N18 Fumbling in combat


Dec 4, 2022
I've read some interesting threads to revise close combat, but the proposed alternatives seem to go wildly against the rest of the rules.

I'm a big fan of introducing 'push your luck' and random unfortunate events. For range, the new rulebook includes 'exploding weapons' (p236), which is perfect. If you fail an ammo roll with a natural 1, roll again, if you get another 1, the weapon is destroyed and you suffer an automatic self-hit. Unlikely to happen, but guaranteed hilarious when it does. Also it's a mechanic that could equally punish a gang who's winning, just as much as the one who are suffering losses.

I'm exploring how we can introduce something similar for melee.

I like the idea of introducing a fumble on melee rolls of 1, making it slightly more risky for a melee powerhouse with >10 attack dice to mulch an opponent without risking a bit of self harm in the excitement.

So, what are your thoughts on:

1) each natural 1's cancel out the next highest dice. Example: two 1's, a 3, a 5, and a 6 rolled. The 6 and 5 are cancelled. Thematic: the fighter wildly swinging weapons gets themselves in a muddle.

2) alternately, for each natural 1's, roll again and if a second 1 is rolled, they suffer a hit from their own weapon. Thematic: Effectively they get carried away and whack themselves in the head.

3) same as (2), except their weapon also breaks. This is broadly in line with the exploding weapons rule, and isn't unreasonable to assume all weapons in necromunda are subjected to poor build/maintenance/conditions.

RAW say 'all weapons unreliable and dangerous to use'. Though this check only applies on an ammo test.
Not sure I’d like it to cancel every hit, but perhaps each fumble reduces a successful hit by 1, each fumble can only apply to one dice and starts with the highest hit, any unused fumbles are discarded? Then bucket o’dice chucking CC powerhouses won’t be automatically ganking themselves half the time lol