Favorite Critical Hit Systems?

Open Discussion on all things C&C from new product to general questions to the rules, the laws, and the chaos.
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KeyIXTheHermit
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Favorite Critical Hit Systems?

Post by KeyIXTheHermit »

Our own campaign has gotten so high powered, a whole tribe of Goblins and Orcs cannot threaten my heroes. In the past, in my other groups, that's been good because it allowed the game to evolve into more than just hack -n- slash.

However, with my current players, they don't want that. They only want to kill monsters and steal treasure, which is fine, but that means I have to keep throwing tougher and tougher monsters at them. Anything low level isn't a threat.

A few days ago we were playing a different game, and it was designed so that even the lowliest goblin could kill the mightiest hero, if the goblin managed to get a particularly lucky shot. I thought, "Hey, that might be a neat thing to do in our C&C games! But how...?"

I know some older D&D games had some optional Critical Hit systems, but none of those are designed for use with C&C. The usual method of doing crits in C&C (double damage on a 20) do extra damage, but a Goblin can't take down a ninth level character, no matter how lucky it gets.

So I'm looking for some critical hit systems, particularly ones that allow really good rolls to have very good effects, but not necessarily systems that will make every battle a bloodbath. I'd like the heroes to respect a battle, but not fear it.

Any suggestions?

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Re: Favorite Critical Hit Systems?

Post by Treebore »

The oldy but deadly, IMO, is the one they published in Best of Dragon. I want to say its in Volume III.
Since its 20,000 I suggest "Captain Nemo" as his title. Beyond the obvious connection, he is one who sails on his own terms and ignores those he doesn't agree with...confident in his journey and goals.
Sounds obvious to me! -Gm Michael

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Galadrin
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Re: Favorite Critical Hit Systems?

Post by Galadrin »

I used to use double damage on a 20. Nowadays, I think I would just improvise a special effect that would be different and interesting.

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Re: Favorite Critical Hit Systems?

Post by darkpaladin45 »

Treebore wrote:The oldy but deadly, IMO, is the one they published in Best of Dragon. I want to say its in Volume III.
Loved that one! I used it for many years.

-Chris

koralas
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Re: Favorite Critical Hit Systems?

Post by koralas »

An alternative to a critical hit system would be to use the rules for mooks similar to what is present in some other games. The most difficult thing to determine is when to apply the mook rule, basically I would determine the level of the monster, and compare that to that of the players group, and then determine the difference as to when to use the rule. Then instead of individual attacks, the mook mob gets 1 attack against each character in range, with bonuses applied based on the size of the mob. When the characters strike back, they are also abstracted so that the total damage they deal is absorbed by the mob itself. Divide the damage done by the average HP per HD (round up so a d8 would be 5), and this is how many HD of damage is done to a minimum of 1. When enough HD of damage is dealt to remove a mob member, then decrease the mob size, and adjust the bonuses.

So if you have 50 goblins in a mob against (granting +1 to hit/damage for each factor of 10 (round up, the bonus applies for the entire round, damage applied in a round will not reduce the bonus until the next round) grants a +5), a Fighter/15 and a Wizard/15 -
  • Goblins are a d6 so their HP/HD target is 4.
  • The fighter at this level normally gets 2 attacks/round, but since it is fighting 1HD creatures he is getting 3/round through Combat Dominance
  • The Wizard will cast burning hands since the goblins have already closed to melee
  • Round 1
    • The fighter strikes first, and hits with 2 of his three attacks, the first deals 14hp, 14/4=3(3.5 round down) and the second deals 12hp, 12/4=3, so this removes 6 goblins from the fight.
    • The goblins, now 46 strong swing at both the Fighter (AC 23) and Wizard (AC18), the first attack against the fighter rolls a 17+5=23 a hit. They are armed, on the average, with a short sword and rolls a 4+5 = 9hp damage to the fighter. They roll a 12 and miss the Wizard.
    • The Wizard casts Burning Hands for 17 HP damage, 17/4=4 (4.25 round down), so 4 more goblins are removed
  • There are now 40 goblins left, the bonus drops to +4/+4
You can play with the way to bonuses are provided, such as increasing the chance to hit by +2/factor, while damage is still just +1/factor, reduce the factor to every 5 creatures, etc. Grant an additional bonus equal to the # of HD the creature has to damage, since this bonus is already incorporated to the to-hit roll you should not add it there.

This is an initial raw dump of how the mook rule could work for C&C, it needs more definition and testing, but something that helps with how the press of numbers should be able to overcome.

Other factors that could come into play is the ratio of mob to PC's, defensive positioning for the PC's. But to keep the spirit of the game, keeping the rules as light as possible is key.

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KeyIXTheHermit
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Re: Favorite Critical Hit Systems?

Post by KeyIXTheHermit »

koralas wrote:An alternative to a critical hit system would be to use the rules for mooks similar to what is present in some other games.
I have never seen that before, Koralas. Verrrrry interesting. I may have to give that a few playtest combats and see how that works out for us at the table.

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Re: Favorite Critical Hit Systems?

Post by Andrew »

I like the method koralas wrote down, I also have a propensity to just level monsters (PCs can do it, why not monsters?) to match player's levels a little, so that weaker monsters maintain some relevance at higher levels. This still only works to some degree, as it would be hard to match a level 9 player with a similarly powerful goblin.

I guess in some respect though as an example, out of the tens or hundreds of thousands of goblins in existence, there may be a few goblin champions that are called upon to stop the players from massacring swaths of their brethren and looting their hard-earned treasure piles. Could be worked into an adventure or something--extra-powerful "weenies".

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Re: Favorite Critical Hit Systems?

Post by Galadrin »

Karolas' suggestion is very reminiscent of Fields of Battle, although using average hit points instead of UHP. Its a good system and works well for larger skirmishes up to small battles.

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Re: Favorite Critical Hit Systems?

Post by Ancalagon »

KeyIXTheHermit wrote:Our own campaign has gotten so high powered, a whole tribe of Goblins and Orcs cannot threaten my heroes. In the past, in my other groups, that's been good because it allowed the game to evolve into more than just hack -n- slash.

However, with my current players, they don't want that. They only want to kill monsters and steal treasure, which is fine, but that means I have to keep throwing tougher and tougher monsters at them. Anything low level isn't a threat.

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Snoring Rock
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Re: Favorite Critical Hit Systems?

Post by Snoring Rock »

You have to be careful not to make it too deadly...you may lose players.

My suggestions are these;

1. Get some Game Mastery critical hit card decks from Paizo. Each critical hit wins a draw from the deck. They include double damage, triple damage, things like bleeding damage, loss of limbs or ability damage. Good stuff.

2. Use Harn's (Harn World) damage system. Columbia Games has a very complex but realistic combat system. You could steel ideas from that system and get some realistic lucky hits that are deadly.

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Re: Favorite Critical Hit Systems?

Post by Omote »

C&C is not designed for characters and enemies to be doing double damage. For example, a fighter weilding a two-handed sword with no STR bonus could do in the area of 20+ points of damage. An enemy monster, which often has more attacks back at that PC can critically take out PCs too easily. Most players and CKs want a critical system that is the same for both monsters and PCs.

I came up with this for my "advanced" C&C games:

Additional Combat Damage (Rolling a Natural 20)

Unless the Castle Keeper is using alternative rules, such as Weapon
Mastery, there is usually no benefit to rolling a 20 on the die for
melee/ranged attack rolls. Another option referenced below as Natural
20 is a common method many Castle Keeper’s use where a roll of a 20
on the die to hit in combat is always a hit regardless of the opponent’s
armor class. For the purposes of this Additional Combat Damage
option, the Natural 20 optional rule is used. See below for more detail
on the Natural 20 option.

Rolling a natural 20 on the to-hit roll in combat will not only
automatically strike any opponent, but it will cause additional damage.
The additional damage inflicted is determined by the type of die the
weapon does for damage and is summarized on the following chart:

Weapon Damage Die Additional Damage on a Natural 20

1d1 (1 point), or 1d2 +0 additional points of damage

1d3 or 1d4 +1 additional point of damage

1d6 or 1d8 +2 additional points of damage

1d10 or 1d12 +3 additional points of damage

*When a weapon does multiple dice of damage, say 2d4, or 3d6, the
additional damage added for rolling a natural 20 is multiplied by the
number of dice for the weapon damage. For a weapon that does 2d4,
the additional damage would be +2 (1+1). If a weapon does 3d4 the
additional damage would be +3 (1+1+1). If a weapon does 3d6 the
additional damage for rolling a natural 20 would be +6 (+2+2+2).

Exceptions: There are certain weapons, some of which are specially
designed or have unique properties that cause different amounts of
damage than outlined above when rolling a natural 20. Some of them
are: axe, piercing (+3 points), any form of a club (+0 points), dagger
(+4 points), dirk (+3 points), poniard (+3 points), sickle (+3 points),
spear (3+ points) sword, rapier (+3 points), trident (+3 points).

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Re: Favorite Critical Hit Systems?

Post by Captain_K »

We have BIG fun with critical hits and critical fumbles, for both sides players and monsters. Everyone really gets into it when either of these two rolls occur. For us we also let the players help to create lists of "things that happen" - also great involvement from the players. When the player fumbles or rolls the old natural 20 we let them pick option a) 2x damage (two dice or 2x one dice) in the case of "critical hit" or automatic miss on the one with some flavor from the CK or option b) "The Red Book" which is really just a red notebook with a collection of the group made lists. These lists are always changing, but here is an example:

CRITICAL DAMAGE (2d6):
2) THE big WIFF normal damage -1.
3) Almost WIFFED maximum normal damage, but please add +1 damage for each of your VICTIM'S levels/HD.
4) A spectacular strike, even your victim is impressed, max normal damage +4, plus victim stunned d3 rounds.
5) Perfect shot/hit to a sensitive area of your choice, 2x damage, stunned for 2d2 rounds, all allies within 30’ of the wounded party delay one round while cringing in sympathetic pain.
6) A might blow, roll damage twice, take a second free swing (must roll to hit).
7) Major blow to the/a leg (or equivalent), roll one extra dice of damage, and assume max damage on your normal damage; Victim moves at 1/2 normal rate.
8) A blow so great your weapon has embedded/entangled itself in your victim for 2x max possible damage (no cumulative with other multipliers). You, or your victim, must make a STR check to remove weapon (which does half normal weapon damage upon removal).
9) A truly inspiring attack, normal double damage but all your allies within 30’ receive a +1 to hit and +2 to damage if their attacks are successful for the next round.
10) Normal damage, but the wound causes significant internal bleeding, the victim takes the same damage each round until dead. Magical healing, greater than the damage each round, immediately stops the bleeding, mundane healing requires a roll with a penalty equal to the damage/round.
11) Blow to the face (or equivalent), roll two extra damage dice, PLUS victim cannot see for 3d2 rounds until the blood/goo/etc. stops flowing
12) Almost Mortally Wounded, Roll three extra dice of damage (4 dice total), and add +1 damage per each of your levels, OR the victim is down to its last hit point (whichever is LESS).

Fumbles (2d6):
2) THE big WIFF; you critical yourself with your own weapon, roll on the critical table for damage.
3) Almost THE big WIFF, normal damage to yourself.
4) A spectacular miss, even your victim is impressed with your ineptitude, victim laughs so hard he's affectively stunned for d2 rounds & so are you.
5) A mighty blow that was blocked or otherwise stopped. Your weapon, if non-magical, breaks and becomes so much scrap (fist, teeth or claws are broken). If magical in any way, roll again on this table. Roll the same result again and you’ll break even a magical weapon!
6) Weapon strikes hard point (shield or defending weapon), jars attacking weapon and numbs hand/jaw for d2 rounds (-2 to hit -4 damage).
7) You over extend, your round is lost and -4 to hit next round.
8) A "blow" so great your weapon flies off into the distance 2d12 feet in a random direction (unknown to you), harming no one, and landing where Murphy smiles. No weapon in hand? Fall on your back.
9) You are so lucky; you fumble your weapon while falling flat on your face (prone), but end up striking your opponent with it for normal damage.
10) A terrible miss, any friend in the area/range receives normal damage from "friendly fire/damage".
11) You fumble your weapon and drop it between you and your opponent within d4 feet from you. Natural weapon use results strained foot/paw/hand/jaw – d3 rounds to function again but at -1 to damage and -1 to hit.
12) A great miss, weapon becomes imbedded or tangled in the surrounding terrain; you need a STR check to free the weapon.
Wow, Another Natural One! You guys are a sink hole for luck. Stay away from my dice.

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Re: Favorite Critical Hit Systems?

Post by KeyIXTheHermit »

Snoring Rock wrote: 1. Get some Game Mastery critical hit card decks from Paizo. Each critical hit wins a draw from the deck. They include double damage, triple damage, things like bleeding damage, loss of limbs or ability damage. Good stuff.
I'm gonna have to check out this deck, Snoring. I hadn't heard of this before. One immediate thing I like about the idea is that, theoretically, you could take out cards you don't want right from the start, so that the only options you get are the options you want. Sure, I guess you could just make your own, but sometimes game creators are more imaginative with that kinda stuff than I am. And my players are definitely not game designers (unlike Captain K's, for example!).
Captain_K wrote:
CRITICAL DAMAGE (2d6):
2) THE big WIFF normal damage -1.
3) Almost WIFFED maximum normal damage, but please add +1 damage for each of your VICTIM'S levels/HD.
4) A spectacular strike, even your victim is impressed, max normal damage +4, plus victim stunned d3 rounds....
Lol! Your players aren't a bunch of old Iron Crown Enterprises writers, are they?

Good little list there. I know that we should follow suit and create our own, but when it comes to game rules, we just don't seem to have the imagination that many others do.

We recently ruled out Fumbles on a natural 1. They just happened too often, and I was running out of things to do (you can only lose your weapon or hit your adjacent buddy so many times before it loses its excitement). Lately I've been having events that used to occur on a critical fumble occur when the victim of a critical hit, to mix it up a little (e.g. losing your weapon can now happen on a critical hit scored against you).

I also talked the group out of Crits on a natural 20. Again, they were happening too often for me. Now we just have a natural 20 allow a critical hit roll: another roll requiring the same to-hit as the first roll. If it misses, the first roll was just a regular hit; if it hits, then the first roll was a critical. Of course, with this reduced chance of criticals comes my desire to implement something that does more damage when it does happen.

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Re: Favorite Critical Hit Systems?

Post by Buttmonkey »

You can always employ penetrating/exploding damage dice. For those not in the know, it works like this: If a damage roll comes up with a maximum value (i.e., a 6 on a 1d6, etc.), then the player/CK rolls for damage again and adds the second roll to the first roll. If the second roll is max as well (another 6 on a 1d6, e.g.), then the process continues until something other than max value is rolled on the damage die. This can lead to freakishly large damage rolls, but only rarely. An added benefit (if you view it this way), is minor weapons such as daggers are more likely to penetrate (25% on a 1d4 dagger versus 1 chance in 6 for a 1d6 short sword). This makes weapon selection a little more interesting.

If penetrating/exploding damage dice seem too extreme for your game, here are a couple possible adjustments:

1. Damage dice can only penetrate if the to-hit roll was a natural 20. This cuts the frequency of any given crit amount by 95%.

2. Reduce the possible damage from each exploding die by a cumulative 1 point, but still require a max roll for the explosion to keep going. Thus, if a PC rolls a 6 on 1d6 for damage, the PC gets a second roll. If the second roll is also a 6, the total damage would only be 11 (6 + (6-1)), but the explosion would continue. If the next (third) damage die also came up as a 6, then the total damage would be 15 (6 + (6-1) + (6-2)). If the fourth damage die came up 5, the explosion would stop and the total damage would be 17 (6 + (6-1) + (6-2) + (5-3)). Under this system, damage from an exploding die would never drop below 1, so if the third damage die was a 2, it would still do an extra 1 point of damage (rather than subtracting 2 from the roll like normal for the third damage die).

The beautiful thing about crit systems is they always screw the players in the end. There are always more monsters, but each PC is special. Sooner or later they will run out of con and even before that they will start seeing their total hit points drop as their con goes down after raises/resurrections. It may take a long time to get there (healing potions/spells save the PCs most of the time from the worst effects of crits), but the odds will catch up eventually.
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KeyIXTheHermit
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Re: Favorite Critical Hit Systems?

Post by KeyIXTheHermit »

Buttmonkey wrote:You can always employ penetrating/exploding damage dice.
I... really like that idea, Buttmonkey. I would want to have some test rolls to be sure that critical hits with daggers don't do more damage than critical hits with, say, Great Swords, but as long as the overall difference is smooth (on average), that sounds like a really neat idea.

One possibility that immediately springs to my mind, if the exploding dice skew the results too bizarrely, might be to have the "critical die" be the same for all characters (and monsters). So, say, a d6 (or maybe even a d10). On a critical hit, the attacker rolls his normal damage die plus the bonus die, but only the bonus die can explode. But the bonus die is the same for everyone, regardless of whether they are dagger-wielding Wizards or Great Sword wielding Warriors (or even monsters).

I haven't tested to see if that change is necessary, though. It might be fine as is. I'm just concerned that the dagger's increased chance of exploding might make it more deadly in a critical than a larger weapon, and that's just odd to me (at least, in a game). Making the bonus die the same for everyone has a uniformity I find appealing... everything is equally deadly with a critical.

Eh, I may just have to try it out and see how it works.

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Re: Favorite Critical Hit Systems?

Post by Dead Horse »

I have found using the mass combat rules from Fields of Battle works for lots of low level opponents.
It is very similar to the "mook" rules shown above, but it is C&C tested.

I dont care how high of level you are, an army of goblins should make the PC's worry.
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Re: Favorite Critical Hit Systems?

Post by AndyMac »

I use a really simple modified double damage on a natural 20. The "modified" part is the first die is maxed automatically. So, a long sword would do 8 +d8. Strength, expert and magic bonuses are added twice. Bonuses from class abilities (weapon specialization, combat marauder, etc.) only get added once. For a rogue's back attack, they get an extra dice added in at maximum damage. So, a rogue who gets triple damage rolls a natural 20 on a back attack with a short sword does ((d6+bonuses)x3)+(6+bonuses)

Not overpowered at all and characters can be in real danger from big monsters.

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Buttmonkey
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Re: Favorite Critical Hit Systems?

Post by Buttmonkey »

KeyIXTheHermit wrote:
Buttmonkey wrote:You can always employ penetrating/exploding damage dice.
I... really like that idea, Buttmonkey. I would want to have some test rolls to be sure that critical hits with daggers don't do more damage than critical hits with, say, Great Swords, but as long as the overall difference is smooth (on average), that sounds like a really neat idea.
I'm not sure how the math works out. The dagger's damage dice will explode much more often than a great sword's, but it will have to explode a bunch of times to match the theoretical yield of a great sword when the great sword explodes. If you use the diminishing explosion option I mentioned, the dagger will lose a lot of its potential for punching above its weight class. Personally, I kind of like the idea that a dagger might outpunch the great sword on average with criticals. I'd like to see a 25th level fighter using a +4 dagger instead of a +4 long sword. That's just cool/funny to me. My instincts tell me that the great sword is going to average a lot more damage than the dagger, though. Anyone feel like rolling out 20,000 or so damage rolls for each weapon and see which comes out on top and by how much?
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Re: Favorite Critical Hit Systems?

Post by Traveller »

Late to the discussion, but I've got guidelines for using Rolemaster or HARP criticals in a game. However, while I love Rolemaster criticals, they are a bit of a bitch to use. If I'm in the mood to reward players for rolling well, I keep it simple and use the 1981 version of Basic Roleplaying's critical hit rule. On a natural 20 the weapon does maximum damage plus a normal damage roll. So a longsword that does 1d8 normally would do 8+1d8 on a natural 20.

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Re: Favorite Critical Hit Systems?

Post by Rhuvein »

Also late.

I do half a Trav . .

4 +1d8 on a nat 20.

No crits for monsters.

Nat 1 fumble = PC loses next turn.

2 fumbles in a row = roll for possible weapon damage.

Monster fumble = roll for weapon damage.

:)
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Re: Favorite Critical Hit Systems?

Post by Galadrin »

Buttmonkey's system is the one employed in HackMaster 4th edition and it does indeed work very well. The math also does check out: there is no benefit for rolling a penetrating 1d4 vs rolling a penetrating 1d12, since 1d4's penetrate three times as often but 1d12's penetrate for three times as much added damage.
Buttmonkey wrote:
KeyIXTheHermit wrote:
Buttmonkey wrote:You can always employ penetrating/exploding damage dice.
I... really like that idea, Buttmonkey. I would want to have some test rolls to be sure that critical hits with daggers don't do more damage than critical hits with, say, Great Swords, but as long as the overall difference is smooth (on average), that sounds like a really neat idea.
I'm not sure how the math works out. The dagger's damage dice will explode much more often than a great sword's, but it will have to explode a bunch of times to match the theoretical yield of a great sword when the great sword explodes. If you use the diminishing explosion option I mentioned, the dagger will lose a lot of its potential for punching above its weight class. Personally, I kind of like the idea that a dagger might outpunch the great sword on average with criticals. I'd like to see a 25th level fighter using a +4 dagger instead of a +4 long sword. That's just cool/funny to me. My instincts tell me that the great sword is going to average a lot more damage than the dagger, though. Anyone feel like rolling out 20,000 or so damage rolls for each weapon and see which comes out on top and by how much?

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KeyIXTheHermit
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Re: Favorite Critical Hit Systems?

Post by KeyIXTheHermit »

Traveller wrote:Late to the discussion, but I've got guidelines for using Rolemaster or HARP criticals in a game. However, while I love Rolemaster criticals, they are a bit of a bitch to use. If I'm in the mood to reward players for rolling well, I keep it simple and use the 1981 version of Basic Roleplaying's critical hit rule. On a natural 20 the weapon does maximum damage plus a normal damage roll. So a longsword that does 1d8 normally would do 8+1d8 on a natural 20.
That's exactly the system we were using! I had no idea we'd ripped off another game, though! :o

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Re: Favorite Critical Hit Systems?

Post by KeyIXTheHermit »

Buttmonkey wrote: I'm not sure how the math works out. The dagger's damage dice will explode much more often than a great sword's, but it will have to explode a bunch of times to match the theoretical yield of a great sword when the great sword explodes. If you use the diminishing explosion option I mentioned, the dagger will lose a lot of its potential for punching above its weight class. Personally, I kind of like the idea that a dagger might outpunch the great sword on average with criticals. I'd like to see a 25th level fighter using a +4 dagger instead of a +4 long sword. That's just cool/funny to me. My instincts tell me that the great sword is going to average a lot more damage than the dagger, though. Anyone feel like rolling out 20,000 or so damage rolls for each weapon and see which comes out on top and by how much?
Galadrin wrote: Buttmonkey's system is the one employed in HackMaster 4th edition and it does indeed work very well. The math also does check out: there is no benefit for rolling a penetrating 1d4 vs rolling a penetrating 1d12, since 1d4's penetrate three times as often but 1d12's penetrate for three times as much added damage.
I wasn't planning on 20,000 or so, but I would've been good with a couple of hundred. 8-)

I'm also concerned about how it skews weapons that have multiple dice versus weapons that have one die, for example a 1d12 weapon versus a 2d6 weapon. It may not matter from a story perspective, which is to say, there's no need to overthink it. However, I do have some min/maxers at my table who would be certain to focus on things like that, trying to pick their weapon on which one does more critical damage.

However, Galadrin assures us that the system works as is, so with two voices stating it, I think I will give it a shot for a few games and see what we think. (I presume that Hackmaster uses similar weapon weapon dice values).

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Re: Favorite Critical Hit Systems?

Post by Captain_K »

love the penetrating damage on the dagger... it could even be a magical power on a weapon if not on all... how does it stack with a natural 20 on a back stab by a Halfling thief doing triple??? mind blowing or in this case "spine blowing". going to try!
Wow, Another Natural One! You guys are a sink hole for luck. Stay away from my dice.

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Re: Favorite Critical Hit Systems?

Post by Buttmonkey »

Captain_K wrote:love the penetrating damage on the dagger... it could even be a magical power on a weapon if not on all...
I don't use criticals in my game, but I am using penetrating magical weapons. I have yet to introduce one into the campaign, but I've been planning to for a while. It's a question of whether a penetrating weapon shows up before a cursed "backstabber" dagger (compels the wielder to backstab fellow party members unless some sort of will save is made).
Captain_K wrote:how does it stack with a natural 20 on a back stab by a Halfling thief doing triple??? mind blowing or in this case "spine blowing". going to try!
The Rule of Cool demands that the thief be allowed to inflict insane damage on a critical. If I used penetrating criticals, I damn well would add up all of the penetration before applying the back stab modifier. A 60 or 80 point back stab at 1st level would be epic in the best possible ways. The odds of penetrating that far are really remote, but I would love to see that go down at the table some day.

Damn it. Now I'm thinking I need to use penetrating criticals in my game on a test basis. I'm not sure my players would like it.
tylermo wrote:Your efforts are greatly appreciated, Buttmonkey. Can't believe I said that with a straight face.

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KeyIXTheHermit
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Re: Favorite Critical Hit Systems?

Post by KeyIXTheHermit »

Buttmonkey wrote:
Damn it. Now I'm thinking I need to use penetrating criticals in my game on a test basis. I'm not sure my players would like it.
If your group is anything at all like mine, that would depend almost entirely on which side of the damage roll they were on!

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TheMetal1
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Re: Favorite Critical Hit Systems?

Post by TheMetal1 »

On page 302 of the CKG, 2nd Printing they have a section worth reading on Critical Hits.

I like to use pretty deadly critical hit systems in my C&C game, my players not so much, but we came to a workable solution.

For my game, first, I've implemented the Table 19.1 Impact Of Negative HP (pg 333, CKG). This allows for staying conscious when your HP falls below 0, BUT...it may result in having to make a save vs. limb loss. If they fall the PC will make roll on the Table 19.2 Effects of Limb Loss (pg 334, CKG), lots of good stuff from loss of CON to Permanent increase in Challenge Levels.

Second, I use Table 17.1A Critical Hit Option 5 and Table 17.1b Critical Fumble Option 5 (pg 303, CKG) Which is good, but not real swingy. I prefer 17.1C Critical Hit Option 6 and 17.1D Critical Fumble Option 6 (pg 304). But rolling could (and has) resulted in instant death for PCs (and NPC/monsters).

Thirdly, A natural "20" will require a roll on the Critical Table and a natural "1" will require a roll on the Critical Fumble table, but as a group, we've agreed to confirm criticals (you have to roll a 'to hit' again and if successful its a crit. If not, its regular damage). For fumbles we still play a natural 1 is a fumble (no confirming).

Last but not least, I use Jeff's Gameblog "Big Purple Rule". Once per session, any PC can roll a d30 for any roll in the game (Save rolling for ability or Hit Points). That means a SIEGE Check, a Cure Light Wounds or Good Berry spell, a "To Hit" Roll, or Damage, etc.
That works as our "Hero" Points. As they have survived so far, I may now implement the idea that for every time a PC uses a "Big Purple" I as the GM can use it for NPCs.

I've also used double damage for 20 in the past and simply damage on a fumble and I've used the Paizo Crit and Fumble decks (which you can get as an app by the way instead of just cards). They're OK, but you'll have to some on the fly modding as the skill system and save system is different.

The random landed blows tables on 311 and 312 are pretty good from an Role-Play perspective in describing damage, and would work well if you implemented the "Wounds" System from CKG (pages 314-317), it's similar to the Star Wars Saga damage track which is very cool. Basically if you have say 20 hit points. You divide by 4. Each "quarter damage (in this case each 5 points of damage) will get you a wound. It will effect your attributes, attacks and saves.

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Traveller
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Re: Favorite Critical Hit Systems?

Post by Traveller »

KeyIXTheHermit wrote:That's exactly the system we were using! I had no idea we'd ripped off another game, though! :o
Well, the later versions of Basic Roleplaying nerfed the Impale rule (BRP's critical hit rule). In later versions, on a natural 20, a longsword would do 2d8 (2-16, average of 9), versus the original's 1d8+8 (9-16, average of 13). I guess they thought the original did too much damage.

By the way, there's nothing wrong with ripping off other game systems for use as house rules. While the Impale rule is not in my house rules, for C&C I ripped off other systems extensively.
  • Players can choose the standard score package from d20 Star Wars if they don't like their 4d6 drop low rolls.
  • Coinage types are adapted from MERP, though with changes to keep gold and silver really scarce.
  • Encumbrance was from Chaosium's RuneQuest.
  • System shock is a direct port of AD&D.
  • The Challenge Class chart I use was ported from Traveller 4th Edition.
  • Initiative is from Holmes Basic D&D.
  • Dragon hit points, where for each age a dragon gets a set number of hit points per die, comes from AD&D.
I wonder how your players would enjoy facing off with an ancient (34HD) red dragon with maximum (680hp) hit points. I'm just surprised at myself by not having the breath weapon inflict damage equal to the hit points of the dragon like in AD&D. I guess I wanted to give the characters a chance to fry slowly. :twisted:

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KeyIXTheHermit
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Re: Favorite Critical Hit Systems?

Post by KeyIXTheHermit »

Traveller wrote: By the way, there's nothing wrong with ripping off other game systems for use as house rules. While the Impale rule is not in my house rules, for C&C I ripped off other systems extensively.:
So true, Traveller! I'll share a little secret with you... even though I absolutely love C&C, there's another RPG I love, and I don't want to say it's name, so I'll just say the name rhymes with Slavage Rurlds. We have ripped off huge chunks of that game for use with C&C of late, specifically playing cards are used for initiative, we use lots of allies, allies act on the same initiative turn as the player running the allies, and I know there's a few more things, as well (but I can't remember them all).

This is one reason why I took to the idea of "exploding" dice for Crits in C&C... the other game we play uses them already, so we're used to how they work, and it's just one more mechanic we're borrowing.

Although not for C&C, in other games I have stolen WEG's Dark Side Points rule for Corruption Points (although I changed it to d10 instead of a d6). So yeah, I agree, there's no reason to ignore a good idea just because it's not in the rules.

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Re: Favorite Critical Hit Systems?

Post by zombiehands »

My favorite is simple roll a 20 get an extra attack. Roll a 1 and foe gets a free attack. With missile weapons double damage and loss a turn.
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