the rolemaster crit charts are great.
Does this pass the any reasonable person test? Would a reasonable mundane person use a tool that has these kinds of failures? For example; you get in your car and start it, it fails to start and blows up destroying everything in and around it. Would you get in a car that could detonate becasue of a dead battery or bad fuel?
Also the chart doesn't have anything to do with the spell cast. I think that the effect of the mis cast should at least be related to the spell being used. You should not catch fire from a cold of cold. A detection spell should never harm. Now unless one wises to create a chart for every spell out there (not I) micvht i suggest a general how bad was it with a suggestion rerlated to how spectacular the spell was intended to be. "Yea Bob was killed casting unseen servant last week". A spell that is not meant to cause damage should never damage, even in failure. At least my take on it.
No chance of a happy accident. Everything on the chart is bad. Yes it is about spell failure. Penicilin, kevlar, stainless steel, and nylon are all the result of a process gone wrong or an experiment that failed to get what the experimenter wanted. Sometimes accidents are good for you.
good points all. and i agree about applicable and natural consequences. however, i still find the charts funny in general. some of the one-liners buried in the charts are priceless.
If you see it as you are tinkering with all these unseen forces day in and out, if hampered - usually by armour - they do a lot of unexpected bad things. Even the most smallest cantrip i where you are exerting your will and power over nature and therefore should be attempted with some wisdom. Perhaps there should be a modifier on the table where if a spell contains no Somatic component then you get -20 on the roll.
As for not setting on fire due to miscast cone of cold... hmm.. you may get the word wrong etc.. so in effect you have channelled the wrong force. If yo actually go and look at certain books of magic which many systems try to base there spell casting on (as well as folk lore and stories of old) the often talk at great lengths about miscasting spells (not that I believe in magic but I read a lot). In the Squares of AbraMelin angels are invoked to give the caster power over locks, get money etc.. but you have to do it correctly or it could result in death. I think I am going off on a weird tangent, sorry been up a lot lately and need sleep/
Wild Magic areas should be different though and half should be beneficial and the other shouldn't.
As for the one liners.. you really should see the Rolemaster tables, I am an amateur in comparison. They are brilliant.