#RPGaDay2019: Critical

I touched on being critical in a previous post, so I guess this time I'll focus on critical hits.

In Black Book we just had crits inflict maximum damage. Partially this was because I wanted something that would be quick and easy to resolve, partially I figured that was good enough, especially since overall monsters make more attack rolls than characters (and if a monster dies due to a lucky crit it's not as big a deal).

While working on Red Book we decided to give them a bit more flair, at least as an optional system for those that prefer that sort of thing. Right now there are three tables, divvied up by whether you inflict bludgeoning, piercing, or slashing damage.

We're even considering tables for other damage types like cold and fire, which could be easily done by having it so that you're effectively "critted" when you nat 1 a save, but that wouldn't work with spells and effects that don't inflict damage (like Charm, Curse, and Geas), and I don't really want to tack on a "crit" effect to a bunch of talents. Maybe relegate it to some advice if GMs really want to incorporate that sort of thing?

For example, critically failing a save to resist Charm could double the duration (or make it permanent), while crit failing a Dexterity save to avoid a Wall of Ice means you're (partially?) trapped inside.

But, where weapons are concerned, scoring a critical hit requires that you inflict Wound Point damage: if you only damage Vitality Points, then the attack didn't connect enough to inflict more severe harm. This gives the players another incentive to keep their VP up, and utilize abilities that grant temporary VP. But, assuming you hit and there's WP involved you roll damage as normal, add that to a d100 roll, and check the relevant table.

Here's part of the bludgeoning damage table:

About the first half is pretty tame. Mostly double damage with the Dazed condition or temporarily damaged limbs. The latter can last awhile, but alchemical potions and healing miracles can speed up the recovery process. Further up the damage gets tripled and even quarupled, you get Stunned instead of Dazed and the penalties last longer, but there are also a number of "head shots" scattered about.

These we're hoping will incentivize helmets: if you got one, it'll be broken but you'll avoid or mitigate the effects of the crit. Without it, at first you'll suffer extra damage and be knocked out, but if the crit roll exceeds 100 (remember you add your damage result to the roll) it can result in permanent Intelligence loss or even instant death!

You can now get a physical copy of Dungeons & Delvers: Black Book in whatever format you want! We've also released the first big supplement for it, Appendix D, so pick that up if you want more of everything.

The first issue of The Delver, a magazine featuring fungal-themed content for both players and GMs (including an adventure in which myconids find religion), is available!

Our latest Dungeon World class, The Ranger, is now available.

Dwarven Vault is our sixth 10+ Treasures volume. If you're interested in thirty dwarven magic items (including an eye that lets you shoot lasers) and nearly a dozen new bits of dungeon gear, check it out!

By fan demand, we've mashed all of our 10+ Treasure volumes into one big magic item book, making it cheaper and more convenient to buy in print (which you can now do).

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