Critical Hits and Fumbles
( ⇪ House Rules )
Every time you would fumble an attack roll, you must also roll to confirm that you fumbled. These confirmation rolls are against the creature’s touch AC no matter what the original attack was against, and you roll a number of times equal to the number of iterative attacks you would normally gain from your Base Attack Bonus. Roll all of the rerolls at the same time. If you “hit” on any of those rolls, it resolves as a miss but not a fumble.
Good Hits and Bad Misses
Some players want a little more variety in their critical hits. Some also want to include a mechanic for catastrophic failures. This system allows for both.
Whenever a character (or monster) scores a critical hit, his player (or the DM) can choose between using the character’s normal critical hit multiplier or rolling on Table: Critical Hit Effects (choosing this latter option precludes the normal damage multiplier of the weapon used). Regardless, PCs (and monsters) that fumble like described above are subject to Table: Fumble Effects .
When using the charts, the net mechanical effect is more important than the description. The text assumes a humanoid foe, but aberrations and other such creatures do not neatly fit into the humanoid body form. In such cases, apply the drawbacks of the critical hit as normal and adjust the description to match the creature. If a critical hit could affect more than one limb, determine the target affected limb at random. An “arm injury” that causes a penalty on attack rolls could apply to one of a creature’s natural attacks chosen at random.
Both tables are meant for all weapons.
High Critical Multipliers
In this system, a weapon with a natural critical hit damage multiplier of X3 allows its wielder to roll twice on Table: Critical Hit Effects and choose one of the results. A critical hit damage modifier of X4 allows its wielder to roll three times on Table: Critical Hit Effects and choose one of the results.
Unless otherwise noted, while you do normal damage, you do not gain the benefits of a standard critical hit in addition to the effects listed in the table. The effects of a critical hit remain until the listed duration elapses. Magical healing has no effect on them. Keep in mind that these rules are a variant meant to add a greater random element to the game. The PCs are more likely to suffer the ill effects of these rules than the monsters, since over the course of a session a given PC is attacked far more often than any particular monsters.
|Table: Critical Hit Effects|
|01-31||The usual||Standard Critical, except you replace one of the rolls (including all modifiers) with the maximum possible for the dice alone. (i.e. a 2x multiplier on 1d8+3 makes the roll be 1d8+3+8.)|
|32-62||Hit weak point||Critical Multiplier +1, except you replace two of the rolls (including all modifiers) with the maximum possible for the dice alone. (i.e. a 2x multiplier on 1d8+3 becomes 3x and makes the roll be 1d8+3+16.)|
|63-64||Hit shield hard||Reroll if no shield, otherwise apply critical damage to shield1|
|65-67||Helm removed, ear injured3||Stunned 1d6 rounds, -2 Listen 1d4 hours|
|68-69||Helm removed, ear injured3||Stunned 1d6 rounds, -4 Listen 1d4 days|
|70||Voicebox punctured||No talking 1d4 hours1|
|71-72||Eye injured3||-2 Spot 1d4 hours1|
|73||Eye injured3||-4 Spot 1d4 days1|
|74||Knee gashed3||-10 movement 1d4 hours|
|75||Knee smashed3||-20 movement 1d4 hours|
|76||Fingers injured3||1d4 DEX damage2|
|77||Ankle injury3||-10 movement 1d4 hours, 1d4 DEX damage2|
|78||Knee injury3||-20 movement 1d4 hours, 1d6 DEX damage2|
|79||Hip injury||-30 movement 1d4 hours, 2d4 DEX damage2|
|80||Secondary arm wrist injured3||-2 on secondary attacks and no shield use 1d4 hours|
|81||Secondary arm elbow injured3||-4 on secondary attacks and no shield use 1d4 hours|
|82||Secondary arm elbow injured3||-6 on secondary attacks and no shield use 1d4 hours|
|83-85||Secondary arm shoulder crushed3||No secondary attacks and no shield use 1d4 hours|
|86||Primary arm wrist injured3||-2 on primary attacks 1d4 hours|
|87||Primary arm elbow injured3||-4 on primary attacks 1d4 hours|
|88||Primary arm shoulder injured3||-6 on primary attacks 1d4 hours|
|89||Abdominal injuries||1d4 CON damage2|
|90||Chest injuries||1d6 CON damage2|
|91||Abdominal injuries||2d4 CON damage2|
|92||Chest injuries||2d6 CON damage2|
|93||Abdominal injuries||1d6 STR damage, 1d6 CON damage2|
|94||Chest injuries||2d4 STR damage, 2d4 CON damage2|
|95||Abdominal injuries||2d6 STR damage, 2d6 CON damage2|
|96||Chest injuries||3d6 STR damage, 3d6 CON damage2|
|97||Throat cut||DC 20 Fort save or die, 3d6 CON damage2 on successful save|
|98||Throat cut||DC 25 Fort save or die, 3d6 CON damage2 on successful save|
|99||Possible decapitation||DC 30 Fort save or die, 3d6 CON damage2 on successful save|
|100||Possible decapitation||DC 35 Fort save or die, 3d6 CON damage2 on successful save|
1 If the mechanical effect is meaningless because the target doesn’t meet a prerequisite (such as not having a voice to talk with), reroll on this table.
2 If a roll on this table would normally deal ability damage, this damage cannot reduce an ability score to 0.
3 If severe damage is dealt, this critical hit counts as succeeding at a called shot against that body part. However, the effects of the critical hit overlap (doesn’t stack) with the effects of the called shot. (Ex. An eye injury that gives -2 to Spot checks doesn’t stack with the -2 penalty from the called shot effect, but a “tough through” against the called shot doesn’t suppress the penalty from the critical hit in any way.)
|Table: Fumble Effects|
|01-19||Slipped||DC 20 DEX check or fall prone4|
|20-33||Slipped, banged head||DC 20 DEX check or fall prone4, dazed 1d4 rounds|
|34-39||Slipped, banged head hard||DC 20 DEX check or fall prone4, stunned 1d4 rounds|
|40-44||Slipped, dizzy||DC 20 DEX check or lose next standard action4|
|45-49||Lost weapon grip, drop||DC 20 STR check or drop weapon4|
|50-54||Lost weapon grip, toss||DC 20 STR check or accidentally fling weapon 2d6 feet away4|
|55-59||Lost weapon grip, throw||DC 20 STR check or accidentally fling weapon 3d6 feet away4|
|60-61||Shield tangled with opponent||Reroll if no shield, otherwise DC 20 DEX check or drop shield4|
|62-63||Shield tangled with opponent, jostled armor loose||Reroll if no shield, otherwise DC 20 DEX check or drop shield, -4 AC next round|
|64-65||Dizzy||Lose next standard action|
|66-69||Weapon knocked away||Weapon lands 3d4 squares away from you4|
|70-74||Weapon possibly breaks||Roll damage as normal but apply to weapon4|
|75-76||Hit yourself lightly||Deal half damage to self|
|77-78||Hit yourself||Deal normal damage to self|
|79-80||Hit yourself hard||Deal critical damage to self|
|81-82||Hit friend lightly or yourself lightly||Deal half damage to friend if in threatened area (if melee) or range increment (if ranged)5, otherwise deal half damage to self|
|83-84||Hit friend or yourself||Deal normal damage to friend if in threatened area (if melee) or range increment (if ranged)5, otherwise deal normal damage to self|
|85-86||Hit friend hard or yourself hard||Deal critical damage to friend if in threatened area (if melee) or range increment (if ranged)5, otherwise deal critical damage to self|
|87-88||Hit yourself brutally||Deal critical damage to self, roll on Table: Critical Hit Effects to self|
|89-90||Hit friend or yourself brutally||Deal critical damage to friend if in threatened area (if melee) or range increment (if ranged)5 and roll on Table: Critical Hit Effects to friend, otherwise deal critical damage to self and roll on Table: Critical Hit Effects to self|
|91-98||Twist ankle||Half speed for 10 minutes, DC 20 DEX check each round begun not prone or fall prone4|
|99||Seriously FUBARed||Roll twice (both effects happen) rerolling rolls of 99 or 100|
|100||Absurdly FUBARed||Roll three times (all three effects happen) rerolling rolls of 99 or 100|
4 If the fumble rolled can’t happen because the fumbler doesn’t meet the prerequisite (such as not having a shield to tangle), reroll on this table.
5 If a critical fumble that requires you to attack an ally occurs with a ranged attack, randomly pick an ally from all those within your weapon’s first range increment to whom you have line of effect. In melee, pick an ally you threaten at random. If you have no allies in your threatened area or in range, reroll on the fumble table.