Terrible GM house rule


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Shadow Lodge

Gulthor wrote:


Is your intent here to contribute to the conversation, or just to argue with everyone trying to assist the OP?

Ah crap, they aren't the same thing?


RDM42 wrote:
wraithstrike wrote:

It is a terrible rule. It punishes you for rolling well. I had a rule that had you fumble if you missed the enemy AC when you confirm the crit. The important thing is that everyone wanted it.

If nobody wanted it then I would not have done it.

It's also bad because it's rediculous to think that a trained warrior is messing up even 1% of the time.

Yet even the best shooter in the NBA sometimes has air balls.

that's not a fumble a fumble would be if a NBA player took a shot at the hoop then somehow impaled themselves on said hoop or lost his arm because it fell off while he was taking the shot getting an air ball is simply a miss


Our table has an inelegant but simple system.

On a Nat 1, you roll a d4. 1 is a miss, 2 you drop your weapon, 3 hits an ally, 4 hits yourself. The friendly fire is always minimum damage and contextual. Spells or unarmed or natural attacks "dropping" mean that next turn you need your spend your move "reorienting" yourself, which provokes an aoo just like picking up a dropped weapon.
This system applies to any regretted attack, spell or otherwise.

Our table has stated that we all enjoy this system. The battlefield is chaotic and fluid and there should exist the same possibility for bane as boon.


Our table has an inelegant but simple system.

On a Nat 1, you roll a d4. 1 is a miss, 2 you drop your weapon, 3 hits an ally, 4 hits yourself. The friendly fire is always minimum damage and contextual. Spells or unarmed or natural attacks "dropping" mean that next turn you need your spend your move "reorienting" yourself, which provokes an aoo just like picking up a dropped weapon.
This system applies to any targetted attack, spell or otherwise.

Our table has stated that we all enjoy this system. The battlefield is chaotic and fluid and there should exist the same possibility for bane as boon.


Xerif wrote:

Our table has an inelegant but simple system.

On a Nat 1, you roll a d4. 1 is a miss, 2 you drop your weapon, 3 hits an ally, 4 hits yourself. The friendly fire is always minimum damage and contextual. Spells or unarmed or natural attacks "dropping" mean that next turn you need your spend your move "reorienting" yourself, which provokes an aoo just like picking up a dropped weapon.
This system applies to any regretted attack, spell or otherwise.

Our table has stated that we all enjoy this system. The battlefield is chaotic and fluid and there should exist the same possibility for bane as boon.

So basically it just heavily favors casters who use spells that don't require a D20 to use. (Fireball, Slow, Fog Cloud, etc)


Honestly not sure how it'll pan out. Our only dedicated caster is a sorcerer who doesn't focus on fireball. So far the whole table has enjoyed the system as casters, even doing touch attacks, can fail too.

As stated though, not a lot of pure aoe spells testing the system right now.

It may be the large fire elemental slamming itself for the kill that has the players thinking fondly of the system.


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Xerif wrote:

Honestly not sure how it'll pan out. Our only dedicated caster is a sorcerer who doesn't focus on fireball. So far the whole table has enjoyed the system as casters, even doing touch attacks, can fail too.

As stated though, not a lot of pure aoe spells testing the system right now.

It may be the large fire elemental slamming itself for the kill that has the players thinking fondly of the system.

Just wait for a player to kill themselves with a fumble and then ask whether they still feel fondly about it.


Gulthor wrote:
RDM42 wrote:
Kirth Gersen wrote:

Why are people so eager to have martial guys hit themselves with their own swords, whereas they never seem to have rules for a fireball blowing up in the caster's hand before he throws it? A lot of people can attest that mishaps (and serious self-injury) with explosives are a lot more likely than mishaps due to swinging a stick.

The next time someone tells me to confirm a fumble on every attack roll of "1," I'm going to insist the caster has a 5% chance to roll a confirmation to avoid affecting himself with his own spell. And higher-level casters will have to do it 4 or more times per round, for good measure.

And very few fumble results are hit yourself with your own sword either. - straw man.

Perhaps instead of 'fumble' it should have been called 'misfortune' so people couldn't use the 'three stooges' straw man.

Did you even bother reading the OP?

This kind of a fumble system is exactly what we're discussing.

Is your intent here to contribute to the conversation, or just to argue with everyone trying to assist the OP?

So whining that all fumbles are bad is actually helping him? I see.

What it actually is is using the thread as an excuse to get on a soapbox - in exactly the same way you say I am.


Dragonborn3 wrote:
JDLPF wrote:
Got a great idea: since a lot here feel the critical fumble system overly penalises martial characters, why not just have a spellcaster roll a caster level check each time they cast a spell? Natural 1 equals critical spell fumble! Ought to level the playing field.
You know, you said this as a joke but I'm seriously considering it now. :)

There are the Spell Fumbles rules from Pathfinder Unchained.


nicholas storm wrote:
Xerif wrote:

Honestly not sure how it'll pan out. Our only dedicated caster is a sorcerer who doesn't focus on fireball. So far the whole table has enjoyed the system as casters, even doing touch attacks, can fail too.

As stated though, not a lot of pure aoe spells testing the system right now.

It may be the large fire elemental slamming itself for the kill that has the players thinking fondly of the system.

Just wait for a player to kill themselves with a fumble and then ask whether they still feel fondly about it.

The battlefield be chaotic bro...


RDM42 wrote:
LankyOgre wrote:

I have always opposed critical fumble rules (beyond auto miss) emphatically and vociferously.

1) An individual character will roll more d20 rolls than any individual NPCs, which means that each character has a higher probability of rolling a fumble than any individual NPC.
2) A character is a lasting member of the campaign while each individual NPC/monster is usually a fleeting encounter frequently only exists for a single scene.

Therefore, player characters are getting more critical fumbles than any NPC/monster, but fumbles frequently have a greater effect on a PC than a fleeting, single-scene NPC.

They also just seem ridiculous. Watch any trained professional at their area of expertise. Even when they fail the worst, I.e. critical fumble, do they ever hit themselves or anything as similarly silly?

Why are the results of any specific Npc compared to you relevant? The only thing relevant is the number of total rolls against you by everyone you face vs the total number of rolls you make. And THAT math swings the other direction.

The reason is because of effect on the campaign as a whole. Im referring to fumble rules in general (beyond just auto-miss), not just the specific example of "hit yourself." An individual PC will roll more critical fumbles than any individual NPC. Especially those fumbles that create lasting effects, e.g. weapon destroyed, multi-round penalties, when fumbled by a PC will have a greater effect on the campaign as a whole. If goblin #4829 breaks his sword, loses it down a pit, stumbles off a cliff, or otherwise fumbles, then it only effects the campaign for that one scene.


It's still irrelevant. Individual NPCs vs individual pcs is not the real point of comparison. It's the gestalt of your opponents, plural, vs you.


RDM42, I'm sure you think you are helping, but you really aren't. You're just making yourself look like a jerk. Don't be a jerk. It's literally the first rule of these boards.


My advice to the OP would be to discuss it with your other players, see how strongly they feel about it, and if you all feel strongly enough about it, to simply stop playing with this GM unless he agrees to abandon the rule in favor of another system. See who else in the group is interested in DM'ing and start up a new campaign with a new, mutually agreed upon and approved fumble system, and invite the previous GM to participate. If he refuses then he's being excluded by his own choice, and if he accepts then hopefully he will see the error of his ways that his fumble system is less than ideal.


Lemartes wrote:
Irontruth wrote:
Lemartes wrote:
ryric wrote:

Confirmation rolls don't always help. Look at this example:

A 1st level nonproficient commoner with an 8 Str attacks an AC30 foe way out of his league. He has a 5% chance to roll a 1, and a 95% chance to "confirm" the fumble. Chance of fumble: 4.75%

An 11th level fighter with an attack sequence of +23/+18/+13 attacks the same AC30 foe. He has a 5% chance to roll a 1, and a 30%, 55%, and 80% chance to confirm each, respectively. Total chance of a fumble: 8.0404%. Heck compare to the 10th level version of the same guy at +22/+17 - only a 4.6975% chance to fumble. The poor fighter got worse by gaining a level.

So the highly skilled warrior is more likely to make an idiot of himself than an untrained doofus who is fighting a foe way above his skill level. Even with confirmation rolls. It's because iteratives add a whole new chance to roll a 1, and their attack roll is poor so confirmation rolls don't really help much.

Martials already generally only have fighting as their thing. Fumbles take that away from them as well.

Per round yes.

Per hit no.

I know you know this but it does help to some extent in the second situation and makes it more realistic in my opinion to have fumble confirmation rolls.

Why do higher level Fighters get more attacks than lower level fighters? By that, I mean, what characteristic of having gained levels do you think contributes to them having more attacks per round?

First of all his example could have been against someone with low AC and the results would have been different but that is opening up another can of worms.

Second the confirmation roll makes it better for the fighter per hit or per round.

Fighter per round = 15% vs 8% with no confirmation roll

Commoner per round = 5% vs 4.75% with no confirmation roll

The high level fighter can also be more cautious and move and take 1 attack per round(and move or whatever) which then he's well below 5% chance.

As for...

I'm not getting into real life at all. I'm merely asking what makes sense to you from a narrative sense, why Fighters gain additional attacks as they go up in levels.

If you like, I can ask you a series of questions about "confidence" and we'll end up back at "skill". The crux of an EXPERIENCE system is that you are getting better at what you do over time. Having an increased chance of fumbling (ie, more fumbles per combat) is the opposite of "getting better".

If you present me with a rule idea that reduces the chances of higher level characters fumbling versus lower level characters, I will accept that the fumbling system is appropriate for the game. If it does the opposite (increases as characters get higher levels), then I will point out that that system is antithetical to other mechanics in the game. Nothing to do with the "real world", but rather that the game is internally not being consistent.

Either the chance to fumble should remain static, or it should go down over time.

Of course, my preference overall is to have no fumble rule.


RDM42 wrote:
Kirth Gersen wrote:

Why are people so eager to have martial guys hit themselves with their own swords, whereas they never seem to have rules for a fireball blowing up in the caster's hand before he throws it? A lot of people can attest that mishaps (and serious self-injury) with explosives are a lot more likely than mishaps due to swinging a stick.

The next time someone tells me to confirm a fumble on every attack roll of "1," I'm going to insist the caster has a 5% chance to roll a confirmation to avoid affecting himself with his own spell. And higher-level casters will have to do it 4 or more times per round, for good measure.

And very few fumble results are hit yourself with your own sword either. - straw man.

Perhaps instead of 'fumble' it should have been called 'misfortune' so people couldn't use the 'three stooges' straw man.

As long as you're in a thread where the OP is about fumbles hitting the character that rolled the fumble, you're going to lose this straw man argument.


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THIS AM WHY PERCEPTION AM MOST IMPORTANT SKILL.

FOR SERIOUS.

Shadow Lodge

Kirth Gersen wrote:
Why are people so eager to have martial guys hit themselves with their own swords, whereas they never seem to have rules for a fireball blowing up in the caster's hand before he throws it?
Dragonborn3 wrote:
JDLPF wrote:
Got a great idea: since a lot here feel the critical fumble system overly penalises martial characters, why not just have a spellcaster roll a caster level check each time they cast a spell? Natural 1 equals critical spell fumble! Ought to level the playing field.
You know, you said this as a joke but I'm seriously considering it now. :)


Doomed Hero wrote:
RDM42, I'm sure you think you are helping, but you really aren't. You're just making yourself look like a jerk. Don't be a jerk. It's literally the first rule of these boards.

So the general gist here is: people who don't like them can spout off and go in all sorts of tangential directions that have nothing to do with helping the original poster, but anybody chiming in the other direction is 'being a jerk'


Adventure Path Charter Subscriber
ryric wrote:


A 1st level nonproficient commoner with an 8 Str attacks an AC30 foe way out of his league. He has a 5% chance to roll a 1, and a 95% chance to "confirm" the fumble. Chance of fumble: 4.75%

An 11th level fighter with an attack sequence of +23/+18/+13 attacks the same AC30 foe. He has a 5% chance to roll a 1, and a 30%, 55%, and 80% chance to confirm each, respectively. Total chance of a fumble: 8.0404%. Heck compare to the 10th level version of the same guy at +22/+17 - only a 4.6975% chance to fumble. The poor fighter got worse by gaining a level.

So the highly skilled warrior is more likely to make an idiot of himself than an untrained doofus who is fighting a foe way above his skill level. Even with confirmation rolls. It's because iteratives add a whole new chance to roll a 1, and their attack roll is poor so confirmation rolls don't really help much.

Depends on the attack bonus you use to determine the confirmation roll, doesn't it? For Paizo's critical hit deck, they recommended full BAB for all fumble confirmation rolls and that does a pretty good job of ameliorating the issue you're pointing out. Same with their suggested restriction of only one fumble per character per encounter.

Ultimately, whether fumble rules are good or bad is a matter of taste, not really objectivity. If it makes the game more attractive to you, use them. If not, don't.


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You kind of are either missing the point or being purposely obtuse about it, RDbrosephocles.

Let's go back to what you said earlier, 'Individual NPCs vs individual pcs is not the real point of comparison. It's the gestalt of your opponents, plural, vs you.'

Technically accurate, and the main reason why increasing randomness hurts PCs and gives advantage to enemies. With the sheer number of rolls a PC makes in their lifetime, eventually they'll get a bad one and die if randomness is involved in any form.

Adding the crit fumble mechanic on top of that hurts the PCs more, since it makes the randomness have a lasting effect like hurting themselves (possibly to death) or breaking their weapon (throwing off WBL, and I am willing to bet most GMs with such a system don't account for it), and also serves to further disadvantage martial characters in specific for daring to swing a sword.

Yes, an individual monster will also lose its sword if it critfails, but that monster is only assumed to need the sword once in the vast majority of cases. It means a lot less for them to get messed up by randomness than it ever will for a PC.


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RDM42 wrote:
It's still irrelevant. Individual NPCs vs individual pcs is not the real point of comparison. It's the gestalt of your opponents, plural, vs you.

Rirght.

If Chuffy the first level Goblin Warrior rolls a fumble and stabs his own foot taking 1d4 Dex damage and cutting his movement speed in half ... so what? Chuffy is almost certainly going to die in this encounter anyway, there are 5 other goblins in this encounter and the GM has another 20 monster lurking around on this level of the dungeon alone. Chuffy having a lingering wound effect doesn't make things any easier for the party in the next encounter or the one after that.

If Valeros the 3rd level Fighter takes that same fumble, now Val's effectiveness in combat is hindered and remains hindered, the party moves slower as they explore forth. Kyra the Cleric has to wait until the next morning to prepare a lesser restoration, Val is carrying that wound through any remaining encounters that day and the next day Kyra is down one of her strongest spell slots.

Meanwhile Ezren the Wizard watches Val nearly cut off his own toe and thinks to himself, "Boy, leaning to swing a sword is tough, I'm glad I stuck to nice safe magical spells that are much easier to master," as he rends the walls between dimensions and summons a celestial beast to fight on his behalf with no possible chance that it could go wrong and negatively effect him in any way.


RDM42 wrote:
It's still irrelevant. Individual NPCs vs individual pcs is not the real point of comparison. It's the gestalt of your opponents, plural, vs you.

I'm not sure how to rephrase my statement. What I am looking at is the effect on the story/campaign of having a fumble. A PC having a fumble may break their weapon, become unable to attack for multiple rounds, lose their weapon, become cursed, take ability damage, etc (looking at the Paizo Critical Fumble deck) Those effects lead to a player not playing the game for multiple rounds and/or having a penalty that lasts through multiple scenes and possibly sessions. If an NPC fumbles, the same effect will last for, usually, a scene. A single NPC being unable to act usually'does not lead to a player(including the GM) being unable to participate, usually does not change the story, and usually does not effect multiple scenes, sessions, and combats.

If you could provide some more information, I would be happy to continue discussing this.


RDM42 wrote:
Doomed Hero wrote:
RDM42, I'm sure you think you are helping, but you really aren't. You're just making yourself look like a jerk. Don't be a jerk. It's literally the first rule of these boards.
So the general gist here is: people who don't like them can spout off and go in all sorts of tangential directions that have nothing to do with helping the original poster, but anybody chiming in the other direction is 'being a jerk'

No, your tone and approach to the conversation is 'being a jerk'

You are the only person anyone is calling out. More than one person has called you out. No one is being unreasonable.

Discussion is fine. Confrontational argumentation is not.


ryric wrote:

Here's my litmus test for critical fumble rules:

20 basic city guards, 1st level warriors, practice against wooden dummies for 10 minutes. In that time they make 2000 attack rolls against an AC of 5. They roll a perfectly average distribution of rolls on the d20 - so there will be 100 natural 1s rolled, and if you have confirmation rolls on 1s, there will be 5 "double 1s."

If at the end of your 10 minutes of practice against inanimate targets, any of your guard s are wounded, your fumble rules have a serious problem. If any of the guards are dying, you have a really bad problem.

Next Fred the 20th level TWF fighter who gets 7 attacks a round does the same practice. He makes 700 attack rolls with the same distribution, including 35 natural 1s(and 1.75 double 1s). If Fred ends up wounded, dying , or with a broken or dropped weapon your fumble system has serious problems, as the world's best, most skilled warrior can't even spar against a motionless stick without looking like an idiot.

Rare is the fumble system that can pass these criteria.

I'd like to call this out for a second. If you are fighting against a wooden dummy, the same sort of coup-de-grace rules should apply. You don't roll an attack to hit a wall. You don't roll an attack to hit an unconscious person. You just hit. The same could be said of the dummies. You just roll weapon damage.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure, Rulebook Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber

Objects can't be coup-de-graced.

Smashing an Object wrote:
Immunities: Objects are immune to nonlethal damage and to critical hits.


True, but you also can just decide to never miss them.

Object Armor Class via da SRD wrote:


Objects are easier to hit than creatures because they don’t usually move, but many are tough enough to shrug off some damage from each blow. An object’s Armor Class is equal to 10 + its size modifier (see Table: Size and Armor Class of Objects) + its Dexterity modifier. An inanimate object has not only a Dexterity of 0 (–5 penalty to AC), but also an additional –2 penalty to its AC. Furthermore, if you take a full-round action to line up a shot, you get an automatic hit with a melee weapon and a +5 bonus on attack rolls with a ranged weapon.

Though in that case both the 1st and 20th level fighters would be only getting one attack a round.


SorrySleeping wrote:
ryric wrote:

Here's my litmus test for critical fumble rules:

20 basic city guards, 1st level warriors, practice against wooden dummies for 10 minutes. In that time they make 2000 attack rolls against an AC of 5. They roll a perfectly average distribution of rolls on the d20 - so there will be 100 natural 1s rolled, and if you have confirmation rolls on 1s, there will be 5 "double 1s."

If at the end of your 10 minutes of practice against inanimate targets, any of your guard s are wounded, your fumble rules have a serious problem. If any of the guards are dying, you have a really bad problem.

Next Fred the 20th level TWF fighter who gets 7 attacks a round does the same practice. He makes 700 attack rolls with the same distribution, including 35 natural 1s(and 1.75 double 1s). If Fred ends up wounded, dying , or with a broken or dropped weapon your fumble system has serious problems, as the world's best, most skilled warrior can't even spar against a motionless stick without looking like an idiot.

Rare is the fumble system that can pass these criteria.

I'd like to call this out for a second. If you are fighting against a wooden dummy, the same sort of coup-de-grace rules should apply. You don't roll an attack to hit a wall. You don't roll an attack to hit an unconscious person. You just hit. The same could be said of the dummies. You just roll weapon damage.

in animate objects have an ac of 5 so attacking the wall or floor you still need to be able to hit ac 5


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also think of it this way if military personnel or police officer who trained in the use of firearms had a 5% chance that whenever they shot a gun they would either instead put that gun to their head and pull the trigger or throw their gun across the battle field is ridiculous.


Starfinder Charter Superscriber
Lady-J wrote:
also think of it this way if military personnel or police officer who trained in the use of firearms had a 5% chance that whenever they shot a gun they would either instead put that gun to their head and pull the trigger or throw their gun across the battle field is ridiculous.

All of our rules reflect reality now? Awesome! This changes everything!


I mean, there's really no way to argue against the simple facts that fumble rules are far more of a hindrance to players than to a gm and punish martials (already behind the curve) while doing nothing to spellcasters.

If thats the style of play you like, i guess thats fine, but lately i've kind of wondered if the game wouldn't be better off if classes all operated under the "sacred weapon" principle and the effects of criticals even weren't minimized a bit more.


Jhaeman wrote:
Lady-J wrote:
also think of it this way if military personnel or police officer who trained in the use of firearms had a 5% chance that whenever they shot a gun they would either instead put that gun to their head and pull the trigger or throw their gun across the battle field is ridiculous.
All of our rules reflect reality now? Awesome! This changes everything!

Not reality, no, but they surely reflect a world built around a power fantasy in which the main characters are fairly competent and only become moreso. Your personal campaign may differ from that, but I think it's generally assumed to be the default tone, as evidenced by the many huge power increases in the form of "You now do this thing absurdly well" an average Pathfinder character goes through.

But really, the inconsistencies with tone and realism are by far the least problems with most fumble rules. The balance, pure nonsense and the "this is really unfun to the players in OP's group" aspects are far more important.


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TOZ wrote:
J4RH34D wrote:
Guys, please stop trying to tell other people how to play their games.
That is literally the point of the forums. To be a resource for advice on how to play the game.

TOZ while I agree the point of the forums is discourse, I feel that what is going on here goes beyond advice and approaches attacks against people who use the system.

If you more further in that post I call out that, yes, people should tell us why they don't like the rules. However they should not be telling people that they are bad gms for using this rule, and being told to go play other systems instead.

I do more that it is often difficult to interpret tone via text so I may have misinterpreted the tone of some posts. However I felt the tone of the entire thread is very hostile to gms who use fumble rules.

I mostly feel we do not need that hostility. I have expressed why my group likes the rules we use and others have expressed why they dislike fumble rules. I feel that keeping the discussion firmly in the realm of what you like and dislike about the rule, versus drifting into attacks against people who use the rule, is what would be most beneficial to the original post.

I apologise if I got a bit rambly.

EDIT: Your post actually highlights my meaning well. Advising someone and telling them something are different things. Sure, advise me on why you feel fumbles are bad, but don't tell me I am wrong for using them and am playing the game wrong. There is a difference between giving advise on playing the game, and telling someone how to play their game.

Shadow Lodge

Nah, it's cool. You haven't even approached TL-length. :)


TL-Length? I am afraid I have missed the reference.

I hope I made some sense in that last post made sense though.
.
.
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Up thread someone said to ask your players if your players still like the system after killing themselves.

We had a player who confirmed a crit against themselves as part of the paizo fumble deck. Dropping themselves I to negatives.
That fight is by far their favourite and they constantly regale people with stories about how the party saved them

Shadow Lodge

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J4RH34D wrote:
TL-Length? I am afraid I have missed the reference.

Meet Tacticslion.


Ah yes. I have seen the walls of text.
It takes a concerted effort to reach those heights


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Having just finished a quick session, a thought occurred to me for comparison: Dungeon World.

In that game, when a player rolls there are three possibilities:
10+: you succeed at what you're doing
7-9: You do the thing, but something bad happens too, or you only partially do a thing.
6 or less: something bad happens

The "6 or less" category is essentially a fumble, though the chances are much higher in DW. The flip side of this, is that enemies don't get to proactively do things to you... unless you roll a "6 or less". The GM might describe a goblin shooting arrows at you, but the player gets to decide how they react and that reaction dictates what the player rolls. If the player is doing something to avoid the arrows, a "10+" means the arrows do nothing, a "7-9" means they take reduced damage, or completely avoid damage, but drop an important piece of gear... while a "6 or less" means they get hit by an arrow for full damage.

The "6 or less" can be framed a lot of ways, one of which is fumbling on the character's part, but the consequences are already laid out and no different from other kinds of failures.

I can see why people like fumbles in Pathfinder (and other D&D games). They feel like a natural part of life; we all trip and fall while walking across perfectly smooth ground at some point in our lives. It's a narrative thing that can be humorous and provide a lot of color to the game that otherwise doesn't have much of a vector to enter the narrative mechanically.

This has got me thinking of an alternate fumble method that might be interesting. When a character rolls a 1 on an attack, the GM can choose to force a fumble, some negative consequence (a little bit of damage, disarmed, temporary condition, etc). The character then receives a Hero Point, or equivalent to use later on. If the PC already has a HP, they can instead spend one to negate the fumble (but don't earn a HP at the same time). Something like this would minimize the negative impact of fumbles, let them exist for the group, and generate a resource for that player to use later on.

I'm sure some people will hate it, because they hate economies of points like that. Don't worry, I already know you hate it. Don't bother posting that you hate it.


TOZ wrote:
J4RH34D wrote:
TL-Length? I am afraid I have missed the reference.
Meet Tacticslion.

I thought it meant: "Too Long"!


Trinam wrote:

You kind of are either missing the point or being purposely obtuse about it, RDbrosephocles.

Let's go back to what you said earlier, 'Individual NPCs vs individual pcs is not the real point of comparison. It's the gestalt of your opponents, plural, vs you.'

Technically accurate, and the main reason why increasing randomness hurts PCs and gives advantage to enemies. With the sheer number of rolls a PC makes in their lifetime, eventually they'll get a bad one and die if randomness is involved in any form.

Adding the crit fumble mechanic on top of that hurts the PCs more, since it makes the randomness have a lasting effect like hurting themselves (possibly to death) or breaking their weapon (throwing off WBL, and I am willing to bet most GMs with such a system don't account for it), and also serves to further disadvantage martial characters in specific for daring to swing a sword.

Yes, an individual monster will also lose its sword if it critfails, but that monster is only assumed to need the sword once in the vast majority of cases. It means a lot less for them to get messed up by randomness than it ever will for a PC.

Mathematically by far your opponents will end up rolling more times.

And very, very few of the fumbles are permenant effects.


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RDM42 wrote:
Doomed Hero wrote:
RDM42, I'm sure you think you are helping, but you really aren't. You're just making yourself look like a jerk. Don't be a jerk. It's literally the first rule of these boards.
So the general gist here is: people who don't like them can spout off and go in all sorts of tangential directions that have nothing to do with helping the original poster, but anybody chiming in the other direction is 'being a jerk'.

You're not contributing to the conversation, though.

My first post was to share the fumble rules that we utilized in our game that seemed "fair", and to share the reasons why we eventually stopped using them.

Others have provided opinions and analyses on why fumble rules are bad (relevant to the OP), or have shared what fumble systems have worked for them in the past as well as positive things that fumbles have brought to their gaming table (relevant to the OP).

It's not even clear what your position is on fumbles, as you haven't actually offered up any advice to the OP on a functional fumble system that their GM might be be willing to pick up instead of their current one; you're just attacking other arguments that are against fumbles - which *could* mean you're pro-fumbles?

EDIT: In any case, I've flagged a number of your posts in this thread, and I'm hopeful a mod will be able to tidy this thread up for the OP and remove all these argumentative/non-contributive posts so that we can get/stay on-topic (yes, including my last two.)

Why don't you share what fumble rules have worked for you and your group?


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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Rulebook, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Getting perilously close to personal attacks, folks. Might be a good idea for both sides to reign it in a bit.


Irontruth wrote:
Lemartes wrote:
ryric wrote:

Confirmation rolls don't always help. Look at this example:

A 1st level nonproficient commoner with an 8 Str attacks an AC30 foe way out of his league. He has a 5% chance to roll a 1, and a 95% chance to "confirm" the fumble. Chance of fumble: 4.75%

An 11th level fighter with an attack sequence of +23/+18/+13 attacks the same AC30 foe. He has a 5% chance to roll a 1, and a 30%, 55%, and 80% chance to confirm each, respectively. Total chance of a fumble: 8.0404%. Heck compare to the 10th level version of the same guy at +22/+17 - only a 4.6975% chance to fumble. The poor fighter got worse by gaining a level.

So the highly skilled warrior is more likely to make an idiot of himself than an untrained doofus who is fighting a foe way above his skill level. Even with confirmation rolls. It's because iteratives add a whole new chance to roll a 1, and their attack roll is poor so confirmation rolls don't really help much.

Martials already generally only have fighting as their thing. Fumbles take that away from them as well.

Per round yes.

Per hit no.

I know you know this but it does help to some extent in the second situation and makes it more realistic in my opinion to have fumble confirmation rolls.

Why do higher level Fighters get more attacks than lower level fighters? By that, I mean, what characteristic of having gained levels do you think contributes to them having more attacks per round?

How I see it is that combat is dynamic: you don't wait for your turn and strike, once every six seconds. You cross swords, parry, maneuver to make the opponent open themselves to a real attack, which you roll for once per round.

When you get more skilled, if you spend your whole round actually fighting, you get more chances to strike, albeit more difficult to succeed at than the first one.


Chemlak wrote:
Getting perilously close to personal attacks, folks. Might be a good idea for both sides to reign it in a bit.

Point well-taken, Chemlak. I've edited my last post to hopefully have a less sharp/less personal tone.


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RDM42 wrote:
Trinam wrote:

You kind of are either missing the point or being purposely obtuse about it, RDbrosephocles.

Let's go back to what you said earlier, 'Individual NPCs vs individual pcs is not the real point of comparison. It's the gestalt of your opponents, plural, vs you.'

Technically accurate, and the main reason why increasing randomness hurts PCs and gives advantage to enemies. With the sheer number of rolls a PC makes in their lifetime, eventually they'll get a bad one and die if randomness is involved in any form.

Adding the crit fumble mechanic on top of that hurts the PCs more, since it makes the randomness have a lasting effect like hurting themselves (possibly to death) or breaking their weapon (throwing off WBL, and I am willing to bet most GMs with such a system don't account for it), and also serves to further disadvantage martial characters in specific for daring to swing a sword.

Yes, an individual monster will also lose its sword if it critfails, but that monster is only assumed to need the sword once in the vast majority of cases. It means a lot less for them to get messed up by randomness than it ever will for a PC.

Mathematically by far your opponents will end up rolling more times.

And very, very few of the fumbles are permenant effects.

Oh, okay. I see what this is. One sec, I have a headband around here somewhere that makes this an immediate action...


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BARBARIAN CORDIALLY REQUEST RATIONALITY-DESTROYING-MAN-ANSWER-TO-LIFE-THE-UNIVERSE-AND-EVERYTHING-GUY NOT MAKE SWEEPING STATEMENT ABOUT ALL FUMBLES EVERYWHERE LIKE AM KNOWING WHAT AM TALKING ABOUT WITHOUT FIRST AT LEAST ROLLING PERCEPTION ON ORIGINAL THREAD, MAKING SURE AM TALKING ABOUT RIGHT THING.

AM RIGHT IN OPENING FOR SAKE OF PETE wrote:

The mechanic runs like this: after a natural one is rolled, roll the d20 again, with all of the same bonuses. If the result of the second roll hits your character, then you suffer an adverse effect.

As a melee character with a high strength, this means I'm scoring that adverse effect (usually dropping my weapon, but can be significant damage) on a roll of 9 or higher.

BARBARIAN POINT OUT THAT RULE SUCH AS THIS AM MAKING BARBARIAN NERFED SO CASTYS ABLE KEEP UP, BARBARIAN LITERALLY NOT CAPABLE OF NOT HITTING BARBARIAN, AM ALSO GENERALLY UNABLE NOT KILL BARBARIAN BECAUSE BARBARIAN AM HITTING THAT HARD, NOT TO MENTION QUESTIONABLE INTERACTION WITH STUNNING STRIKE, SPELL SUNDER, AND KNOCKBACK AM MEANING BARBARIAN MAYBE NEED MAKE FORT SAVE UNDER THIS WHILE HAVING SHOVED SELF AWAY FROM ENEMY BY HITTING WEIRD. BARBARIAN MAKE SAVE ON LIKE TWO SO WHAT AM EVEN THE PROBLEM HERE BESIDES GROSS VIOLATION OF PHYSICS, BUT HEY. THAT AM HOW BARBARIAN ROLL.

NOW, MAYBE THAT AM NOT SEEMING LIKE LONG TERM EFFECT TO FACE GUY, BUT POSSIBLE DEATH AM GENERALLY CONSIDERED 'SIGNIFICANT EFFECT' AND ANY ANSWER OF 'THEN NOT ROLL BARBARIAN' AM RESPECTFULLY SUNDERED, MINUS ANY RESPECT BECAUSE THAT ARGUMENT AM STUPID. BARBARIAN AM ALWAYS WINNER, THEREFORE AM ALWAYS VIABLE PICK.

FURTHER, AM OBJECTIVELY UNTRUE THAT MINIONS AM GETTING MORE ROLLS THAN PCS. BARBARIAN HAVE GREAT AMOUNT OF EXPERIENCE IN ACTION ECONOMY FIELD, AM NAVIGATING ECONOMY OUT OF VOLATILE TIME STOP MARKET BUBBLE THROUGH CREATIVE CONSISTENT USE OF SHIRTS THAT AM MAKING RUNNING REALLY FAST. PUT SIMPLY, ONLY WAY THIS AM HAPPENING AM IF EVERY FIGHT AM AGAINST ARMY OF MOOKS, AND IF ALL FIGHTS AM MOOK ARMY WHAT AM POINT OF EVEN FIGHTING? BARBARIAN JUST COLLAPSE STRUTURE ON MOOKS, FLY OFF ON BAT. IN GENERAL, BETWEEN ROLLING OUT OF COMBAT AND ROLLING IN COMBAT, NUMBER OF PCS COUPLES WITH PCS TENDING TO GEAR TOWARDS HAVING INITIATIVE TO CAUSE PCS TO GO FIRST, THEN SMASH LOTS OF STUFF, THEN MOVE ON. AM MAYBE CONSIDERABLE IN THAT CASE, THEN, THAT ENPEECEES AM GETTING MORE SAVING THROW ROLLS THAN NORMAL PC, AND MAYBE AM GETTING MORE ROLLS OF THAT SPECIFIC TYPE, BUT PC HAVING TO SAVE VS TRAPS, AND HAVING TO DEAL WITH MULTITUDE OF SKILL CHECKS AM MORE THAN OBLITERATING ANY DISPARITY.

TO CONCLUSION, ARGUMENT AM PLAIN WRONG AND ALSO MADE AS GENERALIZATION IN THREAD ABOUT SPECIFIC THING WHICH AM QUESTIONABLE LOGIC IN FIRST PLACE.

ARGUMENT AM OVER, BARBARIAN AM WINNER.

P.S. MAYBE HAVE GM READ THAT ONE SHORT STORY ABOUT THAT LOTTERY. AM ALWAYS BEING A LOTTERY, SO AM STONING ONE PERSON EVERY YEAR BECAUSE WHY CHANGING IT? THAT AM GREAT STORY ABOUT WHY LAWFUL ALIGNMENT AM TERRIBLE PLAN, AND HONEST EXAMINATION WITH EVALUATION AM IMPORTANT.

P.P.S. AND NOT EVEN GET BARBARIAN STARTED ON HOW WEIRD INTERACTION AM WORKING WITH REACH WEAPON. OOPS, BARBARIAN SLIPPED, SOMEHOW BLADE GET FROM OTHER END OF STICK TEN FEET AWAY FROM BARBARIAN INTO BARBARIAN FACE, BUT BARBARIAN FINE FOR REST OF ATTACKS THIS ROUND. SOMEHOW.


Irontruth wrote:

1) I'm not getting into real life at all. I'm merely asking what makes sense to you from a narrative sense, why Fighters gain additional attacks as they go up in levels.

2) If you like, I can ask you a series of questions about "confidence" and we'll end up back at "skill". The crux of an EXPERIENCE system is that you are getting better at what you do over time. Having an increased chance of fumbling (ie, more fumbles per combat) is the opposite of "getting better".

3) If you present me with a rule idea that reduces the chances of higher level characters fumbling versus lower level characters, I will accept that the fumbling system is appropriate for the game. If it does the opposite (increases as characters get higher levels), then I will point out that that system is antithetical to other mechanics in the game. Nothing to do with the "real world", but rather that the game is internally not being consistent.

4) Either the chance to fumble should remain static, or it should go down over time.

5) Of course, my preference overall is to have no fumble rule.

Hmm quoting got messed up here. Please see the numbers added above.

Before I get to answering all of those I don't think we are disagreeing on much. I may have not put my point across very well or you may have misread me.

1) Without giving real life examples (not that they would be all that applicable...maybe) I'm not that sure.

2) I did say you wanted me to say skill. Again where does skill end and intra & inter muscular coordination begin, or improved hand eye coordination? Stronger muscles(which can be a function of coordination)? Ability to read your opponent. Smarter tactics, lack of fear, willingness to take risks etc. We will be getting into semantics very soon. So yes more "skill" makes sense. I agree increased fumbling doesn't make sense. More on that in a bit.

3) I agree it should go down. And per hit is going down. Should it also go down per round...I would say yes... However, I am saying that if per round it's not...that's not a huge deal for me. As you are making more attacks you have more chances to make mistakes. Note I do see if from your perspective and I think both approaches are valid. I would probably go with less per round as well as per hit if I designed a system.

4) Agreed. Unless you're performing high reward high risk attacks...you know if such an option existed. ie: a spinning hook kick to the head is a lot more risky than a push kick to the stomach or a Thai styled leg kick. It also has the chance of knocking your opponent out, the hook kick that is. ;) Yes the more skilled person has less chance of screwing up the hook kick...the less skilled person might not even be able to perform it. Hmm perhaps not the best example.

5) Of the current systems I agree. I do think that if you had it that fumbles were very rare and extraordinarily rare for high level characters that would be step one. Adding some narrative to it or at least have it make sense in the context of the fight then that would be step two. Could you hit yourself with nunchucks possibly...a flail...maybe...unlikely if you're trained. Could you hit yourself with a Partisan? I can't see how. Let's say you're fighting in the rain on the side of slick rocky hill. Maybe you might fall down while trying to kick someone in the head or drop your weapon if you're using one. Fighting on a tight rope...fall. Etc. you get the idea.

I think Fantasy Flights dice mechanics in Warhammer Fantasy and Star Wars work well. You can "fumble" in good and bad ways regardless if you hit or miss. This allows the GM to add some narrative to the result.

ie: You hit the storm trooper with your blaster and you get a bane. You hit but go right through frying a power conduit behind him shutting off the lift the party needed to escape on.

ie: You miss the storm trooper and get a boon, you hit the cable supporting the lift with all the other storm troopers on it. They fall.

So to sum it up I thing we agree more than we disagree. Agree? :)


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I've been reading this thread a bit and I'm actually tempted to suggest the spell fumble rules to our GM next time we play. The thing stopping me is that I play mostly support casters, and I highly doubt that my melee friends who are naturally prone to those nat 1s would appreciate my Heal or significant buffing spells being fumbled away when they really wanted them.

Especially the Heals.

We go through a lot of them.

Also props to the barbarian poster. I'm not sure if I understood all that was said but I still have this odd feeling of having gotten royally schooled.

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