“Give me an Acrobatcis check to jump.”

“Nat 20 bitches!”

“You burst through the roof of the inn, taking 3d6 bludgeoning damage as you hit your head on a  beam.”

If that kind of exchange sounds familiar, then you already know what’s up with today’s comic. Succeeding too well is a weird interaction that, in most cases, comes about from a misapplication of the rules.

“Give me a Perception check.”

“Woot! I critted that sucker!”

“You peer through the veil of reality. You now realize that you’re only a pawn in a game played by incomprehensible beings (usually in their mom’s basement). Take 3d6 existential dread damage.”

That mess seems to arise from a desire to be true to the dice. When high numbers come up, there’s a natural urge to make the effect spectacular (never mind the fact that there’s no such thing as “critting” a skill check in d20 system). That instinct to recognize big numbers as something special can override the more sensible “you succeed as well as you can at the task,” which is why you’ll hear about dudes practicing mind control with Persuasion checks or making Knowledge checks that drive them insane. 

Of course, succeeding too well can happen within the bounds of the rules, as Thief so ably demonstrates. You’ve got to make sure to pull your punches on those low level mooks!

What about the rest of you guys though? Have you ever seen an “unlucky crit” or other “you succeed so well you fail” scenario? What happened? Let’s hear it in the comments!


ADD SOME NSFW TO YOUR FANTASY! If you’ve ever been curious about that Handbook of Erotic Fantasy banner down at the bottom of the page, then you should check out the “Quest Giver” reward level over on The Handbook of Heroes Patreon. Twice a month you’ll get to see what the Handbook cast get up to when the lights go out. Adults only, 18+ years of age, etc. etc.