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    Critical Hits in 4th edition

     
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    EileenProphetofIstus
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    Joined: Jun 28, 2007
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    Location: Montevideo, Minnesota, US

    PostPosted: Fri Jan 04, 2008 8:23 pm    Post subject: Critical Hits in 4th edition Reply with quote

    Critical hits in 4th edtion have gone back to the "natural 20" roll. There no longer is a confirmation die roll to be made. Damage is maximum die damage, so for example, on a d8, you score 8 points of damage. There are a couple of bells and whistles added to the system as well. Seems there are extra dice rolled for magic weapons. My understanding is 1 extra die for each +1 bonus of the weapon (it wasn't explained well but that is what I got out of it). Also some individual weapon modifiers of some sorts which add to the die. Here's the link if your interested in reading about 4th edition critical hits.

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

    I must say though, out of all the 4th edition game change posts, this is the most direct one made. It doesn't go into quite enough information but you don't need to read a lot of nothing before getting to the heart of things. Perhaps this author should be writing all of the 4th edition updates.

    Let me know what you think!
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    Vormaerin
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    Joined: Jan 05, 2004
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    PostPosted: Fri Jan 04, 2008 8:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

    I think that I've always disliked critical hits and always will. So I'm not overly fond of any mechanics for it. But automatic max damage is better than "multiple times normal damage" mechanisms.

    Critical hits just make low level gameplay far too much of a crapshoot, imho, in 3e. "Oops, the kobold rolled a natural 20. Guess I shouldn't have given him an hand ax as weapon.."
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    EileenProphetofIstus
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    Joined: Jun 28, 2007
    Posts: 725
    Location: Montevideo, Minnesota, US

    PostPosted: Fri Jan 04, 2008 8:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

    I've always enjoyed critical hits in my game systems. With D&D, for some strange reason, critical hits have always seemed to be difficult to work into the game system.

    When I first started playing D&D, the DM (my older brother) had a critical hit occur on a roll of a natural 20, with damage being doubled, plus bonuses; you roll an 8, you score 16 plus str. bonus for example, you roll a 1, you score 2 plus str. bonus (if you had one). That's what I grew up on. You would then roll again and if a natural 20 came up it was triple damage, etc. etc. etc. until you stopped rolling 20's. I think I once saw 4-5 20's in a roll once ever. Double damage was very rare and triple was unbelivable. Although it wasn't mechanically a very good system it did have one thing I still appreciate....critical hits were something special.

    While adventuring through Whiet Plume Mountain (3.5 rules) I was attacked by a troglodyte. The darn thing took it's spear and lunged it through my chest for an instant kill. I've been afraid of troglodytes ever since and I'm 11th level. Several levels later we were adventuring through the Return to The Temple of Elemental Evil. One of the passageways lead to a troglodyte lair, clearly the least dangerous choice we had. Being afraid of troglodytes I insisted we go a different direction (which of coarse was much more dangerous). I turned the terrible White Plume Mountain situation into a role playing trait, which made it well worth it.

    I tried a couple of my own systems but they never really panned out well. In my Top Secret/S.I. game I rewrote the critical hit system and must have rolled a natural 20 so to speak, because it turned out perfect. Different system provides different options.

    With D&D, critical hits have always been a bit of a crap shoot (to borrow Vormaerin's phrase). Would I like the 4th edition version....probably better than the 3.5 version. I don't know how many times I have missed a critical hit against a character because of the threat range. Never could break myself of the old "natural 20" habit.

    I guess I'll blame my brother. It's all your fault.
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    Ragr
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    Joined: Apr 13, 2006
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    Location: Frinton on Sea England

    PostPosted: Sat Jan 05, 2008 4:45 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

    I've always liked critical hits precisely because of what happened to you with the Troglodyte, Eileen. You've turned it into memorable moment for both your character and campaign. 11th level characters are generally not overly concerned by Troglodytes as enemies so in 3.5 they allowed you to "advance" the bog-standard creatures or give them classes, which was okay but time consuming. The problem was that it quickly became tiresome and stretched credulity; "how come all the Orcs in this adventure are 4th level Barbarians?"

    Critical hits keep pc's thinking about combat and never taking anything for granted. Warfare should be deadly and not subject to health and safety commitees triggered by players' whinging "my poor character, I've invested so much time," etc. Shouldn't have been so cocky about those "only Orcs", then. Short, bloody and unpredictable is the order of the day.

    As for this proposed change; deal max damage on a critical? Okay. Simple enough. Pc's have "extra tricks up their sleeves, monsters don't". Why? The same whinging power players as above. Lets pander to the flat track bullies, we don't want them having to experience the trauma of death and reality now, do we? Or even having to role-play how a nasty incident affects a character after the event. As if raising and resurrection aren't common events in many games (not mine, as if you wondered).

    Crits will be more common, but hit points will be higher anyway; so what's the point, then. Ah! I get it. We'll have more people wetting themselves with excitement because a 20 appeared on a dice roll. Cool. And to think all this time I've been trying to provide an exciting balanced and sometimes brutal campaign to keep people entertained. I should save myself the bother of all that. Let's just roll dice for thrills. I make it that 1 time in 20 I should be able to leap to my feet and yell "'ave it you mugs."

    Finally, we've made it simple but you can add things to make it more complicated with extra effects. Excellent.

    I like the basic idea. Max out on a crit. Simple, and could well be worth experimenting with in my 3.5 game. But the power gaming connotations that accompany this and other articles is depressing. The kids may love it, however. And they are the future of the game. Or, rather, the future purchasers of supplements. Maybe.
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    EileenProphetofIstus
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    Joined: Jun 28, 2007
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    Location: Montevideo, Minnesota, US

    PostPosted: Sat Jan 05, 2008 5:13 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

    Ragr said:
    Quote:
    I've always liked critical hits precisely because of what happened to you with the Troglodyte, Eileen.


    Thanks, I appreciate the thought that you view me as nothing more than lunch meat to be pushed to the front of the lines so tactical advisors like yourself can look for the necessary advantage in order to save the day. I mean honestly, who needs a cleric anyway. My value to you brings about nothing but depression and tears. I fear now I have lost my edge in battle (not that I was any good at it anyway). Perhaps I should simply retire, hang up the net, lay down the light mace, sell off that cheap +3 mithral chain shirt I wear, and call it a day. Ah the heck with finishing Ravenloft and killing some stupid vampire who's destroyed the entire village of Barovia. They got themselves into this mess, they can get themselves out of it. I'm going home to Greyhawk City. And along the way I think I'll stop by Elmshire and toss a few halflings in the Nyr Dyv just because I'm cranky. You try and establish an adventuring relationship with someone and all they do is explot your weaknesses. Hey, let's put the cleric in a round room with five troglodytes and see what happens. Betcha she freaks and tries to hide in the corner. Oh, wait, the troglotyes have a tactical advantage, there are no darn corners.I'm going to bed! Happy
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    Last edited by EileenProphetofIstus on Sat Jan 05, 2008 5:19 am; edited 1 time in total
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    Ragr
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    Joined: Apr 13, 2006
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    Location: Frinton on Sea England

    PostPosted: Sat Jan 05, 2008 5:18 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

    Did someone just say +3 Mithral Shirt. Hey, I could fence that for you. I'll guarantee a great price. There'll be a small fee, naturally. Maybe I could advertise it; magical armour, one careful Prophet owner, slight damage to front midriff area, some red staining. Bargain!!!!! Cool

    Net? Is there something you're not telling us about your rituals?
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    EileenProphetofIstus
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    Joined: Jun 28, 2007
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    Location: Montevideo, Minnesota, US

    PostPosted: Sat Jan 05, 2008 5:22 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

    Darn you fast, I was still editing my post and suddenly you appeared. Must be magic you got from the Eternal Tower of rogue suck ups.

    Umm....that would be a net to throw over vultures like you. Any other nets I have are in my private collection.
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    Ragr
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    Location: Frinton on Sea England

    PostPosted: Sat Jan 05, 2008 5:41 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

    Look, I'll voluntarily come to church and bolster the congregation, you don't need to rope me up. I wanted to check the place out anyway. I'll even promise to laugh in all the right places during your sermon. Or whatever it is you're supposed to do during a long winded pompous lecture on stuff that just gets in the way of enjoying a prosperous life.
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    EileenProphetofIstus
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    Joined: Jun 28, 2007
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    Location: Montevideo, Minnesota, US

    PostPosted: Sat Jan 05, 2008 5:57 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

    Ragr wrote:
    Look, I'll voluntarily come to church and bolster the congregation, you don't need to rope me up. I wanted to check the place out anyway. I'll even promise to laugh in all the right places during your sermon. Or whatever it is you're supposed to do during a long winded pompous lecture on stuff that just gets in the way of enjoying a prosperous life.


    Is your idea of bolstering the congregation making sure that you are the one to collect all of the donations? I think I do need to tie you up just so everyone else is safe. Having an 18 charisma allows me to properly reach and entertain the congregation each and every service. You would do well to listen to my words. The subject of one's fate is not to be taken lightly, especially since their is little you can do to change it. You have what Istus allows you to have. Nothing more and nothing less. Appreciate what is yours for someday soon your fortune may change. Many a prince turned pauper, and many a pauper became kings. Your prosperous life may continue....or it may come to an abrupt end. Absolute corruption corrupts the absolute!

    (I know you already appreciate what isn't your legally anyway).

    This has been a rough night, first Bubbagump screams at me, now Ragr wants to steal the church donations and make fun of me......I'm going to bed!
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    Eileen of Greyhawk, Prophet of Istus, Messenger of the Gods
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