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Yet Another Fumble System

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February 25, 2005 2:59:37 PM

Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.dnd (More info?)

At the beginning of each game session (or adventure, or whatever other
arbitrary point everyone can agree on) each player rolls a D20 in full
sight of the DM and other players. Any player that rolls a 1 is now
Cursed to Fumble that session. This allows the to DM to choose any
single skill check, saving throw, attack roll, critical confirm, etc.
during that session that involves the Cursed player and make it
automatically succeed or fail, as required to maximally screw over the
player. The character cannot be forced to fail a check he would
normally automatically succed at, but he can fail a check for which he
could normally take 10.

I think this solves most of the problems normally associated with
fumbles. YMMV though.

More about : fumble system

Anonymous
February 26, 2005 5:49:49 PM

Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.dnd (More info?)

<rorschach@fuse.net> wrote in message
news:1109361577.652116.271870@f14g2000cwb.googlegroups.com...
> At the beginning of each game session (or adventure, or whatever other
> arbitrary point everyone can agree on) each player rolls a D20 in full
> sight of the DM and other players. Any player that rolls a 1 is now
> Cursed to Fumble that session. This allows the to DM to choose any
> single skill check, saving throw, attack roll, critical confirm, etc.
> during that session that involves the Cursed player and make it
> automatically succeed or fail, as required to maximally screw over the
> player. The character cannot be forced to fail a check he would
> normally automatically succed at, but he can fail a check for which he
> could normally take 10.

Hey, that's kinda fun. In a twisted and wrong sort of way, but
nontheless, used with sufficient wisdom... the trick of it would be to not
_kill_ the player with it (ie; don't make him fumble a saveordie), but
rather to make him fail a check that he makes while trying to avoid "getting
into trouble". Muffing a move silently check, choking on diplomacy, etc.
Use the fumble to accelerate the drama and complicate the scene.

-Michael
Anonymous
February 26, 2005 9:10:21 PM

Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.dnd (More info?)

Michael Scott Brown <mistermichael@earthlink.net> wrote:

> Hey, that's kinda fun. In a twisted and wrong sort of way, but
>nontheless, used with sufficient wisdom... the trick of it would be to not
>_kill_ the player with it (ie; don't make him fumble a saveordie), but
>rather to make him fail a check that he makes while trying to avoid "getting
>into trouble". Muffing a move silently check, choking on diplomacy, etc.
>Use the fumble to accelerate the drama and complicate the scene.

Yeah. When used well, it'd add a lot to the game. The problem
would be getting everyone to agree on what "used well" means.
It's obvious that killer/annoying/stupid GMs could really
abuse this system, but that's not a strike against it in
my opinion. What is a strike against it is the likelihood that
players and GMs will get upset with each other over how it's
used.

If a player is about to crit an important enemy NPC, and
the GM says no, you don't crit him, and he manages to
escape, was the GM just making things more dramatic or
was he screwing over the players and making sure his
favorite NPC got away? If the players are trying to
sneak by an encounter instead of fighting and the GM
says someone muffs up their move silently, is he just
making things more dramatic or railroading the players?

I would expect lots of discussion about these and
other matters even in a perfectly reasonable group.
Loud, angry discussions, even.

Still, I like the basic idea. I just don't know
if it'd be worth the possible trouble in practice.
Depends a lot on the players and GMs involved.

Pete
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Anonymous
February 27, 2005 1:17:32 PM

Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.dnd (More info?)

"Peter Meilinger" <mellnger@bu.edu> wrote in message
news:cvqe2d$k8f$1@news3.bu.edu...
> Michael Scott Brown <mistermichael@earthlink.net> wrote:
> > Hey, that's kinda fun. In a twisted and wrong sort of way, but
> >nontheless, used with sufficient wisdom... the trick of it would be to
not
> >_kill_ the player with it (ie; don't make him fumble a saveordie), but
> >rather to make him fail a check that he makes while trying to avoid
"getting
> >into trouble". Muffing a move silently check, choking on diplomacy, etc.
> >Use the fumble to accelerate the drama and complicate the scene.
>
> Yeah. When used well, it'd add a lot to the game. The problem
> would be getting everyone to agree on what "used well" means.

And how much divination would be wasted finding out who is cursed!
Stands to reason the "blessed" option ought to be in such a mechanic as
well.

-Michael
Anonymous
February 27, 2005 1:17:33 PM

Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.dnd (More info?)

re: At start of session, all players roll d20; any 1s are "cursed to
fumble" once that session.

Michael Scott Brown wrote:
>
> Stands to reason the "blessed" option ought to be in such a
> mechanic as well.

Figure the opposite of the "cursed" one: any player who rolls a 20 on
the "session fate" roll gets a special "blessed" moment, at one point
during the night, also chosen by the GM for a dramatically appropriate
situation? Or chosen by the player?

--
Nik
- remove vermin from email address to reply.
Anonymous
February 27, 2005 2:25:43 PM

Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.dnd (More info?)

In <07hUd.6705$MY6.2037@newsread1.news.pas.earthlink.net> "Michael Scott Brown" <mistermichael@earthlink.net> writes:

>"Peter Meilinger" <mellnger@bu.edu> wrote in message
>news:cvqe2d$k8f$1@news3.bu.edu...
>> Michael Scott Brown <mistermichael@earthlink.net> wrote:
>> > Hey, that's kinda fun. In a twisted and wrong sort of way, but
>> >nontheless, used with sufficient wisdom... the trick of it would be to
>not
>> >_kill_ the player with it (ie; don't make him fumble a saveordie), but
>> >rather to make him fail a check that he makes while trying to avoid
>"getting
>> >into trouble". Muffing a move silently check, choking on diplomacy, etc.
>> >Use the fumble to accelerate the drama and complicate the scene.
>>
>> Yeah. When used well, it'd add a lot to the game. The problem
>> would be getting everyone to agree on what "used well" means.

> And how much divination would be wasted finding out who is cursed!
> Stands to reason the "blessed" option ought to be in such a mechanic as
>well.

....and so we drift towards a "karma point" system, with the fated characters
picking up a point of bad karma, and possibly getting a point of good in
compensation once the DM has used it.



--
Remove any bits of tatt after the at in my address to reply
Anonymous
February 27, 2005 3:50:54 PM

Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.dnd (More info?)

On 25 Feb 2005 11:59:37 -0800, <rorschach@fuse.net> wrote:

> At the beginning of each game session (or adventure, or whatever other
> arbitrary point everyone can agree on) each player rolls a D20 in full
> sight of the DM and other players. Any player that rolls a 1 is now
> Cursed to Fumble that session. This allows the to DM to choose any
> single skill check, saving throw, attack roll, critical confirm, etc.
> during that session that involves the Cursed player and make it
> automatically succeed or fail, as required to maximally screw over the
> player. The character cannot be forced to fail a check he would
> normally automatically succed at, but he can fail a check for which he
> could normally take 10.
>
> I think this solves most of the problems normally associated with
> fumbles. YMMV though.

Precognitive fumbles and crits? Not for me. It's too divinatory for my
taste, and my players would never forgive me for doing something that
"maximally screws" over a player, particularly if they KNOW it's coming
beforehand. That would tend to make them very hesitant to try anything,
knowing that eventually something quite bad is guaranteed to happen to
them because they rolled it before the game ever started. When it's
random, there's no guarantee you'll get one during any gaming session,
positive or negative.

Your idea is a good one, however, when applied to in-game spells and other
sources of curses. The Curse spell would be a good spell to use this
technique *through*, but not one as precognitive measure to force crits or
fumbles upon someone before they ever actually happen imo.

--
In an old 1E campaign I played in, there was this half-dwarf, half-orc
character. They called him a dorc. -Solomoriah
Anonymous
February 27, 2005 7:43:56 PM

Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.dnd (More info?)

Nikolas Landauer <dacileva.flea@hotmail.com.tick> wrote:

>re: At start of session, all players roll d20; any 1s are "cursed to
>fumble" once that session.

>Michael Scott Brown wrote:
>>
>> Stands to reason the "blessed" option ought to be in such a
>> mechanic as well.

>Figure the opposite of the "cursed" one: any player who rolls a 20 on
>the "session fate" roll gets a special "blessed" moment, at one point
>during the night, also chosen by the GM for a dramatically appropriate
>situation? Or chosen by the player?

I'd go with chosen by the GM, but the players are welcome to
suggest/beg/bribe/whatever to try for the results they want.

Pete
Anonymous
February 27, 2005 11:40:09 PM

Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.dnd (More info?)

On Mon, 28 Feb 2005 01:20:14 GMT, Keith Davies <keith.davies@kjdavies.org>
wrote:

> Consider instead: each player rolls a d20. The DM rolls 2 d20s (red and
> white, to match the 'karma colors' IMC). Any d20 that matches the red
> one indicates bad juju for the roller. Any d20 that matches the white
> one indicates good juju for the roller. If a player d20 matches both
> the good *and* the bad juju d20, he becomes a weirdness magnet for the
> session.
>
> This gives exactly the same chance of good luck as 1 and 20, but doesn't
> give that sense of impending doom. The players don't see the DM d20s,
> so have no way of knowing where the luck lies.
>
> In a group with 4 players, there is a
> . 19% chance that there is at least one lucky person
> . 19% chance that there is at least one unluck person
> . 1% chance that there is a weirdness magnet

I like that very much, but I think I'd still tie it to some spell or
effect as a focus for which to place the "blame" for the bad or good juju,
but I definitely could also see this used through shamanic or other base
karmic ritual in game as a means to place karma upon a character for a day
or so. Unless you're big into karma, I'd also keep this fairly rare so the
mysticism isn't made mundane.

--
In an old 1E campaign I played in, there was this half-dwarf, half-orc
character. They called him a dorc. -Solomoriah
February 28, 2005 10:53:24 AM

Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.dnd (More info?)

Michael Scott Brown wrote:
> "Peter Meilinger" <mellnger@bu.edu> wrote in message
> news:cvqe2d$k8f$1@news3.bu.edu...
> > Michael Scott Brown <mistermichael@earthlink.net> wrote:
> > > Hey, that's kinda fun. In a twisted and wrong sort of way, but
> > >nontheless, used with sufficient wisdom... the trick of it would
be to
> not
> > >_kill_ the player with it (ie; don't make him fumble a saveordie),
but
> > >rather to make him fail a check that he makes while trying to
avoid
> "getting
> > >into trouble". Muffing a move silently check, choking on
diplomacy, etc.
> > >Use the fumble to accelerate the drama and complicate the scene.
> >
> > Yeah. When used well, it'd add a lot to the game. The problem
> > would be getting everyone to agree on what "used well" means.
>
> And how much divination would be wasted finding out who is
cursed!
> Stands to reason the "blessed" option ought to be in such a
mechanic as
> well.
>
> -Michael

I would prefer for the characters to know who was cursed anyways, as a
matter of flavor and to arouse terrified anticipation in the players.
The in game reason would be in the form of omens, which seem to show up
a good bit in mythology and are often easily interpreted by all. So if
Rabbit the Rogue gets up in the morning and everyone immediately sees a
hare grabbed by a hawk, he'll be shaken and the other characters will
be nervous around him as everyone waits for something bad to happen. A
chance for a good omen chance now seems like an obvious complement,
though I wouldn't want either to store up as points.

Oddly, I was half-joking when I first wrote this because I was thinking
more from the killer-DM screw-the-players angle, but now it seems to
make sense.
Anonymous
February 28, 2005 5:14:38 PM

Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.dnd (More info?)

Varl wrote:

> On Mon, 28 Feb 2005 01:20:14 GMT, Keith Davies
> <keith.davies@kjdavies.org> wrote:
>
>> Consider instead: each player rolls a d20. The DM rolls 2 d20s (red and
>> white, to match the 'karma colors' IMC). Any d20 that matches the red
>> one indicates bad juju for the roller. Any d20 that matches the white
>> one indicates good juju for the roller. If a player d20 matches both
>> the good *and* the bad juju d20, he becomes a weirdness magnet for the
>> session.
>>
>> This gives exactly the same chance of good luck as 1 and 20, but doesn't
>> give that sense of impending doom. The players don't see the DM d20s,
>> so have no way of knowing where the luck lies.
>>
>> In a group with 4 players, there is a
>> . 19% chance that there is at least one lucky person
>> . 19% chance that there is at least one unluck person
>> . 1% chance that there is a weirdness magnet
>
>
> I like that very much, but I think I'd still tie it to some spell or
> effect as a focus for which to place the "blame" for the bad or good
> juju, but I definitely could also see this used through shamanic or
> other base karmic ritual in game as a means to place karma upon a
> character for a day or so. Unless you're big into karma, I'd also keep
> this fairly rare so the mysticism isn't made mundane.

Speaking of which... Applying this to spellcaster concentration
checks will result in an interesting fumble table for magic.

The problem with unseen bad luck though is that it can drive a
player off from a game. Consider if the player happens to get a
bad juju roll for three consecutive rolls (8,000:1 I know...) but
the player won't know why he is fumbling so much. This would
definitely be a house rule the players would need to know about
before a session.

BTW, fumbling twice in a row is only 400:1 Not good since a player
with a mid-level character will often roll for 50 or more attacks
in a single combat encounter. That would really make the odds
about 8:1 of fumbling more than once... in any given combat.

If a player knows a fumble threat occurs on a 1 he/she can at
least chalk that up to the bad luck created by bad dice rolls...
instead of maybe calling foul against the GM.

Re,
Dirk
!