Review: Critical Hit Deck & Critical Fumble Deck

Posted by Labyrinthian in , ,

Gamemastery produces some interesting products for those who are still playing 3rd edition, decks for critical hits and critical fumbles. Essentially the decks of 52 cards that have various effects of a positive (critical hit deck) or negative nature (critical fumble deck).

The Critical Hit deck breaks down the various effects on each card by what type of attack caused the critical hit; bludgeoning, piercing, slashing, or magic (for ray spells). With these cards damage is no longer guaranteed to be doubled on a successful critical. Many of the cards include some type of status effect instead of enhanced damage, such as making the target sickened for 1d6 rounds. Not all cards are equal either. One particularly nasty card sees the target's hand severed and he takes bleed damage in addition!

The Critical Fumble deck works in much the same fashion as the Critical Hit Deck. It breaks attacks down into Melee, Ranged, Natural, and Magic (again for ray spells). Again a variety of status effects are used on many of the cards as penalty for critically fumbling. Some make you sickened, others make you fatigued or shaken. A number of cards also cause you to drop your weapon (for melee and ranged attacks), or cause you to draw an immediate attack of opportunity (for melee or natural attacks). Again not all cards are equal. One critical fumble card sees you struck by your own spell. A nasty surprise if you were tossing around the ever popular Disintegrate spell.

Overall, if you are tired of the same old double damage, or whatever critical fumble effect you use, the Gamemastery decks are a great way to mix things up. I used both decks for my last D&D campaign and got mixed reviews. Some players really enjoyed the randomness of the decks and felt that they kept things interesting, while others stated over and over that they would rather have had the normal double damage. My own opinions was that the decks were good, though not quite as good as I had hoped they would be when I purchased them. They certainly made for some very memorable moments, and really that is the point. By randomizing the effects even when someone scores a critical hit everyone is on the edge of their seat because no one knows what is about to happen.

If you check the Critical Hit Deck and the Critical Fumble Deck on Paizo's website you can see some sample cards for yourselves. Each deck is $10.99 over at their website.

This entry was posted on Monday, September 14, 2009 at Monday, September 14, 2009 and is filed under , , . You can follow any responses to this entry through the comments feed .


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