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The Inquisitives Rhakir's PBEM game.

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Old 01-12-2012, 10:42 AM
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Default Discussion - Natural 20's and Natural 1's...

Something came up during one of the preludes, and it occurred to me I have been using a House Rule for ages with my old gaming groups.

Per the rules (D&D and Pathfinder), A natural 20 (the d20 comes up 20) is always a hit. A natural 20 is also a Critical Threat—a possible critical hit. A natural 1 (the d20 comes up 1) on an attack roll is always a miss - the dreaded Critical Fumble...

These specifically state for attack rolls.

The House Rule I was referring to was for skill checks and saves, where a natural 20 was always a success and a natural 1 was always a failure, regardless of bonuses on top of that. I had done this for so many years, I had completely forgotten it was not an actual rule...

So, what are your thoughts on this? I think it has potential for comedy as well as disaster, but often makes for drama and an interesting storyline...
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Old 01-12-2012, 11:12 AM
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Unless they changed it in Pathfinder, saving throws always fail on a natural 1 and always succeed on a natural 20, no matter what the modifier. At higher levels, it turns massive damage saves into a game of Russian roulette.

Regarding skill checks, in my opinion, I prefer for 1s not to fail and 20s not to always succed. You shouldn't fail to tie your shoes 1 out of every 20 times. Experienced craftsmen shouldn't botch their craft that often. Master thieves shouldn't trip over an invisible blue turtle that often.
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Old 01-12-2012, 11:32 AM
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I don't like automatic hits or automatic misses either.

I propose a critical success or critical failure mechanic.

If you roll a 20, you get to roll again and add that to your original roll.

It gives you a chance to hit even in the worst circumstances.

If you roll a 1, you roll again and subtract that from your original roll.

It could be that you still succeed, although less dramatically than before.

(or a +10/-10 if that's easier.

If you hit with a 20 (+whatever) you roll to confirm and apply the appropriate multiplier.

Critical fumbles aren't nearly as disastrous. But genius is far more common in heroic games than tripping over blue turtles, or it should be.

What say you all?
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Old 01-12-2012, 04:03 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Origen View Post
Unless they changed it in Pathfinder, saving throws always fail on a natural 1 and always succeed on a natural 20, no matter what the modifier. At higher levels, it turns massive damage saves into a game of Russian roulette.
You're right, of course. Saves do have the Automatic Failures and Successes clause built in. Pathfinder did not change this.
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Old 01-12-2012, 04:07 PM
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Ditto what Origen said.
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Old 01-12-2012, 04:42 PM
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I like the critical fail/success. It makes the game more of a gamble, and usually works in my favor.

But I agree that a master craftsman whatever the profession shouldn't fail 1/20. They are not master craftsmen otherwise.

I'm ok either way.
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Old 01-12-2012, 05:24 PM
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I like the 20/1 mechnic of always hit/succeed or miss/fail. Its been that way forever
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Old 01-12-2012, 05:31 PM
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I like the critical fumble and critical hit mechanics. They add some real fun to the game.
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Old 01-12-2012, 07:34 PM
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Critical hits and misses are fine for combat -- for skills, I'm not so much of a fan of them. A flat 5% chance to pooch a task, no matter how good you are at it, strikes me as a poor mechanic and not a lot of fun. It's different in combat, where it's a dynamic, chaotic environment where the skills, errors and luck of many different actors interact. Saddling a mastercrafter with a 5% "wokka wokka" tax doesn't make sense to me. He or she may not always do his or her best work, but at a certain level of expertise, there are certain mistakes that you just don't make anymore (or, at least, not on a flat curve with a minimum resolution of 5%).
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Old 01-12-2012, 07:53 PM
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I agree, but isn't that what take10 is about?
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