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Nat 20 rule. Is it immersion breaking?


Depends on which D&D.

Prior to 3e D&D had the Arrow of Dragon Slaying (based, interestingly enough probably on the Hobbit and Smaug's Death) which, if used against a Dragon, could slay it instantly.

No need for a critical hit, no need for a natural 20.
So it took a magic arrow to make it work?


I actually remember an old AD&D adventure we played where we were dealing with a white dragon terrorizing the lands and our goal was to retrieve an arrow of dragon slaying to put an end to its reign of terror. We all knew at the time that it wasn't a guarentee to work but it gave us a chance. The journey to get the arrow (some old desolate battlefield where it was said we could find an arrow....montage a journey through enemy territory, a dark forest, etc). Good times!

And 1 person died distracting the dragon so the archer could make his shot. Which he did and the dragon was slain.


Yes, just like in the Book Bard used his own special arrow (The black arrow) to kill Smaug.
Bard certainly considered the black arrow to be his lucky arrow, as he had always recovered it.

However, there's nothing that I am aware of to definitively suggest that it was anything other than a well made arrow (in D&D terms, masterwork). It was forged by Thror under the Lonely Mountain. It was old, and in Tolkien's works older generally meant better.

There's also the factor of the old thrush which revealed the dragon's vulnerable point to Bard, just as he was down to his last arrow. That's something that doesn't much get brought up in these discussions. Arguably, had Bard not been told where to shoot, the black arrow would have glanced off Smaug's scales like the rest, and the story would have ended much differently.

Magic items like the arrow of dragon slaying may have taken some inspiration from the black arrow, but there's nothing to suggest that the black arrow itself was magical.


Now [Bard] shot with a great yew bow, till all his arrows but one were spent. The flames were near him. His companions were leaving him. He bent his bow for the last time. Suddenly out of the dark something fluttered to his shoulder. He started—but it was only an old thrush. Unafraid it perched by his ear and it brought him news. Marvelling he found he could understand its tongue, for he was of the race of Dale.
"Wait! Wait!" it said to him. "The moon is rising. Look for the hollow of the left breast as he flies and turns above you!" And while Bard paused in wonder it told him of tidings up in the Mountain and of all that it had heard. Then Bard drew his bow-string to his ear. The dragon was circling back, flying low, and as he came the moon rose above the eastern shore and silvered his great wings.
"Arrow!" said the bowman. "Black arrow! I have saved you to the last. You have never failed me and always I have recovered you. I had you from my father and he from of old. If ever you came from the forges of the true king under the Mountain, go now and speed well!"
The dragon swooped once more lower than ever, and as he turned and dived down his belly glittered white with sparkling fires of gems in the moon—but not in one place. The great bow twanged. The black arrow sped straight from the string, straight for the hollow by the left breast where the foreleg was flung wide. In it smote and vanished, barb, shaft and feather, so fierce was its flight. With a shriek that deafened men, felled trees and split stone, Smaug shot spouting into the air, turned over and crashed down from on high in ruin.
Then you would be wrong. Ordinary infantry soldiers, in sufficient quantities, destroyed tanks sometimes during WW2. It was not a favored tactic, but it definitely happened (usually by destroying tank treads, or running them into an unseen ditch).
There's also the old standby, the Molotov cocktail. Tanks are vulnerable if you can get close enough.

You should be able to hit anything, with really very good luck. The odds might be drastically, overwhelmingly against you, and you might do little damage, but you should have a chance.
That's how I feel about it, also. The only way to actually protect yourself is damage reduction.


Well, like anything else, your individual game can have different standards to what's acceptable and the DM can note if any particular feat is forbidden...but in my case, I want my martials to be able to be badass Heroes. Like Greek Heroes, Hercules and the like, or like Beowulf.
100% this. Also gives more meaning to using different editions for different gaming sessions; I would recommend 5th edition d&d to original poster if they want more plausible numbers and the possibility the lower level NPC's are more likely to hit.


100% this. Also gives more meaning to using different editions for different gaming sessions; I would recommend 5th edition d&d to original poster if they want more plausible numbers and the possibility the lower level NPC's are more likely to hit.
There was something about being able to convert the game by taking the level out of calculations. My only concern is the DM would end up doing a lot of extraneous math for every monster they use.