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[SWADE]Critical failures and mutli-actions

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  • [SWADE]Critical failures and mutli-actions

    SO we had a situation earlier tonight in a chase, a player announced he would take two actions to fire 2 arrows behind him in the chase, his first roll was a critical failure, I ruled he ran into a tree, dropped back a card, then he fired his second arrow (and hit).

    But it got me thinking, should a critical failure negate subsequent actions with the same weapon (if attacking multiple times), I decided against it at the time as the critical failure already dropped back close enough that on raise an orc hero killer would be able to catch him this round.

    What's your thoughts?

  • #2
    Depends on the circumstance, but if someone rolled a Critical Failure on a Shooting roll, I'd say their Shooting failed—maybe the bow breaks or he accidentally looses the arrow in a way that drags the string across his forearm, leaving him Shaken. If they were using a gun, I'd say it jammed and their second action could be spent unjamming it instead.

    Critical Failures are situational though; what's best is the disastrous result that creates the most interesting story.
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    • #3
      I once had a player crit fail with his MP5, so I declared that he accidentally ejected the magazine (bumped the environment). It was interesting to watch him deal with having a gun that was suddenly unloaded.

      Sometimes, especially when I'm stuck, the players will make a suggestion or I'll ask them for an idea. Players have had their bowstrings snap, their weapons sail across the room, shots ricochet into themselves, and other craziness, many of which don't allow them to continue as planned.

      Whatever is fun in the moment. That requires paying attention to the players' moods - sometimes folks are just fed up with complications and want to finish this fight.
      I hope you find the above post useful. And not insulting, because I was trying to be helpful, not insulting; being a pedantic jerk, that isn't always clear.


      • DoctorBoson
        DoctorBoson commented
        Editing a comment
        Oh, yes. Asking players to describe their own critical failures can be phenomenal fun; as long as you aren't playing with "that guy" they tend to be harsher on themselves than many GMs would ever be.

      • Gordon
        Gordon commented
        Editing a comment
        As usual, the good Doctor makes a great suggestion! Try it a few times; it gives the players not only interaction but also investment.

    • #4
      One of my favorite GMs even introduced me to the idea of Epic Failures. CritFails tend to have standard effects--an immediate, momentary disadvantage. However, you could offer an additional, truly painful complication in exchange for a benny. Bad Eyes character smashes his glasses (triggering the penalty for the remainder of the encounter, at least), or someone falls off the bridge into the river, or something similar. It gave us an incentive to enjoy critfails, rather than just gripe about them.