Sunday 21 November 2010

Crits and Fumbles

This is the the table - short, impressionistic and easy to remember - that I use for critical hits and fumbles.

I'm definitely of the "low impact" school of special combat effects. Not so much getting your eye poked out (that's a result for below 0 hit points - another table to work up) or maiming your buddy with a wild swing, but just minor effects that add flavor to the flow of a combat.

When someone rolls a natural 20 to hit in my game, I use the table to help decide what happens. The victim of the hit chooses whether to take maximum damage from the hit, or to roll the damage normally and suffer a random mishap from the table. If the mishap doesn't apply - for example, nothing is carried in a particular hand, or a creature doesn't have a head - then maximum damage has to happen.

As fumbles, the mishaps can also occur on a natural to hit roll 1, for the character who rolled it, but in that case there is no consequence if a particular mishap doesn't apply.

Click to see all
I will sometimes allow a save to avoid the effects, if conditions are particularly good to avoid them. For example, if wearing a helmet, you can make a Body save (with a constitution-based bonus) to avoid being stunned for 1 round; if not, the save avoids being stunned for 2 rounds instead of 1. If solidly positioned on good dry footing, you can make a Speed save (with dexterity-based bonus) to avoid falling. If your held item is a greatsword and the opponent's is a dagger, that's also Body to avoid dropping it. "Repositioning" covers things like charging past an opponent, or them slipping around your back.

Right now, breakage tests are ruled according to common sense, but I'm working on a system to handle quick and easy non-living object damage. That and the "death and dismemberment" table I want to use are both coming up.

1 comment:

  1. My old GM liked to use fumbles, seemed to work well with our group.