In all our campaigns we are blessed with humour. Sometimes in general RP but sometimes it is because the dice fail us so badly we need to express how badly we failed and, in my opinion, we come up with some cracking explanations of failure. I do think theses silly and sometimes epic failures make the session and flashbacks to those failures give fuel for more failures or extend the joke. I am sure some of them won’t translate as well written down to actually being in the room but we regularly have someone have to take a time out due to excessive laughing.
We would love to hear your stories of Crit Fails or just general rolling fails and how it was narrated or played out in your game so please come join us on our facebook nerdy chat group.
There are too many to list them all but below are some of my favourites, hopefully they make you chuckle during morning coffee!
Arleia Lvl 3 Dragonborn Paladin wearing full plate (The Madness of the Rat King) .. trying to stealth in the corridors of the lair… rolls between 2 and 4 on every stealth roll due to disadvantage of wearing plate…..DM Describes …’As Arleia leans close against the wall and literally rolls herself along it with clanking and scraping similar to nails down a chalk board.’
When she later rolled a Nat 1 she was described making sounds of Clink Clang, Clang Clang , Clink as she walks down the corridor making levels of noise akin to a one man band
May Tee, lvl 5 Human Bard (The NIght Before Wintermass) . She goes to investigate one of the grotto buildings and stealths beautifully but when she reachs he window she crouches below and uses her extending mirror to look through the window to see if it is occupied.. Well she tries to see but after rolling a Nat 1 it seems her mirror was facing the wrong way so she just saw the rest of the group behind her waiting in an alley! She beckons Ah-Dont-Rah lvl 5 Dragonborn Sorcereror over. He looks also using her mirror also rolling Nat 1. They beckon everyone else over pretending all is clear even though the building may be full of killer gnomes!
Later May Tee stealths through the portal to Santa and rolled Nat 1 so was described as sucking every sound from the entire universe at that time and releasing it all at once as she stepped down on the other side.. needless to say our presence was announced.
Xenya lvl 1 Wood Elf Druid (Waterdeep Dragon Heist) She listened against a warehouse door only to find she actually had her ear against her hand and only hears her heart! To be fair the explanation for this was earlier she failed to hit a troll and he knocked her out with one punch and so she spent the rest of the night recovering from being unconscious and was nursing a headache.
Inquisitor Mollarii, lvl 1 Kobold Monk (Waterdeep Dragon Heist) Whilst trying to gain a look in the warehouse as he walks by, he found himself too focused on the gravel type changing from one road to another (rolled Nat 2 Perception). This turns into a long running joke as the player decides to have Mollarri pick up a sample of the different gravels. He now has a querk where he picks up gravel samples on each road and has had to buy more pouches to keep it.
This has also lead to further fails. As he rolled a nat 1 to pick up a sample, so was unable to find any loose gravel in the piles of loose gravel! (Xenya saw this and gets him a sample to present later) . We are waiting for this to actually turn out to play a big part in solving our mission!
If you read our Waterdeep Campaign diary you will see Xenya and Mollari having quite a funny rp relationship building as they each have silly querks and the rolling fails and in some cases rolling battles have lead to some really funny situations that have now become a recurring joke that started with pocket sausage!
The moral of the story is even a terrible roll can add so much to a game and let’s face it , although we all like to feel all powerful and untouchable, winning without struggle and challenge constantly would be boring. So even fails have a bright side! Unless of course it results in the death of your character.
On the even brighter side…Critical Wins… there is nothing like that first time you manage an epic kill or feat… I wont bore you listing ours apart from this one. Our little Halfling Rogue Perrin Tealeaf (The Lost Mines Of Phandelver) who finally managed to ‘Rogue’ effectively last session. He pretty much single handedly cleaned out an enemy training camp but on one particular Nat 20 he described his attack from stealthing in the long grass to annihilating the enemy to Thor in Ragnarok as he swoops in to Led Zeppelin’s Immigrant Song. We all pictured and heard it of course!