Fair Critical Hits (5e Variant Rule)

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Fair Critical Hits[edit]

The basic form of 5e critical hits are often criticized for being too boring. Sure, some extra damage is nice, but many players enjoy the viscerality of cleaving a monster's arm off. The problem with lasting systems, however, is that they are invariably skewed against the players. Enter this variant rule.

Stories Favor Heroes[edit]

When a player character rolls a critical on an attack roll, the attack counts as a critical. When a monster or NPC rolls a critical, they must "confirm" the critical, rolling an additional d20. If the roll is within twice their critical range (19 or 20 for most creatures), the attack counts as a critical. If the attack has advantage, so does their critical confirm roll.

On a Critical[edit]

If a critical would not hit with its roll, it hits with no additional effect. If the attack would hit, it deals an equal amount of damage to a random body part, rolling 1d8 to decide. Every body part has a percentage of the creature's maximum hit points, as indicated by the Percentage column. For every fourth of these hit points the body part loses, certain effects occur. Body part hit points are only regained as part of a rest if it is at 3/4 or above, otherwise they must be regained by the effects of magic, features, or equipment that restores hit points. A lost body part can only be regained by a casting of Greater Restoration. If the rolled body part is already at 0, they may reroll or choose to deal the additional damage to the creature instead. Body part damage does not reduce the creature's current hit points, and body part healing does not regain the creature's current hit points, only the body part's. Any instances of gradual blindness, deafness, or numbness can only be lost by regaining body part hit points. If all three Head (Field) body parts are reduced to 0, the creature is killed instantly.

Body Part Percentage 3/4 1/2 1/4 0
1 - Right Arm 25% Any damage from attacks using this hand is halved The effects of a shield in this hand is halved, partial armor can not be worn on this arm Any skill checks or attack rolls using this hand have disadvantage Any skill checks or attack rolls using this hand automatically fail, your arm is lost.
2 - Left Arm 25% Any damage from attacks using this hand is halved The effects of a shield in this hand is halved, partial armor can not be worn on this arm Any skill checks or attack rolls using this hand have disadvantage, the effects of a shield in this hand is halved Any skill checks or attack rolls using this hand automatically fail, your arm is lost.
3 - Right Leg 25% Your jumping distances are halved Your climbing and swimming speeds are reduced by 1/3 Your walking speed is reduced by 1/3, partial armor can not be worn on this leg Your walking, climbing, and swimming speeds are halved, and you can not jump, your leg is lost.
4 - Left Leg 25% Your jumping distances are halved Your climbing and swimming speeds are reduced by 1/3 Your walking speed is reduced by 1/3, partial armor can not be worn on this leg Your walking, climbing, and swimming speeds are halved, and you can not jump, your leg is lost.
5 - Torso 50% You can hold your breath for half as long You must succeed a DC 15 Constitution saving throw when you eat at least 1/3 of a day's worth of food within 1 hour to avoid vomiting it You have disadvantage on any Constitution saving throws, partial armor can not be worn on your torso You automatically fail Constitution saving throws, and your maximum hit points are halved.
6 - Head (Eyes) 15% You gain +5 levels of gradual blindness You gain +5 levels of gradual blindness You gain +5 levels of gradual blindness You gain +10 levels of gradual blindness.
7 - Head (Ears) 15% You gain +5 levels of gradual deafness You gain +5 levels of gradual deafness You gain +5 levels of gradual deafness You gain +10 levels of gradual deafness, your ears are lost.
8 - Head (Jaw) 15% You have disadvantage on any Persuasion, Performance, and Intimidation checks You can hold your breath for half as long You can not speak You can not eat solid food, and any eating requires assistance, your jaw is lost.

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