Saturday, March 4, 2017

Simple Fumble, Mortal Wounds, and Resurrection Tables

I mentioned before that fumbles are a very normal part of real-life combat.  So here is a very simple fumble ruleset:

On a natural 1 on an attack roll, save vs paralysis.  On a failure, roll a d6 on the following table:

  1. Fall prone
  2. Off-balance, flat-footed until your next action
  3. Drop weapon
  4. Injure self for half of attack's damage 
  5. Attack another, randomly-determined nearby target
  6. Roll twice, ignoring identical results
While I'm at it, may as well address a few complaints with ACKS' tables...

Simpler Mortal Wounds:
  1. Very dead, -1 to resurrection roll if your compatriots bother hauling your parts out in a bag
  2. Pretty dead
  3. Only mostly dead, +1 bonus to resurrection roll
  4. Minor permanent injuries; some big scars, some teeth, a couple fingers, probably a penalty to reaction rolls.  Pick a result from the actual table that you find amusing.  Also in shock (as 5).
  5. Mission-killed, in shock or severe concussion, 1HP but not fit to fight or cast and probably needs a minder to get out of the dungeon, but going to be OK.
  6. KO / minor concussion, get back up with 1HP.
Roll 1d4+1.  Add 1 if Con 18, subtract 1 if Con 3.  Add 1 if checked by a medic within one combat round, subtract 1 if receive no medical treatment within a day.  Add 1 if 0 or more HP after magical healing, subtract 1 if negative HP >= half of normal max HP.  Treat results >6 as 6, <1 as 1.  Optionally, you can take one non-spellcasting action after being struck down at the cost of a -1 penalty on your eventual mortal wounds roll.

Simpler Restore Life and Limb:
  1. No return, not even miracle.
  2. Restless Spirit - You don't make it back, but at any point in the future your ghost can appear to do something important during play (with stats as they were when you died, but max HP and full spells).  You can only come back for one session, and then you're done and out permanently.  Make it count.
  3. Eurydice - Somebody's going to have to go to hell and drag you out.  Since your friends couldn't keep you from dying on the prime material, they're probably not up for storming the brimstone gates, and you might just have to make a deal with a devil instead.
  4. Quest - The resurrecting deity demands that you undertake a quest in return for being allowed to return to life.  Failure to complete it (or at least convince said deity that you're making progress) within a year and a day will result in your prompt and thorough unresurrection.
  5. Something goes weird.  Pick a result from the RL&L table that you and/or the DM find amusing and not totally crippling.
  6. Scott-Free, except for a little memory loss around the time of death (hence no earned XP from the expedition).
Roll 1d4+1.  Add 1 if Wis 18, subtract 1 if Wis 3.  Add 1 if performed by 12th+ level cleric, subtract 1 if not performed in a sanctified place.  Treat results >6 as 6, <1 as 1.


  1. The issue with basing fumbles on a save vs. paralysis is that, through level 6, fighters are more likely to fumble than mages are. The issue will be more pronounced since fighters are also going to be making more attack rolls. That doesn't quite sit well with my sense of simulation.

  2. This is a fair point, though my group's mages almost never make attack rolls so it seems unlikely that anyone would really notice this discrepancy in play. I've been looking at switching everyone to a single saving throw with qualitative conditional bonuses, in which case this is easy to fix with "fighters gain a +2 bonus to saves against death, combat maneuvers, and fumbles".