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Dungeon Tables: Critical Hits, Part 1

Dungeon Tables: Critical Hits, Part 1

We all know it and love it—the thrill of the natural 20. The rush of adrenaline and victory as you fell your foes with astounding displays of power and finesse. And while double damage is nice, sometimes we want something a bit more . . . satisfying.

The critical hit tables below give some fun description and an additional effect to double damage on a natural 20 melee weapon attack roll with melee weapon damage types. Watch your players’ eyes light up when they get to roll on the table—or enjoy their moans of horror when you wield it against them!

For characters with multiple attacks per turn, we suggest rolling on the respective critical hit table at the end of their attack actions. If the target doesn’t have the requisite anatomy or equipment for some result, reroll or poll everyone at the table for an equivalent outcome that feels fair and fun.

Critical Hit with Bludgeoning Damage

1d20 Result
1–3You spin your weapon with a flourish, slamming it into your foe. The unrelenting force drives them to the ground. [Knocked prone.]
4–6You smash your weapon into your opponent’s face, pulverizing their jaw in a mess of bone and blood. [Cannot speak until the end of your next turn.]
7–9The pure power and might of your attack causes them to stumble backward. [Shoved 5 feet directly away from you.]
10–12Your weapon slams into their head so hard even you can see the stars. [Blinded and deafened until the end of their next turn.]
13–15Your weapon smashes into their knee with a crack, and they howl in pain. Ooh, that’s gotta hurt. [Movement speed is halved.]
16–17You drive your weapon into their stomach, and they vomit up a fountain of blood. [Stunned until the end of their next turn.]
18–19You slam your weapon into their hand, pulverizing their fingers. They drop their weapon/shield/spell focus with a cry. [Disarmed; must retrieve the dropped item on their turn.]
20You attack with a merciless display of ferocity, causing your enemies’ blood to run cold. [All enemies within 15 feet are frightened of you until the end of your next turn.]

Critical Hit with Piercing Damage

1d20 Result
1–3You jab your weapon into their abdomen, and your blade slides cleanly between their ribs to pierce something vital. [Bleeding; take 1d4 damage at the end of their turn until someone takes an action to stanch the wound.]
4–6As you bring your blade down, they try to twist out of the way. Your weapon pierces their foot with a sickening crunch, and pins their foot to the ground. [Movement speed is 0 until end of their next turn.]
7–9With stunning finesse, you slip your blade straight into their eye. Their eyeball ruptures with an audible pop. [Blinded until the end of your next turn.]
10–12With shocking precision, you jab your weapon up under their chin. They cough and choke as their own blood fills their mouth and throat. [Cannot speak until the end of their next turn.]
13–15While they’re distracted by your strikes, you move into a more advantageous position. [You may immediately move up to 15 feet without provoking an attack of opportunity from them.]
16–17You know to hit ‘em where it hurts. Where it really hurts. [Triple your weapon damage instead of doubling it.]
18–19You nick their spinal cord, and they spasm in pain. [Stunned until the end of their next turn.]
20You slip your blade into that sweet spot at the base of their neck—they crumple to the ground. [Paralyzed until the end of your next turn.]

Critical Hit with Slashing Damage

1d20 Result
1–3You cut into their shoulder joint. With a pop of cartilage and muscle, they shriek in pain. [Disadvantage on attack rolls until the end of their turn.]
4–6You slice into their midsection, sending a spray of hot blood and viscera across your hands. [Stunned until the end of their next turn.]
7–9Your blade catches the back of their knee, carving through muscle and tendon, and they stagger. [Movement speed is halved.]
10–12You slash through a major artery! Blood spurts from the wound in a worrying fashion. [Bleeding; take 1d4 damage at the end of their turn until someone takes an action to stanch the wound.]
13–15The edge of your blade comes down hard on their hand, nearly severing it at the wrist. They drop their weapon/shield/spell focus with a cry. [Disarmed; must retrieve the dropped item on their turn. Reroll for nonweapon-wielding foes.]
16–17Your hit cuts a clean line just above their brow. Blood pours down their face and into their eyes, momentarily blinding them. [Blinded until the end of their next turn.]
18–19The force of your blow is astounding. [Shoved 5 feet directly away from you.]
20You’ve got them right where you want them. [You immediately make an additional melee attack with the same weapon against another enemy within reach. If there are no other enemies, make another attack against the original target.]

Want more fun with melee weapons? Check out Beyond Damage Dice and Beyond Damage Dice 2 for unique maneuvers with all kinds of weapons!

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1 thought on “Dungeon Tables: Critical Hits, Part 1”

  1. These tables are great and add a ton of flavor to combat, as well as the excitement of the crit! Thank you for sharing!

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