D&D 4E Effect of critical hits on two-weapon powers

Myrhdraak

Explorer
I was implementing some macro scripts for my 4th Edition game in MapTools. I am trying to calculate the critical damage for two-weapon powers the like "Whirling Rend" (Barbarian 1st Level At-Will Power). I could not find any guidance in the 4th Edition books that brought clarity to me, so I though I would reach out to the experts in this forum. The power read:

"Hit: 1[W] + Strength modifier damage, and an enemy adjacent to you other than the target takes 1[W] damage (off-hand weapon). If you are raging, add your Dexterity modifier to both damage rolls."

  • So if the barbaian have two magic swords, would the magic item critical bonus (+1d6) be applied to both 1[W] damages, i.e. in total +2d6?
  • Should the magic item bonus to damage (+1) for each magical weapon be applied to each 1[W] damage, or only to the primary damage?
  • Would the critical maximum damage apply only to the primary weapon or to both?
  • The barbarian have Two-Weapon Fighting feat, resulting in +1 damage when wielding two weapons. Does this bonus get added to both weapons, resulting in a +2 bonus in total, or only on the primary weapon?

Anyone having a FAQ or other clarity on these questions?

/Myrhdraak
 
Last edited:

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Myrhdraak

Explorer
Very little 4th Edition support in these forums ;)
After negotiating with the Player's Union, we reached a decision - a middle ground. Player's Union normally only try to maximize their benefits, but we managed to come to turns in the end.
Ruling: The secondary attack damage from the off-hand weapon should be seen as an Effect, rather than a seperate attack. As it does not require an attack roll. Thus, the secondary damage is not maximized when the primary weapon make a critical. However, both primary and secondary damage roll is entitled to damage modifiers from race and feat bonuses; magic item bonuses; power bonuses; or untyped bonuses (according to PHB p.276)
 

Horwath

Legend
haven't played 4E in ages, but isn't it in 4E that you deal max damage on attack +whatever weapon magic bonuses are on crit?

If it's max weapon damage, then it's max weapon damage(both weapons).

Now, if off-hand attack was from separate attack, which it is not, then it would deal normal damage, unless that attack is a crit also.
 




Myrhdraak

Explorer
(no attack roll specific to it, then no crit effect but an auto hit [W] gets its other magic bonuses.)
My judgement as well. Have started to code Maptools macros for all the PCs powers. I think it could speed up combat even more as I don't have to do a lot of record keeping and checking up on power descriptions as mist of it is handled by the code.
 

Garthanos

Arcadian Knight
My judgement as well. Have started to code Maptools macros for all the PCs powers. I think it could speed up combat even more as I don't have to do a lot of record keeping and checking up on power descriptions as mist of it is handled by the code.
Have you seen MacroPoliceBox
 


This was an old chestnut in the before days of 4e rules questions, it came up a lot in various forms. I don't recall what WotC said at the time, but I don't agree that the damage from the second weapon is an 'effect'. It is reliant on HITTING, you don't get it if you miss! Thus it is damage which results from attacking and hitting something, and is thus maximized on a critical hit!

As to the question of whether or not it is a second instance of doing damage... What is the exact wording of the power? It doesn't call itself a multi-target power (IE there's no 'close burst' or something like that) so I don't think there is really a second instance of doing damage. Instead I think this is EXTRA DAMAGE that is part of the single damage instance, but applied to a different target, and thus it doesn't get any additional bonuses. In fact the damage is nominally just '1[W]', no modifiers of any kind, unless you are raging, which explicitly states that each target suffers DEX mod additional damage.

Based on that "if raging" clause, you certainly can argue that the power is worded as if there are two separate damages happening. It is really a toss up. I've given people things like crit max and other similar stuff, but not static damage bonuses that are not called for in the power block. It is impossible to say this is 'right' however.
 

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