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Critical Hits and Critical Failure...


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Is doing double damage, which is then deflected by a helmet anyway, really the best manner to celebrate the pure awesomeness of rolling '20'? (or whatever the PE version will be).

 

I think not, my friends! I think not!

 

Ditto rolling a natural '1' with the buttock-clenching prospect of utter disaster this can herald in a pen and paper game.

 

Here is the famous Dave Hargrave critical hit and fumble table from Arduin...

 

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So, do you like the idea of critical success and failure being deep, shallow or not represented at all?

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I think, as far as the cRPG's go, fallout 1-2 had rather good critical hit/miss results with some interesting dialogue added in. I'm personally not a huge fan of massive critical results and like for it to be normalized (much like in 3.5E D&D where you're locked into x2, x3, x4 damage etc). Mainly because the party will receive, in general, many more critical hits than they'll dish out - and if they have massive, and long reaching, in-game penalities, you're only truly hampering the players or robbing them of an interesting encounter because they got incredibly lucky (although a solid normal crit can do the same in some cases).

 

I also enjoy the fallout critical failure results. Drop weapon, strike yourself, strike unintended target, cripple a limb, break the weapon, lose your ammo, lose AC points due to balance, etc. Because again, as far as the party goes it'll be fairly rare that they manage to roll a 1 at any point and it can add some hilarity and shake up encounters. Again though, only 1-2 of those have massive in-game penalities (broken weapon, crippled limb).

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I've always loved the institution of critical hit/failure tables. My gaming group has hatched many home-brewed systems for this in the past, and they've had a number of very interesting and fun to roleplay gaming experiences. When we sit around at the tavern quaffing ale and telling tales, invariably a story about a great crit or a catastrophic fumble comes up.

 

That being said, as awesome as these are for pen-and-paper gaming, they seem like they would be difficult to carry out in the same manner in a cRPG. If your hand was severed, does your sprite lose a hand? In pen-and-paper games, the DM can provide you with a side quest to get revenge or seek out a scroll of regeneration, or to make a pact with an extra-planar being to restore your injury. It seems like these aspects would be hard to replicate in a cRPG experience.

 

It would be a lot of fun to have a somewhat reduced version of this, however. Perhaps a severe injury would prove fatal within a certain time frame if medical/magical care isn't found (I'm cribbing from the provided table here, thanks for posting that by the way!). Priests could perhaps call on a favor from their god at some point in the game and be forced to undertake a quest that progresses the aims of their diety in order to repay them. It's certainly an interesting topic. I'd love to see some variation from the typical x2 dmg crit. It seems like it could be a challenge to make part of the game, but perhaps with the existence of stamina/health it could be worked into the combat system.

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Critical hits smash straight through stamina and deal health damage, critical failures result in stamina damage perhaps?

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Quite an experience to live in misery isn't it? That's what it is to be married with children.

I've seen things you people can't even imagine. Pearly Kings glittering on the Elephant and Castle, Morris Men dancing 'til the last light of midsummer. I watched Druid fires burning in the ruins of Stonehenge, and Yorkshiremen gurning for prizes. All these things will be lost in time, like alopecia on a skinhead. Time for tiffin.

 

Tea for the teapot!

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Yes, that could work. The idea of accidentally smashing an NPCs head in appeals, as does insta-chunking a powerful opponent a la the Hargrave table (critical hit plus a 99-00 roll equivalent).

 

Company of Heroes, although an RTS, does this *very* well. All units have a random crit hit chance that can make for some rare, but fun, moments of awesomeness. Even the lowliest American rifleman can, if he is *very* lucky, take out a lumbering Tiger tank with a sticky bomb.

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Referring to Nonek's post: I like the idea, but it seems slightly impersonal. When someone chops you with a sword, you aren't injured in your overall being, you're injured at the stump where your left arm used to be. Same idea when an arrow goes through your eye.

 

The more I think about it, the more I think this could potentially be done in the game, by incorporating injuries into the character sheet. If your arm is chopped, no weapon in that hand. An eye injury might limit your range, give penalties to charisma, spot, search, etc. An injured leg reduces movement speed and dodge.

 

I think those little touches would do a lot for my feeling of immersion of the game, so I feel like I know where my characters are being hurt, and have my wizard wearing a helmet because he can't afford to lose his other eye. It also could provide some side quests, as the paladin must earn the favor of her diety by protecting a temple from raiders so she can have her arm restored, or the barbarian has to battle the evil in his soul after his sight was restored by the evil priest making a demonic pact on his behalf.

Edited by Skapanza
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I would like to have a mechanical hand crafted for my character, rune bound silver or some such.

Quite an experience to live in misery isn't it? That's what it is to be married with children.

I've seen things you people can't even imagine. Pearly Kings glittering on the Elephant and Castle, Morris Men dancing 'til the last light of midsummer. I watched Druid fires burning in the ruins of Stonehenge, and Yorkshiremen gurning for prizes. All these things will be lost in time, like alopecia on a skinhead. Time for tiffin.

 

Tea for the teapot!

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The most glaring problem with this is that crits happen regularly and if every crit injures you severely enough for you to go do a quest to restore that part of your body I see it getting tiresome pretty fast. MAYBE a stat reduction for the duration of the BATTLE, but beyond that it's just tedious.

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Wondered if anybody would spot that, reading Knight of Swords at the moment.

Quite an experience to live in misery isn't it? That's what it is to be married with children.

I've seen things you people can't even imagine. Pearly Kings glittering on the Elephant and Castle, Morris Men dancing 'til the last light of midsummer. I watched Druid fires burning in the ruins of Stonehenge, and Yorkshiremen gurning for prizes. All these things will be lost in time, like alopecia on a skinhead. Time for tiffin.

 

Tea for the teapot!

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The most glaring problem with this is that crits happen regularly and if every crit injures you severely enough for you to go do a quest to restore that part of your body I see it getting tiresome pretty fast. MAYBE a stat reduction for the duration of the BATTLE, but beyond that it's just tedious.

 

This is definitely a valid concern. Certainly you don't want to see the game experience drastically altered because your three fighter-types take an hour to walk anywhere on their crippled legs. Monte Carlo makes a good point as well though. You can have critical hits that do x2 damage, but a slim chance to have something more serious occur. I think it would heighten the sense of danger and help maintain immersion, as some quality attacks would damage not the imaginary yellow and red stamina/health bars, but actually show up on your character sheet in a meaningful way, and have to be addressed in a way that is both challenging but also rewarding in terms of the storytelling of your character.

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I absolutely hate the idea of critical failures both on paper and in practice. A real swordsman doesn't swing his sword around into his own torso on average one of of every twenty attacks. He likewise doesn't fling it 50 ft away because he misses his target. I can more reliably swing a sword than that. Even having to roll a one twice in a row on a D20 to get any real dangerous critical failures is still bothersome.

 

I like critical hits, but I think that chance to crit should be more based on armor than it has traditionally been in the past. AKA: Full Platemail should have an innate critical strike reduction chance that eats a percentage off someones chance to crit. AKA: Archer with 5% chance to crit attacks someone in Full Platemail but Full Platemail has a 80% (or 50, or whatever) reduction in the chance of being critically struck. So now the Archer actually has a 1% chance to critically strike.

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Been replaying Arcanum recently, and it has a rather interesting and deep critical success/failure system. It is tied to the Magick and Technology dichotomy, so that those with Magickal affinity have a higher chance to critically fail when using tech, but tech savvy people will critically fail if their opponent is highly magickal. Obviously this doesn't work for PE, but it would be neat if the critical chances had a calculation process that went behind simple chance - having a higher chance to critically fail when using a a certain weapon against a certain enemy, or when a certain race uses a certain weapon. It has happens far too often in Arcanum though, I see a critical success/failure at least twice per battle. It should happy only once in a every few.

 

Overall I love the idea of critical hits and failures; some of my fondest memories from Fallout are the situation when a battle was turned in my favor or against me because of them - running out of ammo and managing to puncture an opponents eyes with my hands, or accidentally setting myself on fire when a molotov explodes prematurely.

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I probably think something akin to the Drakensang system would be best. However without the massive damage, just with crits.

 

In that it can add a permanent injury, which can only be healed with the proper items afterwards (bandage, healing).

 

Since injuries happen often in Drakensang those items where plenty available. Too much. They could be rarer in PE, and thus the effect might be harder to take/take up a much more precious and costly item in your inventory.

 

So criticals would still be debilitating. Not just for that battle, but maybe more to come if you don't treat them. However nothing like cut off hands, just lowered skills, or another penalty if you acquire 2 or 3 (or more).

^

 

 

I agree that that is such a stupid idiotic pathetic garbage hateful retarded scumbag evil satanic nazi like term ever created. At least top 5.

 

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I like the idea of critical failures, but would like to see them apply to all checks, not just combat. I think Obsidian can come up with some great consequences for critical failures, but I would not like them to be randomized effects.

 

Critical hits can either do multiplied damage or go straight to HP, and critical success(in regards to saves and checks) can result in various rewards, like a high-quality item when crafting.

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Critical hits should go straight to HP, without multiplier. In addition to that, I think that damages applied to hp should be localized (randomly?) and have particular effects depending on the body part : movement penalty for legs, attack penalty for arms for examples... Those kind of injuries heals very slowly. I take exemples based on D&D 3.5 to illutrate this : a character can have an amount of HP equal to his constitution and vitality/stamina based on his class level. In a system like this HP value won't increase or very slowly and will be a pretty low value during all the game. As your character grows in experience and level, he has more and more vitality which give him more chance to avoid being really hurt. Each hit applied directly to HP will have bad consequences for the player, and if he doesn't have any magical healing, such wounds will take days or weeks to fully heal with all the penalty remaining until the healing is complete (1hp/day for example in a d&d based system)

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It depends on how fast things are going to die, and how critical hits is implemented. If a critical hit is going to just feel like pure luck(or bad luck) that happens to randomly swing things in extreme favor of you or an enemy, it can ruin some encounters. If it's part of the number crunching for getting high average damage, or just to give some builds a way of dealing vs. forms of damage prevention/soak, keep you from getting too complacent vs. common enemies, and stuff like that, I think it's fine. Incidents like getting hit for a 20 by a beetle on your level 2 caster with 14 health and no way of preventing such are not so cool though.

 

As for critical miss, I don't think it should exist. Critically missing things like inanimate objects or slow moving enemies with a high level warrior would just seem unrealistic. If there are builds that feature some sort of advanced evading techniques, I could see passibe bonuses for those to simulate something like a critical miss though.

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So, do you like the idea of critical success and failure being deep, shallow or not represented at all?

 

I have yet to meet anyone who beheads themselves 1 out of every 1000 times they swing a sword. Critical and fumble tables like that are just absurdly pointless, they don't add anything to the game other than a ton of paperwork. They are similar to hilarious gag items like the Sphere of Annihilation.

 

Critical hits and critical fumbles only EXIST due to the restrictions in pen-and-paper for modeling extraordinary situations, because people don't want to spend 2 hours after every. single. attack. calculating where you hit, how hard, whether anything vital was damaged, how it was damaged, etc. etc. etc. Those critical fumble and hit tables were a sketchy nod toward "realism". They are neither necessary nor advisable in a computer game because the computer does excel at making precisely those types of calculations at speed and without effort. This is why, in action games, you can chop off enemy limbs, heads, disembowel them, or make their head explode into giblets.

 

The best way to handle crits is to get an item with Heavy Fortification on it and knock off for lunch.

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If you appeal to "realism" about a video game feature, you are wrong. Go back and try again.

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I have yet to meet anyone who beheads themselves 1 out of every 1000 times they swing a sword. Critical and fumble tables like that are just absurdly pointless, they don't add anything to the game other than a ton of paperwork. They are similar to hilarious gag items like the Sphere of Annihilation.

 

Critical hits and critical fumbles only EXIST due to the restrictions in pen-and-paper for modeling extraordinary situations, because people don't want to spend 2 hours after every. single. attack. calculating where you hit, how hard, whether anything vital was damaged, how it was damaged, etc. etc. etc. Those critical fumble and hit tables were a sketchy nod toward "realism". They are neither necessary nor advisable in a computer game because the computer does excel at making precisely those types of calculations at speed and without effort. This is why, in action games, you can chop off enemy limbs, heads, disembowel them, or make their head explode into giblets.

 

The best way to handle crits is to get an item with Heavy Fortification on it and knock off for lunch.

 

The points you've made are perfectly valid, but I feel that critical success and failures that are completely tranparent give more fun to the player. When I charge an orc and accidentally impale myself on his sword, it's easier for me to understand that I've made a really bad roll, and not that the "system" has seemingly arbitrarily caused it. By having to calculate in all of the factors that might cause a fumble, and make it completely deterministic, I'm forced to question what I've done wrong with it, and when it doesn't look to me like I've messed things up I blame the system for cheating me. Sure in real life you don't just randomly screw up, there are factors involved, but if I have no control over these miniscule factors in game, it seems like they are arbitrary and artificial - only exist to irritate me. Plus, rolling means that no matter how awesome my character is, or how meticulously I work to eliminate extraneous factors metagame, I still have a small chance of really dropping the ball on things or doing them spectacularly.

 

I don't want crits to be or feel completely deterministic, I like the random element involved in trying anything in-game. I'm not saying that stats shouldn't modify these probabilities (they probably should), but too many extraneous, superfluous, and otherwise meaningless factors shouldn't arbitrate completely whether or not I crit.

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I think it has been stated that as opposed to DnD, it will be more of a hassle to regain health/injuries, not to mention that death is supposed to be final. Although I really do enjoy the idea of Fallout - like critical hits. Who wouldn't want to hit all those pesky paladins in the groin and see a witty comment about it?

Conditions like twisted anckle or broken leg would enchance the game for me, although I don't think Obsidian will put much thought into it. Other idea would be to put in place armor degradation. Critical hit in the head would mean your helmet is going to loose some durability for example. No armor would mean direct and severe health damage.

 

But to be honest, If it would be kept simple (x2, x4 dmg etc) I would still be satisfied. As long as I can backstab someone so hard he'll be turned into pieces like in Infinity games xD

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