View Full Version : Question about the High Crit?

Garrik, Nine-Lives
01-24-2012, 11:03 PM
I'm confused about the DND 4th edition ruling on the high crit. Does it deal max damage and an additional weapon die of damage, or just an additional die of damage?

01-26-2012, 07:10 PM
A high crit weapon deals max damage for the attack. In addition, i believe, it does 1 weapon damage die per plus.

For example a scimitar does 1d8 damage. If its a +2 scimitar it does an extra 2d8 damage.

02-05-2012, 06:38 PM
A high critical weapon does maximum damage plus the weapon damage per tier, and the type of magical item specifies the die of damage used per enhancement bonus. Various weapons would garner the following results on a critical hit:

a scythe (2d4, not high critical) - 8 points of damage
a magic scythe +2 (+1d6 per plus) - 2d6+10 points of damage
a falchion (2d4, high critical) wielded by a 5th level character who had no other damage bonuses - 2d4+8 points of damage
a Perfect Hunter's Falchion +6 (+1d12 per plus) wielded by a 26th level character who inexplicably had no other damage bonuses - 6d12+6d4+14 points of damage (though it's hard to avoid the +1[W] bonus at levels 21+, so the attack would most likely be doing 6d12+6d4+22 damage)

02-05-2012, 11:40 PM
Waitaminute... and 4E was supposed to make things SIMPLER???

Okay, help me out here (since I don't play 4E) - spoon-feed me, please.

1st Level Fighter: 16 STR
Short sword: 1d6 damage normal +2 STR bonus
+1 magical short sword: What is normal damage with 4E?
+1 magical short sword: high crit??
+2 magical short sword: high crit??

If he's a 5th level fighter, how does it change?

10th level?

20th level?

02-06-2012, 02:11 AM
If you don't play 4e to start with, why do you want to know? I'm having a hard time imagining why the specific short sword damage a fighter does in 4e would be interesting to someone who is not playing it, any more than I would care about how much damage an Imperial Stormtrooper in Star Wars does with a blaster rifle.

Despite how your first sentence came across, I'm going to trust that you're not here just to pick a fight, and will go ahead and answer your questions.

There are three elements to remember when calculating critical hit damage in 4e:

Critical hits do maximum normal damage.
If the weapon is magical, then add additional damage based on the type of magic weapon
If the weapon is a "high crit" weapon, then add additional damage based on the type of weapon per 10 levels of the wielder's experience.

So, you have a 4th edition 1st level fighter with a 16 Strength. The 16 Strength will provide a +3 to damage rolls. A short sword is a weapon that does 1d6 damage as its base.

"High Crit" is a quality some weapons have, meaning they do more damage on a critical hit. A short sword is not a "high crit" weapon. Scimitars and falchions are. Therefore, I'm going to go ahead and answer you assuming you meant "critical hit" instead of "high crit."

So, to give the damage results for your questions:

short sword - It does 1d6+3 damage in the hands of this fighter on a regular hit and 9 damage on a critical hit.
+1 magical short sword - Normal damage wielded by the fighter above is 1d6+4. On a critical hit, it does 1d6+10 damage.
+2 magical short sword - On a regular hit it does 1d6+5 damage. On a critical hit it does 2d6+11 damage.

If he's a 5th, 10th, or 20th level fighter, it doesn't change, because it's not a high crit weapon.

If he was wielding a scimitar (base damage 1d8), which is a high crit weapon, then critical damage would change based on his level, and the conditions you gave above would be as follows:

Scimitar - It does 1d8+3 damage, normally. 1d8+11 damage on a critical hit.
+1 magical scimitar - Normal damage wielded by the fighter above is 1d8+4. On a critical hit, it does 1d8+1d6+12 damage.
+2 magical scimitar - On a regular hit it does 1d8+5 damage. On a critical hit it does 1d8+2d6+13 damage.

At 5th or 10th level, the damage wouldn't change. At 20th level, because this fighter is in the paragon tier (11th through 20th level), he would add an additional 1d8 on a critical hit with a scimitar, so 2d8+11 for a normal scimitar, 2d8+1d6+12 for a +1 magical scimitar, and 2d8+2d6+13 for a +2 magical scimitar.

02-06-2012, 09:14 PM
Thank you. Clear, concise, and understandable... to someone with 30 years of gaming experience.

How the heck is 4E supposed to be easy for newbies? Some kid that walks in and says, "I wanna learn to play," will be blown out of the water before their first combat is over - and they don't even have to be HIT! OLD rules were bad, but DANG, man!!

Now I understand what the detractors said about 4E just being a huge splat book!

Okay, I'm done ranting now.

Oh - and thank you for straightening me out about the "high crit" weapons and giving examples.

02-07-2012, 01:49 AM
Maybe you should start a new thread about 4e's ease or lack thereof for new players.

I will reply to your current concerns, having now run games for a fair number of new players with the 4e rules.

First of all, an observation: very few, if any, of my players have reported problems calculating their critical hit damage. If there were one or two instances where it was an issue, I don't recall a single complaint from a player when they were told they were entitled to roll more dice for damage. Frankly, if that was a problem, it would be all the same to me if the player chose to not roll those extra dice.

Now, let's consider a hypothetical new game with new players. It's not a huge stretch to imagine that characters start off at 1st level with no magical weapons. Critical damage is then just maximum damage, unless the player is using a "high crit" weapon. If a player isn't comfortable adding the extra die of damage from a high crit weapon, my suggestion would be that they should refrain from purchasing one of the (very few) high crit weapons, but I would have some concern over their ability to do first grade arithmetic at the same time.

Once a character finds their first magical weapon, it's explained that the weapon provides a bonus to attacks and to damage, and that it entitles the player to roll an additional die of damage on a critical hit. That should be easy enough to remember.

However, what really should be happening in most games is that the character should have possession of the statistics for whatever weapons and attacks they are using. Even very old D&D character sheets had this sort of thing. Using your example of the fighter with 16 strength and the shortsword, the entry for a short sword might look something like this. "Short Sword. Melee weapon. +6 to the attack roll. 1d6+3 damage. 9 damage on a critical. Can be used off-handed." Even if they pick up a magical short sword +1, the write-up is still going to be something like "Magical Short Sword +1. Melee weapon. +7 to the attack roll. 1d6+4 damage. 1d6+10 damage on a critical hit. Can be used off-handed."

If a new player is starting over the first level, and has a magical weapon or two already, a write-up like that should pretty much let them know where they're at when they have to stab something with the pointy end.

Lastly, this may be putting my foot into it and it is certainly better discussed on a different thread, but I am pretty unclear on how taking three clauses to explain critical hit damage leaves the fourth edition open to any accusation that it is a "splat book." Perhaps part of my confusion stems from not knowing what a splat book is. It sounds like we've been playing role-playing games for roughly the same amount of time, but I've never been one to pick up on the jargon. I certainly remember older rpgs that had pages and pages of critical hit tables, to say nothing of all those ambitious articles in Dragon Magazine that vied for the same effect. D&D, in all its incarnations, with a roll to hit and abstracted damage, has always presented one of the simpler and easier-to-understand conceptualizations of combat. As to whether that has a bearing on its "splat book-ness," I wouldn't be able to say.

03-18-2012, 08:29 PM
In 4e A Critical Hit just does max damage on the die.

If the weapon is a high crit weapon then it does maximum damage plus its damage die again [ so if it does 1d8 normal, it will do max damage 8 + 1d8] for characters level 1-10, Characters level 11-20 add 2 extra dice [max damage 8 + 2d8], Characters level 21-30 add 3 extra dice [max damage 8 +3d8]

This is in addition to the modifiers a PC may have to damage.

What can be confusing is the fact he example uses the extra damage first and adds the real damage last ie. 1d8+11-which is completely confusing if you are looking at this from other games (1e-3e).

In addition, certain magical weapons do extra die of damage on critical hits. The default is 1d6 per enchantment bonus but some weapons do a different dice depending on their features (i.e. a vicious weapon would do d12 on extra crit damage)

Why the max damage die? In 4e, certain encounter and daily powers you use have a x[W], meaning they do a multiple of your damage dice based on your weapon or implement. So if your power deals 1[W] and your using a longsword, the damage would be 1d8. If your damage with a power is 2[w] then it does 2d8. On critical hit a 2[W] longsword would inflict max damage of 16 plus modifiers. Like wise, with the same power, a character may be wielding a greatsword that does 1d12. Their crit damage for 1[W] would be 12 while their Crit damage for a 2[W] would be 24.