The Cortex rules say (and I'm paraphrasing from memory) that critical failures happen when all the dice are 1's.

Is this all the dice, or just the stat and skill? If I have an asset that adds a die, does that have to be a 1 for a critical failure? What if I throw in a plot point? I'd say a strict interpretation of the rules is that it is all the dice, but that seems like it's going to really decrease the critical failure rate.

  • \$\begingroup\$ Is that really such a surprising feature of a system? It would mean drawing on more resources makes it less likely to completely botch, which to me would be an interesting nuance of the system. \$\endgroup\$ – SevenSidedDie May 31 '11 at 16:21
  • \$\begingroup\$ Not surprising, per se, but it changes the flow of the game. It makes sense from a logical point of view (someone who is naturally athletic won't screw up as much), but from a storytelling perspective, the critical failures add to the story, and if you include all dice, it does decrease that chance. \$\endgroup\$ – bryanjonker May 31 '11 at 17:40

I think if you're doing classic Cortex you'd want to follow the strict interpretation, where it's all the dice, as the nature of the system is more simulationist rather than storytelling focused. If you're doing Cortex Plus, just stick with the main dice (I'd say especially so for Leverage, since there really isn't any long term penalty to acquiring a complication, the system is set up so you always win).

  • \$\begingroup\$ One of the benefits to even lame d4 additional dice is that they make the chances of "all ones" results drastically drop. \$\endgroup\$ – aramis Jun 1 '11 at 5:29

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