 for attack for the orc. Then he rolled again and it was such a poor roll that the orc missed on his stab attempt on one of us and instead killed one of his own! Def. a cool moment.

Thanks for the plug.

*slips Panthro a kitty treat*

raven21
05-08-2009, 05:36 PM
I just had a player make a critical failure on the side of a mountain while fighting a flying creature. He jumped at it to try and tackle it to the ground and if it hadn't been for the quick thinking of another player he would be playing a new character this week. The best part is right before he rolled I said don't roll a 1 and when he did he said "I jump off the mountain don't I?"

Baron_Samedi
05-13-2009, 08:43 PM
I only use them for theatrics, although a critical of either variety is a serious game-changer, if you pardon my pun.

fmitchell
05-14-2009, 12:14 AM
The problem with D&D and other games is that critical failures happen too frequently (5% on a d20, at least 1% in Basic Role-Playing), regardless of a character's skill. I'd prefer if criticals happened when the total die roll reached a threshhold, e.g. 10 under the target number on a d20. That way, experienced fighters avoid boneheaded rookie mistakes.

The same argument applies to critical hits: a fighter in magical plate armor of doom should have nothing to fear from a peasant girl with a knife. In systems where armor subtracts from damage instead of making characters harder to hit, that's trivially true.

Warhammer has a deadly system for critical wounds, but only after the player runs out of hit points.

Moritz
05-14-2009, 07:32 AM
One thing I forgot to mention about my usage of critical failures.

If someone rolls a 1, it's not automatic that we go to the critical failure table.

After rolling the 1, they then roll a Reflex Save (DC20) (and yes, in this case, if they roll a 1 on their reflex save, they fail). If they pass it, then the critical table is disregarded and the attack/action just misses. If they fail their reflex save, then it's off to the critical failure table we go. Hi ho, hi ho.

Rastfar
05-14-2009, 10:05 AM
My group and I have long used Critical Hits and Fumbles. We happen to also play with Slashing, Piercing, and Blunt Weapons rules (and AC's) so we also have three separate tables for the results of the weapons types. We used to play with a percentage to crit (ex: You hit AC 26 vs. the orc who is only AC 15 so you have an 11% chance to crit), while a 20 was still an automatic crit. We have since abandoned that system for the standard 3.X rules. It started to slow combat slightly with extra dice rolls, though I really liked it.

For an example of our tables, check this out:

http://aquerra.wikispaces.com/Applying+Critical+Results

tesral
05-14-2009, 11:01 AM
The problem with D&D and other games is that critical failures happen too frequently 5% on a d20..

One reason I don't like the standard system. I don't even stick weith a 1 is always failure. I use roll through, both for impossible numbers and for misses.

If a natural 20 will not hit the players rolls again and adds the unmodified roll to the last roll.

On a one if that would not miss the player rolls again and subtracts the result from the last roll.

It cuts out automatic misses and automatic hits or can't possibly hit. To get a critical hit, if you need a 20 and roll through to hit you have to roll the second result in you critical threat range.

cplmac
05-14-2009, 11:05 AM
LOL, I agree with you there. I was in the USMC and went through a little extra CQB training than most and even after I left the service, I was a white belt in Wado-ryu and my instructor was also a former Marine. We were sparring, and he told me to use what I learned in class that day and he would throw simple attacks my way to see how I responded. This guy had military training and he had a hard earned black belt (anyone who knows the style knows they don't hand out black belts like Tae-kwon do). This guy threw 3 different attacks that left his inner thigh open everytime, to which I kicked him next to the huevos all three times and received a warning from him each time, "If you do it again, I'm gonna put you on your a**." I replied, "Stop leaving it open." After 3 tries, he stopped doing it and did not exact said revenge. But it goes to show ... even the best get beaten by the newest.

I personally use Crits for both hits and failures, and I balance it by making this an option for the monsters as well. Once you get in high levels though, they can become a little ridiculous. They either remain small damage, or you have to make them as epic as your characters which can ruin a game quickly when someone's 20th level wizard blows himself up with a fireball.


Then again, we are trained to take those types of advantages in hand to hand combat.


Depends on what is happening in the game also. One time that a PC rolled a 1 on an attack roll, was after spurring his horse forward toward the attacking goblins. This was after they had already killed off the first wave that came at them. Told the player that with all the dead bodies laying about, his horse caught one and stumbled, sending him flying off the horse. When I rolled a couple of dice, he asks, "What's that roll for?" Told him that it was to see if he landed on his sword or not. He didn't land on the sword, but now he was on foot instead of on horse where he had the advantage.

Dytrrnikl
05-15-2009, 01:27 AM
I don't use critical failures, figuring it was bad enough if the player's didn't hit or succeed on the roll. I've always used critical hits. In 2E it was a simple double damage on a natural 20. In 3E, I despised how they set it up for a threat then a check for a crit. I went with it, however, on a threat, player's did max damage for the hit...so if a character with 18 strength was struck target with a +5 Great Sword, they did 21 points of damage on a threat. If the weapon had some sort of discharge effect like thundering, that still had to be rolled. Sneak Attack damage was never maxed, only the base weapon damage. If an actual critical was confirmed, then the player would roll the additional damage and add it to the threat damage. In the above example, that same player would do 21 points of damage plus an additional 2d6 + 9, since great sword only a x2 crit multiplier. Damage would range from 33 to 42 points of damage on crit with this example. Made threats mean something and crits be particularly lethal. Of course what's good for the player's was also good for the DM controlled creatures.

Xandros
05-24-2009, 09:22 PM
I use them. It's something that I feel adds some flavor to combat. Anything that can be added to combat to get past the mundane "I attack enemy a with my sword." "you hit." or "you miss." combat descriptions is good to me. I don't use the criticals that some people do where you can lose a limb. The things I have on crit hit and failure charts are things like, a critical hit may know the target off of their feet, a critical failure could result in slipping or tripping over their own feet, and needing to spend next turn getting up, or losing the grip on their weapon and dropping it.
--- Merged from Double Post ---

In 2E it was a simple double damage on a natural 20. In 3E, I despised how they set it up for a threat then a check for a crit. I liked the change myself. If a character needed to roll a 20 to hit it was unlikely that it would automatically be a critical hit if it did hit. It is very unlikely that you will be able to hit them, but if you do it will do double damage. "I don't hit often, but when I do I hit hard." Even if a 20 isn't necessary to hit, an automatic critical on a roll of 20 means that 5% of all attacks are severe. It makes sense that a better fighter still has a better chance of causing a critical hit (better chance of succeeding at the check). It would be odd if a 'Joxer' character succeeded rarely, but every time they did they did as well as 'Xena' at her best.

Panthro82
05-24-2009, 09:53 PM
I personally think a critical miss in which you wind up loping off one of your own limbs or killing yourself is way too far, but I completely agree with critical misses that destroy your weapon or wreck it beyond repair, or even knock a few HP off of an alley, ally, or yourself.

BrotherDog
05-25-2009, 03:24 AM
So Panthro, how many hitpoints does an alley have? Is it similar to a street or hallway? Yes, I have that kind of sense of humor.

I don't use limb loss unless they're also attempting something unusual enough to warrant it. Such as tumbling by the target while attacking and rolling 1(miss), fail on reflex confirmation, then a fail on the tumble/acrobatic trick. However only if it lends to the story enough to do something so drastic. If the next treasure includes that mechanical arm(I forget what it's called), or someone in the party has one of those grafting feats/PrC. Mainly it has to fit the story. But killing one's self or an ally by accident? No way.

Panthro82
05-25-2009, 04:55 AM
So Panthro, how many hitpoints does an alley have? Is it similar to a street or hallway? Yes, I have that kind of sense of humor.

LOL, that was a mistake but I left it in because it actually did happen in a game I was in once due to critical failure. Surprisingly an alley has a large amount of HP's!

One of my friends rolled a Nat. 1 doing something incredibly stupid while trying to attack(on top of controlling a cleric who only took out his mace and swung into enemies everytime we got into an altercation) Well he wound up missing the ghast and slamming his mace into the wall. We learned that whenever our friend plays again, he should probably just control fighters and rangers(I wound up doubling up with the cleric).

It has been fun though roleplaying it that the cleric was just facing enemies where he lost his nerve and just attacked with blunt objects instead of casting spells instead. The cleric has learned composure since. :)

revolution 9
06-05-2009, 05:51 AM
I like using the Rolemaster critical hit and fumble charts. They're not difficult to use in any system.

Parzival
06-05-2009, 01:09 PM
I like them, and I use them when possible.
(Although I hate charts for this purpose.)

That said, their function depends on the system and setting assumptions. (And it's always important to pick a system that matches the setting assumptions.)
In some (like Hero) Cyrano is simply the best swordsman on earth. Lucky rolls mean little, if anything.
In level-based games (like D&D) they're flavor. A burly peasant has essentially no chance against an experianced fighter.
In others (like GURPS or BRP) they're part of the core mechanic, and a half-trained peasant can potentially bring down Richard the Lionheart.

Harwel
06-05-2009, 02:18 PM
Critical Success and Critical Failures work well in BRP-style games and GURPS, but in a d20 based game, ugh. (Simple probability, easier to scale to character's effective skill, etc).

korhal23
06-05-2009, 04:55 PM
In D&D I use critical hits, but not failures, and I like how 4E handles them (maximum damage, plus a bonus if you have a magic weapon/implement). It's simple and elegant, and really doesn't super-overpower critical striking.

But in my preferred system, Spycraft (who didn't see me talking about this?), there's a system I like even better. First, let me explain a basic mechanic of Spycraft. Players begin the game with a number of "Action Dice", the quantity and size of which are determined primarily by your level. For every action dice each player has, the GC has one as well (so, say there's 4 players with 4 d6s apiece, the GC has 16 d6s.). Action Dice are awarded with XP and for things like good roleplaying, at the GC's discretion, though it is a good thing for him to award because he gets another one himself when he awards one out. These Action Dice can be used for things like healing, to requisition gear in the field or make other requests of your home Agency, to boost a roll by the value you roll (if used before the initial roll) or by 1 (if used after the initial roll), or most importantly for our purposes, to activate critical misses and successes. Another important thing to note is Vitality and Wounds... both are measures of "HP", though Vitality is your superspy ability to seemingly magically not get hit, while Wounds represents you taking physical damage. Typically, damage taken comes from Vitality if it is available, and then from your Wounds only when there are no more Vitality Points left.

Every attack has a potential error and threat range. By default, most weapons have an error range of "1" and a threat range of "20" though this does vary based on the particular weapon, condition of said weapon, your selection of feats and talents, your background, your class, etc, and it is possible to remove error range, or to not have a threat range. Skills also have threat and error ranges, and they can be activated into crits in the same manner I'm about to describe, but skills oftentimes also have special benefits for threats or certain penalties for errors even when no dice are spent.

So, let's say this particular weapon, we'll say it's a pistol of some kind, in your hands has an error range of "1" and a threat range of "19-20". When you roll the attack, if your attack hits (and btw, 20 is not an auto-hit), you may spend 1 or 2 action dice to activate the critical hit. When 1 die is spent, you inflict your damage straight to the enemy's wound points, regardless of how many Vitality Points are left. If you spend 2 dice, you deal damage as normal, and you can roll to inflict an extra, typically very nasty status effect. These 2 effects, however, are mutually exclusive, and you can not activate both. It should also be noted only certain NPCs can achieve critical hits, if they possess the quality "Treacherous", which is typically not included in minions, or even all Henchmen.
When a player rolls in their error range and misses (1s are not auto-misses), the GC can spend up to 4 dice to activate bigger and more dangerous critical failures. 1 dice is along the lines of a gun jam, one turn to clear, 4 dice is along the lines of misfire and explode and take damage and gun ruined. When the GC rolls errors, players may spend their dice to activate the NPC's critical failure in the same way.

Bob the Dalek
06-21-2009, 05:36 PM
I bought the game mastry crit deck and have used it with a lot of fun results. Roll for the natural 20 and pick a card. For crit failures a 1 always means a dropped or broken weapon. Screwing up only hurts if it makes sense (ie drop a hammer on foot and lose an hp or the grenade falls to the floor at your feet, roll reflex to get out of the way).

Arkhemedes
06-21-2009, 06:11 PM
I use critical hits and misses because it adds to the enjoyment and unpredictability of the game. But I have very simple rules which do not slow the game down at all.

If a natural 20 is rolled I have the player roll again; 1-5 is no extra damage, 6-15 is double damage, 16-19 is triple damage, and another 20 is quadruple damage. Very simple.

If a natural 1 is rolled I have a percentage chart copied from a Dragon mag. that has anything possible from nothing happens to dropped weapon to broken weapon to strike party member to strike self. I keep it clipped to my DM's screen - no searching for a chart. And if weapon break is indicated its gets a save vs. crushing blow. Very simple, no math involved. Plus it helps to eliminate weapons from the game making room for new weapons. And you can't accidentally kill yourself or chop an arm off.

DarQuing
06-21-2009, 06:34 PM
I've never played in a game that didn't use critical hits and fumbles, though I don't recall them doing anything special beyond extra damage or some amusing effect.

Q-man
06-21-2009, 07:30 PM
The critical hits are used all the time. I like the idea of being able to get a lucky strike that hits just the right spot and really wounds the target. If your group is into describing their attacks it can really be something to spice up the RP.

The failures I like for the same reasons. However, a lot of the guys I play with struggle to come up with good failures so we leave those out about half the time.

When we do use either the critical attacks or failures we make sure its balanced and effect both the players and the NPC's the same way.

Panthro82
06-22-2009, 03:54 AM
The DM determines the failures in combat. We determine the failures most of the time for skill checks. Especially when I am the one rolling a nat 1 and its for spot or listen. lol I've got quite the imagination.

Razmus
06-22-2009, 06:12 AM
Stuff like cutting our own head off on an archery mischance? Oh give me a break.
Seems to me we used to have a short table for archery fumbles. Used to have that one memorized, but it's been twenty years. Seems to me the results included something like
1-3. damage to inside of the off-hand arm, mitigated some by wearing an arm guard (anyone who's really shot off more than a couple arrows knows about THAT one.)
4-5. string snaps
6. Bow stressed, make a save vs crushing damage at minus something or another or the bow snaps, and the character takes some damage.

But... but... "arrow goes thru both ears of the target cleaning out all ear wax and killing the target dead, dead, dead" is too fun a result. I miss critical hits.

tesral
06-22-2009, 06:36 AM
1-3. damage to inside of the off-hand arm, mitigated some by wearing an arm guard (anyone who's really shot off more than a couple arrows knows about THAT one.)
4-5. string snaps
6. Bow stressed, make a save vs crushing damage at minus something or another or the bow snaps, and the character takes some damage.


1 The arm guard mitigates it totally. That's the reason for the arm guard. Your arm getting touched by the string is actually so common an event that it should not be on a critical fumble chart. It's the reason for the arm guard.


4-5 In all the years I have shot archery I have never seen a string snap, my own or someone else's. I've worn a number of them out over the years, but never broken one. The twisted fiber and bee's wax nature of a bowstring means that sudden failure is highly unlikely. The vigilant archer will note the fraying of the strings fibers and replace it long before it could fail in that manner. You could cut one, but I've never seen one just break. Frankly the strings, even if linen are much stronger than they need to be. This is a good thing.

A bowstring is a twisted cord made of thread such as you might sew with. In modern usage we use a slightly thicker starting cord, but the old Flemish twist string is still popular. Nothing but friction and bee's wax hold a string together. And that is all you really need.

The second kind of string is the continuous loop. It is held together by the servings, again, no knots. All a good archer needs to make a string is a skien of thread a block of wax and a couple of pegs in a board or sticks in the ground.


6 I have seen this, it is still rare as hen's teeth. Heck I had a bow break in my hands.


More common archery fumbles would be the miss-knocked arrow. A dropped arrow, target panic (freezing), shedding a fletching (Arrow hares off somewhere not intended. Not too drastic.) Problems with the bow itself are very rare.

Razmus
06-22-2009, 08:17 AM
1 The arm guard mitigates it totally. That's the reason for the arm guard. Your arm getting touched by the string is actually so common an event that it should not be on a critical fumble chart. It's the reason for the arm guard.
Yep, its the reason. And I've seen cub scouts get a bruise right through the arm guard when their arm is in the wrong place.
I wouldn't expect Legolas would allow the string to touch his arm.


4-5 In all the years I have shot archery I have never seen a string snap, my own or someone else's.I've never seen one snap either, but I've only shot target tips -- never a razor sharp broad head. Perhaps it isn't possible... but I'd keep this one on MY critical fumble table before putting 'cut off your own head' on the table though. :laugh: (Could have been worse, back in the 80's, we could have had a result for 'hold the bow backwards - shot yourself in the chest at point blank range.' ;-) Hmm... perhaps Aeren Bignose gets a little too distracted while aiming and picks up a new nickname, Rednose, for the rest of the adventure... )


More common archery fumbles would be the miss-knocked arrow. A dropped arrow, target panic (freezing), shedding a fletching (Arrow hares off somewhere not intended. Not too drastic.) Problems with the bow itself are very rare."Ooo! Dropped arrow... are you wearing footgear? How many toes did you have when the battle started? :laugh:" j/k
Most of those I'd say were regular bad misses, although now that you mention it, I seem to remember some result or another was splitting the arrow or so.
Freezing would be a missed Fright Check rather than a fumble, in my game now.

tesral
06-22-2009, 04:54 PM
Yep, its the reason. And I've seen cub scouts get a bruise right through the arm guard when their arm is in the wrong place. I wouldn't expect Legolas would allow the string to touch his arm.

I've done youth shoots. I cannot say I have ever seen that. But we don't let them snap the string against their arms either.




I've never seen one snap either, but I've only shot target tips -- never a razor sharp broad head. Perhaps it isn't possible... but I'd keep this one on MY critical fumble table before putting 'cut off your own head' on the table though.

I didn't say they couldn't be cut.




"Ooo! Dropped arrow... are you wearing footgear? How many toes did you have when the battle started? :laugh:" j/k
Most of those I'd say were regular bad misses, although now that you mention it, I seem to remember some result or another was splitting the arrow or so.
Freezing would be a missed Fright Check rather than a fumble, in my game now.

A miss nocked arrow is a mess, you end up dry firing the bow, the arrow gets in the way and in general it's a mess. I would call it a critical fumble, not just a miss. A broken "self nock" would have the same result.

Target panic I think would be a miss. You don't freeze up period, you just hesitate long enough to blow your aim.

SilenzZzz
06-22-2009, 08:19 PM
i use them in my games ... quite a few times players have been saved by a critical failure of a monster ... which ended up killing off his co-hort next to him which turned the tide for the party ...

at the same time ... there has been quite a few derailments and plenty of laughs when the halfling who was using his hand crossbow between the legs of a human fighter and got a critical failure so the fighter ended up with a bolt in the butt ... which in turn resulted in the fighter dropping her weapons ... and trying to pick the halfling up and throw him down the hallway towards the monsters....

templeorder
06-23-2009, 01:01 AM
Best fumble i ever saw... Farold Oshman, knight wanna-be, kicks in the door and rushes three 'pacifist' cultist. Fumble, get his sword stuck in a beam from a bad overhand chop. While trying to dislodge the sword (and failing), the pacifists decide they are not going to wait for death. They beat the living daylights out of him and he has to be rescued after his shouts of "help" are barely heard - his friends think he's in there giving it to the enemy and mistake the noises for that. Its almost too late by the time help arrives. Farold suffers minuses for weeks from the beating.

Panthro82
06-23-2009, 07:11 AM
lol funny stuff

Doom Crow
07-06-2009, 01:15 PM
I used to use them but my players complained that it was unfair to use it against them. They had no problem having it applied to the enemies though. Go figure!

Panthro82
07-07-2009, 06:30 AM
I used to use them but my players complained that it was unfair to use it against them. They had no problem having it applied to the enemies though. Go figure!

Those are called lame players lol. You take the good with the bad for the best sense of realism. Fails happen in real life too.

tesral
07-07-2009, 06:49 AM
I used to use them but my players complained that it was unfair to use it against them. They had no problem having it applied to the enemies though. Go figure!

Everyone get it or no one gets it. I don't favor. The Universe does not see a bar over your head with "PC" on it.

Arch Lich Thoth-Amon
07-07-2009, 07:59 AM
Everyone get it or no one gets it. I don't favor. The Universe does not see a bar over your head with "PC" on it.
Agreed.

My opinion: Risk makes the game more enjoyable in the long run.

Panthro82
07-07-2009, 10:10 AM
especially when it is risk related to something worth having in the game anyways.

Harwel
07-07-2009, 10:41 AM
I used to use them but my players complained that it was unfair to use it against them. They had no problem having it applied to the enemies though. Go figure!

Tell them to go play Neverwinter Nights, there's a setting on the difficulty slider for that. :lol: Crits and fumbles are all or nothing.

jonnyrockshard
07-13-2009, 03:13 AM
I've always found that while critical fumbles can be interesting and fun, they rarely ever are.

You know what I'm talking about if you've ever played in a game and you hear "you chop your own head off."

Unfortunatly what happens is that if you do enough critical fumbles, they tend to turn into a joke. "Oh you rolled a 1 on your hide check, you hide on the table lol." They just get way too ridiculous and break the game in my opinion. Critical hits however are just a part of the game. Every once in a while, you just hit a target in that one area that they are really weak in. Just because you have critical hits doesn't mean you have to have critical failures. To me, there doesn't need to be a critical miss chance in order to balance critical hits; as long as critical hits apply to both monsters and players, it's balanced.

Panthro82
07-13-2009, 03:47 AM
I don't know. I think if you take away critical failures then there should be no critical hits either. The enemy can critical fail as well.It has happened multiple times in games I've been in.

templeorder
07-13-2009, 08:07 AM
It depends on what they are used for and symbolize. Gigantic horrible failures do not have to be ridiculous. Tripping while not paying attention, leaving a foot out of shadows, and breaking a bow string all happen - not was rare as we would suppose... That seems to be only fair considering a success may be able to go through armor, or whatever - depends on the system and use. Many times critical success is not used mechanically, but for story purposes. It can end a combat - bypassing mechanics. I also use it to just symbolize a character finding synchronicity - a crit stealth maybe means no more checks - they are just "in the zone"... but it always seems like if this sort of thing is used, a fumble is just as likely - as in no matter what you do, it simply will not work at full effect...

Harwel
07-13-2009, 09:49 AM
It depends on what they are used for and symbolize. Gigantic horrible failures do not have to be ridiculous. Tripping while not paying attention, leaving a foot out of shadows, and breaking a bow string all happen - not was rare as we would suppose... That seems to be only fair considering a success may be able to go through armor, or whatever - depends on the system and use. Many times critical success is not used mechanically, but for story purposes. It can end a combat - bypassing mechanics. I also use it to just symbolize a character finding synchronicity - a crit stealth maybe means no more checks - they are just "in the zone"... but it always seems like if this sort of thing is used, a fumble is just as likely - as in no matter what you do, it simply will not work at full effect...

I agree. I think everyone has embarrassed themselves at least once by screwing something up outrageously badly. Think about the things you do in day to day life, and extend that. Making breakfast? Ever drop an egg on the kitchen floor? I have. Playing hockey? You may pass the puck right to an opposing player for an easy goal. (OK, that's probably not a day to day activity for most people). Even pros do stuff like this sometimes. Extend that type of thing to your game. Lots of fumble charts have stuff that makes no sense, just ignore stuff like that. Dropping your weapon is certainly possible in a fight. Friendly fire isn't friendly. You trip. This kind of thing is realistic. Chopping your own head off, not so much. Sanity check the results and adjust accordingly, and it's fine.

By the way, one of the reasons I dislike d20 is that critical successes and failures are too common for my taste. I like it when there's more of a bell curve or a more granular die result (like percentiles) though.

korhal23
07-13-2009, 09:59 AM
That's what I like about Spycraft's critical success/failure system. If you're good at stuff, your Threat range where you may critically succeed can widen and your Error range for critical failures can disappear entirely. If you're bad with something the reverse can happen. But then either way you have to spend action dice to confirm your criticals or your enemies critical failures. On the GM side of the house, not all NPCs are capable of critting, it's a trait they must possess that while most henchmen and masterminds have it, it's rare for minions. It's all in all a way better system than normal d20, or imo, most any other game I've seen.

Panthro82
07-13-2009, 01:34 PM
yea but I think every single character should be capable of a crit hit. Anything can happen at anytime in the real world. A bumbling, stumbling fool who's 95lbs soaking wet could knock out a Kung-Fu grandmaster. Any character(including NPC minions) can conceivably accomplish anything at any time. I agree with maybe 5% being a little to much. Rolling that 1 or 20 should just simply mean rolling again to determine the severity of the success or failure. Taking the option out of the game entirely though is like putting a helmet on your child while they make a sandwich just to make sure they don't hurt themselves. It just doesn't make any sense.

Harwel
07-13-2009, 02:22 PM
I agree, Panthro. I loved that in RuneQuest a lowly trollkin could potentially seriously mess up your Rune Lord with a lucky enough shot due to the critical mechanics. Yeah, the trollkin needs to roll like an 01 or an 02 on d100 and you'd have to miss your defense roll. Unlikely, but the fact remained that it could happen, and every opponent needed to be taken seriously.

Oldgamer
07-14-2009, 10:15 AM
yea but I think every single character should be capable of a crit hit. Anything can happen at anytime in the real world. A bumbling, stumbling fool who's 95lbs soaking wet could knock out a Kung-Fu grandmaster. Any character(including NPC minions) can conceivably accomplish anything at any time. I agree with maybe 5% being a little to much. Rolling that 1 or 20 should just simply mean rolling again to determine the severity of the success or failure. Taking the option out of the game entirely though is like putting a helmet on your child while they make a sandwich just to make sure they don't hurt themselves. It just doesn't make any sense.

A lot of Kung Fu masters are 95 lbs soak and wet :biggrin:

http://www.wingchun.co.uk/photos/fooksao.jpg

Panthro82
07-14-2009, 03:02 PM
A lot of Kung Fu masters are 95 lbs soak and wet :biggrin:

http://www.wingchun.co.uk/photos/fooksao.jpg

lol I was thinking that after I posted. Ok so maybe a 300lb kung-fu grandmaster? Think Chris Farley in Beverly Hills Ninja. :)