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  • Love them. Use them in my games.

    51 67.11%
  • Use the Critical hits, not the critical failures.

    14 18.42%
  • Use the Critical failures, but not the critical hits.

    0 0%
  • Use them with the baddies only

    2 2.63%
  • Use them with the party only

    3 3.95%
  • Dont believe in them. Just slows the game down.

    3 3.95%
  • Dont believe in them. Makes things unfair and unbalanced.

    1 1.32%
  • Got a great story to share... see my thread, found below.

    3 3.95%
  • Other

    4 5.26%
  • I'm on the fence with the idea. Let me go read the threads.

    6 7.89%
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Thread: Critical Hit & Critical failures... Do you use them in your games?

  1. #46
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    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.

  2. #47
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    Quote Originally Posted by tesral View Post
    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.

  3. #48
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    Quote Originally Posted by Razmus View Post
    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.

    Garry AKA --Phoenix-- Rising above the Flames.
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  4. #49
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    Quote Originally Posted by tesral View Post
    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. (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? " 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.

  5. #50
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    Quote Originally Posted by Razmus View Post
    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.


    Quote Originally Posted by Razmus View Post
    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.


    Quote Originally Posted by Razmus View Post
    "Ooo! Dropped arrow... are you wearing footgear? How many toes did you have when the battle started? " 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.

    Garry AKA --Phoenix-- Rising above the Flames.
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    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....

  7. #52
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    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.

    Incarna; Role-Playing Game System
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  8. #53
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    lol funny stuff

  9. #54
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    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!

  10. #55
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    Quote Originally Posted by Doom Crow View Post
    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.

  11. #56
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    Quote Originally Posted by Doom Crow View Post
    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.

    Garry AKA --Phoenix-- Rising above the Flames.
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    The Olde Phoenix Inn

  12. #57
    Arch Lich Thoth-Amon is offline Cursed by the Gods
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    Quote Originally Posted by tesral View Post
    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.
    Thoth-Amon, Lord of the Underworld and the Undead
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    especially when it is risk related to something worth having in the game anyways.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Doom Crow View Post
    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. Crits and fumbles are all or nothing.

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    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.

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