Wednesday, February 22, 2012

"B" is also for Botch

Today I thought I'd have a little fun with my post.
I'm a huge fan of botching, or critical fumbles or whatever term you use when your dice fail you..

You see in most RPG games there is some form of Critical success, a natural 20 on the die roll, or re-rolling any 10's on a 10-sider & counting again. whatever mechanic the dice use. Only some systems though have a mechanic to cover the opposite effect, Rolling a natural 1,

Some people find the idea of this unbalancing or unfair, to them i say, "BAH" fair or not e can discuss the probabilities and mathematics of it all day (and I really could I'm a nerd like that), but the bottom line is this


Yes you read that right, I LOVE a good botch, to me to someone else it doesn't matter. A good botch is a source of entertainment, the one moment you goof, slip, trip, random act of fate causes you to just plain mess up.

Think about every great fictional character, ever, anywhere. they all have flaws, Superman has his kryptonite, and his emotional struggle with his secret identity, his occasional self doubt, if he's still fighting for the right causes.  that's what makes him interesting

In much the same way, a Botch, can make a character more interesting and memorable. having a flubbed dice roll is much like a temporary character flaw. Many a gaming book has talked at length about "what to do with bad stats" or "oh no I rolled to low" and how a low score in some area or another can give the character depth, and a botch is no different. The enraged dwarf charging fearlessly towards his sworn enemy, screaming his battle cry, his axe raised above his head.... when suddenly he trips, falls flat on his face and skids to a halt right at the feet of his enemy.

That's a bad situation, it is, but with a little luck you'll pull out of it, and it will be that much more enjoyable,  especially, if instead of getting upset, you GO WITH IT.

Don't just swear and curse, and yell and start buying new dice, use the moment to it's fullest effect

take the above situation, he could just get up and continue and take his next turn, the player grumbling and the battle continues.  Or you can make something memorable of it

**The dwarf looks up from the ground face covered in dirt**  "That was all part of my cunning plan to catch you off guard, Have at thee!!!"

a quick quip and you've turned a botch into a point of humor. you have brought more fun, to the table, and I think that's what it's all about. Having fun right?

so next time you see that 1 come up, don't just grumble and move on,  look at it as an opportunity to let your characters personality shine.

While we are at it, why don't you share your most memorable fumble in the comments?

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