Friday, February 8, 2013

Criticals & Fumbles

"In the Beginning the Earth was Void and Darkness. Then Sophia brought the Light from Heaven. This Light brought the Great Burning Fire. The Fire traveled upon Great Winds to Purify the Sea and Land. And the Waters did boil and the Soil did turn over as the Earth prepared for Her Full Creation."
-Excerpt, First Book of the Law

Within the D&D and d20 systems "Critical Hits" and "Fumbles" have a variety of permutations. I have created a very distinct and, I think, tactically interesting variation in my systems. In this post I will explicate how these work.

The Critical Hit

Whenever a 20 is rolled on a 20-sided die on an attack roll, this is considered a Critical Hit. A Critical Hit always hits, no matter the Armor Class or Special Resistance of the target. Additionally, this attack cannot be Dodged, Blocked or Parried by the target even if the Dodge, Block or Parry would normally negate the attack.

A Critical Hit confers no further bonus to the attack besides the unavoidable attack. Certain abilities or pieces of equipment may alter this rule, but this is the basic procedure for the Critical Hit.

A Melee twixt Fighters fully armored with Field Plate

The Fumble & Recovering

Whenever a 1 is rolled on a 20-sided die on an attack, this is considered a Fumble. A Fumble always misses. Anytime a combatant Fumbles their attack -- no matter the type or kind -- they may chance a reroll to Recover their attack.

A roll to Recover has the same chances to hit or miss as the original attack except that if the attack misses, the attacker is now Stunned, losing their next action (and also unable to Dodge, Block, Parry or make Opportunity Attacks until then). And, if the attack hits, the attack is considered a Critical Hit. And, as with Critical Hits, generally, certain pieces of equipment or abilities may modify the effects of the Critical Hit. Note: Rolling a 1 on this Recovering attack roll can not be rerolled again -- you must accept the Recovery as a Miss.

When rolling a 1 on an attack, a combatant can choose to accept the miss -- with no further risk OR may try to Recover with a reroll: which may have very good (Critical Hit) or very bad (Stunned) results.

Supernatural Weapons. . .

Certain weapons and ammunition are Supernatural in their construction. All Supernatural weapons have the following quality: a roll of 10 on a 20-sided die is considered a Critical Hit -- automatically hitting and cannot be negated by Dodging et alia. There are degrees of potency amongst Supernatural arms, some of which confer additional powers and benefits besides the basic function as detailed above. Beware though, as Supernatural weapons have a weird intelligence within them that not only influence the combat ability of its wielder, but also the personality. . .

A Supernatural Sword
I should note here that certain Monsters require Supernatural weapons to kill. Mundane weapons will either 1) do no damage at all, no matter what or 2) damage the Monster, but do no real Wounds. In the first case, the Monster will be completely unfazed by the mundane attacks and will likely make short work of its opponents if they do not flee. In the second case, the Monster CAN be dropped to 0 Hit Points through mundane weapons, but will flee or fall unconscious at that point -- only to return, after a time, fully recovered.

I will also note here that damage from the Spells slung by Magic-users do damage that will hurt or kill Monsters that can only be damaged by Supernatural weapons. Magic-users use their resources (Action Points) differently than other classes and can not throw Spells around all day or at-will. Going head-to-head with Monsters that require Supernatural weapons to kill with only a Magic-user in tow will severely drain the resources of a party.

Third note! Magic-users do not get the special Critical Hit (on 10s) with their Spells. There are strange devices known generally as Rods, that provide this effect to the Spells cast through them. The stranger and more ancient of the Rods have additional effects on the Spells cast through them besides the general Critical Hit on 10s (but also come with the same risks as Supernatural weapons, as these Rods oft-contain alien intelligences). When I start posting specific to the Classes within Sophia's Children this will all be explained again.

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