Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Critical Failure's Part 2

Yesterday, I mentioned the idea of a Magical Mishap being added to Critical Failure table. I did this once by accident (having forgotten the option of Fall prone), and while they did not roll the needed '5' I got a very positive "Oh no" response from my players. "Oh no", with possible expletives, is something I want to hear my players say. As opposed to real life, in DnD this is a very good thing. It means the players are paying attention, realize something difficult or different may come up that they need to respond to, and that they're thinking about the situation. In short it means they're engaged.

So of course I needed to add it to my Critical Failure list officially. Here's my new one:

  1. Fall Prone
  2. Drop Weapon
  3. Throw Weapon
  4. Hit Self
  5. Break Weapon/Magical Mishap
  6. Nothing
The deal here, is that if you're wielding a mundane weapon or implement it breaks on a 5. Magical Weapons are tougher, but might give you magical backlash. Rolling a 5 with a magical weapon or implement, means that a Magical mishap has happened, and you need to roll on the Magical Mishap table. It's a d100 table.

That's allot of Magical Mishap possibilities. That means a few things you need to be aware. First off, it means that getting any particular option is very rare. There's only a 1/2,400 of even getting to the Magical Mishap table (not including the possibility that maybe your using a mundane weapon), and only a 1/240,000 chance of getting any individual Mishap. Thanks to Crothian of Enworld for help with the math.

Because there are so many options, they vary greatly in level of effect. Some add temporary minor effects, and a couple might even kill the PC. They're also all, relatively short descriptions. They will need flavor embellishment from the DM for sure. Some will need some rule moderation depending on the situation. Remember when this happens, these may be failures, but we want to lean toward fun if it gets out of hand.

Because each option is so very rare, a few of them break the game. 

Any mention of weapon, is intended to cover implements as well. Swap Burad for gnome or halfling if not using Burads in your game.

Take the time to look through this list and edit it to your liking. Its editable for just that reason. Some of them might not be ok options for your group. Some might be too tame for an epic failure, or too game breaking for accidental effect. 

Link to the list (its long so its a separate document): Magical Mishaps

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