Saturday, January 05, 2008

Putting on the crits

Wizards just released a new Development and Design article for 4E (4th edition Dungeons & Dragons) focusing on critical hits.

The new rule: Roll a 20, do max damage.

That's it. No confirmation rolls, no differing crit thresholds, no double or triple damage.

Apparently they haven't seen how often some of my players roll 20s.

Some of the reasoning is sound. It creates less of a swing in damage, especially when dealing with higher end monsters. A fighter that does d8+6, under the old system would do 2d8+12, average of 21 and a peak of 28, in the new system does 14. But the monster with 3d6+10, under the old system would do 6d6+20, an average of 41 with a peak of 50 but in the new system do 28.

So crits will happen much more often, but the damage will be less variable. Which means it is less likely someone will get wiped out by a freak roll.

I think that my biggest problem is that really hard to hit targets, requiring to 20 to hit, in theory would always result in crits.

I've been running 3.75, most of which can be found here. I'm still debating whether to test drive this new rule in my D&D campaign, especially in regards to spells. While my players don't have any of the big guns yet, they are getting high enough level that they could run into someone who could throw a lightning bolt or fireball... 5d6 becomes 30 points of fun!



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