log in or register to remove this ad

 

My games critical fumble chart

sammy

First Post
My group and I have been trying a critical fumble chart for a while now, and we have all enjoyed it so far. All of us in the group had a hand in it's creation, from concept to tweaking. It's small. but seems to be good (for us, at least). The mechanic is random, just as combat can be. I know some people are against said charts. I don't mean to start a debate, which I'm sure is WAY overdone by now, but I just wanted to share this with the gaming world at large.


FUMBLE CHART

1) Any "DC" or "check" uses this formula: 1d12 +10

2) A natural attack roll of "1" is then followed by a Dexterity check. If successful, then the attack was only a normal miss.

3) If failed, the player rolls 1d12, and consult below chart. Also, any remaining actions are lost.


1-2: It's your lucky day! Stumble 5 feet in a random direction.

3 : OFF BALANCE- You are flat footed until the beginning of your next turn.

4 : DISTRACTED- Make a "WILL" save or be -1 to AC and attacks until your next turn.

5 : SLIP- Make a "DEX" check or fall prone.

6 : OPENING- The target of your attack gets a free attack of opportunity.

7 : DROP ITEM- Make a "REF" check or drop the weapon or item you attack with in your space. Picking up the item or weapon is a "move action", which provokes attacks of oportunity.

8 : WILD SWING- Attack a random target, friend or foe, but apply no strength bonuses.

9 : TRIP- Make a "DEX" check or fall prone and be stunned for 1d4 rounds.

10 : WEAPON/ITEM FLIES FROM GRASP- The weapon or item you attack with flies from your hand. It lands 1d6 squares away in a random direction.

11 : WIDE OPEN- All enemies you threaten get a free attack of opportunity.

12 : DM CHOICE- Either pick one of the above results, or have the player roll again, but any DC or Check increases by "2". This increase may stack with itself.
 

log in or register to remove this ad

Folly

First Post
In general, I do not like fumbles in this manor. Given there is an additional dex check, but that is no different than confirming on a critical hit except worse (most players have small amounts of dex). The problem is that these penalties are worse than the benefit achieved by a critical success. In general, a critical success is equivalent to an extra 1 or 2 hits (occasion 3 if you player uses a x4) Losing the remainder of the actions alone can cause the player to lose 3 hits or more if you happen to be a two-weapon fighter. To add fumbles on top of that is especially harsh.
 

edemaitre

Explorer
Critical fumble house rules

In my game, critical fumbles happen on a natural 1 on a 1d20 attack roll. To confirm, use one of the following two methods:

-Another attack roll against the opponent's Armor Class, including all normal attack bonuses. [Game Master's note: I considered using just the Base Attack Bonus vs. the defender's flat-footed AC here.] If the attack misses again, see the table below for the result, where the difference between the second attack roll and the defender's Armor Class is the number of the result.

-Simple result: As with the multiplier for critical hits, roll a second 1d20 after rolling a natural 1. If another natural 1 is rolled, roll 1d20 for the result on the table below.

1. Swing and a miss: Simple miss, no penalties.
2. Butterfingers: Drop random item from possessions.
3. Flat-footed for one round.
4. Barf: Sickened (hit in the 'nads), -2 attacks, damage, and saves for one round. (Fortitude save, Difficulty Class 15 to negate).
5. Here, use mine: Opponent can try to disarm.
6. Slam dancing: Bump into friend, make Balance check DC 12 or both lose next attacks.
7. Get out of my way: Spoil closest ally's next attack (Reflex save to avoid).
8. With friends like these… Distract nearest friendly spellcaster (concentration check to negate).
9. Ouch: Pull a muscle, -2 to attacks until treated.
10. What monsters, I don't see any monsters? Armor/gear slip, -2 to attacks and Armor Class until straightened out (Move action).
11. Capes, foiled again! Entangled: Need to spend a standard action to get out.
12. Wide open: Opponents get an Attack of Opportunity.
13. Slip slidin' away: Off-balance, miss next-round action (Reflex save to negate).
14. Oof: Knocked back one hex (five feet, provoke AO).
15. Disarmed: Drop weapon; will need to spend an action (and possibly provoke an AO) to retrieve.
16. On your ass: Prone; you can spend an action next round getting up (provoke an A) at +4 when doing so).
17. Weapon break: Weapon saves to avoid breaking (magical bonuses apply; see rules for Sunder and Breakage)
18. Boot to the head: Hit self (Fortitude save or be stunned for one round).
19. Friendly fire: Hit friend (save to negate damage).
20. You're your own worst enemy: Hit self (save for half damage).
 

Ruslanchik

First Post
The two systems here seem like they would add another layer of complexity to combat, which can be good. It also seems like they would slow things down a lot, though. Using the second method it could take four roles to resolve one attack--in several cases the last role is made by another player. The OP's method using d12s and rolling to set a DC must add a ton of time to already long encounters.

Critical fumbles are definitely not a necessary part of the game. Missing an attack is plenty of punishment, especially in a tense battle. However, the best system I've ever played with was: after rolling a natural 1 roll 1d20 again if you roll another 1 you either drop your weapon or fall down (DM's choice based on which makes the most sense). This rule should apply to monsters and PCs. Not nearly as detailed as your schemes, but much more elegant and efficient.
 

ImBatman

First Post
edemaitre said:
In my game, critical fumbles happen on a natural 1 on a 1d20 attack roll. To confirm, use one of the following two methods:

-Another attack roll against the opponent's Armor Class, including all normal attack bonuses.
There is a huge problem with this "confirming" a fumble roll system using a follow-up miss check.

Highly competent characters will "fumble" much more often (especially vs. formidable opponents), as their multiple attacks will have lower to hit rolls. Having more than one attack will statistically increase your chance to fumble!

A Dragon vs a 15th level Paladin, both have decent "to hit" rolls and AC's. Both are heroic fantasy figures, very competent and deadly fighters, cool under pressure, etc. Now the Paladin rolls a "1" in combat and then is forced to roll a "fumble" check to confirm "fumbling" his sword swing. He is statistically much more likely to confirm the fumble versus a dragon (very high AC) than versus say a goblin (low AC).

While it is more likely to miss the Dragon, but why with a fumble system would you want him to not only miss, but catastrophically botch his attack? Is that heroic or cinematic? And even versus the lowly goblin, why would you want to embarrass your player's 15th level Paladin with such a scene? Some will argue that with adversity a true hero still finds a way to succeed, but I think a well defined combat scene and foe will be enough.

At low levels, some of this is okay, "remember that time when we were just starting out when you swung your sword so hard it went flying in the air", (as long as other PC/NPC's aren't hurt), but I really think (IMHO) that it detracts from the "heroic" aspects of the game.

I personally don't use any fumble system, players already really hate rolling a "1" for an automatic miss, no one finds it heroic to stab a friend, shoot an ally, etc. It may be realistic for simulating the chaos of combat, but it's not heroic, did Legolas ever miss and hit Gimli instead? Would you want him to?
 


Crosswind

First Post
A few notes for Batman -

Any critical fumble system has the person with iterative attacks missing more often. A fumble system that relies on an attack roll to confirm or deny the critical hit favors the people who are more competent at fighting. As edemaitre's game doesn't tend to go beyond 10th level, the secondary attacks of fighters tend to be pretty good attacks, anyways. It is extremely rare for something too dire to happen.

As for you being more likely to fumble when trying to hit something hard to hit than, say, a goblin...that makes more intuitive sense to me - you're trying harder, and are more likely to screw up due to degree of difficulty.

-Cross
 

Darkwolf71

First Post
Crosswind said:
Any critical fumble system has the person with iterative attacks missing more often. A fumble system that relies on an attack roll to confirm or deny the critical hit favors the people who are more competent at fighting.
This is exactly why crit fumble rules are a bad idea, tossing in a confirmation roll may make it less crap for the fighters, but it's still crap.

That said and to stay mostly on-topic, I like the idea of a Dex check as confirmation, it makes an even chance for the confirmation based on the characters natural grace. This makes sense. (I still don't like it, but it makes sense. :p )
 

sammy

First Post
Yes, I knew some people don't like crit fumble charts. I should have mentioned that my group is very small ( 2 players right now), so speed of play is not an issue.

To be honest, I think this is a quick system in general. It only takes about 5 seconds.

Roll a 1? DEX chack at (roll) 15. Player rolls, missess. OK, roll 1D12 to see what happens.

#x? ( __ ) check to avoid it. Player rolls, makes it ( they usually do, by the way), and we all continue.

I see this actually favoring the PCs by a good margin. Their stats are usually fairly good, so a small check is usually made in their favor.

This is just our way of doing this stuff. I didn't mean to start an old debate again. If you don't like it, well, don't use it. I have been in games that do both, and prefer games that have a fumble chart. Heroic? No. Fun? Absolutely. The chaos of combat is upon you. Deal with it.

Sammy
 

el-remmen

Moderator Emeritus
My group has been playing with critical fumble table (using the natural '1' miss confirmation system) and honestly there are rarely more than 1 fumble a session (though occasionally there are flukes where there are a dozen, which is fun too).

But as some people have pointed out, this may fall apart at high levels as my games never go past about 12th level.

As for not being heroic, for me heroic is about motives and goals not about individual results. Anyway, emerging victorious from a battle despite its potential chaos is even more heroic! :)

As for the OP's chart, I would just suggest being more specific in the results.

Here is a link to my game's fumble chart.

Because our game's rule Zero is no rule shall be followed to absurdity, any result that does not make sense to the context of the battle's action counts as "no effect". Our critical hit result charts can also lead to "no effect" at times.
 

Evilhalfling

Adventurer
I love fumbles, but being aware of the problems (lots of attacks means more fumbles, and missing is more likely than hitting.

I use the following checks.
1. Only the first attack can fumble. This preventsa hydra from fumbling every 2 rounds.
2. Avoidace is based on a reflex save. (DC 12+ situational) Thus heavy armor is not further penalized, and it gets less likely as you gain levels.

My fumble checks also involve a lot of situational modifiers - bad footing makes save harder, and increases chance of falling over vs dropping weapon. Hitting your friends/self happens only if the conditions favor it ie: in close quarters, when the PC is enlarged, or using a spiked chain. I just jot down 4-6 likely possiblities and roll to see which happens.
 
Last edited:

Lanefan

Victoria Rules
We've used fumbles for ages. There's two types of fumbles - minor and major. A major fumble is a nat. 1 to hit followed by a 1 on a d6. A minor fumble is the same except the to-hit roll was brought to 1 or lower by external forces (being badly hurt, shooting into melee, bane-type effects, etc.; in 3e the minuses from iterative attacks do not count toward this) This makes it the same ratio of fumbles to rolls for everyone - fighters fumble more often only because they do more things that can cause fumbles. We also make casters roll to aim their spells and these can also fumble; and of course monsters can fumble just the same as PCs.

On any fumble, roll d%. The DM has a table to determine results; the possible results from a minor fumble are a less-dramatic subset of the full table. Some possibilities:

**Damage to Self - either d4 or full or critical, depending on roll.
**Damage to Friend - ditto; if no friend near, damage self instead.
**Damage to Weapon - non-magic weapons auto-break, magic ones get a save. If weapon is part of self (claw, fist, etc.) then damage self instead.
**Drop weapon near (at feet) or far (up to 5' away).
**Throw weapon 10' or 20' - treat as a random missile.
**Drop or break shield if in use - if none, then damage to weapon.
**Free attack for opponent (same as AoO) provided opponent can see you've screwed up.
**Slip and fall.
**Combinations of above.

In any case, a fumbling character loses all remaining actions that round. Spell fumbles sometimes require some case-by-case rulings.

Lanefan
 

jeffh

Explorer
Lanefan said:
We've used fumbles for ages. There's two types of fumbles - minor and major. A major fumble is a nat. 1 to hit followed by a 1 on a d6. A minor fumble is the same except the to-hit roll was brought to 1 or lower by external forces (being badly hurt, shooting into melee, bane-type effects, etc.; in 3e the minuses from iterative attacks do not count toward this) This makes it the same ratio of fumbles to rolls for everyone - fighters fumble more often only because they do more things that can cause fumbles. We also make casters roll to aim their spells and these can also fumble; and of course monsters can fumble just the same as PCs.
Doesn't this make major fumbles substantially more likely than minor ones at higher levels? It also doesn't solve (but at least it makes a token attempt to explain away, and does its best not to exacerbate) the problem with iterative attacks.
 

Lanefan

Victoria Rules
jeffh said:
Doesn't this make major fumbles substantially more likely than minor ones at higher levels?
Quite the opposite, in fact. True (major) fumbles are always at exactly the same likelihood - 1/20 then 1/6 - no matter what. At mid-high levels, there tend to be more things giving minuses to hit, be they weakened stats, baneful effects, etc. of the sort that lead to minor fumbles. At low level, the most likely minus-causing effect that can lead to minor fumbles is fighting at 0 h.p. or less.
It also doesn't solve (but at least it makes a token attempt to explain away, and does its best not to exacerbate) the problem with iterative attacks.
We-ell, it only makes sense that if you're going to attack 4 times in a round, you have 4 times the chance of screwing up than the guy who only attacks once in a round. That said, you also have a bit less than 4 times the chance of scoring a crit (the confirm roll gets harder each attack if you're using 3e rules) than the 1-attack guy.

However, keep in mind this system was developed for a 1e-based game; yes there's multiple attacks possible there too, but not as common. We also use a flat roll to confirm criticals rather than basing it on what you need to hit; this assumes criticals are mostly lucky shots unrelated to skill, and we're cool with it. I understand this wouldn't be to everyone's tastes, however.

Lanefan
 

Derro

First Post
This is a very interesting thread. Both sides of the fence seem to have good arguments to me.

I use fumbles. Roll to confirm with highest attack bonus after a natural 1. If you roll another natural 1 you're screwed. Basically I decide what would be the worst circumstance the fumbler could be in and apply it. I think the double 1's have come up 3 times in what, 7 years of 3.x gaming.

Any way, standard fumble results in d20% check vs. rough guidelines:

01-05 Something pretty bad, all threateners gain AoO
06-25 Something not so bad, dazed one round
26-75 Fort save (DC 20) or become fatigued
76-95 Something not so bad, staggered one round
96-00 Something pretty bad, fling weapon and wackiness ensues

I know it's not the pinnacle of accuracy or objectiveness but that swings both ways. I get the idea of the severity of the fumble and can apply it accordingly. I'm not so much an RBDM that I'll use this to really wring the players and fumbles never throw the encounter for the villain. It's just spice. The extra die rolls are time for me and the players to say things like, "oh schnitt, what's gonna happen" or "f-yeah, we're gonna get this guy."

The fatigue right in the meaty part of the curve there might seem harsh to some. It actually allows me to capture an effect that I never could with hit point damage. I like the idea of people getting tired in combat but not so tired they're near dead. Now that I've adapted Second Wind there's a way to rid yourself of the penalty if you feel you must charge or run or do whatever the fatigue might be inhibiting.

If a PC really must not fumble they can generally blow a Fate Point but that's another ball of wax. I use many house-rules and variants so take this all with the proverbial grain I guess.
 

jeffh

Explorer
Lanefan said:
We-ell, it only makes sense that if you're going to attack 4 times in a round, you have 4 times the chance of screwing up than the guy who only attacks once in a round.
That's only a sensible argument if you assume, falsely, that one attack roll = one swing of your weapon.
 

CleverNickName

Limit Break Dancing
We've used fumbles before; they can be quite fun at low levels. We sort of phased them out once the characters got around 6th level or so, though, because as a previous poster stated, subsequent attacks have lower to-hit bonuses.

The way we did it was, a roll of 1 was a "threat" for a fumble. You confirmed the attack roll again, and if it was a miss, you dropped your weapon (as if you had been disarmed.) If you had the Quick Draw feat, it was no big deal to just swap weapons and pick up your fallen one at the end of the battle.
 

Angel Tarragon

Dawn Dragon
sammy said:
2) A natural attack roll of "1" is then followed by a Dexterity check. If successful, then the attack was only a normal miss.
If I were to include a critical fumble affect, it would be just one constant affect.

I like this one right here. I'm gonna try it in my next game.
 

Lanefan

Victoria Rules
jeffh said:
That's only a sensible argument if you assume, falsely, that one attack roll = one swing of your weapon.
I assume that one attack roll = x amount of working up to taking the best shot you could at your opponent. In 3e, with the very short rounds, there's not nearly as much "working up" involved as there was in earlier editions, but the principle still applies.

There's no escaping the math that says a given random outcome is 4 times as likely to happen if it is given 4 times as many chances to happen. There's also no escaping the math that says that a random outcome that has about a 9-in-1000 chance of occurring is going to occur *on average* 9 times in 1000 regardless what the source of the 1000 is.

So, a 4-attack guy is going to fumble 9 times in 1000 attacks, just like a 1-attack guy. The only difference is the 4 attack guy will do it in 250 rounds rather than 1000, which is perfectly logical. If he wanted to take 1000 rounds to fumble 9 times, he'd better back down to only taking 1 attack per round. :)

Lanefan
 

Celebrim

Legend
Since we are all doing it, here's mine.

01-07 Off Balance – Make a DC 5 balance check or suffer a -2 circumstance penalty on all attacks and opponents have a +2 bonus to hit you until the beginning of your next round.
08-13 Off Balance – Make a DC 10 balance check or suffer a -2 circumstance penalty on all attacks and opponents have a +2 bonus to hit you until the beginning of your next round.
14-16 Off Balance – Make a DC 5 balance check or fall prone.
17-18 Off Balance – Make a DC 10 balance check or fall prone.
19-22 Off Balance – Make a DC 10 balance check or become flatfooted until the beginning of your next round.
23-25 Off Balance – Confirm the fumble. If you fail a second time, if you are threatened by your target and the target has an available attack opportunity, the target may make a free trip attempt. If it fails, you may not attempt to trip your opponent.
26-30 Off Balance – Confirm the fumble. If you fail a second time, your weapon becomes unreadied. If you can ready a weapon as a free action, you may ignore this result.
31-33 Off Balance – Make a DC 20 balance check or lose remaining attacks in the round, and drop to the end of the initiative order.
34-35 Off Balance – Make a DC 20 balance check or lose remaining attacks in the round, and you may only take a partial action in your next round.
36-42 Clumsy Attack – DC 10 Dex check or drop weapon into your space. Ignore this result if you are using a natural weapon.
43-47 Clumsy Attack – DC 10 Dex check or drop weapon into adjacent space (roll direction randomly). Ignore this result if you are attacking with a natural weapon.
48-51 Clumsy Attack – DC 10 Str check or drop weapon into adjacent space (roll direction randomly). Ignore this result if you are attacking with a natural weapon.
52-54 Clumsy Attack – Confirm the fumble. If you fail a second time, and if you are threatened by your target and the target has an available attack opportunity, the target may make a free disarm attempt. If it fails, you may not attempt to disarm your opponent. Ignore this result if you are attacking with a natural weapon.
55-56 Clumsy Attack – Confirm the fumble. If you fail a second time, and if you are threatened by your target and the target has an available attack opportunity, the target may make a free sunder attempt. If it fails, you may not attempt to sunder your opponent’s weapon in reply. If you are attacking with a natural weapon, your opponent receives an attack of opportunity.
52-57 Drop Guard – Lose your shield bonus to AC, if you have one, until the beginning of your next round.
58-62 Drop Guard – Confirm the fumble. If you fail a second time, opponents have a +2 circumstance bonus to hit you until the beginning of your next round.
63-66 Drop Guard – Confirm the fumble. If you fail a second time, opponents have a +4 circumstance bonus to hit you until the beginning of your next round.
67-69 Drop Guard – Confirm the fumble. If you fail a second time, become flatfooted until your next action.
70-71 Drop Guard – Confirm the fumble. If you fail a second time, the target of your attack receives an attack of opportunity against you at the end of your attack.
72-74 Overexert Self – Make a DC 5 endurance check or become fatigued until you can catch your breath for 1 full round in which you take no other action.
75-77 Overexert Self – Make a DC 10 endurance check or become fatigued until you can catch your breath for 1 full round in which you take no other action.
78-79 Overexert Self – Make a DC 10 endurance check or become fatigued until you can rest for 1 minute.
80-81 Overexert Self – Make a DC 5 endurance check or pull a muscle, dealing 1 pt. of Dex damage at the end of the encounter.
82-83 Overexert Self - Make a DC 5 endurance check or pull a muscle, dealing 1 pt. of Str damage at the end of the encounter.
84 Overexert Self – Make a DC 10 endurance check or pull a muscle, dealing 1d3 pt. of Dex damage at the end of the encounter.
85 Overexert Self - Make a DC 10 endurance check or pull a muscle, dealing 1d3 pt. of Str damage at the end of the encounter.
86 Overexert Self – Make a DC 10 endurance check or pull a muscle, dealing 1d3 pt. of Dex damage immediately.
87 Overexert Self - Make a DC 10 endurance check or pull a muscle, dealing 1d3 pt. of Str damage immediately.
88-89 Trip Self – Confirm the fumble. If you fail a second time, make a trip attack against yourself. Ignore this result if you are using a light weapon.
90-91 Strike Self – Confirm the fumble. If you fail a second time, make an attack against yourself. If the attack is successful, deal normal damage for the weapon ignoring your strength bonus and additional damage from critical hits or sneak attacks. Ignore this roll if you are attacking with a bludgeoning or natural weapon.
92 Strike Self – Confirm the fumble. If you fail a second time, make an attack against yourself. If the attack is successful, deal normal damage for the weapon ignoring your strength bonus and additional damage from critical hits or sneak attacks. If you are using a bludgeoning weapon, the damage is not lethal. Ignore this roll if you are attacking with natural weapons.
93 Strike Self – Confirm the fumble. If you fail a second time, make an attack against yourself. If the attack is successful, deal normal damage for the weapon ignoring your strength bonus and additional damage from critical hits or sneak attacks. Ignore this roll if you are attacking with natural weapons.
94 Strike Self – Confirm the fumble. If you fail a second time, make an attack against yourself. If the If the attack is successful, deal normal damage for the weapon including your strength bonus and additional damage from critical hits, but ignoring sneak attacks or other attacks that require precision. Ignore this roll if you are attacking with natural weapons.
95-00 Roll Again Twice – Ignoring a second roll in the same category.
 

NOW LIVE! 5 Plug-In Settlements for your 5E Game

Advertisement2

Advertisement4

Top