Nat 20s on SIEGE checks

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ArgoForg
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Nat 20s on SIEGE checks

Post by ArgoForg »

I'm curious about this just for the unadulterated heck of it.

Obviously everyone has their own rules (and houserules) for natural 20 rolls in combat. I honestly don't remember a rule or even suggestion about it in the PHB or CKG, but does anyone consider a natural 20 on a SIEGE check an auto-success, regardless of the situation? The 1st level fighter somehow shrugging off the 8th level magic-user spell that checks against his non-prime ability, or somesuch?

Like I said, just curious!
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Re: Nat 20s on SIEGE checks

Post by Treebore »

As long as it is within the realm of possibility, yes. If they are trying to lift a 3 ton boulder? No.
Since its 20,000 I suggest "Captain Nemo" as his title. Beyond the obvious connection, he is one who sails on his own terms and ignores those he doesn't agree with...confident in his journey and goals.
Sounds obvious to me! -Gm Michael

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Re: Nat 20s on SIEGE checks

Post by serleran »

Treebore wrote:As long as it is within the realm of possibility, yes. If they are trying to lift a 3 ton boulder? No.
I'd wonder why the roll was even being allowed...

But, no, a natural roll of 20 is just that: a 20. It does not mean success. However... in my game, if a natural 20 could not succeed, I wouldn't bother with the roll. I might consider something like "you rolled a 20, roll again and if your second result is also a success, you did it."

The dice are not to be used for everything. The "rules" make that clear.

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Re: Nat 20s on SIEGE checks

Post by Rigon »

I typically don't have Nat 20's on SIEGE checks be auto successes, unless it would make for a great scene or help advance the game in some significant way. I don't have any set rules or guidelines, I usually just play it by ear.

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Re: Nat 20s on SIEGE checks

Post by Buttmonkey »

Nat 20s don't mean anything special when I run C&C. I think Serleran has the right of it.
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Re: Nat 20s on SIEGE checks

Post by Arduin »

I follow RAW on this one. A nat 20 is just a 20.
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Re: Nat 20s on SIEGE checks

Post by Arduin »

serleran wrote: The dice are not to be used for everything. The "rules" make that clear.
This.

e.g. "I flap my arms and try to fly." <no roll needed>
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Re: Nat 20s on SIEGE checks

Post by Omote »

serleran wrote:[... in my game, if a natural 20 could not succeed, I wouldn't bother with the roll.
I often find myself drifting into this sort of thinking. Though, many of my players are wacky and intentionally do stuff that might get them killed. "The life of an adventurer" they say. So, there are times I find them having to make rolls where it's not possible to succeed, and then drift back into the realm of a natural 20 is always a success. If I didn't do that, some of my players. It's weird, sometimes I think my players get off on doing stuff where only a nat 20 can save them. Psychos.

More often then not, I let a nat20 be an auto success and a nat1 an auto fail.

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Re: Nat 20s on SIEGE checks

Post by Go0gleplex »

Let the situation dictate. What's impossible is impossible though if they pull off the improbable, I sometimes narrate their pulling it off with a little flair should a nat. 20 pop up (assuming that they needed less than that to succeed in the first place).
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Re: Nat 20s on SIEGE checks

Post by pawndream »

A natural 20 on a SIEGE check will usually succeed in the games I run. My players tend to try some really crazy, off-the-wall, unbelievable stuff, and when it works, it makes for memorable RPG moments.

Some recent examples:

Successfully riding a sheep into battle against a wall of hobgoblins
Swinging from a rope, through a dense forest, snatching an artifact from the BBEG mid-air, just as all hope looked to be lost for the PCs

The first example is not really that believable, but it made for a funny moment at the table and something I am sure will be talked about for years to come. The second example is more believable, but still over-the-top, and cool-as-hell.

Just depends on the tone of game you are trying to run.

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Re: Nat 20s on SIEGE checks

Post by Treebore »

serleran wrote:
Treebore wrote:As long as it is within the realm of possibility, yes. If they are trying to lift a 3 ton boulder? No.
I'd wonder why the roll was even being allowed...

But, no, a natural roll of 20 is just that: a 20. It does not mean success. However... in my game, if a natural 20 could not succeed, I wouldn't bother with the roll. I might consider something like "you rolled a 20, roll again and if your second result is also a success, you did it."

The dice are not to be used for everything. The "rules" make that clear.
I wasn't saying how I would do things, I was making an example of what I wouldn't allow. So if a player IS trying to lift a 3 ton boulder, and asks, "Not even if I roll a nat 20?" they already know the answer is no.
Since its 20,000 I suggest "Captain Nemo" as his title. Beyond the obvious connection, he is one who sails on his own terms and ignores those he doesn't agree with...confident in his journey and goals.
Sounds obvious to me! -Gm Michael

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Re: Nat 20s on SIEGE checks

Post by Treebore »

Rigon wrote:I typically don't have Nat 20's on SIEGE checks be auto successes, unless it would make for a great scene or help advance the game in some significant way. I don't have any set rules or guidelines, I usually just play it by ear.

R-

Yeah, besides, what affect would you give them? Double damage? Cutting the rock into two?

I just allow it for doing things that I think are within the realm of possibility, such as your a level one character and its something I think would be CL 15 to 20, if you roll a 20, I let you succeed? Realistic? I think so, but that because I personally watched a guy rip a guy, bucket seat and all, out of a burning truck. From the passenger side. Supposedly impossible, but it obviously wasn't. So I try to apply some sense of that to what I allow to happen with SIEGE checks.
Since its 20,000 I suggest "Captain Nemo" as his title. Beyond the obvious connection, he is one who sails on his own terms and ignores those he doesn't agree with...confident in his journey and goals.
Sounds obvious to me! -Gm Michael

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Re: Nat 20s on SIEGE checks

Post by ArgoForg »

I suppose my original post wasn't entirely clear about it... obviously, I'm not gonna throw out Siege checks for things that it's obvious a character cannot do. And naturally, I don't make them do rolls for everything. I'm not talking realms of impossibility here, just improbability.

By the same token, certainly the situation has to come up. A group of trolls have ambushed and rolled a boulder to drop onto the party on a narrow bridge over a gorge, and you've judged that a CL5 Dex check is needed for the characters to leap out of the way and grab the other side, rather than going down with the bridge. Not a major problem for everyone except the wizard, who has Dex as a non prime, and discovers he needs to roll a 22 to save himself.

Let's assume, for just a moment, that you've done so heinous a CK faux pas a to allow this ignominious situation to happen. I assume you don't tell the wizard's player "tough cookies, Bill. Morty can't even grab the ledge with a twenty and a handful of bribes. Start rolling another character."
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Re: Nat 20s on SIEGE checks

Post by Arduin »

ArgoForg wrote: Not a major problem for everyone except the wizard, who has Dex as a non prime, and discovers he needs to roll a 22 to save himself.

Let's assume, for just a moment, that you've done so heinous a CK faux pas a to allow this ignominious situation to happen. I assume you don't tell the wizard's player "tough cookies, Bill. Morty can't even grab the ledge with a twenty and a handful of bribes.

Nope. I don't meta game like that. (nor do I permit my players to) Everyone rolls and I tell them what happens as a result. If the wizard rolls a 20 I would describe as, "You make a mighty leap, your fingers scrabble on the edge trying to gain purchase... but, you cannot quite hold on and you plunge into the depths."
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Re: Nat 20s on SIEGE checks

Post by Treebore »

Arduin wrote:
ArgoForg wrote: Not a major problem for everyone except the wizard, who has Dex as a non prime, and discovers he needs to roll a 22 to save himself.

Let's assume, for just a moment, that you've done so heinous a CK faux pas a to allow this ignominious situation to happen. I assume you don't tell the wizard's player "tough cookies, Bill. Morty can't even grab the ledge with a twenty and a handful of bribes.

Nope. I don't meta game like that. (nor do I permit my players to) Everyone rolls and I tell them what happens as a result. If the wizard rolls a 20 I would describe as, "You make a mighty leap, your fingers scrabble on the edge trying to gain purchase... but, you cannot quite hold on and you plunge into the depths."
Where as I would allow that. It is a near perfect example of super human effort to save themselves, or in the real life situation I mentioned above, the life of someone else. That is what I have nat 20's represent in such situations, that adrenaline hyped up response to survive, or to help someone else survive. Now if the leap was clearly impossible in the first place, thats a different story. Since it is clearly within the realm of possibility, since those with DEX Prime can make it, just much easier, I'd absolutely let a Nat 20 be a success, even though they don't achieve the minimum CL.

To me, this is a lot like Nat 20's allowing you to hit an AC, even when you technically don't. Even more so when the house rules allow for extra damage, or some other extra effect, to be added on. I am fine when you allow them to hit and do normal damage, but I think only those who roll a Nat 20, and were capable of hitting the AC without rolling a Nat 20, should get any kind of extra benefit. Which, in the case of my house rules, is a free extra attack attempt. So I much prefer it to be, if you have to have the Nat 20 to hit that AC 27, even though you can normally only hit a AC of 24 on a roll of 20, you only get to hit for normal damage. If you can normally hit an AC of 27 or better on a roll of a 20, then you get the free extra attack to attempt.
Since its 20,000 I suggest "Captain Nemo" as his title. Beyond the obvious connection, he is one who sails on his own terms and ignores those he doesn't agree with...confident in his journey and goals.
Sounds obvious to me! -Gm Michael

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Re: Nat 20s on SIEGE checks

Post by Captain_K »

My group is the least lucky group in the gaming universe with so many 1s rolled as to make you cry... we adopted hero points and luck points per the CKG to help with the rolls and to allow players to put some level of "control" or story telling in their control. It has worked very well.

We have GREAT fun with Natural 20s and Natural 1s being highly likely to hit and do extra damage or extra amazing success and ones being fumbles or history making flubbed attempts. To us, the natural 20 or 1 are the heroic or crazy ass stuff of legend and I will stress this word again FUN..

So its a game, with dice we have fun with and we have great fun with "20s and 1s" being darn close to automatic "extremes".

All that positive support aside, some level of reality is still injected. You cannot fly unless you have some magic or wings... you cannot kill everything on a 20 nor will a 1 ensure you "poke your eye out", but there is a chance to do more or amazing damage and you just might poke your eye out.

We love employing home made lists like this for combat, but we have not tried making any for the types of SEIGE checks you note, but could be a great idea. Why don't you make something and share???
CRITICAL DAMAGE (2d6):
2) THE big WIFF normal damage -1.
3) Almost WIFFED maximum normal damage, but please add +1 damage for each of your VICTIM'S levels/HD.
4) A spectacular strike, even your victim is impressed, max normal damage +4, plus victim stunned d3 rounds.
5) Perfect shot/hit to a sensitive area of your choice, 2x damage, stunned for 2d2 rounds, all allies within 30’ of the wounded party delay one round while cringing in sympathetic pain.
6) A might blow, roll damage twice, take a second free swing (must roll to hit).
7) Major blow to the/a leg (or equivalent), roll one extra dice of damage, and assume max damage on your normal damage; Victim moves at 1/2 normal rate.
8) A blow so great your weapon has embedded/entangled itself in your victim for 2x max possible damage (no cumulative with other multipliers). You, or your victim, must make a STR check to remove weapon (which does half normal weapon damage upon removal).
9) A truly inspiring attack, normal double damage but all your allies within 30’ receive a +1 to hit and +2 to damage if their attacks are successful for the next round.
10) Normal damage, but the wound causes significant internal bleeding, the victim takes the same damage each round until dead. Magical healing, greater than the damage each round, immediately stops the bleeding, mundane healing requires a roll with a penalty equal to the damage/round.
11) Blow to the face (or equivalent), roll two extra damage dice, PLUS victim cannot see for 3d2 rounds until the blood/goo/etc. stops flowing
12) Almost Mortally Wounded, Roll three extra dice of damage (4 dice total), and add +1 damage per each of your levels, OR the victim is down to its last hit point (whichever is LESS).

Fumbles (2d6):
2) THE big WIFF; you critical yourself with your own weapon, roll on the critical table for damage.
3) Almost THE big WIFF, normal damage to yourself.
4) A spectacular miss, even your victim is impressed with your ineptitude, victim laughs so hard he's affectively stunned for d2 rounds & so are you.
5) A mighty blow that was blocked or otherwise stopped. Your weapon, if non-magical, breaks and becomes so much scrap (fist, teeth or claws are broken). If magical in any way, roll again on this table. Roll the same result again and you’ll break even a magical weapon!
6) Weapon strikes hard point (shield or defending weapon), jars attacking weapon and numbs hand/jaw for d2 rounds (-2 to hit -4 damage).
7) You over extend, your round is lost and -4 to hit next round.
8) A "blow" so great your weapon flies off into the distance 2d12 feet in a random direction (unknown to you), harming no one, and landing where Murphy smiles. No weapon in hand? Fall on your back.
9) You are so lucky; you fumble your weapon while falling flat on your face (prone), but end up striking your opponent with it for normal damage.
10) A terrible miss, any friend in the area/range receives normal damage from "friendly fire/damage".
11) You fumble your weapon and drop it between you and your opponent within d4 feet from you. Natural weapon use results strained foot/paw/hand/jaw – d3 rounds to function again but at -1 to damage and -1 to hit.
12) A great miss, weapon becomes imbedded or tangled in the surrounding terrain; you need a STR check to free the weapon.
Wow, Another Natural One! You guys are a sink hole for luck. Stay away from my dice.

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Re: Nat 20s on SIEGE checks

Post by Arduin »

Treebore wrote:
Where as I would allow that. It is a near perfect example of super human effort to save themselves, or in the real life situation I mentioned above, the life of someone else. That is what I have nat 20's represent in such situations,
I allow rolls for divine intervention. 1 in 20 is a bit too frequent for that kinda of thing.
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Re: Nat 20s on SIEGE checks

Post by Captain_K »

One thing I have noticed about our (most) groups is that any of these extreme rolls are watched closely by everyone. When you make the 20 and 1 special, the game chat stops, the team focusses on that roll. All attention is there like a gladiatorial sport.. they want to see blood and death and it seems they do not care if it is their fellow player slaying the monster or their own PC flubbing a climbing check 50 feet up over a spiked pit, they want blood, death or amazing success. So I think having these extremes focus the players and they really zero in on them and have fun with them.

Now I would not do 1s and "fumbles" without 20s and "criticals". Further I would not let the PCs get it without the "monsters" getting it.

How often? If a combat lasts 4 rounds, with 5 PCs and one monster group of 5 monsters each rolling to hit, that's 40 opportunities. So a 1 or a 20 should occur, roughly on average, once each for each group. Since we rarely get in more than 2-4 fights in a night that means someone is doing an amazing thing for the good and someone is getting the short end of the stick each fight and on average each PC has it happen to them every other game. To me, it happens every night, just not to you, so its part of the game and a very real thing every night with about a 50% chance of happening so it cannot be too deadly. That may be the key, keeping the impacts of 1s or 20s in the realm of "above normal" but not game ending. Thus the drop your weapon, trip and fall, double damage, stun you opponent with laughter, etc. are great fun, but not earth shattering.
Wow, Another Natural One! You guys are a sink hole for luck. Stay away from my dice.

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Re: Nat 20s on SIEGE checks

Post by Buttmonkey »

ArgoForg wrote:By the same token, certainly the situation has to come up. A group of trolls have ambushed and rolled a boulder to drop onto the party on a narrow bridge over a gorge, and you've judged that a CL5 Dex check is needed for the characters to leap out of the way and grab the other side, rather than going down with the bridge. Not a major problem for everyone except the wizard, who has Dex as a non prime, and discovers he needs to roll a 22 to save himself.

Let's assume, for just a moment, that you've done so heinous a CK faux pas a to allow this ignominious situation to happen. I assume you don't tell the wizard's player "tough cookies, Bill. Morty can't even grab the ledge with a twenty and a handful of bribes. Start rolling another character."
Like Captain K, I have adopted hero and luck points from the CKG (the only thing I use from the CKG, actually) and they serve nicely to address this sort of situation. If the player has already blown through her luck and hero points, I would definitely say, "Tough cookies, Bill. Morty can't even grab the ledge with a twenty and a handful of bribes. Start rolling another character."
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Re: Nat 20s on SIEGE checks

Post by ArgoForg »

I have not used Hero or Luck points, but may look into it for my soon-to-begin campaign. I have generally taken the route of allowing a Natural 20 to be success on anything within the realm of reasonable possibility, mostly because it makes the die rolls that much more exciting to the players, but I think if I were to use Hero/Luck Points I would lean the other direction as well.
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Re: Nat 20s on SIEGE checks

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The combat is in its 5 round, two players are down, two are in trouble.. the fighter realizes that two more rounds with the ogre and they could all be so much lunchmeat in an ogre's lunch box tomorrow. He addresses the CK and group in general as he rises from his chair, dice in hand, "Mr CK, In my next combat round with the Ogre I'd like to use a Hero point and all 6 of my remaining luck points on my next swing. I'm going to throw all I have into it."

The table is hushed, the d20 is rolled... a 1... of all the times to flub the roll. The room groans, the CK winces.. how to keep the party from a TPK....

CK thoughts, "A fumble, a damn fumble is it countered by the Hero point? Is it countered by the six luck points. If I rule the fumble was out done by luck points, its just a miss. The Hero point however.. now what to do with that... I know...."

CK to party in dramatic voice, "The mighty warrior swings his Bastard Sword, the swing is so powerful, so accurate, the Ogre's throat paints the warrior red and all within 20 feet. Unfortunately, the force of the blow was not slowed by mere ogre throat flesh and the follow through sends the warrior, lead by his blade, into the stone wall, shattering the blade into exploding shards. Warrior, Make a Dex save for half damage from the exploding blade. Fumble and you take one in the eye. While you're at it, roll your own damage, the normal damage of your blade WITH your STR bonus."

The Gods of Fate and Fortune smile, luck and unluck are balanced, the players and CK win and loose. But they can continue to play! Both the amazing damage of a Hero point and six luck points and the fumble are honored.
Wow, Another Natural One! You guys are a sink hole for luck. Stay away from my dice.

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Re: Nat 20s on SIEGE checks

Post by Treebore »

ArgoForg wrote:I have not used Hero or Luck points, but may look into it for my soon-to-begin campaign. I have generally taken the route of allowing a Natural 20 to be success on anything within the realm of reasonable possibility, mostly because it makes the die rolls that much more exciting to the players, but I think if I were to use Hero/Luck Points I would lean the other direction as well.

As I have said before, my biggest challenge as CK is to NOT kill the PC's, so I tend to use rules that make it easier to keep them alive against the great odds they face, so I also have my own version of Luck rules I've been using for many years now. Plus, I still rule as I've previously stated on Nat 20 skill checks, especially when it involves keeping them alive.

Even so, my players PC's tend to die quit a bit. Many players, who visit this very board, can tell you how often they have had PC's die in my games. Especially nwelte, I think he has had the most PC deaths in my games. At least a half dozen deaths, heck, maybe even a dozen, all totaled.
Since its 20,000 I suggest "Captain Nemo" as his title. Beyond the obvious connection, he is one who sails on his own terms and ignores those he doesn't agree with...confident in his journey and goals.
Sounds obvious to me! -Gm Michael

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Re: Nat 20s on SIEGE checks

Post by Buttmonkey »

Captain_K wrote:The combat is in its 5 round, two players are down, two are in trouble.. the fighter realizes that two more rounds with the ogre and they could all be so much lunchmeat in an ogre's lunch box tomorrow. He addresses the CK and group in general as he rises from his chair, dice in hand, "Mr CK, In my next combat round with the Ogre I'd like to use a Hero point and all 6 of my remaining luck points on my next swing. I'm going to throw all I have into it."

The table is hushed, the d20 is rolled... a 1... of all the times to flub the roll. The room groans, the CK winces.. how to keep the party from a TPK....

CK thoughts, "A fumble, a damn fumble is it countered by the Hero point? Is it countered by the six luck points. If I rule the fumble was out done by luck points, its just a miss. The Hero point however.. now what to do with that... I know...."

CK to party in dramatic voice, "The mighty warrior swings his Bastard Sword, the swing is so powerful, so accurate, the Ogre's throat paints the warrior red and all within 20 feet. Unfortunately, the force of the blow was not slowed by mere ogre throat flesh and the follow through sends the warrior, lead by his blade, into the stone wall, shattering the blade into exploding shards. Warrior, Make a Dex save for half damage from the exploding blade. Fumble and you take one in the eye. While you're at it, roll your own damage, the normal damage of your blade WITH your STR bonus."

The Gods of Fate and Fortune smile, luck and unluck are balanced, the players and CK win and loose. But they can continue to play! Both the amazing damage of a Hero point and six luck points and the fumble are honored.
I would never use hero points that way. Using a hero point is an automatic success on an attempt to do something that could be theoretically successful. If a player burns a hero point, there is no to hit roll. The PC automatically hits.
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Re: Nat 20s on SIEGE checks

Post by Captain_K »

You are technically 100% correct. But my guys usually make big grandstanding talks and feel they must roll a dice, rather they need to or not. I've just kind of come to put them together, but per the CKG you're right. Now a Nat'l 20 roll, a Hero Point AND many luck points.. that would be quite a feat!
Wow, Another Natural One! You guys are a sink hole for luck. Stay away from my dice.

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