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Rolling a 20, a critical hit, is the stuff of legend, but rolling a 1, a critical failure is a house rule. That is, there are no RAW rules for a 1, it’s just a miss as far as the PHB is concerned. But house rules, well, rule.

I love critical failures for the fun and hilarity that can ensue. I’ve adapted several tables and suggestions to make this list that I have the players and monsters roll on if they get… the 1.


01 – 05 • HaHa. Whoa, that was bad, so bad your allies actually laugh at that feeble attempt. No other effect.

06 – 09 • Pulled up lame. You must make a successful DC 10 CON save or your speed is halved until the end of the encounter.                                                                  

10 • Something in your eye. Your melee attacks only do half damage for the remainder of the encounter.

11 – 15 • Wicked backswing. You strike yourself on your backswing and take ad4 damage from the attack used.

16 – 19 • Wind knocked out of you. You gain a level of exhaustion.

20 • Loss of confidence. You gain disadvantage for your attacks against the targeted opponent for the remainder of the encounter.                                                                         

21 – 25 • Shook yourself up. You are stunned until the end of your next turn.

26 – 29 • Give them hope. You failed so badly tour target’s allies within 30 feet of them gain a d6 inspiration die that can be used during this encounter.                                              

30 • Panic attack. Well that didn’t go like you intended and it was a scarily bad attack attempt. You must make a successful DC 10 WIS Save or become frightened for the remainder of the encounter.

31 – 35 • Dropped weapon. Your drop your weapon and it falls 10’ from your location in a random direction. Doesn’t count for natural weapons.                                                  

36 – 39 • Discombobulated. You become incapacitated for 1 round.

40 • You’ve fallen and you can’t get up. You immediately fall prone and lose all movement for the remainder of this round.

41 – 42 • Bad timing. You drop to last in the imitative order for the rest of this combat but do not act again this turn.

43 – 45  • Slipped. You must make a successful DC 10 DEX Save or immediately fall prone.

46 – 49 • Broken bone.  You break a bone in your attack hand. You suffer disadvantage on attacks using this appendage for the rest of the encounter and take 1d4 non-lethal damage if you use it to attack or defend yourself.

50 • Easy prey.  Oh man that was reee-diculous and everyone knows it. Allies of your intended target within 20’ will attack YOU with their next turn, unless they would suffer an Attack of Opportunity to do so.

51 – 55 • Exposed defenses. Swing and a big miss! Your wild attack unbalances you so much that your target may take a reaction to make one melee attack against.

56 – 59 • Your own worst enemy. You suffer the effects of a bane spell for the remainder of the encounter.  

60 • Unguarded.  All adjacent allies of your target may immediately take an attack of opportunity against you.                                            

61 – 65 • Costly mistake. Your target may reroll all 1s and 2s on the damage roll for his next successful melee attack against you.                                                                                    

66 – 69 • Revealed intentions. Talk about telegraphing your intentions. You and your allies all suffer disadvantage for your next attack.

70 • Sorry, my bad.  You mistakenly strike an ally adjacent to you with your attack.

71 – 75 • Lodged weapon.  Your weapon becomes stuck in the floor or a nearby object. You must make a DC 14 STR check to remove it as an action.

76 – 79 • Devastating error. As a free action your opponent may immediately make one melee attack with advantage against you as a reaction.                                                      

80 • Shattered.  Your weapon breaks if it is non-magical.

81 – 85 • Thrown weapon. You lose your grip and throw your weapon. It lands 30’ from your location in a random direction.                                                                                           

86 – 89 • Panic attack. You immediately suffer the effects of the Confusion spell for 1 round.

90 • Horrible aftermath.  Roll twice on this chart and apply both effects to yourself.

91 – 95 • Self-inflicted wound.  Your attack ricochets back and you hit yourself. Roll your damage as if you had hit your target and apply it to yourself.

96 – 99 • Did you see that?  Your attack ricochets back and you hit yourself. Apply the maximum damage to yourself as if you had hit your target.

100 • No!  Absolute critical fail. Your attack ricochets back and you hit yourself. HARD. Apply a critical hit to yourself!

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