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View Full Version : Bad times to roll a natural 20.



Hypothetical
2007-03-25, 04:44 PM
So last night I'm playing the start of a brand new scenario with my buddy as GM, in a semi-homebrew setting.

The party:
Me, a lvl 1 Monk.
3 NPCs :
A lvl 1 Ranger
A lvl 1 Wizard
A lvl 1 Priestess.

We're on a mission to recover a caravan of stolen trade goods. The targets are going to be Kobolds, possibly Gnomes, and possibly a Goblin or two.

We get into this forest, and pull a reverse abmush on a group of 10 Kobolds, killing 4, Sleeping 5, and capturing one.

Interogating the captured one, we find that the group is from a small fort, with 18 Kobolds a little ways away, and the last caravan that got ambushed is still there, awaiting delivery.

Since the Wizard is out of spells, we decide to attack the next morning.

The Wizard takes Sleep twice, and we come up with the following plan.

The Ranger and I will appraoch the wall of the fort, and attempt to talk the Kobolds into believing that we are there to pick up the Caravan for their leader, a Goblin named Kristak ( or some such) aka Shiny Rock. INTRAGAL to the plan is for the bluff to fail, so that the Kobolds will send out a team to attack us, and the wizard will sleep the first group. And from there either they will send out more of them, or we will assault the now open fort.

So we walk up to the fort, hail the gaurds, and begin to make our bluff.

And I roll a natural 20 on the bluff roll. (Against a DC 25 bluff check, I learn after what happens next, for reasons that will become appearant.)Oops. I know, as soon as it happens that this is not a good thing, but it's a little hard to back off now, because our ambush is ruined, and we still need to get that caravan back. And it all goes downhill from there.

The Wizard manages to join the Ranger and I without being noticed, and we blithely walk in the now wide open gate. Good point, the Wizard still has 2 sleeps to work with, and the fort is small, so the Kobolds are going to be concentrated in a small area.

I have these Kobolds eating out of my hand. They would believe anything I say, even if I claimed to be thier mother. That's exactly how the GM put it.

And then, a slip of the tounge. I'm working on getting these Kobolds to release the carvan to me. And that "The Boss" Shiny Rock would send payment once the caravan had been varified. The Kobold gets this look on his face, says "I'll ask him" turns and yells "Hey Boss", and out walks Shiny Rock himself, a lvl 3 Goblin Barbarian. I yell for the Preistess, who was still outside, and it's on.

3 Rounds later, the Goblin is out, 4 of the Kobolds are dead, and the other 14 are snoring like babies. Unfortunatly, the Ranger is on the ground at -8 HP, and I'm down to 1. And the Preistess is nowhere to be found. I stabalize the Ranger ( Glad I took a rank of Heal) find a Healing potion on the Goblin, heal the Ranger upto 1 HP, and we go to find the Preistess, who it turns out was kidnapped by Gnomes riding War Pigs. 5 days hard chase later, we manage to rescue the Preistess.

Well, the Elvan Wizard now has a nice Magic Sword ( Unidentified but definatly magic) and I, the monk, now have a Shiny Rock around my neck that is so powerful that when the Wizard did a detect magic on it, it nearly blinded him. I have no idea what it does just yet, but I've got time for that. ( No, we weren't supposed to get either one yet, I derailed the GM slightly by actually deciding to attack the fort, instead of heading back to town and reporting what we had found out. I mean, 4 people against a fort? That has to be insane right? Mua ha ha.)

Variable Arcana
2007-03-25, 04:52 PM
Ouch! (Sounds like it was fun, though.)

For future reference, I think you can deliberately fail a skill check...

... or perhaps more ICly, you could use Bluff to try to convince them that you are (badly) trying to trick them... (that should have a fairly low DC)

Behold_the_Void
2007-03-25, 05:28 PM
Natural 20 on a skill check is not an automatic success, just as natural 1 on a skill check is not an automatic failure. So you'd have needed a Bluff modifier of at least 5 to even make that check. Just so you know.

Ranis
2007-03-25, 05:33 PM
It sounds like you had an immense amount of fun for being the only PC, bravo.

kamikasei
2007-03-25, 05:39 PM
Wait... how did you convince them that you were "there to pick up the Caravan for their leader" if their leader was right there?

Daneel the Sane
2007-03-25, 05:43 PM
Natural 20 on a skill check is not an automatic success, just as natural 1 on a skill check is not an automatic failure. So you'd have needed a Bluff modifier of at least 5 to even make that check. Just so you know.


Actually, I am his DM... And his bluff modifier IS +5... +2 from Charisma, Skill Rank 1, and he has Sacred Vow as his feat (gives +2 perfection bonus, from the Book of Exalted Deeds). So he smacked the roll right on the head. Also, I use a house rule saying that on skill checks, a natural 20 reads as a 30. Not automatic success, but still pretty decent bump.

Also, in case anyone is buggin' about the fact that a goblin and kobolds were working with gnomes, my world had a nasty disaster happen to the gnomes, and they were saved by Graz'zt the demon lord in return for their souls... They always rode war pigs (anyone here Ozzy?), but now they ride abyssal war pigs... Spooky dudes, gnomes...

Daneel the Sane
2007-03-25, 05:44 PM
Wait... how did you convince them that you were "there to pick up the Caravan for their leader" if their leader was right there?

Actually, I had given him a DC of 35 on the roll... We both figured he would fail it, being a first level character... see above about my house rule... not my original rule, I actually picked it up from these forums.

brian c
2007-03-25, 05:54 PM
Yeah you definitely should have intentionally failed the roll. I'm not saying it was bad DMing or anything, but if I DMed a game where someone's plan was to fail a bluff, I wouldn't even ask them to roll it.

Incidentally, reminds me of my game yesterday. We were searching through some prisoners' belongings and the rogue rolled a nat 20 on search, even though we could all just take 20 if we wanted. One of the objects belonging to the prisoner was a magical box; we used an elixir of truth on the prisoner to determine how to open the box (magic words) and he also told us that the box was trapped. The rogue then rolls a 20 on search to find the trap, then a 1 to disarm it. This sets off the fireball trap, knocking him unconscious (group is lvl5, he's a Rogue-Wizard with 16hp). I was the only one to make the reflex save, as a monk with evasion taking 0 damage. Luckily the trap took a minute to reset and we opened the box before then.

Hypothetical
2007-03-25, 06:06 PM
Actually, once the bluff started working, I thought there was a chance we might be able to get in, and get the caravan with no combat. Of course, that was before I found out the the Kobolds had eaten the horses.

Thinking back on it, had I been cold sober instead of about half drunk like I was at the time, I never would have even attempted it.

And yes, it was fun. My first thought when I saw the Goblin come out was, "OMG, I killed the party".

ExHunterEmerald
2007-03-25, 06:57 PM
Someone I play with once accidentally crit on a thrown sunrod at another PC, to stop him from doing something.

Assassinfox
2007-03-25, 07:28 PM
:elan: Bluff, bluff, bluff the stupid kobolds!

Abjurer
2007-03-25, 07:38 PM
Aye, one of my players once slapped another one with the flat of his axe (to lightly penalize him for catching a ship on fire, which he didn't actually do... long story), scored a critical, and knocked the chap out cold. Took quite a while for him to come to.

And yes, you can always choose to fail a check.

ExHunterEmerald
2007-03-25, 08:02 PM
Oh, jeez, how did I forget?
I'm changing up characters from a barbarian to a rogue, and we decide to off the barbarian by turning him evil with a helm of opposite alignment.
First person he goes to attack is the paladin. He fights with a scythe.
You can see where I'm going with this...

daggaz
2007-03-25, 08:06 PM
I saved my friend from dying (barely), fighting off the two hobgoblin warriors single handedly while he lie bleeding to death, then bandaging, him, then dragging him to safety where I stayed up all night fighting off occasional predators while he rested.

When he woke up, I was really mad at him, as he had almost got us all killed by directly disobeying my orders/strong advice. He cracked some kind of joke, very unserious like... and I was like..

Me:'I b*tch slap him, across the face' (making a backhanded motion at his player).

DM: Ok, roll to attack...

Me: Wha? but I-

DM: -No! You are in character. You said you slap him, then you slap him.

Me: Crap, heheh... (roll a nat 20).

DM: Roll threat..

Me: Oh no..(18)

DM: Thats a crit. Roll damage... you are wearing spiked gauntlets, dont forget.

Me: Oh CRAP!

Long story short, I nearly killed him.

Collin152
2007-03-25, 08:12 PM
A slap!= An unarmed attack; its incrediblyy inneficiant means of doing the damage. Besides, spiked gaunlets are designed for punches, and so do their damage there.

Daneel the Sane
2007-03-25, 08:41 PM
Yeah you definitely should have intentionally failed the roll. I'm not saying it was bad DMing or anything, but if I DMed a game where someone's plan was to fail a bluff, I wouldn't even ask them to roll it.

Incidentally, reminds me of my game yesterday. We were searching through some prisoners' belongings and the rogue rolled a nat 20 on search, even though we could all just take 20 if we wanted. One of the objects belonging to the prisoner was a magical box; we used an elixir of truth on the prisoner to determine how to open the box (magic words) and he also told us that the box was trapped. The rogue then rolls a 20 on search to find the trap, then a 1 to disarm it. This sets off the fireball trap, knocking him unconscious (group is lvl5, he's a Rogue-Wizard with 16hp). I was the only one to make the reflex save, as a monk with evasion taking 0 damage. Luckily the trap took a minute to reset and we opened the box before then.

Heh... I will try not to take the comment on my DMing personally. lol :smallbiggrin:
However, he straight up wanted to try the bluff, he just assumed he would fail. Don't ask me, I just work here...

Edit: Like your story, by the way. Evasion has saved the butts of many in the past... I use a critical fumble rule, too, and once had someone roll a natural 1 on her move silently check. She essentially tripped and dropped her shortsword down a flight of steps...

Jack Mann
2007-03-25, 08:55 PM
I wasn't actually in the game, but I was sitting nearby (they were gaming in the student commons of the college).

Apparently, two players were in a duel. They were purposely doing nonlethal damage, having kept their swords sheathed. One of them apparently rolled two twenties in a row, and then confirmed it. The DM ruled that since he was using the triple threat rules, the one had managed to cut off the head of the other. Somehow.

For some reason, they then immediately went to tell everyone about it, as though they'd discovered the secret of life, or JFK's real killer, or the recipe for Coca-Cola.

Collin152
2007-03-25, 11:25 PM
Bah! Even I know the recipie for Coca-Cola! it's water, sugar, an-
*Is shot by Abraham Lincoln, JFK's real killer*

SumGuy
2007-03-26, 06:04 AM
So there we were...the caravan had been ambushed by slavers. It was a standoff; they wanted half our goods...to include half of the folks in the caravan! Being the good and rightious PCs that we were, the party fought off the slavers, only to have them retreat to their desert stronghold.

After tracking them to their wooden stronghold, we decided to free the slaves they had captured, since we were the aforementioned good and rightious PCs.

The fighter decides the best way to free the slaves is to burn down their holding cells...which are made of wood, in a wooden fort.

Yeah, he threw the alchemest fire before we could stop him, and the DM had a houserule for critticals with splash weapons.

Shortly thereafter, we decided that our image as good and rightious PCs needed an overhaul.

Hypothetical
2007-03-26, 06:51 AM
Bah! Even I know the recipie for Coca-Cola! it's water, sugar, an-
*Is shot by Abraham Lincoln, JFK's real killer*

I hate to break it to you, but JFK was assassinated by JFK. ( No, I didn't stutter.)

You see, roughly 200 years from now, a Mining ship will experiance a massive accident. Only 2 living being will survive. One is human. He will survive because he will be trapped in a Stasis Cell, inside of which he will become a non-event mass with a Quantum Probablility of zero. The other will be his pet Cat, a pregnant female, who will only survive because she is deep in the ships holds, and protected from the radiation burst taht will kill the rest of the crew.

3 Million years later, the ships computer will release the human, and he will meet up with the lifeform that has evolved from the cat. After many months on board, they will find a way to travel in time, and using it will accidently save JFK from the bullets of J.H. Oswald. Discovering the mistake in the timeline, they will then go back, recue the new-JFK from his prison cell, and convince him that he must assassinate himself, from the much disscussed "Grassy Knoll". The Paradox will thus be undone, and the crew of the Mining ship will still die, leaving the Human and his cat to continue to lead thier lives 3 Million years in the future.

( ** The Above treatsie is a direct and blatent plug for the comedy series Red Dwarf, and has been presented free of all charges by me. Feel free to hunt down the DVDs and find out exactly WTF I am talking about on your own time.**)

its_all_ogre
2007-03-26, 07:42 AM
the natural 20 roll killing you is quite funny.
i had a whole group affected by fear so they all fled from the monsters, who they would have struggled to kill anyway.
unfortunately the rogue rolled a 20 and did not have to flee. he was lawful so instead of fleeing or engaging in a suicidal combat he led all the monsters into some woods and lost them, then rejoined his fellow pcs a bit later.
with the monsters led astray they looted the lair unhindered!

Lkki Gallansbayne
2007-03-26, 08:39 AM
Yeah you definitely should have intentionally failed the roll. I'm not saying it was bad DMing or anything, but if I DMed a game where someone's plan was to fail a bluff, I wouldn't even ask them to roll it.

Incidentally, reminds me of my game yesterday. We were searching through some prisoners' belongings and the rogue rolled a nat 20 on search, even though we could all just take 20 if we wanted. One of the objects belonging to the prisoner was a magical box; we used an elixir of truth on the prisoner to determine how to open the box (magic words) and he also told us that the box was trapped. The rogue then rolls a 20 on search to find the trap, then a 1 to disarm it. This sets off the fireball trap, knocking him unconscious (group is lvl5, he's a Rogue-Wizard with 16hp). I was the only one to make the reflex save, as a monk with evasion taking 0 damage. Luckily the trap took a minute to reset and we opened the box before then. This reminds of the time (not involving any natural 20s but oh well) when my party was in a tomb on the plane of Salt fighting a Drow wizard whom we'd encountered earlier in the campaign but had teleported away before we could kill him that time. We'd already dispatched his henchies (a couple of low-level Drow adventurer-fodder and a half-Troll fighter wielding a fullblade) and he got so pissed that he decided to fireball everyone in the room - including himself. Unfortunately for him, he was the only one in the room to not make his save and was promptly burnt to a crisp, having already taken a bit of a beating already as I recall. The saddest part is that the room we were in was big enough that he could have avoided getting himself in the blast, the only reason he did was because my character was directly below him (he was flying, my guy has a ludicrous jump skill so I attacked and ended my turn in mid-air la a certain halfling). However, I was playing a monk, so I took no damage anyway due to my good friend Evasion.

As it happens, the wizard was there trying to break into a sarcophagus. We decided to crack it open to see what was inside and found two skeletons with everything from the waist down removed and the two spines stuck together and a single, perfectly ripe tomato. The rogue ate it and gained the power of tomato magnetism.

josephbt
2007-03-26, 08:42 AM
Has anyone played the "Forge of Fury" module from WotC? It's an adventure for 4-6 lvl3 players. They are supposed to get to 5th level. Mine didn't. Why? Lucky rolls on their part killed them. How?

At one point, the party is supposed to diplomance a Roper(CR10). They only get a glimpse of the Roper devouring some fish on the other side of the underground river. Nobody knew what a roper was, they figured it was a dumb beast. A plan was laid out. It was a good plan, but i figured, once the rolls started, they'll figure out that the Roper is immune to them.
But, noooo. The gang storms out, the fighter rolls to-hit after chucking his ax and rolls a 20! He only hits on a 20! I start praying that he rolls a 15 or something, so that i can tell him that he missed despite his +10 bonus. He rolls a 3. Nobody hits with a 3, so the party still don't know what is going on.
Next is the wizzard. He casts Lesser orb of Fire, the only SR-ignoring spell he memorised. He rolls a 20 to-hit. Much happines within the party. He confirms. The druid starts summoning, the psion misses with a ray. Everybody is happy with the first round. Roper goes next.

2 round later, the druid is running away, the roper is munching on the wizzard, the fighter is resisting roper strands and the psion is lying on the floor with STR 0. The psion is still trying to blast the roper, but SR30 is kinda tough to beat with a +4 level check.

Damn 20.

Draak_Grafula
2007-03-26, 12:11 PM
So last night I'm playing the start of a brand new scenario with my buddy as GM, in a semi-homebrew setting.

The party:
Me, a lvl 1 Monk.
3 NPCs :
A lvl 1 Ranger
A lvl 1 Wizard
A lvl 1 Priestess.

We're on a mission to recover a caravan of stolen trade goods. The targets are going to be Kobolds, possibly Gnomes, and possibly a Goblin or two.

We get into this forest, and pull a reverse abmush on a group of 10 Kobolds, killing 4, Sleeping 5, and capturing one.

Interogating the captured one, we find that the group is from a small fort, with 18 Kobolds a little ways away, and the last caravan that got ambushed is still there, awaiting delivery.

Since the Wizard is out of spells, we decide to attack the next morning.

The Wizard takes Sleep twice, and we come up with the following plan.

The Ranger and I will appraoch the wall of the fort, and attempt to talk the Kobolds into believing that we are there to pick up the Caravan for their leader, a Goblin named Kristak ( or some such) aka Shiny Rock. INTRAGAL to the plan is for the bluff to fail, so that the Kobolds will send out a team to attack us, and the wizard will sleep the first group. And from there either they will send out more of them, or we will assault the now open fort.

So we walk up to the fort, hail the gaurds, and begin to make our bluff.

And I roll a natural 20 on the bluff roll. (Against a DC 25 bluff check, I learn after what happens next, for reasons that will become appearant.)Oops. I know, as soon as it happens that this is not a good thing, but it's a little hard to back off now, because our ambush is ruined, and we still need to get that caravan back. And it all goes downhill from there.

The Wizard manages to join the Ranger and I without being noticed, and we blithely walk in the now wide open gate. Good point, the Wizard still has 2 sleeps to work with, and the fort is small, so the Kobolds are going to be concentrated in a small area.

I have these Kobolds eating out of my hand. They would believe anything I say, even if I claimed to be thier mother. That's exactly how the GM put it.

And then, a slip of the tounge. I'm working on getting these Kobolds to release the carvan to me. And that "The Boss" Shiny Rock would send payment once the caravan had been varified. The Kobold gets this look on his face, says "I'll ask him" turns and yells "Hey Boss", and out walks Shiny Rock himself, a lvl 3 Goblin Barbarian. I yell for the Preistess, who was still outside, and it's on.

3 Rounds later, the Goblin is out, 4 of the Kobolds are dead, and the other 14 are snoring like babies. Unfortunatly, the Ranger is on the ground at -8 HP, and I'm down to 1. And the Preistess is nowhere to be found. I stabalize the Ranger ( Glad I took a rank of Heal) find a Healing potion on the Goblin, heal the Ranger upto 1 HP, and we go to find the Preistess, who it turns out was kidnapped by Gnomes riding War Pigs. 5 days hard chase later, we manage to rescue the Preistess.

Well, the Elvan Wizard now has a nice Magic Sword ( Unidentified but definatly magic) and I, the monk, now have a Shiny Rock around my neck that is so powerful that when the Wizard did a detect magic on it, it nearly blinded him. I have no idea what it does just yet, but I've got time for that. ( No, we weren't supposed to get either one yet, I derailed the GM slightly by actually deciding to attack the fort, instead of heading back to town and reporting what we had found out. I mean, 4 people against a fort? That has to be insane right? Mua ha ha.)

I was wondering about your use of the sleep spell. You seem not to worry about the sleeping kobolts but at level 1 sleep would have a duration of only 1 minute. Do you guys rule that the speeping kobolts not nesceceraly wake up after the spell is over or did you just think the part where you slit all there throats was obvious enough so it didn't need mentioning here? :smallsmile:

Diggorian
2007-03-26, 12:17 PM
Whenever you're charmed or confused, and attacking an ally is a bad time for a natural 20; an even worse time to confirm :smallbiggrin:

Fax Celestis
2007-03-26, 12:32 PM
Gnomes riding War Pigs

Nice. Very nice.

brian c
2007-03-26, 01:20 PM
Bah! Even I know the recipie for Coca-Cola! it's water, sugar, an-
*Is shot by Abraham Lincoln, JFK's real killer*

Reminds me of my history clas last year discussing conspiracy theories behind Lincoln's assassination (yes Lincoln, not Kennedy). One of the more outrageous ones is that the Pope had Lincoln killed. Yes, the Pope. The one in the Vatican, with the really fancy hat.



Back to D&D though, another thing that happened in my last game was that my monk decided to put on a show in a public square and asked for anyone in the audience to come up and shoot arrows at him. This is the first time I've played a monk in 3.5, I know in 3.0 even with Deflect Arrows you need ro roll a reflex save DC15 or so to deflect. So I look it up in the book to make sure, and no roll is required anymore! You just deflect them! The random NPC archer who shot at me ended up rolling a 20 on his second or third shot but it didn't do him any good. What I'm saying is, another horrible time to roll a 20 is when you're ranged attacking anyone with Deflect Arrows.

Daneel the Sane
2007-03-26, 01:39 PM
I was wondering about your use of the sleep spell. You seem not to worry about the sleeping kobolts but at level 1 sleep would have a duration of only 1 minute. Do you guys rule that the speeping kobolts not nesceceraly wake up after the spell is over or did you just think the part where you slit all there throats was obvious enough so it didn't need mentioning here? :smallsmile:

Actually, I think we forgot about it. After the ranger was healed, they looked for the cleric, did not find her, found out she was nabbed by the evil gnomes, and did the whole Aragorn, "We hunt some gnome!" bit. Overland chase for the next 5 days trying to recover the abducted cleric. The kobolds probably woke up a few seconds later wondering what the Sam Hill happened. Basically, we forgot all about them.

Daneel the Sane
2007-03-26, 01:42 PM
Nice. Very nice.

Thanks. :) I'm his DM, and it just made sense to me. Local bards sometimes sing of the gnomish war cavalry and their pigs. Goes something like, "Generals gather in their masses... just like witches at black masses... Evil minds that plot destruction..."

Something like that.

Tallis
2007-03-26, 02:12 PM
Thanks. :) I'm his DM, and it just made sense to me. Local bards sometimes sing of the gnomish war cavalry and their pigs. Goes something like, "Generals gather in their masses... just like witches at black masses... Evil minds that plot destruction..."

Something like that.

LOL. Even better, seems I've heard that before though..... gnomes riding war pigs must have invaded my world at some point too.

Collin152: spikes are on the back of the spiked gauntlets and he did specify it was a backhand slap. Seems to me like they should count for the damage.

We had a players that got into an arguement in my group, one pulled out a crossbow and declared he was shooting the table in front of the other (they were in a bar), an unlucky series of rolls ended with him shooting his companion in the head instead. The table survived without a scratch.

kellandros
2007-03-26, 05:14 PM
Not D&D, but similar times when not to critically succeed(BESM 3rd Ed). Now, in the system we had been playing, certain kinds of critical successes make things better than the real thing. Like, say, disguising yourself as a small scrub-bot, and hitting a critical success. You now look more like a scrub-bot than a real scrub-bot. Quite fun for distractions sake.

But now, I had a character making forged copies of these scrolls we were supposed to be collecting(blatantly stolen from a certain Naruto forest of death story). And blah blah blah can't open the scrolls or bad things happen.

So, I sit there and start making a couple duplicates of each scroll we already have(out of 15) to use for traps, trading, and distraction. So, on the third one I suddenly pull a critical success. Oh crap. Now, I have a phony scroll that from the outside looks even more realistic than the real one. And all of a sudden I can't tell which one is real anymore. So if we go and turn in the wrong one, we'll fail at the end. Fortunately, divine intervention saves my butt, letting me re-roll the critical success back down to a normal one.

This is also a campaign where the blind character has TWICE critically succeeded on defense checks against the recurring villains, without having to reroll anything. Needless to say, they are afraid of him now.

Dareon
2007-03-27, 05:58 AM
Divine Relationship as a way of LOWERING your roll. Now there's something I'd never thought of before.

Rigeld2
2007-03-27, 06:16 AM
What I'm saying is, another horrible time to roll a 20 is when you're ranged attacking anyone with Deflect Arrows.
Once per round. Or did you miss that part of the feat?

Minty
2007-03-27, 09:24 AM
Does it count if it's the DM pissing everyone off by constantly rolling natural 20s?

Not quite the same, but a famous incident from the mythical history of my RP group, oft brought up in anecdotes, was from a warhammer campaign. The PCs and a group of high-level NPCs were sneaking into a Dark Elf stronghold. They got in via the kitchen, and set about quickly subduing the cooks.

One of the high-level NPCs, an elven Wardancer, went to kill a chef who had been plucking a chicken. I'm not sure exactly what a Wardancer is, but it sounds hardcore and the impression I get from the way it's told to me is that one of them should normally be able to kill a mere chef with a pimp-slap.

Long story short, after a comical and statistically unlikely series of critical fails and critical successes, the chef parried the Wardancer's attacks with the chicken, then took him out with the chicken plucker.

Gnome Barbarian
2007-03-27, 11:00 AM
So I have a bad time to roll a nat 20 story. So its my third or so time dming and I mad a plotline where the metallic dragons are being forced to work for the abyss through Bahamut being captured in his human form((Riped from Dogma)). So the PCs are on the trail to find out where the human form of Bahamut is and a Gold Dragon flies in their way and lands infront of them.((Wanted to use my colosull figure)) He procedes tow arn them about them this being out of their league and they shoudl back off.((They were level 5)). So a PC opens his mouth saying he is on a holy journey from his god.((A Cleric of Bahamut)) The Gold Dragon slaps him...nat 20....confirm nat 20....confirm instanat death 20. Needles to say the PCs were then nervous about moving on with the mission. Funny thing is I hadn't rolled anything over a 10 that session yet so I should have guessed it was coming.

JellyPooga
2007-03-27, 11:16 AM
Not a natural 20 story, but one of success nearly killing the party...

1) Party fighting Dragon
2) Paladin/Monk Grabbed by dragon and flown into air
3) rest of party looking up at epic battle
4) paladin/monk smite punches dragon (with some extra nifty dooby thing)
5) dragon falls unconscious
6) dragon falls
7) party (still looking up) scrambles for cover, except the full-plate fighter, who merely raises his sword into the air
8) dragon impaled on fighters sword, fighter crushed to death, paladin/monk bitten in two in death throes of dragon, wizard fails to scramble quick enough and gets legs broken, rogue covered on dragon-y goo as it splashes.

If only the pally/monk hadn't succeeded in knocking the dragon out (who was, we later found out, going to drop the pally/monk and fly away to its lair...I forget why)...

ajkkjjk52
2007-03-27, 11:27 AM
I was once in a campaign where the GM was moving away and wanted to end it with an epic TPK.

So we'd been on the run from increasingly powerful monsters (mostly dragons, but some Trolls with class levels and a few other whatnots) for about 2 sessions, and all the characters were about to die.

This one was going to be it: the black dragon that killed us. He swoops down, we make some basic attacks and whatnot, he's way out of our league. We're already starting to talk about who's going to GM our next campaign.

The fighter had previously had all his weapons destroyed bu some sort of ooze or something, but he decided that he was not going down without a fight, so he runs up and grapples the dragon. Rolls a 20, and manages to climb onto the dragons head.

On the next round:
Fighter: I poke the dragon in the eye.
DM: Ok. Let's see, roll a touch attack.
Figter: 20
DM: Roll to confirm
Fighter: 20 again
Group starts laughing, wondering how the dm'll explain this double crit.
Fighter: 20!
Group probably wakes everyone in a 5-mile radius with its laughing and cheering.
When it dies down, the GM explains that the fighter punched his finger through the dragon's eye and into its brain, killing it instantly.

Rocks fall, everybody dies.

brian c
2007-03-27, 11:47 AM
Once per round. Or did you miss that part of the feat?

I know, clarification then: it sucks to roll 20 on your first ranged attack of the round against a monk (or someone else with the feat)

ChaosOfTheStick
2007-03-27, 12:39 PM
The worst time i can think to roll nat 20 is when your shooting into a grapple between your ally and a monster and you roll under 50%...

Quietus
2007-03-27, 01:58 PM
I'm cool with under 50, long as it's above 25.

JadedDM
2007-03-27, 02:03 PM
The real question is, should people be rolling at all for mere slaps? I mean, a slap is generally not intended to cause any real damage to a person.

I wouldn't bother rolling at all for a slap. But if I did, I wouldn't count a 20 as a critical hit. (Although in 2E, 20s are not critical hits in bare-hand combat anyway).

Matthew
2007-03-29, 02:25 PM
In (A)D&D 2.x, there were no Critical Hits, unless you used the Optional Rule... but, yeah, a Slap isn't really an Unarmed Attack. Reminds me of that Nymph Spanking Thread...

ChaosOfTheStick
2007-03-29, 02:41 PM
I'm cool with under 50, long as it's above 25.

i thought it was 50% but now i cant find it. Where does it say its 20%?

Quietus
2007-03-29, 03:44 PM
i thought it was 50% but now i cant find it. Where does it say its 20%?

Strange, I can't find it either. I wonder if it's an old carry-over from 3.0 that I'm remembering? I do see that in the Bull Rush rules it states that any attack of opportunity made against either character has a 25% chance to target the other... so it would make sense that that would apply in grapples as well. But unless I'm missing something, it would seem that that doesn't apply in RAW. Huh.

Alenida
2007-03-29, 03:53 PM
My party and I were up against what looked like two entropic reapers. However, our cleric rolled high enough to realize that they weren't acting exactly correctly, so we thought, 'Hmmm...illusion.' I am a swashbuckler, I take a thwack at one of them and hit. I say to the DM, "Hey, don't I get a will save to disbelieve?"
"Sure," says the DM. Now you have to understand, I NEVER succeed on will saves. It's not that my modifier is bad (it's mediocre by this time), I just have rotten luck. But this time I roll a natural 20. "Yay!" I scream at the top of my lungs. "I made my will save!"
Our DM gets a really evil smile on his face. "Good job," he says. "You see...nothing!"
They had freaking GREATER INVISIBILITY on UNDER their illusions!

Jaykell
2007-03-29, 04:29 PM
wow u guys must be really unlucky:sigh:

JadedDM
2007-03-29, 06:52 PM
In (A)D&D 2.x, there were no Critical Hits, unless you used the Optional Rule... but, yeah, a Slap isn't really an Unarmed Attack. Reminds me of that Nymph Spanking Thread...

True, but then most of the rules in the book were optional. Although to date, I've never encountered a 2E game myself that did not use Critical Hits and Fumbles.

ChaosOfTheStick
2007-03-29, 08:15 PM
Strange, I can't find it either. I wonder if it's an old carry-over from 3.0 that I'm remembering? I do see that in the Bull Rush rules it states that any attack of opportunity made against either character has a 25% chance to target the other... so it would make sense that that would apply in grapples as well. But unless I'm missing something, it would seem that that doesn't apply in RAW. Huh.

In the footnotes under the "Armor Class Modifiers" table on page 151 of the PHB its says that you "roll randomly to see which grappling combatant you strike" when firing into a grapple. If there are only 2 combatants you thus have a 50% chance of hitting either one.

Matthew
2007-03-29, 08:53 PM
True, but then most of the rules in the book were optional. Although to date, I've never encountered a 2E game myself that did not use Critical Hits and Fumbles.

Absolutely, it was an Optional Rule paradise. I had the converse experience; the only time I encountered Critical Hits and Critical Misses / Fumbles was in the Baldur's Gate and succeeding Infinity Engine (A)D&D Computer Game Series (I never played the (A)D&D Computer RPGs that preceded these).

Snooder
2007-03-30, 12:50 AM
In a star wars game i was playing the party consisted of a robot Soldier, some wierd 2foot tall alien with classes in just about EVERYTHING, (Literally he was like a Scout1/Noble1/Scoundrel2/Soldier1 or something like that) a Duros Pilot and me, a Soldier/Force Adept.
We'd gotten ambushed on our ship and basically seperated, the pilot and i were outside with 3 of the thugs and the robot on the inside with 6 of em. The robot grabs one of the thugs and retreats to the bridge firing back at the other five. Somehow he manages to survive most of the combat and takes out most of em till we come to his aid.
I come in, take careful aim at the lone thug left and miss. Unfornately, the robot is in my direct line of sight, so the DM has me roll to hit against the robot. (Keep in mind that at this point the robot is using another dead thug as cover and has avoided getting hit in several rounds of combat)
What happens next, of course I roll a twenty. Then i confirm it. Almost killed the robot outright, i think he was down to -8 wound points.

Quietus
2007-03-30, 05:45 AM
In the footnotes under the "Armor Class Modifiers" table on page 151 of the PHB its says that you "roll randomly to see which grappling combatant you strike" when firing into a grapple. If there are only 2 combatants you thus have a 50% chance of hitting either one.

Huh. With ranged attacks, it seems you would be correct - and it would appear as though I've been making it harder for people to attack a grapple in melee than it needs to be. Thanks for pointing that out, I'll let my groups know!

Ninja Chocobo
2007-03-30, 06:12 AM
I was the DM, and I'd sent the PCs against a group of NPCs.
1. Party fighter charges the NPC Cleric.
2. Cleric casts Enlarge Person on the NPC Barbarian standing next to him.
3. Barbarian rages, and attacks.
4. Barbarian crits.
Fighter (level 7) takes Massive Damage, but still lives. (Just)
However, the rest of the PCs manage slaughter the hell out of the NPCs during the next round.

Mr. Moogle
2007-03-30, 08:14 AM
i was onece a monk in a level 3-4 party of me, a lawful good bard, and a chaotic evil sorcerer. we were in a town that had recently been singlehandedly mauled by a recouring villan. He (the villlan) walks back into town, sees us, warps twords me (for some reson its always me) and hacks me in half with a nat 20

(diolouge)
Me: so how mch damage did that do ?

DM:*rolls* Ummmm.... do you have tripple didget health?

Me: no why?

DM: then tank you for playing

It rurns out he got a crit and maximum damage resulting in something like 96 damage for me.

P.S. this always happens, ive had 4 diffrent characters in the past week alone

Vodun
2007-03-30, 09:46 AM
A freind of mine managed to infuriate everyone in his gaming group by pulling a prank where he covered everything in the DM's apartment (EVERYTHING, EVEN THE LINT BALLS AND SILVERWARE AND EVEN HIS TOILETRIES) in aluminum foil, I think he got the idea from Something Awful. So he was allowed to play in the next game, but was forced to play as a level 1 commoner in a high-powered game that was already level 6 with the rest of the players. He got to roll his own scores which were straight 11's, one 13 (dex) and one 15(str) . He picked his weapon proficiency with the Morningstar, and his two feats were light armor proficiency and shield proficiency. He stayed in the back most of the time, where his group did the real work, and basicly he was the pack mule for the party. However, when there was almost a TPK, when the group stumbled upon a corrupt town guard garrison and an equally leveled druid, the only remaining player at the end was the Commoner. and when the Druid attempted to slay the commoner in one blow, even if he had two HP left, the commoner actually managed to avoid the druids enchanted flaming quarterstaff, and slew him with a nat. 20.

go figure-

Kultrum
2007-03-30, 09:55 AM
Whenever you're charmed or confused, and attacking an ally is a bad time for a natural 20; an even worse time to confirm :smallbiggrin:
lol I was playing a rogue and after the wizard cast Greater invisibility on me my mind gets taken, 2 dead party members later they figure out what was happening

Kultrum
2007-03-30, 09:56 AM
i was onece a monk in a level 3-4 party of me, a lawful good bard, and a chaotic evil sorcerer. we were in a town that had recently been singlehandedly mauled by a recouring villan. He (the villlan) walks back into town, sees us, warps twords me (for some reson its always me) and hacks me in half with a nat 20
... bards cant be lawful

brian c
2007-03-30, 11:15 AM
i was onece a monk in a level 3-4 party of me, a lawful good bard, and a chaotic evil sorcerer. we were in a town that had recently been singlehandedly mauled by a recouring villan. He (the villlan) walks back into town, sees us, warps twords me (for some reson its always me) and hacks me in half with a nat 20

(diolouge)
Me: so how mch damage did that do ?

DM:*rolls* Ummmm.... do you have tripple didget health?

Me: no why?

DM: then tank you for playing

It rurns out he got a crit and maximum damage resulting in something like 96 damage for me.

P.S. this always happens, ive had 4 diffrent characters in the past week alone

Man... when you said chaotic evil sorceror, I pretty much assumed that your death would have had something to do with that. Chaotic evil characters, in a party with lawful and/or good characters is a bad mix, especially a sorceror. Just out of curiosity though, 1) did you houserule that bards are allowed to be lawful, or did you just not realize that? and 2)what was your alignment? monks are supposed to be lawful but if you had a lawful bard maybe you changed that too, so i won't make any assumptions.

someone is probably going to quote your post and fix all of your spelling mistakes; i don't like doing that to people but i assume you're not a native english speaker so i think it's great that through the internet you can talk to people and practice your english and make it better. (if you are a native english speaker, then ... i'm rather disappointed in your education)

Jade_Tarem
2007-03-31, 12:46 AM
I have one! The group I was DMing for found themselves on a rope bridge fighting a gargantuan giant spider. A few rounds into the fight, the spider leaps from the bridge (it could support his weight) to the wall (they were fighting underground - the bridge was from one ledge to another across a small alcove, so it looked like this [ D ] with the straight part of the D being the bridge and the wall as the curved part) to the middle of the curve. The barbarian decided to jump off the bridge and axe the thing, with his intent being to try and stick the axe in it and hang on to keep from falling. He not only rolls a natural 20 on his jump check (for a running start DC of 15 - he makes it even though 20 is not auto-success) and then rolls two natural 20's in a row afterwards for a confirmed critical hit. He's using a greataxe and the total damage ends up being 66 - far more than the spider's remaining 19 hit points. He cleaves clean through the spider from front to back (the spider is facing up) and falls into the abyss. He actually survived, however, so the story has a happy ending.

Galathir
2007-03-31, 01:31 AM
Our party was clearing a tower of some sorcerer being, and I had been rolling pretty horrible all night. I was playing a fighter/archer and even with four or five arrows a round, I was doing almost nothing. Then I got hit with confusion and had to attack the nearest creature. The nearest creature happened to by my character's best friend, an elf ranger. Guess what I rolled? That's right! A natural twenty that confirmed for over 40 damage, and almost killed the elf. Boy did I have some explaining to do later.

Jannex
2007-03-31, 07:19 AM
This wasn't so much a "bad" time to roll a natural 20, as it was a "really really freakin' creepy" time to roll a natural 20.

The party is making its way through a cave system with which several of us area already familiar (though we've got a new PC with us tonight). We expect to find something demonic in these caves this time around. Way far up ahead, we hear some distant chanting. That new PC, a human scout, wants to know why he isn't taking point. The characters at the head of the party are myself, a minotaur ranger (see sig), and the half-elf fighter/rogue. My character asks him, quite reasonably, "Well, can you see in the dark?"

The DM tells me (just me) to roll Listen. Nat 20. My bonus is already obscene (+22; we're 9th level) because I'm a minotaur with 18 Wisdom and max ranks. So I'm lookin' at a check result of 42. (I was rolling idiotically high awareness checks tonight, mostly for utterly trivial things.)

When I ask what I hear, the DM looks at me, drops his voice to a very faint, evil whisper, and says, "I can..."

*shudder* Not what I wanted to hear...

Leon
2007-04-01, 12:12 AM
Bards cant start as lawful but if they later become lawful all that happens is that they stop progressing as a bard but do not lose their abilities

Tach13
2007-04-01, 12:55 PM
I've never rolled so well it hurt, but I do tend to waste the Natural 20's on rolls where it isn't needed. Mostly Initiative, where I tend to roll high and then hold action so I (Melee Rogue) can work off the fighter and get a flank going. Also tend to roll them on listen checks at doors when nothing is on the other side.

Hamster_Ninja
2007-04-01, 03:59 PM
My DM has a rule that whenever you roll before you should (during someone elses scene, or a In-Game Conversation) you are actually making a DC 0 Breath check. Sadly this has inspired me (the cleric) and the sorceror to many a breathing contest at local bars to attract women, which seems to be the only times I ever get a natural twenty...

Lkki Gallansbayne
2007-04-01, 07:47 PM
^ Hahaha, breath checks. I like it. :smalltongue:
I've never rolled so well it hurt, but I do tend to waste the Natural 20's on rolls where it isn't needed. Heh, I know how this feels. Recently my party was in a tomb full of undead, constructs and other crit-immune beasties. We rolled far more natural 20s for attack rolls than usual that session.

Matthew
2007-04-03, 03:14 PM
Do you mean breathe checks? A breath check implies something a bit different, I think.

JadedDM
2007-04-03, 07:37 PM
Well, he did say he was trying to impress women. I figure passing the check means you have minty breath.

Matthew
2007-04-06, 09:16 PM
You know, I read that a few times, I considered that possibility and rejected it, but you're right, that is what he means. Still doesn't make any sense to me, though and minty fresh breath won't help you out in a bar (given that you actually drink anything...)