Making critical hits cool again


Remember those homebrew crit tables that showed up almost immediately after the game came out?

I've been toying with some ideas for GEAS (a game I'm working on) to make critical successes cool again. And not just for attacks. Some ideas:

Critical Success and Failure
If you beat your TCN (Target Challenge Number) by 5 or more, you have accomplished a critical success. For skill checks, you may have done it better than you anticipated or hoped for—jumping extra far, additional persuasion impact, etc. For forced resistance checks, you may also gain immunity to that same type of status for up to a minute. For defense, you may gain resistance to the damage type of the attempted attack until the end of your next turn. It’s really up to you and what sounds cool at your table.
For attacks, this is where it can really get neat or cool. The below are just some of the options you can choose from when you score a critical success with an attack roll, and you are encouraged to come up with your own!

  • Inflict +1 WD per chapter level.
  • Hamstring the opponent, reducing it’s AP by 1 for the duration of the encounter.
  • Inflict a debilitating strike, removing one special ability of the creature for the duration of the battle. Perhaps you cut the dragon’s neck, preventing it from further using it’s breath weapon? Or clipped it’s wing, preventing it from flying?
  • Stun the creature until the end of its next turn.
  • Inflicted such an impressive strike that the creature an all of its allies that could see it suffer a -1 PD penalty on their attack challenge rolls until the end of their next turn.

TCN = Target Challenge number. This is a dice pool system, where you compare your highest dice result against your opponent's. Let's say your dice pool includes 3d10 and your opponents has 2d12. You roll a 4, 5, and 9. They roll a 2 and 4. Your 9 beats their 4 by 5, making this a critical success.
WD = Weapon die.
AP = Action Point. This is an action point system, where you have a pool and everything you want to do costs AP points.
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In my system hit rolls (3d6 plus the usual modifiers) can explode, meaning every time you roll a 6 you roll a die again.

I got two option for scoring a critical hit:
  • for every multiple of 6 with which you outrun your opponent's defense you roll one more weapon die, only the weapon die.
  • for every two 6 rolled you do one more weapon die damage

If the first, and only the first, weapon die does the maximum damage then you roll one more weapon die

I also added cases when you roll all 1s with 3d6s.. which depending on your weapon proficiency level may not be a complete failure..

In this way a good roll of the dice is always rewarded ( my system > TUS/OBSS at master · buzzqw/TUS )

i am a fan of your systems (backer of both chromatic dungeons and Bugbears &Borderlands) .. so i will glady follow this new work!

Just some humble opinion your critical:

Hamstring the opponent, reducing it’s AP by 1 for the duration of the encounter. Reduce Action Point (ala PF2) is a severe critical, maybe you must get at least 2 critical (beat by 10 or more) or using a particular weapon

Inflict a debilitating strike, removing one special ability of the creature for the duration of the battle.
Stun the creature until the end of its next turn

These should be the effect of specific weapon critical's. Every weapon can have a different kind of critical

Inflicted such an impressive strike.. I have a similar ability but is called "Iconic Abilities" . Based on the specific style of play the character can acquire an iconic ability (at 12 level..) . These abilitites should be tuned on character style or weapon used



He'll flip ya...Flip ya for real...
I'd be interested in playtesting something like this. Im not entirely enamored with the degrees of success system like the way they do it in PF2 however.

I want weapon threat ranges and crit multipliers back.


I'd be interested in playtesting something like this.
If you want, you can get my WiP SRD here. I should note however, that it goes the opposite of what you're wanting. That is, the core mechanics are meant to be simple. So weapons are actually in basic categories rather than have unique features. I wanted it that way because IME, with crit charts and unique features, you start seeing certain builds pop up where everyone and their grandma's dog is using weapon x. I want more of a cinematic feel, where any weapon can be effective so go with what looks and feels cool for your archetype. My approach is to have those cool maneuvers separated from the weapon itself, and more into the profession features or critical successes.


A Title Much Cooler Than Anything on the Old Site
I have a used a number of tools and rules to make crit fun. In my current campaign we use Nord Game's crit decks.

What has excited me more recently is DCC Dying Lands. I love the grudge mechanic for critical fails. It captures the flavor of the Vance's dying lands nicely and is fun in play.

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