Because of DCC RPG’s Funnel magic*, one of the PCs in my current DCC campaign is known as Arn, the Unlucky (or as “Arn, o Azarado”, which sounds a lot funnier in Portuguese).
*The Funnel magic is, of course, DCC’s wonderful and original approach to the classic “3d6 in order”. Basically, you roll a bunch of 0-level PCs, which go on an adventure! Those that survive the meat grinder become our “heroes” as 1st-level adventurers. Flawless.
Arn, the Unlucky is a 0-level character with rolled Luck 3 (he also rolled “Born under the loom” as his augury, which mean he add his Luck modifier to ALL his skill checks… hehehe). So, as you can see, in a “normal RPG”, Arn would be almost unplayable. But – hey! – this is f**cking DCC RPG! To the party’s (and Judge) delight, he survived!
Having reach 1st level, Arn’s player decides to turn him into a “badass” Warrior. In DCC RPG, each Warrior (your usual Fighter in other d20 games) can choose a “lucky weapon”. While using his “lucky weapon”, a Warrior can add his Luck modifier to all attack rolls. You can imagine that in Arn’s case, this would be his “unlucky weapon” – the one thing he would never touch. After all, he has Luck 3 and that would mean a -3 modifier to attack rolls. I didn’t want to “erase” a class feature, so here’s what I offered to Arn’s player…
…what if Arn’s bad luck was as dangerous to him as to his enemies? (And yes, I like to create unique mechanics to suit each player’s PC.)
Arn’s player accepted my offer, so I created this unique class feature:
Unlucky Weapon: choose one weapon (like great axe). Every time Arn wields such weapon and rolls a natural 1-4 on his attack attack roll he automatically suffers a Fumble (i.e. a critical failure), but so does his adversary.
It’s a gamble mechanic. Your PC suffers a critical failure, but your enemy also must roll on the dreaded Fumble table.
To give you an idea, in our last DCC session (we’re playing The One Who Watches From Below), Arn attacked a wolf. He chooses to wield his “unlucky weapon" – a longsword – and rolled a 4. He missed, but decided to turn that miss into a Fumble. His check in the Fumble table was that he lost his weapon and took a -2 penalty to attack rolls. The wolf’s Fumble result was that his “weapon” was entangled in the enemy’s “armor”. After a bit of talk (Arn was without armor), we decided that the wolf’s jaw was locked in the unlucky warrior’s ass. This was great, because Arn was trying to guard a door passage from the wolf while his friends escaped (there’s also a gorilla… it was a crazy day).
Thus, Arn managed to save the party, buying time for his Dwarf ally to kill the wolf (whose jaw was still locked in Arn’s ass, which resulted in more laughs).
And the entire point of this post is to reiterate the inherent awesomeness that is DCC RPG!