D&D 5E Highly Lethal/ Critical Combat


log in or register to remove this ad

UngainlyTitan

Legend
Supporter
My thoughts are why increase the lethality of 5e and play a game with the lethality built in? Why not play Warhammer or even version of D&D that built to be more lethal.
 

Stalker0

Legend
One option for deadliness is uncapped damage rolls.

Aka when a damage roll is made and it rolls max, you roll it again. This can be repeated an infinite number of times. Ex: I roll 3d6, and I get 2,6,6. My damage is 14 and I roll the 2 6s again, getting a 3 and a 6. My damage is 23 and I roll one more die which is a 4, total damage is 27

It’s a very simple change but can have a marked effect to the variability of damage, so players can never be too comfortable or confident. It also makes AC less important than the “ac +5” rule, so you won’t have quite the same incentive to max AC all the time. If you players have trouble with the math you can substitute rerolled die with just more die, so they can just add up all the rolls in the pool rather than “holding the number in their head” while they reroll
 

Quickleaf

Legend
One option for deadliness is uncapped damage rolls.

Aka when a damage roll is made and it rolls max, you roll it again. This can be repeated an infinite number of times. Ex: I roll 3d6, and I get 2,6,6. My damage is 14 and I roll the 2 6s again, getting a 3 and a 6. My damage is 23 and I roll one more die which is a 4, total damage is 27

It’s a very simple change but can have a marked effect to the variability of damage, so players can never be too comfortable or confident. It also makes AC less important than the “ac +5” rule, so you won’t have quite the same incentive to max AC all the time. If you players have trouble with the math you can substitute rerolled die with just more die, so they can just add up all the rolls in the pool rather than “holding the number in their head” while they reroll
I've been contemplating using the exploding damage dice house rule, and wondering how it works in play. Have you used it in your 5e games?

On paper, I recognize that it favors anything using the foot-jabbing d4's for damage, since they'll have higher odds of exploding. Simple weapons like daggers, clubs, slings. Spells like vicious mockery, magic missile, cloud of daggers, melf's acid arrow, spike growth, and vitrolic sphere. And there's the weird effect on certain subclasses like the Battle Master where as their superiority dice evolve from d8's > d10's > d12's, they'd actually be reducing the chances of a damage explosion due to the larger die type.
 

Stalker0

Legend
I've been contemplating using the exploding damage dice house rule, and wondering how it works in play. Have you used it in your 5e games?

On paper, I recognize that it favors anything using the foot-jabbing d4's for damage, since they'll have higher odds of exploding. Simple weapons like daggers, clubs, slings. Spells like vicious mockery, magic missile, cloud of daggers, melf's acid arrow, spike growth, and vitrolic sphere. And there's the weird effect on certain subclasses like the Battle Master where as their superiority dice evolve from d8's > d10's > d12's, they'd actually be reducing the chances of a damage explosion due to the larger die type.
While you are reducing the chance, you are increasing the swing with higher dice (aka rolling a 12 on a d12 and then an 11 is a much bigger thing than if I rolled 2 4 on a d4 in a row and then like a 3.

The averages all go up, but its not night and day:

d4 - 2.5 to 3.333 (~.833 increase)
d6 = 3.5 to 4.2 (.7 increase)
d8 = 4.5 to 5.14 (.64 increase)
d10 = 5.5 to 6.11 (.61 increase)
d12 = 6.5 to 7.09 (.59 increase)

So while the d4 gets a slightly better improvement over a d6 for example, its not a massive difference, and the higher die is practically a rounding error.
 

Lanefan

Victoria Rules
quoting OP
Monsters also had WP typically 1 or 10 depending on importance, or more if they were large. I summarized them like this so I could just eyeball a monster's stats and intuit their WP instead of having to keep track of another set of info.

It's half you HD+half con. So if you increase your Con, it goes up. Since it's half your HD, at first level you get 1 and at 20th you get 10.

According to OP, if you drop to 0HP (or fatigue points), you are unconscious and you lose 1 WP per turn.
I saw that it applied to monsters but I wouldn't say NPC foes e.g. an opposing party count as "monsters".

I missed the bit about going unconscious if you hit 0 FP.
 

dave2008

Legend
We have explored the idea of a +10 (the PF2E method) being a crit, but decided against it. One of the factors was that it devalue thed natural 20. I have since thought about trying it again, where you get more damage on a +10 or (+5) and then another benefit (a "bennie?" per @Quickleaf ) on a natural 20.

PS. we do something similar the clip in the OP with wound points (bloodied HP in our game), but it also includes and armor as DR component.
 

NotAYakk

Legend
What do you want your gameplay loop to look like?

You can make D&D very lethal and get a playable game.

Like, take D&D, and whenever you take damage you get to roll one hit die and add your con bonus. If it is under the damage done, you are dying. If it is over the damage done, you lose that HD. If you are out of HD, the next damage you take makes you dying.

This is a playable game of D&D with insanely high lethality. I'd expect PCs to avoid being in combat in anything besides an ambush situation, and to use as many meat shields as they can.

But you can still roleplay and use D&D mechanics. Just it won't be a game where the main game loop involves a combat every session. Instead, the main game loop will involve rolling new characters after almost every fight. (Or relying on resurrection heavily).

And that can be an RPG, even a fantasy like one. Just one where violence is insanely more dangerous, and high level monsters and magic is insanely deadly.
 
Last edited:

First cheap adjustment.
Remove healing word spell from your game.
systematically attack down character with remaining extra attack available when a monster put a character to 0.
 

Remove ads

Top