Main Critical Failure Discussion

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09:03:24 AM May 21st 2010
edited by SomeGuy
Agh! For the love of God and his son Santa Claus, can we please get a new image? How the heck is a guy flipping off the audience a demonstration of this trope? This is a simple concept. We don't need to add profanities to it.

I'm not even picky here. Somebody just prop up three dice with the "1" side up, take a picture of it, and scan it onto the website. It would demonstrate the trope a heck of a lot better and it would do so without making us like a bunch of twelve-year-olds who think everything is funnier if there's a guy flipping the bird in the picture.
03:35:06 PM Feb 15th 2011
edited by
You're missing the point on the picture. The dude in the comic was a player in a podcast who rolled a 1, got a reroll, and rolled another 1. He bombed when they were all near death and needed a lot of help.
04:30:40 AM Jul 4th 2011
Not just "a player", but Jerry Holkins, writer of the Penny Arcade webcomic. One of the most hilarious portions of the second "season" of the podcast inspired the image above. The players were Jerry Holkins, Mike Krehulik (artist for Penny Arcade), Scott Kurtz (artist and writer of PvP), and Wil Wheaton (that Wil Wheaton).

They're fighting the BBEG and Holkins pulls out his daily power (a once-a-day super-attack) and tries to hit with it. He rolls a 1, which gets a big reaction including Mike Krehulik suggesting that Holkins sucks ad D&D since he can't roll the dice well (a running joke as this is referenced many times during both podcasts when Holkins botches a roll). Wil's character has a power which allows any character to re-roll an attack and uses it. There is then a big build-up where suggestions are made on how to roll (Kurtz suggests switching dice) and Wil states that if Holkins rolls another one, Wil will punch him in the dick. This build-up lasts several minutes.

The cacophony that erupts when the die is finally rolled takes several more minutes to die down as everyone shouts at Holkins for rolling a second 1, including Krehulik imploring Wheaton to punch Holkins in the dick. Finally, things die down and after a beat of silence, Holkins calmly says "I deal half-damage on a miss." Krehulik then says "Do you deal normal damage on two misses?!"

Like most of the best moments of the podcast, Krehulik immortalized them in comic drawings from the session. The comic above was his drawing of this event (with the second 1 on the table next to the miniature of Holkins' character, who is then flipping Holkins off for the bad rolls).

I believe that this is flat out the best picture to illustrate this trope, but we also need to put the story on the page somewhere so people like the originator of this thread understands the context.
12:07:33 AM May 21st 2010
So why is this not about the game mechanic it got its name from?
06:05:19 AM May 21st 2010
Er, it is, isn't it? Critical Failure: A certain dice roll guarantees total failure.
12:29:03 AM May 22nd 2010
But the article as it's written isn't about dice rolls, it's about how even the simplest endeavors have at least a small chance of catastrophic failure. Any mention of actual dice rolls seems like basically an afterthought.
01:12:28 PM May 22nd 2010
It can be a dice roll, it can be a random number generator, it can be any probablistic device, doesn't matter.
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