Critical Hit System

On the Knights of Noromath server, many critical hit effects have been added based on inspiration from the old critical hit tables from AD&D.

How do I avoid extra effects from a critical hit?
Any extra effect from a critical hit can be negated if the recipient of the attack succeeds a save vs. death. The DC of this save is 10+ 1/2 the hit dice of the attacker, plus the attacker's strength modifier.

Wearing armor reduces critical severity by an amount equal to the base armor bonus provided by the armor. For example, a breastplate provides an armor bonus of +5 and reduces critical hit severity by the same amount. Wearing bracers, gauntlets, or a helmet also improves resistance to critical severity. Equipment made with stronger materials reduces critical severity even further.

While in parry mode, a character rolls 1d20 plus parry skill and for every 5 points on the result, they will reduce critical severity by -2.

Finally, expertise mode and improved expertise mode reduce critical severity on hits received by -5 and -10, respectively.

What if I don't want to inflict critical effects?
You can attempt to subdue foes by forgoing most of your physical damage for a chance to floor them or knock them out. Subdual Page
How do I recover from critical penalties?
Certain spells such as lesser restoration, restoration, or resting are suitable ways to remove critical hit penalties.
How is critical hit severity determined?
First, once the recipient of a critical hit fails their saving throw vs. death, the system rolls 1d12 to determine the severity of the effects. Next, half of the base attack bonus of the attacker is added to the roll, as well as any bonuses from weapon material, weapon size, and several other modifiers.

Then, the system accounts for the armor worn by the recipient of the critical strike. The armor, shield, helmet, and bracers/gauntlets slot are checked for items and item materials such as iron and steel modify critical hit severity in favor of the recipient.

Critical Hit Severity ScoreInjury Level & Effects
1-3 No additional effect
 4-8  Grazed; minor attack decrease, minor spell failure, additional "grazed" effects based on weapon damage type
9-14 Struck; moderate attack decrease, moderate spell failure, additional "struck" effects based on weapon damage type
15-18 Injured; major attack decrease, major spell failure, additional "injured" effects based on weapon damage type
19+ Instant Death
Haste Actions and Creature Attacks
If the attack was a haste action or creature attack, it is treated as a medium-size weapon and is assumed to use combined type damage tables. It still adds 1/2 the base attack modifier of the creature. These attacks are not modified by special material types.
Modifications for Weapon Size
Weapon size bonuses represent the ease of causing a more severe critical strike based on the size of the weapon. Small and tiny weapons receive a +2 bonus, medium weapons receive a +4 bonus, and large weapons and heavy crossbows receive a +6 bonus to their critical severity.
Modifications for Special Materials
Special materials and equipment worn by a character have very real impacts upon the severity felt by critical hits. The armor, bracers, helmet, and shield slots may all benefit from being forged or made from materials like adamantine, dragon-hide, mithril, steel, or tough animal hides.
  • Adamantine: Weapons, armors, bracers, helmets, and shields made of this metal have a profound effect upon critical hit severity.
  • Mithril and Steel: Weapons, armors, bracers, helmets, and shields made of these metals have a significant effect upon critical hit severity.
  • Dragonhide and Tough Animal Hide: Light armors, Hoods, and Gloves made of these materials have a significant effect upon critical hit severity.
Weapon Type Critical Effects
  • Bludgeoning weapons can cause frequent, brief stunning and knock down at the grazed injury level. They can cause lesser movement penalty, knock down, and long duration stunning at the struck injury level. Bludgeoning weapons can cause long duration stunning and knock down at the injured injury level.
  • Piercing weapons can cause lesser movement penalty and frequent bleeding at the grazed injury level. They can cause greater movement penalty, brief stunning, and bleeding at the struck injury level. Piercing can weapons cause extreme movement penalty, brief stunning, and exceptional damage at the injured injury level.
  • Slashing weapons can cause frequent bleeding and lesser movement penalty at the grazed injury level. They can cause frequent bleeding, greater movement penalty and brief stunning at the struck injury level. Slashing weapons can cause frequent bleeding and exceptional damage at the injured injury level.
  • Weapons of a combined damage type receive a special critical hit chart, such as halberds or flails. These weapons can cause bleeding, brief stunning, lesser movement penalty and knock down at the grazed injury level. They can cause bleeding, long duration stunning, greater movement penalty, and knock down at the struck injury level. Combined damage type weapons can cause bleeding, long duration stunning and knock down at the injured injury level.
Description of Attack Penalties
  • Attack Penalty: Attack penalties range from -2, to -4, to -6 and can be restored by rest or by any spell or effect that removes similar penalties. All grazed penalties are accompanied by a -2 attack penalty, all struck penalties are accompanied by a -4 attack penalty, and all injured penalties are accompanied by a -6 attack penalty.
  • Bleeding: Attacks that open up a bleed cause an additional 10% damage to the recipient of the attack.
  • Exceptional Damage: Attacks that do extra damage are considered to be tripled, effectively doing 50% more damage than the original critical hit.
  • Instant Death: The recipient of the attack dies instantly. All severity rolls of 19 or higher threaten instant.
  • Knock Down: The recipient of the attack is knocked prone for 1 round.
  • Move Penalties: Movement penalties represent lasting injuries that hamper or impair movement almost entirely. These are removed via resting.
  • Spell failure: Any attack penalty is implied to carry a corresponding spell failure chance with it, its severity depends whether the critical hit was a grazed, struck, or injured status. This penalty is removed by resting.
  • Stunning: A stunning effect either lasts for 1 combat round or 1d4 combat rounds if the effect is of struck or injury level.
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