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 Post subject: [HOMEBREW d20 & D&D 3.5] Critical miss
PostPosted: Sun Aug 17, 2008 3:15 pm 
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Under standard rules in D&D and d20 modern etc, there are no fumbles or critical failures in combat. A roll of 1 on the die always misses, and that's all. The DMG suggests using a DC10 Dex check for fumbles (pg 28.), but that doesn't follow the same form of rules as the critical hit system. I've been informally using a modified ruling from Star Wars d20 (a 1 means your blaster's power is out and you need to swap batteries - modified to weapon jams) in d20 modern, but it's not entirely satisfactory.

What I want is a system that isn't too harsh - if you run the risk of killing yourself with a fumble, it's not reasonable: the gods themselves will be wiped out by fumbles over their millennia-long lives! - but still penalises characters for spectacularly bad luck.
Here is my proposed system:

On a roll of 1 on the die, a character risks a critical failure. Roll again, adding the same attack bonuses to confirm the failure. If this second roll is low enough to be a miss on the same target, some additional effect takes place (a critical miss), but if it would have hit, no extra effect takes place, the character just missed. If the second roll was another 1, something terrible happens (a critical failure), worse than a simple miss.
For mechanical and projectile weapons
  • a critical miss is an ammunition failure of some sort: the bullet miss-fires, an arrow's fletches come loose, an irregularity of a sling stone makes it spin away wildly.
  • a critical failure is a weapon breakage that requires a DC10 Int check (or Repair in d20 modern, or the right Craft skill in D&D) to fix as a move action: the gun has jammed, the bow-string snapped, or similar.
For thrown and melee weapons
  • a critical miss means that the character cannot complete a full round action, either this round's, or if the critical miss was the last attack of the round, next round: the character's sword has briefly snagged on their opponent's shield or cloak, their grip has slipped momentarily, etc.
  • a critical failure means their opponent's defence caused the attacking weapon to be struck as though a successful Sunder attack was made, inflicting damage as normal
    • OR - if the opponent cannot sunder...
    • the failing character 'fumbles', losing his or her next action

Thoughts? Is this balanced and reasonable?

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 Post subject: Re: [HOMEBREW d20 & D&D 3.5] Critical miss
PostPosted: Sun Aug 17, 2008 4:06 pm 
Altair-the-Vexed wrote:
What I want is a system that isn't too harsh - if you run the risk of killing yourself with a fumble, it's not reasonable: the gods themselves will be wiped out by fumbles over their millennia-long lives!


I thought the gods were assumed to instantly take 20 on everything, including attack rolls (like rolling 20s without the natural 20 rule)?

Overall, the system seems reasonable. For a harsher version, you could have the 2nd roll be the exact opposite of threat confirmation, in that a roll that would *miss* the targeted opponent confirms the critical fumble.

Having said that, a 1 in 400 chance of royally screwing everything up is bad enough for me as a player.


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 Post subject: Re: [HOMEBREW d20 & D&D 3.5] Critical miss
PostPosted: Sun Aug 17, 2008 5:08 pm 
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Daremonai wrote:
Overall, the system seems reasonable. For a harsher version, you could have the 2nd roll be the exact opposite of threat confirmation, in that a roll that would *miss* the targeted opponent confirms the critical fumble.

What? Roll a 1, roll to confirm - a miss roll being a critical miss, and another 1 being a critical fail?
That's what I meant - does it not come across as that?

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PostPosted: Sun Aug 17, 2008 6:49 pm 
EDIT: I really must learn how to read one of these days. I missed the difference between missing and failing. On the other hand, I did provide a sterling example of a critical fail.


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PostPosted: Sun Aug 17, 2008 7:11 pm 
Alastair already knows what I think about this, as we figured out the finer points of it together this morning.

I was just thinking that maybe we could start working with these rules in one of the games, just to test how much it screws our characters up in an encounter - to an acceptable level, or too much, or not enough?

As it's not strictly speaking in the rules yet, we can always retcon things a bit if anything catastrophic happens (like a character death) as a direct result of the new rule?


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PostPosted: Sun Aug 17, 2008 11:12 pm 
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I'd rather try it out in an arena battle first. How about this Tuesday, Ninja?

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