Player's Option - Combat & Tactics for D&D next

I absolutely love the Player's Options books for 2E...they are still some of my most favorite, most used books in my D&D library.

That being said...

I doubt you'll find a lot of love for Crit Hit charts on these boards, at least as they were presented in 2E. Lost limbs, caved-in skulls, blood loss, and so on directly tie Hit Points to physical damage. This basically nullifies the inclusion of martial healing...something a lot of people are in favor of. You can hand-wave a certain amount of physical damage as just exhaustion, lost morale, cuts and brusises, and so on...thus allowing martial healing to replace some of those lost HPs, but a pep talk from a warlord will not replace the arm you just lost to the orc's battle axe, or the blood loss from your total exsanguination due to having your throat slit.

However, all is not lost. There are still many ways to include crit hits (and crit fumbles) into DDN without directly tying them to physical HP loss. Grant advatage to enemies, slower HP regain, lowered ability scores, slower movement, and so on are all valid ways to represent crit hits, and would satisfy those in favor of martial healing.

Also, there are a lot of other goodies in those Player's Options books that could easily be mined for DDN. Fatigue, morale, firing into melee, mounted combat rules, spear hedge, shield wall, called shots, unarmed attacks, dueling, terrain types affecting combat, aerial combat, underwater combat, seige warfare...all of these can be implemented with very little trouble at all into DDN. If, for some reason, DDN does not include these options, you can rest assured that games played at my table most certainly will.
"The world is indeed comic, but the joke is on mankind." - H.P. Lovecraft
i agree i think if they brought the charts back it would end the hp debate and make the system more sensible as losing hp till 0 now just is fatigue and stuff and not physical damage. even if you get squashed by a giants club and you go from 30 to 3 hps your just tired so a few hrs of rest and your all fixed and i think thats silly.
The bad thing is, almost every group I've introduced the crit-hit charts to seem completely fired-up and excited to use them. Before the game ever starts, they're talking about how they can lop off the goblin's leg if they roll just right, or crush his ribs, or bash in his skull. However...once I tell them that the monsters also get to use crit hits, their enthusiasm seems to wane a little bit. I guess it's much more awesome to think about chopping off an orc's arm than it is to think about an orc chopping yours off. That's a shame, too. I've only been able to incorporate those crit charts into three or four games over the last 20+ years.
"The world is indeed comic, but the joke is on mankind." - H.P. Lovecraft
I would use the crit charts as inspiration but I prefer to allow the players to describe what they do when they drop an opponent to 0 HP. Also, allowing the players to describe their own HP loss. They can describe how they heroically turn the Orcs deadly axe blow to glancing off their shield or how the goblin arrow breaks off their armor or how the dragons claw rends their flesh. All of these are descriptions of HP loss but allowing the players imagination to come out can help create a more memorable story.

Disclaimer: Wizards of the Coast is not responsible for the consequences of any failed saving throw, including but not limited to petrification, poison, death magic, dragon breath, spells, or vorpal sword-related decapitations.

I love those tables but I save them for special occassions. As Father-Dagon pointed out, players can get really frustrated if a routine fight ends up with one of them losing an arm.

I will still use the tables though, in special circumstances (I will always warn the players first, of course, that the tables will be used). For example, I once had some PC's get captured by the baddies and forced to fight in the arena as gladiators. I used the critical hit tables for those one-on-one fights and it was great fun, even though one of the PC's did lose a hand.
The bad thing is, almost every group I've introduced the crit-hit charts to seem completely fired-up and excited to use them. Before the game ever starts, they're talking about how they can lop off the goblin's leg if they roll just right, or crush his ribs, or bash in his skull. However...once I tell them that the monsters also get to use crit hits, their enthusiasm seems to wane a little bit. I guess it's much more awesome to think about chopping off an orc's arm than it is to think about an orc chopping yours off.


Yeah, that is the reason why I do not like to use them. PCs will be subject to more critical hits over the course of an entire campaign while opponents are subject to criticals only once most of the time. I loved those tables bck in 89 when we started a Warhammer FRP campaign. And I once played in a Harnmaster campaign in which my fighter lost his left hand because of a bad roll of a die. Roleplayingwise this was ok eventually, but I'd rather not play like that again. But if one is into the "gritty" kind of play, I would rather suggest to play with critical hit tables as it can be a lot of fun for that kind of play.
They mentioned crit tables as an option. But they need to figure a lot of other things out first.

Personally, I think each class should have a special crit. like clerics healing, barbarians goint into a free rage, rogues blinding, ect..

guides
List of no-action attacks.
Dynamic vs Static Bonuses
Phalanx tactics and builds
Crivens! A Pictsies Guide Good
Power
s to intentionally miss with
Mr. Cellophane: How to be unnoticed
Way's to fire around corners
Crits: what their really worth
Retroactive bonus vs Static bonus.
Runepriest handbook & discussion thread
Holy Symbols to hang around your neck
Ways to Gain or Downgrade Actions
List of bonuses to saving throws
The Ghost with the Most (revenant handbook)
my builds
F-111 Interdictor Long (200+ squares) distance ally teleporter. With some warlord stuff. Broken in a plot way, not a power way.

Thought Switch Higher level build that grants upto 14 attacks on turn 1. If your allies play along, it's broken.

Elven Critters Crit op with crit generation. 5 of these will end anything. Broken.

King Fisher Optimized net user.  Moderate.

Boominator Fun catch-22 booming blade build with either strong or completely broken damage depending on your reading.

Very Distracting Warlock Lot's of dazing and major penalties to hit. Overpowered.

Pocket Protector Pixie Stealth Knight. Maximizing the defender's aura by being in an ally's/enemy's square.

Yakuza NinjIntimiAdin: Perma-stealth Striker that offers a little protection for ally's, and can intimidate bloodied enemies. Very Strong.

Chargeburgler with cheese Ranged attacks at the end of a charge along with perma-stealth. Solid, could be overpowered if tweaked.

Void Defender Defends giving a penalty to hit anyone but him, then removing himself from play. Can get somewhat broken in epic.

Scry and Die Attacking from around corners, while staying hidden. Moderate to broken, depending on the situation.

Skimisher Fly in, attack, and fly away. Also prevents enemies from coming close. Moderate to Broken depending on the enemy, but shouldn't make the game un-fun, as the rest of your team is at risk, and you have enough weaknesses.

Indestructible Simply won't die, even if you sleep though combat.  One of THE most abusive character in 4e.

Sir Robin (Bravely Charge Away) He automatically slows and pushes an enemy (5 squares), while charging away. Hard to rate it's power level, since it's terrain dependent.

Death's Gatekeeper A fun twist on a healic, making your party "unkillable". Overpowered to Broken, but shouldn't actually make the game un-fun, just TPK proof.

Death's Gatekeeper mk2, (Stealth Edition) Make your party "unkillable", and you hidden, while doing solid damage. Stronger then the above, but also easier for a DM to shut down. Broken, until your DM get's enough of it.

Domination and Death Dominate everything then kill them quickly. Only works @ 30, but is broken multiple ways.

Battlemind Mc Prone-Daze Protecting your allies by keeping enemies away. Quite powerful.

The Retaliator Getting hit deals more damage to the enemy then you receive yourself, and you can take plenty of hits. Heavy item dependency, Broken.

Dead Kobold Transit Teleports 98 squares a turn, and can bring someone along for the ride. Not fully built, so i can't judge the power.

Psilent Guardian Protect your allies, while being invisible. Overpowered, possibly broken.

Rune of Vengance Do lot's of damage while boosting your teams. Strong to slightly overpowered.

Charedent BarrageA charging ardent. Fine in a normal team, overpowered if there are 2 together, and easily broken in teams of 5.

Super Knight A tough, sticky, high damage knight. Strong.

Super Duper Knight Basically the same as super knight with items, making it far more broken.

Mora, the unkillable avenger Solid damage, while being neigh indestuctable. Overpowered, but not broken.

Swordburst Maximus At-Will Close Burst 3 that slide and prones. Protects allies with off actions. Strong, possibly over powered with the right party.

They mentioned crit tables as an option. But they need to figure a lot of other things out first. Personally, I think each class should have a special crit. like clerics healing, barbarians goint into a free rage, rogues blinding, ect..

That would be cool!

Danny

i agree i think if they brought the charts back it would end the hp debate and make the system more sensible as losing hp till 0 now just is fatigue and stuff and not physical damage. even if you get squashed by a giants club and you go from 30 to 3 hps your just tired so a few hrs of rest and your all fixed and i think thats silly.



That just means you didn't get crushed by the club. It was close enough to knock a few hairs off of your face, though.

Seriously, anyone getting crushed by something that big would be instantly killed, anyway. That's why hp represent the ability to turn a killing shot into a glancing blow. You actually just gave a perfect example of it. :P 
i agree i think if they brought the charts back it would end the hp debate and make the system more sensible as losing hp till 0 now just is fatigue and stuff and not physical damage. even if you get squashed by a giants club and you go from 30 to 3 hps your just tired so a few hrs of rest and your all fixed and i think thats silly.




Yep, I agree with you. Also players now days, least younger ones, want there characters to live forever and have the best gear and what not. Few are willing have their characters die in one hit or be maimed becuase of their careless action. I for one will be including crit/charts in my game. Players have gotten lazy and want it 'all' with little riskCry  

I would use the crit charts as inspiration but I prefer to allow the players to describe what they do when they drop an opponent to 0 HP. Also, allowing the players to describe their own HP loss. They can describe how they heroically turn the Orcs deadly axe blow to glancing off their shield or how the goblin arrow breaks off their armor or how the dragons claw rends their flesh. All of these are descriptions of HP loss but allowing the players imagination to come out can help create a more memorable story.




Only flaw here is allowing players to describe HP that are lost. Players hardly maim or kill off their characters where as a crit/chart will do it it for them.   

My players love them.    I even used them in my 4e game(Yes I know I'm a heretic. )

here are the rules I used, but they were still a work in progress.    I think ended up removing the knockdown rules simply because 4e already had so many powers that did the same. The healing surge mechanic was actually put to good use with these rules.  Anyway, I will be converting them to 5e soon. .. 

Show

When converting to 4e.

* All crits do max damage.
* All Injuries last until the wound is completely healed.
* a penalty remains until the wound is healed. 
* All effects such as stunned, dazed, etc become (save ends)
* All movement penalties becomes slowed (save ends)
* 'Knockdown' becomes prone
* 'no move' becomes immobilized (save ends)
* triple damage dice becomes double max damage.  


Hit Location 

Normal Attack: 1d10
Low Attack: roll 1d6; when attacker is two sizes smaller or defender has a height advantage.
High Attack: roll 1d6+4; when attacker is two sizes larger or has a height advantage
Called Shot (no location roll)

Humanoid Locations 
1-2 Right Leg, 3-4 Left Leg, 5 Abdomen, 6-7 Torso, 8 Right Arm,9 Left Arm, 10 Head 

Animal Locations
1 Right foreleg/wing, 2 Left foreleg/wing, 3 Right hind Leg, 4 Left Hind Leg, 5 Tail (for snakes or fish, 1-5 is tail hit), 6-7 Abdomen, 
8-9 Torso/chest, 10 Head

Monster Locations
1 Right foreleg/claw/wing, 2 Left foreleg/claw/wing, 3 Right hind Leg, 4 Left Hind Leg, 5 Tail (for snakes or fish, 1-5 is tail hit), 6-7 Abdomen, 8-9 Torso/chest, 10 Head

Severity:
Weapon size is < target size: 1d6
Weapon size is = target size: 2d4
Weapon size is > target size: 2d6
Weapon is two sizes larger: 2d8

Wound Categories

Grazed, Singed, Chilled, Bruised
Max Healing Surges Lost: 1
Special Effects: None
Natural Healing: 2 days.
Magical Healing: immediately cured
Heal Skill: Easy DC, immediately cured

Struck, Blistered
Max Healing Surges Lost: 1
Special Effects: Incurs a penalty until cured
Natural Healing: 4 days.
Magical Healing: Cured if healing magic is capable of restoring 5 hp.
Heal Skill: Easy DC, reduces natural healing rate by 2 days and restores lost healing surge. 

Inured, Burned, Frostbitten
Max Healing Surges Lost: 1 (arms, legs, tails), 2 (abdomen, torso, head), 3 (all others)
Special Effects: Incurs a penalty until cured
Natural Healing: 8 days.
Magical Healing: Cured if healing magic is capable of restoring 10 hp. 
Heal Skill: Moderate DC, Reduces natural healing rate by 2 days and restores lost healing surge. 

Broken
Max Healing Surges Lost: 1 (arms), 2 (ribs / legs), 3(head and others)
Special Effects: Incurs a penalty until cured
Natural Healing: 1d20 + 10 days of rest.
Magical Healing: Cured if healing magic is capable of restoring 20 hp, but no hit points are restored. Lesser magical healing has the same effect using the heal skill.
Heal Skill: Moderate DC, Reduces natural healing rate by 2 days and restores 1 lost healing surge. 

Severed, Dissolved, or Incinerated.
Max Healing Surges Lost: 3 (shoulders, hips, limbs), 4 (all others)
Special Effects: incurs a penalty until cured 
Natural Healing: 1d4 months of rest. 
Magical Healing: Regeneration restores. Healing Surges restored if healing magic is capable of restoring 20 hp, but no hit points are restored. Lesser magical healing has the same effect using the heal skill
Heal Skill: Hard DC, Reduces natural healing rate by 2 days and restores 1 lost healing surge. 

Destroyed, Crushed, Shattered, Frozen
Max Healing Surges Lost: 3 (shoulders, hips, limbs), 4 (all others)
Special Effects: Victim incapacitated until healing surges are restored, incurs a penalty until cured
Natural Healing: 1d8 months of rest. 
Magical Healing: 1 healing surge regained for each application of healing magic that is capable of restoring 20 hp, but no hit points are restored. Lesser magical healing has the same effect using the heal skill. 
Heal Skill: Hard DC, restores mobility to victim. Reduces natural healing rate by 2 days and restores 1 lost healing surge. 

Bleeding

Minor Bleeding:
Max Healing Surges Lost: None
Healing Surges Lost: None
Special Effects: Ongoing 2 damage (save ends). 
Natural Healing: bleeding must be stopped
Magical Healing: 5 HP of healing stops.
Heal Skill: Untrained, Easy DC, stops 

Major Bleeding:
Max Healing Surges Lost: None
Healing Surges Lost: None
Special Effects: Ongoing 5 damage until bleeding stopped.
Natural Healing: bleeding must be stopped
Magical Healing: 5 HP of healing reduces to Minor, 10 HP of healing stops.
Heal Skill: Moderate DC, Reduces bleeding to Minor.

Severe Bleeding:
Max Healing Surges Lost: None:
Healing Surges Lost: 1 per round.
Special Effects: Ongoing 5 damage and 1 healing surge lost until bleeding stopped.
Natural Healing: bleeding must be stopped
Magical Healing: 5 HP of healing reduces to Major, 10 HP of Healing reduces to Minor, 20 HP of Healing stops.
Heal Skill: Hard DC, Reduces bleeding to Major.



This, while pretty sweet, is definitely a late development priority.
My two copper.
I would use the crit charts as inspiration but I prefer to allow the players to describe what they do when they drop an opponent to 0 HP. Also, allowing the players to describe their own HP loss. They can describe how they heroically turn the Orcs deadly axe blow to glancing off their shield or how the goblin arrow breaks off their armor or how the dragons claw rends their flesh. All of these are descriptions of HP loss but allowing the players imagination to come out can help create a more memorable story.




Only flaw here is allowing players to describe HP that are lost. Players hardly maim or kill off their characters where as a crit/chart will do it it for them.   


Once the player reaches 0 HP they are no longer 'active' and then the DM could declare them maimed or dead. As a DM I would not force a player to play a permanently maimed character unless they wanted to or it led directly into a cool plot element. I have had a Rogue player who was studying to be a Warlock lose a hand fighting a Dragon but only because I was about to introduce the Hand of Vecna! He didn't know the artifact was about to be introduced but I had gotten his ok.

Disclaimer: Wizards of the Coast is not responsible for the consequences of any failed saving throw, including but not limited to petrification, poison, death magic, dragon breath, spells, or vorpal sword-related decapitations.

I hope it is not too late for WotC to add some of the critical hit tables and charts found in Combat & Tactics ... www.dndclassics.com/product/16862/Player... . Combat, in D&D next really needs spiced up and using some of the information gained from this book could do the trick.



I think you could be in luck becouse what i heared about moduals so far it seems they might be looking at combat&tactics and spells&magic.
When they taled about the tactical modual they mentioned facing and combat and tactics is the only place where dnD has used facing as far as i know.

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