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5:05 PM
would like the opinions of the chat:
A: Looking for a sane alternative to my DM's favorite fumble table

KRyanI strongly recommend that you urge your DM to ditch fumble and critical tables altogether. It sounds like this will be difficult to do, but you’ll find the game much improved – and, I think, so will he. This is because... Critical and fumble tables have myriad problems The Dungeon Master’s Guid...

does this constitute an appropriate "challenge" to the question? (it's barely even that since it has recommendations for even using the damn tables)
but mxyzplk has felt it appropriate to knee-jerk downvote and comment dismissively, so I want to make sure I haven't messed something up
@JoshuaAslanSmith tell me about it
@JohnP this argument is mathematically fallacious; see my answer
they are not the same
@JohnP do you do that on 5% of the things you ever attempt to do in your life?
because based on this guy's table, you would
mind you, do you think you would still do that on 5% of everything you did, if you were a legendary hero, veteran of a hundred dungeons and thousands of fights to the death with vicious monsters?
would you, in fact, expect to be more likely to "eat a foot" after gaining all that experience?
because that's what's going on here, and it's more-or-less what happens with every fumble table ever written
for d20, anyway
the system is just inherently incompatible with them
is it true that PCs see far more rolls than NPCs? I see my DM rolling far more for the NPCs multiattacks than we do for our attacks
@DavidWilkins they're pretty similar; monsters don't usually have dramatically more attacks than PCs do
@DavidWilkins think individual to individual
plus PCs roll for all kinds of things that don't involve NPCs
(though those rolls are only sometimes considered in fumble tables)
Yeah, other than that point of (contention?) I think the answer is approximately what I would say
5:12 PM
@johnp critical hits are a brief moment of excitement, like hitting jackpot, that spice up the normal combat, critical fumbles have the inverse effect
having only crit hits is balanced because both sides can crit
@waxeagle that new 4e question so sad I cant answer it
@JoshuaAslanSmith I agree, I have had times when I asked myself "Do I really want to attack when I know that if I fumble, I literally could kill my party member/myself?"
@kryan I upvoted you but you could pare it down simply because of the page space, not the content if that makes sense
@DavidWilkins also, even if the DM exclusively uses monsters with lots of attacks, and none of the party does, the typical game has what, a couple dozen “unimportant” foes for every enemy who really, truly counts? the DM definitely should not be using monsters that get orders of magnitude more attacks, at any rate
so even if your argument is true (doubt it's true on average but it's conceivable for a particular table), it's not true "enough" to counteract the math
@KRyan fair enough
@JoshuaAslanSmith it does, I'm taking suggestions on how to actually do that, though, because I put a fair amount of effort into the pacing and organization of the answer to begin with
but then I am verbose
5:17 PM
also, it bothers me that the question necessitated downvoting very-nearly every answer in it
at least the highest-rated answer is solid
@KRyan that is worrisome indeed
@KRyan, it's a matter of magnitude. Your answer is fine and challenges the frame - down through the end of your FATE section. Then adding another 2 linear pages of "HERE'S WHY FUMBLES ARE AWFUL" detracts from it.
@mxyzplk I disagree, it's a common enough thing to do that I felt the need to back up my claims that they are bad
and my claim is very strong
it needs a lot of back-up
because I'm stating that fumbles are bad – not for some games, not for some tables, not for some playstyles, but bad, period
for everyone
You make your point, but then you efefctively decide to hog up a couple more pages of space with the tangent. It would be appropriate if the question were about that, but it's not. So you should show moderation in how much you present in that context.
5:21 PM
this question bothers me also. The accepted answer has 3 down and one upvote: rpg.stackexchange.com/questions/56008/… Makes me cringe
@mxyzplk it's a fair criticism (@JoshuaAslanSmith suggest trimming as well), but I'd rather be verbose than fail to back up the claim I'm making
One can spend from one sentence to ten pages backing up any claim they make. That's not a valid line of reasoning. The question is the order of magnitude appropriate in a given venue.
In a question about "are fumbles bad" - the whole thing is fine.
@mxyzplk I'll consider moving the bit about the problems in detail to a separate Q&A and linking to them, then; that might be a better solution
I'll have to check to see if there's an existing question that might be more appropriate, first
but I am not inclined to do so right at this moment; I've already spent longer on this than I should have
5:28 PM
I don't see a direct one, but it's easy enough to ask. "The DMG has this optional fumble rule on p.28, how does it affect play?"
Anyway, once that happens I'd be happy to rescind my downvote.
I do wonder why my answer on that Q is being downvoted, it seems like pure revenge downvoting.
I've only downvoted the question itself, and I may need to re-evaluate that
@mxyzplk I downvoted every answer that suggested that using a critical or fumble table as-is was anything but a bad idea; can't speak for anyone else, but I really stand by my statement that they are always bad and thus those answers are all bad suggestions
@KRyan I am a 4th degree black belt. Multiple state championships, been ranked top 10 world in our system and fought for a World title. Been in martial arts since 1986. Two weeks ago in our tournament I slipped landing a technique and got a nice whip kick returned off the side of my head. Yes, it will happen.
@JohnP 5% of the time?
5% of your punches and kicks result in you hurting yourself or falling over or dropping whatever it is you're holding?
@KRyan No. But that's why I think you should roll to confirm the crit, if you roll 1, 1, yeah something should happen. I disagree with the table that yutz has put together though. At most you might be caught flatfooted or provoke an AoO
5:38 PM
it does happen, but a d20 just doesn't have the granularity to represent it
@KRyan - I also don't land spectacular techniques 5% of the time either. I agree it's a skewed representation, but you can't support the "YAHOO!" 5% of the time as being perfectly acceptable and at the same time decry the "Oh, @#$" 5% of the time either.
Roll to confirm hit, roll to confirm crit, and make the fumble realistic. (Such as the sword twists in your grip, and you lose initiative to the end of the next round while you readjust).
I don't agree with fumbles where the sword goes flying, or you do the Daffy Duck "Ho ha hee dodge thrust parry WHACK!!" thing.
I say, if you want fumbles, roleplay them. Take real life as an example where professionals make mistakes. "Roll a 1? Ok you are now addicted to shire weed. or: Word gets out that you hit your wife once in the tavern. "
At least then it wouldn't alter game mechanics
@DavidWilkins - So...for that parallel, if a professional football player fumbles the ball on a handoff, people should start saying he beats his wife?
@JohnP welcome to twitter
It was meant to be a jest :P
5:51 PM
@waxeagle Now that's funny. :) :)
@DavidWilkins I've been meaning to look up if that item even exists in 5e for 2 days now because if it does, it's upvotable, if it's not then that's NAA
@DavidWilkins - I agree, roleplay it. You attack with a sword and roll a 1. Ok, now roll again. Anything but a 1, you just miss. Another 1, and give a consequence, but not one that would result in party wipe or absolute chaos.
(it's still not a good answer, but at least it's valid)
Like I said, your sword twists, and you lose initiative this round while you recover, or the shock of a bad hit stings your arm and you are caught flat footed for a moment. Something like that.
the way we play at home (and I confess to hating it, but everyone else seems to enjoy it), is that if you roll a 1, we roll d%, 10% or lower and something bad happens, 90% or higher and you get a reroll
5:55 PM
So a roll of 2 on a d20 would confirm a fumble
I think the roll of d% is mostly because the d% get lonely in 4e
@waxeagle - And are your fumbles realistic? Or chaos producing?
@JohnP mostly it's a "your damage is done to yourself" or "you have a -2 to skill check X til next rest", they vary a bit based on how bad the d% roll comes up
or your ranged attack hits your ally who is standing next to the enemy you were targetting. They aren't particularly game changing
@JohnP I'd agree you can, honestly. Critical hits don't punish the players for existing and don't kick characters already hurt by the math while they're down. The goal isn't simulationism in the first place anyway.
I have spells that can kill me in one hit if I do damage to myself. I choose never to cast them and instead sit around while you all fight
5:58 PM
@DavidWilkins this is a 4e game, those basically don't exist
@waxeagle Exactly. They sting a bit, but they aren't life changing events.
@waxeagle 4e has better math in general. 3.P has a lot of attacks that can natively just finish off yourself or a party member, especially for people who are playing attrition games (somehow) and thus entering fights pre-wounded.
rpg.stackexchange.com/a/56076/1084 really want to comment "Common sense overriding the rulebook is not a concept with which 4e is familiar" but that's probably not appropriate
@Lord_Gareth yeah
To see if the scorpion stings itself? Seriously?
@waxeagle You could re-word that more professionally, though. "4e deals in a stricter RAW than many other RPG systems" maybe with some expanding on the idea
Which is similar to what I'd say about Legend, y'know?
6:12 PM
Are we playing next week
@waxeagle NO IT IS, FIRE AWAY!
@JoshuaAslanSmith yes
@DavidWilkins I don't find a "Manual of Golems" for 5e referenced anywhere.
@JoshuaAslanSmith I composed something slightly more professional :)
6:29 PM
and back
@JohnP the difference is that critical hits are something that you do, on your turn. Enough bad things will happen to you on enemies' turns, and losing your opportunity to respond (e.g. auto-miss) is already devastating; giving them more "for free" (e.g. not even on their turn, not using any action of theirs) just doesn't work well within the system
@KRyan Or are you?
also, I mean – my answer explicitly supports the idea of such failures. It just makes them more narrative and less random
@KRyan I'm readying your extended essay on Team PC critical chances
Fumbling on the vampire, critting on the wolves he summoned. True story.
@Zachiel exactly
<-Has killed more than one ally because of three words: "Critical hit, other"
But that was back in the bad old days of the "Good Hits, Bad Misses" chart.
6:42 PM
@KRyan GH,BM came out as an article in one of the earliest Dragons and was used by my 2e DM (Daaaad) to add flavor to critical hits and fumbles, keeping in mind that a fumble back in 2e already stopped your entire attack routine and ended your turn.
It had stuff like "drop weapon" or "trip", but then it had stuff like "critical hit, self"
those things are not flavor
Ah I think I used that in my first 3e campaign
I had one combat where I had to explain how my bard decapitated a drow priestess and then put a three foot longsword through his own lungs.
I mean, how do you even explain critical-hitting yourself?
6:45 PM
@KRyan Well in the above case I said he did it on purpose in a brief bout of insanity. Not that I am defending it, this chart is horrible.
I know people who aked themselves on the head while lumbering, but yeah, that's not the point, isn't it?
Indeed. D&D (and PF) are heroic fantasy stories. Fumbles kinda suck the dignity out of that.
@JohnP what?
Anyway, the horrible, HORRRRRIBLE chart provided one of our most hilarious scenes. Gundam the orc samurai charging zombies to save his master (who just slipped and went unconscious for 4 rounds while trying to shoot a crossbow in melee, with the hope of hitting the party rogue/ranger/barbarian/wizard elf weretiger who just hit him with an arrow because of cover),
and dislocating his arm becoming unable to hold his katana, that he never learned to wield one-handed because the samurai class gave him bonuses when he used it in two hands.
7:00 PM
@Lord_Gareth anyway, what do you think of the suggestion of moving the The problems in detail section to its own Q&A, and just linking that in this answer?
@KRyan It might be cleaner and give readers of your current answer a greater ability to focus on the phenomenal Fate Points suggestion
@Lord_Gareth ok, I'm going to do that then... later, because my boss just came in
bye all!
Boss mode!
7:35 PM
That's why I like my PC screen facing the corridor where everybody is. No distractions, no excuses. I'd be too slow otherwise.
@DavidWilkins It was a response to a response on the accepted with two downvotes question
@DavidWilkins rpg.stackexchange.com/questions/56008/… That question.
I return!
For some reason I thought someone had asked if "manual of golems" was even a thing in 5e, I couldn't find it (But I didn't really look all that hard).
@Aaron ::looks for banish scroll::
Ahh. I downvoted the answer because the user appeared to have misinterpreted 5th edition as 5th level
I still don't understand accepting such an obviously wrong answer. I suppose I could flag the answer, but as what?
@DavidWilkins you should say that in a comment
7:45 PM
@JohnP Trying to say I'm an outsider? :P
@DavidWilkins Write a right answer. Hope the querent logs in again
@DavidWilkins Mindsuckingly bad?
@Aaron - If the demiplane fits...
almost @JohnP
the 5e tag needs revision though, there is no manual of golems in 5e yet.
yeah, just removed my upvote from the question.
7:51 PM
I need to come up with a brilliant question to push me over the 1k mark.
@JohnP Too late, they're all taken aahahahahahahaha
I got quite a bit of rep on the Q&A on utilizing monsters in 3.5
Find latest RPG fad > Race to be first to ask questions likely to be googled about it.
@MadMAxJr - I'm DM'ing pathfinder for the first time, I'm way behind the fad curve. :p
Congratulations, by choosing pathfinder, you have polarized the internet into those who will be positive about it and those who will be negative about it.
I suppose I could post the question "What is so bad about pathfinder" and watch the world burn until it gets closed :p
7:55 PM
You would get some detailed answers, opinioned answers, some that are both, a flame war, and a closure.
Postulate: "PF isn't really worse than 3.5e". Or should I say "not by that much, in the relative scale of how bad D&D 3.5 is"? (joking, joking...)
Hrm. "How do I reimplement THAC0 in Pathfinder?"
Gah. That one makes me twitch. Stop that.
@JohnP You want to gain Rep, not be downvoted into the deepest pits of Hell.
7:58 PM
@JohnP I didn't look for it yet, but Mearls mentioned a THAC0 sidebar in 5e
Yeah, don't test if the vote value has problems when it hits the maxint range.
@waxeagle Sweet Asmodeus why would that maniac do that to innocent freaking people?
Children read that book! No child should be exposed to THAC0!
@Lord_Gareth lol it's an optional in the DMG and mostly because this is the D&D to please the unpleasable
7:59 PM
Gawd, it's like stepping on an ant and watching the hill boil over.
You wanna disrupt chat? Just drop THAC0 in the conversation.
It's like a paper wasp nest, yes.
@waxeagle Just when I thought I could not possibly hate Mearls any more than I already hate him, you bring me fresh reasons. It's like Paizo that way.
The average RPG.SE chatter can sting a thousand times without losing strength.
"Surely they could not do anything worse than they've already done?" NOPE. HERE COMES THE WORSE.
@Lord_Gareth lol, I haven't checked to see if it made the cut (but I'm like 90% sure it did)
8:01 PM
@MadMAxJr Can't be any worse than alt.martial.arts or some of those troll holes.
I haven't had an ISP that has offered access to news groups in ages, so I couldn't compare.
google's offered access for years now (not sure if they stopped or not)
@waxeagle I think they do, but I haven't been through any groups in a couple years.
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