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So, tell me about Pathfinder

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I like critical fumbles in game, but with our group it ends with dropping the weapon you were holding. No chance of that vorpal longsword knocking off your arm and leaving you dying, or kill you outright as some set ups can do

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I like critical fumbles in game, but with our group it ends with dropping the weapon you were holding. No chance of that vorpal longsword knocking off your arm and leaving you dying, or kill you outright as some set ups can do

Playing Rifts, one of the house rules was that rolling a natural 1 generally involved your E-clip (for energy weapons) overcharging. This usually destroyed the weapon.

 

Once, I rolled a 1 and when my E-clip started whining, rather than ditch the gun, I ejected the malfunctioning clip at an enemy... and rolled a 20. So, I turned a fumble with my rifle into a successful grenade attack.

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I remember Rolemaster well, it is a perfect example of the downside of critical tables. One of my friends was a big fan, so we would play rolemaster whenever his turn in the DM chair came up. It always seemed to end poorly though. I remember one of the first times we played, a character wanted to throw a pebble into a pit, he fumbled and fell into the pit to his death. It was ridiculous and caused a massive argument, but he was making an attack roll, critically failed, and that was the result. It went the other way too though, I remember once we faced a big, end of the dungeon-type boss. My rogue snuck behind him, and me shield bashing was to be the signal to the group the fight had started. However, one open ended roll later, combined with some ambush skill ranks, and the boss was dead. It was pretty anticlimactic, especially for the dm who had meticulously designed the boss to be an epic challenge.

 

The other downside of the tables is that even though there are lots of results, you can get too much repetition. I like archers so I made a few, but I don't think I ever had one with two ears (critical fumble! lose an ear). We had another player who had a broken back two different times. I loved the concept of Rolemaster, but it was not a lot of fun for players.

 

Still, your idea of only using them occasionally for dramatic effect, and ignoring really messed up results sounds like it could add a fun dimension.

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I like critical fumbles in game, but with our group it ends with dropping the weapon you were holding. No chance of that vorpal longsword knocking off your arm and leaving you dying, or kill you outright as some set ups can do

Playing Rifts, one of the house rules was that rolling a natural 1 generally involved your E-clip (for energy weapons) overcharging. This usually destroyed the weapon.

 

Once, I rolled a 1 and when my E-clip started whining, rather than ditch the gun, I ejected the malfunctioning clip at an enemy... and rolled a 20. So, I turned a fumble with my rifle into a successful grenade attack.

 

A group of us were trying to get into a xiticix hive. Of course, we come under attack. My mega juicer roles a one, and we also had the house rule that your e-clip overcharged on a one. However,unlike your generous GM, mine tells me that my e-clips blows up in the weapon. And since I had 4 plasma grenades on me, they all go off at the same time. Needless to say, mega juicer is not even a wet stain. However the explosion did blow a large hole into the side of the xiticix hive. So mission accomplished.

The best part was, since I knew this guy was a killer GM, I had a back up character generated. Enter, my Atlantean tattooed man and the game went on.

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I like critical fumbles in game, but with our group it ends with dropping the weapon you were holding. No chance of that vorpal longsword knocking off your arm and leaving you dying, or kill you outright as some set ups can do

Playing Rifts, one of the house rules was that rolling a natural 1 generally involved your E-clip (for energy weapons) overcharging. This usually destroyed the weapon.

 

Once, I rolled a 1 and when my E-clip started whining, rather than ditch the gun, I ejected the malfunctioning clip at an enemy... and rolled a 20. So, I turned a fumble with my rifle into a successful grenade attack.

 

A group of us were trying to get into a xiticix hive. Of course, we come under attack. My mega juicer roles a one, and we also had the house rule that your e-clip overcharged on a one. However,unlike your generous GM, mine tells me that my e-clips blows up in the weapon. And since I had 4 plasma grenades on me, they all go off at the same time. Needless to say, mega juicer is not even a wet stain. However the explosion did blow a large hole into the side of the xiticix hive. So mission accomplished.

The best part was, since I knew this guy was a killer GM, I had a back up character generated. Enter, my Atlantean tattooed man and the game went on.

 

Nice!

 

If the GM auto-killed my characters 5% of the time (1 in 20), I probably wouldn't play with him very long; back up characters or not. ::D: Giving us a chance to dispose of the malfunction one way or another is a lot more fair, so it adds a bit of flavor to the combat without heinously screwing us over.

 

For example, one of the other players also rolled a 1 and received an e-clip malfunction... unfortunately, she chose to throw her rifle aside when it started whining and overheating, perhaps not trusting her dice to let her make the weapon systems/jury-rig/salvage roll to try to save it. Ended up spending the rest of that adventure trying not to die as she meleed mutants with a pair of vibro-knives. ::D:

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So, would you recommend Pathfinder for people who are new to RPGs? Or is the learning curve a bit steep for someone who isn't already familiar with pen and paper games?

 

Will you have somebody to teach you, or will your whole group be fresh to the party?

 

If you have at least one (moderately) experienced person, I'd say jump right on in and see what happens. If you are all new, I might suggest something a little bit less heavy-weight. In my opinion, you'll be better off if you get the feel of role playing first, without having to wade through a sea of complex rules to get there. (and I like Pathfinder. :;): )

 

I'll continue my lonely crusade and push Feng Shui as light-weight and incredibly fun, although its default genre isn't classic fantasy.

 

Fourth Edition D&D might actually work out if one of you is willing to internalize the rules as DM.

 

The classic Red Box basic D&D sets has a great intro to RPGs and what they are, if you can find it. ::):

 

There are lots of others.

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There is also this box of let's kill monsters fun that leads into Pathfinder:

 

http://paizo.com/products/btpy8osv?Pathfinder-Roleplaying-Game-Beginner-Box

 

Good point. I have never, personally, used the Beginner Box, but it has a good reputation.

 

I would also be remiss if I didn't mention the Pathfinder Society. Paizo runs an organized play system that promotes the game through public games, usually self-contained 4-5 hour scenarios. I play and GM in my local lodge, and we have brought in a bunch of great new players over the past few years.

 

I know you're looking for a game for your home group, but, if you have an active lodge near you, you could get your feet wet with them and then start it up with a home game.

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The problem with critical fumbles in a d20 game (examples from Pathfinder):

 

ShadowRaven's group uses a "drop your weapon" fumble, presumably on a natural 1.

 

A first level warrior will drop his weapon, on average, once every two minutes. Hmm, a bit often, but not completely absurd. And after all, he's a mediocre militiaman, so not exactly a prince of battle.

 

But a hasted 10th level fighter (probably in the top percentile of fighters in the world) gets four attacks every six seconds (using a single weapon). That means that he will average about 30 seconds between dropping weapons.

 

It might be time to practice a better combat grip. Or at least to buy a lanyard. :blink:

 

It's almost certainly possible to create a system that makes at least a little bit of sense, but the more complexity you tack onto the game, the less return you get on each bit of effort you put into the game. If they work for you, great. But I have no interest.

Edited by Doug Sundseth
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I remember Rolemaster well, it is a perfect example of the downside of critical tables. One of my friends was a big fan, so we would play rolemaster whenever his turn in the DM chair came up. It always seemed to end poorly though. I remember one of the first times we played, a character wanted to throw a pebble into a pit, he fumbled and fell into the pit to his death. It was ridiculous and caused a massive argument, but he was making an attack roll, critically failed, and that was the result. It went the other way too though, I remember once we faced a big, end of the dungeon-type boss. My rogue snuck behind him, and me shield bashing was to be the signal to the group the fight had started. However, one open ended roll later, combined with some ambush skill ranks, and the boss was dead. It was pretty anticlimactic, especially for the dm who had meticulously designed the boss to be an epic challenge.

 

The other downside of the tables is that even though there are lots of results, you can get too much repetition. I like archers so I made a few, but I don't think I ever had one with two ears (critical fumble! lose an ear). We had another player who had a broken back two different times. I loved the concept of Rolemaster, but it was not a lot of fun for players.

 

Still, your idea of only using them occasionally for dramatic effect, and ignoring really messed up results sounds like it could add a fun dimension.

That is just plain bad GMing - and would be regardless of system.

 

It is a freakin' pebble.

 

Being thrown into a freakin' well.

 

And what the heck is going to happen if you get a crit - the well keels over, dead as a doornail?

 

The risk of doing anything far outweighs any advantage... Oops! Broke my back trying to tie my shoes?

 

Bah.

 

The Auld Grump, roll for sneezing... Oops! Your head explodes!

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The problem with critical fumbles in a d20 game (examples from Pathfinder):

 

ShadowRaven's group uses a "drop your weapon" fumble, presumably on a natural 1.

 

A first level warrior will drop his weapon, on average, once every two minutes. Hmm, a bit often, but not completely absurd. And after all, he's a mediocre militiaman, so not exactly a prince of battle.

 

But a hasted 10th level fighter (probably in the top percentile of fighters in the world) get fours attacks every six seconds (using a single weapon). That means that he will average about 30 seconds between dropping weapons.

 

It might be time to practice a better combat grip. Or at least to buy a lanyard. :blink:

 

It's almost certainly possible to create a system that makes at least a little bit of sense, but the more complexity you tack onto the game, the less return you get on each bit of effort you put into the game. If they work for you, great. But I have no interest.

 

Not quite. A natural 1 just like a natural 20 goes into a 'crit point' if you will auto miss or auto hit plus you roll a confirmation. if that hits you crit, either by hitting the targets AC or in the case of a fumble on a 5 or lower

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The problem with critical fumbles in a d20 game (examples from Pathfinder):

 

ShadowRaven's group uses a "drop your weapon" fumble, presumably on a natural 1.

 

A first level warrior will drop his weapon, on average, once every two minutes. Hmm, a bit often, but not completely absurd. And after all, he's a mediocre militiaman, so not exactly a prince of battle.

 

But a hasted 10th level fighter (probably in the top percentile of fighters in the world) gets four attacks every six seconds (using a single weapon). That means that he will average about 30 seconds between dropping weapons.

 

It might be time to practice a better combat grip. Or at least to buy a lanyard. :blink:

 

It's almost certainly possible to create a system that makes at least a little bit of sense, but the more complexity you tack onto the game, the less return you get on each bit of effort you put into the game. If they work for you, great. But I have no interest.

A lot less often than 'every two minutes' - first the fighter needs to get that natural '1' then he needs to confirm the fumble - in just the same fashion as confirming a critical hit, only inverted.

 

Instead of needing a successful attack the would-be-fumbler needs to fail his second roll, in order to confirm the bungle.

 

So, a tenth level fighter - let us name him Sir Bendbar Liftgate - who needs a two to hit Bob derLowly, an unarmored peasant, needs a '1' to have a chance of fumbling, then needs to roll a second '1' to confirm the fumble.

 

When Sir Bendbar is doing battle with Crisp, a young red dragon, he still needs the '1' to have a chance of fumbling, followed by a roll of 11 or less to confirm.

 

All of this assumes that Sir Bendbar is a pretty sorry excuse for a fighter - his Strength is that of 10, for his heart is pure. And all of his feats are for things like Skill Focus [Play Ukelele] or the like.

 

Otherwise his chance of fumbling goes down.

 

Finally, in Pathfinder a PC can only fumble once per combat - at least going by the nearest thing that Pathfinder has for rules on Fumbles -the Critical Fumble Deck.

 

If Sir Bendbar is an NPC then he can prepare for battle by strewing the ground about him with banana peels, and oiling the hilt of his sword.

 

The Auld Grump

Edited by TheAuldGrump

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Fair enough. That makes the militiaman drop his weapon once every eight minutes and the hasted hero once every two minutes. But at the cost of a second roll. Make it a DC10 (DC15?) Reflex save and I'd dislike it less, because then there's an advantage to skill Still not for me, but as I said, if it works for you, great.

 

Edit: That was in response to ShadowRaven, btw.

Edited by Doug Sundseth

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