Natural 20: Unnatural 20

Unnatural 20

There are no two words more harmful in D&D than "Natural 20".

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Is Rob just de-aging throughout the series? First two episodes he was clearly a father of a 5 year old and a 2 year old, then a college freshman. Now hes 15 and doesn't let his mom tell him what to do!

Also its weird watching a new episode, since I only started watching after the last episode came out, and I already watched through the series in full like, 4 times...

The episodes are very interesting now. You never know what you're going to get. They feel arty, but in the context of DnD. An interesting combination.

Nice Misty Mountains intro :). Great voice.

I respectfully disagree. The roll most guaranteed to make your players (and sometimes the DM) wail in terror is seeing their roll end on the dreaded 'Natural 1'.

For example, if that is their save against that otherwise relatively easy to save against instakill spell you slapped on them, or if they rolled a critical miss on that high level disintegrate spell and a house rule means critical misses can have unintended consequences up to and including hitting allies or yourself.

Chimpzy:
I respectfully disagree. The roll most guaranteed to make your players (and sometimes the DM) wail in terror is seeing their roll end on the dreaded 'Natural 1'.

For example, if that is their save against that otherwise relatively easy to save against instakill spell you slapped on them, or if they rolled a critical miss on that high level disintegrate spell and a house rule means critical misses can have unintended consequences up to and including hitting allies or yourself.

From the DM side, I think natural 20 is worse. If a player gets a natural 1, you as DM can always minimize the damage, since you don't -have- to say "Garmungus trips over his horse shoes and crushes Tyrell". But a natural 20 players will be more inclined to force you to honor it, which is annoying when its used to kill or persuade someone who wasn't supposed to be.

Saelune:
From the DM side, I think natural 20 is worse. If a player gets a natural 1, you as DM can always minimize the damage, since you don't -have- to say "Garmungus trips over his horse shoes and crushes Tyrell". But a natural 20 players will be more inclined to force you to honor it, which is annoying when its used to kill or persuade someone who wasn't supposed to be.

I suppose it al depends on the situation. And of course you have to use your judgment as DM. For example, I'm much more likely to include the 'hit allies' result as part of the random roll when the raging Barbarian rolls a critical miss than when the Ranger shoots an arrow at an enemy 100ft away and the nearest ally is 40ft to the left/right of that. One is just much more likely to result in friendly fire than the other.

And, as DM, it's really annoying when players kill a key character or otherwise mess up your plans (and all the preparation work you did), but that comes with the job. Players will solve problems in ways you didn't foresee. Also, in 3.5 natural 20s or 1s are not a guaranteed success or failure when using Skills (unless you houseruled that in). My campaigns also requires characters that use Diplomacy/Intimidate to also actually roleplay saying things that would persuade/intimidate that npc. No saying 'I use Diplomacy/Intimidate', rolling and be done with it.

Chimpzy:

Saelune:
From the DM side, I think natural 20 is worse. If a player gets a natural 1, you as DM can always minimize the damage, since you don't -have- to say "Garmungus trips over his horse shoes and crushes Tyrell". But a natural 20 players will be more inclined to force you to honor it, which is annoying when its used to kill or persuade someone who wasn't supposed to be.

I suppose it al depends on the situation. And of course you have to use your judgment as DM. For example, I'm much more likely to include the 'hit allies' result as part of the random roll when the raging Barbarian rolls a critical miss than when the Ranger shoots an arrow at an enemy 100ft away and the nearest ally is 40ft to the left/right of that. One is just much more likely to result in friendly fire than the other.

And, as DM, it's really annoying when players kill a key character or otherwise mess up your plans (and all the preparation work you did), but that comes with the job. Players will solve problems in ways you didn't foresee. Also, in 3.5 natural 20s or 1s are not a guaranteed success or failure when using Skills (unless you houseruled that in). My campaigns also requires characters that use Diplomacy/Intimidate to also actually roleplay saying things that would persuade/intimidate that npc. No saying 'I use Diplomacy/Intimidate', rolling and be done with it.

I am the same with persuade, though intimidate I tend to rely on the roll more. I also feel that players are more likely to not mind a bad roll being overlooked, but want their luck to help them when it does, and be less happy if you ignore or downplay it.

Unless its unfeasible, I do use auto win/fails, but to the degree varies. A 1 on picking a lock wont kill you, and a 20 wont let you lift a castle, even if your strength is very high.

I also tend to use 1 on attacks to do something silly, though disadvantageous. I don't really like directly punishing other players for one's bad roll.

Saelune:
Unless its unfeasible, I do use auto win/fails, but to the degree varies. A 1 on picking a lock wont kill you, and a 20 wont let you lift a castle, even if your strength is very high.

No, of course, a failed lockpicking attempt shouldn't kill a player, but if I used autofails, it'd make the player accidentally break the lock instead on a 1, so they'd have to find some other way of opening the door/chest/whatever. To be fair, I do sometimes use a more limited form of critical success when the natural 20 + skill modifier is very close to the required check. Let's say a character tries to jump over a chasm, but his check comes up one or two short, I'd let him roll a reflex save that would let him grab the edge at the last moment. He can then use another move action to climb up.

I also tend to use 1 on attacks to do something silly, though disadvantageous. I don't really like directly punishing other players for one's bad roll.

I do pretty much the same actually. I generally think of 3 or 4 outcomes appropriate for the situation, like a getting your slashing melee weapon stuck in a tree, or overswinging with particularly topheavy weapons like a greataxe making you pratfall. Most of them result in the player in question having to spend a move action to get themselves back in the fight. The more punishing stuff is reserved for when players do things that are riskier, like the aforementioned hitting allies while raging, because that is fitting for the careless nature that comes with raging. And even then, there will be at most a 1 in 4 chance of getting that outcome.

On the whole, Rule of Funny is in effect, but if players try foolhardy stuff (which I'll advise against in bad cases), they will have to live with the results if they flub it.

Two things.

Firstly, I'd say this is not over.
The D20 is still there.
Everyone knows that the only real way to guarantee that you will never see a dice again is to own a cat.
Or a small child.
Though, that might lead to Orb like situations.

Secondly, I am convinced that was an accurate representation of freeform ruleless roleplaying.
Including the nightmare music.

Chimpzy:

Saelune:
Unless its unfeasible, I do use auto win/fails, but to the degree varies. A 1 on picking a lock wont kill you, and a 20 wont let you lift a castle, even if your strength is very high.

No, of course, a failed lockpicking attempt shouldn't kill a player, but if I used autofails, it'd make the player accidentally break the lock instead on a 1, so they'd have to find some other way of opening the door/chest/whatever. To be fair, I do sometimes use a more limited form of critical success when the natural 20 + skill modifier is very close to the required check. Let's say a character tries to jump over a chasm, but his check comes up one or two short, I'd let him roll a reflex save that would let him grab the edge at the last moment. He can then use another move action to climb up.

I also tend to use 1 on attacks to do something silly, though disadvantageous. I don't really like directly punishing other players for one's bad roll.

I do pretty much the same actually. I generally think of 3 or 4 outcomes appropriate for the situation, like a getting your slashing melee weapon stuck in a tree, or overswinging with particularly topheavy weapons like a greataxe making you pratfall. Most of them result in the player in question having to spend a move action to get themselves back in the fight. The more punishing stuff is reserved for when players do things that are riskier, like the aforementioned hitting allies while raging, because that is fitting for the careless nature that comes with raging. And even then, there will be at most a 1 in 4 chance of getting that outcome.

On the whole, Rule of Funny is in effect, but if players try foolhardy stuff (which I'll advise against in bad cases), they will have to live with the results if they flub it.

Well, I also rarely have a specific DC number, so its not like someone is going to have only a +4 and get a nat 20 but still fail a check cause it was DC25.

Though its also dependent on context and if I -want- them to specifically succeed or fail.

 

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