Thursday 15 November 2018

Crits and Fumbles 2018

Crits and Fumbles document is here.

If you roll a natural 20 on an attack, roll 1d20 on the Critical Hit table.
If you roll a natural 1 on an attack, roll 1d20 on the Fumble table.
I know, revolutionary.

click to embiggen

click to embiggen


If you've read my house rule doc or saw one of the previous versions this will be familiar.
For those who haven't, here's an explanation!

Notch Weapon
A weapon that takes a Notch drops a die size for damage. 1d10 > 1d8 > 1d6 > 1d4 > 1
When you hit with an attack, you can sacrifice your weapon to roll its original un-notched damage die. If you do this it falls apart and is irreparable.
This is generally more worthwhile when your weapon is so badly Notched it’s not worth using.

Notch Armour
Armour that takes a Notch gives the wearer -1 AC.
If your armour takes so many Notches it’s worthless, it falls apart and is irreparable.

Repairs cost 10% of the cost of the weapon per Notch.
Dwarves can fully repair an item given a day and simple tools.
The Mending spell fully repairs an item.

he's just a high level fighter whose DM thinks HP is Meat Points

Ongoing Effects

Hopefully these are self-explanatory.

If you're affected by something, save at the start of the round to end the effect.
Remember that your Wisdom Modifier applies to saves vs mundane effects!

If you want a guideline to the mechanical impacts I'd apply -

Blinded: Can't see (obviously). Melee attacks at -4, ranged attacks don't work.
Helpless: Melee attacks automatically hit a helpless target for max damage.
Prone: +4 to hit prone target in melee, -4 to hit prone target at range. It takes a move to stand up.
Slowed: Moving requires an Action instead of being a free move. (ie. you can either move or do something)
Stunned: Can't do anything on your turn.
Surprised: AC is 10+Armour only. Attackers can roll Backstab for potential extra damage.

textbook gambit, I should have saved this for a combat post


This isn't so different from the tables I've used for years, it's just those were four years old and needed a bit of a redo.
As before I've kept the effects fairly generic so you can describe them in a way that fits the fictional situation.
Crits and fumbles are a fun time to let the player narrate what just happened too! Mix it up a bit!

Choices for the common case of inhuman foes
Several crits now have a choice. eg. Sunderer gives a choice between shattering target's weapon or disabling a natural attack until they Save vs Stun.
This is because I fell into the classic trap of considering only armed person on armed person combat, when much of the fighting in this game is against monsters.
Fighting a knight? Shatter their sword. Fighting a giant snake? Disable its bite.

Theatre-of-the-Mind Slowed Condition
Movement-based effects were kinda lame because it's been nearly a decade since I last used a battle mat, nowadays anybody can move anywhere (within reason) and the biggest limitation on movement is Opportunity Attacks a la 5e.
Instead of the worthless-in-context "halved movement", being Slowed means you've got to use an action to move.
Cute mechanical impact - this means you can't Parry and Move to disengage. If you want to get away you'll have to take a hit, or maybe gambit.

No Quality
I used to have a Quality rule where better weapons would notch less often, but in practice people just paid the cash for the best weapon and/or just plain forgot.
Weapon/armour damage on crits and fumbles comes up enough to be interesting without being a real drag.

there's a bit in this scene where a guard's laser knife mysteriously disappears which I was going to call a fumble

To all the haters out there

Some people will tell you that crits and fumbles (usually just fumbles) are bad for the game because a Fighter will roll more fumbles than a Wizard just because they're rolling more attacks or some shit.

Those people are boring and haven't discovered the rad as hell solution called "Fighters get a +1 bonus to crit and fumble rolls per level".
Wow would you look at that, now Fighters recover from fumbles and do multi-overcrit instant kills a whole lot more. Wild!

Now this is just for Fighters, other classes in the melee combat niche like Barbarians will still roll a bad fumble every so often, but that's because Barbarians are sloppy and Fighters are OP.