Thursday, March 21, 2013

DM Idea: Relationships on a Fumble

Taking a few ideas from http://www.pelgranepress.com/?p=9059 , whenever a PC fumbles, the player gets to choose which relationship to use to explain how he fumbled.

  • If he rolls a 6, the relationship actually saves him from the fumble, allowing him a favorable effect when fumbling
  • If he rolls a 5, the relationship explains why he fumbled (overall minor disadvantageous effect related to the Icon of choice)
  • If he rolls a 4-2, I roll a d12 to determine which influence had fumbled his roll (overall minor disadvantageous effect related to the resulting roll, instead of the Icon of choice; if the d12 result is the same as that of the selected icon, then it's the Prince of Shadows that influenced the roll)
  • If he rolls a 1, I roll a d12 to determine which influence had fumbled his roll (major disadvantageous effect related to the resulting roll, instead of the Icon of choice)

So if for instance you fumbled and you rolled your relationship with the Archmage...

  • a 6 might have caused a magical spark to come off your weapon, causing your opponent to stumble and fall to the ground (which explains why your attack missed completely).  Enemy is stuck and dazed for a round.
  • a 5 might have caused the same magical spark to come off your weapon, but the experience numbed your hand causing you to shout in pain as if you were jolted by lightning.  You are constrained for a round (or take a little damage).
  • a 4-2 would have me roll a different Icon.  Perhaps with the Crusader causing you to fumble you actually tripped.  You are dazed for a round.
  • a 1 would have me roll a different Icon.  Perhaps with the Crusader causing you to break your weapon.  Weapon downgrades to simple (but if already simple, weapon becomes unusable) until repaired, since you can still use your broken weapon as an improvised one.
When a monster fumbles, the nearest PC can roll a relationship to determine how bad the monster's fumble is.
  • A 6 would result in a major disadvantage for the monster, whose effect is related to the chosen Icon
  • A 5 would result in an overall minor disadvantage for the monster, whose effect is related to the chosen Icon
  • A 4-1 would result in an overall minor disadvantage for the monster, whose effect is related to a different Icon
Unlike PCs, monsters would not gain any advantages for their fumbles, but for DMs who want a more "fair" treatment of their monsters, the natural 1 would result in an overall minor advantage for their monsters.

I'll update this after I run this through with my players, but feel free to comment on this idea, especially if you've tried it already on your table.

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Overall minor disadvantage refers to a combination of an advantage and a disadvantage given to the creature in question: perhaps a major disadvantage is made less problematic by the introduction of a compensation factor, or perhaps the disadvantage is clearly minor.  For instance, maybe you can't make an attack (major disadvantage), but nearby enemies are dazed when attacking you (compensation)... or maybe you can't benefit from the Escalation Die momentarily (minor disadvantage).

Overall minor advantage refers to a combination of an advantage and a complication factor given to the creature in question, not so different from rolling a 5 in a relationship die roll.