Paizo Top Nav Branding
  • Hello, Guest! |
  • Sign In |
  • My Account |
  • Shopping Cart |
  • Help/FAQ
About Paizo Messageboards News Paizo Blog Help/FAQ
Pathfinder Roleplaying Game

Pathfinder Adventure Card Game


Pathfinder Society


Starfinder


Starfinder Society

Botches & Fumbles: Do you use them?


Pathfinder RPG General Discussion

51 to 100 of 109 << first < prev | 1 | 2 | 3 | next > last >>

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Cards, Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

If everyone hates fumble rules, why is it that Paizo actually published a critical fumble deck?

I agree that having monsters fumble can be very entertaining. It throws more variability into combat. I mean, honestly, how often do you see strange and non-optimal combat tactics choices? Sure, fumbles aren't the only way to encourage this sort of behavior, but they're a start.

Liberty's Edge

I mean, those decks were published a while ago and not every product has a large audience.

I prefer games without fumble/crit tables and decks, largely because it's difficult to balance for PCs and monsters with different physiologies.


Wheldrake wrote:

If everyone hates fumble rules, why is it that Paizo actually published a critical fumble deck?

I agree that having monsters fumble can be very entertaining. It throws more variability into combat. I mean, honestly, how often do you see strange and non-optimal combat tactics choices? Sure, fumbles aren't the only way to encourage this sort of behavior, but they're a start.

Because not everyone hates them? Its a marmite thing I guess...


I don't use fumbles for martials or skills, but I do have players roll on a modified Wild Magic table if they fail a concentration check.

Seems to work reasonably well? It's more in-character and lore-friendly (magic is supposed to be this complex and barely controlled thing, so a wizard occasionally losing control of a spell seems appropriate), and the fact that it's only on failed concentration checks keeps it pretty rare.


I don't use fumbles if there's a choice. I don't like fumbles. I haven't seen a good implementation of fumbles in any system. Even in systems that make a mathematically not-terrible implementation, it still takes time and effort to resolve. And it does nothing I consider useful. Single-dice resolution is already more swingy than I like before adding "wacky" effects.

Also, the flavour of it sets my teeth on edge. I have spent hundreds of hours sparring with blunt weapons. In that time I have literally never "fumbled" the way fumble tables I have seen resolve it. I've never tripped myself over or stabbed myself. I've certainly made mistakes and lost fights, but I've never made an unprompted fight-losing error. I have, IIRC twice, long ago, dropped weapons when the weapons were hit. But the weapons were being hit deliberately by an opponent in order to move them around, which is not what a fumble represents. Life or death combat must be more chaotic than sparring, partly because sparring is really predictable, but I'm pretty sure that the fumble results I've seen in games are just nonsense.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

We have used critical fumbles before. It was combat rolls only. For critical success you had to confirm as normal (second roll over enemy AC). For failure, confirming the same way would penalize the group on a high AC foe, and beg the question of why the enemy's AC would matter if our bowstring breaks or not?

The compromise would be making a reflex check to "confirm" the critical failure. The GM would know the DC needed to prevent a critical failure (based on complexity of the fight and random chance). This means high reflex save PCs critically failed less often.

Shadow Lodge

Wheldrake wrote:
If everyone hates fumble rules, why is it that Paizo actually published a critical fumble deck?

Why do you think everyone hates them? I thought you didn't hate fumbles?


TOZ wrote:
Wheldrake wrote:
If everyone hates fumble rules, why is it that Paizo actually published a critical fumble deck?
Why do you think everyone hates them? I thought you didn't hate fumbles?

Plus, I mean, for any game the people who are posting on a messageboard about that game are nowhere close to a representative cross-section of "all the people who play the game."


3 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Cards, Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

You're right, I use the critical fumble deck (with the rules described above so that characters with multiple attacks aren't unduly penalized).

But there are a lot of very vocal fumble-haters chiming in on this thread. Hence my remark.

It isn't three-stooges time. It's just another variable thrown into the combat equation to spice things up. And given that adversaries tend to be more numerous than PCs, it happens more often to those adversaries.

Yes, for me, spicing things up is a very real objective. Combat is often static, with everyone maneuvering to get their best hits in and roll their best damage. Fumbles, when they happen to PCs, make them react and try different things. For me, that means more fun to be had for all involved.

I'd like to think that even spellcasters are affected by critical fumbles, but not having many PC spellcasters in my group, the issue doesn't often come up. But if any of my PCs roll a nat "20" on their saving throws, you can bet I'll inflict a critical fumble on NPC spellcasters in a heartbeat. That alone should even the playing field between linear martials and quadratic spellcasters. A bit, at least.

Anyway, at the end of the day, I'm not really trying to convince anyone or evangelize about critical fumble dogma. Each DM has to make his own informed decision. I simply want to present a viable option for those DMs who are on the fence on this question.

The Exchange RPG Superstar 2010 Top 16

4 people marked this as a favorite.

People have pointed out the two problems with fumbles:

1) PCs sometimes fumble, which is out of their control, and punishes them for doing what they should be doing: attacking.

2) NPCs sometimes fumble, which feels like it cheapens the victory. (Anybody remember the "Saga of Biornn"?)

I use Fumbles, and my solution to these is the confirmation number for a fumble is the number of untreated wounds the character has sustained.

(I use the True20 system, where you track wounds, instead of hit points. In Pathfinder, count the number of hit points the character is down from his maximum, divided by 5.)

Unwounded characters can fight all day and never worry about a fumble. The only way you screw-up is to choose to continue fighting after being seriously injured.

1) PCs can avoid a fumble by getting healed during combat, which makes combat more dangerous for parties that only have access to out-of-combat healing.

2) NPCs who die because of fumbles do so because they are already wounded. It's still a victory for the party, which has worn down the opponents enough for their own fatigue and wounds to finish them.


Chris Mortika wrote:

(I use the True20 system, where you track wounds, instead of hit points. In Pathfinder, count the number of hit points the character is down from his maximum, divided by 5.)

Sounds like an interesting system. Any chance of a link to the rules?


Wheldrake wrote:

You're right, I use the critical fumble deck (with the rules described above so that characters with multiple attacks aren't unduly penalized).

But there are a lot of very vocal fumble-haters chiming in on this thread. Hence my remark.

It isn't three-stooges time. It's just another variable thrown into the combat equation to spice things up. And given that adversaries tend to be more numerous than PCs, it happens more often to those adversaries.

Yes, for me, spicing things up is a very real objective. Combat is often static, with everyone maneuvering to get their best hits in and roll their best damage. Fumbles, when they happen to PCs, make them react and try different things. For me, that means more fun to be had for all involved.

I'd like to think that even spellcasters are affected by critical fumbles, but not having many PC spellcasters in my group, the issue doesn't often come up. But if any of my PCs roll a nat "20" on their saving throws, you can bet I'll inflict a critical fumble on NPC spellcasters in a heartbeat. That alone should even the playing field between linear martials and quadratic spellcasters. A bit, at least.

Anyway, at the end of the day, I'm not really trying to convince anyone or evangelize about critical fumble dogma. Each DM has to make his own informed decision. I simply want to present a viable option for those DMs who are on the fence on this question.

Yet all I keep hearing is that the ocs see more fumbles 'overall' than any single creature they face, which is really an utterly irrelevant statistic: foes will see more fumbles than pcs, almost invariably.


Wheldrake wrote:

If everyone hates fumble rules, why is it that Paizo actually published a critical fumble deck?

I agree that having monsters fumble can be very entertaining. It throws more variability into combat. I mean, honestly, how often do you see strange and non-optimal combat tactics choices? Sure, fumbles aren't the only way to encourage this sort of behavior, but they're a start.

I don't think everyone hates them. I used to use them, and they did provide some funny moments, but once I realized how much that 5% fumble chance is, and how even an average warrior is not likely to fumble that much I saw no reason for the best to fumble that much. I also realized how much it worked against the players since they could suffer from it on a long term basis. Like I said the monsters are likely going to die anyway so it really doesnt matter if they fumble.

edit: I also used to use the crit deck that Paizo published. I don't use that anymore, but I am not really against it. It can provide some interesting things other than just doing damage.


RDM42 wrote:
Wheldrake wrote:

You're right, I use the critical fumble deck (with the rules described above so that characters with multiple attacks aren't unduly penalized).

But there are a lot of very vocal fumble-haters chiming in on this thread. Hence my remark.

It isn't three-stooges time. It's just another variable thrown into the combat equation to spice things up. And given that adversaries tend to be more numerous than PCs, it happens more often to those adversaries.

Yes, for me, spicing things up is a very real objective. Combat is often static, with everyone maneuvering to get their best hits in and roll their best damage. Fumbles, when they happen to PCs, make them react and try different things. For me, that means more fun to be had for all involved.

I'd like to think that even spellcasters are affected by critical fumbles, but not having many PC spellcasters in my group, the issue doesn't often come up. But if any of my PCs roll a nat "20" on their saving throws, you can bet I'll inflict a critical fumble on NPC spellcasters in a heartbeat. That alone should even the playing field between linear martials and quadratic spellcasters. A bit, at least.

Anyway, at the end of the day, I'm not really trying to convince anyone or evangelize about critical fumble dogma. Each DM has to make his own informed decision. I simply want to present a viable option for those DMs who are on the fence on this question.

Yet all I keep hearing is that the ocs see more fumbles 'overall' than any single creature they face, which is really an utterly irrelevant statistic: foes will see more fumbles than pcs, almost invariably.

It's not irrelevant, and it's not true that foes will fumble more. Each foe only fumbles once is the point because they die on contact. PC's can fumble and cause them not to just lose the current battle, but have something happen such as a broken weapon, lose an eye, and so on that means the party can suffer in current battles, and the fumble rate is 5%.

That means for every 100 attacks he is likely to harm himself 5 times. That is a lot of fumbling for someone who is supposed to be an elite warrior. I've used nunchuks as as kid, and I did't even hit myself 5% of the time, and I have never been properly trained. And not I'm not gifted in my use of them. This also applies to natural attacks and unarmed strikes with regard to things like punching yourself in the face.

Most people want the fantasy character to be better than them, and likely close to the standards seen in books and movies.

PS: I'm not saying its wrong to use fumbles. I just wanted to you to see the stats from a different perspective.


No. The opponents in aggregate will take many more swings than the PCS. They will also tend to fumble more often on those swings. The opponents will see more fumbles than the PCS. Its not even an arguable point.

And all you have to do is add a fumble confirmation roll at full attack bonus and the probabilities don't go up with greater skill. And I have yet to personally encounter the fumble system that makes you shoot your own eye out. Also, as far as a broken weapon, mending is a very low level spell. Make whole isn't very high level and greater make whole is available by the time you have powerful enough magic items to need it.

Sovereign Court RPG Superstar 2011 Top 32

RDM42 wrote:

No. The opponents in aggregate will take many more swings than the PCS. They will also tend to fumble more often on those swings. The opponents will see more fumbles than the PCS. Its not even an arguable point.

And all you have to do is add a fumble confirmation roll at full attack bonus and the probabilities don't go up with greater skill. And I have yet to personally encounter the fumble system that makes you shoot your own eye out. Also, as far as a broken weapon, mending is a very low level spell. Make whole isn't very high level and greater make whole is available by the time you have powerful enough magic items to need it.

Your first paragraph is very much an arguable point, and depends heavily on the style of campaign. If the PCs regularly fight greater numbers of NPCs, and NPCs who have multiple small attacks, then your point stands. If however, the campaign uses 1-2 monsters at a time with single big attacks, it goes the opposite way.

Fumble confirmation rolls fix nothing. Let's compare a 5th level and 6th level martial, with total attack bonuses of +12 and +13/+8 respectively. They full attack a foe at AC 20. Fumble on a 1 with confirmation roll at full attack bonus. 5th level guy fumbles .05*.35=1.75% of the time. 6th level guy, despite being better at fighting, has a 1.5% chance of fumbling on his first attack and again on his second. This adds up to an overall chance of fumbling of 2.9775% (at least once per round). Going from 5th to 6th level made him more likely to make a fool of himself. The extra attack far outweighs any mitigating effect of the confirmation roll.


Yet somehow in a rather long time of playing I have never had sessions devolve into the 'Three stooges' sessions claimed - and the fumble problem never seemed to get worse at higher levels for some reason.

Also, in my case a one on the second roll is irrelevant: if it would hit at full bonus, no fumble. A one is not an auto fumble on a confirmation roll. So if you are facing something you can't miss at full bonus, you also can't fumble against it.


RDM42, you're treating opponents as a single character/party. This is a poor comparison as there is no investment in the future of an enemy creature. The lifetime of Orc Mook #42 is almost always one encounter. A PC will have many, many encounters. If OM42 accidentally chops his foot off, the net effect is the same as if the party had cast a short duration debuff effect on OM42 for the simple reason that, from most perspectives, OM42 won't exist after that encounter--future enemies won't be footless due to OM42's bad luck. If PC Pete accidentally chops his foot off, the net effect is far greater, especially if the party has no access to/can't afford the sort of magic required to reattach a foot. The party has to live with that penalty.


blahpers wrote:
RDM42, you're treating opponents as a single character/party. This is a poor comparison as there is no investment in the future of an enemy creature. The lifetime of Orc Mook #42 is almost always one encounter. A PC will have many, many encounters. If OM42 accidentally chops his foot off, the net effect is the same as if the party had cast a short duration debuff effect on OM42 for the simple reason that, from most perspectives, OM42 won't exist after that encounter--future enemies won't be footless due to OM42's bad luck. If PC Pete accidentally chops his foot off, the net effect is far greater, especially if the party has no access to/can't afford the sort of magic required to reattach a foot. The party has to live with that penalty.

Few if any fumbles that serious and long lasting. Try again. Let's stick with real effects, not mythic ones.

Sovereign Court RPG Superstar 2011 Top 32

1 person marked this as a favorite.
RDM42 wrote:
blahpers wrote:
RDM42, you're treating opponents as a single character/party. This is a poor comparison as there is no investment in the future of an enemy creature. The lifetime of Orc Mook #42 is almost always one encounter. A PC will have many, many encounters. If OM42 accidentally chops his foot off, the net effect is the same as if the party had cast a short duration debuff effect on OM42 for the simple reason that, from most perspectives, OM42 won't exist after that encounter--future enemies won't be footless due to OM42's bad luck. If PC Pete accidentally chops his foot off, the net effect is far greater, especially if the party has no access to/can't afford the sort of magic required to reattach a foot. The party has to live with that penalty.
Few if any fumbles that serious and long lasting. Try again. Let's stick with real effects, not mythic ones.

I have really, in a real game, had a monk I was playing punch himself to death.

Shadow Lodge

Pathfinder Card Game Subscriber

statistically "20"s and "1"s are game conceits. It's done to make things more exciting or "realistic". People like criticals as it helps them "win" and there are classes that revolve around the mechanic. For the same reason fumbles are hated as they only hinder.
*meh* just part of the game.
The PRD does not reference Fumble rules as where Criticals are referenced.


ryric wrote:
RDM42 wrote:
blahpers wrote:
RDM42, you're treating opponents as a single character/party. This is a poor comparison as there is no investment in the future of an enemy creature. The lifetime of Orc Mook #42 is almost always one encounter. A PC will have many, many encounters. If OM42 accidentally chops his foot off, the net effect is the same as if the party had cast a short duration debuff effect on OM42 for the simple reason that, from most perspectives, OM42 won't exist after that encounter--future enemies won't be footless due to OM42's bad luck. If PC Pete accidentally chops his foot off, the net effect is far greater, especially if the party has no access to/can't afford the sort of magic required to reattach a foot. The party has to live with that penalty.
Few if any fumbles that serious and long lasting. Try again. Let's stick with real effects, not mythic ones.
I have really, in a real game, had a monk I was playing punch himself to death.

Then it was a POORLY DESIGNED fumble system. Shouldn't contain long-term effects. But it says nothing inherent about such systems.


RDM42 wrote:
ryric wrote:
RDM42 wrote:
blahpers wrote:
RDM42, you're treating opponents as a single character/party. This is a poor comparison as there is no investment in the future of an enemy creature. The lifetime of Orc Mook #42 is almost always one encounter. A PC will have many, many encounters. If OM42 accidentally chops his foot off, the net effect is the same as if the party had cast a short duration debuff effect on OM42 for the simple reason that, from most perspectives, OM42 won't exist after that encounter--future enemies won't be footless due to OM42's bad luck. If PC Pete accidentally chops his foot off, the net effect is far greater, especially if the party has no access to/can't afford the sort of magic required to reattach a foot. The party has to live with that penalty.
Few if any fumbles that serious and long lasting. Try again. Let's stick with real effects, not mythic ones.
I have really, in a real game, had a monk I was playing punch himself to death.
Then it was a POORLY DESIGNED fumble system. Shouldn't contain long-term effects. But it says nothing inherent about such systems.

all fumble systems are poorly designed so that points is moot


Lady-J wrote:
RDM42 wrote:
ryric wrote:
RDM42 wrote:
blahpers wrote:
RDM42, you're treating opponents as a single character/party. This is a poor comparison as there is no investment in the future of an enemy creature. The lifetime of Orc Mook #42 is almost always one encounter. A PC will have many, many encounters. If OM42 accidentally chops his foot off, the net effect is the same as if the party had cast a short duration debuff effect on OM42 for the simple reason that, from most perspectives, OM42 won't exist after that encounter--future enemies won't be footless due to OM42's bad luck. If PC Pete accidentally chops his foot off, the net effect is far greater, especially if the party has no access to/can't afford the sort of magic required to reattach a foot. The party has to live with that penalty.
Few if any fumbles that serious and long lasting. Try again. Let's stick with real effects, not mythic ones.
I have really, in a real game, had a monk I was playing punch himself to death.
Then it was a POORLY DESIGNED fumble system. Shouldn't contain long-term effects. But it says nothing inherent about such systems.
all fumble systems are poorly designed so that points is moot

If that is the depth of your analysis, I think I can quite safely ignore it as irrelevant.


Lady-J wrote:


all fumble systems are poorly designed so that points is moot

I still maintain that Dark Heresy 1.0's psychic phenomena/perils of the warp system is thematically wonderful and quite well executed barring issues with it getting trivialized in the late game due to certain talents/packages.

Favorite fumble system by far.


I use a heavily modified version of Paizo's Fumble and Crit decks.

Now, keep in mind I've been moving far far away from Golarion into Sanctuary.

So I've also got alot of homebrewery going on. Cure spells only turn wounds into nonlethal damage instead of removing the wounds, spell times have been modified to 1 full round or longer, massive damage rules are in effect as early as level 1 with altered effects like limb loss, a single scratch from a dagger can give you a host of life-threatening disease, and EVERY spellcaster has a minimum of 10% spell failure regardless of worn clothing.

Basically, I'm running a grim-dark survival campaign ala something like Thieve's World or Darksun where no matter what class you are, you are getting punished for choosing it. And my players are the right kind of crazy to love this kind of thing as our group is one of very very few who kept playing tomb of horrors until we beat it.

Back to my point though, Fumbles and such are usually things like weapons shattering on shields, bowstrings snapping, and alot of torn or pulled muscles.

Professional baseball pitchers can throw out shoulder ligaments at any time, so why can't a greatsword fighter do the same?


I've considered reclassifying things as 'setbacks' rather than 'fumbles'.


A high level Monk can get 11 attacks potentially in a Flurry. Someone that can move at the speed of teleport and can choke out a dragon shouldn't be breaking their hands every time they get their once in a blue moon flurry.

Fumbles makes sense for regular people doing mundane stuff. We get distracted, don't focus because we're comfortable, or we push our bodies too hard, but I imagine someone, for instance, whose immune to fear and life's goal is the extermination of demons in the name of their God, with their life on the line every day (And is also a fantasy hero) wouldn't drop their Holy sword of Smiting even if they died.

Mistakes do occur in combat. It's called missing or failing a check. Tacking on fumbles just feels like a bad way of adding tension when the encounters and story should be doing that.


RDM42 wrote:
Lady-J wrote:
RDM42 wrote:
ryric wrote:
RDM42 wrote:
blahpers wrote:
RDM42, you're treating opponents as a single character/party. This is a poor comparison as there is no investment in the future of an enemy creature. The lifetime of Orc Mook #42 is almost always one encounter. A PC will have many, many encounters. If OM42 accidentally chops his foot off, the net effect is the same as if the party had cast a short duration debuff effect on OM42 for the simple reason that, from most perspectives, OM42 won't exist after that encounter--future enemies won't be footless due to OM42's bad luck. If PC Pete accidentally chops his foot off, the net effect is far greater, especially if the party has no access to/can't afford the sort of magic required to reattach a foot. The party has to live with that penalty.
Few if any fumbles that serious and long lasting. Try again. Let's stick with real effects, not mythic ones.
I have really, in a real game, had a monk I was playing punch himself to death.
Then it was a POORLY DESIGNED fumble system. Shouldn't contain long-term effects. But it says nothing inherent about such systems.
all fumble systems are poorly designed so that points is moot

If that is the depth of your analysis, I think I can quite safely ignore it as irrelevant.

if it has even a fraction of a chance at completely ruining a players fun then its a bad system, weather its a temporary thing or a permanent thing it doesn't matter and every single fumble system has at least one of those in them, there's no reason why if a matrial rolls a natural one they lose their arm or decapitate themselves, even stabbing themselves with their own weapon is stupid and is a fun wrecker


RDM42 wrote:
ryric wrote:
I have really, in a real game, had a monk I was playing punch himself to death.
Then it was a POORLY DESIGNED fumble system. Shouldn't contain long-term effects. But it says nothing inherent about such systems.

So what's a well designed one then? You've posted a lot about how everyone else who says they're bad is wrong but you haven't put forth your own fumble system beyond "make a confirm roll that doesn't fail on a one". That's not a fix. That's a fix to a high level character poking their eye out with a training dummy. A low level trained fighter (Str 15 BAB +1) would still crit fail whacking a training dummy (AC 5). So army training would have a serious injury/death rate, depending on consequences.

You also say no long-term effects but the person you're responding to presumably (based on context) just hit themselves for damage hard enough (or enough times) to kill themselves. That's not a long-term consequence, it's an exceedingly short-term one. It just happens to become long-term if you pass a certain threshold.

So, again, what's a good fumble system look like? I'm sure the naysayers will be more than happy to point out why your system is just as unfun as the other ones they don't like.


How often would they crit fail on a training dummy of ac five? Seriously?

He might gain a status effect on one out of every 400 swings.


RDM42 wrote:

How often would they crit fail on a training dummy of ac five? Seriously?

He might gain a status effect on one out of every 400 swings.

with 400 swings there's 16 chances that they outright kill themselves, lose a limb, an eye, stab themselves with their weapon


Lady-J wrote:
RDM42 wrote:

How often would they crit fail on a training dummy of ac five? Seriously?

He might gain a status effect on one out of every 400 swings.

with 400 swings there's 16 chances that they outright kill themselves, lose a limb, an eye, stab themselves with their weapon

Its pretty hard for them to do things with a critical fumble that aren't in the possible effects list. Impossible in fact.


RDM42 wrote:
Lady-J wrote:
RDM42 wrote:

How often would they crit fail on a training dummy of ac five? Seriously?

He might gain a status effect on one out of every 400 swings.

with 400 swings there's 16 chances that they outright kill themselves, lose a limb, an eye, stab themselves with their weapon

Its pretty hard for them to do things with a critical fumble that aren't in the possible effects list. Impossible in fact.

unless you can provide a fully detailed list off effects then there's no reason to believe you as those effects have been in all critical fumble charts/decks that have been used by us


RDM42 wrote:
blahpers wrote:
RDM42, you're treating opponents as a single character/party. This is a poor comparison as there is no investment in the future of an enemy creature. The lifetime of Orc Mook #42 is almost always one encounter. A PC will have many, many encounters. If OM42 accidentally chops his foot off, the net effect is the same as if the party had cast a short duration debuff effect on OM42 for the simple reason that, from most perspectives, OM42 won't exist after that encounter--future enemies won't be footless due to OM42's bad luck. If PC Pete accidentally chops his foot off, the net effect is far greater, especially if the party has no access to/can't afford the sort of magic required to reattach a foot. The party has to live with that penalty.
Few if any fumbles that serious and long lasting. Try again. Let's stick with real effects, not mythic ones.

It happens all the time, and the difference between systems is a matter of degree, not math, so "no true Scotsman" won't help here. The problem still exists--a PC will fumble hundreds of times more often than an NPC by virtue of being persistent. That's fine for some tables. It's a terrible immersion-breaker for mine.


RDM42 wrote:

How often would they crit fail on a training dummy of ac five? Seriously?

He might gain a status effect on one out of every 400 swings.

Which is patently ridiculous to anybody with any sense of time or expertise. At one swing a round, that's stunning yourself every forty minutes of training. This just doesn't happen to anybody proficient in said weapon. If your game table is playing slapstick, then great! But that's pretty much the only time this makes sense.

(Edited to remove irrelevant iterative reference)


RDM42 wrote:
Lady-J wrote:
RDM42 wrote:

How often would they crit fail on a training dummy of ac five? Seriously?

He might gain a status effect on one out of every 400 swings.

with 400 swings there's 16 chances that they outright kill themselves, lose a limb, an eye, stab themselves with their weapon

Its pretty hard for them to do things with a critical fumble that aren't in the possible effects list. Impossible in fact.

Roll a 1, 1/20, roll a 2 or lower, 1/10. So once every 200 swings, on average. At a swing a round, once every 20 minutes, 3 times an hour, 24 times in an 8 hour period.

I'm willing to accept that not all crit fumble chances include killing yourself, losing a limb, or losing an eye (some most definitely do). But "stab yourself" is in every crit fail table I've ever seen. If your crit fumble rules don't include that then what do they have?

Again, if you have some magical set of critical fumble rules that fix all of these problems then put up or shut up. Until you do we have to work with the critical fumble rules we've had used. I'm working off the Paizo fumble deck that includes "stab yourself" a few times, "stab your friend" a couple times, "get 1 point of Str bleed", "take 1 point of Con damage", "destroy your weapon", "attack your shield", "attack your armor", "go permanently deaf", and many more.


Since I've mentioned status effects I think that makes it rather obvious. But I think you have made it rather obvious, colectively, that you are emotionally invested in hating any form of critical fumble rules merely because they are critical fumble rules and there would be no acceptable form to you that involved any negative consequences whatsoever.


RDM42 wrote:
Since I've mentioned status effects I think that makes it rather obvious. But I think you have made it rather obvious, colectively, that you are emotionally invested in hating any form of critical fumble rules merely because they are critical fumble rules and there would be no acceptable form to you that involved any negative consequences whatsoever.

until you put forth your actual list of critical fumbles there is nothing obvious about anything you say


minus ones, plus ones to opponent, limited to a move action next turn, you hit but it's nonlethal damage as examples.

However I think that you especially have made it abundantly clear that you have no intention of objective analysis on this topic. This is an emotional investment for you and you can't talk someone out of that.


RDM42 wrote:

minus ones, plus ones to opponent, limited to a move action next turn, you hit but it's nonlethal damage as examples.

However I think that you especially have made it abundantly clear that you have no intention of objective analysis on this topic. This is an emotional investment for you and you can't talk someone out of that.

Not a status effect, not a status effect, finally an actual status effect (but is it actually nauseated? Because there's ways to be immune to that), not a status effect. This is why we say we need to see an actual list. Your examples include four effects, only one of which is a status effect. Are we just supposed to take your word on the rest? Because you're 75% wrong on these.

We've covered quite a bit of objective analysis. On the list of things that apply to all sets of fumble rules people have seen: fumbles unfairly penalize martial characters, fumbles unfairly penalize people who make more attacks, higher levels of skill do not prevent fumbling more, fumbles unfairly target player characters compared to enemies, I might be missing a few in there.

In terms of your specific system, based on all available data: fumbles unfairly penalize martial characters, partial higher levels of skill do not prevent fumbling more, possibly (since we don't have a condition list) fumbles unfairly target player characters compared to enemies. Is there a spellcasting fumble table? Confirming the fumble would be fine if it only applies to the first attack in a round. Since you do not use that variation there's a decent chance (1/2 to 3/4) that the fumble occurs on an iterative attack and the confirm roll is therefore much lower. Conscript Bob (+1 BAB, 15 AC) meets General Alice (+11 BAB, 20 AC). They stand next to each other and full attack. Bob will fumble 4.5% of the time (5% chance, 90% confirm). Alice will fumble ~6% of the time (5% chance each, 15/40/65% confirm). It'll actually be a little less (since if Alice fumbles on her first attack she's better off) but I hope the point is made. If what you say is true and no conditions persist beyond a round then it's fine. If conditions persist for a battle then it can be weighted in the enemies' or the players' favor (depending on group size, number of attacks, etc.). But until you post an actual list we can only take your word, which is already demonstrably wrong.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Quote:
you hit but it's nonlethal damage

Off what was originally a natural 1?


Athaleon wrote:
Quote:
you hit but it's nonlethal damage
Off what was originally a natural 1?

Yes. Every so often there can be slightly positive effects. And no, I'm not playing your game with the 'post your list" thing,mono wing pretty well that what is intended is nothing close to honest analysis, given the downright open hostility to the point of a crusade against the very idea of any form of fumble/disadvantage system even existing shown here.


RDM42 wrote:

minus ones, plus ones to opponent, limited to a move action next turn, you hit but it's nonlethal damage as examples.

However I think that you especially have made it abundantly clear that you have no intention of objective analysis on this topic. This is an emotional investment for you and you can't talk someone out of that.

People are mainly talking about the official (optional) Pathfinder fumble rules where you can occasionally stab yourself through the heart with your own rapier, cut your own head off with your battleaxe, etc. (If you get the 'you inflict a critical hit on yourself' fumble and use the accompanying critical hit cards.)

You're the only person I've ever heard of using "minor penalty only" fumbles. I suspect most people wouldn't have a big problem with that (although most people wouldn't have much interest in it either), but I'm unaware of any published system like that.


Matthew Downie wrote:
RDM42 wrote:

minus ones, plus ones to opponent, limited to a move action next turn, you hit but it's nonlethal damage as examples.

However I think that you especially have made it abundantly clear that you have no intention of objective analysis on this topic. This is an emotional investment for you and you can't talk someone out of that.

People are mainly talking about the official (optional) Pathfinder fumble rules where you can occasionally stab yourself through the heart with your own rapier, cut your own head off with your battleaxe, etc. (If you get the 'you inflict a critical hit on yourself' fumble and use the accompanying critical hit cards.)

You're the only person I've ever heard of using "minor penalty only" fumbles. I suspect most people wouldn't have a big problem with that (although most people wouldn't have much interest in it either), but I'm unaware of any published system like that.

People here have LITERALLY - and I use that word intentionally - said it is impossible t concieve of a fumble system that is anything other than bad - does that sound like people with any interest in an honest discussion? Not really. When you stake out that positon then there really isn't any room to talk.


Maybe two people have said anything vaguely resembling that.

And it's a valid viewpoint. If someone's fantasy role-playing is based on a fantasy of playing a character of incredible grace and skill, then of course they're going to despise fumble systems. Legolas doesn't fumble his shots one time in twenty. Batman doesn't kick himself in the face.

Other people have asked for an example of a fumble system where you can't punch yourself to death. So far, none has been provided.


Matthew Downie wrote:

Maybe two people have said anything vaguely resembling that.

And it's a valid viewpoint. If someone's fantasy role-playing is based on a fantasy of playing a character of incredible grace and skill, then of course they're going to despise fumble systems. Legolas doesn't fumble his shots one time in twenty. Batman doesn't kick himself in the face.

Other people have asked for an example of a fumble system where you can't punch yourself to death. So far, none has been provided.

Given the scope of effects I just described with none falling outside of that list, it is literally impossible to punch yourself to death with a fumble system where you cannot damage yourself, so ...

Sovereign Court RPG Superstar 2011 Top 32

The vast majority of fumble systems out there use a big table with entries where you drop your weapon, break your weapon, hit yourself, hit an ally, trip and fall down, and so forth. Those systems are really what most of the negative attitude here is railing against. Clearly, RDM42, your system does not do that. Based on what you've told us, it does still unfairly target characters who make attack rolls rather than those who cast spells that don't involve attacks. It also still makes characters more likely to fumble as they gain expertise and make more attacks per round - it's simply more chances to roll a 1.

It is less flawed than the "slapstick" system that is the default for fumbles, but it still has issues.

Here's a variation on your system that would fix these issues: In combat, everyone rolls a separate d20 every round. If you roll a 1 on that roll, a minor negative thing happens to you. It's fair to casters and martials, and doesn't penalize extra attacks.

Shadow Lodge

Pathfinder Card Game Subscriber
Azothath wrote:

statistically "20"s and "1"s are game conceits. It's done to make things more exciting or "realistic". People like criticals as it helps them "win" and there are classes that revolve around the mechanic. For the same reason fumbles are hated as they only hinder.

*meh* just part of the game.
The PRD does not reference Fumble rules as where Criticals are referenced.

again, it's just something done in the game to add excitement. In my experience very few GMs use Fumble rules (charts, matrix's, decks). I'll go back to targeting charts in Aftermath! lol... let us not forget the critical charts of Rolemaster.

The misfire/jam roll is critical to gunslinger class and needed. It can slow down the rate of fire as there are no other rules to do that. Heating rules and such are too complex for a simplistic d20 model as they require tracking numbers for 10-20 rounds after a firearm has been discharged. It's doable, just nobody wants to do it.

I'm not sure that every d20 to hit roll corresponds to an individual swing given the mathematical nature of a round. It's a sciency/model thing. I'll leave it there.

so what's a "good" fumble chart is an opinion and going to get various reviews.


RDM42 wrote:
And no, I'm not playing your game with the 'post your list" thing,mono wing pretty well that what is intended is nothing close to honest analysis, given the downright open hostility to the point of a crusade against the very idea of any form of fumble/disadvantage system even existing shown here.

Yikes. And you're accusing other people of letting their emotions get in the way of a good discussion.

51 to 100 of 109 << first < prev | 1 | 2 | 3 | next > last >>
Paizo / Messageboards / Paizo / Pathfinder® / Pathfinder RPG / General Discussion / Botches & Fumbles: Do you use them? All Messageboards

Want to post a reply? Sign in.

©2002-2017 Paizo Inc.® | Privacy Policy | Contact Us
Need help? Email customer.service@paizo.com or call 425-250-0800 during our business hours, Monday through Friday, 10:00 AM to 5:00 PM Pacific time.

Paizo Inc., Paizo, the Paizo golem logo, Pathfinder, the Pathfinder logo, Pathfinder Society, Starfinder, the Starfinder logo, GameMastery, and Planet Stories are registered trademarks of Paizo Inc. The Pathfinder Roleplaying Game, Pathfinder Campaign Setting, Pathfinder Adventure Path, Pathfinder Adventure Card Game, Pathfinder Player Companion, Pathfinder Modules, Pathfinder Tales, Pathfinder Battles, Pathfinder Legends, Pathfinder Online, Starfinder Adventure Path, PaizoCon, RPG Superstar, The Golem's Got It, Titanic Games, the Titanic logo, and the Planet Stories planet logo are trademarks of Paizo Inc. Dungeons & Dragons, Dragon, Dungeon, and Polyhedron are registered trademarks of Wizards of the Coast, Inc., a subsidiary of Hasbro, Inc., and have been used by Paizo Inc. under license. Most product names are trademarks owned or used under license by the companies that publish those products; use of such names without mention of trademark status should not be construed as a challenge to such status.