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iCrit and iFumble – Paizo is doing it Right!

December 13, 2011

Many of us at Skyland Games are big fans of technology in general, Apple technology in particular. It always struck me as odd that WotC never made an attempt to enter the massive market of iOS apps. Especially given the fact that Fourth Edition D&D is more dependent on digital tools than ever. Instead of developing applications for the tons of gamers bringing iPhones and iPads to the gaming table, they develop their tools in Microsoft Silverlight, a system that even Microsoft is abandoning. Huh? Several 3rd party developers have tried their hand at digital character sheets, dice rollers, and some impressive digital maps. Overall, I haven’t found any of them particularly useful, until now. Since my recent Pathfinder experiment, I wanted to see what else Paizo was up to. A quick search on the iPhone App Store revealed two official Paizo apps: iCrit and iFumble.

Those of you familiar with the Critical Hit and Critical Fumble decks will recognize these immediately. At $1.99 a piece, the digital versions are cheaper, include sound effects, and have the added benefit of always being where your phone is; For most of us, thats in our pocket. That makes one less thing to throw in the GM bag on your way to your game.

The first time I tried these out was with my epic Scales of War 4e group. Not all of the results make sense, but most are easily translatable, and can really add some tension to a battle. In our test run, I had a Storm Gorgon fly up to a wizard who was cruising around the battlefield on his ebony fly (Adventurer’s Vault p.181). On his initial attack, I rolled a one. Consulting iFumble, the Gorgon also falls unconcious for 1d6 rounds. The following round, our half-orc fighter executed it with a Rules As Written coup de grace: it’s bloodied value in one attack. It was the first one that any of us could recall witnessing in 4e.

It doesn’t always go in the PCs favor. Our Artificer was on the receiving end of a crit from a level-27 hydra. On top of massive damage, he suffered 4 points of dexterity damage, which reduced his AC by 2 for the rest of the encounter! Since Epic is pretty much impossible to balance anyway, adding these decks to encounters adds a lot of tension when 1s and 20s hit the table. If you’ve got an iOS device and don’t own the decks, I would recommend picking these up immediately. If you already own the decks, its still a solid buy if you think about how many times you forgot to bring the decks with you to your gaming session. If nothing else, vote with your dollars to encourage Paizo to develop digital tools on viable, vibrant platforms.

  1. December 14, 2011 at 12:32 pm

    It’s moments like this that really make me wish I had a smartphone. I own the Critical Hit and Fumble decks, even wrote a review of them for The Game Cryer a few years back. They make it to my game every single session…except for the last two times we had it at someone else’s house.

    Since these decks make the game so much more vibrant–and my players have become enamored of them–it was a real shame they were left behind. Too bad there isn’t a version for my laptop.

  2. December 15, 2011 at 5:13 pm

    I love 3/4 of my critical hit deck (the magic ones make little to no sense…exchange places with your target??), but never really liked the critical fumble deck; as I’ve never been a huge proponent of hosing the players that much. If I pick up an iPhone I’ll prolly get the criti hit app. Good to know it exists!

    • December 15, 2011 at 5:22 pm

      It certainly raised tensions at our table whenever a 20 or 1 was rolled. As DM, I was rolling a lot more than the PCs, so at least initially, I found I was hosing my monsters more than the PCs. They’re great for some added spice, no matter how you use them!

  3. December 15, 2011 at 10:00 pm

    So, what kind of organization does the program have? Can one view the cards when out of play? Can you mark certain cards for removal from the deck?

    • December 15, 2011 at 10:24 pm

      No, actually it’s a series of buttons for each type of attack. Pressing the corresponding button will generate a random result (w/ sound effect). If the result didn’t apply or make sense, I just hit the button again. DM Fiat at it’s finest!

  4. December 16, 2011 at 10:13 am

    No android love?! DOH! Apple is great and all, but there is a larger portion of Android users out there than iPhone. A little love our way would be nice

    • December 16, 2011 at 10:18 am

      Paizo mentioned on their facebook page that the android apps are done, and should go live soon! My brother has an android phone, and swears by it. It just so happens that 3 of the 6 guys on the Skyland Games team are iPhone users.

  5. March 21, 2012 at 10:47 am

    The android apps are done and available now. Just found them last night. Apparently released yesterday! 🙂

    • March 21, 2012 at 11:00 am

      Cool! Good to know. Do you have a link? I can’t seem to pull one up for those.

  1. December 22, 2011 at 10:00 am
  2. December 30, 2011 at 8:32 pm
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