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Ceres
2008-01-04, 06:32 PM
New article (http://www.wizards.com/default.asp?x=dnd/drdd/20080104) is up. Pretty sweet stuff. Of particular interest is the weapons-table.

Spoilered for your convinience:
To score a critical hit in 4th Edition D&D, do the following:

Roll 20.

Simple enough, right? Just one number to remember. And more importantly, just one roll.

Yes, the confirmation roll is gone. So why did we get rid of it? Because we, like so many players, had rolled crits only to have the confirmation roll miss. And we didn't like it. We don't think that many people did. (I look forward to reading the posts of people who disagree.) Having one roll is faster, and it's more fun. It keeps the excitement of the 20, and ditches the disappointment of the failure to confirm.

Critical Damage

Here's the part that's going to take some getting used to: Critical hits don't deal double damage. This changed because doubling everything 5% of the time led to some pretty crazy spikes that were very unpredictable.

Let's say you roll a crit with a power that deals 1d10+4 normally. So the crit deals 2d10+8. The next turn, the monster attacks you using a power that deals 3d6+4 damage. He crits, dealing 6d6+8. Between the extra dice and the doubled ability modifier, that's a pretty huge difference! (And a pretty painful one.)

Instead, when you roll a critical hit, all the dice are maximized. So your 1d10+4 power deals 14 damage and the monster's 3d6+4 deals 22. Generally speaking, randomness is more of an advantage to monsters than PCs. More predictable critical damage keeps monsters from insta-killing your character.

Having maximized dice also helps out when you have multitarget attacks. You'll roll an attack roll against each target, so maximized dice keep you from needing to roll a bunch of dice over and over -- you can just write your crit damage on your character sheet for quick reference.

Beefing Up Your Crits

PCs also have some extra tricks up their sleeves to make their criticals better. Magic weapons (and implements for magical attacks) add extra damage on crits. So your +1 frost warhammer deals an extra 1d6 damage on a critical hit (so your crit's now up to 14+1d6 damage in the example above). Monsters don't get this benefit, so PC crits outclass monster crits most of the time.

Crits can be improved in a couple of other ways. Weapons can have the high crit property, giving extra dice on a crit. Like this:
{table=head]Weapon | Prof. | Damage | Range | Cost | Weight | Category | Properties
War Pick | 2 | d8 | -- | 15 gp | 6 lb. | Pick | High crit, versatile[/table]

In addition, some powers and magic items have extra effects on a hit. So crits are doing just fine without all those dice.

Crits in Play

In playtest, it does seem like critical hits come up more often. The subtitle of this article is stolen from Chris Tulach, who sings a bit of, "It's Beginning to Look a Lot Like Crit-mas" whenever the natural 20s come out to play. Fortunately, hit points are higher, especially at low levels, so there's a bigger buffer to keep those crits from killing people too quickly. It still feels great to roll one, but the fight goes on.

We've tried to corral the numbers but keep the feel that a critical hit is a special event. So grab your d20 and your big, nasty magic axe, and get ready to crit for the fences!

Ecalsneerg
2008-01-04, 06:35 PM
So your +1 frost warhammer deals an extra 1d6 damage on a critical hit (so your crit's now up to 14+1d6 damage in the example above). Monsters don't get this benefit, so PC crits outclass monster crits most of the time.
I sincerely hope this is only implying monsters won't often have magic items, or this only exacerbates this slightly stupid "T3h PCs are 1337" line some of the 4e articles have shown so far.

Otherwise, hey, this is a much bigger simplification which makes sense. I like it.

Spiryt
2008-01-04, 06:40 PM
Wow, any idea what "versatile" in description of pick is supposed to mean?

Draz74
2008-01-04, 06:44 PM
One of the most interesting parts for me was the apparent "Proficiency Level" of the sample weapon (2). Apparently, now, weapon proficiency is a numerical stat, rather than a list of weapons you're proficient with. I like that ... although I'm not sure how it will work with Exotic weapons that should be one-shot deals.

As far as the Crit system ... I still really don't like:

- How a common Kobold fighting a mid-level guy in plate will get a critical hit anytime he gets a hit at all (i.e. on natural 20's). That's what the confirmation roll was for.

- How weapons can't be differentiated anymore by how often they crit (i.e. larger threat ranges). That was a great bit of flavor for scimitars, kukris, etc.

Orzel
2008-01-04, 06:44 PM
Nice max damage on crits. Fear the deadly dagger!...

WAIT A SEC!

Prof 2?

Weapon proficiency is by numbers now. Zawhaaaaa?

Crow
2008-01-04, 06:45 PM
Not really impressed one way or the other. I like the confirmation roll going away, but i will miss the multiplied damage. For us, that's what really made it exciting. The bit about getting the crit (or being critted upon), but the fight goes on was kind of a bummer as well. Our group cut it's teeth on Shadowrun and other high-lethality games. Sometimes a lucky shot can end your life, and we're used to it. Being able to score a battle-ending lucky shot or even the real threat of being hit by one yourself is something my group likes.

We'll see how things develop.

Oh yeah, and I preordered my core books already, so I am giving 4e a chance. Don't get on my case and say I'm just being negative.

osyluth
2008-01-04, 06:48 PM
PCs also have some extra tricks up their sleeves to make their criticals better. Magic weapons (and implements for magical attacks) add extra damage on crits. So your +1 frost warhammer deals an extra 1d6 damage on a critical hit (so your crit's now up to 14+1d6 damage in the example above). Monsters don't get this benefit, so PC crits outclass monster crits most of the time.


Stupid. Monsters should follow the same rules as PCs.


In playtest, it does seem like critical hits come up more often. The subtitle of this article is stolen from Chris Tulach, who sings a bit of, "It's Beginning to Look a Lot Like Crit-mas" whenever the natural 20s come out to play. Fortunately, hit points are higher, especially at low levels, so there's a bigger buffer to keep those crits from killing people too quickly. It still feels great to roll one, but the fight goes on.

Extremely stupid. "Your axe splits his head down the middle. He keeps fighting, unhindered." This was a big problem in 3.5, 4th E is making it even worse.

Spiryt
2008-01-04, 06:50 PM
Good point Draz...

With this system anemic halfling commoner can do quite serious damage to scaled dragon in 5% of strikes, when he have heavy pick or something.

Even if he has let's say - 8 penalty to attack.

I think that they should leave some confirmation.

Kyeudo
2008-01-04, 06:51 PM
For the first time, the development team is doing something that I'm not a big fan of. Maximized damage on a crit instead of double damage is fine, but wierd extra damage on a crit just because its a magic weapon?

If it has a special property that triggers on a crit, that's fine with me, but just because I have a +1 sword shouldn't also give me a minor form of flaming burst.

Also, what about weapons with bigger crit ranges, like scimitars and rapiers?

SurlySeraph
2008-01-04, 06:52 PM
...
Okay, I don't mind the change, but the justification for it makes no sense. In the example they gave, of course the monster's attack did much more average damage on a crit than the PC's average damage on a critical hit. It did considerably more average damage without a critical hit too.

They're saying it's bad that the damage is unpredictable? The POINT is that the damage is unpredictable! If everything was perfectly predictable, all the weapons did a fixed amount of damage instead of rolling dice, etc., someone would figure out how to break the system in a few weeks. When things are unpredictable, it means that many different options can be viable because it's harder to notice that on average they are less effective. Randomness is why it's fun - you don't KNOW whether you can beat every encounter or not until you try. :smallfurious:

And the thing about randomness being an "advantage" to monsters over PCs? Well, first off, monsters are supposed to be powerful. An encounter of your CR should be winnable but not a pushover. It's not like there's some competition between monsters and PCs over who's "better"; it's a game. It's not a struggle between the DM and the PCs as to who can create the tougher challenge, it's a game. Plus, randomness does not consistently benefit anyone. That's what makes it random. It's called random, because who it helps is random, because its effects are random, so it's random! :smallfurious:

The actual mechanics are good, though. Weapons still have different critical hit properties so you can't just choose the one with the biggest base damage and assume it's the best. Plus, I'm glad they dumped the confirmation roll. Those were irritating as all hell. As long as what they're doing is good, how they explain it doesn't matter.

Rachel Lorelei
2008-01-04, 06:53 PM
Stupid. Monsters should follow the same rules as PCs.
No, they shouldn't. They never did, though--from monster abilities like Pounce and Improved Grab that PCs didn't used to have access to, to the many natural attacks players couldn't get, to the lack of magic items, monsters have never worked the same as PCs.


Extremely stupid. "Your axe splits his head down the middle. He keeps fighting, unhindered." This was a big problem in 3.5, 4th E is making it even worse.
...
Maybe if the enemy keeps fighting unhindered, you could try, I don't know, not describing it as splitting his head down the middle, maybe?

Draz74
2008-01-04, 06:55 PM
"Your axe splits his head down the middle. He keeps fighting, unhindered." This was a big problem in 3.5, 4th E is making it even worse.

Meh ... at least 4E defines when HP actually represent physical wounds instead of dodging stamina/luck/morale. (I don't agree with their definition, which is "below 50% HP," but it's better than no definition.)

Theodoxus
2008-01-04, 07:00 PM
Simple, don't make a nat 20 auto hit.

Sometimes you really just are that outmatched (or outmatching, depending.)

Sorry little kobold, you can't hit the armored knight. But hey, he doesn't get any xp for killing you because you're not a threat. Lose/lose ftw :)

Meh

I hated rolling confs. I use spells and abilities that minimize the need for confs.

FWIW, there's nothing stated that weapon won't have higher crit margins. (or feats ala Improved Critical.)

Draz74
2008-01-04, 07:01 PM
Plus, randomness does not consistently benefit anyone. That's what makes it random. It's called random, because who it helps is random, because its effects are random, so it's random! :smallfurious:

Actually, this part of what they said was correct. "Not a pushover" means "some small chance of actually losing if they dice treat you badly enough." "More random factors" means "more chance of the underdog actually getting lucky and winning." And in most encounters, the monsters are the underdog.

Not to mention, monsters are expendable, except for the occasional recurring NPC. The DM hasn't actually lost anything when randomness favors the PCs and they have an extra-easy encounter against those Wights. But when the randomness goes the other way and the Nagas get lucky and pick off the Wizard, the PCs have to work a lot harder to cover their loss.

Spiryt
2008-01-04, 07:07 PM
Meh ... at least 4E defines when HP actually represent physical wounds instead of dodging stamina/luck/morale. (I don't agree with their definition, which is "below 50% HP," but it's better than no definition.)

I wonder, if they are doing what you had written, maybe they will develop some penalties for being wounded.

I mean, if HP will now clearly represent actual wounds, situation will look like that:

1HP of overall 95HP Your 5 ribs are broken by club impact, six arrows impaled your body, your respiratory system is serioulsy burned by some magic fumes, your left foot is almost off. Your head hurts, beacuse somebody droped small anvil on it.
But you are swinging your sword and avoiding attacks just as well as healthy guy. With no problems.

Then you fell someone's boot on your ass ( 2 damage), and you suddenly fall down all dying and stuff.

I know that situaton above can be described : " You are getting weaker and weaker, so the final enemy strike, just as dangerous as others, drops you down, while previous ones merealy hurted you".

But since you said
HP actually represent physical wounds...

MammonAzrael
2008-01-04, 07:10 PM
I like the critical confirmation going away. Most of the time our group didn't use it anyways.

I'm guessing the "High Crit" property will be replacing the x3 and x4 criting weapons. I'd also think that there will be a property for the weapons that crit on rolls other than 20.

As for that +1 Frost Warhammer, I hope the Frost property will be doing something when you don't crit. I've never been a fan of enchantments that only activate on a crit.

And for those who still want your crits to be potentially life ending, go use the 2nd Ed Critical Tables. Fun times.

Orzel
2008-01-04, 07:11 PM
The confirmation roll never made all that sense to me anyway. If I rolled the nat 20, that means I got lucky and broke your defense. Rolling again is stupid since I broke your defense already.

Double damage never made sense to me either. The varying damage of the weapon represents the varying threat of the weapon. If I broke your defense, my attack should deal the maximum threat not double it.

I'm glad their combining the auto hit and the critical hit into one. If Lil Timmy gets lucky and stabs Sir Thomas in the face, he got lucky and stabbed Sir Thomas in the face. He doesn't roll a 20 (attack) then a 2 (confirm) then a 1(damage) and stab his middle toe.

Lord Lorac Silvanos
2008-01-04, 07:16 PM
Having maximized dice also helps out when you have multitarget attacks. You'll roll an attack roll against each target, so maximized dice keep you from needing to roll a bunch of dice over and over -- you can just write your crit damage on your character sheet for quick reference.

Great less rolling.


PCs also have some extra tricks up their sleeves to make their criticals better. Magic weapons (and implements for magical attacks) add extra damage on crits. So your +1 frost warhammer deals an extra 1d6 damage on a critical hit (so your crit's now up to 14+1d6 damage in the example above).


Ahh, I see what you guys did there... you rolled the less rolling back. :smallamused:

Jothki
2008-01-04, 07:24 PM
I was kind of hoping that crits would lower the target's condition, instead of spiking damage. That way, they would be nastily effective without being overly lethal.

Matthew
2008-01-04, 07:34 PM
No, they shouldn't. They never did, though--from monster abilities like Pounce and Improved Grab that PCs didn't used to have access to, to the many natural attacks players couldn't get, to the lack of magic items, monsters have never worked the same as PCs.

Wow, I actually agree with Rachel about something. :smallwink:


Great less rolling.

Ahh, I see what you guys did there... you rolled the less rolling back. :smallamused:

My thoughts exactly. I think I see where this is going...

Draz74
2008-01-04, 07:36 PM
I'd also think that there will be a property for the weapons that crit on rolls other than 20.

Any ideas? (Either speculation or Homebrew, it's effectively the same thing at this point.) Because I'll need something to use in my games for this stuff.

Lyinginbedmon
2008-01-04, 07:37 PM
Who here ever actually doubled the dice? My group has always rolled normally and double the result, easy. We all got criticals every now and then, we all enjoyed doubling the result. This is going to cheapen the event for us, I think.

For example: [In 3.5]
P1: Yes! Critical hit on the Troll!
DM: That's 2d8+8 damage then. Roll 'em monkeyboy
P2: If it's anything more than 15 the thing goes down!
P1: 8! Yes! That's 16+8, for a total of 24 damage!

[In 4E]
P1: Yes! Critical hit on the Troll!
DM: That's max damage then.
P2: Okay, so it'll go down slightly faster than I thought
P1: Great, we just need to get through the next 3 hit points plus 5 for Regen with no Cleric and a disabled Wizard. Anyone have a pen?

lord_khaine
2008-01-04, 07:38 PM
i really dislike this new change, as allready mentioned it allows for a lot less differentiation of weapons, and less rolling isnt allways better.

Kyeudo
2008-01-04, 07:42 PM
I don't miss the confirmation roll going, since it always sucks to have a threat hit and then fail to crit.

I don't miss the randomness on crits going. Ever crit for 2 damage? It sucks.

But adding wierd extras to what should be a simple damage boost is not a good idea.

GoC
2008-01-04, 07:45 PM
Hopefuly they've remove the "20 is always a hit" thing then...

Lyinginbedmon
2008-01-04, 07:47 PM
Hopefuly they've remove the "20 is always a hit" thing then...

That was always a variant anyways

North
2008-01-04, 07:49 PM
I dunno. I like the idea of getting rid of confirmation rolls. Max damage instead of doubling. It could work, but theres lots of valid points of it making weapons less unique. Although getting rid of ridiculous duel keen kukris is nice.

Artanis
2008-01-04, 07:50 PM
That was always a variant anyways
Not according to the SRD it isn't.

Dhavaer
2008-01-04, 07:54 PM
That was always a variant anyways

What? From the SRD:


Automatic Misses and Hits

A natural 1 (the d20 comes up 1) on an attack roll is always a miss. A natural 20 (the d20 comes up 20) is always a hit. A natural 20 is also a threatóa possible critical hit.

TheThan
2008-01-04, 08:01 PM
Iím hit and miss with this (no pun indended). I like how they combined both rolls into one and really like how they redefined hit points (something that was a huge pet peve with me to begin with).

Now I donít like how they simply maxed out damage on crits. Sure its not that bad of a mechanic. But a 1d4-damage knife is still going to not do that much to that 180 hit point monster. I would much rather see some sort of condition track. I would love rules that granted you the ability to create conditions on your foes. For example a mace should be able to stagger and stun an opponent (via bashing them in the head). While a dagger should be able to cause bleeding wounds or an axe that could sever limbs. It would make it so that any weapon a hero chooses is going to be effective. Players would have much more options, and there would be reasons to take other weapons other than the ďbestĒ weapons available (IE spiked chain, great sword, and any high crit weapons).

Reinboom
2008-01-04, 08:02 PM
I rather like the "20 is a 30" (the +10 variant), personally, and wouldn't mind seeing it in place so that 20 isn't always a sure hit...

I rather like some of these ideas. I think I shall test some of these in 3.5. Hm.

Artanis
2008-01-04, 08:26 PM
Now I donít like how they simply maxed out damage on crits. Sure its not that bad of a mechanic. But a 1d4-damage knife is still going to not do that much to that 180 hit point monster.
Really, when trying to use a 1d4 dagger on a monster with 180hp, it won't make much difference which method you use to judge crit damage. The difference in the average damage per crit won't change the fact that you still have to stab the thing a hundred or so times to take it down :smallfrown:


I would much rather see some sort of condition track. I would love rules that granted you the ability to create conditions on your foes. For example a mace should be able to stagger and stun an opponent (via bashing them in the head). While a dagger should be able to cause bleeding wounds or an axe that could sever limbs. It would make it so that any weapon a hero chooses is going to be effective. Players would have much more options, and there would be reasons to take other weapons other than the ďbestĒ weapons available (IE spiked chain, great sword, and any high crit weapons).
FWIW, it sounds like they're designing fighters to do pretty much exactly what you just described: do various nasty things to enemies that are different depending on what weapons they're using, so that a sword-fighter ends up different from a spear-fighter, which ends up different from an axe-fighter and so on.

North
2008-01-04, 08:27 PM
Also I think not rolling for crit confirm and max damage is the way its being done in Star Wars Saga. So it seems that Saga was just testing ground for 4ed

Mr._Blinky
2008-01-04, 08:29 PM
That was always a variant anyways

As Artanis said, that's actually the RAW, not a variant. Of course, my group never used it anyways because there are just some times when even a 5% chance of success is too high. The way my group did it is that a 20 was a 30, and a 1 was a -10. That meant that there was still that extra boost, but it wasn't an auto.

TheThan
2008-01-04, 09:22 PM
Really, when trying to use a 1d4 dagger on a monster with 180hp, it won't make much difference which method you use to judge crit damage. The difference in the average damage per crit won't change the fact that you still have to stab the thing a hundred or so times to take it down :smallfrown:


Ok slight exaggeration but the difference is with double and triple (or more) damage crit weapons, any weapon has the potential to become much more powerful than normal. Just look at a light pick. It does a measly 1d4 damage but itís got x4 critical modifier. That means when you crit something it deals around 16 damage, which is a lot more than it normally would. With the way they claim to be making it, crits arenít all that spectacular. A 1d4 weapon only does 4 (plus strength and other modifiers) damage. A 2d6 great sword still only does a max of 12 damage, instead of 24 on a crit. Tell me, which is more spectacular?


FWIW, it sounds like they're designing fighters to do pretty much exactly what you just described: do various nasty things to enemies that are different depending on what weapons they're using, so that a sword-fighter ends up different from a spear-fighter, which ends up different from an axe-fighter and so on.

If thatís what theyíre doing with fighters then Iíll be happy with them.

Logic
2008-01-04, 09:40 PM
One of the most interesting parts for me was the apparent "Proficiency Level" of the sample weapon (2). Apparently, now, weapon proficiency is a numerical stat, rather than a list of weapons you're proficient with. I like that ... although I'm not sure how it will work with Exotic weapons that should be one-shot deals.
Based on what is shown so far, I think the weapon proficiencies will be a little more like 2nd Edition, with some weapons as being more focused than others.


As far as the Crit system ... I still really don't like:

- How a common Kobold fighting a mid-level guy in plate will get a critical hit anytime he gets a hit at all (i.e. on natural 20's). That's what the confirmation roll was for.
If the damage for enemies is as low as they are claiming, then it will do little to matter. Besides, if a common kobold is hitting your mid-level guy in full plate, it probably is a critical hit anyway.


- How weapons can't be differentiated anymore by how often they crit (i.e. larger threat ranges). That was a great bit of flavor for scimitars, kukris, etc.It's quite possible that fighting styles for each weapon will make up for this part, but, like many DMs, if I don't like the rule, I will be modifying it to better suit my playstyle.

horseboy
2008-01-04, 10:57 PM
Well, glad to see confirmations go. I really didn't like them. I guess I could live with max dice damage. Of course, this opens up the question of what happens when you roll max damage anyway.
I don't think I like the weapon procs. They seem excessively complicated.

Oh no! Did I just call it a proc? *Head to keyboard* I believe I should apologize in advance for what I unleashed.

MCerberus
2008-01-04, 11:01 PM
Well, glad to see confirmations go. I really didn't like them. I guess I could live with max dice damage. Of course, this opens up the question of what happens when you roll max damage anyway.
I don't think I like the weapon procs. They seem excessively complicated.

Oh no! Did I just call it a proc? *Head to keyboard* I believe I should apologize in advance for what I unleashed.

edit button! quickly! before those who call out... the argument... come to this thread.

Well I can tell you one thing, this is going to make the rogues very very happy. A crit sneak attack may turn into an instant kill in many situations. It seems otherwise to just be simplifying a mechanic that was... questionable (confirmation rolls).

Matthew
2008-01-04, 11:06 PM
I think I would prefer that they just ditched critical hits altogether, but I do much prefer this to the D20 method. Hopefully, they'll reinstitute the rule that if you need 21+, you cannot score a critical hit.

sikyon
2008-01-04, 11:11 PM
Who here ever actually doubled the dice? My group has always rolled normally and double the result, easy. We all got criticals every now and then, we all enjoyed doubling the result. This is going to cheapen the event for us, I think.

For example: [In 3.5]
P1: Yes! Critical hit on the Troll!
DM: That's 2d8+8 damage then. Roll 'em monkeyboy
P2: If it's anything more than 15 the thing goes down!
P1: 8! Yes! That's 16+8, for a total of 24 damage!

[In 4E]
P1: Yes! Critical hit on the Troll!
DM: That's max damage then.
P2: Okay, so it'll go down slightly faster than I thought
P1: Great, we just need to get through the next 3 hit points plus 5 for Regen with no Cleric and a disabled Wizard. Anyone have a pen?

More like:

[In 3.5]
P1: Yes! Threaten on the Troll!
DM: Roll a confirmation, monkeyboy
P2: If it's anything more than 5 and the thing goes down!
P1: 4! **** I hate this stupid system! I already rolled a 20! I was all happy and now it got taken away from me!!!

Because that's what this is. For mechanics, it is better because it brings the distribution closer. It's still very random, but the outliers are not as far anymore. It is also funner. For anyone who plays Warhammer, people always wonder why they roll hit-wound-save. Shouldn't the save go before the wound? No, because it's just funner this way, the lives of your models are in your own hands. This is the same with this system. If I roll a 20, I am excited. If it then gets taken away from me, I am very upset.

Sstoopidtallkid
2008-01-04, 11:13 PM
I prefer critical damage tables to rolling for damage on a nat 20. AQ (http://aquest.com/jaern.htm) has good tables for house-ruling in. If this system is really bad, I'll probably bring that up with my GM. Otherwise, 5% of the time isn't enough to worry about.

EntilZha
2008-01-04, 11:14 PM
This crit thing is yet another reason I will not be going over to 4th edition.

Eldmor
2008-01-04, 11:27 PM
I like this simplification and it simply makes sense to me.
On the note of status from wounds and such; am I the only person remembering the 'Bloodied' status that appeared on the 4e sneak-peek miniature card? I think that would be the wear and tear of battle on a creature.

MammonAzrael
2008-01-05, 01:59 AM
I like this simplification and it simply makes sense to me.
On the note of status from wounds and such; am I the only person remembering the 'Bloodied' status that appeared on the 4e sneak-peek miniature card? I think that would be the wear and tear of battle on a creature.

Bloodied is a term that says the character/monster in question is at half HP or less. Apparently many abilities will cue off when an opponent is Bloodied or not. I think this may look something like the Finishing Strike maneuver in ToB.

Zarrexaij
2008-01-05, 03:11 AM
Umm, I think the justification for the insta-crit thing is sorta durm.

Maybe I like overcomplicating things and don't like change. I dunno.

Patashu
2008-01-05, 03:51 AM
Don't forget that you can house rule in whatever way you want crits to work if it's bothering you that badly.

Hallavast
2008-01-05, 03:55 AM
Don't forget that you can house rule in whatever way you want crits to work if it's bothering you that badly.

What's the point of me buying a new edition if I can just change the old one any way I want?

Kurald Galain
2008-01-05, 03:59 AM
Two things strike me as silly:

First, that certain combat rules apply to PCs, but not their enemies.

And second, that first they argue that it's good that you don't have to roll extra dice on a crit, and then they introduce the weapon ability that lets you... roll extra dice on a crit!

Other than that, yes, removing confirmation rolls (in essence going back to the 2E rule) is an improvement, and doing the maximize trick is statistically roughly the same yet mechanically faster, and less prone to oneshots.

Lyinginbedmon
2008-01-05, 04:40 AM
More like:

[In 3.5]
P1: Yes! Threaten on the Troll!
DM: Roll a confirmation, monkeyboy
P2: If it's anything more than 5 and the thing goes down!
P1: 4! **** I hate this stupid system! I already rolled a 20! I was all happy and now it got taken away from me!!!

Because that's what this is. For mechanics, it is better because it brings the distribution closer. It's still very random, but the outliers are not as far anymore. It is also funner. For anyone who plays Warhammer, people always wonder why they roll hit-wound-save. Shouldn't the save go before the wound? No, because it's just funner this way, the lives of your models are in your own hands. This is the same with this system. If I roll a 20, I am excited. If it then gets taken away from me, I am very upset.

I'll admit I skipped that little tidbit because I'm perfectly fine with the single roll, it has been barely used in our group as well. My example was to highlight the difference between doubling and maxing.

appending_doom
2008-01-05, 09:07 AM
Other than that, yes, removing confirmation rolls (in essence going back to the 2E rule) is an improvement, and doing the maximize trick is statistically roughly the same yet mechanically faster, and less prone to oneshots.

To put it (as you say) statistically, they've eliminated the variance (the probability of both ridiculously high and low damage on a critical); the expected damage is roughly the same (for x2 weapons). Which is interesting, because it makes a critical hit more of a certainty. For those who prefer the added uncertainty of whether a critical hit is through a vital organ (50+ damage) or stabbing someone in the toe (2), this is a step back. But it seems that the critical hit system is trying to make a critical hit something good that happens sometimes (max damage) rather than an opportunity to see if you can roll high again.

Emperor Demonking
2008-01-05, 10:29 AM
I like it as it takes away the disapointment of a bad rolls after the 20.

At first I was slightly annoyed that they took away higher crit ranges, but the extra thing too that away.

KIDS
2008-01-05, 10:40 AM
I overall quite like it and think it's a good idea, but agree with Kurald Galain's concerns. I hope there won't be too many "alternates" to keep track of or we'll go back to where we began,...

Starsinger
2008-01-05, 11:07 AM
Ahh, I see what you guys did there... you rolled the less rolling back. :smallamused:

Maybe they didn't "roll less rolling back" after all. As far as I recall, a Flaming Longsword doesn't multiply it's fire damage on a critical hit in 3.5.. maybe this is a continuation of that?

Talya
2008-01-05, 11:19 AM
Hopefuly they've remove the "20 is always a hit" thing then...


Why, exactly? I think this improves the natural 20 is always a hit, thing. Battle should always be dangerous, no matter how powerful you are. A single lucky hit from a child should be able to seriously wound (even kill) the mightiest of heroes.

Oh wait, NPCs and monsters don't follow the same rules. So much for that...

AlterForm
2008-01-05, 11:20 AM
And second, that first they argue that it's good that you don't have to roll extra dice on a crit, and then they introduce the weapon ability that lets you... roll extra dice on a crit!



Indeed. :smallamused:

Yahzi
2008-01-05, 11:53 AM
No, they shouldn't. They never did,
They never did, but they should.

If Monsters follow the same rules as PCs, then it's easier:

...to play monsters as PCs.

...for DMs to remember the rules.

...to create balanced encounters, since a N-lvl PC is the same power as an N-lvl NPC.

...to maintain versimiltude. Personally, I think playing in a world where the PCs are special and above the laws that bind everyone else is both uninteresting and morally degenerative.

I mean, if you want to play special PCs, just houserule "The PCs can lose/die/roll less than maximum damage" or whatever. But don't build that kind of attitude into the core rules, please.

Lord Lorac Silvanos
2008-01-05, 11:57 AM
Maybe they didn't "roll less rolling back" after all. As far as I recall, a Flaming Longsword doesn't multiply it's fire damage on a critical hit in 3.5.. maybe this is a continuation of that?

They specifically say that the frost weapon will do extra rolled damage on a critical hit, which hardly supports their first statement about less rolling needed.

My guess is that the "energy" special weapon abilities will have some other effect than straight damage in general. (Damage over time, slow-effects etc.)

Deepblue706
2008-01-05, 12:12 PM
Wait, people are caring this much about Critical Hits? How is this an article? How is there a thread for discussing the article?

This whole article was practically a load of nothing. In context of the full game, it probably works fine. It certainly seems like somebody isn't meeting their deadlines for writing articles.

But I like the idea of the War Pick. I suppose the Versatile property will allow it some actual use, this time around - I do hope it gets some ability to penetrate armor...

Matthew
2008-01-05, 12:13 PM
They never did, but they should.

If Monsters follow the same rules as PCs, then it's easier:

...to play monsters as PCs.

Not necessarily desirable.


...for DMs to remember the rules.

Possible, but doubtful that the differences will be sufficient to make that a concern.


...to create balanced encounters, since a N-lvl PC is the same power as an N-lvl NPC.

Nonsense. If D20 has proven anything it's that this is not the case.


...to maintain versimiltude. Personally, I think playing in a world where the PCs are special and above the laws that bind everyone else is both uninteresting and morally degenerative.

Not what will necessarily be the case. This may facilitate 'specialness' in the Monsters, the PCs, both or it may make no difference at all. Exactly what the process is that results in a 30% chance of death barely matters at all compared to the actual probability itself. As for verisimilitude, that shouldn't be an issue. Consistancy of game rules between Monsters and PCs doesn't breed verisimilitude, it breeds uniformity and consistancy of game rules.


I mean, if you want to play special PCs, just houserule "The PCs can lose/die/roll less than maximum damage" or whatever. But don't build that kind of attitude into the core rules, please.

Well, I suppose that's a matter of interprative preference. If the result of all this is that PCs are 'special' and Monsters 'mundane', that will not be a result of choosing to treat them differently, but a result of how you treat them.

Starsinger
2008-01-05, 12:23 PM
But I like the idea of the War Pick. I suppose the Versatile property will allow it some actual use, this time around - I do hope it gets some ability to penetrate armor...

It might let it count as two different weapon types for Fighter abilities. Maybe in the case of a War Pick, it can use Axe abilities and Mace abilities?

Deepblue706
2008-01-05, 12:29 PM
It might let it count as two different weapon types for Fighter abilities. Maybe in the case of a War Pick, it can use Axe abilities and Mace abilities?

Yeah, that might be its meaning. Makes sense, I suppose.

Although, if that's the case, I'll be disappointed if I can't hold a two-handed sword by the blade and use the hilt and guard as a blungeoning weapon.

Swooper
2008-01-05, 12:38 PM
They specifically say that the frost weapon will do extra rolled damage on a critical hit, which hardly supports their first statement about less rolling needed.

My guess is that the "energy" special weapon abilities will have some other effect than straight damage in general. (Damage over time, slow-effects etc.)
Well, there's nothing that says magic weapons don't do extra damage on regular hits as well. I read it like I think Starsinger does, the extra 1d6 damage in the example comes from the weapon's Frost enchantment, is added on every hit, and because it's an extra damage die it's not subject to critical hits and therefore isn't maxed. However, if they're doing the whole 'streamlining gameplay' thing, I don't understand why they don't just let all damage be subject to crits no matter where that damage comes from, and no matter what system for critical hits they end up using.

I kind of liked the confirmation roll, partly because of house rules in my group (rolling a threat on a confirmation roll auto-confirms and threatens an automatic max damage crit), and partly because it increases the adrenaline kick of actually getting a crit.

As for removing difference between weapons in threat range and crit-multipliers... That's bad. I hope they give EVERY weapon (or as good as) something special about it instead, because I don't like there not being any mechanical difference between a longsword and a battleaxe, for instance.

Lord Lorac Silvanos
2008-01-05, 12:45 PM
Well, there's nothing that says magic weapons don't do extra damage on regular hits as well. I read it like I think Starsinger does, the extra 1d6 damage in the example comes from the weapon's Frost enchantment, is added on every hit, and because it's an extra damage die it's not subject to critical hits and therefore isn't maxed.

That is of course possible.

But even if that is the case the following property certainly does not help:


Weapons can have the high crit property, giving extra dice on a crit.

Orak
2008-01-05, 01:02 PM
I for one do not like the simplification of the crit system. I liked the 3.5 system for handling crits.

One of the reasons for this is the weenie horde battle. PC's fighting dozens or hundreds of weaker combatants (so far the largest battle I have DM'd was 6 PC's against 1200 goblins). The weenies can only hit the PC's on a nat 20. By the 3.5 system they could only crit on double 20's so they rarely did. By the 2.0 and 4.0 systems they would crit every time they hit. This does not make any sense at all.

The 3.5 system made it so that skilled melee combatants were able to crit more often. It makes no sense that a wizard or a child would have the same chance to crit as a warrior or a rogue who are able to use their combat prowess to confirm crits more often.

Back in 2.0 we had elaborate crit tables just to make the event of a crit more exciting. Dummying down the crit system seems like taking a step backwards. Yes it was more time consuming but I enjoy a fun game, regardless of the time it takes to play. Gaming time is my time. As long as it is enjoyable I don't mind if we take all night on one epic battle.

JaxGaret
2008-01-05, 01:32 PM
If when 4e comes out you don't like the new crit rules, just change them. Shouldn't be too hard to use 3.5 crit rules with 4e, or modify them to your liking. An example of a variant that I happen to like is that nat 1s count as -10 and nat 20s count as 30, so no auto-hit on a 20.

I happen to think that this is an awesome change. Have you ever sat around for two minutes while the slow person in the group rolled their crits?

Glyde
2008-01-05, 01:37 PM
Nice max damage on crits. Fear the deadly dagger!...

WAIT A SEC!

Prof 2?

Weapon proficiency is by numbers now. Zawhaaaaa?



Am I the only one that's HAPPY they seem to be bringing up prof slots from 2nd edition? I just hope classes aren't restricted to how many slots they could put in, though.

AlterForm
2008-01-05, 01:58 PM
Alright, I have to chime in again.

To everyone saying "if you don't like it, just fix it":

OBERONI FALLACY

Just because you can rule-zero something, does not mean it was not a problem in the rules in the first place! (However, I will add a corollary/addendum (whichever is the correct word) that we do, in fact, not know enough about the system to definitively decided whether the crit system will suck or not. So this more of a warning than a declaration.)

TheThan
2008-01-05, 02:31 PM
I dunno about the way magic weapons are going to work. I like how they work in 3.5 but since we donít have that much info on them yet weíll just have to wait.

Roderick_BR
2008-01-05, 02:53 PM
One of the most interesting parts for me was the apparent "Proficiency Level" of the sample weapon (2). Apparently, now, weapon proficiency is a numerical stat, rather than a list of weapons you're proficient with. I like that ... although I'm not sure how it will work with Exotic weapons that should be one-shot deals.

As far as the Crit system ... I still really don't like:

- How a common Kobold fighting a mid-level guy in plate will get a critical hit anytime he gets a hit at all (i.e. on natural 20's). That's what the confirmation roll was for.

- How weapons can't be differentiated anymore by how often they crit (i.e. larger threat ranges). That was a great bit of flavor for scimitars, kukris, etc.
It means that the kobold will only hit the armored guy in that extremely vulnerable (and painful) area. Imagine you fight a fully armored guy, and you notice that the area around his crotch is, for some reason, more fragile than the rest of the armor. If you find out that's the only place where you can actually hit him, that means that EVERYTIME you hit him, it WILL hurt...

I like this simplification. Replaces the "I crit, creature dies in 1 hit". I like the bigger crit damage from heavier weapons, though. Let's see how a long sword and a battle axe will be when compared to each other. In 3.5, that's the only mechanical difference between them.

Talya
2008-01-05, 02:55 PM
It means that the kobold will only hit the armored guy in that extremely vulnerable (and painful) area. Imagine you fight a fully armored guy, and you notice that the area around his crotch is, for some reason, more fragile than the rest of the armor. If you find out that's the only place where you can actually hit him, that means that EVERYTIME you hit him, it WILL hurt...


I look at it more like this:

Your defense is so much higher that nothing less than a devastatingly painful hit is actually going to hit. Anything that wasn't going to be a crit, would never have gotten through your skilled defense.

Sebastian
2008-01-05, 02:59 PM
No, they shouldn't. They never did, though--from monster abilities like Pounce and Improved Grab that PCs didn't used to have access to, to the many natural attacks players couldn't get, to the lack of magic items, monsters have never worked the same as PCs.

it is not the same. If someway a PC was able to get Pounce it would have worked for him exactly as for a lion.
One thing is to say "PC don't get access to this ability" and another is "NPC can have access to this ability, too, but for them it works differently than for PCs".

Sebastian
2008-01-05, 03:07 PM
I’m hit and miss with this (no pun indended). I like how they combined both rolls into one and really like how they redefined hit points (something that was a huge pet peve with me to begin with).

Now I don’t like how they simply maxed out damage on crits. Sure its not that bad of a mechanic. But a 1d4-damage knife is still going to not do that much to that 180 hit point monster. I would much rather see some sort of condition track. I would love rules that granted you the ability to create conditions on your foes. For example a mace should be able to stagger and stun an opponent (via bashing them in the head). While a dagger should be able to cause bleeding wounds or an axe that could sever limbs. It would make it so that any weapon a hero chooses is going to be effective. Players would have much more options, and there would be reasons to take other weapons other than the “best” weapons available (IE spiked chain, great sword, and any high crit weapons).

To be fair, they said that weapon will have some extra trick in 4e, like 2hnd sword make easier to cleave, or flail to trip, or things like that, it is probable that 4e will have something like what you asked.


*Sigh* I can't believe I have to defend 4e. :smallfrown: :smallwink:

Sebastian
2008-01-05, 03:26 PM
Am I the only one that's HAPPY they seem to be bringing up prof slots from 2nd edition? I just hope classes aren't restricted to how many slots they could put in, though.

I would be happy, but I'm not so optimist. :smallsmile:

Sebastian
2008-01-05, 03:31 PM
It means that the kobold will only hit the armored guy in that extremely vulnerable (and painful) area. Imagine you fight a fully armored guy, and you notice that the area around his crotch is, for some reason, more fragile than the rest of the armor. If you find out that's the only place where you can actually hit him, that means that EVERYTIME you hit him, it WILL hurt...


And if that fighter survive first thing he will do is to kill the idiotic and incompetent armorer that forgot to put more protection over that particolary vulnerable and painful point. :smallamused:

AlterForm
2008-01-05, 04:03 PM
What if that weak spot isn't in any critical area; for example, if it was instead a small spot on his arm or leg that was nowhere near an important ligament/tendon/vein/artery/weak spot?

Wait...which edition are we talking about? :smallconfused:

Starsinger
2008-01-05, 04:16 PM
What if that weak spot isn't in any critical area; for example, if it was instead a small spot on his arm or leg that was nowhere near an important ligament/tendon/vein/artery/weak spot?

What if combat was just an abstraction to keep the game from becoming an actual sword fight in the name of realism?

Infinity_Biscuit
2008-01-05, 05:27 PM
The 3.5 system made it so that skilled melee combatants were able to crit more often. It makes no sense that a wizard or a child would have the same chance to crit as a warrior or a rogue who are able to use their combat prowess to confirm crits more often.
This is one of the reasons I'm disappointed with this news. The confirmation roll made D&D's system a hybrid between the "skill" system of beating their defense by a large enough amount (which I prefer) and the "luck" system of simply rolling high enough regardless of modifiers (which I don't). This system sounds as if it's taken a step backwards (in my eyes) to the latter.

Also, removing the bonuses to damage from the critical system makes no sense. Take the example of a really strong character (say, +5 to damage) wielding a weapon with a small die. How does it make any sense that stabbing the orc in the eye with your spoon only does 7 damage while stabbing it in the foot does 6 or 7 damage? I know the Hit Point system doesn't make much sense in general, but again, this seems like a step backwards.

Matthew
2008-01-05, 05:30 PM
Depends what you mean by backwards. if you mean a step backwards from making D&D a 'realistic' skill based RPG, then perhaps you're right. Of course, for some people, that's a step forwards. :smallwink:

Infinity_Biscuit
2008-01-05, 05:36 PM
As I said, it's all just a step backwards in my eyes. It simplifies and streamlines things, which some people would prefer (just look at many of the reactions here!). I'm just mad 'cause it's not something I prefer. :smalltongue:

Matthew
2008-01-05, 05:45 PM
Sure, I am just wondering if you'd prefer D&D to be a realistic skill based RPG.

Draz74
2008-01-05, 08:14 PM
What if combat was just an abstraction to keep the game from becoming an actual sword fight in the name of realism?

What if we could actually make it less abstract, in the name of verisimilitude, without making it any more complicated?

Nowhere Girl
2008-01-05, 11:52 PM
Why, exactly? I think this improves the natural 20 is always a hit, thing. Battle should always be dangerous, no matter how powerful you are. A single lucky hit from a child should be able to seriously wound (even kill) the mightiest of heroes.

Why? Because it's silly. It was always silly.

If you put the world's finest boxer in a ring with a 90-year-old with no combat training who can only just manage to sort of swing, albeit horribly slowly and awkwardly, you're not going to see the boxer getting hit 5% of the time; you're going to see the boxer getting hit 0% of the time. No matter how many times the 90-year-old swings.

There really, actually are situations wherein the chance of landing a successful blow is not 5%, or even close to 5%. They're not that uncommon, actually.

Draz74
2008-01-06, 12:50 AM
The 3.5 system made it so that skilled melee combatants were able to crit more often. It makes no sense that a wizard or a child would have the same chance to crit as a warrior or a rogue who are able to use their combat prowess to confirm crits more often.

Remember when I said I had a problem with a Kobold always either critting or missing a fighter in full plate? This quote is a better way of describing what my problem with the system actually is. Pretend I said Orak's argument instead.

This, plus the way you can't have scimitars with 18-20 threat ranges anymore, are my two problems with the simplified crit system. The simplification element of the issue is actually very tempting and rather elegant. But the cost is too high IMHO.

And for those saying, "if you don't like it, just change it," (Oberoni Fallacy indeed), I ask you again: how? How can you easily houserule the 4e rule to get back expanded threat ranges? Because making it so scimitars always crit on a roll of 18-20 is obviously broken. (Let alone getting Improved Critical or Keen into the mix.)

Titanium Dragon
2008-01-06, 02:12 AM
Randomness DOES advantage monsters, and here's why: statistics. Over the course of an appearance of your average monster, it gets 5 attacks, tops. An average PC probably gets 100 times that. While this would seem to advantage the PC, the reality is that a monster lives through five attacks. That means that if one of thosee attacks is super, rather than being fairly disposable, he might kill a PC who otherwise would have lived, whereas in the average encounter the monsters are "supposed" to lose. A critical hit can turn a loss into a win.

More random = more harsh world, because in the end, when it goes against you, you die, and because you last longer, that means that in the long term you're more likely for the random to kill you.

Two criticals in a single encounter can swing an encounter currently massively. That gnoll with 5 barbarian levels, power attack, and gets two crits with his great axe suddenly deals a hundred more points of damage than he would have normally to the characters.

I like the change on the one hand (it reduces variation and thus makes it less likely for me to randomly kill players) but on the other hand it is a bit lame that a single chop won't kill people randomly either (that risk did keep people's hearts beating...). Plus, again, it helps out wizards more...

bosssmiley
2008-01-06, 02:26 AM
Wow, any idea what "versatile" in description of pick is supposed to mean?

Could mean more than one (slash/pierce/bludgeon) damage type.
I quite like the idea of maximised damage on a crit. Reminds me a bit of BRP (Runequest, Elric, etc.) and a little of the tinkering Upper_Krust did with metamartial feats (his homebrew fighter equivalent of metamagic) - now that was some intriguing stuff.

Kurald Galain
2008-01-06, 05:36 AM
Alright, I have to chime in again.

To everyone saying "if you don't like it, just fix it":

OBERONI FALLACY

Beat me to it. QFT.

Jerthanis
2008-01-06, 04:11 PM
I have to admit, I really like the change. Critical threats in 3.5 have been huge sources for disappointment for me over the years... even though I can sympathize with those who regret its loss. There have been times that the way they work has saved me or my party members, for example, when a Critically hit Cause Critical wounds killed a foe who was a single attack away from killing my ally when simple max damage wouldn't have helped... but that's a highly specialized case.

Most of the times, I find myself against high AC enemies and I get myself riled up at the sight of a nat 20, only to shake my fist in disappointment when the confirmation comes up a nat 4. It has gotten to the point where I disregard the possibility of criticals entirely if I'm not built for doing them, and almost roll the confirmation with annoyance that I'm not already done with my turn.

Still, I can see the other half of the argument as well, that as it stands now, getting higher AC is the biggest step in getting attack roll protection, that if you have an AC of 30 then you're as protected from crits as you are from any other attack roll. In the new system, when you have that 30 AC, you've got no more protection against crits as you would have with an AC of 10. This is indeed a flaw, but it's a flaw I'm definitely willing to live with if it means I don't have to be disappointed by failed crits half the time.

Belkarseviltwin
2008-01-06, 05:34 PM
My 2 cents:
First, what "High Crit" means. I think this may mean that a crit with a "high crit" weapon will do more damage than rolling max damage with a regular hit, thus the "adding dice"- a critting "war pick" does maxed 2d8 rather than maxed d8

The proficiency numbers: Maybe these are Weapon Groups? A pick would only be in 2 if it was put together with axes, so the groups for melee weapons could be:
Basic (Gp. 0)- club, dagger, staff
Swords
Axes and Picks
Spears (perhaps with Polearms)
Hammers and Maces
Flails and Chains
Exotic/Exotic Double (as in the variant rules here. (http://www.d20srd.org/srd/variant/buildingCharacters/weaponGroupFeats.htm)

Mr._Blinky
2008-01-06, 05:42 PM
I just noticed something. If you look at the page that the article is posted on, the image is of a dwarf with a hammer busting out the leg on an Iron Golem.

Does this mean that Constructs can now be critted?

horseboy
2008-01-06, 05:55 PM
I just noticed something. If you look at the page that the article is posted on, the image is of a dwarf with a hammer busting out the leg on an Iron Golem.

Does this mean that Constructs can now be critted?

Didn't they something around Halloween about undead being critible in 4th? I don't see why constructs would be any different.

Mr._Blinky
2008-01-06, 06:50 PM
Didn't they something around Halloween about undead being critible in 4th? I don't see why constructs would be any different.

Undead will be crittable also? Nice.

Sebastian
2008-01-06, 07:12 PM
Well, critical now seem to be more a particulary strong or "lucky" hit, than a "you hit a vital organ" hit like in 3.x so with that rationale there is no reason why undead, constructs or even swarms should be immune.

Trog
2008-01-06, 07:37 PM
Thumbs up on the changes. Less disappointment on rolls. Less chance of death due to randomness. Taking away the rolls to make room for extra rolls for magical weapons makes sense to me. This way you would still roll for damage no matter what. They ramped down the randomness but didn't eliminate it (unless you don't have a magic weapon but come on guys... it's all ball bearings magic weapons these days!)

Kompera
2008-01-06, 10:52 PM
Ok slight exaggeration but the difference is with double and triple (or more) damage crit weapons, any weapon has the potential to become much more powerful than normal. Just look at a light pick. It does a measly 1d4 damage but itís got x4 critical modifier. That means when you crit something it deals around 16 damage, which is a lot more than it normally would.It's only 16 damage if 4e carries forward the different crit multipliers. I haven't seen anything which suggests this will be done.


With the way they claim to be making it, crits arenít all that spectacular. A 1d4 weapon only does 4 (plus strength and other modifiers) damage. A 2d6 great sword still only does a max of 12 damage, instead of 24 on a crit. Tell me, which is more spectacular? Instead of a possible 24, you mean? Possible, as in 1 chance in 36. And you had the same 1 chance in 36 to deal a massive 4 damage with your great sword critical. 4 damage with a great sword, some spectacular critical, eh? The average damage in 3.5 was 14, very close to the 4e method of assigning a max dice roll damage of 12.
As for the classes which wield 1d4 weapons, they won't see much impact either. Those classes don't swing in melee much, and when they did, and got a 20, they had the same chance in 3.5 of dealing 2 damage as of dealing 8. The max damage makes the 20 a nice solid blow, with no wild highs or lows.

No wild highs or lows. Hey! That's just what they said the goal was. Imagine that.


Stupid. Monsters should follow the same rules as PCs.They do. I believe what the article refers to is the typical combat with the PCs against either monsters (who don't use magic weapons), or against humanoids (where only a few exceptional members use magical weapons). The PCs and the monsters use the same rules, but the PCs typically have that edge they discuss if magic weapon bonuses move from static +1, +2, etc to a die roll on a critical hit.
If the king of the Orc tribe the PCs is wiping out has a magic weapon, and he gets a critical, he'll get the bonus die roll just as the PCs do. Same rules.


The 3.5 system made it so that skilled melee combatants were able to crit more often. It makes no sense that a wizard or a child would have the same chance to crit as a warrior or a rogue who are able to use their combat prowess to confirm crits more often.Orak understands odds. The confirmation roll was intended to represent the fact that you can have well under a 5% chance to score a solid blow with your melee weapon. For example, if you're a child throwing a rock, or a Kobold. A Fighter or a Dragon has a much higher chance. The confirmation roll does that job admirably, even if it is a slight slowdown to play. Slight, as in one additional roll for every 20 normal combat rolls, on average.

Prior to D&D 3, the critical hit system (double damage on any roll of a 20) was actually weighted against the PCs. And any system which included critical misses was also weighted against the PCs. Typical play sees the PCs in combat against a numerically superior opponent. More numbers, more rolls. More rolls, more 20s. More 20s, more criticals against the party.

And as for critical misses, I once ran with a GM who used some kind of "screw yourself" table if you rolled a 1. Before the 10th game session the Illusionist had not one, but two crippling injuries to one of his legs. And the times the Fighter got to use his "one roll per level against monsters under 1 HD" (AD&D) were sadly comical. 6 rolls against 1/2 HD creatures, great! No. Not great. A critical is meaningless, since any normal hit kills one anyway. And with 6 rolls, you get a critical miss on average about every three rounds. Hurling your weapon away, hitting a friend, sustaining a permanent injury. It sucked, hard.


Alright, I have to chime in again.

To everyone saying "if you don't like it, just fix it":

OBERONI FALLACY

Just because you can rule-zero something, does not mean it was not a problem in the rules in the first place!

Seconded. One of the things I like least about D&D, any version, is the fact that so much of the game system is open to interpretation or so unbalanced that it requires house rules to make a playable game.

I want to be able to go from game to game and play the same game. Not go from game to game and play a new set of variant rules each time. I have no objection to homebrew settings, and whatever alternatives the game offers such as character generation method, etc. But for the rest, I want to be playing D&D, not "this GM's game based mostly on the D&D rules set."

This is my hope for 4e, and if that means losing the confirmation roll for criticals, so be it.