View Full Version : Critical Bonus

2011-12-05, 09:11 PM
I've always been a big fan of the variant rule that treats natural 20s as 30s and natural 1s as -10s. I also dislike having to roll to confirm critical hits. So I had the idea for a Critical Bonus you get whenever you roll a natural 20 on an attack. You make the choice of whether it doubles your damage or gives you a plus +10 on your attack. Not a huge change, but whether I use it depends completely on whether players like using it more than the regular system.

So what do you think of the new idea? And while we're at it, what's your favourite variant on critical hits, either from the books (any system) or a homebrewed one?

2011-12-06, 11:52 AM
There's not really any reason NOT to double the damage, since if they can't hit it with a 20 then they probably shouldn't be fighting it...

The most common variant I've seen is that if you roll a 20 and then roll another 20 on your critical confirmation it's an instant kill. I don't really like that variant because it's a bit of a letdown if it happens during a boss fight. Ultimately it favors enemies over player characters, since it implies that any character who has been attacked 400 or more times over the course of his/her entire career should statistically be dead regardless of stats.

I prefer adding a static 2d6 damage rather than multiplying damage (4d6 for x3 crits and 6d6 for x4 crits) so that it's not quite as certain that a lowly axe-wielding gnoll will end up killing one of your level 8 PCs by rolling a 20. Then again, them axes is pretty much the only thing that makes the lowly masses a real threat to mid-high level parties.

2011-12-06, 12:16 PM
Critical confirmation was introduced because in earlier editions, when you fought a very one-sided battle (say, a well-defended mid-level fighter against a horde of kobolds), the enemy could ONLY hit you on a natural 20, and therefore EVERY hit was a critical hit. It's a little odd that foes you outclass so badly are critting you left and right. Requiring confirmation rolls fixed that.

Under this variant, someone who needs a 21+ will see a different result for only 1 attack in 400. So, essentially, no change. Meanwhile, someone who hits on a 20 or less would probably see their overall damage go up about 5%. So, a slight change, but not very noticeable. (Where it would be a little weird is if you have a player with a high-crit weapon and improved critical, say a scimitar critting on 15-20, vs. a high-AC foe that he can only hit on a 15 or better. In that situation, you're back to the old-school rules - every hit is a critical. That seems a little wonky to me, but it's a bit of a corner case and won't come up often with most characters.)

Overall, if you were hoping your crit system would perform differently, it's not really doing that. However, if you're mostly just looking to cut down on die rolls, it does that quite well without really changing the outcomes.

Me, I like to reinstate the 3.0 rule that you can stack effects that improve your critical threat range. It was a nice trick for melee characters that really improved damage output, and crit-fisher builds are not any more powerful ultimately than a good charger build.