Natural 1's and You

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Just wondering what people's thoughts are on Natural 1's in 4e?

When I used to run 3.5e (and participate in other games) the table rules (and was accepted) was that rolling a 1 on attacking or spell casting, and then rolling a subsequent 1 as a confirmation (depending on the DM and Table Rules) either taking the appropriate damage for the spell yourself or 1/2 damage.

In my case I ran it as a simple d4 + 1/2 your level.

However in 4e I have some people going against that rule arcing up that "it's not in the rule book!" now this particular person is an arrogant gamer will turn things into a fight if it's not going his way (in person, not in character) to the point it makes you want to club them with a steel pole... several times.

I believe all that is mentioned in that natural 1's are just basically misses or failure's on spells even if the + to hit would beat the check.

Running as a d4 damage + 1/2 your level seem fair for a natural 1 with a secondary role being a natural 1?
Thoughts on this?
4E specifically and explicitly has nothing happen on a critical miss.

That's not to say you can't run crit miss rules if you really miss them, but you need to be aware that:

* You'll be breaking balance (characters who attack more times will get more crits, so you're nerfing wizards and other AoE classes).

* You'll be encouraging conservative play - not much, but a little - because a character who is in crit fail range of going unconscious will be more likely to heal or take cover than to press the attack.

It's not a big deal, just know that it's not what was intended, and it's a real issue for AoE classes.
For my part, I don't like fumble rules very much. They're not a whole lot of fun, and I feel that automatically missing on a 1 is plenty punishment enough.


Not to mention they don't make a whole lot of sense to me. Eventually you get good enough that you really aren't going to have a 5% chance of screwing things all to hell. The confirmation roll helps take that away, but still...
A Natural 1 isn't a critical failure anymore, only an automatic miss. You can have all the hit mods in the world and you'll still miss.

If you're a Wild Magic Sorcerer, you push everyone in a close burst 5 by 1 square. LOL.
When you have bad things happen on a natural 1, you punish people for being better at what they do. The 3.5 fighter who gets extra attacks earlier for BAB? Punished for making more die rolls. The 4E sorcerer whose team works together so he catches most of the enemy in his blasts? Punished for making more die rolls. I understand why the idea is appealing, but I can't like a system that punishes people for excelling.

t~
generally speaking? i hate crit miss rules other then "a 1 misses regardless of the total". not greatly dislike. full-blown hate.

i'll suffer through them if the rest of the group wants them, but honestly speaking, they affect a PC much worse then any monster. why? PC's tend to roll more attack rolls then any monster. i've never used crit charts or anything like that.

it's even worse if you do multiple attacks. if your attack has 4 targets, your chances of hitting any number on a d20 is now 1/5. which means more chances to hit that natural 1.

and a corner case that happen so rarely that you might see it happen once a month (2 1's in a row is a 1/400 chance)? i really don't see the point in having that rule and it will probably fall into "forgotten rule" territory.
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Critical fumble rules cripple controllers because they, by virtue of their burst and blast attacks, make many many more attack rolls than anyone else. Rangers and Tempest fighters are the next worse off. Just leave it as a miss. There's no good reason for fumble rules except to make fun of someone 5% of the time.
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A Natural 1 isn't a critical failure anymore, only an automatic miss. You can have all the hit mods in the world and you'll still miss.

If you're a Wild Magic Sorcerer, you push everyone in a close burst 5 by 1 square. LOL.

Oh no the Wild Mage can get even more hilarity on a 1 with the proper pathing. Last fight our Wild mage swapped places with one of the enemies in his burst. That was... interesting.

Of course I think you get a choice to roll on the table, but I know that player. He WILL roll.

As for fumble rules they are terrible and I hate them. It's bad enough I auto missed, I don't need injury to insult.
Well... At least we got custom avatars....
I was in one game in 3.5 where one player fumbled an attack and lodged his axe in the roof.

As a result his target leaped up to the axe (the player lost grip when it hit the roof (rolled 3 1's for that check) and subsequently fell over (slippery floor)) and grabbed onto it, the momentum of the target leaping up onto made the axe come loose and fall down on the player. Rolled a normal AC check and it hit him, max damage from standard dice roll.

To add insult to injury, this little creature started swinging the axe around and was actually hitting the party. Knocked two players to 0 hit points before we finally beat the little snot too.

All rolls were above board and on the table, no hiding or fudging by the DM (we changed dice sets twice just to be sure they weren't rigged).


Either way, I like the feedback so far. As it's only one person *****ing and whining in this instance of let it slide and won't run the rule.
My group, we use this rule - if you get a Natural 1 when a target that target gets combat advantage against you till the end of your next turn, assuming it would be able to hit your character. So if a level 20 character was fighting a level 1 minion, the minion would NOT get combat advantage when the level 20 character rolls a 1 because the level 1 minion only can hit on a natural 20.

Basically, taking the rules for a critical but applying it to a natural 1.
Each session I allow my players to reroll a natural 1 Once a game session but other than other that I welcome the blunderful ones. After that no more rerolls. The natural 1 rolls shows the players that their characters aren't always going to perfect. The DnD world and real world, my players know that they will mess up some times and the 1 rolls shows it for their characters.

On my end, the players love it when I continue the round with:

DM: "Okay, Goldar the Dragonborn Paladin, You are about to get attacked by the orc mauler charging at you with an intent to kill in his eyes. He swings at you with his spiked club. *Rolls* He swings at you! As you were about to parry his attack by raising your shield, the orc slips on his own feet and he is now prone!"

Goldar: You rolled a 1 didn't you?

DM: Indeed I did.

That's awesome to get the Natural 1s once in a while but there are times when players can't stand the randomness of the die. For Example:

Sol: Okay, I attack the zombie next to me as well as the zombie next to him with Cleave. *Rolls a natural 1* Aw, man!!!

DM: Sol Volloth the Drow Fighter, you attempt to attack both the zombies adjacent to you. You attack with a mighty swing but you lost your footing and fell to the zombie's decaying feet.

Sol: Can I trade the die?

DM: You wanna trade the d20?

Sol: It's been giving me bad luck. I want another one.

DM: It rolls randomly! Here give me the die. Check this out. *Rolls the same die and lands on a 20*

Critical fumbles, fails, misses or whatever. I like natural 1s whether being a player or DM, they create a great situations that the players must overcome to beat the overwhelming odds that they facing against. Thumbs up to Natural 1s!!!
I Don't like critical fumble rules, personally. That said, if your group is cool with it, go for it. Might I suggest, however:

Only the FIRST attack roll on your turn can result in a critical fumble.

This eliminates the innate unfairness that the nat 1 roll has against Aoe or iterive attackers.

Granted, you may see the extra chance to fumble as balanced against the extra chance to crit.

In my opinion, the first thing I always ask when creating a houserule:

Is this going to be fun for those involved? If the answer is no, probably better off to scrap it.


my 2 cents
Personally, I never liked the house-rules of critical fumbles (isn't in 4e, and wasn't in 3e/3.5 either). I think that it discourages heroic actions. The more dice you roll, the more likely you are to fail.

Also, I was in a 3.5 game, and I made a heal check to stabilize a dying comrade. I had a +15 to heal, and rolled a 1. I made the DC, but the DM ruled that I killed my buddy. Yeah, that's exciting. I succeeded so well, that they died

In any event, if it's cool with your players, go for it! From the sounds of it, just one person doesn't like it. Have a sit-down with your group, before the next game, and discuss the issue. Give the player a fair shot at expressing his opinion...since it's before game-time, he's not all "IT SUCKS BECAUSE I HURT MYSELF!" Catch it before it gets out of hand

Also, encourage the other players to express their opinions, too. You might find that one or two of your players don't like it, but just "go along with it." See if y'all can come up with a group consensus, and let that be that. If your group decided to keep the rule in, politely let the "problem player" know that it's nothing personal, it's just how the group wants it.

That being said, if he still b*tches, don't be afraid to kick him in the nads, and I don't mean Will defense :P If he's not willing to "suck it up" and let the rest of the group have fun, he should find another table.

Going back to my personal story, I have crit fails with a passion, but the rest of the group LOVES them, so I sucked it up and suffered through. We still had fun, I just didn't roll any d20s...I became a wizard who did nothing but magic missile and fireball. No d20 rolls, no crit fails. However, it caused the DM to roll more d20s, so he crit failed more often :P

TBP
Just wondering what people's thoughts are on Natural 1's in 4e?

I believe all that is mentioned in that natural 1's are just basically misses or failure's on spells even if the + to hit would beat the check.

Running as a d4 damage + 1/2 your level seem fair for a natural 1 with a secondary role being a natural 1?
Thoughts on this?

I've always ruled that a natural 1 is an automatic failure regardless of the bonus to the check. Even more so, a natural 1 results in whatever horrible accident I can think up at the time. This way, whenever the player tries something dangerous, they know they might be risking a heck of a lot if a natural 1 comes up. I do it just to add some fun to the game: (a) I have to think fast to come up with some amusing, painful consequence, and (b) the party gets to see what happens to their friend because he was inept.

Natural 1s have killed players in my campaigns. It might sound harsh, but my group loves it.
I don't think crit misses are that big of a deal. I wouldn't use them now, but in 1st ed we had a house rule that on a natural 1 your weapon had to make a save or be damaged (-1 to hit and damage until it was repaired).

 Any Edition

My group just uses a "1 always misses" rule and that's worked fairly well, but I've been thinking about implementing a "1 ends serial attacks" crit fumble rule as a sort of "stealth nerf" of multi-attacking. It wouldn't apply on AOEs, only attacks that come as a chain (such as for rangers, tempest fighters, a couple barbarian powers).
Huh, my group actually took things the other direction, in 3.5. Instead of natural 20s being automatic hits and natural 1s being automatic misses, natural 20s were houseruled to be [whatever the rolled value was]+10, and a natural 1 was [whatever the rolled value was]-10. In other words, a natural 20 had a value of 30, and a natural 1 had a value of (-9). As with other critical rules, this didn't apply to skills, but it did to saves.

This meant that it was extremely difficult, but not strictly impossible, to miss on a 20, and similarly so to succeed on a natural 1. Didn't quite have any of the silliness of the fumble rules, but it could be entertaining, all the same. I once played a character with AC high enough that it forced my DM to calculate out the total attack bonus on a natural 20, to see if it would hit. He rolled... a lot of 20's against my character in that campaign.
The best natural-one house rule I've seen was explained as follows.

If a natural 20 means maximum damage on your attack, then a natural 1 means minimal damage on your attack. Since a natural 1 is automatically a miss, that means a natural 1 should mean you don't inflict damage even if the power states that you would normally inflict damage on a miss.

I don't play with critical miss rules, but if I did, that's the one I would use.
I've never been that critical with nat 1's. Even as far back as 1E, the worst that I would have happen with a crit miss would be dropping your weapon or accidentally shooting an ally with an arrow for minimal damage. Especially in 4E, nat 1's can be a brutal thing. When you just ran up on the BBEG, use your last Daily and roll a 1...well...that's pretty much punishment enough. Crit hits I've had a lot of fun with in the past, though. Things from double damage to actual crit hit charts with bodily wounds were sometimes a blast...and sometimes a pain in the rump. I like the 4E max damage rule. It's simple, and installs a good sense of self-worth, especially with weapons that do extra damage on a crit. Much more than that can lead to more bookkeeping than fun, in my experience.
Critical hits are always easy. You do max damage and everyone is happy. But when it comes to natural 1's and talking about critical misses then a lot of players start to ***** and moan about unfairness and harsh treatment. Personally I have 0 sympathy for such opportunists.

Critical misses are always interesting. At least that is what I find in my games so far. Rolling a 1 happens less then rolling a 20 so a temporary minor "penalty" isn't that bad compared to the damage bonus you get when rolling a 20.

examples
-A cleric with a phobia in his background will most likely be overcome by his fear when rolling a 1 explaining how he misses and cowers in fear for that round granting OA's.
-A fighter running through an alley trying to flank someone rolls a 1 and slips over some rats falling prone for that round as well as missing his attack
-A Paladin with an overly active imagination in her background will suddenly be distracted by pink elephants or something granting Combat Advantage for that round
-A Ranger in the woods will get slapped in the face with a branch he didn't notice that could daze him or something similar for that round.

I always try to make it interesting and emphasize certain personality traits of the PC's. It also gives incentive for them to work out their issues if your group are RP'ers. Heroes got their inner demons to battle and overcome, especially early in their careers.

In most cases the players are seasoned and tough enough to overcome most encounters. With nat 20 bonus those encounters get easier and less challenging. With the occasional nat 1 and minor penalty the encounter will get a little bit more challenging. Balances each other out well enough.
It's never made any kind of sense to me to punish people further for missing just because the number they rolled to miss was a 1. Missing is it's own friggin' punishment. Especially in 4e when using Encounter and Daily Powers. That's a fair hunk of your game that just got thrown away. And then someone wants to damage you on top of it? Yeah, that's fun. None of the "explanations" ever made sense to me, either. "You swung so wildly you hit yourself! With the tip of your Longspear!" "You cast a range 10 single target spell so poorly that you chose yourself as the target instead of that guy 10 squares away!" This stuff is just bad. Always keep in mind that a miss is it's own punishment.

If forced to use any rule, wrecan's proposal is the one that I'd find most tolerable. And I'd fight even that.
Resident Prophet of the OTTer.

Section Six Soldier

Front Door of the House of Trolls

[b]If you're terribly afraid of your character dying, it may be best if you roleplayed something other than an adventurer.[/b]

Critical fumbles are unfair, unfun, and unnecessary.

I categorically refuse to play at a table that uses fumbles.
Another day, another three or four entries to my Ignore List.
It's enough that a natural 1 misses.

I've played with variation on fumble rules before and never liked them.

I guess they are fine for folks who like more complexity and randomness in their games.
Rolling a 1 happens less then rolling a 20 so

THAT'S NOT HOW PROBABILITY WORKS :headexplo
Critical fumbles are unfair, unfun, and unnecessary.

I categorically refuse to play at a table that uses fumbles.

Do you not use Critical Hits, then? They are as fair as Cit Misses. Why the double standard? I swing my sword once, get lucky, and do oodles of extra damage. I swing it again, get unlucky, and drop my sword. How is one any more fair or unfair than the other...aside from benefitting the PC? Keep in mind that I'm not disagreeing with you...I'm just asking.
THAT'S NOT HOW PROBABILITY WORKS :headexplo

Nope, but that is how it works when playing. Just turf it for a few months. Just because math says there is equal chance to get 20's and 1's doesn't mean that it also occurs that way when actually playing.

When it comes to crit misses. I do find it a little to far fetched that you, an experienced weapon handler or arcanist suddenly wounds himself. Sure at Heroic stage it could be, but later on...nah. Next to that there would be a huge difference of damage dealt between a greataxe wielder or someone who casts a magic missile or uses a dagger. That seems unfair to me as well. This is why I prefer to use "penalties" such as granting CA or falling prone or whatever. Those are still relatively small and won't make too much of a difference. And it will definitely not do more damage on its wielder as bonuses start to stack as would happen with weapons.
Do you not use Critical Hits, then? They are as fair as Cit Misses. Why the double standard? I swing my sword once, get lucky, and do oodles of extra damage. I swing it again, get unlucky, and drop my sword. How is one any more fair or unfair than the other...aside from benefitting the PC? Keep in mind that I'm not disagreeing with you...I'm just asking.

Because PCs do not roll the same number of attack rolls, as stated above. A twin-strike ranger or AoE blaster is going to injure himself a lot more often than someone who only swings once a round. The multi-attackers are penalized for being good at what they do.
Another day, another three or four entries to my Ignore List.
Nope, but that is how it works when playing. Just turf it for a few months. Just because math says there is equal chance to get 20's and 1's doesn't mean that it also occurs that way when actually playing.

Umm. Two weeks ago my DM rolled 14 nat 1s in a total of two combats. 14 nat ones. He nat 20'd one time, I think. Does that mean that where I live the dice gods have decided that 1s are more common than 20s? If so, can you tell me where you live so I can play there? :P

There's an even chance for each number to come up every time you roll. Unless you've got terrible dice, of course. That is how it works. Really. I suck at math and I get this. It's just how it is!
Resident Prophet of the OTTer.

Section Six Soldier

Front Door of the House of Trolls

[b]If you're terribly afraid of your character dying, it may be best if you roleplayed something other than an adventurer.[/b]

Because PCs do not roll the same number of attack rolls, as stated above. A twin-strike ranger or AoE blaster is going to injure himself a lot more often than someone who only swings once a round. The multi-attackers are penalized for being good at what they do.

I'm not asking why fumbles are bad...I know they're bad. What I'm asking is: Why are fumbles unfair but crit hit super-damage is? Aside from one simply benefitting the PC more, of course.
Umm. Two weeks ago my DM rolled 14 nat 1s in a total of two combats. 14 nat ones. He nat 20'd one time, I think. Does that mean that where I live the dice gods have decided that 1s are more common than 20s? If so, can you tell me where you live so I can play there? :P

There's an even chance for each number to come up every time you roll. Unless you've got terrible dice, of course. That is how it works. Really. I suck at math and I get this. It's just how it is!

You just in-directly proven my point. 1's and 20's don't roll equally as the math says and logic dictates. In 1 session that was not equal in your case. Now you can "cheat" and make the math work again by saying...you need to look over more game sessions and not just the 100ish rolls in 1 session because that is not representative.

Sure you can play here in Europe, but I "rarely" roll either 1 or 20's. In the last 6 sessions I had twice a 1 and 3 times a 20.
I'm not asking why fumbles are bad...I know they're bad. What I'm asking is: Why are fumbles unfair but crit hit super-damage is? Aside from one simply benefitting the PC more, of course.

I'll take a stab - if you don't mind. ;)

When it comes to PC vs Monster or NPC, you have to keep in mind that the PC is one player's character. His only one. Rolling a nat 1 and taking damage doesn't mean anything to the Minion or the BBEG, but it can mean the end of the line for the Character. The work of a player complete with invested time and heavy interest in who that character was, is and will become. When the Minion goes to the great beyond, the DM simply sends another. When the BBEG shuffles his mortal coil, the plot introduces another. The DM has some work to do, yes. The difference is that the Minion and the BBEG don't matter nearly as much. The DM shouldn't care too terribly when his BBEG dies on the end of Fighter Bob's spear. Because he was supposed to. Fighter Bob, otoh, isn't supposed to die. He certainly can, but it ain't written into his very existance like is for the now skewered BBEG. So nat 1 penalties penalize the player more than the bad guys. Because the character is more important to the player than the bad guys are (supposed to be) to the DM.

That's one way to look at it, I guess. :D
Resident Prophet of the OTTer.

Section Six Soldier

Front Door of the House of Trolls

[b]If you're terribly afraid of your character dying, it may be best if you roleplayed something other than an adventurer.[/b]

If a natural 20 means maximum damage on your attack, then a natural 1 means minimal damage on your attack. Since a natural 1 is automatically a miss, that means a natural 1 should mean you don't inflict damage even if the power states that you would normally inflict damage on a miss.

That sounds pretty cool and makes sense in the current game framework.

At the D&D Game Day, I had the Barbarian Player roll a 1 on both d20s when 'lent' the Oath power of the Avenger. Being as that was very unlikely to happen, I asked him if he had other weapons.

"Yes. 2 Handaxes."

"Good. It will be a minor action to draw one, as usual. The bloody halberd, slippery from the goo of your enemies, flies out of your hands and lands like a spear in this barrel. *indicates one 7 squares away* The quickling laughs at you."
You just in-directly proven my point. 1's and 20's don't roll equally as the math says and logic dictates. In 1 session that was not equal in your case. Now you can "cheat" and make the math work again by saying...you need to look over more game sessions and not just the 100ish rolls in 1 session because that is not representative.

Sure you can play here in Europe, but I "rarely" roll either 1 or 20's. In the last 6 sessions I had twice a 1 and 3 times a 20.

Ok. But you can't say 1s come up less often than 20s. Cuz obviously it's random. For you, they both rarely come up. For my DM two weeks ago, he barely rolled anything but a 1. The week before that, he rolled nothing less than a 17 when he was trying to hit me. We can't possibly know what's going to come up, can we? Your idea that 1s appear less frequently than 20s can be true occasionally, but so can 1s happening more than 20s, 3s happenening more than 14, etc, etc. Probability. If you look at more than 1 session, you should see a fairly even distribution of rolled numbers. Really. If you don't, you've got bad dice. Cuz they're supposed to be - you know - random and have an equal chance to roll each number.
Resident Prophet of the OTTer.

Section Six Soldier

Front Door of the House of Trolls

[b]If you're terribly afraid of your character dying, it may be best if you roleplayed something other than an adventurer.[/b]

You just in-directly proven my point. 1's and 20's don't roll equally as the math says and logic dictates. In 1 session that was not equal in your case. Now you can "cheat" and make the math work again by saying...you need to look over more game sessions and not just the 100ish rolls in 1 session because that is not representative.

Sure you can play here in Europe, but I "rarely" roll either 1 or 20's. In the last 6 sessions I had twice a 1 and 3 times a 20.

Uh, no he didn't prove your point. Probability is about the odds of an event occurring, not about how often it will occur. There is a 1 in 2 chance that an evenly weighted coin will land heads-up, but it will not always do so once every 2 flips. This is because there is a difference between probability and occurrence. You seem to be mixing up the two.
I'll take a stab - if you don't mind. ;)

Not only do I not mind, I appreciate it. I like talking to you.

So..let's say that a crit fumble is just that...a fumble. No damage to the PC, his buddies, or anyone else, just a fumble. He drops his sword. He drops his wand/staff/orb/rod/totem/holy symbol. Nothing more. A free (or minor) action to pick whatever it is back up, and nothing more. Just a bit of embarrasment to go around, that's all.

No, I don't use crit fumbles (and haven't in almost 15 years), I just like good conversation from different points of view.
I'm not asking why fumbles are bad...I know they're bad. What I'm asking is: Why are fumbles unfair but crit hit super-damage is? Aside from one simply benefitting the PC more, of course.

Well, there's the fact that it punishes some characters more than others, which could be termed unfair. Crits benefit everyone more or less equally via damage on one particular attack (though strikers do generally get the best of the deal in terms of damage spikes) but fumbles impose a penalty above and beyond the fumbled attack itself (typically a penalty, losing actions, a dropped weapon, damage to self or others, or several of the above, as in the case of granting OAs or CA). This means that it does constitute an unfair penalty to characters that make multiple attack rolls per round, as they become likely to spend a considerable portion of combat locked into provoking OAs, taking spikes of extra damage, missing actions, and generally being a whipping boy, while many other characters will simply have a <=10% chance of the same each round.
Not only do I not mind, I appreciate it. I like talking to you.

So..let's say that a crit fumble is just that...a fumble. No damage to the PC, his buddies, or anyone else, just a fumble. He drops his sword. He drops his wand/staff/orb/rod/totem/holy symbol. Nothing more. A free (or minor) action to pick whatever it is back up, and nothing more. Just a bit of embarrasment to go around, that's all.

No, I don't use crit fumbles (and haven't in almost 15 years), I just like good conversation from different points of view.

I prefer less effect for fumbles than most people imply they desire. Oftentimes when I hear about fumble rules, I hear stories about horrific accidents and the like, and that seems out of balance to what a critical hit does (so a 1/20 chance to definitely hit and deal max damage, but a 1/20 chance to cause an avalanche that kills everyone... wha?).

I like the "fumbles grant combat advantage" rule. It's a nice one that isn't that dramatic a disadvantage. Our group used to have counterattack rules, but they added way to many rolls.
Ok. But you can't say 1s come up less often than 20s. Cuz obviously it's random. For you, they both rarely come up. For my DM two weeks ago, he barely rolled anything but a 1. The week before that, he rolled nothing less than a 17 when he was trying to hit me. We can't possibly know what's going to come up, can we? Your idea that 1s appear less frequently than 20s can be true occasionally, but so can 1s happening more than 20s, 3s happenening more than 14, etc, etc. Probability. If you look at more than 1 session, you should see a fairly even distribution of rolled numbers. Really. If you don't, you've got bad dice. Cuz they're supposed to be - you know - random and have an equal chance to roll each number.

Though, to be fair -and I didn't include this in my reply because it was clear that it wasn't what he meant when he said that 1's coming up less often than 20's- the impact of re-rolls does mean that there will be more 20s than 1s in a game, hypothetically, because 1s will be re-rolled whenever possible, and 20's will never be re-rolled unless one is forced to. However, that effect itself should be pretty minor, as it's the probability of rolling a 1 in the nth round of combat, times the probability of having an un-used re-roll power available and unused yet by the nth round of combat. Which itself is contingent on party makeup, power use, and myriad other effects.
Not only do I not mind, I appreciate it. I like talking to you.

Pleasantness returned. :D

So..let's say that a crit fumble is just that...a fumble. No damage to the PC, his buddies, or anyone else, just a fumble. He drops his sword. He drops his wand/staff/orb/rod/totem/holy symbol. Nothing more. A free (or minor) action to pick whatever it is back up, and nothing more. Just a bit of embarrasment to go around, that's all.

Well, when we look at a Staffizzie we see that he could be really penalized by dropping that staff. He can't raise his Defense without that staff in his hand and could then take a hit that maybe should have been a miss. And equipment can come into play, too. With even the base (I think lvl2) Defensive Staff, for example (my Staffizie used one and my pals' Invoker and Sorc chars both use them now), the character loses +1 to his NADs again possibly turning a near-miss into a hit. And melee guys lose their weapons for AoOs. I doubt the Fighter would be happy if he lost his Sword even if he could pick it up on his next turn.

If it's anything but a free action, the penalty is huge. Even a Minor action can be incredibly important (Potion use, sustain a Stinking Cloud, etc). As a Controller, I played with this very thought as my core concept. I can't do a ton of damage all the time, but I can do my best to deny actions to my enemies. Prone, Immobilized, etc. Action denial isn't just a penalty, it's a combat style - and an effective one.

No, I don't use crit fumbles (and haven't in almost 15 years), I just like good conversation from different points of view.

I don't, either. We used to use a couple systems back in the day. One was ruling that on three sequential nat 1s you dropped your sword. You had to roll a 1 and then "back it up". It was so pointless we dropped it. We tried it with two 1s or the 1 and then failed Dex check option, but it was more hassle than fun. We never did damage on a Crit Miss, though. For a long while we used the 3 20s is insta-killed rule. And then we made it goofy as hell by ruling that any 3 sequentially rolled 20s could kill the object of the roll. I took out some epic thingy at level four or so by rolling three 20s on a Knowledge roll. We didn't stop then, though. It took a DM run Kobold rolling 3 nat 20s on a Spot check killing a PC to do that. The ruling for that disaster? Laser Beam Eyeballs. Suddenly, our goofy and fun li'l rule wasn't so fun any more. So we dropped it. Forever! :D
Resident Prophet of the OTTer.

Section Six Soldier

Front Door of the House of Trolls

[b]If you're terribly afraid of your character dying, it may be best if you roleplayed something other than an adventurer.[/b]

Though, to be fair -and I didn't include this in my reply because it was clear that it wasn't what he meant when he said that 1's coming up less often than 20's- the impact of re-rolls does mean that there will be more 20s than 1s in a game, hypothetically, because 1s will be re-rolled whenever possible, and 20's will never be re-rolled unless one is forced to. However, that effect itself should be pretty minor, as it's the probability of rolling a 1 in the nth round of combat, times the probability of having an un-used re-roll power available and unused yet by the nth round of combat. Which itself is contingent on party makeup, power use, and myriad other effects.

Good call. I hadn't even considered re-rolls. Like you say, though, probably a minor effect.
Resident Prophet of the OTTer.

Section Six Soldier

Front Door of the House of Trolls

[b]If you're terribly afraid of your character dying, it may be best if you roleplayed something other than an adventurer.[/b]

It should generally be noted that a 1 is only a failure for attack rolls.

Also, until 4E, I never played with any critical rules. After the whole "You Lop off an Ear" thing from ICE, I wasn't really impressed with Criticals. I only really use them in 3E/4E because they don't actually take anything away from combat, or do insanely stupid things. Not that you couldn't add those back in easy enough, as Pizao's GameMastery Critical Hit deck showed us.

I just think punishing players based on dice is a stupid thing. I don't really like allowing my monsters criticals even now, although it's much better then in 3E. At least I'm not doing crazy damage.
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