Critical Hit and Fumble Charts

topic posted Mon, May 24, 2004 - 1:04 PM by  Josiah
Thanks to Chase's website listing for critical hit charts, it inspired me to post a link to the existing critical hit charts that I use in my games. These rules are setup for 3.5, but can easily be modified for earlier versions.

To get a extended critical hit, both the first roll and the second roll (the normal roll to confirm a critical threat) on the d20 must be a natural 20 (thus on average 1 out of 400 times you'll get one). You then roll on the charts below to determine the effect. There is about a 30% chance you'll notice that there is no special effect even then. On the other hand, if you roll higher the results get worse (any of the criticals after Regular Result use at least a x3 critical multiplier, replacing whatever multiplier the attack uses). Since targeted spell attacks can also get critical hits, these use the charts as well.

Fumbles are determined as follows. First any natural 1 on a d20 attack roll gives a potential fumble and ends any further attacks that round (for those who have multiple attack sequences). If a second d20 roll (reflecting confirming a fumble much like critical hits use) ends up being a hit, then there is no further result. If the second d20 roll ends up being a miss, then the character is flat-footed until his next turn. If (horror of horrors) the second d20 roll is a natural 1, then use the charts below to determine the effects (many of these effects can be negated or reduced by a good dexterity check).

These charts allow the potential for the occassional rare fatal strike or fatal fumble while not dominating play with too many rules. Further, these allow the concept of fumbles to balance out the special effects of criticals (not to mention rogues love it when their opponents fumble and end up flat-footed).
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SF Bay Area
  • Re: Critical Hit and Fumble Charts

    Mon, May 24, 2004 - 9:53 PM
    Nice charts... we use one in our campaign for just critical misses based off of percentile dice roll. We have results like 'Weapon thrown 10' left', 'Weapon thrown 20' behind', or my fave 'You're ineptitude at combat strikes fear into the hearts of your allies- for the remaider of the combat, all allies get -4 to their attacks'. I'm tellin ya, you can have MAD fun with crit tables- they really do spice it up a bit.
    • Re: Critical Hit and Fumble Charts

      Thu, May 27, 2004 - 7:57 AM
      Indeed, they really are a nice addition to any game. Although with critical misses and critical hits, I don't do the double 20 thing, just if you get a 20, or a 1, then I roll on the chart. Thats why most of the stuff on there is not that horrible or powerfull.

      Oh ya, I'm working on my advanced version of the chart right now, that deals with the type of attack being used and such. It will be so sweet
    • a
      offline 26

      Re: Critical Hit and Fumble Charts

      Fri, June 18, 2004 - 11:26 PM
      I've used a number of 'charts over the years, some good some bad some totally ludicris. But the most workable I found was the simple crit hit in 2nd ed. On a natural 20, you get to make an extra attack. I utilized that concept & on a natural 1 rolled, you loose your next attack. Simple, clean, fair, & quick. No need to look at another table or chart or make multiple additional rolls.

      Oh and as to your fave... my fave off a chart was from the "NNN" Law books (the base of the MERP's system) "You have done something so stupid that your opponent is stunned with Laughter for the next two rounds of combat"

      Now for REALLY MAD FUN... use a 200 item Whimsy Wine table....

      Da' WIZ
  • Unsu...

    Re: Critical Hit and Fumble Charts

    Wed, March 21, 2007 - 4:11 PM
    When I was DM I played even more chancy. It only required one natual 20 for a critical. Then 1d6 is rolled to see where it landed. 1 is feet and ankle 2 knees and shin 3 is thighs and hips 4 is torso and chest 5 is arms and shoulders 6 is neck and face. double damage for the critical with 25% bone break or sever.
    • Re: Critical Hit and Fumble Charts

      Wed, March 21, 2007 - 3:44 PM
      I can't get your critical table's site to load. :( I've been looking for a good one myself. I abhor critical misses. The are anti-heroic. When's the last time you saw Conan, Legolas, or Arthur accidentally fling their weapon across the room? I know that lower level characters aren't expert fighters, but I think the critical misses are taking the realism a bit too far.
      • Unsu...

        Re: Critical Hit and Fumble Charts

        Wed, March 21, 2007 - 5:39 PM
        Oh, fumbles, I did fumbles too. Natural one is always a fumble. Usually means dropped weapon and sometimes the loss of next attack. Some rolls to recover weapon, too. I forgot how I had my rules on fumble but self-injury was a small percentage chance too on a natural one on a d20.
      • Re: Critical Hit and Fumble Charts

        Thu, March 22, 2007 - 9:03 AM
        Hehe! We're so different.

        I love critical misses, some of the best moments in my game memorie have come out of them, from both the comic to the serious oh my god, save him! teamwork kind of thing. More than once I had to be the one saved. Sometimes I did the saving through.

        For me critical misses make me more able to believe in my character and the world. I'm not fond of chracters like Conan, Legolas, or Arthur BECAUSE they never have mistakes or screwups in battle. And the really dry wording of the books too, I admit that. :) My husband love those stories, but I find them boring, and prefer things with characters that screw up on occasion more believable and fun to read.

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