Posts Tagged ‘Critical hit’

Last Thursday I on this blog I showed off my optional rules for critical failures. Along with that post came a critical miss effects table, currently available on the Free Game Resources section of this site. A few people said I should do a critical hits effects table for my next post and who am I to deny the people what they want?

I should say this – critical hit effects are not for everyone. There’s already something pretty cool in the rules as written that happens when a natural 20 is rolled on an attack. It’s fast and easy to use. Rolling on a table for every critical hit takes a little more time. These rules aren’t for every group, but if you want to make critical hits more powerful or more randomized in their effectiveness, then give the rules below a shot.

I Kinda Already Made a Critical Hit Effects Table

If you want a brutal critical hit effects table with devastating, lasting effects, consider using the rules for lingering injuries on pages 272 and 273 of the Dungeon Master’s Guide. If you want an expanded list of injuries and less chance of losing an eye, check out the expanded lingering injuries table I created.

New Critical Hit Effects Table

Of course, not every table needs the effects of their critical hits to be so lingering. The results on the table are a little more fast-acting and it also means that the DM and players don’t have to track injuries.

You can use the critical hit effects table in two ways. You can roll on the table below in addition to the normal effects of a critical hit or you can roll on the table below and use the effect you roll instead of the normal effects of the critical hit. If you are doing the former, consider only having players and legendary creatures roll for critical hit effects to speed up play and to not have a single lucky attack from a random goblin mean the end of a PC (though some DMs might like that random chance).

Critical Hit Effects
d100 Effect
1 – 4 The target is pushed back 5 feet.
5 – 8 The target is pushed back 10 feet.
9 – 11 The target is pushed back 15 feet.
12 – 15 The target falls prone.
16 – 19 The target is pushed back 5 feet and falls prone.
20 – 22 The target is pushed back 10 feet and falls prone.
23 – 25 The target is pushed back 15 feet and falls prone.
26 – 28 The target drops whatever it is holding.
29 – 31 The target’s drops whatever it is holding and any nonmagical objects it drops break.
32 – 34 A random item carried by the target (determined by the DM) drops out of the target’s belt pouch, backpack, or other carrying equipment.
34 – 35 A random nonmagical item carried by the target (determined by the DM) drops out of the target’s belt pouch, backpack, or other carrying equipment and breaks.
36 – 37 The target’s armor or natural armor is damaged and it takes a -1 penalty to AC. This penalty lasts until the target’s armor is repaired (for worn armor) or it is magically healed (for natural armor).
38 – 40 Your staggering blow causes the target to be blinded until the end of your next turn.
41 – 44 Your staggering blow causes the target to be deafened until the end of your next turn.
45 – 47 You hit the target so hard it is frightened of you until the end of your next turn.
48 – 50 Your staggering blow causes the target to be incapacitated until the end of your next turn.
51 – 53 Your staggering blow makes the target nauseous and it is poisoned until the end of your next turn.
54 – 55 Your staggering blow causes the target to be stunned until the end of your next turn.
56 – 59 Your inspiring attack allows you grant an ally who can see you an attack against the target as a reaction.
60 – 62 Your inspiring attack allows you grant an ally who can see you and the target an attack against the target as a reaction.
63 – 65 Your inspiring attack allows any allies within reach of the target to make a melee attack against the target as a reaction.
66 – 69 The target has disadvantage on saving throws until the end of your next turn.
70 – 73 The target has disadvantage on attack rolls until the end of your next turn.
74 – 77 Roll all of the attack’s damage dice three times and add them together.
78 – 80 Use the maximum damage amount of all dice instead of rolling for this attack’s damage.
81 – 84 The target cannot make opportunity attacks until the end of its next turn.
85 – 87 The target take an action on its next turn.
88 – 91 You can make a follow-up attack against the target as a bonus action.
92 – 93 If your attack was made with a spell or magic weapon, a shockwave is released from your attack. Creatures within 10 feet of the target (including the target and you) must succeed a DC 15 Strength saving or fall prone.
94 – 95 If your attack was made with a spell or magic weapon, a shock wave is released from your attack. Creatures within 10 feet of the target (including the target and you) must succeed a DC 15 Strength saving or fall prone.
96 – 97 If your attack was made with a spell or magic weapon, some of the magic goes awry in your favor. The target is charmed by you until the end of your next turn.
98 – 99 If your attack was made with a spell or magic weapon, some of the magic goes awry in your favor. The magic holds the target in place and it is restrained until the end of your next turn.
100 If your attack was made with a spell or magic weapon, some of the magic goes awry in your favor. You become invisible until the end of your next turn. This effect ends early if you make an attack or cast a spell.

PDF

Just like with the critical failures, these rules for critical hits are available as a PDF. Use the link below to grab it now.

Critical Hit Effects

This document will live forever on the Free Game Resources section of this site so if you ever need it again, go there to find it alongside magic itemsmonstersD&D fifth edition rules modulesbackgroundsspellsadventures, and more.

If you like what you’re reading, please check out my podcasts on The Tome Show, follow me on Twitter, tell your friends and share this blog post, and/or leave me a comment and let me know you think. Thanks!

Critical failures are controversial. For many the automatic result of rolling a 1 and failing an ability check, attack roll, or saving throw is enough of a punishment. I can’t blame people who feel that way. I don’t use critical failures at my own table for that very reason. Still there are tables who find failing hard (that’s failing with major consequences as opposed to just failing with the normal ones) fun and interesting. That got me thinking about what critical failures would look like at my table. What would be fun and interesting for me and make some sense based on the rules we already have?

Behold! My rules and reasonings for critical failures below. Remember that if you use these rules, 5% of the time your players will be suffering extra for simply being unlucky.

Optional Rule: Critical Failures on Ability Checks

In general if a creature rolls a natural 1 on an ability check, they just fail. However if failure of that ability check means it takes damage (like falling while climbing) the creature takes double the damage dice, just like when an attack roll is a critical hit. If they are using tools to complete the task (such as picking a lock) the tool breaks.

Optional Rule: Critical Failures on Saving Throws

If a creature rolls a natural 1 on a saving throw and as a result takes damage, the creature suffers double the damage dice, just like when an attack roll is a critical hit.

Note: Be really careful with this rule. It can result in instant death for being unlucky.

Optional Rule: Critical Failures on Attack Rolls

When a creature rolls a natural 1 on an attack roll, the attack misses as normal and you can choose to roll for an extra miss effect on the table below. Not all results on the table resolve by taking damage and the harshest and most bizarre results only have a 1% chance of occurring. Read over the chart and if there are any results you feel are unfair or need to be changed, you can just reroll and ignore any results you don’t like or put in some of your own.

Critical Failure Attack Effects
d100 Critical miss effect
1 – 3 You drop your weapon or spellcasting focus and it sticks in the ground or a wall. You must use a bonus action to retrieve it.
4 – 6 You drop your weapon or spellcasting focus and it gets stuck deep into the ground or a wall. You must use an action to retrieve it.
7 You drop your weapon or spellcasting focus and it gets stuck very deep in the ground or a wall. You must make a successful DC 15 Strength check as an action to retrieve it.
8 You drop your weapons or spellcasting focus and if it is nonmagical it breaks.
9 – 12 A random nonmagical item (determined by the DM) falls from from your backpack or belt pouch.
13 – 14 A random magical item (determined by the DM) falls from from your backpack or belt pouch.
15 – 16 A random nonmagical item (determined by the DM) falls from from your backpack or belt pouch and breaks.
17 A random consumable magical item (determined by the DM) falls from your back or belt pouch and breaks.
18 – 20 You hurl your weapon or spellcasting focus in a random direction and it lands 5 feet away.
21 – 22 You hurl your weapon or spellcasting focus in a random direction and it lands 10 feet away.
23 – 24 You hurl your weapon or spellcasting focus in a random direction and it lands 15 feet away.
25 – 26 You hurl your weapon or spellcasting focus in a random direction, it lands 15 feet away, and it sticks in the ground or a wall. You must use a bonus action to retrieve it.
27 – 28 You hurl your weapon or spellcasting focus in a random direction, it lands 15 feet away, and it gets stuck deep into the ground or a wall. You must use an action to retrieve it.
29 You hurl your weapon or spellcasting focus in a random direction, it lands 15 feet away, and it gets stuck very deep in the ground or a wall. You must make a successful DC 15 Strength check as an action to retrieve it.
30 – 31 If it is able to do so, your attack hits your closest ally to the intended target.
32 – 34 If it is able to do so, your attack hits your ally closest to you.
35 – 37 Your attack hits you.
38 If it is able to do so, your attack hits your closest ally to the intended target. This attack counts as a critical hit against the new target.
39 If it is able to do so, your attack hits your ally closest to you. This attack counts as a critical hit against the new target.
40 Your attack hits you. This attack against you is a critical hit.
41 – 42 The miss creates an atmospheric disturbance (such as dust or smoke clouds) right in front of your face and you get this in your eyes. You are blinded until the end on your next turn.
43 – 44 The missed attack connects solidly with an object in front of you and makes a very loud noise. You are deafened until the end of your next turn
45 – 46 You marvel at how poorly you missed. You are incapacitated until the end of your next turn.
47 – 48 In the process of executing your attack you hit yourself in the stomach rather hard. You are poisoned until the end of your next turn.
49 – 51 In the process of executing your attack you trip and fall prone.
52 – 53 In the process of executing your attack you trip and move forward 5 feet and fall prone.
54 – 55 In the process of executing your attack you trip and move forward 10 feet and fall prone.
56 – 57 In the process of executing your attack you trip and move forward 15 feet and fall prone.
58 – 59 In the process of executing your attack you trip and move back 5 feet and fall prone.
60 – 61 In the process of executing your attack you trip and move back 10 feet and fall prone.
62 – 63 In the process of executing your attack you trip and move back 15 feet and fall prone.
64 – 65 In the process of executing your attack you trip and move back 15 feet and fall prone.
66 – 67 In the process of executing your attack you trip and move forward 5 feet and fall prone and drop your weapon in the space where you made the attack.
68 – 69 In the process of executing your attack you trip and move forward 10 feet and fall prone and drop your weapon in the space where you made the attack.
70 – 71 In the process of executing your attack you trip and move forward 15 feet and fall prone and drop your weapon in the space where you made the attack.
72 – 73 In the process of executing your attack you trip and move back 5 feet and fall prone and drop your weapon in the space where you made the attack.
74 – 75 In the process of executing your attack you trip and move back 10 feet and fall prone and drop your weapon in the space where you made the attack.
76 – 77 In the process of executing your attack you trip and move back 15 feet and fall prone and drop your weapon in the space where you made the attack.
78 – 79 In the process of executing your attack you launch yourself hard into the ground. You take 1d4 blugeoning damage and are prone.
80 – 81 In the process of executing your attack you launch yourself very hard into the ground. You take 1d8 blugeoning damage and are prone.
82 – 83 In the process of executing your attack you launch yourself as hard as you can into the ground. You take 1d12 blugeoning damage and are prone.
84 – 85 In the process of executing your attack you become restrained in your clothes and armor and must use an action to untangle yourself.
86 – 88 Your attack is so wild it takes a moment for you to recover. You have disadvantage on your next attack made before the end of your next turn.
89 – 90 Your attack is very wild and you need more than a moment to recover. You have disadvantage on all attacks you make before the end of your next turn.
91 – 92 You chip your weapon or arcane focus. You take a -1 penalty to attack rolls until you get it repaired.
93 – 95 Your attack is wild and allows any enemy in melee range an opening. As a reaction enemies may make an opportunity attack against you.
96 – 97 Your attack is very wild and allows any enemy in melee range an opening. As a reaction enemies may make an opportunity attack against you with advantage.
98 If your attack is made with magic weapon or spell, your miss rends a spot where the barrier between planes is weak and accidentally summons an angry minor elemental (CR 1 or lower). This demon’s turn takes place immediately after yours and it is hostile toward you.
99 If your attack is made with magic weapon or spell, your miss rends a spot where the barrier between planes is weak and accidentally summons an angry minor devil (CR 1 or lower). This demon’s turn takes place immediately after yours and it is hostile toward you.
100 If your attack is made with magic weapon or spell, your miss rends a spot where the barrier between planes is weak and accidentally summons an angry minor demon (CR 1 or lower). This demon’s turn takes place immediately after yours and it is hostile toward you.

PDF

Want these rules in a free PDF? Ok! It’s in the link below.

Critical Failures

This document will live forever on the Free Game Resources section of this site so if you ever need it again, go there to find it alongside magic itemsmonstersD&D fifth edition rules modulesbackgroundsspellsadventures, and more.

If you like what you’re reading, please check out my podcasts on The Tome Show, follow me on Twitter, tell your friends and share this blog post, and/or leave me a comment and let me know you think. Thanks!