Page 869 - Racket Rocket

14th Feb 2017, 5:00 AM in Sonic Rainboom
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Racket Rocket
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Newbiespud 14th Feb 2017, 5:00 AM edit delete
As has been pointed out before, you don't necessarily need to consider Natural 20s an automatic success, especially if it's something completely impossible.

However... they are fun when they come up, and I'm of the opinion that when they do, even if it's annoying... you gotta throw them some kind of bone. Even if it's ultimately a failure because they were doing something impossible, you should at least make it a little bit special regardless.

Notice: Guest comic submissions are open! Guidelines here. Deadline: January 27th, 2023.



Shradow 14th Feb 2017, 5:08 AM edit delete reply
I love me some nat 20 bs. Once had a friend whose character was getting dragged away by a griffon, so I took my axe (a Dwarven war axe, mind you, not a throwing axe) and threw it at the griffon that was about 60 feet in the air. Rolled a nat 20 so the DM was more or less forced to let it work, and I decapitated the griffon. Though as I was throwing my axe my friend had gotten control of the grapple and had started to ride it just as I decapitated it, so he started falling out of the sky.

Also, my DM wouldn't let me get my axe back. He wasn't pleased that I got it to work in the first place.
JSchunx 14th Feb 2017, 11:58 AM edit delete reply
I recall a similar situation, but in reverse. My character, a dwarven warrior, was held immobile in the air by a vrock's telekinesis. In desperation, since nobody else could help him, he threw his axe at the vrock. Critical hit, straight kills the sucker, but unfortunately the telekinesis ended with the vrock's life and my dwarf plummeted to his untimely demise.

Still, it was a pretty cool exit.
kgy121 14th Feb 2017, 2:24 PM edit delete reply
Did nearly the same thing during a pathfinder module once. This was back in the pathfinder beta days, so I was using oversized weapon feats and had a Huge category greataxe (enlarge person ftw). The town was getting attacked by more ogres every three rounds, and a dragon was coming in to set the whole place on fire.

However, its combat behavior had it retreating if it took more than fifty damage in one turn. First round it swooped over the party, I ask how close it is. Turns out twenty feet above is just far enough for a thrown weapon to only take one increment of range penalties.

Nat 20.

Confirmed critical at level 3 (just barely, due to buffs and a really high roll) did fifty-two points of damage, and that not only made the dragon fly off, but finished off the army morale meter and routed the ogres. It was a good day.
Dragonflight 14th Feb 2017, 9:32 PM edit delete reply
Reminds me of an old Mekton game I was in. We had just discovered an ally's lost superdreadnought, which presumably was going to become a game-important mission ship, *if* we could get it before the alien bad guys did. Said alien bad guys already had a dropship there, and were going to dock sooner than we could.

Our characters were flying mecha with giant rocket packs on them. The character I built had come from a small Dyson Sphere, and thus had agoraphobia. Part of her schtick was that she was a total wimp outside the cockpit. But once you got her into her mecha, she was the ultimate ace pilot. Like a cross between Noriko from Gunbuster and Rainbow Dash. I regularly looked for impossible stunts to pull off just to add to her street cred.

So anyway, there we were trying to get to this dreadnought before the aliens did, and they had the jump on us. I think about it for maybe five seconds before I tell the GM that I'm going to decouple my mecha's rocket pack and fire it at the enemy shuttle. The GM just sort of gives me the Look, and tells me that the rocket pack has no guidance, and it's a LONG shot at the enemy ship. So there's no point even calculating percentages. I'd need a critical success to hit. Which in Mekton 1.0 means a 1-5 on d100.

I rolled a 3.

The GM just sort of blinked for a long moment, then decided that the impact caused the aliens to deflect and crash into a random point amidships. We would still have the running gunfight for the bridge that he'd scripted, but instead of the aliens getting there first, it would become a horse race. It was awesome, the GM ran with it, and we had lots of fun.

I often miss that character. She was completely off her rocker. But loads of fun to play. :)
Digo Dragon 15th Feb 2017, 5:58 AM edit delete reply
Digo Dragon
One GM had a chart where if you roll a nat20 on a skill check, he'd roll percentile to give him some idea on how spectacular a crit you make. Usually the result would be things like double the result covered, or if the action seems impossible, PCs find an alternate means to succeed at it, etc.

The result of "42" was special--it was practically the "You Win" result. Came up a few times. One notable time was when the party got ambushed by an adult green dragon. The party bard attempted to sing out a prayer for assistance and crit her performance. The DM rolled his chart and got a 42.

The result was an even bigger friendly bronze dragon coming out of the sky and insta-killing the green. Plus, we got the exp for the kill anyway. "You Win" result indeed. XD
Princess Candace 14th Feb 2017, 5:43 AM edit delete reply
From all of us to you, happy Hearts and Hooves Day.
ANW 14th Feb 2017, 5:47 AM edit delete reply
Today's Valentine's Day.
How are you spending the day?
Me:Just another normal day.
aerion111 14th Feb 2017, 11:28 AM edit delete reply
Celebrating my father's birthday, because he's busy on his actual birthday.
Digo Dragon 15th Feb 2017, 6:00 AM edit delete reply
Digo Dragon
Spent most of the day scrubbing 5-year old grease stains with bleach from my new home's kitchen cabinets, then drilling holes in the bathroom to mount brand new fixtures. ^_^;

Not exactly romantic, but I'm happy with my work. Ended the night going out to a fancy pizza place with the misses.
aylatrigger 16th Feb 2017, 12:20 PM edit delete reply
I made brownies for my students I mentor.
And I went to a doctor's appointment.
And I got lots of chocolate for my mom and myself.

...Then the next day bought lots more chocolate. And candy for my bro, who doesn't eat chocolate.
CCC 14th Feb 2017, 5:48 AM edit delete reply
This actually makes a lot of sense, If it's high-profile enough for a Gala ticket, then surely it's high-profile enough for people to want to gamble on it...
aerion111 14th Feb 2017, 11:28 AM edit delete reply
A natural 20 means there could be exceptional circumstances too; Maybe only one in five, or so, of these get any significant betting going on. And this is one of them.
Draxynnic 15th Feb 2017, 2:52 AM edit delete reply
'Course, another way you can handle this sort of thing is to give a reason to be sure that the thing they're looking for doesn't exist. For instance, in this case, a nat 20 on looking for illegal gambling on something could turn up an ancient curse that strikes anyone who attempts to gamble on the event...
Digo Dragon 15th Feb 2017, 6:05 AM edit delete reply
Digo Dragon
Remind me why the thieves guild wants to rig a Young Flyer's Competition to begin with? That seems to be an odd thing to take such interest in throwing the result, let alone gamble on the winners.
aerion111 15th Feb 2017, 9:10 AM edit delete reply
There could be any number of reasons.
Apparently it's big enough to be ticket-worthy, for one.
For another, this could be where groups like the Wonderbolts go to see 'new talent' - sabotage the contest and you might be able to choose who gets viewed as the greatest newcomer.
It's a bit confusing given the way they're going about it; I don't see why Rarity winning will help them.
But maybe there's more steps to this?
Or the hypnosis is the actual goal; She'll be quite... 'Distracting', after all, and this is a good chance to get a lot of ponies to look at her at once.
Digo Dragon 15th Feb 2017, 12:30 PM edit delete reply
Digo Dragon
But if the guild is as good as the claims are, who would they need to throw the event for the ticket? ;)

The new talent idea might be one, and to toss another thought-- Princess Celestia will be there. That's an event in of itself.
Draxynnic 16th Feb 2017, 1:46 AM edit delete reply
"Distraction" raises some interesting possibilities. Cloudsdale is where all the weather is produced, after all - they may be looking for Rarity to provide enough of a distraction for them to steal some of the weather factory stuff. If the Thieves' Guild can steal control of the weather, or at least enough to that they can hold weather production to ransom, that could give them a lot of leverage.
Dragonflight 15th Feb 2017, 9:19 PM edit delete reply
I suspect, considering what happens in the show, that the whole event is actually an elaborate assassination attempt on Rarity's life. Essentially, a way for the Guild to very publicly show what happens when one of their own disappoints them. It would also explain why there's no betting going on even after the Guild went to such lengths to set all this up.
Composer99 14th Feb 2017, 5:58 AM edit delete reply
If you're going to let them roll on it, you better be ready for the big two-oh.
Zorro362 14th Feb 2017, 6:31 AM edit delete reply
Yah, nat 20'so are always fun. But how about some stories about events that would not have happened without secession's of nat 20's? Such as the last session my group played, we stumbled onto a quest our dm did not think we would due to needing both luck and specific choices. We asked the right question, learned of a magic necklace, our rogue got a critical to stealth nockout the owner, and learned of a place of riches and power with only a direction and vague clue as to the location. We went on our way, and got a critical survival check to track a large group of our foes, who had ended up camping in that place with riches (the enemies loot from their raids) and great power. (Which we are still trying to reach through all the tr aps)
Venellian 14th Feb 2017, 6:42 AM edit delete reply
Is that the road to El Diablo?
Jennifer 14th Feb 2017, 12:41 PM edit delete reply
I've always liked the story of Adept Grendel from Dark Heresy, which became game canon when it got a splash page in the Radicals handbook devoted to it. tldr: Player of an otherwise incomptetent adept keeps rolling tens on his exploding dice. He ends up killing multiple daemons, a daemonhost, an Ork Warboss and an alien monstrosity and becomes a Living Saint by the end of the campaign (because his luck got the attention of the Thorian Inquisitorial faction). He also ends up with thousands of XP, two Fate Points and a Holy Fear-causing Ork-and-Daemon-destroying ... knife.
aylatrigger 16th Feb 2017, 12:36 PM edit delete reply
2nd edition. Playing with my brothers and one of their friends.

We came across a blue dragon... And our fighter got 4 20's as his first action. Instant uber death for the blue dragon. GM ruled it as a random encounter now.
Classic Steve 14th Feb 2017, 7:01 AM edit delete reply
Of course Pinkie Pie gasps at 20s.
Kaze Koichi 14th Feb 2017, 7:14 AM edit delete reply
Please no flying dwarf story again. This thing is already old.
Winged Cat 14th Feb 2017, 11:19 AM edit delete reply
Winged Cat
Would that include flying halflings, hobbits, and/or brownies?
Kaze Koichi 15th Feb 2017, 2:09 PM edit delete reply
If they were flying by getting nat 20 on waving hands, then yes, that's the same story.
Joe the Rat 14th Feb 2017, 8:10 AM edit delete reply
Let that be a lesson. If you let the players roll for something, you're going to have to deal with the consequences of success or failure.

It's turned into a mini game. Have the knowledge guy roll a nat 20 on History, and make the DM invent some new part of the world on the fly.

I think I'm going to turn this into a "world-building slam" next time it happens. Everybody suggests something, and we run with the best explanation.
Breakfateschain 14th Feb 2017, 9:34 AM edit delete reply
I once got a critical milking blownon a red dragon with a rapier (crit range 18-20), where my first roll was an 18, I confirmed with a 19, and was then asked to roll again and got a 20. Not only did I kill the dragon by stabbing it in the heart, but the DM also said the dragon's blood was absorbed into my rapier and turned it into a magic sentient weapon. It liked to joke about eating souls
Breakfateschain 14th Feb 2017, 9:35 AM edit delete reply
I meant killing blow, not milking blownon, damn autocorrect
Winged Cat 14th Feb 2017, 11:18 AM edit delete reply
Winged Cat
I was going to ask about that. I have this PC who worked on a dairy farm, and she has milked (or tried to) more than one creature on-screen. So far that's been a no-roll situation, but it's possible she might wind up milking a great serpent for its venom or something. (Not quite milking a dragon, but only because dragons don't tend to have something to milk.)
Digo Dragon 15th Feb 2017, 6:20 AM edit delete reply
Digo Dragon
I've had a party druid do that with himself. He'll turn into various venomous creatures and then "milk himself" or get assistance to do such to make a collection of varying poisons for his experiments.
aerion111 15th Feb 2017, 2:25 PM edit delete reply
Just as long as he only does it with venomous creatures.
Even I find it a bit too strange to have party-members help ACTUALLY milk you, rather than the more figurative meaning for venom.
Winged Cat 15th Feb 2017, 3:48 PM edit delete reply
Winged Cat
Hey, if the party's getting low on rations, survival beats lack of awkwardness. (Especially if the PCs involved are sufficiently friendly, though that can trip content ratings unless done offscreen.)

This is of course assuming you don't have access to spells to directly create food, and the GM ignores the reasons pasteurization was invented (or a magical equivalent can be provided, such as using age spells to rapidly produce cheese).
aerion111 16th Feb 2017, 12:53 AM edit delete reply
Unless it's 'magical' milk or something, you're not quite solving the ration-problem; Cows don't just magically create milk, the nutrients and energy in it comes from what they eat (just like just about everything in just about every creature's body)
At best, they can eat otherwise inedible plants/grass - but even then, you'd need a whole bunch of grazing to break even; You'd lose a lot of the energy and such in the process of milk-production.

But, of course, if the GM isn't thinking too hard about it, you might be able to get 'free' milk without needing more food.

If they ARE thinking too hard, you'd probably be better off going for a small form whenever you're not doing much.
You'd cut your personal consumption down quite a bit then.
Evilbob 14th Feb 2017, 10:06 AM edit delete reply
Well... Nothing's strictly impossible. Just extremely, extremely, extremely unlikely.

Sometimes I wonder if you need to just use a different die entirely. Maybe a 5x10^20 sided-die? :P
Jennifer 14th Feb 2017, 1:00 PM edit delete reply
XD20 has a mechanism called "Clown Shoes Ridiculous," defined as "For example, trying to fly through the Sun." You need to roll a Nat-20 to even TRY whatever you're attempting, and then roll a second 20 to succeed - anything else is differing levels of failure. In this case, a 19 on the first try would be, "You make it to the Sun's inner corona, just a few thousand miles from the surface, before your shields fail and you die." A 20 on the first and a 19 on the second would be, "Your ship enters the sun, roiling coils of force and boiling heat all about you. You make it, (rolls) 95% of the way through, a scant hundred thousand miles from safety, when your overworked shields finally fail and you die."
Winged Cat 14th Feb 2017, 11:35 AM edit delete reply
Winged Cat
It's possible to get nat-20-like effects without an actual d20. In one of my games, the mechanic is, "roll 1d6, add your stat, add/subtract other relevant bonuses (such as +2 if you have relevant skill), nat 6 explodes". So a simple challenge might be 5: if your stat is 2 and you have no other bonuses, you need to roll 3 or higher.

If you roll 6 and then 6 again, that's 1/36 chance and at least 14 (minimum stat is 1, your third roll is at least 1, and 12 more for the two 6s), which is a heroic effort.

So there I was last session, "wasting" all the good rolls by setting up to reduce the difficulty of my PC's challenges and then getting double-digit results time after time. Being smart (using useful tactics) is good, being lucky is good, but when you're smart and lucky for several actions in a row...

Star Trek 'verse, Starfleet nowhere in sight. A Romulan, taken prisoner, leads his friends on a prison escape. Cue the Romulan weaving through incoming phaser fire as if he was in some bullet hell game (after having set a distraction so most of the fire was directed over his head), until he reaches a panel and closes a blast door so the rest of the party can follow.
Digo Dragon 15th Feb 2017, 6:25 AM edit delete reply
Digo Dragon
In GURPS, critical success on skill-checks are usually when you roll a "natural" 3 or 4 on 3d6. Because it's a bell-curse system, crits are harder to come by, so we used to make them just that much more spectacular.

It's how one ego-driven talking unicorn with mostly harmless stage magic managed to take down a half-dozen fully armed 24th century Starfleet security personnel. XD
Pablo360 14th Feb 2017, 12:22 PM edit delete reply
One time in a homebrew game that was basically D&D where the monsters were all Pokemon (as distinct from the Pokemon RPG), I got a nat 20 and managed to use a PokeFlute to get a bunch of Caterpie to follow us around and help us. (There were no Pokeballs in this world.)
TheStratovarian 14th Feb 2017, 9:34 PM edit delete reply
One of my enjoyable, but recalled nat-20's was a pathfinder bit, well ponyfinder.

I had to sadly step out of the game to health crud. But I was playing a Zebra Witch (A debuff semi-caster.)

Now we were only level 1, as this was a thing, but we were out trying to pinpoint the goblins hideouts that were plaguing the settlement. And we stumbled upon a special kind of druidic landmark. No one had any kind of knowledge about nature, save the witch. And after a round of tries, i go, "I want to know." And roll, Nat 20. The gm explains a little bit about it, and I ask a few more questions, but he then asks for a second knowledge roll. and Bam, it happens again. The rest of the party was chuckling pretty hard at this point, and the gm divulges more, and I keep asking, and he then asks for a third roll. The dice obliged, and a third natural 20 happened.

Everyone lost it. The gm spills everything about the moongate circle, and we just had to end the bit there for the day. As no one could do anything but laugh at that.
ThatGuest 14th Feb 2017, 10:42 PM edit delete reply
My DM has run the same campaign 3 times for different groups. I've been present in all of them and every time the early dragon shows up, the first attack on him rolls a nat 20 and chases him off. He actually finds it amusing and tradition at this point. It's always a bow attack too.
bob 14th Feb 2017, 11:38 PM edit delete reply
i'll see your weird nat 20 and raise you a reversing fumble 20 x 3

wasn't present for this one so not 100 sure how it worked but apparently the party was fighting a dragon and the rouge took a shot at it with a shortbow as the dragon swooped in overhead.
he failed crit failed the roll the arrow missed complexly and then he rolled a 20 on the fumble check or something.

so what happened in game?
the arrow hit the forked end of a long thin tree branch, the branch bent and shot the arrow backwards
(rolls again, nat 20 to hit, rolls again, crit, rolls for crit damage, 20)
so the rebounded arrow critally hit the dragon in a critical weak spot.
right in the bumhole.
Digo Dragon 15th Feb 2017, 6:26 AM edit delete reply
Digo Dragon
In the words of Shrek--

BR549 15th Feb 2017, 1:15 AM edit delete reply
I've recounted my /Back To Back Natural 20s/ tale before, but I always enjoy rolling it out, it IS the topic, and re-reading it there were a few details I'd forgotten, so...

I was playing a half-drow Duskblade in a 3.5 game where the theme was that everyone in the party had been thrown from their home dimensions into the one the game was setting in. Amist was quite delighted to discover that the party Warforged was from the same timestream as she was. A fight against a group of bandits left her rather beat up, and she risked her disguise - she had a Hairribbon of Disguise to hide her drow-ness - to use Darkness on the area. The bandits unfortunatly managed to grab the Warforged and started to drag him off, and when he put up a fight they resorted to pummeling him down to knocked-out status and resumed dragging him off to their hideout. The party Warlock tried to Baleful Utterance the hideout door, but failed, and the door closed in our faces.

It was at this point that the GM said:

"I'm pretty sure the door is over 60 pounds, had to search on a wood weight calculator to find this... At any rate, I was dropping hints about how low HP the leader was at and that shooting him was the /only/ way...Oh well, I get to see what you guys will try next then."

What happened next was Amist, freshly healed and /thoroughly pissed off/ at this turn if events and running for the door in an attempt to slip in, didn't slow down as the door closed in her face. Instead, she spun her Greatsword around and brought it down pommel-first on the door.

Roll Strength...natural 20!

And so it was that the 60-pound door was blown off its hinges and across the room by the "elf" who couldn't weigh twice that soaking wet.

As the bandits stared in shock, Amist raised her sword and grinned at the rogues as she awaited the rest of the party to catch up, and decided to give them a head start, quoting Ambassador Delenn (for the second time in the fight).

"If you value your lives...BE SOMEWHERE ELSE."
Roll Intimidate.../natural 20/.

Two of the rogues broke and ran on the spot, with the rest deciding we were not worth the trouble, and the party Warlock deciding "he'd move to behind not Amist, but the warrior--she scared him currently."

(And when in the aftermath she was Searching a dead rogue in the alleyway from the earlier fight, she got a 19, too...)

Alas, that game puttered out as PbPs tend to do shortly thereafter, but that remains (and is rather likely to do so for quite awhile) my most epic D&D moment.
AlexHurlbut 15th Feb 2017, 5:06 AM edit delete reply
In D&D 3.5 and PFRPG, Natural 20 doesn't apply to skill checks and saving throws too... this also mean the natural 1 doesn't apply to them either. So if you had a Skill check of +10 and the DC is a 10 you already doesn't need to roll as you exceed it anyway even on a natural 1. You roll only if higher results get more. well, stuff done or information gain.
Elbbsas 15th Feb 2017, 3:35 PM edit delete reply
Tales of Equestria review is up:
Venseyness 25th Feb 2017, 6:56 AM Natural 20 edit delete reply
My favorite thing I've done when somebody rolled a 20 is when they tried to grappling hook a guy who had just done a really REALLY big jump into the air. My plan was for the guy to come crashing back down, shattering the earth for an AoE and possibly a knockdown, but the guy trying to grappling hook him, of course, got a 20. So I basically made it that he was dragged along with the jumping guy, getting his arm pulled out of the socket with the sudden change in velocity, and then the slam attack happened, so there was this massive ground-shattering slam. And three seconds later he comes crashing down to the floor, still tethered to the guy, with a loud "thump".
My friend didn't even get mad, in his own words "I don't know what I thought was gonna happen."