D&D Critical Spell Fumble Chart

There are two schools of thought when it comes to charts.  Some dungeon masters love em, others hate em.

I’ve always been fond of tables such as Critical Hit and Critical Fumble.  What I did not like was the lack of detail.  That is, I hated that you were to use a 1d20 to roll the actual result on a table.  I’m fond of my zocchihedron (d100) and I don’t get to use it often enough.  With that in mind I came up with a Critical Hit chart and a Critical Fumble chart that had listings from 1 to 100.  Nothing duplicated.  In the tradition of the highest number is the best, that would make number 1 the worst roll.  You don’t want to roll a 1 after you have rolled a fumble.  I’ll post my charts over the next few weeks, but for now I want to examine my Critical Spell Fumble Chart.  Feel free to adjust any of these to fit your current campaign or play style.  Let’s start with the worst possble roll you can get and get better from there…

1.  You sneeze at an inopportune time causing the spell to go awry.  All items on all party members are destroyed.  NO saves.

2.  Flowers shoot from your hands.

3.  A monster as the spell Summon Monster VII is summoned.  It attacks the party.

4.  Area in a 200 foot radius is Silenced.

5.  Nearest village sinks into the ground.

6.  Gravity doubles for next 1d4 rounds.

7.  Caster looses 1d4 intelligence.

8.  All water within a mile evaporates.  All life feels dehydrated.  -5 to each subsiquent roll hereafter until fresh water is consumed.

9.  A shrub, bush, tree, nearest the intended target bursts into flame.

10.  A flock of rabbits fly by.  Yes, rabbits with wings.  They fly in the air past you.

11.  Caster looses all spells for the rest of the day.

12.  Spell functions as normal.

13.  Targets attributes are shuffled.

14.  Roll 2d12, caster is now the result’s years younger.  If this causes the caster to be unborn…  they poof out of existnace.

15.  Target is fully healed.

16.  Caster is teleported 200 feet away in a random direction.  Just pray you are not standing next to a cliff…

17.  Target looses 1d4 Strength.

18.  Target gains Darkvision (Like an elf) permantly.

19.  Caster creates a mug of ale.

20.  Target is blinded for 1d4 rounds.

21.  The next time a fire spell is cast, it instead does the effect with snow.

22.  Nearest lake drains mysteriously.

23.  Monster Summoning VII is cast 1D6 times.  Each monster summoned has a 50% chance of attacking the party.

24.  All gold in a 200 foot radius vanishes.

25.  Target is transformed into a small statue for 1d6 rounds.

26.  2d6 40 foot stone spires shoot up from the ground.

27.  Target’s weapon does 6d6 damage on next successful attack.

28.  Casters original spell works, effect is doubled.

29.  Stars are visible during the daytime for next 1d12 days.

30.  Caster thinks they are a diety for 1d4 hours.

31.  Target gains 1d4 wisdom.

32.  Tiny rocks fall from the sky for 1d4 hours.

33.  Random artifact appears in vicinity.

34.  Target looses 1d4 wisdom.

35.  A town emerges from the ground half a mile away.  It is populated by living dead.

36.  Large boulders fall from the sky.

37.  The caster breaks wind.

38.  Nothing happens for 2 rounds then 2d20 zombies of appropriate difficulty appear and attack the players.

39.  Caster and another party member change bodies for 1d4 hours.

40.  Caster is transformed into a Stone Troll for 1d4 rounds.

41.  Target looses 1d4 Constitution.

42.  Caster’s nose begins to bleed.

43.  Thick fog envelopes the region permanently.

44.  Caster thinks that fire will heal any injury.  This thought lasts until the caster sleeps for 2d6 hours.

45.  Casters spell works but casts as 2d6 levels higher.

46.  A 12′ iron statue of the caster rises from the ground.

47.  The sun appears Blood Red until sundown.

48.  Target’s AC goes up by +4 permantly.

49.  Target’s head turns invisible for 2d6 rounds.

50.  All party members gain +1 to EACH stat.

51.  Party is teleported to a 20′x20′ room with a deck of cards on the table…  (Deck of Many Things).

52.  Random party member is teleported 20′ away.

53.  Random party members falls in love with next person they see for 24 hours.

54.  Casts Color Spray instead.

55.  Target is “aroused” for next 1d4 hours.

56.  All party members gain 1d6 x 1000 exp.

57.  Casters eyes glow red until they sleep for 1d6 hours.

58.  Reroll twice.  Nothing happens.

59.  Reroll 5 times.  Each result on this chart happens.

60.  All party members lose 1d6 x 1000 exp.

61.  Target looses half their HP (damage only, they are now considered bloodied, they can be healed).

62.  Target dies.

63.  Target stunned for 1d4 rounds.

64.  Spell is delayed for 1d4 rounds.

65.  Caster suffers 1d4 stat loss to a random stat.  This effect lasts 1d4 rounds.

66.  Caster gains 1d4 stats gains to a random stat.  This effect lasts 1d4 rounds.

67.  All magic effects, including magic items on party members are neutralized for 1d4 rounds.

68.  Random weapon on party member becomes intelligent.

69.  Random bladed weapon on party member glows green when orcs are close by.

70.  Caster smells like a skunk for 1d4 days.

71.  Caster’s hair grown 1d4 feet.

72.  Caster ages 1d6 years.

73.  Target grows to twice it’s normal size.

74.  Target is charmed as if Charm Monster or Charm Person was cast upon it.

75.  Spell effectiveness (range, duration, AoE, damage, etc.) increases by 500%.

76.  DM’s choice.

77.  Caster is dazed for 1d4 rounds.

78.  Air – You open a momentary portal to the Plane of Air and are accosted by a howling blast of air that deals a d4 of sonic damage for every two adjusted caster levels, minimum one, to you and everyone within 10 feet of you.

79.  Earth – You open a momentary portal to the Plane of Earth. A large, irregular chunk of stone materializes near you and fragments, damaging everyone within five feet. Roll 1d8 on the grenadelike weapons table to determine the direction from you (1 being in front of you, 5 being behind you), and then 1d10 to determine how many feet away. Roll a d6 per every two adjusted caster levels, miminum one.

80.  Water – You open a momentary portal to the Plane of Water. You and everyone else within five feet is hit by a sudden torrent of pure water from above. There is no other effect beyond being drenched (though the drenching itself may cause problems if you are holding a torch, for example).

81.  Fire – You open a momentary portal to the Plane of Fire and are accosted by a gout of flame that deals a d6 of fire damage for every two adjusted caster levels, minimum one.

82.  Negative – You open a momentary portal to the Negative Energy Plane and are accosted by a wave of negative energy that deals 1d6 damage per two adjusted caster levels, maximum 5d6, minimum 1d6. In addition, you must make a Fortitude save or gain a negative level for 1d8 hours. (There is no chance for the negative level to become permanent.)

83.  Positive – You open a momentary portal to the Positive Energy Plane and are accosted by a wave of positive energy that heals 1d6 damage per two adjusted caster levels, maximum 5d6, minimum 1d6. Any extra health becomes temporary hit points that disappear in 1d4 hours.

84.  Caster falls down unconscience for next 1d4 rounds.

85.  All enemies take 75 damage.  No Saves.

86.  Caster turns invisible for 1d6 hours.

87.  Caster turns invisible for 1d6 days.

88.  Next party member that dies is brought back to life fully healed with no losses.

89.  A random party member and a party members pet change bodies for 1d4 hours.  If there is no pet, the party member stands blankly mesmerized for 1d4 hours.

90.  Caster thinks he/she is a drow for 1d4 rounds.

91.  Caster thinks he/she is a fish for 1d4 rounds.

92.  Caster gains the knowledge of how to craft a Ring of Invisibility.  However, once it has been made, the knowledge is forgotten.  The ring will gran invisibility for 1d4 hours.

93.  Caster’s hair turns white.  Only natural growth will retun it to it’s normal color.

94.  Caster feel compelled to ring a bell.  no other actions may be taken until the player can ring a bell.

95.  Spells works as normal, target is frightened for 1d4 rounds.

96.  Target grows a 1d4 foot tail for 1d6 days.  If target already has a tail it grows that much longer for that duration.

97.  All party members wounds are healed to full.

98.  All magic items on all party members are fully charged.

99.  All players gain 1d4 levels permanatly.

100.  All players gain 1d4 to each stat permantly.

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19 Responses to “D&D Critical Spell Fumble Chart”

  1. Plusua says:

    Hi, hey cool chart man. I know in 3.5 that if a spell requires an attack roll is can score a ‘crit’. But when and where should I apply this chart above? When I roll a 1 on such spells? Or when I roll a 1 on my saving throw vs. any spell or spell like ability? I really like this idea though, just my thoughts.

  2. flisk says:

    The chart itself is really designed to be utilized by the GM running the game. But yes, when you roll a 1. Pretty much any time you roll a 1 when trying to cast. There is one thing I did fail to mention and you bring up a great point; what happens if I roll a 1 and I’m not in a combat situation? Simple, roll of the chart above and if it comes up as a combat themed effect, simply reroll the die.

  3. Snorgy ^_^ says:

    I love this crit chart :D I will be using it next time i have a chance, Do you know of a good one like this that is for melee?

  4. flisk says:

    I’ve not run across one that is exclusively for melee, but if the populace demands it, I could certainly create one! Let me know!

  5. Panos says:

    really nice job man… thanks a lot
    i ‘m certainly gonna use your board in my d&d adventures…

  6. Tori says:

    I use this in my game, slightly modded for ease. I would simply adore a melee one as well :D

  7. Sup says:

    Hi, that’s a nice list but it’s not really usable as it is. sorry this post will be a bit long because I’ll try to put a good amount of constructive criticism in it.

    5. Nearest village sinks into the ground
    What about the people

    6. Gravity doubles for the next 1d4 rounds
    Cool, but what is the range? Is it a worldwide event? What about other planes?

    7. You lose 1d4 intelligence
    Is this temporary or permanent? In 18 you specify permanently, so I guess this effect has a duration, but you fail to specify that

    8. All water within a mile evaporates. All life feels dehydrated. -5 to each subsiquent roll hereafter until fresh water is consumed.
    By within a mile you eman as a radius or diameter? Will all the vegetable life die? Will vegetable monsters take damage?

    17. Same as 7

    19. Caster creates a mug of ale.
    Material and/or value of the mug is not specified (but after all, who cares)

    21. The next time a fire spell is cast, it instead does the effect with snow.
    You mean with an ice descriptor instead of a fire descriptor?

    26. 2d6 40 foot stone spires shoot up from the ground.
    Needs a radius

    28. Casters original spell works, effect is doubled.
    What do you mean by doubled? Any variable is doubled? The best way would be to describe it via metamagic feats description. Like “Caster’s original spell works as if it was casted with these metamagic feats”

    30. Caster thinks they are a diety for 1d4 hours.
    Don’t do they do this 24/7 already? :P

    31. See 7

    36. Large boulders fall from the sky.
    And what is the damage?

    37. The caster breaks wind.
    What does this even mean?

    41. See 7

    44. Caster thinks that fire will heal any injury. This thought lasts until the caster sleeps for 2d6 hours.
    I just want to say that I love this

    48. Target’s AC goes up by +4 permantly.
    And what kind of bonus is this?

    50. All party members gain +1 to EACH stat.
    Again, see 7. Is this permanent? If not, how much does it last?

    51 and 52 lack measurement units. 52 could be 20 miles or 20 inches

    53. Random party members falls in love with next person they see for 24 hours.
    Do humanoid monsters count as person?

    59. Reroll 5 times. Each result on this chart happens.
    This is ridiculous. On the unfortunate event of a 59, DM has to apply100+5 effects. If one of those 5 rerolls happens to be a 58 or 59… Well fuck. Besides, in what order should one apply the effects?

    75. Spell effectiveness (range, duration, AoE, damage, etc.) increases by 500%.
    “etc” is not good, you have to clearly specify what’s increased and what isn’t. +500% is more understandable as x6

    81. Fire – You open a momentary portal to the Plane of Fire and are accosted by a gout of flame that deals a d6 of fire damage for every two adjusted caster levels, minimum one.
    Yeah deals, to whom?

    86. Caster turns invisible for 1d6 hours.
    Does the invisibility go away on attack? Same for 87

    91. Caster thinks he/she is a fish for 1d4 rounds.
    Nice. If there is water nearby, will the caster try to breathe water and suffocate?

    94. Caster feel compelled to ring a bell. No other actions may be taken until the player can ring a bell.
    Will the caster be able to sleep?

    99 and 100 are good ways to screw a campaign, 100 maybe a little less so. Besides, in the case of 100, should a 1d4 be thrown for each character and that amount added to each stat, or should a 1d4 be thrown for every stat of every char?

    Thank you and nice post, a bit too vague but still good ;)

  8. flisk says:

    Greetings Sup,

    You bring up great questions, and since this is a DM’s tool (the chart itself) it is up to the DM to determine those answers.

    In most of the games I run, I allow for a complete dynamic experience for my players. I stopped running them through modules years ago, instead opting to develop my own world (based loosely on the Forgotten Realms setting – ie, rules, spells, etc).

    When using a tool such as this Critical Spell Fumble Chart, if a question arises such as yours, I use that to my advantage and create sub-stories for the group to explore. I’ll use a couple of your questions to point out what I mean:

    If the nearest village sinks into the ground, yes, what about the people? A good DM can figure that out on the fly, it’s not up to me to create that story. What happens if the closest village is 25 miles south of the group and they are headed north? they will never know what happened. Perhaps. Again, it’s up to the DM to “direct” the flow of information.

    Gravity doubles for 1d4 rounds. Cool, but what is the range? Is it a worldwide event? What about other planes?
    Great questions! what is the range and is it a worldwide event? Again, a good DM is going to be able to use this to further their storyline.

    Random party member falls in love with next person they see for 24 hours. Do humanoid monsters cound as person? Dunno, do they? It’s up the DM. What if it’s a dragon in human form that the party member falls in love with, and then that dragon immediately transforms back into a dragon? Who knows? Sounds like a great side-story to me!

    I’ll use number 59 as the last example because it’s perfect for the point I’m trying to get across… Reroll 5 times. Each result on this chart happens. It’s far from rediculous. Keep in mind, everything is up to the DM. This chart is not set in stone. It doesn’t even have to be used in it’s entierty. If the DM feels something is not balanced for the given specific situation, the answer is simple; Reroll. If you happen to roll a 59 again and you really don’t want to have that many things go on again, simply reroll. Or if it lands on 59 intially and you don’t want to deal with that effect, simply reroll.

    In closing, it is my opinion that a good DM is going to be able to use this chart as a way to help create new storylines and adventures. Everything in D&D is open to interpretation, and obviously this chart is no different. All in all, just have fun with it.

  9. Stryke says:

    Awesome chart. I would like to see any others you have or will come up with.

  10. Leofwine says:

    Just my opinion but, a Critical Spell Fumble Chart should not have positive effects. Fumble implies failure and therefore it should never help the person casting.

  11. flisk says:

    Not sure which one is a positive effect? But you are correct, it should not have a positive effect, I just don’t see one? Tho I suppose you could consider #12 to be positive, as the spell functions as normal. Okay #88 is a positive too. Okay.. 92, 95, 97, 98, 99, and 100 all are positive too. Hmm. Suggestions?

  12. Knux says:

    There’s really no problem with making fumbles positive. A fumble is simply a mistake, and not all mistakes are negative. Several modern inventions were created entirely by mistake.

  13. Bookala says:

    Spells are always considered unstable as they materialize something from nothing. Thus a positive effect is still a negative, and vice-versa. Who know, a fire ball spell may really be a spell to enhance the target or group, noted via levels, so when the caster “fumbles” they get the real version of the spell instead of the misused false version.

  14. aktheus says:

    Great chart, I think that positive effects are also valid, cause the failure implies that the effect is not the expected, but not necesarily has to happen something awfull…

    PD. sorry about my english ;)

  15. Rod says:

    Wow, an extensive list. If I use the list I would change the power of each effect based on caster level. An example would be #3, which would probably leave a level 1 party horribly mauled, if not dead.

  16. flisk says:

    Rod,

    That’s an excellent point, and honestly something I’ve never really thought about. To be honest, I’ve never really had the issue come up at early levels. But yeah, I can certainly see having some of the effects scale according to level.
    Thanks for opening my eyes on that!

  17. Jhuldan says:

    Can i get the information for the critical success chart please?

  18. Brian H.2 says:

    Jhuldan, tell ya what.. I’ve had a few requests as of recent for more charts.. I’ll pledge this, I’ll make the next three posts all about charts; Critical Success will be the 1st; I’ll also work in a good melee chart as well. As for the 3rd chart.. I’ll let it be a surprise.

  19. [...] of this site have seen the Critical Spell Fumble Chart. Ever since, I’ve been getting requests for a Melee Critical Hit Chart. It’s seen some [...]

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