April 15th, 2005


I think botch mechanics (you botch on a natural roll 1 of 1! You botch if you roll no successes and a 1! etc) are stupid. Here's why:

1) They only serve to deprotagonize the player. It sucks bad enough when you fail at a crucial task in game - but when your failure ends up being a shining example of incompetence regardless of your ability it's just awful. We've all had this happen - maybe your pilot botched a crucial spaceflight roll and the other PCs wouldn't let him near the ships console without giving him grief. It's not fun, and it just makes you feel unhappy.
2) They're not realistic. By far the worst is Fading Suns' static 5% chance of a "fumble." I don't know about you - but I don't horrendously screw up 5% of the tasks I attempt in my life. Even 5% of the really hard ones. I might fail at them, but I don't blow things up!
3) It has no place given the fictional inspiration for what we're doing.

Can someone make the case for the merits of botching/fumbling?