praguepride
 member, 1572 posts
 "Hugs for the Hugs God!"
 - Warhammer Fluffy-K
Sun 22 Mar 2020
at 15:34
Failing Is Fun
I'm in a D&D game where our party cannot seem to roll decently AT ALL.

Our rogue has critically failed every single trap check and has to be dragged through the dungeon now because she is infected with a bunch of poisons.

Our mage cannot identify magical items to save his life so we have a stack of stuff that may or may not be cursed.

Our fighter cannot seem to hit the broadside of a barn

The only reason we are surviving is we have an alchemist who can stack so many bonuses onto himself that even rolling poorly allows him to output tons of damage.

They are just so bad at dungeon crawling! I love it! Every encounter might as well be set to Benny Hill's famous theme song.
facemaker329
 member, 7190 posts
 Gaming for over 30
 years, and counting!
Sun 22 Mar 2020
at 18:18
Failing Is Fun
I was in a game ages ago where the Paladino routinely had some kind of critical botch, usually followed immediately by a spectacular roll to recover...things like getting ambushed while on horseback, the horse rears, he botches a Dex roll and falls out of the saddle, then rolls a natural 20 to land and comes down squarely on both feet, having just, apparently, done a backwards somersault dismount in full plate and now on the ground where both he and his horse can attack the ambushers...

I was also in a Star Wars game with a mercenary who couldn't hit a starship from five feet away with a blaster...until she got wounded, and once she took a die penalty, her rolls went golden and she could shoot the range-finder off Boba Fett's helmet from 200 meters.  Also had an aspiring Jedi whose wild die routinely betrayed her when she was trying to resist using the Dark Side of the Force...but once she gave in, she would get wild-die bonuses on just about every roll (I think her record was rolling 40 on her wild-die, alone, plus the rest of her dice roll, when trying to telekinetically crash Darth Vader on a speeder-bike...)
praguepride
 member, 1574 posts
 "Hugs for the Hugs God!"
 - Warhammer Fluffy-K
Sun 22 Mar 2020
at 22:18
Failing Is Fun
My team of rebels were infiltrating a Star Destroyer and while everyone had stolen uniforms there was no way to disguise the wookiee. We get cornered by a patrol and our face proceeds to wild die roll something in the high 50s off of 3d6. Told the patrol we were trying out the new wookiee camo suit. The patrol was very impressed and told us to keep up the good work.
facemaker329
 member, 7191 posts
 Gaming for over 30
 years, and counting!
Sun 22 Mar 2020
at 23:58
Failing Is Fun
That story's just outrageous enough that, were I GM, I might have let them get away with it on no dice rolls, just for the sheer audacity...*laugh*
OceanLake
 supporter, 1106 posts
Sun 22 Mar 2020
at 23:59
Failing Is Fun
Or failing is fatal.
Isida KepTukari
 member, 343 posts
 Elegant! Arrogant! Smart!
Mon 23 Mar 2020
at 01:57
Failing Is Fun
I have a player I've played with for years who has catastrophically bad dice luck. As in, if he rolls double digits on a d20, he's having a banner night.  As a consequence, he makes his characters so that, on paper, they are stupidly, ridiculously overpowered (by careful min-maxing).

And he just manages to keep up with the rest of the group.
Bruiser419
 member, 6 posts
Mon 23 Mar 2020
at 02:00
Failing Is Fun
In reply to Isida KepTukari (msg # 6):

Has he tried new dice sets or is he hoping one day the switch is just going to turn?
Isida KepTukari
 member, 344 posts
 Elegant! Arrogant! Smart!
Mon 23 Mar 2020
at 02:18
Failing Is Fun
He's tried multiple dice sets, electronic dice rollers, online dice-rollers, and other people rolling for him.  He's just cursed 85% of the time!  :D
aguy777
 member, 333 posts
 Join Date:
 Thu, 28 Nov, 2013
Mon 23 Mar 2020
at 02:23
Failing Is Fun
For the past three or so years, I've had a streak of odd luck for the first combat of every game. My first attack roll is always a crit, but I will miss for the rest of the combat regardless of modifiers. One time I tried to throw it off by randomly attacking a sign before the first combat. I still got a crit...
NowhereMan
 member, 345 posts
Mon 23 Mar 2020
at 02:37
Failing Is Fun
This seems familiar... ;)
facemaker329
 member, 7192 posts
 Gaming for over 30
 years, and counting!
Mon 23 Mar 2020
at 04:42
Failing Is Fun
In reply to Isida KepTukari (msg # 6):

I have what I call 'dramatically appropriate dice'.  If it will provide a good comedic moment, they'll fail me over and over and over again.  But if lives are on the line or the situation is critical, they'll come through for me.
JRScott
 member, 40 posts
Mon 23 Mar 2020
at 14:08
Failing Is Fun
I have a rogue that never disarms the traps.....he always rolls poorly and sets them off.....so far no one's died from it but come close a time or two....

I had a paladin in one campaign that could never roll more than a 10 on to hit rolls, however he always rolled really high on will saves.....
engine
 member, 763 posts
 There's a brain alright
 but it's made out of meat
Mon 23 Mar 2020
at 17:13
Failing Is Fun
If that kind of thing is fun, then it's because the people at the table have chosen to take a perverse enjoyment from it, due to its ridiculousness. That's one of only a few things they can do, because most editions of D&D don't really touch at all on how failure can and should be more than just a disadvantage.

When people aren't interested in going that route, the main alternative is min-maxing, so that failure is as unlikely as the players can make it. On top of that, one can avoid rolling as much as possible, to take the randomness out of it.

It's not necessary to have that kind of failure, even in D&D. Many newer approaches to failure can be adapted to other games. Even crappy rolls can result in a game that can be played straight and not as a ridiculous death spiral, if one doesn't want a ridiculous death spiral.
Isida KepTukari
 member, 345 posts
 Elegant! Arrogant! Smart!
Tue 24 Mar 2020
at 14:00
Failing Is Fun
One of the more fun ways of not failing is the, "You succeed, but..." rule, as I vaguely refer to it (which I know many people use).

  • "You hit the kobold, but your sword lodges in his shield.  You must now swing sword-plut-kobold-plus-shield for a round to dislodge him."
  • "You are able to hit the dragon with the napalm.  But now he knows where you are!"
  • "Your arrow hits the ogre, but not where you were expecting.  He is wounded, but the insult of where you hit him makes him froth in sudden beserker rage!"


The player feels like they accomplished something, it introduces a new complication, and hopefully everyone has a fun story to tell later.
engine
 member, 764 posts
 There's a brain alright
 but it's made out of meat
Tue 24 Mar 2020
at 20:18
Failing Is Fun
In reply to Isida KepTukari (msg # 14):

I don't see that as inherently better. It would be very easy for a GM to add a but that makes the player wish they hadn't bothered at all, and after a few times of having getting screwed over for trying something that should have added to the excitement of the game, the player becomes much less likely to try more such things.
facemaker329
 member, 7194 posts
 Gaming for over 30
 years, and counting!
Tue 24 Mar 2020
at 22:08
Failing Is Fun
Ummm...as a player who's had several GMs take that approach, it usually doesn't work that way (the "I give up" thing).  Some of my most interesting gaming experiences were the result of some complicating factor at a critical moment and finding a way to get through it all.

This message was last edited by the user at 02:35, Thu 26 Mar.