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hippie_dwarf
2007-07-12, 12:32 PM
Have you ever rolled a natural 20 on a skill check or some other check that resulted in you or somebody in your party achieveing the impossible?(i know natural 20's on skill checks don't guarantee automatic success, but lets face it we all do it :smallbiggrin: )

My top 3 all came from our resident power gamer who has somehow mangages to escape death by shear luck more times than i can count and continually get's N20's on the most random checks that he normally rolls without any chance of success(as you will see).

1.Rolled a nutural 20 to persuade a tavern owner to sell that tavern for 300 gold (it should be noted that his character had 6 charisma)

2.Rolled a natural 20 when asking a Half-orc cleric to marry him, with the same character as above

3.Rolled a natural 20 when trying to jump across a 200 ft. wide chasm (we were as supprised as you are)

Arbitrarity
2007-07-12, 12:35 PM
Summoned a fire beetle: It rolled 3 natural 20's on it's first attack.

EDIT: Note that natural 20's only auto suceed on saves and attack rolls, NOT skill checks. Wait, duh, you wrote that. Personally, the issue comes with taking 20.

TheLogman
2007-07-12, 12:38 PM
What kind of d20 is he using? The older kinds have all the high numbers on one side, and the low numbers on the other, resulting in (if you have practice) insane amounts of (ahem) natural 20's.

However, even without cheating, it's happened to a group I was Dm'ing. It wasn't a campaign, as so much an excuse to waste like an hour, so I set up a dungeon, and populated with stuff that they shouldn't have been able to kill, especially as a 2-man party. Nearly all my rolls were 1's or 2's, and they were getting 19-20's, with no cheating. That was a fun session.

mostlyharmful
2007-07-12, 12:38 PM
natural twenties shouldn't be treated as an automatic success as far as i can see, just the most beneficial, successfull, impresive and athletic outcome that is [I]plausible[I]. if your level two character rolls a natural twenty when talking to the great wyrm it doesn't mean the daragon's going to let them go and give them all the treasure, it might make it interested in the character beyound the status of handy snack, possibly ending in a job offer, possibly still ending in PC flambae.

Dizlag
2007-07-12, 12:42 PM
The best I've ever seen is a nat 20 critical backed up with another nat 20.

In my game, I've house ruled that during skill checks that a natural 20 = 30 and a natural 1 = -10. My players like it because it's not necessarily an auto miss or auto make and besides, something good always has to happen when you roll a natural 20. We all live for it, right?!!? :smallbiggrin:

Dizlag

Telonius
2007-07-12, 12:50 PM
Our group has it houseruled that a natural 20, followed by another natural 20 on confirmation, gets an additional roll. A third natural 20 in a row is an auto-kill. I've only seen it happen once, but it happened on a Scorching Ray. The description was that the enemy went up "like the Death Star."

Dausuul
2007-07-12, 01:07 PM
Have you ever rolled a natural 20 on a skill check or some other check that resulted in you or somebody in your party achieveing the impossible?(i know natural 20's on skill checks don't guarantee automatic success, but lets face it we all do it :smallbiggrin: )

My group most certainly doesn't do it, for this exact reason. Natural 20 = auto-success on a skill check is just ripe for abuse. What do you do when a player declares he's going to try to jump 1000 miles and then keeps at it until he gets a 20?

OOTS_Rules.
2007-07-12, 01:08 PM
On hid first non-20 try, he breaks his leg and gets a -10 to his rol. No more 20s for him.

PlatinumJester
2007-07-12, 01:11 PM
Have you ever rolled a natural 20 on a skill check or some other check that resulted in you or somebody in your party achieveing the impossible?(i know natural 20's on skill checks don't guarantee automatic success, but lets face it we all do it :smallbiggrin: )

My top 3 all came from our resident power gamer who has somehow mangages to escape death by shear luck more times than i can count and continually get's N20's on the most random checks that he normally rolls without any chance of success(as you will see).

1.Rolled a nutural 20 to persuade a tavern owner to sell that tavern for 300 gold (it should be noted that his character had 6 charisma)

2.Rolled a natural 20 when asking a Half-orc cleric to marry him, with the same character as above

3.Rolled a natural 20 when trying to jump across a 200 ft. wide chasm (we were as supprised as you are)

Yup, I'm the King of Lucky Rolls alright. Man, if we had been playing the game properly I would've got loads of roll playing XP.

ndragonsbane
2007-07-12, 01:14 PM
I used to use the 1 failure and 20 success on skill checks but later switched to a reroll method (roll 20's again and keep adding, rolling a 1 simply gave you a -10). That got complicated so now 1's and 20's don't signify anything. This allows characters to auto-succeed on easy skill checks (DC 5 ride to guide with knees) and at higher levels lets them focus on tactics without worrying about failure (a +17 tumble means you auto-tumble past up to 2 enemies not including difficult terrain etc...). This has worked remarkably well and I think is what is intended (though every other DM I know tries some weird stuff with 1's and 20's no matter what and it can get quite confusing).

SpikeFightwicky
2007-07-12, 01:14 PM
3.Rolled a natural 20 when trying to jump across a 200 ft. wide chasm (we were as supprised as you are)

I'm surprised he even tried it!?!
DM: There's about a 5% chance you'll roll a 20 and make it....
PC: Never tell me the odds.

Back in 2nd ed., we played with a houserule (didn't last very long) where 2 nat. 20s in a row was an instant kill, but 2 nat. 1s in a row was instant death.... Don't ask me how it made sense or fairness. Anyways, the fighter charges after a regular skeleton (he was level 9) and rolls to attack.... 2 nat. 1s. The party was on a parapet of an old castle, so I said that as he was running, he tripped on a loose stone and feel over the side, plumetting to his death. We stopped using the houserule afterwards (and boy was I happy!).

Dausuul
2007-07-12, 01:20 PM
I used to use the 1 failure and 20 success on skill checks but later switched to a reroll method (roll 20's again and keep adding, rolling a 1 simply gave you a -10). That got complicated so now 1's and 20's don't signify anything. This allows characters to auto-succeed on easy skill checks (DC 5 ride to guide with knees) and at higher levels lets them focus on tactics without worrying about failure (a +17 tumble means you auto-tumble past up to 2 enemies not including difficult terrain etc...). This has worked remarkably well and I think is what is intended (though every other DM I know tries some weird stuff with 1's and 20's no matter what and it can get quite confusing).

It is indeed what was intended, and works much better than all the funky variants IMO.

Piccamo
2007-07-12, 01:22 PM
(i know natural 20's on skill checks don't guarantee automatic success, but lets face it we all do it :smallbiggrin: )


My group doesn't do this and in the current game I'm DMing not even saves or attacks are auto-success on 20s. They are counted as 30.

Yechezkiel
2007-07-12, 01:25 PM
A DM letting the game escape his understanding of the rules. This isn't suspension of disbelief, it's just unbelievable.

Some people love games like that. Some people love Steven Seagal movies.

hippie_dwarf
2007-07-12, 01:26 PM
Yup, I'm the King of Lucky Rolls alright. Man, if we had been playing the game properly I would've got loads of roll playing XP.

Hahahahaha i just got it :smalltongue:

ray53208
2007-07-12, 01:28 PM
at the risk of jinxing my mojo, im renowned in every group i have been in for rolling nat 20s in hard situations. each time was preceded by me saying something to the effect that "its gonna take a miracle roll to get out of this jam". its gotten to the point where when i GM im forbidden to utter phrases of that nature when the player characters are facing tough opposition.

i dont count nat 20s a 30s. that seems like setting the clock ahead so you wont be late. silly.

when it comes to skill checks a nat 20 wont allow miracles. it might grant some minor perk to the situation, but its not gonna warp the rules of reality or cause the npcs to suddenly act like boneheads.

Jensik
2007-07-12, 01:33 PM
In a recent scenario, in a game that doesn't use D20's mind you, we rolled a large series of auto-success/critical-success checks that ended up consuming the main bad guy in a flaming tornado of Zebra feces. Oh yeah, we had FUN.

Yechezkiel
2007-07-12, 01:48 PM
In a recent scenario, in a game that doesn't use D20's mind you, we rolled a large series of auto-success/critical-success checks that ended up consuming the main bad guy in a flaming tornado of Zebra feces. Oh yeah, we had FUN.

What game and, please, explain how that is fun?

Piccamo
2007-07-12, 01:53 PM
i dont count nat 20s a 30s. that seems like setting the clock ahead so you wont be late. silly.


It also makes it so that a single level 1 character cannot miraculously take down someone obscenely more powerful. That would be like Sam (of LoTR fame) defeating Ogmios (of Celtic Mythology) by a fluke.

Person_Man
2007-07-12, 02:20 PM
Quote the SRD:



SKILL CHECKS

A skill check takes into account a characterís training (skill rank), natural talent (ability modifier), and luck (the die roll). It may also take into account his or her raceís knack for doing certain things (racial bonus) or what armor he or she is wearing (armor check penalty), or a certain feat the character possesses, among other things.

To make a skill check, roll 1d20 and add your characterís skill modifier for that skill. The skill modifier incorporates the characterís ranks in that skill and the ability modifier for that skillís key ability, plus any other miscellaneous modifiers that may apply, including racial bonuses and armor check penalties. The higher the result, the better. Unlike with attack rolls and saving throws, a natural roll of 20 on the d20 is not an automatic success, and a natural roll of 1 is not an automatic failure.

It's really dumb to houserule something different, precisely because it leads to weird unbelievable results.

I'd also mention that just because you can do something, it doesn't mean that a reasonable PC would do something. Many of the things people are describing sound like Evil-ish acts. And even if you're Evil and you succeed, it doesn't prevent the targets friends from getting pissed at you for swindling their pal, and trying to arrest or kill you for it.

A Gray Phantom
2007-07-12, 02:29 PM
This reminds me of something of the exact opposite nature...

I was running a game that was having a sort of "sidequest." The players said they wanted to go to a bar, and I threw in a sidequest of opportunity to keep it from being boring.

I decided to see what my players would do when an assassin leapt from the shadows to try to stab them. Two nat 1's later...

"Um, some raver who was dancing in the corner shouts, "Death to the infidels!" Then trips on his own cloak as he attempts to stab you, and accidently commits seppuku. :smalleek:

As the players investigated the sidequest, I kept sending more assassins against them. Each time the assassins would attack, they'd get only nat 1's. No matter which way I'd roll, or whose dice I used, they'd always come up 1. I justified this by saying they assassins who were still freshmen in college. The party spent most of their time healing the assassins that were trying to kill them. :smallsigh:

That must be a first in D&D history.

Krrth
2007-07-12, 02:41 PM
Sounds like something out of Diskworld (more specifically, with Vimes).

valadil
2007-07-12, 02:42 PM
I don't play in groups where a nat 20 is anything more than a 20, but I have seen some crazy stuff in games with exploding dice. In Whitewolf systems, if you roll a 10 on a d10 you count the 10 as a success and reroll the die. We'd see a single die get 5 or 6 rolls in a row a couple times a night. In Deadlands you also reroll and add if you roll max, but you're adding the whole die value, not just whether or not its a success. The gym had 3 1d6 rolls in a row that got above 20. I'm pretty sure we saw d8s go above 50 too.

PlatinumJester
2007-07-12, 03:13 PM
I'm surprised he even tried it!?!
DM: There's about a 5% chance you'll roll a 20 and make it....
PC: Never tell me the odds.


Whats wrong with trying to jump a 200ft ravine?

Anyway the conversation really went like this:

DM: across the ravine you see a person with 3 copies of himself around him. Leading across the ravine is an ol swing rope.

Me: Jump check.

Dm: Thats stupid. You'll never make it and then you'll die.

Me: **** off (rolls dice) mwahaha natural 20. I make it.

Dm: WTF?

Yechezkiel
2007-07-12, 03:25 PM
Whats wrong with trying to jump a 200ft ravine?

Anyway the conversation really went like this:

DM: across the ravine you see a person with 3 copies of himself around him. Leading across the ravine is an ol swing rope.

Me: Jump check.

Dm: Thats stupid. You'll never make it and then you'll die.

Me: **** off (rolls dice) mwahaha natural 20. I make it.

Dm: WTF?

So in your games you are your own DM.

Telonius
2007-07-12, 03:37 PM
It also makes it so that a single level 1 character cannot miraculously take down someone obscenely more powerful. That would be like Sam (of LoTR fame) defeating Ogmios (of Celtic Mythology) by a fluke.

Or, say, defeating the offspring of (probably) the most powerful single being in all of Tolkien's mythology. When your mom can beat Morgoth, getting killed by a hobbit has got to be a natural 20 on the hobbit's part.

Roderick_BR
2007-07-12, 03:45 PM
I like the 20=30/1=-10 rule. A lot easier to figure if you screwed or got a lucky roll.
My group usually uses the instant success/instant fail thing, bur the DM always keep it real. Like, there's no natural 20's in the world to allow that guy to jump 200 ft (unless he has some special power for it).
We mostly do it like this:
Battle: 20 is always a automatic hit. If you hit and roll your weapon's critical range, you roll again for critical damage. As normal.
Battle: 1 is always a automatic failure. Roll again to avoid dropping your weapon, or damage your bow/x-bow, or trip, if unarmed. Basically, you'll have to waste a default action on your next turn to get back in shape. House rule.
Skill/Ability Check: 20 is always a good result. If you have enough to pass the DC, you make an awesome job, with extra bonus decided by the DM. If don't, you just get a regular success.
Skill/Ability Check: 1 is always a failure. If you have enough modifier to have passed on a regular roll, you just fail. If you have a low enough modifier to pass only with a 20, and you rolled 1... that's one of the joys of being a DM... >:)

Thinking now, we have more fun with failures than successes...:smallbiggrin:

OverdrivePrime
2007-07-12, 03:57 PM
This kind of madness happens when I DM a lot of the time. I (as the DM) roll for absolute crap, and my players roll like rock stars whenever it counts. Even if I'm not trying it makes for a highly heroic (and somewhat comical) game environment.

actual example below
ODP: "The bushes to the side of the trail explode in a flurry of motion! A huge ogre berserker charges Kaede (the monk) and bellows as he rears back with his jagged waraxe!"
*rolls* 1
*rolls again* 1
*blinks*
"His bellow suddenly jumps up a couple octives and the ogre tumbles into a headlong sprawl as he trips over his own genitals."

The Party: "Woot!" *commence stabbityness*

Fizziii
2007-07-12, 04:14 PM
I was playing in a Star Wars game as a Gungan Scoundrel. I typically got natural 20's when it counted. I was lugging around a sniper rifle (DM mixed in from Star Gate I think). I was wandering off by myself once and ran across the main bad guy (who was supposed to escape). We start talking and he makes a comment "Take your best shot". I rolled a natural 20. Bypass the vitality points, and straight to wounds.

Then there was the time I was up on a roof top going after 1 of the really bad guys (using a different sniper rifle from a distance this time). First shot missed, the guy let go of who he was holding, and the next round when I went to hit him again, I got another natural 20.

Sadly enough the character died while attacking a lead capitol ship with a fighter. I was pretending to be a media ship covering the space battle for a news station and started drifting around the battle. Then they decided they didn't like me there, so I charged in with a called shot to the bridge of the ship. (DM's rule that you can make called shots on ships without shields). Well, I got vaporized by the many many laser cannons that were shooting at me, but rolled a nat 20 on my attack roll.. so I blew up the bridge and cut off the head of the army.

I still miss that character though.

Ceres
2007-07-12, 04:25 PM
I rule it differently. If you roll a natural twenty you roll again. If the second roll is a success you get a spectacular result. For impossible feats this would require two 20s in a row, which happens 1 in 400 times. I feel that this happens so seldom that I can reward it with breaking the laws of physics and other such limitation.

The wildest critical-result I have witnessed as a DM was when my players tried to identify an item. Now I use a homebrewed, extremely complicated and wacky magic-system. To identify an item, the players tried to transform the essence (or "name") of a pool of water into the essence of the magical enchantment of the item, to determine what it was. Now, because of the intricacies of my magic-system I saw that this was impossible. However, they used a sort of combined spellcasting, where two of the three spellcasters rolled natural 20s, and the third one rolled three 20s in a row(!) (So that’s five twenties in five throws. What are the odds?)

Long story short they managed to summon the long dead god of shapeshifters and the moon in the form of the ocean. Yeah, I have an insane magic-system :smalltongue:

Wolfbite
2007-07-12, 05:47 PM
The best I've ever seen is a nat 20 critical backed up with another nat 20.

In my game, I've house ruled that during skill checks that a natural 20 = 30 and a natural 1 = -10. My players like it because it's not necessarily an auto miss or auto make and besides, something good always has to happen when you roll a natural 20. We all live for it, right?!!? :smallbiggrin:

Dizlag

This is the alternate method I use in my games as well, and everyone is pleased with it.


Our group has it houseruled that a natural 20, followed by another natural 20 on confirmation, gets an additional roll. A third natural 20 in a row is an auto-kill. I've only seen it happen once, but it happened on a Scorching Ray. The description was that the enemy went up "like the Death Star."

My friend GM's with the alternative that successive crits keep multiplying and stop after the third confirmation. Which works great...super rare. Except I'm our group's Crit confirmer...and I roll a lot of crits in a session with 19-20 weapons (usually). :smallsmile: No my dice aren't weighted and half the highs are not on one side, while have the lows are on the other side.
It's tough! I get flak from the GM and my fellow players... although they love it if my damage saves the day. But I can't help it!
On the other side of the spectrum, one of our players cannot roll above 10. Almost ever. He REGULARLY gets 1-9. We just think he pissed of the gods of dice rolling in his past.

Xuincherguixe
2007-07-12, 05:54 PM
Gungan Scoundrel?

"Meesa gunna shoot first!" *bang*

"...He... shot himself?"

"Well come on. Would you want to live if you were THAT?"

"Good point. Dibs on his stuff."

"Aww. I never get to loot the bodies of the suiciders."

LotharBot
2007-07-12, 06:12 PM
I dislike the 1=-10 / 20=30 (or 1=fail 20=success) rule on skill checks. The normal difference between a good and a bad roll is 19, and that may be too much; why expand it all the way up to 40?

If I have a +10 modifier, that means I can get a result from 0 to 40 (or more with rerolls)... in other words, anything from "I can't even track a group of hill giants across a muddy field" to "I can track a goblin that passed over hard rocks a week ago, and it snowed in between", with both of those results happening on a regular (1/20) basis. It's completely silly.

Skjaldbakka
2007-07-12, 06:12 PM
"its gonna take a miracle roll to get out of this jam". its gotten to the point where when i GM im forbidden to utter phrases of that nature when the player characters are facing tough opposition.

Reminds me of a player that throws things at me whenever I tell her 'just don't roll a one'. She has lost two characters, and killed a PC, all by rolling ones.
Hey, dwarven defender, massive damage save, don't roll a one. SPLAT.
Shooting into a grapple with a disintegrate (I didn't know the rule for that, and didn't want to slow down the game to look it up, so I rolled a 1 on a 1d8 would result in team member getting hit. The team member than rolled a 1 on the save (which was the only result he could fail on. Freakin' druids).

Yechezkiel
2007-07-12, 06:14 PM
Reminds me of a player that throws things at me whenever I tell her 'just don't roll a one'. She has lost two characters, and killed a PC, all by rolling ones.
Hey, dwarven defender, massive damage save, don't roll a one. SPLAT.
Shooting into a grapple with a disintegrate (I didn't know the rule for that, and didn't want to slow down the game to look it up, so I rolled a 1 on a 1d8 would result in team member getting hit. The team member than rolled a 1 on the save (which was the only result he could fail on. Freakin' druids).

Tell that player about Steadfast Determination. Sounds like most of her characters fell to Fort saves.

Skjaldbakka
2007-07-12, 06:21 PM
Man this was 2-3 years ago in 3.0. And only one died to a fort save. The other 'nat 1' was the 1d8 to see of she hit her party-mate with a disintegrate.

Wolfbite
2007-07-12, 09:11 PM
I dislike the 1=-10 / 20=30 (or 1=fail 20=success) rule on skill checks. The normal difference between a good and a bad roll is 19, and that may be too much; why expand it all the way up to 40?

If I have a +10 modifier, that means I can get a result from 0 to 40 (or more with rerolls)... in other words, anything from "I can't even track a group of hill giants across a muddy field" to "I can track a goblin that passed over hard rocks a week ago, and it snowed in between", with both of those results happening on a regular (1/20) basis. It's completely silly.

Yes I agree. I only use it for combat purposes.

Caxton
2007-07-12, 09:30 PM
one time i had a summoned bullywug attack a golem that required a +1 weapon to hit. I rolled 3 20s. Normally thats an instant kill, but the DM just gave me a normal hit cuz he shouldnt be hitting anyway.

Burrito
2007-07-12, 10:29 PM
We use the sort of old school method. roll a natural 20 and it was an automatic "hit" at max damage, but not an automatic kill. Then you got another chance a a re-roll. Another 20, and you could possibly do this forever.

One of my best was a Ranger character that made a called shot at someones head with his longbow at about 150 yards. Rolled a 20. This kind of flusted the DM since his scenario said we only had one round to kill this person before they escaped.

Another good one was a Paladin character (Ghost hunter kit). Level 12 or so. We encountered a Balrog and he tried to Turn it. He rolled a 20. The DM wasn't stupid enough to have the baddy Turned though. Instead he had my Paladin just stand there shouting at the Balrog, convinced the Turning was working, while the rest of the party dragged him off. At least we didn't die.

What I hated was when a 20 was "wasted" killing something stupid like a goblin, or kobold, or "save vs. falling in the mud".

Jannex
2007-07-13, 12:07 AM
I remember one amusing nat-20 skill check occasion... I was playing a gloaming (they're a cute little race from the Underdark book--Small size, furry wings, native outsiders with ties to the Plane of Shadow, can glow faintly at will), and I was flying and doing some reconaissance. We were a fairly decent level, and I was a Rogue. Here's how the conversation went.

Me: I want to hide. (Figuring I could blend in with the cloud cover, or the shadows thereon, etc.)
DM: You can't hide in the sky!
Me: (Having already rolled) Natural 20, for a total of 51.
DM: ...

And that's without houserules giving +10 on a nat-20 skill check. It was kind of funny.


What I hated was when a 20 was "wasted" killing something stupid like a goblin, or kobold, or "save vs. falling in the mud".

Definitely. With my last PC, I'd constantly roll natural 20s on meaningless Spot and Listen checks (given that I already had obscene bonuses to both those skills), like noticing another PC using sleight of hand to pretend to drink the hardcore dwarven ale. In combat, I hardly ever even managed a critical with a 15-20 threat range (my DM let Keen and Improved Crit stack :smallbiggrin:).

Then, of course, there was the final boss fight, when I got to use the shiny Major Artifact--a bastard sword that was, among other fun properties, Vorpal. I was TWFing, and I must've rolled two or three nat-20s in that fight... with the OTHER sword. It was so sad.

Breaon
2007-07-13, 12:23 AM
The D&D game I play in a 20 is a 20. It's effect depends on the situation: an attack, roll to confirm crit. Skill check - odds are you succeeded if you're checking an actual skill you have (given our level.) Saving throw? Pretty good chance (again, given our level.)

The main problem I see with assigning "extras" to 1s and 20s is the enemy gets them too, and you really don't wanna screw your party either way with that.

Dervag
2007-07-13, 12:33 AM
1.Rolled a nutural 20 to persuade a tavern owner to sell that tavern for 300 gold (it should be noted that his character had 6 charisma)Some very uncharismatic people have successfully swindled other people from time to time.

Maybe the guy just came up with a really good reason for the owner to sell:
"Yeah, you know that time when one of the cooks got mad and peed in the beer? Oh, you don't know about that? Not good. Well, you see, one of the guys who ended up drinking that stuff was the personal secretary of Count Fraznarth the Impious. You might want to skip town. And if you'll give me the deed to the tavern, I'll give you the free cash to buy a very fast horse!"


2.Rolled a natural 20 when asking a Half-orc cleric to marry him, with the same character as aboveSo he got lucky, again.

Or unlucky. This just goes to show that success isn't always desirable, I suppose.


3.Rolled a natural 20 when trying to jump across a 200 ft. wide chasm (we were as supprised as you are)Unless he's the Human Frog, a natural twenty still shouldn't let him jump across a 200 ft. chasm. And if he is the Human Frog, why is it so implausible that his superhuman jumping powers will let him jump across the chasm?


EDIT: Note that natural 20's only auto suceed on saves and attack rolls, NOT skill checks. Wait, duh, you wrote that. Personally, the issue comes with taking 20.In fairness, you shouldn't let anyone take 20 except in situations where they have all the time in the world, and can't screw up in a costly way.

Treated properly, that knocks out most of the potential abuses of the ability right there.


What game and, please, explain how that is fun?Because they weren't the ones being destroyed in a flaming storm of zebra dung?

Possibly because they have no sense of smell?


Sounds like something out of Diskworld (more specifically, with Vimes).Nah; Vimes just sets traps all over the place so that the assassins will end up somewhere fatal even on a natural 20.

Of course, 'fatal' often means 'eventually fatal'; one assassin tried to climb on a roof to get to him, hit the sliding roof tiles, and fell in the cesspit.

That's fatal... eventually.

Nightblade
2007-07-13, 03:58 AM
Our group has it houseruled that a natural 20, followed by another natural 20 on confirmation, gets an additional roll. A third natural 20 in a row is an auto-kill. I've only seen it happen once, but it happened on a Scorching Ray. The description was that the enemy went up "like the Death Star."

We use the same, but an additional rule because we have a beneficial auto-kill, we have another type.

Nat 1, nat 1, nat 1 all in a row means you assign a number to each of your allies (NPCs and PCs alike) and roll a die accordingly. The target that gets hit instantly dies. In a series of about a dozen sessions, another player killed herself with a Decapitating Scarf (even failed her Fort save) and my own ranger/deepwood sniper shot an arrow straight up that killed him immediately on his next turn.

calebcom
2007-07-13, 04:48 AM
as a ninja in an OA campaign, I was beholden to hide my nature from the party samurai/iajitsu master.

I killed 12 enemies in 1 round with shuriken.

I rolled nothing but nat 20's for 12 attacks worth of death blows. I wish to god I had gotten it on tape, the entire group was cheering as I rolled the d20's out infront of them.

36 nat 20's in a row. I don't know how it happened, I've never seen the like before or again...


I wish I had been in vegas that day... :(

Arbitrarity
2007-07-13, 07:51 AM
Odds are roughly 1 in 64,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 ,000,000,000

As 20^2 = (2*10)^2 = 2^2x10^2

So 20^36 = 2^36*10^36.

36 0's for the 10^36, another 9 for 2^30 (roughly), and the 2^6 is 64. Multiply it all together, and you get that.

So, how many times have non-weighted 20-sided dice been rolled, in the history of the world? Not 2,314,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000, 000,000,000,000 times I bet.

To calculate the odds, 1/2314(45 0's here), call that x. Take 1, subtract x, put that to the power of the number of 20 sided dice ever rolled, call that y. Take 1, subtract y. Call that z. Percentage chance is (z/y)*100

LotharBot
2007-07-13, 12:11 PM
36 nat 20's in a row.

Every time I see a story like this, the mathematician in me says: either the dice are weighted, or somebody is exaggerating. The roll is so ridiculously improbable that not only should you never see it... NOBODY should ever see a roll like that in the whole history of the world.

Exarch
2007-07-13, 02:24 PM
as a ninja in an OA campaign, I was beholden to hide my nature from the party samurai/iajitsu master.

I killed 12 enemies in 1 round with shuriken.

I rolled nothing but nat 20's for 12 attacks worth of death blows. I wish to god I had gotten it on tape, the entire group was cheering as I rolled the d20's out infront of them.

36 nat 20's in a row. I don't know how it happened, I've never seen the like before or again...


I wish I had been in vegas that day... :(

I can see the resulting after math of that already...

Samurai: "...Why are all of these people dead? And why are the only wounds that they possess are little cuts in their throats? ...Is that a shuriken?"

Ninja: "*sleight of hand shuriken away* I don't know...and I think you just saw that guy's necklace. Yes, necklace..."
Samurai: "*failed Spot test, because, you know, it's not a class skill* Oh, okay. ...But still..."

That's just insane though. My only stories are those when I'm the DM and constantly critical the meatshields. Meatshields don't appreciate two or three crits in a row, in one turn.

Argent
2007-07-13, 03:14 PM
Our house rule goes something like this: you get a little extra good result on a skill check natural 20, but nothing that would break the game or give too much advantage. (DM's discretion.) A little more information than normal on a Knowledge check, hiding well-nigh undetectably on a Hide check, that kind of thing. But to let a natural-20 check violate every law of physics (jumping across a 200-foot chasm is way, way out of line IMO)... no way, man. It's our way of giving a little extra for that 20 without making it too ridiculous.

Hranat
2007-07-13, 04:05 PM
Sure, you jump 200 feet... and break your legs when you come down... congratulations...

GusGusStrumSong
2007-07-13, 04:13 PM
I dislike the 1=-10 / 20=30 (or 1=fail 20=success) rule on skill checks. The normal difference between a good and a bad roll is 19, and that may be too much; why expand it all the way up to 40?

if you changed the d20 to a d40 that would make you have to change stuff like AC and such. it would be too high is some cases and would hit most of the time im sure. it would change the entire dimention of the game and the rules would need to be majorly re-written.

Thought the whole thing with the out of hand natural 20's really is up to the DM I suppose. you should take that up with your DM before the campaign.

Arbitrarity
2007-07-13, 04:21 PM
Nononono, he means that the range with 1 = -10, and 20 = 30 is 40, which is too much, particularly for skill checks, instead of 20 = 20, 1 = 1. Not a d40.

Iden
2007-07-13, 05:21 PM
My DM once gave my crazy friend two vorpal shurikens just because he thought it'd be neat and weird. Later on when we found a gigantic Frog the size of several football fields he decided to throw one. Needless to say he hit the nat 20 with the confirmation... removing gigantic frog's head.

Ceres
2007-07-13, 06:57 PM
My DM once gave my crazy friend two vorpal shurikens just because he thought it'd be neat and weird. Later on when we found a gigantic Frog the size of several football fields he decided to throw one. Needless to say he hit the nat 20 with the confirmation... removing gigantic frog's head.

How does that look exactly? A tiny shuriken severing a giant toads head? I've always found the whole vorpal-thing kind of silly. The coolest way to abuse it would be to play a fine creature with a vorpal scalpel, who attacked great wyrms without them even noticing. After 400 attempts on average, their heads should be rolling off :smalltongue: XP and treasure aplenty! :smallbiggrin:

Hell Puppi
2007-07-13, 07:02 PM
The worst nat 20 was actually 2 ina row I got while DM'ing. I homebrewed my own game and came up with some creatures (black shadow dogs) that were only supposed to show up 2-3 times through the entire story. The reason for this was they had a very deadly poison which I didn't want to overuse (and which they didn't know about). The first level of the poison was to cause skin lesions (like an acid burn), the second was deadly unless the right cure was found.
One of the players can straight into the shadow dog while carrying another party member to safety, and the dog rolled 2 nat 20's to attack.
It was my first time dm'ing....:smalleek:

Hell Puppi
2007-07-13, 07:04 PM
How does that look exactly? A tiny shuriken severing a giant toads head? I've always found the whole vorpal-thing kind of silly. The coolest way to abuse it would be to play a fine creature with a vorpal scalpel, who attacked great wyrms without them even noticing. After 400 attempts on average, their heads should be rolling off :smalltongue: XP and treasure aplenty! :smallbiggrin:


Heh In the game I mentioned, I also gave one each of the players one insanely good weapon right off the bat. None of them looked up what the weapons did.

One guy had a vorpal sword and never used it....


Sorry your stories reminded me of that.:smallsmile:

GusGusStrumSong
2007-07-13, 07:09 PM
How does that look exactly? A tiny shuriken severing a giant toads head? I've always found the whole vorpal-thing kind of silly. The coolest way to abuse it would be to play a fine creature with a vorpal scalpel, who attacked great wyrms without them even noticing. After 400 attempts on average, their heads should be rolling off :smalltongue: XP and treasure aplenty! :smallbiggrin:

I've always wondered what Vorpal is all about. is it considered that the weapon just randomly goes towards the head? or is it that the head just randomly pops off??? i never got that.

then again i never looked in the rule book to check... lol

Dhavaer
2007-07-13, 07:12 PM
How does that look exactly? A tiny shuriken severing a giant toads head? I've always found the whole vorpal-thing kind of silly. The coolest way to abuse it would be to play a fine creature with a vorpal scalpel, who attacked great wyrms without them even noticing. After 400 attempts on average, their heads should be rolling off :smalltongue: XP and treasure aplenty! :smallbiggrin:

The Sharp Sharp Knife from Races of the Wild would probably be like that.

Gamebird
2007-07-13, 09:07 PM
Every time I see a story like this, the mathematician in me says: either the dice are weighted, or somebody is exaggerating.

What I think is: The odds of the poster lying/exaggerating are far, far greater than the odds of that roll actually having happened as stated.

And I always play the odds.

Speaking of which, if the DM adopts a "natural 20s on skill checks do cool, impossible things" rule, then I would start abusing that left and right. Everytime I talked to an NPC I'd roll a Diplomacy check, Bluff check, Gather Information check and Sense Motive check. Maybe Knowledge: Local too, if I had a rank in it. Gloss over the 1s, because the DM's not going to kill your character with it, but if you roll a single nat 20, then you have omniscience about that NPC and can make him do things like sell his livelihood and life's earnings for a pittance. Every foe would be subjected to a barrage of social rolls if at all possible. I'd spend my free time crafting masterwork items, selling them for outrageous prices and talking the owners of magic items into giving them to me for free.

It'd be silly not to, when you have at least a 5% chance of doing the impossible every time you try to do anything.

AslanCross
2007-07-13, 09:44 PM
I'm sure you've also seen the following happen:

Elf Wizard, after missing with a bow shot: "Like a great wizard once said, proficiency with a weapon is not the same as skill with a weapon."
Swashbuckler Girl: "Skill? I'll show you skill." *Rolls natural 20 and confirms critical hit, ripping hobgoblin open.*

Later that day:

Swashbuckler Girl: "I stab him in the groin with my rapier." *rolls natural 20 and confirms critical*
Male party members: *wince*

Of course yeah, it's rapier, but still. o_o

LotharBot
2007-07-14, 02:41 PM
if the DM adopts a "natural 20s on skill checks do cool, impossible things" rule, then I would start abusing that left and right.... roll a Diplomacy check, Bluff check, Gather Information check and Sense Motive check... Knowledge: Local.... It'd be silly not to, when you have at least a 5% chance of doing the impossible every time you try to do anything.

Perfect response. If you have a 5% chance of doing the impossible every check, try to get about 6 checks in per NPC for a roughly 30% chance of doing something utterly, ridiculously impossible. By the time you've talked to 10 NPC's, the DM should be ready to eliminate the rule.

PlatinumJester
2007-07-14, 04:02 PM
Dervag: You have it all wrong. I wasn't the human frog, I was the Dwarven frog.

Speaking of good rolls, I once rolled a 19 and a 20 when determing how much damage my Wizard's Dance of Ruin did. I killed 5 people in the process but was shot with an arrow next round and was reduced to -2HP.

Dairun Cates
2007-07-14, 04:35 PM
Okay. So we're running a module. We're being attacked by the people we think we just made a treaty with. We have to get out of town, but the guard is chasing us down and a sniper is shooting us. The person we made a deal with shows up and points at our bard and says, "There's the man that was in MY room." He hands our signed treaty to the rogue and yells, "that's not what she said last night," and starts booking it.

Well, it just so happens that for this one-shot, I made a cleric and decided to go for Diehard and Endurance for my starting feats. Wearing only a chain shirt, I outrun the guards and can run longer. So, wanting to help my bard party member, I decide to help split up the Knights. I figure a really big bluff and distraction will help. So, I need something implausible to get their attention. The woman yells, "there's more of them. Find them." They stop right in front of me as they finish. I then yell, "OH MY GOD! THERE'S ONE OVER THERE," and point down a nearby alley. Now, I have a 14 charisma, but no ranks in bluff, this generally shouldn't work, but sure enough, I roll a nat 20, and instead of them chasing me like I planned, ALL the guards start BOOKING IT down the alleyway. Just as good I suppose.

Aurion
2007-07-14, 11:25 PM
In a campaign I'm in right now, I'm playing a Dwarven Cleric of Moradin, decked out in armor and a shield with depictions of my god's symbols and might. Through a series of bad events, me, an elven druid, and another dwarf ended up getting teleported outside the gates of the Drow capital city in the underdark. Thankfully, our DM was using the 20 = Auto success rule, because I bluffed the Drow into thinking we were allies sent by a person who they collaborated with... despite the fact that Drow hate Moradin... hate elves... and aren't fans of dwarves. Not to mention we were all lawful good with marks that designated us as such. I even managed to convince them to give us 4 of their best warriors as escorts....

random11
2007-07-14, 11:40 PM
Have you ever rolled a natural 20 on a skill check or some other check that resulted in you or somebody in your party achieveing the impossible?(i know natural 20's on skill checks don't guarantee automatic success, but lets face it we all do it :smallbiggrin: )

My top 3 all came from our resident power gamer who has somehow mangages to escape death by shear luck more times than i can count and continually get's N20's on the most random checks that he normally rolls without any chance of success(as you will see).

1.Rolled a nutural 20 to persuade a tavern owner to sell that tavern for 300 gold (it should be noted that his character had 6 charisma)

2.Rolled a natural 20 when asking a Half-orc cleric to marry him, with the same character as above

3.Rolled a natural 20 when trying to jump across a 200 ft. wide chasm (we were as supprised as you are)

On cases like that, I wouldn't even let the players roll a die.
But if they are already trying that, it would bring the following results:

1)
Any other result - The tavern owner thinks you're insane and ignores you.
On 20 - The tavern owner thinks that you are joking, ignores your comic offer and allowes you to make a real one.

2)
That depends on the relations between the characters, but if that's what I think it is (offer on first sight), a natural 20 will result in not stabbing the offering character, or even giving chance to love on first sight (which will end quickly thanks to 6 charisma).

3)
Any other result - you die.
on 20 - You start running before the jump and stop in the last second realizing that this is insane.

LotharBot
2007-07-17, 07:35 PM
We had a couple of great natural 20's this week.

The setup: starting a brand new wilderness campaign. Characters of note: "Filthy Ike", a tiefling archer, "Lotus", a hippy aasimar druid, and "Nate the Great", an aasimar sorcerer-enchanter.

As the party is being assembled together in a scene reminiscent of the Men In Black "testing" scene (everyone has done something impressive, so they're being called in to a secret organization), Lotus says to Nate "I see you're an aasimar too... I think we're going to have a lot in common." Nate rolls a bluff check to make her think he cares... natural 20. He later rolled a nat-1 on the same type of check, and she responded "your negative energy isn't welcome here."

Now, the party set up camp along the road for the night when a pack of dire wolves came in to attack. Ike, who is designed to be a super-archer, sleeps through the whole first round of combat as the party dispatched 2 of the wolves. Finally in the second round, the noise is bugging him so much that he rolls over, grabs his bow, and takes a shot at one of the approaching wolves. Rolls a natural 20, confirms the crit, and takes it down. He rolls over and goes back to sleep while the party finishes off the last two. Wakes up in the morning and is like "I had the weirdest dream!"

Yiel
2007-07-17, 08:25 PM
I usually roll natural 20s for balance checks, knowledge checks and tumble checks. :smallyuk: It feels wasted 90% of the time as it was me not tumbling into a pigsty.

My partner's sister plays a Paladin in our current party though, and has the best dice rolling luck. :smallsigh: (She uses whichever d20 is closest, not always her own.) Against one minor BBEG she rolled five d20s in a row to confirm a critical O_O needless to say that was one impressive instant kill with a greatsword.

Neek
2007-07-17, 10:07 PM
I normally run with that natural 20s and natural 1s on skill checks and saves are successes. Simple tasks that have a DC less than 20 are awesomely performed: You roll a nat 20 on a spot check (DC was 15)... "A quick glance tells you that there's 4 goblins, 2 hobgoblins... one of them has your horse." On DCs 20-30, it implies marginal success. You succeeded, but it's not spectacular. A Nat 1 implies you did something wrong. It can sometimes make situations worse.

If you're not meant to succeed (i.e., jumping a 200 foot chasm) then it's determined that nothing they roll will ever allow them to accomplish the feat, but even a natural 20 may incline me to drop some "divine wisdom" or pull them out of a dumb situation. If you want to avoid this altogether, let them know, there's not a roll in the world that'll let them make this possible.

Sometimes I decide that dice rolling may not just be the character's ability or skill at work here, but also the situation they are in. In my last session, a half-orc rolled a natural 20 on his strength check to try to pry a sliding bar tht was connected to a bar on the other side of the door out. This was a room they were supposed get into (getting in the other way was equally daring and just as impossible), but I realized at the start of start of the encounter with the door's trap that it would be impossible for them to get in there under any circumstance. I ruled that he was able to pull the bar out through the other side; why? His natural 20 confirmed a lucky situation. The door was flawed, and it allowed them entry and continue the adventure, else they could have been there all session trying to get in and just giving up.

Oftentimes natural 1s don't imply misses, but terribly funny results (or that's how I ruled it at the time). A fighter killed a goblin and went to cleave the next enemy, but nat 1 and then a failure. The other goblin was cleaved, but the sword slipped out of his hand and the goblin went sailing. The fighter killed the goblin, but by pure accident, and it really embarrassed him too.

Kiyona
2007-07-18, 02:44 AM
When we play a 20 is a very very good result. But not necessarily an automatic succes. However, on attack rolls, three 20s in a row is instant death. ^^

I have only seen it happen one hilarios time.

We were playing an almost epic campagin (lvl 18-19) when we happen upon a group of 15 or so fire elementals. The mage casts fly on himself as the rest of us start to round them up. The elementals starts to get frustrated with the annyoing flying man casting frost nova from above.

Since they cant reach him with their melee attacks one of them picks up a log. Of course it is not proficient with it, mind you. And throws it at the mage...

And not only hits, but impales the poor mage, and sends him flying in to a cliff. Him hanging from the log like a kebab. ^^

Fortunatly, the DM was nice enough to only drop him to -9HP so i, playing the cleric, could save his ass.

But we laughed so hard at him. And he has never used the flyspell since. ^^

enderrocksonall
2007-07-18, 03:56 AM
Personally I like the idea that every once in a whatever, a charcter can do something truly extraordinary and unbelievable.

When I DM I always use the rule that unless it is an opposed roll, a N20 is always a success. If what you were attempting is realistically impossible, then you probably had help from a sympathetic deity.

In the previous jumping example, I would have said that a sudden updraft provided enough lift for him to remain airborne. However, in that situation with a 200 foot jump, I would make him roll a 20 until his normal movement allowed him to land on the other side. If he doesn't roll the nat 20 on the first one, he jumps whatever the distance he rolled and then plummets.

As for the 3 20's being insta-death, I used to think that was a good rule, until I killed the same character 3 times with it in the same campaign. Those were the only deaths in the entire campaign.

Anxe
2007-07-18, 10:03 AM
My thief got one on his Use Magic Device check once. We were in the middle of a fight with some fireball throwing wizard. Our wizard had died, so I snatched a scroll from the cleric. Turned out to be Raise Dead. I had 1 rank in Use Magic Device, so I needed a 20 to raise the wizard. Got it! It was awesome. The same elf wizard our opponent had killed came back while in the middle of combat.