My friend Bob Defendi is a game designer, and has a small problem. Diamond Distribution is upping the requirements for minimum sales for everything they distribute, and this is affecting his new game supplement Combat Essentials 1: Critical Matters. They might just be pulling the plug on it in the next couple of months. Let's talk about the book for a moment. You just scored a critical hit (a natural 20 in D&D 4.0, or a natural 20 followed by a successful to-hit roll in 3.5) and you want it to be special. Enter Critical Matters. Roll percentile dice, check the table for your weapon type, and let the fun begin. The higher your die roll, the more severe the crit. Sure, maxing out your damage is one thing, but you don't want numbers. You want cinema. And special effects. And maybe some macabre humor throughout. Some samples:
"Blow between foe’s eyes cracks skull and ruptures a vessel. Foe attacks random targets for 5 Rounds, and is then Dead." "Blow shatters skull and kills foe instantly. A good mortician, and he’ll look 'just like himself.' Dead." "How many bones are there in the body again? Multiply by 20. Oh, and Dead."If you've been following Bob's Death by Cliché podcast, you know how funny he can be. Critical Matters is like a book of his best punchlines. Sprinkle some of these into your game session and you'll be everybody's favorite GM. You don't even need to roll dice -- just cherry-pick your favorites, and apply them whenever you find them appropriate. So... now that you know you want it, how do you get it? Head on down to your Friendly Local Game Store and ask for it by name. Here are the details:
Product: Combat Essentials 1: Critical Matters Publisher: Final Redoubt Press ISBN: 978-0-9818802-0-4 Stock #4001You can also buy Critical Matters directly from Final Redoubt Press, but Bob would much rather you acquire your copies from inventory that the distributor is threatening (contractually, I'm sure) to destroy and report as unsold. On that happy note, more samples...
“Blow to collarbone leaves foe with a bruise, a –2 penalty, and the need for strong drink.” “Point slides into upper abdomen, nicking several important organs and arteries. That’s the whole shooting match. Foe has 8 rounds to wonder how bad it is before he dies. Stunned for 7 rounds. Use the last one wisely.” “Neatly remove foe’s head. You have just enough time left in the attack to strike a pose.” “Thunk. Wait for the pain. Wait for it... There it is.” “Hack cuts foe’s neck. Doesn’t hit anything too major, but there’s a lot of blood. Foe is dazed for 1 round as he works out that he’s only bleeding every hour.” “Point slices foe’s spine. He collapses, paralyzed from the waist down. He nudges his legs, as if to restart them. Stunned for 1 round, dazed for 3 more. Bleed every round.” “Blow chips off a piece of the foe’s xiphoid process. The foe feels a slight discomfort under his sternum. Foe has 10 rounds of movement until death. Any round when he doesn’t move his chest doesn’t count. Every round where he moves causes increasing discomfort. –1 per round of movement.” “Pound foe in the stomach. Foe seems uninjured but foe receives a –1 penalty next round from the pain. The penalty increases one every round until it hits –10, then it drops one a round every round after that.” “Blow to foe’s spine causes a –2 penalty from the searing pain. If not magically healed, the foe will be able to predict rain.”Oh, and I have it on good authority* that if enough copies of this book sell in the next two months, Bob will give my barbarian an extra level. *Note: By "On Good Authority" I mean "I announced it on my blog, Bob. Don't make a liar out of me, or I'll have you predicting rain for years."