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  1. - Top - End - #1
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    ElfRangerGuy

    Join Date
    Jul 2014

    Default Non-awful fumble rules

    These are the fumble rules I'll be using in the upcoming campaign of mine.

    I can't claim they're actually good without extensive playtesting, but they do a few things right.

    More specifically:
    1. They are completely and utterly optional. This voids most arguments against them, since anyone who dislikes playing with fumbles, can simple CHOOSE not to.
    2. As a consequence of the above, if they are to ever see play, there has to be a reason someone would want to use fumbles. That reason is that they are a way(in my game the only way) to acquire action points. A system which is completely reserved for mundanes(and a case of them having nice things).
    3. They pass the dummy test with flying colours. If there is no one to take advantage of your fumble, nothing really happens. You cannot cripple, maim or murder yourself. Only help others do so.
    4. They offer the players more choices in combat. They increase the range of decisions one can make in combat, thus making it more fun.
    5. They have decent roleplay potential(see the fluff).
    5.5. I really like the fluff.

    Code:
     * Fumble rules: Characters adopt one of two fighting philosophies - daring or cautious.
     	- Cautious: You are a technical combatant, you do not take risks. Combat is a calculated, deliberate affair. You never fail too badly, but neither do you take advantage of risky situations to achieve greater things. Rolling a nat1 carries no penalties, other than likely missing your target.
     	- Daring: You are a bold, audacious fighter. You know there can be no glory without risk. Sometimes you fail miserably and dangerously, but that same guile allows you, every once in a while, to pull off amazing feats of combat prowess. Whenever you roll a nat1, you fumble. Roll on the fumble chart below. Every time you suffer a fumble you gain half an action point.
     	- Choose one default fighting style for your character. You always start combat in your default style. You can switch between styles as a move action. You can change the default style every time you level up.
     	- If the fumble is non-applicable in your situation, you do not receive any action points. For a roll of 1(see below), you must have more actions you can take. For 2, there must be at least 1 creature in an adjacent square, 3 and 4, you must have an opponent threatening you. For 5 and 6 your opponent must initiate the attempt.
     	- Action points cannot be used to augment spellcasting. Otherwise action points function normally.
    
     * Fumble chart: Roll a d6 for the effect. If the effect resolves, you receive 1 action point. You cannot gain more than 1 action point in a single round.
     	- 1: Fumble - Lose all remaining actions for the round.
     	- 2: Wild swing/shot - Attack is redirected to an adjacent square(roll to determine if more than 1 creature). This creature is considered concealed against this attack. If it is an ally, it is also considered flat-footed.
     	- 3: Opening - Provoke Attack of Opportunity.
     	- 4: Slip up - Flatfooted until the beginning of your next turn.
     	- 5: Overextend - Opponent gains immediate free disarm/sunder attempt, no AoO allowed.
     	- 6: Stumble - Opponent gains immediate free grapple/trip attempt, no AoO allowed.
    
     * Critical hits will provide a bunch of interesting effects(using a bunch of physical cards I'll be drawing from).
     	- When a monster scores a critical hit on you, you may draw 2 cards from the deck and choose which one applies.
    Big thanks to these forums for helping me come up with them.

    P.S. Bonus bit - we use paizo's critical hit deck. I like to let players draw 2 cards for monsters crits and let them choose what befalls them. It makes things more interesting, lets the DM off the hook and awards another minor bit of agency to the players.
    Last edited by martixy; 2018-02-13 at 07:37 AM.

  2. - Top - End - #2
    Ettin in the Playground
     
    BlackDragon

    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Location
    Mexico
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Non-awful fumble rules

    Seem nice; though I don't see why they don't work with weapon like spells... Or why weapon like spells don't get a bonus
    Handbook in Process:Getting the Facts Straight: A Guide to the Factotum

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    The Singular Band: There can be only one
    Khayal: A monster class worth playing


    Quote Originally Posted by Deophaun View Post
    Player: I'll use a classic ploy. "Help! Guards! He's having a seizure!"
    DM: You're the only one in the prison.
    Player: I'm very convincing.
    DM: And there are no guards.
    Player: But there's masonry.
    DM: It's not even animate, let alone sentient.
    Player: That's ok. I'll take the penalty.

  3. - Top - End - #3
    Titan in the Playground
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Gender
    Male2Female

    Default Re: Non-awful fumble rules

    I do like the idea of fumbles with upside. The flavor seems a bit off though. The risky style is supposed to be a great risk for great reward (or moderate risk for moderate reward) thing. What you have here, however, is a situation where fail states and success states are so deeply entwined so as to be indistinguishable. In point of fact, if a player values action points more than they dislike the impact of fumbles, which they well might if they're making the choice with some degree of optimization thinking in mind, then this rule serves to make failure less risky by compensating said failure with fancy bonuses. In my opinion, they should be untangled, total failure being met with an enhanced version of said failure, total success, likely meaning a critical hit, offering improved benefits.

    You lose the thing where the failure has to go off in order to bring about a problem, but that doesn't seem like the primary mechanical issue anyway. The real mechanical issue is that you're offering what I think are permanent benefits (meaning that action points can accumulate and hang out for awhile as opposed to vanishing away right after combat) for specific actions the character undertakes. Whether this system operates off of critical hits or critical fumbles, a trivial way to game the system is to enter into combat with enemies of low CR. Goblins can still take advantage of these fumbles, and they can obviously still get hit critically, so picking up some pile of action points could be a real problem. Straightforward solution is that action points can only be gained in combat with encounters of at least some challenge rating, maybe at least your own or one less than your own.

  4. - Top - End - #4
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    ElfRangerGuy

    Join Date
    Jul 2014

    Default Re: Non-awful fumble rules

    @Gildedragon
    I basically wanted to reserve them for mundanes only. An idiosyncrasy of my particular game. An exception for weapon-like spells could easily be made, or that stipulation entirely removed. Even without it the system favours mundanes naturally, due to them being subject to fumbles much more often.

    @eggynack
    The general idea was a zero-sum game mechanically, but a net increase in character options and narrative drama. In that regard, making severe failure less risky was in fact the goal of this system. I'm not sure what you mean with the bit about 'total failure'.

    Gaming the system is a valid point, but couldn't figure out a reasonable way to solve it mechanically. One could say it only works for encounters of EL >= than the party's, but that merely shifts the problem from one flawed system to another(EL/CR). Or place a time limit on their use(e.g. per encounter or per day).

    It's somewhat similar to the 15-minute adventuring day problem. And while one doesn't excuse the other, I have no better solution for it than I do for the 15-minute day(i.e. judicious application of common sense).
    Last edited by martixy; 2017-04-17 at 02:59 PM.

  5. - Top - End - #5
    Titan in the Playground
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Gender
    Male2Female

    Default Re: Non-awful fumble rules

    Quote Originally Posted by martixy View Post
    @eggynack
    The general idea was a zero-sum game mechanically, but a net increase in character options and narrative drama. In that regard, making severe failure less risky was in fact the goal of this system. I'm not sure what you mean with the bit about 'total failure'.
    What I meant by that was straightforwardly that severe failure should just be severe failure. Because that's the point of critical fumbles. The goal with an optional fumble rule should be increased variance, straight up. What that means is higher highs and lower lows. However, instead of raising up the highs, you've just kinda moderated how much lower the lows are, so the curve looks exactly like it did before. Severe failure should not be less risky. Success should simply be more rewarding. The net impact on the game is roughly identical, but the attendant story is superior.

    What you have now is, "My reckless style meant that I slipped on a banana peel before I could hit the enemy, but at least I got compensated with a shiny new dollar." I'm not sure why that would happen. Better is, "My reckless style meant that I slipped. It also meant I did super well that other time. Hope it comes up in my favor next time too." You have a simple trade off where what you want is risk/reward.

    Gaming the system is a valid point, but couldn't figure out a reasonable way to solve it mechanically. One could say it only works for encounters of EL >= than the party's, but that merely shifts the problem from one flawed system to another(EL/CR). Or place a time limit on their use(e.g. per encounter or per day).
    I think the CR thing is pretty strictly superior, as flawed as it is. As DM, you're liable to only present challenges that would grant action points. If this situation is coming up, it's because the players are actively seeking out challenges. The rule is essentially that the players had better be seeking out reasonable challenges, and not just farming. There's logic to it too. Recklessness isn't going to matter that much with crap opponents. I do like time limits as a solution also, or some upper limit on points, or something.

  6. - Top - End - #6
    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    Allanimal's Avatar

    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    Freiburg, Germany
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Non-awful fumble rules

    Just a comment on the OP:
    Putting the rules as a "code" block makes them very difficult to read on a tiny mobile screen.

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