#001 | Try to make critical failures more fun than critical successes

July 07, 2019

D&D tips, tricks n hooks #001 - Try to make critical failures more fun than critical successes:

The remarkability of crits in a game is often represented by additional damage or bumbling failures. The problem with making critical successes amazing experiences and critical failures a terrible one for players means that as a Dungeon Master you’re essentially building the opposite of fun into the experience. As an example of  conventional crit realization, a combat critical success may manifest in additional damage, where a critical failure means damaging a companion. If these are simply givens, it stagnates the experience of crits for players as it automates it for them.

There’s nothing wrong with doing as above, but as a DM you have the opportunity to make things more interesting and give players more to work with. Build those crits into interesting narratives. By optimizing for fun this way, a critical success may translate to a player doing enough damage to stylishly decapitate an enemy Kill Bill style, where a critical failure may mean a character draws their sword only to realize they accidentally cut their belt in doing so, leaving their character pantless and having to roleplay with that both during the combat as well as after the instance has wrapped up.

A dreaded outcome for a character doesn’t have to be a dreaded outcome for a player, provided that outcome is fun enough.


Tip created by: Geek and Sundry


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