Fumble! The Dice Are Loose!

Friday, March 22, 2019

As rare and special as it is to roll a natural 20 in a Starfinder game session, the odds are just as good that you'll roll a natural 1. Especially when it happens to the villains, spectacular failure can just be fun, right?

Here at Paizo we think so, and we know that can hold true whether you're watching a T-rexlike nyssholora miss so wildly with its phasic claws that it swipes itself in the face, or you're seeing a rogue vlaka technomancer's carefully selected spell turn into a completely random and catastrophically unexpected effect right before your eyes.

The Starfinder Critical Fumble Deck lets you impose these outrageous effects and far more when the result of an attack roll is a natural 1. The deck includes three variant rules for determining when an attack is a critical fumble, allowing Game Masters and players to decide how often they want these unfortunate effects to happen.

If you like lots of fumble effects in your game, use these cards each time a natural 1 is rolled and the attack misses the enemy's AC. If you want to impose fumbles sparingly, use the cards only when an attack roll is a natural 1, it misses the enemy's AC, and the attacker is not proficient with the weapon or is suffering from a condition that penalizes the attack roll.

Whichever way they're used, each card in the deck includes a critical fumble effect for a kinetic attack, an energy attack, and a spell attack. A fourth option, called an extreme effect, instead happens if the damage type, attack type, or weapon category matches that effect's description.

For instance, if you're throwing a grenade but you roll a natural 1 on the ranged attack, you might throw the pin instead—and drop the grenade right at your own feet. If that husk of a corpsefolk rolls a natural 1 with its static arc pistol, it might shock itself with its own weapon, causing a random piece of its technological equipment to stop working for 1d3 rounds.

If memorable dice rolls on the higher end of the scale are more your speed—or you simply want to own the companion deck to this set of fumbles—the Starfinder Critical Hit Deck offers hundreds of new critical hit results that can be used to boost the breadth and impact of a natural 20. You can also keep track of the most common conditions in the Starfinder Roleplaying Game with our comically illustrated, full-color Starfinder Condition Cards.

Whether you've just landed a sweet laser shot between your enemy's eyes or you've tripped over your own two feet while squeezing the trigger, we've got you covered!

Amanda Hamon
Starfinder Managing Developer

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Tags: Starfinder


Grand Lodge

I have never used fumble cards.
As a player because I roll ones far more often than I roll 20s and why punish yourself .... yes that is weak .....I know .. I know... how do I live with the contemptible person that I am ....*sigh*

As a GM, because when players roll ones I felt compassion for my players failings .... I know ... I know .... compassion is for weaker GMs...I should want to bathe in the blood of their inadequacies ..... but there little lips tremble and I fell sorry for them ... and ..... yes I know I am hopeless.

That is why I loved the fourth paragraph above, you know none of that occurred to me. (So we can now add unimaginative, to unlucky and overly soft in my increasing growing list of inadequacies) What good ideas, it doesn't have to be every time !!! Just when a 1 and a circumstance is met .... what fun .... Well don't just stand there Beardragon ... go order a deck . Thanks, I am enthused.

Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

We love fumbles and crit decks, it makes the fights unpredictable. We confirm the ones, so if you are a decent character, chances are you will not fumble. And if you do those amazing triple 1s, everyone in the table laughs, so there is no issue! :D
Im glad we have these for Starfinder now!

So glad for this! And the extreme effects sound perfect! What a great idea!

What spells require d20 rolls that would trigger these cards? Magic Missle is an auto-hit, Telekenetic Projectile is a ranged attack... does it only work on creatures with Spell Resistance? Doesn't seem quite right that a spell misfire would depend on the target, or am I missing something.

Silver Crusade

Will the Starfinder crit/fum decks ever get apps like the Pathfinder ones?

Second Seekers (Roheas)

Hard pass.

Crit and Fumble decks take my least favorite part of the game - the dice - and grants them even more weight.

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