Best Critical Hit Ever…

As you might recall, we’ve taken a break from our Skull & Shackles adventure path. Instead, another of the chaps is running a short goblin campaign (in which we all play murderous goblins).

We are having a blast.

For me, last week’s session had one absolutely memorable event. A not-quite-friendly rivalry has developed between two of the party—Chuffy (my character) and Yar (my son’s character)—but thus far the two goblins have really only traded insults.

During the session, the goblins decided to attack a halfling wedding party as they had a really big cake that we wanted.

As we approached stealthily, Chuffy climbed a wooden tower. Yar, seeing his opportunity, set the tower on fire! Chuffy had a problem, but luckily he’d recently had a big drink so urinated on the flames to put them out.

By this time, Yar had got distracted and decided to blow up some halflings (he is an alchemist). Rushing forward he threw a bomb at a seemingly doomed halfling. Inevitably, he rolled a natural 1 and the GM called for a deviation die roll.

Hilariously, the bomb bounced off the halfling and flew straight back at Yar!

The GM made Yar roll a touch attack against himself. He inevitably rolled a threat (which he then confirmed) and inflicted enough damage to knock himself out.

A few rounds later, Chuffy escaped the burning tower by jumping into the cake two of his “friends” was trying to run off with (it was a very big cake). Chuffy decided to help Yar, who might be bleeding to death. With no real medical training, Chuffy pondered (accidentally aloud) the wisdom of cauterising Yar’s burns…

It was a great session, but I fear our brave goblin marauders are not long for this world; for some baffling reason they don’t seem to be very good at working together…

Has a Critical Hit Gone Wrong For You?

Have you got a similar story of a disastrous (or hilarious) critical hit? Let me know, in the comments below!


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Creighton is the publisher at Raging Swan Press and the designer of the award winning adventure Madness at Gardmore Abbey. He has designed many critically acclaimed modules such as Retribution and Shadowed Keep on the Borderlands and worked with Wizards of the Coast, Paizo, Expeditious Retreat Press, Rite Publishing and Kobold Press.

10 thoughts on “Best Critical Hit Ever…”

  1. I was doing a Mutant Epoch game and 1 character had turned on rest , in an attempt to escape he run at another player and tried to jump over him , the second player then comes out with the immortal line I will breath fire on him as he does so , only for first player to dry out WHAT

  2. Our group has had its fair share of outrageous moments, and it’s difficult to recall the most epic moment. The first that comes to mind is our first session after nearly a decade away from the game.
    First battle, a massive fighter PC scores a critical hit on a nearly dead hobgoblin, severing the creature in half near the waist. On his next turn, the PC decides to pick up the upper half of the corpse and throw it at an enemy as an intimidation tactic, and, of course, rolls a 1, spilling entrails and innards all over himself and spending the next rounds fighting the urge to vomit.
    Same session, later in the night, the part has knocked a prominent enemy unconscious, and a different, large character is carrying around the limp body waiting for him to awaken to be interrogated for critical information . Before that happens, the party stumbles into the “boss fight” with an enemy priest. First action, the PC, for some reason, believes it his most advantageous tactical option to throw the unconscious individual at the priest, and…. rolls a 1. The unconscious man with precious knowledge is thrown 1 square, violently landing on and snapping his neck. It was a very interesting first night back.

  3. This is the kind of memorable experiences we all play for, Creighton! I envy your players and wihs you the greatest success in 2019!

  4. Best one I’ve adjudicated in recent memory is a player who had, over several sessions, been having a run of “1’s” with almost every roll of his attack with a sling. To confirm a crit I have the player’s roll a 2nd attack and then if 1 – 5 it has some negative side effect – 1 being the worst (attacking self / party) and 5 being less severe (snapped bow string, stuck wpn in tree, etc.).

    Anyway after critical fumbles over several games in which our gnomish druid kept hitting the hobgoblin rogue, the player rolled a 1 followed by a 1 – just for giggles I had him roll a 3rd time and he got a 1. So, I had the stone bounce off two separate walls and then hit the hobgoblin rogue in the back of the head. For some strange reason, the hobgoblin decided to take the sling away from the gnome. 😉

  5. I was introducing MERP by ICE to a group of people I had not role played with before back in the late 80s. We managed to work through character creation, I did the you meet in a tavern and trotted out the sample adventure in the rule book.

    the one player that was being a little bit type A and telling everyone what to do and being more than a little annoying rolled a critical failure while using a bow in the first combat. Now in MERP, as in Role Master, there are tables for everything and we moved to the fumble table and he rolled a result that he hit himself and broke his weapon. i took one look at that and ruled: you shoot yourself in the foot and your bow string breaks. The other 3 players errupted in laughter. the game end there and that guy never gamed with me again. You could tell he took that personally.

  6. In the same theme one of my favorite “criticals” was from an editor I was working with who was playing Star Frontiers with his family. The youngest was playing a yazirian. This species has battle rage to start with at 05% in a d100 system which can be improved with exp over the life of the character but when starting out 5% might as well be a critical roll. If you succeed getting battle rage its +20 to hit in melee till end of combat which is very significant in this game.

    There party was being taken out by opposition like the opening round of combat and it was looking pretty homeless. His youngest son’s character the only uninjured and still standing PC and he declared he was attempting battle rage. There was all the extra shaking of dice and work up to the throw that only an 8 year old can bring to the table when they know everything is one line and this one dice throw is for all the marbles and he made it! And he looked up from the dice throw with wide eyes and said, “Its on!”

    love that story.

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