This section will contain miscellaneous additions or alterations to the core system that deal primarily with the combat aspect of the game.
Miscellaneous Combat Related Notes
- Death from Massive Damage
The Death from Massive damage check threshold is the greater of 50 points or 50% of your character's total hit points.
For example, if you have 75 hit points, you would need to make a check any time you took 50 points of damage from a single attack, as normal. If you have 200 hit points, you would not need to make a check unless you took at least 100 points of damage from a single attack.
- Death and Dying Variant
This option simply changes the threshold of negative hit points a character can suffer before dying. Rather than everyone having a threshold of -10, all characters now have a threshold equal to their Constitution score. For example, a character with a 15 CON would not die until reaching -15 hit points.
Please note that magically enhanced CON counts towards this limit.
- Critical Threat Ranges
These changes are noted within the relevant individual topics, but I am summarizing it here as well.
A magic spell or effect that improves your Critical Threat Range (Keen special ability or the Keen Edge spell) will stack with one provided by a feat (namely Weapon Mastery). However, all such spells and feats only provide a +1 to your Critical Threat Range; they no longer double the range.
Class features that provide additional bonuses to Critical Threat Range will stack on top of these other options, unless specifically stated otherwise within the class description.
This was implemented due to the fact that critical hits are supposed to be something special, a somewhat rare occurrence of extreme skill and luck in other words, and having most everyone walking around with nearly a 50% chance to make a critical hit every time they attack just doesn't make sense nor sit well with me.
- Critical Fumbles & Alternate Critical Hit Effects
In the interest of wanting some more "flavor" options for critical hits and critical misses, we've opted to use the simplified charts presented in Dragon Compendium Volume I. We had utilized different charts from different sources at various times in the past, and I had the desire to use some far less generic charts, but for sake of overall ease we're sticking with what is presented below.
Whenever a character (or monster) scores a critical hit, his player (or the DM) can choose between using the character's normal critical hit multiplier or rolling on the optional Critical Hit Effects table below (choosing this latter option precludes the normal damage multiplier of the weapon used).
Whenever a character (or monster) rolls a natural 1 while making an attack roll, he must immediately roll again using the same modifiers (much like confirming a critical threat). If this second attack roll results in a miss the character has fumbled. He must immediately roll on the appropriate table below.
When using the charts, the net mechanical effect is more important than the description. The text assumes a humanoid foe, but aberrations and other such creatures do not neatly fit into the humanoid body form. In such cases, apply the drawbacks of the critical hit as normal and adjust the description to fit the creature. If a critical hit could affect more than one limb, determine the target affected limb at random. An "arm injury" that causes a penalty on attack rolls could apply to one of a creature's natural attacks chosen at random.
Both tables are meant for all weapons, and they can be applied to any spell that requires an attack roll as well.
A note for high critical multipliers: In this system, a weapon with a critical hit damage multiplier of x3 allows its weilder to roll twice on the Critical Hit Effects table and choose one of the results. A critical hit damage modifier of x4 allows its wielder to roll three times and choose one of the results.
Unless otherwise noted, you do not gain the benefits of a standard critical hit in addition to the effects listed in the table. The effects of a critical hit remain until the listed duration expires. Magical healing has no effect on them.
If a critical fumble that requires you to attack an ally occurs with a ranged weapon, randomly pick an ally from all those within your weapon's first range increment to whom you have line of sight. In melee, pick an ally you threaten at random. If you have no allies in your threatened area or range, apply the results yourself.
CRITICAL HIT EFFECTS CHART
Critical multiplier +1
Apply critical damage to shield (roll again if no shield)
Helm removed, ear injured (-2 Listen 1d4 hours), stunned 1d6 rounds
Helm removed, ear injured (-4 Listen 1d4 days), stunned 1d6 rounds
Voicebox punctured, no talking 1d4 hours
Eye injured, -2 Spot 1d4 hours
Eye injured, -4 Spot 1d4 days
Knee gashed, -10 movement 1d4 hours
Knee smashed, -20 movement 1d4 hours
Fingers injured, 1d4 DEX damage
Ankle injury, -10 movement 1d4 hours, 1d4 DEX damage
Knee injury, -20 movement 1d4 hours, 1d6 DEX damage
Hip injury, -30 movment 1d4 hours, 2d4 DEX damage
Secondary arm wrist injured, -2 on secondary attacks, no shield use 1d4 hours
Secondary arm elbow injured, -4 on secondary attacks, no shield use 1d4 hours
Secondary arm elbow injured, -6 on secondary attacks, no shield use 1d4 hours
Secondary arm shoulder crushed, no secondary attacks, no shield use 1d4 hours
Primary arm wrist injured, -2 on primary attacks 1d4 hours
Primary arm elbow injured, -4 on primary attacks 1d4 hours
Primary arm shoulder injured, -6 on primary attacks 1d4 hours
Abdominal injuries, 1d4 CON damage
Chest injuries, 1d6 CON damage
Abdominal injuries, 2d4 CON damage
Chest injuries, 2d6 CON damage
Abdominal injuries, 1d6 STR and CON damage
Chest injuries, 2d4 STR and CON damage
Abdominal injuries, 2d6 STR and CON damage
Chest injuries, 3d6 STR and CON damage
Throat cut, DC 20 Fort save or die, 3d6 CON damage on successful save
Throat cut, DC 25 Fort save or die, 3d6 CON damage on successful save
Possible decapitation, DC 30 Fort save or die, 3d6 CON damage on successful save
Possible decapitation, DC 35 Fort save or die, 3d6 CON damage on successful save
CRITICAL FUMBLE CHART
DC 20 Dexterity check or fall prone
DC 20 Dexterity check or fall prone and stunned 1d4 rounds
DC 20 Dexterity check or fall prone and stunned 1d6 rounds
DC 20 Dexterity check or lose action next round as you regain your balance
DC 20 Strength check or drop weapon
DC 20 Strength check or accidentally fling weapon 2d6 feet away
DC 20 Strength check or accidentally fling weapon 3d6 feet away
Shield tangled, DC 20 DEX check or drop shield, reroll if no shield
Shield tangled, DC 20 DEX check or drop shield, reroll if no shield, -4 AC next round
Weapon tangled with opponent, no standard action next round
Weapon knocked away, lands 3d4 squares away from you
Weapon possibly breaks, roll damage as normal but apply to weapon
Hit self for half damage
Hit self for normal damage
Hit self for critical hit damage
Hit friend if in threatened area, otherwise self, half damage
Hit friend if in threatened area, otherwise self, normal damage
Hit friend if in threatened area, otherwise self, critical hit damage
Critical hit self, critical damage and roll on Crit Hit Effects table
Critical friend if threatened, otherwise self, critical hit damage and roll on Crit Hit table
Twist ankle; half speed for 10 minutes, DC 20 Dexterity check each round or fall prone
Roll twice, ignoring rolls of 99 or 100
Roll three times, ignoring rolls of 99 or 100
Page Last Updated March 12th, 2006
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