Love them. Use them in my games.
Use the Critical hits, not the critical failures.
Use the Critical failures, but not the critical hits.
Use them with the baddies only
Use them with the party only
Dont believe in them. Just slows the game down.
Dont believe in them. Makes things unfair and unbalanced.
Got a great story to share... see my thread, found below.
I'm on the fence with the idea. Let me go read the threads.
I use the Critical hit and fumble decks for players only
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.
Refereeing RPGs since 1977
Pittsburgh Gaming Meetup Group Organizer
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.
"Those who earn the title great do so only by having power and NOT abusing it."
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.
Running: infrequent VtM game
"I'm beautifully hideous!" - Sven the Nosferatu
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.
Incarna; Role-Playing Game System
Running: 3+ campaigns set in single custom milieu world.
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.
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.
Playing in the darkness. www.farlandworld.com
"Dude, we totally play 1d4-2 Friday nights per month. More or less."
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?"
Running: 2e DnD Forgotten Realms
Be the Ultimate Ninja! Play Billy Vs. SNAKEMAN today!
I only use them for theatrics, although a critical of either variety is a serious game-changer, if you pardon my pun.
'Justice, like lightning, ever should appear to few men's ruin, but to all men's fear.'
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.
"On two occasions I have been asked [by members of Parliament], 'Pray, Mr. Babbage, if you put into the machine wrong figures, will the right answers come out?' I am not able rightly to apprehend the kind of confusion of ideas that could provoke such a question."
- Charles Babbage (1791 - 1871)
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.
"And then you wake up."
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: