Anyone else dislike the new Crit mechanic?

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Case you haven't read it (it's a bit over a month old, but I just read it.) Heres the writeup

http://www.wizards.com/default.asp?x=dnd/drdd/20080104


I realize this may be a dead horse but I haven't been on the forum for a while so it's news to me, but I really dislike the new mechanics. I like that you crit on a simple D20 roll, and if Keen and similar bonuses are in, that makes them even more powerful. The Confirmation Roll was an interesting mechanic, added tension and it wasn't often 'that' difficult to succeed, but it always sucked when you missed on the Confirmation.

Now the part I dislike is that your crit is always the same. It's the maximum damage you do with a weapon. So using just weapon damage, a longsword always crits for 8. A two-hander always crits for 12, and so on. Now this can be changed with a magical weapon that has bonus damage. So an Icy Longsword does 1d8+1d6, and a crit does 8+1d6. Wow thats incredible ah?

Yea.. are you thinking the same as me? This saps all the fun, all the suspense, surprise and excitement out of crits. It's a simple 'max damage' hit now. You can do that on a normal every day role. At level 1 with a dagger you have a 1 in 4 chance of doing as much damage with every single attack, but a 1 in 20 of doing the same amount. BORING!

Am I alone in this? I cant believe they thought this was a cool idea. It's a needless Dumbing-Down change. Sure previously crits could be wildly different based on chance, but that was the fun. Sure it could hurt.. BAD if you got critted by a tough high end monster. But players almost always crit for more in 3.5 accept vs the most physically powerful of monsters, so it generally isn't a powerful.

We don't know all the games mechanics yet, and of course the game is still playtesting, but if this sticks, and if it sucks as bad as it appears to, my very first house rule will be to revert to the old critical hit style.
I actually think it is infinitely superior to double damage. And no, its not still in playtesting anymore, its going to the printers soon.
I actually think it is infinitely superior to double damage. And no, its not still in playtesting anymore, its going to the printers soon.

Me too, but i miss the threat ranges. Only thing I'll miss from 3e so far, i think.
I too think the new crit system is a better way to go from what I've seen. In my SW SAGA games, having no confirmation roll has worked great, speeding up combat, allowing us to exalt in our luck (or accept our bad luck) quickly then move on with the encounter, without hold ups but with the same pleassure of success.

As for the max damage crit, I like that too, since the article we've house ruled this into our Star Wars game as well; its quick, easy and still has a large impact on combat without being too overwhelming (in particular in starship combat, where previously a crit could -and has- resulted in a TPK).

In all, the system is more steady and reliable, while still allowing chance to be a notable factor in the game.
He who should not speak...
Umm, no. One problem with confirmation rolls, aside from the disappointment of missing out, is that lightly armored PCs are more likely to be the victims of a crit strike, rather than those with the hit points to handle it.

Besides, how many groups just multiply the damage by 2 or 3 instead of rerolling the damage the required number of times? Quite a few, I'll bet. (Check the bottom of page 140 of the 3.5 PHB if you're wondering whether that's right). Maximised damage crits clear out that little nugget of confusion.

Given the large battles that will become more front-and-center in 4e D&D, crit damage had to be toned down, otherwise battles would become too swingy. With five PCs versus five monsters, crits would happen about once every two rounds.
Max damage has about the same mechanical effect as double damage (since average damage on the randomized portion of an attack is about half of max damage), but it doesn't have the game-breaking wild swings of damage that the current critical hit rules have.

I like it. Rather a lot.
Learn it, Live it, Love it.
Max damage has about the same mechanical effect as double damage (since average damage on the randomized portion of an attack is about half of max damage), but it doesn't have the game-breaking wild swings of damage that the current critical hit rules have.

It does not the same average damage. 1d8+15 x2 = 2d8+30, average of 39. Max damage would be 8+15=23.

However, i think it is a good thing to tone down the effect of pluses in crits. High strength+power attack+2handed weapon+crit was akin to a nuclear weapon.
Am I alone in this? I cant believe they thought this was a cool idea. It's a needless Dumbing-Down change.

Congratulations on using a scapegoat to try to add validity to your argument that otherwise lacked some, and failing at doing so.

Stating that you dislike it is perfectly within reason. Not everyone is going to like the change. In fact, I found the most common houserule in 3e to be crits.

But you've simply tried to pin something that is your opinion on something that isn't the case. How is multiplying any more complex than maximum damage + bonus crit damage?

Obviously, crit design was designed to solve a perceived problem of crits making the game too unpredictable where it didn't need to be. A critical by a kobold killing your PC? How anti-climactic, when it could be a swarm of kobolds all contributing to each other to take you out. That mob is a lot more climactic than getting lucky 1-shotted.

Or having a big monster that just one shots you right at the beginning of combat 1-shots you from full leaving you say "Well that sucked. Now I'll sit here with my thumb up my butt all night" and you didn't even get a chance to react as opposed to "wow, that guy did a nice hunk of damage, I'm going to have to watch myself," when you take a big hit.

The new crit system allows players to wield fun crits as well as enemies who are of significance, but while it's nice, it's not the one roll at the very beginning of the night that can destroy your fun.

They changed it not because they were trying to simplify it, but rather address a perceived problem. Whether you had that problem they were trying to solve is not the point. Simply not liking a change doesn't make it dumbed-down.

[/]
I imagine some weapon will still have some kind of bonus to crits, especially magic weapons.
I imagine some weapon will still have some kind of bonus to crits, especially magic weapons.

Yes to both assumptions. We have seen the warpick statblock, and it has both "versatile" (which we dont know a jack about ) and "high critical" tags. It has been stated that magical weapons add extra crit damage as well.
Yes to both assumptions. We have seen the warpick statblock, and it has both "versatile" (which we dont know a jack about ) and "high critical" tags. It has been stated that magical weapons add extra crit damage as well.

Then I don't see what the problem is for the OP. Do we know what high critical does? + or double or something else entirely?
Then I don't see what the problem is for the OP. Do we know what high critical does? + or double or something else entirely?

High critical does +1d6 damage normally. There are higher versions of it (i bet that "high critical 2" would be 2d6 and so on. PRobaly an axe has HC, while a scythe might have HC 2). Magical items also give +1d6, but we dont know yet if that is a common property of all magical items, or it is a magical ability (such as "keen" was in the past, for example)
My group has already implemented it in our current 3.5 (well, 3.75) and we're loving it.
I hate it when people describe a simpler mechanic as "dumbing down" the rules. I like the new critical hit idea. The old one was two many dice throws, two much to look up. The goblin with the war pick, was that a 19-20 threat range, or an 18-20. Whats the dammage multiplier again? Hang on while I roll again to see if i crit. Hey Fred, let me borrow an extra dice I have to roll dammage again, etc. The new system is fast, simple, and gives a nice bonus without turning crits into the tac nuke that they sometimes can be in 3.5.
I hate it when people describe a simpler mechanic as "dumbing down" the rules.

Dumbing down is what some people refer to when they don't like something.

Elegance dos not equal dumbing down.


Yes, yes, we all know that $th Ed, or £th Ed, is dumbed down D&D geared towards infants…*yawn*
I would surmise that if you want critical hits to be more distinctive in 4E, the option to do so will come in the form of feats/talents/etc which add additional effects to a critical hit, rather than being automatically built into the weapon itself. This makes "crit master" a character development path which you can take or leave as you prefer, and that's probably a good addition to the game.
Dumbing down is what some people refer to when they don't like something.

Elegance dos not equal dumbing down.


Yes, yes, we all know that $th Ed, or £th Ed, is dumbed down D&D geared towards infants…*yawn*

EDIT

Removing multipliers from crits is dumbing them down. That's a fact. They're removing multipliers because of EDIT that couldn't understand how multipliers worked.
That the new age target of the D&D is becoming 12 is nearly evident.
Some semplification can appear interesting... others appear like totally crazy... but if you think that they want the game be easy understandable by a 10 year old guy... well you understand why they're over-semplifiating so much
My group has already implemented it in our current 3.5 (well, 3.75) and we're loving it.

I like the rule a lot too, and I'd love to try it out now. How did you go about implementing it? What did you do about x3 or x4 dam and higher threat ranges for example? And has it worked well balanced?

Edit: As for the dumbing-down arguments, I don't think this is really the most suitable rules-change for that label. Ok, it's a little simpler without the confirmation roll, but the current rules aren't hard to understand. What is hard to understand (and what sucks, IMO) is that critical hits can result in just normal hits quite often.

And I don't think dumbing-down is (just) meant to aim the game at a lower age group. Lots of people at my age (17) have problems understanding some of the more complex rules (crits not included), and I think a little "dumbing-down" would be great for bringing more people (a diverse group including both interested kids and great role-players that dislike complex rules) into the hobby
EDIT - off topic
Edit: As for the dumbing-down arguments, I don't think this is really the most suitable rules-change for that label. Ok, it's a little simpler without the confirmation roll, but the current rules aren't hard to understand. What is hard to understand (and what sucks, IMO) is that critical hits can result in just normal hits quite often.

I liked the unpredictability of crits. It added some tension to the game when the pc's were facing off against the boss and one of them rolls a 20. Everyone kind of holds their breath for a moment when the pc rolls to confirm.

And I don't think dumbing-down is (just) meant to aim the game at a lower age group. Lots of people at my age (17) have problems understanding some of the more complex rules (crits not included), and I think a little "dumbing-down" would be great for bringing more people (a diverse group including both interested kids and great role-players that dislike complex rules) into the hobby

4th edition is a dumbing down overall into a simpler game that utilizes mmo terminology and game mechanics in an effort to entice the video game addicts into playing D&D.
Please remember to post your differing opinions with civility. No need to include personal attacks/smarmy remarks.

Thanks
WizO Kayn
The 3.X crit system is terrible. You roll a 20 on your attack, but you get a 2 on your confirmation, so you get nothing. Alternatively, you roll a 20 on your attack, you make your confirmation and then you roll a 1 on your damage. It's like getting kicked in the balls.

At least with maximum damage on a 20, you always get something good. Wasn't there an article that said that some weapons had additional effects on a natural 20 too?
4th edition is a dumbing down overall into a simpler game that utilizes mmo terminology and game mechanics in an effort to entice the video game addicts into playing D&D.



Want an cookie? it is an elite cookie...
The 3.X crit system is terrible. You roll a 20 on your attack, but you get a 2 on your confirmation, so you get nothing. Alternatively, you roll a 20 on your attack, you make your confirmation and then you roll a 1 on your damage. It's like getting kicked in the balls.

Yep, 3rd Ed crits could be like the ultimate blue-balls (very anticlimactic).
The 3.X crit system is terrible. You roll a 20 on your attack, but you get a 2 on your confirmation, so you get nothing. Alternatively, you roll a 20 on your attack, you make your confirmation and then you roll a 1 on your damage. It's like getting kicked in the balls.

Actually, in the 3.x crit system you're supposed to roll the extra damage, not roll once and multiply.

For example, a longsword crit with a strength bonus of one crits as 2d8+2 instead of 1d8+1.

This just goes to show you how much people houseruled crits in 3e.

***



In reference to the OP saying the game is being dumbed down, I've added this to my sig, because I keep seeing it being used all over the place regarding subjects that don't merit being blamed for being dumbed down.

"I could post in Japanese to make it more complicated for you figure my posts out by forcing most users to use an online translator, but I've dumbed it down by putting it into English for you.

All computers could be like this, but they were dumbed down so that you can press the on button to actually start a computer and use it.

Moral of the story: It's not dumbing down when you're simply using efficient design."
I actually miss the double damage on a crit from 2e. The 3e confirmation mechanic added an extra degree of uncertainty that I've been pretty indifferent about. The crit system my long-time group uses, is the massive damage threshold rule from d20 Modern - If a character suffers damage from any single attack equal too or greater than their Constitution score, then they have sustained massive damage and are dropped to 0 hit points. After some experimentation, I added a Fort save DC (Damage dealt) in order to see if the knock out happens. A player also came up with a modification to the Heroic Surge feat that allowed for the expenditure of a Heroic Surge to shrug of the possibility of a knock out.

The 4e crit system has some potential. I think it takes away some lethality from combat, but can't say for certain, as I haven't seen it in play. I don't believe it's dumbing down the mechanic, simply a speed up of play.
That the new age target of the D&D is becoming 12 is nearly evident.
Some semplification can appear interesting... others appear like totally crazy... but if you think that they want the game be easy understandable by a 10 year old guy... well you understand why they're over-semplifiating so much

Its a little ironic, but generally I found when it comes to getting a handle on a complex set of rules for a game, 10 and 12 year olds do so much faster than say a 24 or 30 year old; I know when I was younger, changing rules or changing systems was a much smoother process than it is for me now (and I have a lot more experience with a variety of rules and systems than I did fifteen years ago). Its sort of like the comments of parents when discussing on how fast their kids learn to utilize new technology.

I liked the unpredictability of crits. It added some tension to the game when the pc's were facing off against the boss and one of them rolls a 20. Everyone kind of holds their breath for a moment when the pc rolls to confirm.

Well I have to give you that; the confirmation roll did make for some really exciting and tense moments like these.

But I generally found moments like the following were common enough, IMO, to warrent a change.

The 3.X crit system is terrible. You roll a 20 on your attack, but you get a 2 on your confirmation, so you get nothing. Alternatively, you roll a 20 on your attack, you make your confirmation and then you roll a 1 on your damage. It's like getting kicked in the balls.

LOL, Ouch

With the crit depending on both a good damage roll, and confirmation roll, situations like these came up way to often, leaving a moment of suspense and excitement fall flat. :raincloud

4th edition is a dumbing down overall into a simpler game that utilizes mmo terminology and game mechanics in an effort to entice the video game addicts into playing D&D.

I don't take issue with WotC trying to attract new gamers; I know my area could use a few more, and generally if a change to a system encourages more people to give it a try (and is capable of keeping them) then it likely does so for a better reason than being dumbed down. And here is where I disagree, though I'll have to see the game to make a final choice in 4th editions case, I have generally found (in SW SAGA, the storytelling system, etc) that to simplify certain aspects has made for a smoother, more exciting game; results are resolved in short order, fewer hold ups, and with fewer rules artifacts mucking things up. I also found, in the case of Saga, that simplifying aspects of the rules have made for a much more nuanced game (Simple example: do I want to sacrifice mobility to increase my damage by taking Deadeye, or should I just grab rapid shot and take a reduction in acuracy...).

So what I'm trying to say is (like many before me) if you simplify a system in a thoughtful and considered manner, you're not only not 'dumbing it down,' but can open the doors to some pretty interesting options. Just because something is simple doesn't mean its simplistic.

In the case of the new crit rules, they strike me as well thought out and considered.
He who should not speak...
The 4e crit system has some potential. I think it takes away some lethality from combat, but can't say for certain, as I haven't seen it in play. I don't believe it's dumbing down the mechanic, simply a speed up of play.

Though I'm probably just stating the obvious,

We've been using rules like these (no confirmation roll; max damage) for a while now (since the article, anyway). In my experience, crits are more consistently dangerous, they can't be shut down with a bad roll (confirmation or damage); if you score one, you reap the rewards.

(Point of Note: This is in a Star Wars game, where you often gain more damage dice [3d6 blaster pistols, 2d10 vibro-axe, etc vs. 1d6 shortbow, 1d12 great axe, etc], -not to mention bonus dice gained from feats, talents, and starship damage multipliers- so max damage may have a bigger impact)

What you lose is crits as 'encounter altering events,' in 3.5 a single crit can have major ramifications on combat, altering the outcome completely. You also lose the massive disapointments that JediDragoon alluded to.

Its been a good trade off so far in my opinion. More consistantly dangerous, perhaps a little less overtly leathal
He who should not speak...
Actually, in the 3.x crit system you're supposed to roll the extra damage, not roll once and multiply.

For example, a longsword crit with a strength bonus of one crits as 2d8+2 instead of 1d8+1.

This just goes to show you how much people houseruled crits in 3e.

I don't know why, but I can never remember that rule. I suppose doubling my chances of rolling incredibly low damage isn't very memorable.
I don't know why, but I can never remember that rule. I suppose doubling my chances of rolling incredibly low damage isn't very memorable.

Are you saying rolling crits how the rules say you're supposed to is increasing your chances of getting a low roll?

If so, it's the opposite.

Rolling a 2d6 nets the following chances of possible numbers of 2-12:

2 0.03<br /> 3 0.06<br /> 4 0.08<br /> 5 0.11<br /> 6 0.14<br /> 7 0.17<br /> 8 0.14<br /> 9 0.11<br /> 10 0.08<br /> 11 0.06<br /> 12 0.03

You have a 3% chance to roll minimum damage when you roll more dice, as the probability is normalized. If you roll 1d6 and multiply it by 2, then your chances are 17% chance per each number, drastically increasing your chances to roll minimum damage.

Basically if you straight out multiply, you're making the low end and high end equally as probable as the median, but if you roll multiple dice, you're normalizing it, increasing your chances to overall simply double your average damage roll.

Actually remembering the rule will result in reducing your really really low crits, so much to the point, I've never gotten minimum damage since 3e came out. And for a good year there I was playing a halfling rogue/sorcerer who used a dagger (1d3) and even his crits were usually 3 damage from the dice or higher.
"Roll all damage twice, except ..." can also get quite complex when you have a x3-x4 multiplier and bonus damage. "OK, that's d10+7 three times, plus 2d6 sneak attack and 1d6 fire, which makes 3d10 + (um) 21 + 2d6 + 1d6 fire. Oops, forgot prayer, that adds (um) 3 to (um) +24".

I realise this could, and probably should, be streamlined somewhat by writing the crit dice directly on the character sheet. But, in my groups, a successful crit always results in a stall in play while we figure out the damage dice and roll all that damage and avoid messing up while adding.
Eligent does not = simplicity. I like eligence. I'm a HUGE fan of new World of Darkness, the most eligent system I've ever played. It's quick, has only a few real rules (and whole groups of things generally fall under the same rules,) heavily supports good RP and the combat is brutal, fast and crazy.

I agree, the confirmation mechanic was unnecessary and I like that it's gone.

But a change from multipliers and calculating a crit to just a basic number that is dull and simplistic, is not eligent, it's dumbed down. Now, dumbing down itself is not bad, but if you do it just to make your game appeal kids with short attention spans, it's a BAD THING. Until I see how the game works as a whole I'll reserve judgement on the new crit system. Frankly I'm liking 90% of what I'm hearing about 4th ed.

But be assured.

2d6 + ability bonus + feats + magical bonuses + weapon bonuses x 2

is a LOT more complex then

2d6 = 12
"Roll all damage twice, except ..." can also get quite complex when you have a x3-x4 multiplier and bonus damage. "OK, that's d10+7 three times, plus 2d6 sneak attack and 1d6 fire, which makes 3d10 + (um) 21 + 2d6 + 1d6 fire. Oops, forgot prayer, that adds (um) 3 to (um) +24".

I realise this could, and probably should, be streamlined somewhat by writing the crit dice directly on the character sheet. But, in my groups, a successful crit always results in a stall in play while we figure out the damage dice and roll all that damage and avoid messing up while adding.

Here's an elegant solution to keeping 3E style crits...

Weapon, Threat / Dmg / Crit
Long Sword +4, 19-20 / 1d8+4 / 2d8+8

Dumbing it down to max damage is not elegant.
The only difference between that and a standard crit in 3.x is that your doubling the bonus damage from the sword, which you don't do in 3.x. That is neither elegant nor a solution.

Everyone needs to understand. Double damage becomes to problematic in game play. A critical hit at a wrong time kills off a player or ends the boss fight in round two. It dilutes the story and cinimatic quality of an encounter when that encounter is cut short prematurely.

A critical hit in 4E will still be great damage. No one knows what damage will be like in the new system on average, not to mention the fact that we normally hit for AVERAGE damage, a max damage roll is if anything a more rare occurrence than a critical roll once you get to rolling 2dX (other wise casinos wouldn't have so many craps tables).
The only difference between that and a standard crit in 3.x is that your doubling the bonus damage from the sword, which you don't do in 3.x. That is neither elegant nor a solution.

Everyone needs to understand. Double damage becomes to problematic in game play. A critical hit at a wrong time kills off a player or ends the boss fight in round two. It dilutes the story and cinimatic quality of an encounter when that encounter is cut short prematurely.

A critical hit in 4E will still be great damage. No one knows what damage will be like in the new system on average, not to mention the fact that we normally hit for AVERAGE damage, a max damage roll is if anything a more rare occurrence than a critical roll once you get to rolling 2dX (other wise casinos wouldn't have so many craps tables).

Modifiers from the weapon are multiplied by the crit rating. The only things not multiplied are extra dice from abilities like sneak attack or elemental properties.
Killing off the confirmation roll, good. I think it is less tension-building and more disappointment. If I roll a 20, I want my crit. My only stipulation is that there should be a rule like attack roll must beat target AC by at least 2 points. That eliminates the problem of, if I only hit on a natural 20, every hit is a crit.

Changing the crit dmg rules, mixed feeling. Doubling and tripling damage had its issues (no its not because the new teenage target audience can't multiply, hell my 7 year old can do that, although it takes her a little while), due to high damage bonuses quickly becoming unbalanced, and the fact that some effects (sneak attack) were not multiplied while others were.

It appears that high crit weapons add 1d6 to the crit roll, but I don't see how this goes with streamlining rules. Why add an extra die to roll instead of a flat bonus, which could be scaled with the intended deadliness of the specific weapon (i.e. the great axe has a higher crit bonus than the hand axe)?

I also understand that the devs want combat to be less random, and I admit that sometimes the damage bonuses were just ridiculous, but I don't want crits to become almost insignificant. They are critical hits, they should drastically change the encounter. But then again, I'm a fan of deadlier combat. Personally, I like the MCWoD rules where crits deal CON damage. But that's just me, and I realize that what works in MCWoD might not work in D&D.
Owner and Proprietor of the House of Trolls. God of ownership and possession.
Rolling a 2d6 nets the following chances of possible numbers of 2-12:

2 0.03<br /> 3 0.06<br /> 4 0.08<br /> 5 0.11<br /> 6 0.14<br /> 7 0.17<br /> 8 0.14<br /> 9 0.11<br /> 10 0.08<br /> 11 0.06<br /> 12 0.03


Dumbing it down to max damage is not elegant.

Statistically, making you roll multiple times for the damage damage as a crit will most likely come out to (max damage) is definitely more elegant. The mathematical expected value of crits [b]is[/b] very close to max damage (It's .5 off per die rolled). Instead of slowing down the game to roll multiple dice, they've made a mechanic that actually works very well in terms of keeping play moving, while also having the randomness with additional damage on crits with magic weapons and certain types of weapons.

With exception to the loss of crit ranges which gave the ability to have crits that were 7% or 4.3% or basically a varying number based on your attack bonus vs the AC and your crit range, crits are actually powered up due to the extra bonus on crits that have been designed in with crits.

Maybe it does need to be dumbed down for people who can't understand the underlying math beneath the system. It certainly isn't dumbed down, but it might people understand the mathematical effects of the system if it actually were. You'd probably like it if it were actually dumbed down.
Max weapon damage does nothing to reduce the die rolling significantly. You'll still be rolling several dice it sounds like. Especially if you're a rogue with an elemental weapon that has a high crit value. Let's assume the rapier has a high crit value for the sake of debating this.

6 + Bonuses + 1d6 (High Crit) + 1d6 (Fire) + 3d6 (Sneak Attack)

How's the reducing the amount of die rolls effectively?
6 + Bonuses + 1d6 (High Crit) + 1d6 (Fire) + 3d6 (Sneak Attack)

How's the reducing the amount of die rolls effectively?

6 isn't being rolled. Bonuses aren't being rolled. High crit is replacing multiple dice from multiplication.

It's 2 less dice for x2, 3 less dice for x3, 4 less dice for x4, and 4 less dice for greatswords (or any weapon mirroring their 3e damage in 4e)

Or a spell crit of 5d6, you're cutting out 5 extra dice (if there were to be spells in 4e where you do xdy damage.) (Of course, if those are gone, it's also possible that Sneak attack is also changing from extra dice to a bonus. We don't know yet)

How is 2 or more less dice, not reducing the amount of die rolls? Add high crit and you're still rolling one less die.

Dumbed down rules would have been simply 2x damage because that's what it's always been, with said multiple rolls. It's obvious that they are trying to go for a different approach to get a certain effect. Just because it's easy to remember doesn't mean it's dumbed down. They've explained that too much randomness on certain crits creates problems, and that's why they went with it. Perhaps you should go read some dev blogs and see what their goals for 4e were.

So please point me to any infants, pet rocks, and housecats that will be able to play 4e due to it's "dumbed down rules."
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