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The rules state that the character suffers from his mistake and may even injure himself in the case of a critical glitch.

But the rules doesn't cover the case if both involved parties of an opposed test suffer from a glitch.

I guess that this is probably a question of choice and depends on the situation but I may have overlooked something.

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3 Answers 3

up vote 7 down vote accepted

Granted, I have no experience with SR4, but in other games with fumble/glitch/oops mechanics (such as older versions of SR and oWOD) my group has handled in one of two ways:

  • Double oops: If the DM was feeling particularly vindictive (or the character tried something stupid and glitched) both parties take the glitch effect. Usually falling flat, losing the grip on their weapon, and they sacrifice an action to get back up, pick up their weapon, and get ready for the next round
  • Simple miss: The other option is that you did something that opened a huge window of opportunity for the other guy, but the other guy didn't sense the opportunity. As a result, both folks just take the "miss" effect instead of the "oops" effect.
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I'm with the Double Oops. What you tried to do really screwed up - so it's effectively a 0-0 tie and both people should take consequences. –  Simon Gill Nov 8 '12 at 14:57
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Not necessarily. If I swing wide enough that my entire side is exposed, but you don't notice it because you stepped poorly (didn't hurt, but your attention was diverted from the fight to where your feet are), both of us committed an "oops" but neither of us end up with a consequence. You didn't see my exposed flank, so I'm not stabbed there, you move your foot to a better spot so you aren't at a disadvantage. –  Pulsehead Nov 8 '12 at 15:20
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I go with the double oops almost always. I give it some consequence, because it often provides and opportunity for more creativity in combat. "You fall down on your ass, and a shell casing smacks him in the left eye, disorienting him for a half-second. What do you do?" Situations like this are great, because they provide more opportunities for action movie sorts of improvisation. –  Erik Schmidt Nov 8 '12 at 15:36
    
@Pulsehead In a combat example, the consequences could be dropping the weapon for the attacker and stumbling to the ground for the defender. What you say about exposing your side/getting distracted sounds more like the results of a standard 0-0 or 1-1 (etc.) tie. –  Simon Gill Nov 8 '12 at 15:48
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I think I also would go with the double oops interpretation just because it offers better story material regardless of the rules. –  oschrenk Nov 8 '12 at 16:35

Who wins a tie of epic fail?
If at all possible, neither of them. They should both fail. But if it's a test that has to go one way or the other:

  • Whoever failed least
  • Default goes to the defender/attacker
  • Default goes to the players

Whatever you want, but once you pick one, keep it consistent.

(Crit) Glitches in SR4 are opportunities to let the DM add flavor to the game. They are toys for you to play with and throw interesting things at your players. It takes a non-trivial amount of spontaneous wit and creativity. If that's not really your thing you can simply generalize it to be the typical examples of "you fall down" or "your gun jams". It's important not to over do it though. In a low-powered game where the dicepools are small and critical glitches are common, feel free to "tone down" the repercussions. And remember that when you simply glitch, you still succeed at whatever it is you were trying to do, but with some added annoyance.

When both players critically glitch in an opposed test, then their actions work against them in some way and they fail at what they were attempting. If there is a directly opposed test of say, opposed strength checks where one guy is trying to get through the door and the other is trying to keep the door closed, one possible result of them both critically failing would be to have to door break and the whole thing falls over pinning the opener (but letting his friends through). The guy isn't through the door and the door is now open. But if it's the sort of test where it has to go one way, like a sneak/perception check, then have a system for resolving ties and then throw hilarity at them like Leezards story above.

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As a GM I tend to go the double oops route (when both critically fail) but often in the funniest possible way. I look at is a way to mark the rare occasion these things happen. It gives the group something extra to talk and laugh about for a few days.

Example of a double critical failure: Like that time, back in 88', when David botched a sneak roll in the vent of that bathroom in the research center but the guard had botched his perception roll, so he's about to "take care of business" when David comes crashing through the ceiling over the stall and slams into the guard, who's pants are at his knees. The Doze grenade hanging on the guard's utility belt gets caught on the toilet seat and goes off. Hours later both are found, still snoozing, but cuddled in a heap on the floor of this bathroom, the guard's pants still at his knees.

That character had a hard road ahead of him, for many years. Classic fun :)

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