My dear husband, “Garian,” has requested that I preface this post with the following disclaimer: Garian has incredibly high Dexterity. The Critical Fails mentioned in this post were made, not due to low Dex, but because his dexterity is SO HIGH, he rolls for routine tasks subconsciously — or just takes the average — so it catches him off guard when the GM suddenly increases the difficulty rating while he’s distracted. Also, he requested that as evidence of his remarkable dexterous skills (in a particular specialization), I tell the story of The Day Garian and “Ford” Went Shopping. As that story is One Of The Most Embarrassing Things Ever in the Vault of Embarrassing Things, I will let you look forward to that coming out at a future point in time.
Now then, that was an exhaustive preface. We will start with the little endearing things that regularly occur around poor Garian.
Sometimes, he has to roll to continue holding things… and fails.
This evidently goes back to his adolescent growth spurt days and has continued unabated in the time I have known him. He can be holding something, say a bottle of soda, a deck of cards, a bag of game bits, a plate of food — really anything guaranteed to make a mess — and not doing anything else; maybe he’s talking, but usually just holding something. And suddenly he will fail to continue holding it. It’s like the muscles in his hands suddenly rebel and just drop the object. Occasionally, those around him can make extraordinary Saving Throws and catch the imperiled item before it explodes everywhere. But usually, not…I give you Exhibit A — The Black Bean Soup Incident: We’re getting ready to go to a funeral one day. Ford was going with us and I had made black bean soup and cornbread for lunch. Garian and Ford were already in their suits and eating while I was getting dressed. I left them both seated at the table with their food and plenty of napkins. I’m putting on my make-up when I suddenly hear Ford shout, “OH, SHIT!’ while Garian simultaneously yelled “Nothing!” to reassure me that everything was under control and that I should stay in the bathroom. I did not stay in the bathroom. I went into the dining room and discovered the Black Bean Soup Massacre.
Ford -- in his only suit -- rolled a successful Dodge and was spared the worst of the carnage, as well as from having to wear his Geek Squad uniform to the funeral -- the stakes were high...
I have no idea how a bowl of soup went from quietly sitting on the table to being Jackson Pollucked all over the room and the only witnesses aren’t talking. I don’t think they know exactly what happened either. We then had to frantically find another suit for Garian to wear and clean up the worst of the mess before slamming out of the house to just make the funeral… But who makes you roll to EAT SOUP?!
When he fails dex checks for routine tasks, he rarely makes the saving throw for damage.
I have spent far more time on the inside of emergency rooms and hospitals than someone my age (who isn’t in the medical profession) ought to, but I myself have never been hospitalized in an unplanned sort of way. I am usually there because Garian has failed a saving throw (often Ruby is also the culprit, but she is less accident-prone and more just susceptible to weird illnesses). Way back before I knew him, Garian evidently had to roll dice to dance at a party. He is a good dancer, so I would have liked to see what he was attempting that prompted the GM to set the difficulty level so high… Anyway, he danced into a concrete bench. And dislocated his knee. I’m talking kneecap all the way around the side of his leg dislocated. He says that’s the worst pain he’s been in ever in his life.
More recently, we discovered that my youngest brother is some kind of modifier on these sorts of situation, and not in a good way. We had been dating for a while when Garian was teaching my then 14-year-old brother how to play roller hockey in a parking lot. They weren’t doing anything crazy, just skating around and shooting the puck back and forth a bit, when there was some sort of minor collision and Garian fell badly, or rather landed badly. I had been shooting hoops with my dad not far away and yelled, “Are you OK?” He answered “No, I think I sprained my wrist…” I went over to look at the wrist in question and it kind of looked like this:
this is not where a hand should normally be in relation to an arm...
We took him to the ER and they did some x-rays. Evidently, surgery would not have been helpful because you have to have *something* to attach pins to and his wrist bones looked more like “cornflakes” than bones (yes, that’s the medical term… well, a doctor said it anyway). They called in a great orthopedic surgeon who just took the wrist in his hands and reset it while I asked Garian math problems to distract him. The plan had been for him to come over to my family’s house for dinner and Settlers of Catan post-hockey, so Garian insisted on proceeding with that plan, morphine be damned. He won the game, but we didn’t want him to drive home what with the cast and drugs and all, so he stayed over that night and then spent the next day finding out what he could do one-handed. Turns out he could still hold a hockey stick decently, but couldn’t really handle the puck that well; he could shoot a BB rifle (resting it on his cast); and he could hit a target with a compound bow and arrow (lying on the ground, holding the bow with his feet and pulling back with his good hand). You can see why I like him 🙂
Much later, after we were married, he and the same little brother went sledding and Garian failed a perception check, sledded into a concrete culvert and broke his back in 5 places. I mean, SLEDDING?! The man does full-contact martial arts, rides a motorcycle, skateboards, shoots guns, plays roller hockey and basketball and he breaks his back sledding. His GM has a twisted sense of humor. I don’t let him play outdoors with my little brother anymore. The event did spawn a recurring party around the date that Garian didn’t die, however, so we now celebrate Garian’s Not Dead Day once a year and usually invite over all the friends who helped us out during his recovery for a weekend of gaming and festivities — but no sledding. Our sled was broken in the accident and no one has dared to give us another one.
What routine rolls have you failed at and with what disastrous results? Commiserate in the Comments!