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Old 04-28-2023, 05:51 AM   #1
Calliban
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Default 3e Extended Critical in 4e - what would break?

In 3e's Martial Arts and Compendium II, there was a rule for extended critical hits for high skill levels. 3-7 at 20+, 3-8 at 25+, 3-9 at 30+, and 3-10 at 35+.

This used to make it a good counterpoint to PCs from just spamming rapid strikes back in 3e days, as players tends to do when ganging up on opponent - and we are talking 7+ attacks at skill level 35!

I was thinking on initially only allowing it for a TbaM/WM character fighting a non TbaM/WM character at first. What would be the implications of using this Extended Critical table in our game? Are there any issues I'm failing to see?

My campaign is a Chanbara/Wuxia version of Dungeon Fantasy (but no class restrictions) with high powered PCs.

A side note: We also had a completely insane house-rule requiring a critical defense roll in order to completely avoid a critical attack; a non-critical defense would only reduce the critical attack to a normal hit. This may be why we loved this Extended Table so much. Would our Insane House Rule break something important, other than most of my NPCs?
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Old 04-28-2023, 06:07 AM   #2
JulianLW
 
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Default Re: 3e Extended Critical in 4e - what would break?

I think the Extended Criticals definitely turns your game into a supers game, but if your PCs are getting skills this high, then you're there already.

I would make access to the 3E Extended Criticals table a perk with a prerequisite of TBaM or Weapon Master (or, like, Heroic Archer), specialized by weapon or melee skill. (Compare that benefit to the "Enhanced Criticals" perk from Monster Hunters Power-Ups.)
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Old 04-28-2023, 06:09 AM   #3
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Default Re: 3e Extended Critical in 4e - what would break?

Yes, to me at least.

Keeping the 4e rule of a roll of 6 only being a crit when the effective skill is 16+ helps maintain crit rolls as rare. Continuing that trend, or using the 3e rules, makes crit rolls too common which results in the need of a house rule like yours to bring it back to normal.

"I rolled a 10, a crit hit thanks to my skill of 35!"
"I rolled a 7, crit defense thanks to my parry skill of 20!"
"..."
"..."

Which is the same as:

"I rolled a 10, a hit thanks to my skill of 35!"
"I rolled a 7, defense thanks to my parry skill of 20!"
"..."
"..."

So, I would stick to the 4e rules, 3-6 on an effective skill of 16+ as a crit roll, and remember that a crit attack means no defense! That makes the event more special.
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Old 04-28-2023, 06:50 AM   #4
Varyon
 
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Default Re: 3e Extended Critical in 4e - what would break?

Deceptive Attack is a huge part of the combat calculus in 4e. Allowing the crit range to extend up to a 50% chance is going to make Deceptive Attack a non-option in such situations - unless you massively outclass your foe, you'll never have a 50% chance of actually connecting, but with this not only do you get that 50% chance of connecting, you potentially get the extra benefits of a damage multiplier or similar.

Of course, if you're only having this apply when the attacker has TbaM/WM and the defender doesn't, that's not such a big deal - foes with skill at 20 or higher should have such a trait in a campaign that allows it, so you're probably in the "massively outclass" category if this variant rule is being used anyway.

I'll also note that your defense-vs-crit houserule actually makes critical hits less powerful, which will mitigate the issue somewhat. RAW, a critical hit allows for no Active Defense; your houserule allows for such, with Success downgrading it (so no special benefit) and Critical Success negating it. You'll still have the issue that the character is better off leaving their skill at 35 rather than using DA, but with it only applying against foes who you markedly outclass anyway, that's not really an issue (honestly, unless you really need a crit, you'd probably be better off dropping your skill against a foe with skill 20 anyway - 35 attack vs 14 defense is a 50% chance of a crit and about a 10% chance of a hit and the foe failing to defend, for overall hit probability of 60%; 21 attack vs 7 defense is about a 16% chance of a crit and about an 80% chance of a hit and the foe failing to defend, for overall hit probability of around 96%.
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Old 04-28-2023, 09:19 AM   #5
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Default Re: 3e Extended Critical in 4e - what would break?

It's my firm belief that NO houserule can "break" a system; it just changes the parameters of the game. I've been working with those BS III extended critical numbers for twenty years without my campaign falling into ruin. It does, as one can well imagine, not often come up.
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Old 04-28-2023, 02:47 PM   #6
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Default Re: 3e Extended Critical in 4e - what would break?

Quote:
Originally Posted by RGTraynor View Post
It does, as one can well imagine, not often come up.
Depends on what you run and how.

I've seen skills in the mid 20s to mid 30s quite often in DFRPG, where Johnny One-Skill rules supreme.
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Old 04-28-2023, 03:44 PM   #7
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Default Re: 3e Extended Critical in 4e - what would break?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Calliban View Post
In 3e's Martial Arts and Compendium II, there was a rule for extended critical hits for high skill levels. 3-7 at 20+, 3-8 at 25+, 3-9 at 30+, and 3-10 at 35+.

I was thinking on initially only allowing it for a TbaM/WM character fighting a non TbaM/WM character at first. What would be the implications of using this Extended Critical table in our game? Are there any issues I'm failing to see?
If you have skill 20, and TbaM, you can make two attacks at 17, getting a critical on a 6 or less. Your chance of getting at least one critical is 17.7%. That is better than your odds of getting a critical on a 7 or less with a single attack, which is 16.2%. You're also imposing penalties to block/parry by using multiple attacks.

If you have skill 25 and TbaM, you can make four attacks at 16, with a 32.3% chance of getting a critical, much better than the 25.9% chance of rolling 8- on a single attack.

If you want to get criticals in combat, making as many attacks as possible at 16 is the way to do it.

I created a different house rule for skill rolls. You get to critical on a 6 with skill 16, a 7 with skill 27, a 8 with skill 38, and a 9 with skill 49. That's reasonably easy to remember and costs [44] for each increment to critical chances. Effective skill 27 is a level that gifted semi-realistic humans can reach, with the right talents and careful collection of conditional bonuses. 38 is the province of demi-gods.
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Old 04-28-2023, 06:39 PM   #8
JulianLW
 
Join Date: Apr 2019
Default Re: 3e Extended Critical in 4e - what would break?

Quote:
Originally Posted by johndallman View Post
If you have skill 20, and TbaM, you can make two attacks at 17, getting a critical on a 6 or less. Your chance of getting at least one critical is 17.7%. That is better than your odds of getting a critical on a 7 or less with a single attack, which is 16.2%. You're also imposing penalties to block/parry by using multiple attacks.

If you have skill 25 and TbaM, you can make four attacks at 16, with a 32.3% chance of getting a critical, much better than the 25.9% chance of rolling 8- on a single attack.

If you want to get criticals in combat, making as many attacks as possible at 16 is the way to do it....
Very informative! Thanks! And I guess that answers the balance question, too.
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Old 04-28-2023, 07:07 PM   #9
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Default Re: 3e Extended Critical in 4e - what would break?

Quote:
Originally Posted by johndallman View Post
I created a different house rule for skill rolls. You get to critical on a 6 with skill 16, a 7 with skill 27, a 8 with skill 38, and a 9 with skill 49. That's reasonably easy to remember and costs [44] for each increment to critical chances. Effective skill 27 is a level that gifted semi-realistic humans can reach, with the right talents and careful collection of conditional bonuses. 38 is the province of demi-gods.
Even the 1200 point PCs in my 'Traveller' game haven't got to that point yet. I think their highest skill is 32 or 34. That was the point where it finally dawned on the player that their marginal returns on skill increases was getting pretty low. In my opinion that point had been reached in the mid-20s.
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Old 04-28-2023, 08:37 PM   #10
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Default Re: 3e Extended Critical in 4e - what would break?

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Originally Posted by Rupert View Post
Even the 1200 point PCs in my 'Traveller' game haven't got to that point yet. I think their highest skill is 32 or 34. That was the point where it finally dawned on the player that their marginal returns on skill increases was getting pretty low. In my opinion that point had been reached in the mid-20s.
I could see the value of such a level in Ship's Gunnery(Lasers). You could hit pirates well before they could hit you.

Planetary terrain would keep you from having line of sight on enemies at even much lower Skill levels.
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