How they failed/How they Fumbled

"You got a 13, you miss."
A phrase often heard at the gaming table: a sad and uninspiring statement that renders the PC's actions and efforts meaningless; It shuts them down; and takes them out of the game.
The idea that I had was to let them describe their failed attack in terms of the encounter (or challenge) allowing them some narrative control.
The next time a PC misses I am going to ask them: "Describe what happened?"; "Tell me about the attack that missed" or "Tell us what went wrong".

Just a short thought for the day.


  1. I LOVE fumbles! I usually have an idea of how the PC screwed, though depending on the game, I've also let the players narrate it. My gang's good for it too. They love to fail spectacularly. (I've had one player whine about the fact he had too many points to spend on attributes in chargen.)

    It's the flip side of "I hit it." which is just as boring. If we disallow boringly told moves, why should we tolerate boringly told results.

  2. I usually describe misses just as much as hits, and crit fumbles just as much as fumbles. Which is, generally a "you smash him" or "your swing just misses him" for normal stuff, and more elaborate happenings for crits.