Tuesday, February 12, 2008

101 Wild Die 1's

One gimmick I like to use when I'm GMing is checklists. If there's some category of random element that's likely to come up almost every session, I'll brainstorm a big list of possibilities, and then write them all out. Later, when a situation comes up I can grab one off the list, and check it off. This prevents me from lamely relying on the same problem again and again - which is especially bad when dealing with something as annoying as a critical failure.

Here's an example - it's the critical fumble list from a d6 StarWars game I ran a while back. These are 101 things (well, 35, but it's still enough for several sessions worth of rolls) that can go wrong when the wild die rolls a 1.
  1. Allies wounded: Some allied NPC is wounded automatically. It's not that you shot him, but he's somehow hurt at this time.
  2. Ammo running low: you have 5 shots left, then you need to buy a new power pack or change weapons. (continuous weapons have this turn and next)
  3. Awkward Footing: The difficulty of all actions this round and next is increased by +5. (Subtract 5 from your Dodge rolls)
  4. Cowardice: One of your allies flees or surrenders to the bad guys.
  5. Droid in the way: Your next stated action has TN: +15 because of a Droid being in the way.
  6. Drop your weapons: The item(s) in your hand(s) falls to the ground. To pick it up takes Dexterity vs TN:10.
  7. Dropped something: An item on your belt or in your pocket falls to the ground, and the enemies see it. To pick it up takes Dexterity vs TN:10.
  8. Equipment Ionized: One weapon or piece of equipment stops working until the end of the next turn.
  9. Escape Route Blocked: Some neutral 3rd party (droid, taxi-driver, jawas, etc) has blocked your best escape route.
  10. Excess Venting: There's a leak of steam, power, etc. 1d6+1 spaces of the map are now off-limits. Passing through does 3D damage.
  11. Exposed: All attacks against you roll an extra die until you spend an action taking better cover.
  12. Floor collapses: The ground beneath you gives way. Climbing/Jumping vs TN:15 or take 1D+2 damage and be on the next floor down. Climbing out is TN:15.
  13. Gravity Failure: If on ship or station, gravity fails. Dexterity rolls: TN:10 to start moving. TN:15 to stop or to change direction. -2m speed for everyone.
  14. Gun Jammed: Requires a Weapon Repair roll vs TN:10 before it can be fired again.
  15. Horrible Alarms: The klaxons are so loud, no one can hear each other talk. PCs may no longer communicate or plan together. Security TN:10 to disable.
  16. In Your Friends Way: The next PC other than yourself to take an action has +10 TN because of something you did, or else they hit you.
  17. Item Damage: Some item you carry but are not currently using becomes damaged. Takes Repair vs TN:15 to fix.
  18. Meanwhile, On Your Ship: Crew, droid, or ship calls to tell you about a mechanical or social problem they are having.
  19. Mechanical Failure: A neutral piece of machinery malfunctions - a door locks, bridge retracts, a shield collapses, an elevator jams, etc - in an inconvenient way.
  20. Obvious Target: You gain the attention of every bad guy in the scene. They all attack you next turn if able.
  21. Reinforcements are on their way: Start counting rounds. On round 4, the bad guys get 1d6 minor characters to back them up.
  22. Reinforcements: 2 more minor bad guys enter the scene.
  23. Ricochet: A blaster shot ricochets off a magnetized or reflective surface. All PCs must roll Dexterity vs TN:10. Lowest roller is hit, provided they failed the roll.
  24. Shaky footing: Must immediately make a Dexterity roll vs TN:10 or fall. (1d6 damage. Getting back up will require a climbing/jumping roll vs TN:5)
  25. Sights misaligned: TN for all non-point-blank attacks is +5 until you make a Weapon Repair roll vs TN:20 (TN:10 if take a full minute)
  26. Slowed: Next turn, you move 1/2 distance, and roll -2D on Running, Dodge, Beast Riding, Vehicle Operations, etc.
  27. Spectacular Death: The next villain killed explodes like a grenade. PCs must dodge or take damage.
  28. Structural Collapse: Some part of the room you're in falls on you. Dodge roll vs TN:10 to avoid it. If hit, 2D+2 damage and pinned till make Lifting vs TN:15.
  29. Twist an ankle: You roll 1D less on all Dexterity skills (and Running) till a medical check against TN:15 is used on you. -2 meter move / turn.
  30. Unexpected Explosion: Something blows up near the PCs. They must Dodge vs TN:10 or take 2D damage.
  31. Villains figure it out: The NPCs suddenly figure out your plans better. They know you're lying, you're rebels, which side you'll attack from, etc.
  32. Weapon Overheating: If you roll a "1" on your wild die again this combat, the weapon will explode like a grenade. You will be hit automatically.
  33. Weapon switches modes: You're now set to stun (or to lethal, if you were on stun) and you don't know until you hit someone.
  34. Winded: Roll Stamina vs TN:10. If you fail, you are Stunned for the remainder of this turn and next turn as well.
  35. You get in their way: The other PCs and all your allies get -1D on their next action because of your mistake.

1 comment:

digital_sextant said...

I love "Droid in the way" and "Meanwhile, On Your Ship". Particularly the latter, which affords great opportunities for funny NPC interactions. I once played as a guest PC in a SW game as a library droid who'd had some sort of problem with his AI and had come to think of himself as a master detective in the vein of Sherlock Holmes.