Talk:Hitting Yourself in Combat (3.5e Variant Rule)

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That seems a little cruel, but also pretty cool! But it seems to me like the kind of thing that is fun when your not doing anything serious, but when your fighting that final boss at the end of the dungeon and you hit yourself people would complain. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by NightWalker123 (talkcontribs) 22:11 18 May 2008. Please sign your posts!

It can be a tad cruel sometimes, but it adds a level of tension and excitement to the game. One time our fighter ended up scoring a critical on himself with a scythe and almost killed himself. But even though the party got frustrated when they did hit themselves, they liked the rle, because it also applied to the enemies they were facing. Summerscythe 12:20, 19 May 2008 (MDT)
Rules for what happens when you fumble (i.e. roll a natural 1) already exist somewhere. They range from slipping your weapon from your fingers and causing it to get thrown in a random direction, to falling prone or attacking yourself. Just an FYI. --Sulacu 20:48, 31 May 2008 (MDT)

Is this usable?[edit]

With these rules, given a 50/50 chance of penetrating their own AC and a 6-second combat round, a typical level 1 soldier will have stabbed themselves to death after an average of 4 minutes of fighting. Marasmusine 04:36, 4 April 2012 (MDT)

I would consider the rate at which natural 1s occur. I use similar rules, though they follow a d% roll and a table of results that might occur, and I've yet to encounter death in such brevity. Jwguy 06:31, 4 April 2012 (MDT)
Since it appears that no rebuttal has been made, and considering that the proposed argument is essentially a probability of 1/100 every time a level 1 soldier attacks (The initial condition being rolling a 1, and then subsequently beating their AC, which was designated as a half-chance means the mathematical representation of this probability is 1/20 * 1/5 = 1/100 chance, I believe), I think that we can safely remove the balance concern, for now, unless another point is brought up. While I agree that it lacks the flavor of normal fumble charts (Which can be more or less as deadly), it still has the hardly critical odds of happening one time every 10 minutes, or 100 rounds, unless my math is wrong, of course. Jwguy (talk) 07:49, 31 March 2014 (MDT)
The other problem is that it disfavours characters with multiple attacks (fighters with full round attacks, two-weapon style, multishot, etc), with self-inflicted wounds starting at twice as often, then getting worse at higher levels.Marasmusine (talk) 11:50, 31 March 2014 (MDT)
I think that may be a bit of the Gambler's Fallacy, friend. While it's true that the guideline for 1/100 would be illustrated as "Out of 100 attacks, one should fail and harm the user", there is no real guarantee that it will happen; The chance for each attack is still 1/100 odds, each time, with no change in those odds. It doesn't get more likely, or more often. It's also still an incredibly minuscule chance for it to occur, at all, and fumble charts aren't really all that unprecedented, nor is this all that much different from one in intent or application, outside of flavor and the lack of a dice roll. Jwguy (talk) 12:24, 31 March 2014 (MDT)
I'll show my workings out, maybe I've gone wrong somewhere. I don't know where this 1/100 has come from.
With one attack per round, a fumble happens 1 in 20 times.
If a fumble has a 50% chance of penetrating your own AC, you hurt yourself (1/20 * 1/2) = 1 in 40 times = 2.5%
With two attacks, the chances of rolling a 1 on either dice is 1-(19/20 * 19/20) = 9.75%; also a negligible (0.25%) chance of getting two fumbles. If, again, half of those penetrate my AC, that's a 4% chance of hurting myself every turn.
After this, I switch to binomial distribution to work out the values.[1]
With 5 attacks per turn, I have a 20% chance of hitting myself once; a 2% chance of hitting myself twice (chances of three or more fumbles are negligible); a 10% chance every turn of actually hurting myself.
It would be better to avoid things like two-weapon fighting, cleaving, whirlwind attacks, anything that would give me extra attacks, and concentrate on builds that do larger amounts of damage over a smaller number of attacks.
Things get worse with high-attack, low-AC builds. You'll also have magic users favouring saving throw spells over ranged touch spells, since a wizard hitting himself with his own acid arrow is less funny the second time round.
In the meantime, those poor level 1 NPC warriors are not going to survive their first week. Marasmusine (talk) 18:21, 31 March 2014 (MDT)
Hmmm, there's already a critical miss/fumble variant rule in the DMG, p. 28. Dexterous characters are less likely to fumble, which makes sense, and it doesn't necessarily cause damage, so it's fairer on those level 1 warriors I keep going on about. Marasmusine (talk) 18:29, 31 March 2014 (MDT)
So, I see the error in my math from before. I was using 1/5 instead of 1/2, so there is quite a bit of difference between 1/100 and 1/40, I admit. So, yeah, a ~10% chance of fumbling, at least once, given that they have two attacks.
However, there is additional math that is being neglected by the both of us, at this point. Consider that multiple attacks often come with penalties that either make all attacks, or secondary attacks, less likely to hit. For example, your statement regarding five attacks per turn seems to imply that there will be a case where you will get five attacks, they will all have the same bonus, and all of them will have the same chances of damaging yourself as they would these level 1 Soldiers. This seems like a highly unlikely scenario, and one that would happen only within extreme circumstances, making it an outlier even if it did happen.
It should also be noted that this is supposed to be a Transformational Rule. Comparing it to the DMG's fumble table or normal 3.5e's standards is kind of pointless when the rule, itself, was meant to operate outside of those standards. I also personally have never used a fumble table which gave more dexterous characters better chances; That sounds rather silly when a natural 1 is always a natural 1, as it is in my campaign, though I also don't simply make spells fly back at their casters. Jwguy (talk) 02:54, 1 April 2014 (MDT)
That's true, I hadn't thought of that. I still boggle at the thought of a heroic warrior hitting himself in the leg every couple of days - and it's only a matter of time before that vorpal sword wielder lops his own head off! Marasmusine (talk) 04:44, 1 April 2014 (MDT)
Haha, yes, that'd definitely be a weird story; Everything's a matter of time, though, when it comes to probability. "Given infinite time, all things that can happen, will happen" and so on. Jwguy (talk) 05:35, 1 April 2014 (MDT)

Optional bonus weaselin'[edit]

I'm not trying to poke holes in this after that long (and mathematically exciting) debate, buuuuuuuuuut..
I feel like this rule would bring up a lot of players to try and weasel out of as many attack bonuses as possible, like a "but I can forgo my +10 luck bonus from some strange prestige class, and if you read the specific wording on my "Hate Undead" feat it says 'When you attack ENEMY undead' so that's another +4 not added and so I never hit myself". I guess not innately a problem, but it brings out issues with wording that really shouldn't be applicable (like a feat saying it only affects enemies, as they're assuming that enemies are the only people you'll willingly attack), and causes a lot of work for the average guy to work out what of his bonuses should be optional. Like Cleave, could be fixed by a simple "... at the same modifiers as the original attack" sort of addition, I suppose, maybe? --Sargento Léon (La plática) 13:04, 1 April 2014 (MDT)

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