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Failtacular (3.5e Variant Rule)

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Created By
Teh Storm (talk)
Date Created: 5/11/2010
Status: Complete
Editing: Please feel free to edit constructively!

Failtacular: How to Turn "I Rolled a One" Into "Oh Gods No!" Edit

I like the potential for the incredible. But as the rules are written, rolling a natural one on a die is an automatic failure. How vanilla.

While various sources have already made effects having lasting repercussions for natural ones on skill checks, combat is left alone. But combat is where the spectacular happens. If you think that rolling a natural one is not exciting enough, here is my formula that I use for failtacular results.

Have your victim roll three ten-sided die (3d10), reading off each number.

Consult the chart below:

d10 Weapon Loss Weapon Damage Ally Casualty
1 - 6 None None None
7 - 9 Weapon dropped broken Clip (half damage)
10 Weapon Flung Destroyed Strike (full damage)
Weapon Dropped- the weapon used falls in the users square.
Weapon Flung- the weapon was flung 1d4 feet in a random direction. It takes a Search check to find it as per a lost arrow.
Broken- the weapon snapped and is currently unusable.
Destroyed- the weapon is irreparably damaged.
Clip and Strike- Make a melee attack against one target within reach, chosen at random. The target is never the original target of the attack. If the target is an ally, they are flat footed. If the target is an enemy, they lose only their dexterity bonus; all dodge bonuses still apply. If clip was rolled, any damage determined is halved, and critical hit is ignored. If strike was rolled, full damage is dealt, including critical hit. If Weapon Flung came up as a factor, the attack becomes a ranged attack. Count the range increment as 5 feet, unless the weapon used already has a thrown range increment.

Natural attacks are different. Ignore weapon loss entirely. Weapon damage becomes hit point to the attacker, with a broken result becoming a multiple fracture that disables the limb, and the destroyed result becoming a permanent mutilation that requires a greater restoration spell to cure.

Attack roll spells can also use this variant. The same rules apply to spellcasters as the natural attack fumbles. However, two important differences. First, a result of Broken on weapon damage results in hit point damage equal to the spell level. Second, Destroyed results in double damage similar in application to the Broken result.

As a final note, I do not recommend using this variant without also using Superior Critical to balance the overall effects on the game.


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