Friday, 20 January 2017

Critical Hits Random Table

Games of the OSR movements and old(est) D&D editions do not have the Critical Hit and Fumble mechanisms when rolling 20 or 1 during a combat.
This means that even if you roll a natural 20, if the target's Armor Class is higher than your result, you miss. Boring, right?
This table purpose is to add some spice to the combat, maybe making it a little more brutal but offering some interesting and varied results when the famous Critical Hits and Fumble results, 20 and 1, are rolled.

From Ms.Thott.290.2º, a 1459 fencing manual by Hans Talhoffer; folio 123r

If a Character rolls a Critical Hit (a natural 20), or his Opponent rolls a Critical Fumble (a natural 1), roll a d12 and look at what happens on the following table.
Vice versa, if the 
Critical Fumble is rolled by the Character or the Critical Hit is rolled by his Opponent, the bad things described down here will happen to the former!

1 Your attack penetrated your opponent's defenses and hit a critical point, like an artery or the carotid: roll the damage twice.
2 Your blow made your opponent waver or you managed to create an opening on his defenses: roll another attack.
3 During your last assault you had the idea, or you learned from your opponent, a new winning attack technique: you cause maximum damage; furthermore you gain as many Experience Points as the sum, multiplied by 10, of your Attack Roll and the caused Damage*.
4 You manage to use your opponent's impetus against himself: you project him 10' (3m) away in the desired direction.
5 Thanks to your agility or brute force you throw your opponent out of balance: he falls down prone.
6 Your blow caught him off guard, or does he had his hand sweaty? Your opponent is now unarmed.
7 The brutal impact of your blow, or the razor edge og your blade permanently maimed your opponent: an arm is severed, an eye lost, or bones have been irreparably broken.
8 Your dexterity is so incredible your opponent never had any defense opportunity: the attack is successful regardless of his Armor Class.
9 Dirt in the eyes is not foul play when it's your life at stake: your opponent is stunned and cannot act for an entire round, taking attacks as if by surprise.
10 Your opponent should really change blacksmith: his weapon is broken; if he has a shield, it is that that breaks instead.
11 Your opponent is very good at defending himself, but your technique is efficient and precise: while you keep rolling 1s or 2s with the Damage Die, re-roll it and add the result to previous.
12 Fortune helps those daring, and why would you not accept the help? Roll twice on this table and combine the results.

*With this effect at higher levels Fighters have actually more probabilities to gain more Experience Points than the other classes thanks to their higher attack bonus.
Fighters, after all, given their specialization in combat are more apt to learn or observe new techniques compared to the other classes.


  1. Pretty sweet, thanks for sharing

  2. In a real fight, especially a sword fight using the German duelling systems such as Talhoffer, it's got to be a crit every other blow. A strike is met by a counter, only someone that knows the counter counter survives! Give me a good suit of armour anyday! LOL. A good critical table though nothing will enable a combat system to be true to life, we can get colourful and realistic as possible I suppose.