Saturday, April 9, 2011

Critical Hits and You

In our Northern Reaches campaign we have been playing double rolled damage on a critical hit. That was an extension of how I played AD&D and AD&D 2nd Ed. back in the day. If you rolled snake-eyes for your dmg that was just too bad.

[On a critical miss I have the players must roll on a custom table to see what happens. Formerly, I had monsters roll double damage but it just killed way too many PCs so I dropped the critical hit/miss option for them]

I'm curious, how do you play critical hits/misses in your old school game?

9 comments:

  1. Over the years in 1e, 2e, and more recently various flavors of Basic, we've tried roll double damage, damage roll x2, and immediately roll another attack (which itself can score another critical). Our favorite was the last. These days, however, we don't use criticals.

    As for critical misses, we've tried all sorts of stuff including dropped weapon, free attack by opponent, no attack next round, weapon damaged unless a saving throw is made, and roll on a table for specific problem.

    We've never really liked any of them and gave them up long before we gave up critical hits.

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  2. The attack deals maximum damage.

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  3. These days? No critical hits.

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  4. For us it's x2 or x3 damage depending on the weapon.

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  5. I'm not feeling the max damage because it doesn't involve rolling dice (and the fun and anticipation that goes along with it). I'm also not huge on rolling more "to hit" dice after rolling a natural 20.

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  6. We do Max dmg plus another roll. Seems to work pretty well. Critical fails are subject to the DM's whimsy.

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  7. I use a rule I got from the jrients blog: a 20 by a PC against an NPC kills that NPC (I'm tough on PCs in most other ways). I don't use critical misses.

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  8. I think critical misses are what truly makes the game fun. It's not telling the stories of your success', but your failures. Our rule is: on a 1, roll to save, success means nothing happens, failure means something terrible! In my first campaign DMing (in about 17 years!) the party's very first encounter was in a dungeon room filled with sleeping goblins. The ranger decided to sneak in (successfully), and rather than kill one outright with melee, opted to skewer one with her arrow from 5 feet away. The first combat roll of the campaign: 1. Followed by another 1 for a save. So, she narrowly missed it, hit a metal goblet next to it, spinning the goblet into the air, and fell clanging to the stone floor, awakening the entire room.

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