Tuesday, July 7, 2009

A Quick Crit Rule

My friends and I usually like games where crits have at least a chance of sudden death. In our worlds, the stable boy needs at least some sort of shot against the Dark Knight, even if it's the slimmest of hopes (call it the Rolemaster School of Crits, I guess).

We've played a lot of games centered around a d20 combat roll (from D&D to Palladium Fantasy) where a crit does 2-3x damage at best. Our quick n' dirty solution in days past was to roll a d6 after any crit to determine the damage multiplier the critical hit did:

Critical d6 Multiplier Roll
1-2: Double Damage
3: Triple Damage
4: Quadruple Damage
5: Quintuple Damage
6: Sextuple Damage

Besides the fun of saying "Quintuple Damage!" at the gaming table (seriously, try it sometime), this often sped combat up, made it more lethal, and added an element of luck to the whole thing that we enjoyed. It let your 1st-level fighter have a snowball's chance against that evil warlord without letting get too hopeful. Just a silly little houserule, but one we enjoyed. If you don't have a critical hit deck, a book of charts, or a system that's doing critical hits how you'd like, but you don't want to put too much thought into it, you might give it a whirl.


Mark Gedak said...

In our d20 games we dropped the "confirm roll" and added the critical hit cards from Paizo.

Ruel Knudson said...

I actually like using exploding dice for crits. Its a lot of fun counting off each roll. Usually becomes a big loud event where everyone crowds around the dice watching the total get bigger, and bigger, and bigger.

I do like the sound of the d6 variant.

geekmobster said...

I also use the Paizo Crit cards. I use them with my MnM game... A recent game saw a swarm of harpies landing a critical hit on a superhero scarring him for life... It was simply awesome!

clovis said...

i have a quick system
that seamlessly takes into account
weapon vs. armor type
defender's size and
attacker's ability scores

shoot an email to
LouisL2 AT cox DOT net
if your are interested

quick kills, maiming and
blood loss are all part of the fun!!

Ameron said...

I was a really big fan of the D&D 3.5e “instant kill” rule. For those who may forget it went like this. If you rolled a 20 it was a threat (not a crit yet). Then you rolled again to verify the crit. If your second roll would hit normally then it was a crit. If you rolled another 20 then you were set up for that lucky strike that could kill with a single blow. You’d then roll a third time and if that would hit normally then your foe was killed by that one shot. We always called it the 20-20-hit rule.

The likelihood of a 20-20-hit happening is around 400:1 so it didn’t happen often and it very rarely happened at the time you’d most want it to happen. It was simple and it worked.

Of course, our DM ruled that if this rule worked for the PCs it also worked for the monsters. We only ever lost one PC to this instant kill rule, but it made for a lot of excitement when you rolled that first 20.