## Suggestion for critical system

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arisGL
Joined Dec 1969

In 3rd (also 3.5) edition of DnD there has a confirmation roll in order to see if a critical threat was a critical or not.

The main advantage of this rule was that since the second roll had to be a hit (success) in order to confirm, the probability of each critical was affected by both the ability of the attacker (by his bonus to the d20) and the ability of the defender by (by his AC). So for example a 10th level fighter had a higher probability to critically hit an 1 level orc than a 2nd level fighter.

The disadvantage of this system was that it was more complicated and demanded more rolls (in case of a critical threat) for the same task.

5th edition introduces the system of advantages/disadvantage where you you roll 2 dice and keep the higher or the lower respectively.

I suggest a way of combining critical hits/failures in more general way (as critical rolls, not only for attacking) used for every action with the idea of advantages/disadvantages.

The idea:

For every d20 roll you always roll 2 d20. You use 2 different colored dice and one of them is always treated as the main die.

Critical Hit or Failure is defined by whether the two dice had rolled the same number or not.

a) If they rolled the same number and the target DC was reached then we have a critical hit

b) If they rolled the same number and the target DC was not reached then we have a critical failure (fumble)

c) If they rolled different numbers then it is not a critical (success or failure)

Now regarding advantages/disadvantage you still keep the higher or the lower die respectively and also check if they had the same results to see if it is a critical.

If you do not have an advantages/disadvantage, you still roll 2 dice but you only use the result of the main die (the second die is only used for the critical purposes in order to see if the result is equal to the main die)

They aim of the above rule is to combine under a common framework of just rolling two dice (a main one and a second one) the following:
b) critical success for any check
c) fumble for any check
d) let the probability of critical be affected by how good the performer is at the task and how difficult the task is

Examples:
1)
Bob the fighter attacks with his (axe) with +3 to hit a Bear with AC 15
He rolls 2 dice (decides which die is the main one)
a) If he rolled the same result on both dice he checks whether the result was a hit or not. If it was a hit it was a critical hit, else it was a fumble.
b) If he rolled two different results he just uses the main die and ignores the other (no critical roll is possible here).

2)
Mary the halfing rogue tries to disarm a trap with +5 bonus and a disadvantages
a) If she rolled the same result on both dice she checks whether the result was a success or not. If it was a success it was a critical success (ex: the DM might say that not only she desables the trap but also can take it with her), else it was a fumble (ex: the trap explodes and does maximum damage).
b) If she rolled two different results she just uses the lowest die because of the disadvantage (no critical roll is possible here).

Monica

Wizards of the Coast Online Community Coordinator

A friendly dragon.

my response is, "let's just remove critical hits and critical fumbles from the game outright."
veras
Joined Dec 1969
I like having criticals be more than just max damage, so I've always created my own crit tables. 4e/5e provides a number of nice effects that can be applied to make them more interesting without being over the top.

Still, I don't think this needs to be something that is defined in the core rules. Every group I've played with has had different ideas as to how it should work so it really should be left as a house rule.
Qmark
Joined Dec 1969
my response is, "let's just remove critical hits and critical fumbles from the game outright."

I don't recall any mention of fumbles in DDN.

my response is, "let's just remove critical hits and critical fumbles from the game outright."

I don't recall any mention of fumbles in DDN.

no there was no mention of it in the playtest materials.

I just hate the idea that we celebrate a 20 landing face up considering that each and every side of the dice has an equal opportunity to land face up regardless of how many times it is rolled. So what? So it came up 20. It's no harder to get that 20 than it is to simply get a successful result, an unsuccessful result, or a 1.

I'd simply rather not worry about the number on the die. I'd prefer to see a functional and worthwhile 'called shot' option made available instead. It would provide a tool for players to choose when that is most important as well as empower them to use such a resource to really display their PC in an outstanding spotlight.

Get rid of the random element and provide players a chance to make it happen when they want ot--or at least try to make it happen when they think it matters most.
no there was no mention of it in the playtest materials.

I just hate the idea that we celebrate a 20 landing face up considering that each and every side of the dice has an equal opportunity to land face up regardless of how many times it is rolled. So what? So it came up 20. It's no harder to get that 20 than it is to simply get a successful result, an unsuccessful result, or a 1.

The odds of getting any single number are the same, true. But the ods of getting "a successful result" and a 20 are only the same if you have to roll a 20 to succeed. If you need to roll a 17+ to hit, then the odds of a successful result is 20% where the odds of a critical is still only 5%.

I think this is another one of those 'iconic D&D' elements that is in there for tradition as much as anything else. At least the current system (4th) and the playtest system don't require any additional dice to be rolled. Rolling dice after having already rolled for hit/damage adds more time to the combat round.

Declaring a crit to be max damage avoids the need to roll any more dice, though I do like the idea of doing "max + damage die" in damage. Most players I know roll the d20 along with the damage dice at once - so there's no additional throwing of dice with that method and it makes criticals better than a solid normal hit.
Qmark
Joined Dec 1969
I think this is another one of those 'iconic D&D' elements that is in there for tradition as much as anything else.

Critical Hits didn't actually exist until 3E.

arisGL
Joined Dec 1969

I totally respect the opinion of people that are against using rules for critical success, hits and failures, fumbles. I disagree with them but I respect their opinion, but I believe that there are other people who enjoy such mechanics and think that they are important in order to play a more enjoyable game.

Given that I created that thread not to discuss/debate whether critical successes or failures should exist, so in that way I believe that posts which discuss the above shouldn't be posted in this thread but should be posted in a separate new thread which aims in discussing it.

So given that someone wants to use such mechanics in his games I suggested a common way of combining critical successes or failures for all checks (not just attacks) with the mechanic of advantages/disadvantages.

The main disadvantage of the proposed method is using two d20s in all rolls and not just the ones where you have an advantage or disadvantage. The advantage is that the probability of the critical rolls (either successes or failures) is affected by the ability of the roller and the value of the DC (something that flat 20 for critical hit does not).

So I humbly ask you to redirect our discussion into judging the proposed mechanic and not to other topics such as whether rules for critical hits should exist at all.
Do you like it?
Do you think that rolling two d20 all the times if very tiring although in the new version of dnd you must do that anyway each time you have an advantage or disadvantage)?
Do you believe that the probabilities of the system aren't good enough and criticals are rarer that they should be (since they demand the same result in two d20s)?
Do you have any suggestions for altering this mechanic in order to make it better?
Is it too much trouble for nothing?
Would you use it as a home rule? if not, why? if yes, would you alter it somehow?