Fumbles ain't Bad: A rewrite and a voteEdit

This page has needed a rewrite, as no one seems to like it as it was and the math works only in Paranoia style games. However, as skill seems to be a major factor in the debate, I would like thoughts and discussion on the following idea: Should a reflex save be allowed to pull the punch of a mishap? Ideas, please.--Teh Storm 04:35, June 16, 2010 (UTC)

If you want Paranoia, use that system. D&D 3.5 is a horrible system to base such games on, since a system has a strong influence on what a game plays like and its flavor. Also, fumbles suck. See my first message below as to why. (Add in randomness, lessening of any effects strategy has, etc etc etc.) --Ghostwheel 04:50, June 16, 2010 (UTC)
By the Bernoulli Trials theorem, I get 27.1% chance to get any combination of 10s rolls, and 65.7% to get any of the medium results without looking at whether the non medium or 10 rolls (based on which set) would get a different value. Altogether, there is a 78.4% chance of something happening (and thus a 21.6% chance of just being a normal miss.) This seems altogether less deadly than what your charts have been. Havvy 04:53, June 16, 2010 (UTC)
I didn't think a rewrite was necessary, but that's fine. I don't think a reflex save is necessary, or even a good addition. You want substantial fumbles, let there be substantial fumbles; I don't see a compelling reason to add additional layers of complexity or escape clauses to it. - TarkisFlux 14:37, June 16, 2010 (UTC)
The people are calling for a chance for more skilled fighters to recover from their follies, and I think that a Reflex save would be the best way to represent the last minute alteration needed to avert disaster.--Teh Storm 04:03, June 19, 2010 (UTC)
Or you could have them confirm the fumble, like confirming a crit. Just a thought...--NameViolation 05:16, June 19, 2010 (UTC)
That's what I do.--Tavis McCricket 06:24, June 19, 2010 (UTC)
Meh, the only reason I still confirm critical is because of the superior critical possibility. I always thought that having a player roll twice with no benefit was stupid. So unless I become delusional and create "superior fumble rules", I think I'll pass on that option.--Teh Storm 19:49, June 20, 2010 (UTC)
well making a reflex save wouldn't do anything different than confirming a fumble. either way its roll a d20 to not get horribly screwed over, rather you wanna call it an attack roll or a reflex save or a tumble check or whatever--NameViolation 20:07, June 20, 2010 (UTC)
It depends strongly on your flavor. If this were to have a second roll attached to it, there is no other way it would work in my mind other than a Reflex save. Recovering from a miss is a reflex issue; how quickly a character would realize that a serious mistake was made before it was too late to pull back. So really this is a two parter: should there be a save, and would it apply to Weapon Damage, Weapon Loss, or Ally Casualty?
let them make an opposed disarm against themselfs to not lose the grip. what if they have a locked gauntlet? hows it let the weapon loose? also shouldnt the ally get some save, or even their against this? it seem rather arbitrary that some one automatically gets hit because of someone else rolling a have them disarm vs themselves to see if they lose their grip, and make a ranged attack (with all normal modifiers) if it's headed for an ally. that way its not someone getting auto-owned.--NameViolation 23:48, June 21, 2010 (UTC)
That's an idea. Since an attack from your non-possessed friend is almost never expected, should the the ally be flat-footed? Also, you assume the weapon flies away. Could it be a melee attack if the weapon isn't lost?--Teh Storm 04:10, June 23, 2010 (UTC)
the flat-footed issue can be argued either way. Personally i say let them keep their dex or make a free spot check to see it coming. and if its a melee attack make it a normal attack roll, or if ya wanna get a lil complicated make it a normal attack ignoring any weapon specific feats like focus and specialization. also let the fumbler be a available target. i cant think of a reason to punish everyone else without them possibly gettin hit--NameViolation 06:06, June 26, 2010 (UTC)
I just rewrote Ally Casualty to include all viable targets in reach, both hostile and friendly. I made it so that allies are flat footed, but enemies are only partially flat footed, still retaining all their dodge and shield bonuses. It is a weird mechanic, but I think it may well represent the "on gua-WTF!?!" moment of being subject to an enemy fumble.--Teh Storm 21:26, June 27, 2010 (UTC)

Fumbles are Dumb Edit

Here's why. --Ghostwheel 05:45, May 12, 2010 (UTC)

You'll think this is fun until the Ranger's brand new +3 Flaming Longbow is destroyed. I can assure you I don't want to be at the table when you explain where his 32,000 gp went. I'm usually the DM trying to keep my players on the verge of tears, and I've got to say this is just cruel. --The Badger 06:41, May 12, 2010 (UTC)
I did you one better. A monk I played a year ago rolled a natural one three times in a flurry. The end result? He lost his arm and his vorpal kama after he decapitated two party members and we spent the rest of the night trying to hunt down the rat that ate my arm after succeeding on the DC 30 search check that our party rogue failed. We had a blast!Teh Storm 06:47, May 12, 2010 (UTC)
Oh, and this is only part one. Part two details my hit location and superior critical tables, which will serve as the counter to this article.Teh Storm 06:47, May 12, 2010 (UTC)
Some people play Hollywood games, and some people play realistic games. In a ultra-fantastic game I think it would be fun to see a sword fly out of your hand and up into a tree only to have it fall out and kill the wizard 3 rounds later. While this rule will never make it to a real game I play, it may just show up in DnDnD (Dungeons and Dragons and Drinking; high-powered, silly, and fun meat grinders with those Hollywood moments, and of course booze). --The Badger 06:58, May 12, 2010 (UTC)
"I don't understand why my entire party decided to play Dragonfire Adepts. On a random side note, they haven't used their d20s to attack once since we started playing..." -- Eiji Hyrule 07:06, May 12, 2010 (UTC)
Meh, that isn't too difficult to solve. A group of quasi-spell casters says to me that they want to face creatures with unusual abilities. I would recommend magic traps, lots of monsters with spells or spell-like abilities, and powerful magic users as overlords. Though if you ever get sick of all this, don't feel guilty about staging the classic orc ambush: no time for preparation, they close for melee almost instantly, and keeps the players on their toes.Teh Storm 23:06, May 15, 2010 (UTC)
Ah, the delicate art of sarcasm online.--Tavis McCricket 19:56, May 17, 2010 (UTC)
Eiji's point was that this ignores an entire subset of characters; they can completely ignore this variant rule by never rolling attacks and just making enemies roll saves.
Also, for the sake of completion, how does this handle touch attack spells, both melee and ranged? - TarkisFlux 20:36, May 17, 2010 (UTC)
My campaigns let attack roll spells follow the same rule as weapons, thus fumble and critical both apply.Teh Storm 20:43, May 17, 2010 (UTC)
There is no attack roll involved in a breath weapon, so it will won't fumble.--Tavis McCricket 21:05, May 17, 2010 (UTC)
Specifically, how is weapon damaged or lost or whatever applied to a touch attack spell. Saying that they apply doesn't tell us how to apply them. - TarkisFlux 21:07, May 17, 2010 (UTC)
To the first, I pay close attention to area effects. REALLY close attention. If there is not enough room for one, it starts doing things like warping shape or getting concentrated. More than one player has died from using a fireball in a 10 by 10 room.
To the second, remember my bit on natural attacks? The same applies to spells, but broken and destroyed get weird. You do not have to copy me, but a Broken result causes ability damage to the spell casting attribute while Destroyed causes ability drain. Again, you do not have to copy me, and feel free to create your own spell mishaps for fumbled spells. I won't be offended.Teh Storm 21:20, May 17, 2010 (UTC)
I actually don't intend to use these at all (as indicated below, I don't want fumbles in my games), I just want your rule as complete as possible for anyone who is interested in the setup. To that end, I think you should write those touch attack spell rules into the variant itself. It's better to be complete and let people change parts they don't like than to ask them to make up their own stuff so that they can use your variant rule. - TarkisFlux 21:38, May 17, 2010 (UTC)

Fumbles are Fun Edit

At least when I'm DMing...--Tavis McCricket 00:40, May 13, 2010 (UTC)

I think so too, though I doubt that anyone was as cruel as me when playing with them. I was surprised by the lack of fumble and hit location tables on this site. Are they taboo?Teh Storm 20:57, May 14, 2010 (UTC)
No, just mean spirited. If I DM, and a player fumbles, either they lose the rest of their turn, they drop/pitch the weapon, or they damage it. That's it. They never risk killing another player. I feel like having a table to govern critical fumbles almost celebrates the failure of a player.
In case you were wondering, my system is really simple: If you roll a natural 1, you roll the d20 again to confirm the fumble (like you do for a crit). If they roll anything 6 or higher, it's just a miss. If they roll 5 or lower, it's a critical fumble. They roll the d20 again. 11-20 is a lost turn, 6-10 is a dropped/pitched weapon, 2-5 is weapon damage. If they roll another 1, they break the weapon outright.--Tavis McCricket 21:34, May 14, 2010 (UTC)
(grumble edit conflict grumble) Not really taboo. A lot of us just don't like what they do in the grander mechanical scope of things. For starters it makes action resolution take longer, and combat turns already take a substantial portion of time. More problematic than that though is that they disproportionately affect melee classes, and they already generally have the shaft in a number of playstyles. So while wizards are unlikely to ever roll on such a chart after low levels because they stop making attack rolls, warriors are going to have a higher chance of fumbling as they level because they roll more dice for their bonus attacks. On average, a level 1 warrior will fumble once every 20 turns, but a level 16 one will fumble once every 5. You can mitigate the caster / attacker disparity by making a spell fumble table for when enemies roll 20s against you so everyone is equally at risk (even though the caster only throws one spell, lots of enemies could crit save against it in a round), though no one ever has that I'm aware of, but it still doesn't resolve the problem of these things happening more as you get higher in level (though that may not be a problem for your playstyle). Plus, anything that increases randomness diminishes the players chances on a large enough scale (like a campaign) for reasons based on iterative probability and the failure tolerance variance of the players vs. team monster (again, not a problem for some playstyles, mine just don't fit that anymore). - TarkisFlux 21:40, May 14, 2010 (UTC)
I guess part of the reason I have these tables is because I made the superior critical table first and I have bizzaro luck: my dice are compelled to commit the most epic of fails and wins. Thus my monsters critical and fumble more often than my players. And because the SCT was the first created, my players were getting pissed when a monster would auto coup de grace a player then just automatically miss on the next attack or so. So I made this table. I still had to add the natural attack sub-note to completely balance it, but I think it is worth it. Besides, there is nothing like seeing the shock and glee on a groups face when an orc critical misses and ends up killing half his posse!Teh Storm 21:41, May 15, 2010 (UTC)
And totally doesn't make up for the times when a PC critical misses and ends up killing half the party... >_> --Ghostwheel 22:05, May 15, 2010 (UTC)
Which is why this table should never be used without Superior Critical by its side. Just as I would never recommend a class that got full spellcasting abilities with fighter feats and monk abilities, I would never recommend that Failtacular or Superior Critical be used by itself; they need to balance each other. Maybe I should link the two?Teh Storm 22:56, May 15, 2010 (UTC)
You could link them in their intros, and probably should if you don't intend them to ever be used separately, but that's not really Ghost's point. If the orcs fumble and kill half their party, that's not a big deal for the game. If the players fumble and kill half their party, that might screw them utterly and wind up ending the game. The numerical balance might be there, but the effect balance isn't because one is a hilarious memory and the other is a game ending annoyance. This isn't a concern in an adversarial, 2E style DM vs. Players setup where death happens and games end and you move on but it is a concern in a more cooperative style where the players dying means the story never gets played out entirely. - TarkisFlux 20:27, May 17, 2010 (UTC)
So this is all about a play style argument?!? Because in that case let it be known I am an improv DM- let the game flow where it may. Every now and then I do prepare an adventure/quest path, but I never commit to it unless the players become absorbed in it. Sometimes a "key" player (note the quotations!) dies and the others just completely depart from the storyline that they were following. And I'm cool with that.Teh Storm 20:42, May 17, 2010 (UTC)

Skill checks... Edit

You can't critically fail a skill check. Only attack rolls and saving throws.--Tavis McCricket 19:15, May 18, 2010 (UTC)

They recommend in the DMs Guide that rolling a 1 on a skill check have lasting hindering effects. The example they give is epic failing a climb check resulting in the destruction of hand holds on the way down.--Teh Storm 20:51, May 18, 2010 (UTC)

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