Modified Critical Rules

for player consideration (see the discussion):

UPDATE: The player consensus has been to scrap these rules; they will not take effect until further notice.

On rolling a natural 20 an attack automatically succeeds (unless a foe is described as having some ability to specifically negate this, such as forcing the attacker to re-roll an attack) and threatens a critical hit. If the confirmation roll hits, the strike is a critical hit.

If the confirmation roll also threatens a critical hit, the target is at risk of being crippled. If a second confirmation roll hits (not just threatens a critical) the target is crippled as per Table 1 below.

If the first confirmation roll also hits a natural 20, the target is at risk of severe injury. If in this case the second confirmation roll threatens a critical, the target is severely maimed, losing a body part determined by Table 2 below.

If the first and second confirmation rolls both hit a natural 20 (i.e. 3 consecutive 20s) the target is instantly slain.

To simplify, given a longsword with attack +5 vs AC 20:
Attack Roll: 20;
First Roll: (15-18) crit, no second roll; (19-20) possible cripple; (20) possible severance or death.
Second Roll: (1-14) crit; (15 +) cripple; (19) severance; (20) death.


Table 1: Effects of Being Crippled
d10 d20 Area Effect
01 01-02 L hand -2 Att/skill with hand and +5% spell failure0
02 03-04 L arm -4 STR/DEX with arm and +10% spell failure0
03 05-06 R hand -2 Att/skill with hand and +5% spell failure0
04 07-08 R arm -4 STR/DEX with arm and +10% spell failure0
05 09-10 L foot base speed reduced by 5, cannot run or charge
06 11-12 R foot base speed reduced by 5, cannot run or charge
07 13-14 L leg base reduced to 5, cannot run, charge, or jump; -10 on STR or DEX based checks, must make acrobatics checks to stand and only to stand1
08 15-16 R leg base reduced to 5, cannot run, charge, or jump; -10 on STR or DEX based checks, must make acrobatics checks to stand and only to stand1
09 17-18 Torso Con score temporarily reduced by -4; exhausted; 15% chance to be stunned, staggered, nauseated, knocked down or knocked back (only one)
10 19-20 Head Int & Wis scores temporarily reduced by -4; clobbered; 25% chance to be knocked out (unconscious), confused, or stunned; takes 2 negative levels2

0 Characters with an injured hand or arm take the listed penalties only with respect to the limb in question; their overall scores or modifiers are not affected. Note: arcane spell failure only affects spells with somatic components.

1 Characters with an injured leg must make DC 5 acrobatics checks to remain standing each round, and are considered to be balancing as the first use of acrobatics. The DC increases to 15 if the character attacks. The active forms of acrobatics (e.g. rolls, flips, etc.) cannot be used. If the character takes damage, they must immediately make an acrobatics check equal to the damage dealt or fall prone.

2 The negative levels a character takes are temporary and do not stack with other sources of negative levels; the never result in actual level loss.


Table 2: Effects of Being Maimed
d10 d20 Area Effect
01-02 01-04 Hand cannot use hand and +25% spell failure3
03-04 05-08 Arm cannot use arm and +50% spell failure3
05-06 09-12 Foot base speed halved; cannot run or charge; -5 on STR or DEX based checks; must make acrobatics checks to stand without aid or crutch4
07-08 13-16 Leg base speed reduced to 5, cannot run, charge, or jump; -15 on STR or DEX based checks, must make acrobatics checks to stand without aid or crutch4
09 17-18 Torso permanently fatigued and Specific Permanent Injury5
10 19-20 Head -2 permanent Cha drain and Specific Permanent Injury6

3 Characters with a missing limb take the listed penalties only with respect to the limb in question; their overall scores or modifiers are not affected. In particular, armor and clothing is one step more difficult to don, requiring help to don properly (or at all, in the case of plate and half-plate). Weapons or objects that require two hands cannot be used; and skills, feats, or actions that require the limb in question cannot be taken or used. Weapons cannot be wielded in a missing hand, and shields cannot be borne on a missing arm.

4 Characters with a missing foot or leg must make DC 5 acrobatics checks to remain standing each round, and is considered to be balancing as the first use of acrobatics. The DC increases to 15 if the character attacks. The active forms of acrobatics (e.g. rolls, flips, etc.) cannot be used if the whole leg is gone. If the character takes damage while standing, they must immediately make an acrobatics check equal to the damage dealt or fall prone.

5 Missing Kidney: -5 penalty on checks or saves related to diseases, poisons, or drugs; Missing Lung: -4 penalty on Con checks (e.g. to keep from drowning, or after a forced march); Damaged Liver or Stomach: -5 penalty on Fort saves and checks related to ingested substances; Injured Heart: -4 permanent Con drain; Injured Back: -4 permanent Str drain.

6 Missing Nose: unable to detect smells or distinguish tastes; Missing Ear: 50% chance to miss or ignore effects that require hearing (but not sonic damage); Broken Jaw: unable to chew (e.g. meat) or speak intelligibly; Missing Eye: -4 on all checks related to sight and on ranged attacks; Fractured Skull or Concussion: -4 permanent Wis & Int drain; Sprained Neck: -2 on initiative rolls; other severe debilitation.


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