D&D 5E Vicious Dagger question

Hive mind, help!
Vicious Dagger does 7 extra damage “when you roll a 20”.

Would you rule that it would deal its extra damage on an improved critical (eg L4 Champion Fighter on a 19 or 20)?

(I have a gnome MC Fighter/Rogue in my game who likes to TWF fight with two daggers and thought would be a neat item to allow them to capitalise on their improved crit ability but being a lowly base d4 dagger, not be game-breaking.)

I know, “your game, your ruling”, but wanted to see if folks thought it was OP.

What do you think? Thanks in advance.
 

log in or register to remove this ad


RAW, it does not work like that. It happens on a roll of 20, not on a critical hit, so it doesn't matter if something increases the critical hit range.
That being said, it wouldn't be game breaking to allow it. 10% of the characters attacks do an extra 7 damage, that is hardly going to throw anything out of whack.
 


Blue

Ravenous Bugblatter Beast of Traal
If you want to give them a unique item, you don't need to bother changing the rules of a standard Vicious weapon... just make a magic dagger that does +2d6 damage on a critical hit. Then it applies to anyone with an expanded crit range and has the same average bonus damage (7) to the Vicious property.
Well, as dice they would be doubled in a crit. So just 1d6. :)
 


Arvok

Explorer
The only thing you might want to consider are scenarios where all hits are critical hits (e.g. an assassin's assassinate ability or attacks against a paralyzed opponent). Those are probably rare enough to not be a problem...unless your players figure it out and build characters or tactics to make use of those situations.
 

billd91

Not your screen monkey (he/him)
While it wouldn't be unbalancing to do it on a 19 (or even 18) for characters who crit in those ranges, I doubt that was the intent (otherwise, they'd say "on a critical hit...").
That said, this does have a benefit that people might not easily notice. Anything that negates crits, whether a class power or adamantine armor, won't negate this extra damage. It's not a crit. It doesn't happen "on a crit". It happens on a 20, which may overlap with scoring a crit, but isn't dependent on doing so.
 


Thanks for the replies!
Some legalese wording in there that I hadn’t considered @billd91
@DEFCON 1 - if something does +X dmg ‘on a crit’ then would it be considered as extra ie dagger d4 doubled/rolled twice for the crit, then add the ‘+2d6’ afterwards (like sneak attack), or am I getting it backwards? (Been a looong day!)
 

billd91

Not your screen monkey (he/him)
Thanks for the replies!
Some legalese wording in there that I hadn’t considered @billd91
@DEFCON 1 - if something does +X dmg ‘on a crit’ then would it be considered as extra ie dagger d4 doubled/rolled twice for the crit, then add the ‘+2d6’ afterwards (like sneak attack), or am I getting it backwards? (Been a looong day!)
Any dice you roll in an attack are doubled with a crit, even the sneak attack. It's the flat bonuses like +1, +7, etc that are added only after the doubling.
It's an interesting reversal from 3e days when the flat bonuses were multiplied with the crit but the additional dice like sneak attack and energy damage weren't.
 



billd91

Not your screen monkey (he/him)
Really? Sneak attack are doubled? Religiously significant effluvium!
Rogues just get better and better!
Oh, they're fun alright. But there are other classes that benefit as well. Take a look at the paladin and their smite - they get to declare it after they see their attack roll. So when that 20 comes up and they crit, then they can burn their highest spell level to power their smite for lots of damage. It's kind of glorious in a way.
 

Ah, no. Can’t abide Paladins. Never have done since AD&D days!
Oh, they're fun alright. But there are other classes that benefit as well. Take a look at the paladin and their smite - they get to declare it after they see their attack roll. So when that 20 comes up and they crit, then they can burn their highest spell level to power their smite for lots of damage. It's kind of glorious in a way.
 



An Advertisement

Advertisement4

Top