Wheel of FatePosted by Corwin
The Wheel of Fate is a fun way for your players to deal with critical misses when attacking. If the DM can’t think of anything particularly fitting that should happen, then the player spins the Wheel of Fate to determine the effect.
A lot of people prefer not to penalize their players for critical attack misses, but I think it adds a little fun and challenge to a game routinely dominated by powerful PC synergy. If you do use critical misses and want to give the Wheel a try, I’d recommend not applying it to dailies, as many dailies still deal damage and effects on misses (and missing a daily is punishment enough most of the time). If you want to use the Wheel for encounter or daily critical misses and it lands on the “Reroll attack against nearest player in range” effect, just have the player reroll a melee or ranged basic attack instead – this was the original intent, I just couldn’t fit it on the wheel tile.
Most of the time as a DM there’s some obvious effect for a critical miss; if they’re balancing on a beam while attacking, they fall; if they’re throwing something, it hits someone else; and so on. The Wheel is primarily for when, as a DM, you really can’t come up with anything that seems to fit. Tell the player to give it a spin and then narrate the effect into your game.
Besides being fun to spin and watch, I had a super secret reason for making the Wheel: to reduce stress, irritation, and animosity at the table. When a player rolls a critical 1, they often expect a punishment from the DM, who has to come up with an effect on the fly – one that usually is ill-received and often argued. The player can often feel like the DM is picking on them personally, and the DM deals with a little bit of stress while determining whether to take it easy or not. When the player spins the wheel themselves, they 1) have a chance of landing on “No Effect”, and 2) inflict their own punishment – they don’t get upset or angry at the DM for singling them out or ‘screwing them over’.