View Full Version : Crit Fumble that doesn't suck?

2013-01-01, 11:47 PM
I'm thinking of making a D&D Heartbreaker sometime soon, and this just came to me:

Critical Fumble basics
When any attack (as in, spell, ranged attack, melee full attack etc.) is made and the first (and only the first) attack made is a natural 1 this is a fumble and treated as a Miss (even if the attack would normally hit). Resolve all other attacks with this weapon BEFORE resolving the fumble (however if the defender would die they are instead reduced to 1 HP)

If the attacker has more than one weapon (through TWF, multiple Natural Attacks etc.) then each weapon is counted as a separate attack for this purpose

Fumble Confirm:
Roll a 1D10 +1/2 ECL DC10
On success: Reroll the failed attack with a -2 modifier
On failure: Roll on the Fumble table

Roll a D20 +1/2 ECL
1-3: You fall on your sword/spell backfires on you. you are reduced to -1HP and dying
4-6: The weapon cuts you as it clatters out of your hands/the magic fails you as it explodes in your face. You drop your sword or are unable to cast spells for 3 Rounds and treat the attack as an automatic hit against yourself
7-9: The weapon is redirected at you. Treat the attack as an automatic hit against yourself.
10-12: You drop your sword.
13-15: You make an attack at -5 against the defender before dropping the weapon. This is resolved as the initial attack except with a -5 Fumble penalty
16-18: You make an attack at -5 against the defender. This is resolved as the initial attack except with a -5 Fumble penalty
19-20: You are treated as succeeding on the Fumble Confirm check
21-29: Make an attack against the defender. This is resolved as if you had rolled a 20 but does not count for any abilities or effects that activate on a natural 20 (eg. Critical Hits)
30: You automatically hit the defender

What do you think of it? It's slightly worse for TWF and multiple Natural Attackers but Melee isn't worse off than Casters

2013-01-01, 11:54 PM
Seems like it might be a little overly complicated. The 1d20+ 1/2 ECL basically means that as they get higher level the fumble means next to nothing as all of the worst results will be literally impossible to roll.

Also, seems kinda counter productive that some of the options allow them to try to hit again, even with a penalty. If they have already crit fumbled, why give them the chance to hit again? Just seems to be doing the opposite of the intent of a fumble.

2013-01-02, 12:05 AM
Well it's kind of the point, they get better at recovering from their fumblings as they level.

Maybe I should get rid of the 1/2level on the D20 roll then? So the D10 is what they get better at avoiding

And the reroll attack is (in my mind) them mis-stepping but recovering, or innovating on the fly a patch to a mis-spoken spell
Or a failed defense attempt by the defender

2013-01-02, 12:10 AM
Yeah, the problem with fumbles isn't the specifics (though since you've got even a chance of a fumble killing the PC, they're already awful in that respect), but that their only purpose is to screw over PCs. If they happen to a mook that's going to last one round of focus in one encounter, who gives a damn? If they screw up a PC that would generally last a dozen encounters or more, it's much worse; luck inherently favors the loser, and in general anything the PCs are fighting (which will almost always be around for less encounters than the PCs) is the loser in that respect.

Fumbles almost always suck, and there's really no way to make them not suck; even the PF fumbles that had some unique effects were still hindered by the fact they're a conceptually bad system (and one of them plane shifted you, so they were still absurd).

2013-01-02, 12:55 AM
Personally, the house rule that my group has used off and on for the last... god I feel old suddenly... anyway. Is that if you roll a 1, and that would not hit the targets AC, you provoke an AoO from anyone threatening you as you throw yourself off balance. If you roll a 1 and it would hit their AC, you provoke only from them. It makes botching suck and makes things a little more tense and deadly in combat, but pretty much no instant death and the like and also really easy to run.

2013-01-02, 01:12 AM
What do you think of it? It's slightly worse for TWF and multiple Natural Attackers but Melee isn't worse off than Casters

Unfortunately, that's not true. While anyone can only fumble once in a round, casters still roll fewer dice (in most cases, with the notable exception of high-attack-count Mailmen and certain blasting Psions) and therefore still have a lower chance of getting hit by a critical fumble. That is, the probabilities look like this AnyDice program (http://anydice.com/program/1b4e) (where the important numbers are the percentages of 1s). Edit: bah, read this wrong somehow. :smallannoyed:

Also, it's still perfectly possible to make an effective caster that either never rolls any dice at all, or at any rate makes no attack rolls.

2013-01-02, 01:26 AM
True, you can make casters with no attack rolls.
Something I plan to change with my new system but still