• The VOIDRUNNER'S CODEX is coming! Explore new worlds, fight oppressive empires, fend off fearsome aliens, and wield deadly psionics with this comprehensive boxed set expansion for 5E and A5E!

D&D 5E Critical Hits and damage - What do you do?

log in or register to remove this ad


I have a chart the player rolls on. Can get from 2x-6x damage, or inflict lingering effects.

Players before meeting Harold Halfman, thought he was a dwarf. No, just an unlucky adventurer who lost so many bits and bobs of flesh that he earned the moniker halfman.


In our group, we max all the dice, then we roll all the dice over again and add that to the first number. This applies to heroes only.
We've been doing this, but applied to enemies as well. Crits are pretty meaningful.
I started playing at a FLGS (now closed) and that's where it came from.
Since my players are high level (18), crits are getting time-consuming. Critical smite with artifact sword means the paladin is rolling 1d6+8+d8(imp smite)+2d12(sword)+xd8 (smite). Now he has to figure out the max total and then also roll and add that up.

In the future I'm going to switch to just "roll your total damage, and double it."


As a player, nothing knocked the wind out of my sails more than scoring a crit and then rolling really low damage.

So, as a DM, I give my players 2 options:
1. Roll as you normally would and take whatever the dice gods give you.
2. Accept automatic half damage.**

** So, if a player can roll a 2d8 with a sword attack after scoring a crit, automatic half damage in this example would be 8 hit points. (Excluding any other modifiers)

So, do you have any house rules for critical hit? What are they?
I run it as-is, except that I use a (modified) lingering injuries that can crop up after a natural 20. The player (be it me the DM for a monster, or the PC's player) rolls a d20 and on an 11 or higher, there's a lingering injury.

This gets really ugly with in cases with multiple dice.

Spell attacks are the biggest in this category. Inflict Wounds does 30+3d10 damage - that's instadeath for every 1st level character. Adn will drop most characters of much higher level even from full.

Rogues, who already are going for advantage so have a higher chance of scoring a crit, about 9% per hit. A 5th level rogue would be adding 18+3d6 sneak attack to their normal weapon damage. Paladins with the ability to chose after knowing if it's a crit to add a divine smite, and what level divine smite, also see significant benefit from it. And no one is complaining that paladins and rogues are too low in damage.
I tried this houserule in a campaign and found out really quickly that an Oath of Vengeance Paladin can deal an absolutely absurd amount of damage with it.

Remove ads