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  1. - Top - End - #151
    Barbarian in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: Critical Failure!

    Quote Originally Posted by hemming View Post
    And fumbles are as RAW as page 28 of the DMG
    Fascinating. I never knew this. Are variant rules considered RAW? I suppose they are "rules" and they are "written" but being "variant" seems to take the edge off a little.
    Little wonder though, these fumble rules are awful. I really think, if one is going to play with fumbles, a fumble should never cost the combatant the rest of their actions.

  2. - Top - End - #152
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    Default Re: Critical Failure!

    Quote Originally Posted by hemming View Post
    The Jeopardy analogy doesn't hold any water (it should go the way of the bus analogy) - and with a confirmation you are at far less than a 5% chance

    Repeating that something is bad doesn't make it so

    And fumbles are as RAW as page 28 of the DMG

    Any time your character fails remarkably as a stroke of luck is not "punishment" - it is just bad luck
    Two things, in reverse order

    1) It's punishment for taking a course of action that could result in bad luck in the first place. Why ever bother with rolling dice with the potential to cause self-harm, when you could avoid d20s altogether? Why go for lots of attack rolls when it dramatically increases the odds of self-harm? It is punishment on a more meta-level, by the houserules in place

    2) Yes, you are at less than 5% chance. That doesn't make it any better. To point this out, I will _quote myself from earlier in the thread_.

    I always like to bring up the Training Dummy Test when talking crit fails/successes. Get 100 people who know how to use a weapon, and have them each attacking training dummies. In game, that's 60000 attacks made by the room as a whole, assuming they're only making a single attack a round. After an hour of training, there will have been between 7 and 8 crit fails (assuming a crit fail is three nat 1s in a row.) That's fairly high. Let's assume that there is a standard 1-100 table for what happens on a crit fail, with the top 10 results being major self injury (either death, self maiming, crippling or otherwise.) A bit under 1 person an hour will make themselves unable to continue training. Assume they train for 3-4 hours a day, and inanimate objects will have killed or crippled the whole room in around a month.
    tl;dr, with double-confirmation AND a 10% chance of catastrophic results after that's already occurred, people will die or be crippled by inanimate objects at terrifyingly high rates under, even under controlled circumstances. And the higher level these individuals get, the faster it happens!

    Again, it's why I hold that the consequence of missing is more than enough. For what its worth, if there's no avoiding crit fails, I'd prefer to do them like my limited experiences with Fate. You get told a general concept of how the failure is going to go by the person you failed against (more often than not the DM), but the player who failed determines the specifics, at which point you can limit damage to what you find acceptable while keeping in an acceptable framework.
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  3. - Top - End - #153
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    Default Re: Critical Failure!

    Quote Originally Posted by Thiyr View Post
    tl;dr, with double-confirmation AND a 10% chance of catastrophic results after that's already occurred, people will die or be crippled by inanimate objects at terrifyingly high rates under, even under controlled circumstances. And the higher level these individuals get, the faster it happens!
    The world of critical failures - on Drive (forklift) checks. (Warning: ridiculously bloody, but hilarious.)

    The world of critical failures - d20 Modern edition.
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  4. - Top - End - #154
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    Default Re: Critical Failure!

    Quote Originally Posted by Arbane View Post
    The world of critical failures - on Drive (forklift) checks. (Warning: ridiculously bloody, but hilarious.)

    The world of critical failures - d20 Modern edition.
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  5. - Top - End - #155
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    Default Re: Critical Failure!

    Quote Originally Posted by pwykersotz View Post
    Crit fails are not a bad system. They are not bad balance unless you fail to add crit success in equal measure.
    And who does that? No, really. What's an example of that actually being implemented? RAW critical hits do not count, since those are there by default and are balanced against auto-misses.

    Well, really critical hits are balanced against themselves primarily, and similarly for auto-misses; their balance against each other is secondary. Which does raise another point; it is possible for there to be a critical hit/critical miss system that, despite being equally usable by PCs and NPCs, is still unbalanced. For example, if enemies tend to have low HP and high critical multipliers, and PCs have higher HP and low critical multipliers, then a higher crit range for both will lead to greater PC death rates. Similarly, if there are critical fumble rules for losing limbs/eyes/whatever, and critical success rules to lose limbs/eyes/whatever, those do not balance out: indeed they add together, creating a far higher overall risk of lasting PC handicaps, without any comparable increase in NPC handicaps, since for nearly all NPCs, a rounds/level debuff is the same as a permanent one: they will die before it's removed, in either case.

    An adequate balance here would consist of a critical success removing one's blindness (in self or ally), restoring function to a crippled limb, or similar patently absurd effects. Of course, since there are those who consider "hit nearest ally" an appropriate entry on a fumble table (despite the possibility of the nearest ally being 50' behind the monk who rolled a fumble with their unarmed strike), this should suffer no objections.

    Fundamentally, I consider that anyone defending critical fumbles in essentially any of their forms exhibits a misunderstanding of the nature of probability in d20, a misunderstanding of the differences between PCs and NPCs, or is willing to ignore those for some reason.
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  6. - Top - End - #156
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    NecromancerGuy

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    Default Re: Critical Failure!

    This is my ten cents from my experience.
    I've been DM'ing for about a bit north of ten years now. Mostly 3.5, but a few other systems as well.
    My groups have seemed masochistic; While they like critical successes, and any extra variation we have (even if the critical chart is used on them as well, as it is more often to be done), they also adore Critical Failures.

    I've explained to them that mathmatically, it's unfeasible and unfair to them as players, especially brutes. Even though most of the party favors melee types, they weren't bothered by this. They LIKED the flavor of something catastrophically failing or going bad.

    What we did, to account for skill and ease the butthurt, is that if a one is rolled, then we do a "confirmation" roll to verify it as a true fumble. If the roll would normally succeed, then it is just written off as a slight mis-step and normal failure with no further consequences beyond normal (a miss, or just coming up short on the jump to the ledge and grabbing the ledge, etc. etc)

    If it is an actual failure on the second roll, then chaos can ensue based on DM Fiat. We've got a chart for combat and it varies between over-stepping/over-committing (resulting in a penalty to AC or provoking an AoO if appropriate) to weapon malfunctions (bowstrings snapping, losing grip and improperly regripping resulting in a penalty to hit on the next attack), etc. etc. Only on the most dire of crit fails result in the weapon being disabled/unusable.

    If the DM isn't feeling particularly ambitious for a tasking to be jumbled/over-complicated by a fumble, than he just handwaves the results for Out of Combat situations.

    But the party loved the issues with the crit fumbles through the course of our gaming group. I always take the time to start with a new group and set a base level of understanding. If the new group doesn't like a specific rule as a group (like that one), it's no skin off me. Less work.

    Each table is different. If they enjoy the chaos involved with the overly high amount of dramatic failures during the duration of their gaming table, then embrace it.

  7. - Top - End - #157
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    Default Re: Critical Failure!

    First off: I hate Crit Fumble rules. They are an annoyingly bad system tacket onto something that does not really work with it.

    "But it adds realism" was written a few times in this thread already. Well just let me reiterate what other posters already did: "Then play another system". You want to cripple yourself? Warhammer Fantasy will be your thing. DSA will be good too as you will most likely be dead after around 2 combat encounters or at least seriously crippled.
    There are many systems that do realism better than DnD (a system that is at least from my grasp of the rules/stuff written by the devs more suited for non-gritty/non-realistic heroic fantasy).

    "But paizos fumble deck is good/balanced"... this claim really infuriated me. No it is not it is still utter crap.
    I managed to break my eldritch Glaive in one game using this stuff. Or imagine breaking your newly bought Adamantine Maul on a stone which is feasible as the only thing preventing destruction on this fumble card is a reflex DC 15 safe... on a cleric with 10 dex this means an at least 70% chance of failure. To destroy something you paid nearly half your WBL for. The other stuff I have seen so far aren't really better. 2 Monster killed themselves while using these decks.

    In one campaign where it was known beforehand that we would be using these I actively went for Luck Domain Cleric and then trying to grab Better Lucky than good ASAP. If I would play such a campaign again I would play a buffing/control Character (Bard, cleric or sorcerer) with Luck feats to get rerolls for when I have to roll something.

    And again about what chance... how is the adding of dice rolls (that are unnecessary) something that makes a bad rule better? The systems I have seen so far are a flat 5% chance or a 5% chance to roll another dice and depending on mystical unknown variable suddenly becoming worse.

    On certain Skillchecks I can understand the want for a "fumble" climbing down a 2000 ft canyon wall... but 5% are just too high for that. In that campaign I am playing a Sorcerer. My usual actions are "fly, haste, dimension door, Magic Missile, Snowball". Yes only 1 spell that needs an attack roll and is only used if the enemy has Spell resistance.

    The argument about Critical Failures/Fumbles that arise here are "when done right" for the most time. But this won't do. Because the what is right is in the most ideal case: don't implement it.
    How many DM's have a really good grasp of it? From the ones you met? My count is around 0. Most stories about "cool stuff happening due to fumbles" are in my opinion stuff that didn't add anything to the story or the game at all.
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  8. - Top - End - #158
    Firbolg in the Playground
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    Default Re: Critical Failure!

    What we did, to account for skill and ease the butthurt, is that if a one is rolled, then we do a "confirmation" roll to verify it as a true fumble. If the roll would normally succeed, then it is just written off as a slight mis-step and normal failure with no further consequences beyond normal (a miss, or just coming up short on the jump to the ledge and grabbing the ledge, etc. etc)
    Note to Kazudo: We have another winner for the "Rolling confirmation against AC makes the fumble rule better" game.


    I guess they were wrong. When they say the best defense is a good offense, they got it backwards. The best offense is actually a good defense. Just rack up that AC and watch your enemies slaughter themselves trying to hit you. This strategy would work in at least 20-30% of the games in this thread.
    If my text is blue, I'm being sarcastic.But you already knew that, right?


  9. - Top - End - #159
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    NecromancerGuy

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    Default Re: Critical Failure!

    Note to Kazudo: We have another winner for the "Rolling confirmation against AC makes the fumble rule better" game.
    I don't think it's any better; mathmatically, I think it is a terrible idea. But my GROUP, even when it was explained to them that it was not a good idea, loved it. If they have fun with it, then why not? It's not a big deal that it's a terrible system if the players have fun as far as I'm concerned.

  10. - Top - End - #160
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    OldWizardGuy

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    Default Re: Critical Failure!

    When you attack, on a 2-19 you either hit or miss. Balanced, right? On a 20 you auto hit and threaten. On a 1 you auto fail, and that's all?

    Also, don't you ever have bad things/misfortunes/FAILS happen in your life? Well same for adventures. It's just that what they do involves a lot more dangerous factors.

    Just as all crits are not equal(I've rolled all ones on crits) all crit fails are not equal. A good DM knows how to handle each case and make them more fun/dramatic if it's fitting.
    Last edited by PaucaTerrorem; 2014-04-03 at 12:12 PM.

  11. - Top - End - #161
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    WolfInSheepsClothing

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    Default Re: Critical Failure!

    Quote Originally Posted by Seerow View Post
    Note to Kazudo: We have another winner for the "Rolling confirmation against AC makes the fumble rule better" game.
    I don't know where that school of thought is coming from. Maybe it's because "We're rolling, so we need a DC, so the enemy's AC is what it should be because that matters, right? Since it's an attack roll? Anyone?"

    The only time that I would consider a DC other than "Did you get a 1?" on the failure confirmation roll would be to have the critical failure DC be something to the effect of 20-BAB. In the case of iterative attacks, it would follow the highest bonus. Therefore, a 19th level fighter would basically have to roll two natural 1's in a row in order to have anything near a critical failure, while a 20th level fighter would never critically fail. Sure, an earlier level fighter (or a class with poor BAB) would critically fail.

    That's where the sliderule of critical failures would come in handy with a few caveats: personal damage dealt by critical failure cannot critically hit, one is never considered lacking one's own DEX (which deals with the majority of precision damage), and one is generally protected from one's own magical enhancements on one's own weapon (as is usually in the description of most of said enhancements) while one is wielding it, dependant on Base Attack Bonus rather than actual level.

    Thoughts?

  12. - Top - End - #162
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    Default Re: Critical Failure!

    Quote Originally Posted by Krazzman View Post
    On certain Skillchecks I can understand the want for a "fumble" climbing down a 2000 ft canyon wall... but 5% are just too high for that.
    I just want to add my 2c on this point.

    Most skill checks that someone might want to have a "fumble/Crit. Fail" on, generally have the mechanic built in anyway! Continuing "Climb" as an example:
    Quote Originally Posted by SRD
    A Climb check that fails by 4 or less means that you make no progress, and one that fails by 5 or more means that you fall from whatever height you have already attained.
    (Bolded for Emphasis.) There are several other skills with a similar clause, as well

    This is the standard rules, where a Nat20 is not an Auto-Pass, and a Nat1 is not an Auto-Fail. (For the record, I prefer no crit. fails, myself. Especially with skills; at higher levels, I (the character) have become essentially "super-human," and if I'm going to invest resources into skills to make myself better at them (skill points, gold for masterwork items, etc.) I darn well want to be able to "Take 1" and pass my skill check!)
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  13. - Top - End - #163
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    Default Re: Critical Failure!

    Quote Originally Posted by PaucaTerrorem View Post
    When you attack, on a 2-19 you either hit or miss. Balanced, right? On a 20 you auto hit and threaten. On a 1 you auto fail, and that's all?

    Also, don't you ever have bad things/misfortunes/FAILS happen in your life? Well same for adventures. It's just that what they do involves a lot more dangerous factors.

    Just as all crits are not equal(I've rolled all ones on crits) all crit fails are not equal. A good DM knows how to handle each case and make them more fun/dramatic if it's fitting.
    Yes, I do have failures happen in life. That's a "miss", a "fail", whatever you want to call it. Your standard "didn't hit the DC". But do I have CATASTROPHIC, mayhaps even CRITICAL failures? I can't think of the last time I did. If I have mastered some skill, I don't expect to fail critically 1 in 20 times. or 1 in 400. or even 1 in 8000. Generally speaking, its why I find the most fun use of crit fails are "don't do them". Drama should generally be something you try to plan, not something you toss in 'cause somebody got unlucky.

    (Also, if we're gonna talk about inequality, where's immunity to critical fails as a racial trait/armor enchantment? What about critical fail multipliers? Increased fail-range? Improved Fail as a fighter bonus feat? they're different things that share a common part of their name, and I don't feel they should be held to the same standard of equality unless you want to try and make the things listed above, which are kinda silly and non sensible)



    (Also, man, just remembered about the oWoD botch rules. So dumb. so very dumb.)
    The Complete Warrior rules on losing prerequisites for a PrC apply to all books. This bothers me enough to sig it. If you disagree, please PM me, I'm down with being proven wrong.


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  14. - Top - End - #164
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    Default Re: Critical Failure!

    Quote Originally Posted by TuggyNE View Post
    And who does that? No, really. What's an example of that actually being implemented? RAW critical hits do not count, since those are there by default and are balanced against auto-misses.

    ...stuff...

    Fundamentally, I consider that anyone defending critical fumbles in essentially any of their forms exhibits a misunderstanding of the nature of probability in d20, a misunderstanding of the differences between PCs and NPCs, or is willing to ignore those for some reason.
    I do.

    One time my group critically succeeded in a diplomacy check to convince a small army of kobolds that the dragon god had sent them to join a great war. Then the mage of the group aided another by creating a light show of dragon-y power and critically succeeded. The kobolds joined the war, 10% of them became fanatics of the dragon god, and from then on in the campaign the party nearly always had access to mid-level kobold clerics. 1 in 400 chance for that to happen. Serious lasting effect for the party.

    Had they only gotten the one nat 20, they would have had less time with the clerics as the clerics had gotten drawn into the war, but still would have had 3 levels or so of free healing/res/buffs.

    Like I mentioned before, I think you and everyone else who is so vitriolic about this just has baggage and are not earnestly looking at a way to incorporate this into the system. Not that you need to try to incorporate it, but trashing the whole thing based on assumptions of ineptitude and then pasting that impression onto everyone who has fun with the system is a little disingenuous.
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  15. - Top - End - #165
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    Default Re: Critical Failure!

    Quote Originally Posted by Rijan_Sai View Post
    I just want to add my 2c on this point.

    Most skill checks that someone might want to have a "fumble/Crit. Fail" on, generally have the mechanic built in anyway! Continuing "Climb" as an example:
    (Bolded for Emphasis.) There are several other skills with a similar clause, as well

    This is the standard rules, where a Nat20 is not an Auto-Pass, and a Nat1 is not an Auto-Fail. (For the record, I prefer no crit. fails, myself. Especially with skills; at higher levels, I (the character) have become essentially "super-human," and if I'm going to invest resources into skills to make myself better at them (skill points, gold for masterwork items, etc.) I darn well want to be able to "Take 1" and pass my skill check!)
    Level 10. Climb mod of +20. Chance to fail without falling: -2. Chance to fall down: -7. We had to instafeatherfall/angelic slowing the barbarian down.
    The ONLY explanation I can have for this is: part of the canyon just eroded under the barbarians grip.
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  16. - Top - End - #166
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    Default Re: Critical Failure!

    Quote Originally Posted by Rijan_Sai View Post
    This is the standard rules, where a Nat20 is not an Auto-Pass, and a Nat1 is not an Auto-Fail. (For the record, I prefer no crit. fails, myself. Especially with skills; at higher levels, I (the character) have become essentially "super-human," and if I'm going to invest resources into skills to make myself better at them (skill points, gold for masterwork items, etc.) I darn well want to be able to "Take 1" and pass my skill check!)
    That actually sounds like a pretty reasonable way to do critical fumbles in general, leaving aside the balance issues for a moment. You just uncouple critical failure from the critical hit rules entirely, and instead tie it to how much you miss by when you miss an attack. That way, good swordsmen would automatically fumble less, because such is the nature of the rule set. There are some kinks to work out in the math/mechanic, but it seems plausible.

  17. - Top - End - #167
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    Default Re: Critical Failure!

    What about some sort of compromise, where you roll a nat 1, then you roll a d6. Get a 6 and the 1 means nothing, you add it to your BAB, STR or DEX, etc and if you hit their AC in spite of your nat 1, good for you (and very nice)! If you roll a 3-5, you do half damage or something of that nature, for a less effective blow. A 1 or 2 and you've missed.

    Or divide that up however you see fit, but then at least even if you are a very skilled warrior, most likely you're going to either still hit them, but maybe not cut as deep. That example above with the d6 is by no means something I'm 100% committed to, just a quick brainstorm.

    Hell, it's probably already been said in this very thread already and I missed it :P
    Only character at the moment is a rifle-wielding sniper in a very customized campaign setting being DM'ed by a friend/co-worker. We're kinda tweaking everything as we go, like a giant playtest.

  18. - Top - End - #168
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    Default Re: Critical Failure!

    Quote Originally Posted by Valtu View Post
    What about some sort of compromise, where you roll a nat 1, then you roll a d6. Get a 6 and the 1 means nothing, you add it to your BAB, STR or DEX, etc and if you hit their AC in spite of your nat 1, good for you (and very nice)! If you roll a 3-5, you do half damage or something of that nature, for a less effective blow. A 1 or 2 and you've missed.

    Or divide that up however you see fit, but then at least even if you are a very skilled warrior, most likely you're going to either still hit them, but maybe not cut as deep. That example above with the d6 is by no means something I'm 100% committed to, just a quick brainstorm.

    Hell, it's probably already been said in this very thread already and I missed it :P
    That isn't a compromise, that is just a convoluted way of getting what you want.

    A compromise means both sides give a little and come to a middle ground.

    What you propose isn't middle ground but to still punishing players for no reason other than 5% of the time a d20 will hit a certain number.

    I already suggested a compromise, each player gets to decide for themselves if they want to use critical fumble rules. If you are really dedicated to critical fumbles then you will use them without being forced to use then and not care if another player is not using them.

    I hate how DM's get a big head and think only their decisions are the only ones that matters when starting a game, it takes players and a DM to game. I also hate how other players will try to force their house rules on others... House rules that are based on severe punishment and not rewarding.

    I have a new houserule, you roll a d20 each time you gain HP from level up or from a spell. On a roll of 2 - 19 you gain normal HP from the source. On a roll of 20 you gain double the HP (restored or to your max)... But on a roll of a 1 you have an accident and lose a level. This is because your body rejects the magic or because as you level up you forget how to level up. Seems fair right, I mean... Crap happens after all it is all about risk versus reward.

  19. - Top - End - #169
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    SamuraiGuy

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    Default Re: Critical Failure!

    It seems from what I am reading in this thread, is the major sticking point with critical fumbles is when they deviate from the fumble variant in DMG. Anything else is house rule territory, and should definitely be explained upfront to new players.

    Don't get me wrong, when playing in different systems, like Rolemaster for example, which has open-ended critical hits/fumbles, that have it baked in, it's usually par for course. I don't claim expert knowledge in pathfinder, but In 3.5 going beyond the nat 1 then failing the DC 10 reflex save is certainly something I would like to be warned about. Not that I would use it as a reason to leave a party necessarily. It all depends on how they're interpreted. The above example Krazzman made regarding breaking an Adamantine weapon on a stone due to the critical deck saying so, should be the DM taking it with a grain of salt, and drawing a new card, it's adamantine for feth's sake, or at least say the wooden haft breaks, or some such thing.

    I guess what it boils down to is dramatic appropriateness, bad things happen, the worst of luck can occur at the most dire of moments, and to me, it should go towards making the story more dramatic/humorous as the story needs the event to be.

    With all respect to the Sameo story, I have no doubt in my mind, that the DM looked at the list of critical fumbles, and found one that would reward the Paladin with the fumble, because it made for a far better story than, "You cut your own arm off and bled to death."
    Last edited by One Step Two; 2014-04-03 at 05:55 PM.
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  20. - Top - End - #170
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    Default Re: Critical Failure!

    The system we use is as follows: critical failures occur only in non-combat situations.

    When it's not life-and-death, critical failures are still funny, even when they happen to PCs. Dropping your weapon in the middle of a fight and jeopardizing your team is not funny. Botching a search check and having the bookshelf fall on you while trying to find the book that will open the secret door is funny. When characters' lives are not at stake, we've generally found botch checks to be hilarious--some of our best ongoing jokes are the result of botches. (2 people went off together, botched a listen check at the same time to hear a pebble hit the ground. They were paranoid for the next 15 minutes that something was going to jump out at them.)

  21. - Top - End - #171
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    Quote Originally Posted by pwykersotz View Post
    I do.

    One time my group critically succeeded in a diplomacy check to convince a small army of kobolds that the dragon god had sent them to join a great war. Then the mage of the group aided another by creating a light show of dragon-y power and critically succeeded. The kobolds joined the war, 10% of them became fanatics of the dragon god, and from then on in the campaign the party nearly always had access to mid-level kobold clerics. 1 in 400 chance for that to happen. Serious lasting effect for the party.

    Had they only gotten the one nat 20, they would have had less time with the clerics as the clerics had gotten drawn into the war, but still would have had 3 levels or so of free healing/res/buffs.
    How's that different from a regular passed Diplomacy check, though? Regular Diplo has rules for fanaticism. (In the ELH, admittedly, but still.) Maybe this counts, maybe it doesn't, but I'd need more detail to be sure.

    If there was some meaningful and generalizable difference between success and critical success, than yes, that does work. It doesn't necessarily act as an adequate balance for the vastly greater number of critical fumbles, but it's at least something, and one of the first anecdotes I've heard of that.

    Like I mentioned before, I think you and everyone else who is so vitriolic about this just has baggage and are not earnestly looking at a way to incorporate this into the system. Not that you need to try to incorporate it, but trashing the whole thing based on assumptions of ineptitude and then pasting that impression onto everyone who has fun with the system is a little disingenuous.
    "Baggage" like actual bad experiences, say? I actually don't, and am working from a general overview of experiences and the principles involved, but I'm not sure why bad experiences would be any less valid than good experiences others have had, such as your own group. Assuming everyone opposed to it must have "baggage" or they wouldn't oppose it now that is, dare I say it, disingenuous.

    I'm also not sure why you left the last section in my quote, since either you are, in fact, lacking knowledge of probability (which is astonishingly common, and not really blameworthy, but is something to try to improve on), or you consider probability unimportant; either way, you didn't actually address what I was saying at all. If the latter, I can imagine no argument that would change your mind; the experience of other groups is obviously irrelevant, and consideration of the odds is specifically out, so what's left? I sincerely do not know.

    For clarity's sake, deliberately ignoring probability and game design considerations such as the unequal repercussions of any permanent debuffs on PCs is not necessarily wrong, as such. If your group has fun with it, and you are satisfied with the situation and don't consider it worthwhile to look for possible improvements that would require readjustment, that's not exactly the worst thing in the world. But it's also not particularly generalizable, and asserting that others should strongly consider imitating your group's habits carries with it an implicit willingness to imitate others if their patterns are better.
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  22. - Top - End - #172
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    Quote Originally Posted by Thiyr View Post
    Two things, in reverse order

    1) It's punishment for taking a course of action that could result in bad luck in the first place. Why ever bother with rolling dice with the potential to cause self-harm, when you could avoid d20s altogether? Why go for lots of attack rolls when it dramatically increases the odds of self-harm? It is punishment on a more meta-level, by the houserules in place.
    I wasn't arguing for self-harm or violent outcomes - I like fumbles literally, not catastrophic events.

    Quote Originally Posted by Thiyr View Post
    2) Yes, you are at less than 5% chance. That doesn't make it any better. To point this out, I will _quote myself from earlier in the thread_. .
    If confirmed with rolling a one twice, it is a .25% chance. Assuming you miss a target 30% of the time, it goes up to a 1.5% chance if confirmed by missing the target on an attack.

    It just doesn't seem to have a huge effect on 'game balance mechanics' to me - or really constitute a nerf of any real consequence.

    Edit: I do consider variant rules as RAW and not homebrew - they are intended to be implemented at the choice of the DM. Just like I consider Prestige Classes and ACFs to be RAW

    Its also a flavor issue - I think it makes sense in the heat of battle to occasionally lose a weapon due to a stroke of bad luck. Covered in sweat and blood, most often swinging a piece of metal as hard as you can against another. I couldn't tell you the odds in a historical scenario - couldn't even speculate - but it certainly occurred

    Losing a weapon in combat and having to produce another or have an ally toss you one is a fantasy trope - happens even to the best in lots of fiction. Its a trope I happen to like.

    But I do get if you want to play a sword god that never screws up terribly or if you just plain think fumbles don't add anything to the game - and some of the stories up here about bad, very nerfy fumble systems are atrocious
    Last edited by hemming; 2014-04-04 at 12:07 AM.

  23. - Top - End - #173
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    Quote Originally Posted by hemming View Post
    I wasn't arguing for self-harm or violent outcomes - I like fumbles literally, not catastrophic events.



    If confirmed with rolling a one twice, it is a .25% chance. Assuming you miss a target 30% of the time, it goes up to a 1.5% chance if confirmed by missing the target on an attack.

    It just doesn't seem to have a huge effect on 'game balance mechanics' to me - or really constitute a nerf of any real consequence.

    Edit: I do consider variant rules as RAW and not homebrew - they are intended to be implemented at the choice of the DM. Just like I consider Prestige Classes and ACFs to be RAW

    Its also a flavor issue - I think it makes sense in the heat of battle to occasionally lose a weapon due to a stroke of bad luck. Covered in sweat and blood, most often swinging a piece of metal as hard as you can against another. I couldn't tell you the odds in a historical scenario - couldn't even speculate - but it certainly occurred

    Losing a weapon in combat and having to produce another or have an ally toss you one is a fantasy trope - happens even to the best in lots of fiction. Its a trope I happen to like.

    But I do get if you want to play a sword god that never screws up terribly or if you just plain think fumbles don't add anything to the game - and some of the stories up here about bad, very nerfy fumble systems are atrocious
    Yea, I've seen fairly tame stuff by a lot of accounts, and even then it's pretty bad (A suit of chainmail forged by the gods themselves...has a link break and falls off? How does that make sense?)

    In any case, I have nothing against losing your weapon, I just think the randomness of it doesn't add a whole ton of drama imo. Now, if you get disarmed, that could work nicely, but fumbling just doesn't add anything. It doesn't bring up a sense of tension or struggle, just...chance (its the difference between "Hah, I am Max Fightmaster, Master of Fighting! My ALMIGHTY SWORD shall cut down evil! Now to slay you, vaguely humanoid fiend!" and then getting disarmed (or stunned, or fear'd, or w/e) vs fumbling. The former feels dramatic, like you might just get outclassed because you underestimated the other guy, or because your opponent got clever. The latter just leaves me feeling like I'm a buffoon personally. If it can feel dramatic to you, more power to you, but it just doesn't work for me. Especially if it happens at any time other than an already dramatic moment.)

    And as far as the balance thing goes, my numbers are more a jab at the realism argument. but even that single-confirm just feels a bit much to me on a gut level. I don't like stickin' the fightin' guys/gals with that chance to screw up beyond just the mundane, normal, average missing. In part because of the way the numbers fall, in part because it seems to only screw with the players, and there's no good way to deal. An octopus can't drop its tentacles, and even if it gets put on casters, they're gonna be making a lot fewer rolls. And if the DM throws humanoid fighting npcs at you, there will be more of them, and they will tend towards doing far fewer attacks than the PCs (just by weight of screentime), meaning they're less likely to f' up as well.

    And in typing this, I just had the mental image of Luke Skywalker, picking up his lightsaber, training with it the first time to deflect blaster shots, and then butterfingering and burning a hole in the floor, killing everyone due to loss of atmosphere. Tee hee.
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  24. - Top - End - #174
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    Default Re: Critical Failure!

    Quote Originally Posted by Thiyr View Post
    Yea, I've seen fairly tame stuff by a lot of accounts, and even then it's pretty bad (A suit of chainmail forged by the gods themselves...has a link break and falls off? How does that make sense?)
    Yeah - that is pretty bad. I don't know how you critically fail to have your armor fall off.

    The way the DM handles it is a make or break. When I've played in games that didn't use fumbles, I really didn't miss it.

    But in one of the games I played in for years I did like the implementation - it made things a little more spontaneous and a little more filled with tension.

    I really wouldn't have a problem accommodating a player that really hated the variant rule (if I were sitting in the DM chair) and the reasons you give for disliking it seem totally sound to me. I just like the extra flavor when its done well and it often does add some drama/realism for me

  25. - Top - End - #175
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    Default Re: Critical Failure!

    Quote Originally Posted by TuggyNE View Post
    How's that different from a regular passed Diplomacy check, though? Regular Diplo has rules for fanaticism. (In the ELH, admittedly, but still.) Maybe this counts, maybe it doesn't, but I'd need more detail to be sure.

    If there was some meaningful and generalizable difference between success and critical success, than yes, that does work. It doesn't necessarily act as an adequate balance for the vastly greater number of critical fumbles, but it's at least something, and one of the first anecdotes I've heard of that.



    "Baggage" like actual bad experiences, say? I actually don't, and am working from a general overview of experiences and the principles involved, but I'm not sure why bad experiences would be any less valid than good experiences others have had, such as your own group. Assuming everyone opposed to it must have "baggage" or they wouldn't oppose it now that is, dare I say it, disingenuous.

    I'm also not sure why you left the last section in my quote, since either you are, in fact, lacking knowledge of probability (which is astonishingly common, and not really blameworthy, but is something to try to improve on), or you consider probability unimportant; either way, you didn't actually address what I was saying at all. If the latter, I can imagine no argument that would change your mind; the experience of other groups is obviously irrelevant, and consideration of the odds is specifically out, so what's left? I sincerely do not know.

    For clarity's sake, deliberately ignoring probability and game design considerations such as the unequal repercussions of any permanent debuffs on PCs is not necessarily wrong, as such. If your group has fun with it, and you are satisfied with the situation and don't consider it worthwhile to look for possible improvements that would require readjustment, that's not exactly the worst thing in the world. But it's also not particularly generalizable, and asserting that others should strongly consider imitating your group's habits carries with it an implicit willingness to imitate others if their patterns are better.
    I assumed you had baggage because of the exceptionally strong stance you take. The reason it tends to be bad is not because of the experience it gives, but because it causes reason to be left behind for hardline stances that are not open to consideration. I think plenty of reasonable people oppose fumble rules. I think that because you take a hard line to say that others must lack understanding or not care about the balance of probability is extreme because you exclude the option of someone who both understands and cares. I apologize for assuming baggage.

    I understand probability very well. I also consider it important. Thus, none of your statements trying to use closed logic branches on me are applicable. I am also willing to be convinced otherwise, but doing so will be difficult because I have thought about my reasoning and can justify it.

    You were correct. The ELH was not applicable and those rules were not usable by the players in that case. The situation was a large power up, both preemptive against future assault (buffs), fixing minor troubles (heals), and fixing catastrophes (res). It completely validates a single (or double) crit fail carrying the opposite weight. Yes, there are other implications such as lost exp when dying. Yes, those are taken into consideration as well.

    I also don't insist that others follow what I do. I joined this discussion because a lot of people were showing the oft seen dark side of this method of play. I felt it necessary to point out the lighter side.
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  26. - Top - End - #176
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    Default Re: Critical Failure!

    Quote Originally Posted by pwykersotz View Post
    I assumed you had baggage because of the exceptionally strong stance you take. The reason it tends to be bad is not because of the experience it gives, but because it causes reason to be left behind for hardline stances that are not open to consideration. I think plenty of reasonable people oppose fumble rules. I think that because you take a hard line to say that others must lack understanding or not care about the balance of probability is extreme because you exclude the option of someone who both understands and cares. I apologize for assuming baggage.
    I think there's room for reasonably hardline stances in arguments. This is a case where the points have been well dissected and discussed in the past, so it's well known territory, and people thus have a good idea of what their stance is, and how to defend it. I think that people should always be willing to change their position with sufficient evidence, and I doubt that TuggyNE would maintain his opinion on critical fumbles if some perfect argument were made by the opposition (though I doubt such an argument exists), but in the absence of such an argument, adopting a firm stance makes sense.

    I understand probability very well. I also consider it important. Thus, none of your statements trying to use closed logic branches on me are applicable. I am also willing to be convinced otherwise, but doing so will be difficult because I have thought about my reasoning and can justify it.
    Can you do so then? The probability breakdown seems pretty unfavorable relative to fumble rules, at least for most fumble rules. The balance issues are, of course, also a problematic thing.

  27. - Top - End - #177
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    Quote Originally Posted by pwykersotz View Post
    I understand probability very well. I also consider it important.
    I am puzzled, then, because the probability for crit fumbles in essentially all implementations is at once highly unrealistic by some orders of magnitude, and also much higher than is good for the game (in the same sense that 3d6 in order minimum 17 Cha to be a Paladin, or a DC 29 Fort or die every round, is bad for the game: a few rolls have disproportionately negative effects on a character for a substantial portion of the game).

    Certainly it is possible to enjoy the game despite these, which I would consider ignoring probability; it is also possible to enjoy a silly game because of these, which I would consider either ignoring or being ignorant of probability. But to enjoy a serious game specifically because it's unrealistic and cripples characters for much of play is I don't understand that. I never have.

    You were correct. The ELH was not applicable and those rules were not usable by the players in that case. The situation was a large power up, both preemptive against future assault (buffs), fixing minor troubles (heals), and fixing catastrophes (res). It completely validates a single (or double) crit fail carrying the opposite weight.
    Oh, that kind of removes some of the utility from my last post; there's a chance for crit success on Diplomacy, which presumably counters chances for crit failures on Diplomacy. But since I'd neglected to consider crit failures, it doesn't even begin to counter chances of crit failures for other things, like attack rolls.

    So, a more precise question*, I guess, would be: is there a game which implements approximately equivalent crit success and crit fumble tables, with the ability to prevent or restore the lasting consequences from crit fumbles present in equal proportion on crit successes, for any and all rolls with crit fumbles?

    *The lack of precision is my fault; I was thinking of combat initially, but didn't specify.
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  28. - Top - End - #178
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    Default Re: Critical Failure!

    Quote Originally Posted by SpawnOfMorbo View Post
    That isn't a compromise, that is just a convoluted way of getting what you want.

    A compromise means both sides give a little and come to a middle ground.
    Like I said, it was more of a "this just popped into my head and now I'm typing" kind of thing. No strong convictions here :P

    I haven't ever DM'ed so far (although our group may start doing some short one-off sessions where we take turns DM'ing each week, and I'll get the opportunity), and if I do, after reading this thread, I'll seriously consider how I handle (if I even include) critical failures at all.

    What I'd suggested was merely a way of saying "if you really really really want to keep critical failures, maybe make it be less likely to be so catastrophic."

    I really like the concept of "sh*t happens," where sometimes even a nearly infallible hero can make a grave mistake, but I definitely agree that a master swordsman shouldn't be chopping his own hand off one out of every 20 swings. Our group is definitely the kind that does enjoy a bit of chaos, unexpected twists and consequences, though, and I think as horribly as critical failures have screwed things up for us in the past, that if we took it to a vote, our group would keep using them purely for the excitement factor.

    So that's more where I'm coming from. Knowing that my group will want to keep critical failures in play, I'd like to find some other way of dealing with them besides "you rolled a 1, 50% chance to hit yourself or 50% chance to hit ally if in proximity => now roll an attack on yourself/ally with potential to crit => tragedy," which is our current setup.
    Only character at the moment is a rifle-wielding sniper in a very customized campaign setting being DM'ed by a friend/co-worker. We're kinda tweaking everything as we go, like a giant playtest.

  29. - Top - End - #179
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    Quote Originally Posted by pwykersotz View Post
    I do.

    One time my group critically succeeded in a diplomacy check to convince a small army of kobolds that the dragon god had sent them to join a great war. Then the mage of the group aided another by creating a light show of dragon-y power and critically succeeded. The kobolds joined the war, 10% of them became fanatics of the dragon god, and from then on in the campaign the party nearly always had access to mid-level kobold clerics. 1 in 400 chance for that to happen. Serious lasting effect for the party.

    Had they only gotten the one nat 20, they would have had less time with the clerics as the clerics had gotten drawn into the war, but still would have had 3 levels or so of free healing/res/buffs.

    Like I mentioned before, I think you and everyone else who is so vitriolic about this just has baggage and are not earnestly looking at a way to incorporate this into the system. Not that you need to try to incorporate it, but trashing the whole thing based on assumptions of ineptitude and then pasting that impression onto everyone who has fun with the system is a little disingenuous.
    Assuming you meant "I do" as a literal answer to TuggyNE's query, you're saying you use Critical Fumbles while simultaneously not implementing a Critical Success system. . . and then giving an example that indicates that you don't actually do that.
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  30. - Top - End - #180
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    Quote Originally Posted by Valtu View Post
    Like I said, it was more of a "this just popped into my head and now I'm typing" kind of thing. No strong convictions here :P

    I haven't ever DM'ed so far (although our group may start doing some short one-off sessions where we take turns DM'ing each week, and I'll get the opportunity), and if I do, after reading this thread, I'll seriously consider how I handle (if I even include) critical failures at all.

    What I'd suggested was merely a way of saying "if you really really really want to keep critical failures, maybe make it be less likely to be so catastrophic."

    I really like the concept of "sh*t happens," where sometimes even a nearly infallible hero can make a grave mistake, but I definitely agree that a master swordsman shouldn't be chopping his own hand off one out of every 20 swings. Our group is definitely the kind that does enjoy a bit of chaos, unexpected twists and consequences, though, and I think as horribly as critical failures have screwed things up for us in the past, that if we took it to a vote, our group would keep using them purely for the excitement factor.

    So that's more where I'm coming from. Knowing that my group will want to keep critical failures in play, I'd like to find some other way of dealing with them besides "you rolled a 1, 50% chance to hit yourself or 50% chance to hit ally if in proximity => now roll an attack on yourself/ally with potential to crit => tragedy," which is our current setup.
    Yeah I come off as combatant sometimes, didn't mean to be... I'm working on that and i'm still not good at portraying tone on forums.

    I'm with you are unsuspecting twists and a bit of chaos. But there are less lazy ways of doing this. I really believe that using a critical fumble is just bad DM'ing. Put some narrative and work into the game.

    The group is fighting on a slick dungeon floor? The DM should say something like...

    "The floor of the dungeon is coated with a slick material that makes your balance unstable. Anyone without 5 ranks in balance (or tumble I guess) feels very unsteady and if you make to much movement you may fall."

    Then if they rush around using their full movement or move + attack then they have a chance of falling (balance check or reflex save if they aren't trained in balance).

    This would set the conditions for failure and place the punishment solely on the player's choices. You don't need critical fumbles to cause dramatics if you put minor work into the game.

    Perhaps a player doesn't head the warning and moves at full speed and attacks. The attack hits but the momentum has made the player very unsteady and they must pass a balance check (or reflex save) or fall. Perhaps moving at full speed gives a penalty to the attack roll (secretly)? Perhaps the attack kills the creature but the player still falls to the ground for not passing the skill check or reflex save? Maybe due to the momentum the player doesn't fall to the ground but slides 10' in the same direction they were going as a "forced movement" type of effect? Hell for some fun that charging Barbarian might just slide past the first monster (no AoO on forced movement) and end up next to the boss monster of the fight.

    There is hundreds of things you can do to add chaos and drama to a game that don't punish or severely punish a player for rolling dice (something that punishes certain classes more than others).

    So again sorry I sounded so combatant against you. Lazy DMing and house rules that punish or secerly punish players based on something that will happen 5% of the time is a hot button for me.

    Note: I'll be trying out the roll a 1 then you take a -10 on your attack roll and not an auto miss... So that high level adventurers aren't just as clumsy as low level adventurers.
    Last edited by SpawnOfMorbo; 2014-04-04 at 08:32 AM.

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