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Dungeon Tables: Critical Hits, Part 2

Dungeon Tables: Critical Hits, Part 2

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 for attacks with magical 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, roll 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 outcome that feels fair and fun.

Critical Hit with Fire Damage

1d20Result
1–3The skin on your target’s face blackens and splits and their eyelids char. They reel in pain. [Blinded until the end of their next turn.]
4–6Your fire is persistent and refuses to be snuffed out. [On fire; they take 1d4 fire damage at the start of their turn until someone takes an action to douse the fire.]
7–9 The heat from your flame is so potent, it superheats the air around your target, scorching their lungs as they gasp in pain. [Stunned until the end of your next turn.]
10–12Your target’s eardrums burst from the intense heat, and boiling blood pours from their ears. [Deafened until someone heals them.]
13–15Flames lick up your target’s body, and their skin blisters and cracks. They’re distracted by the acute pain and the smell of their own cooking flesh. [Disadvantage on attack rolls on their next turn.]
16–17The severity of the blast staggers your target, weakening their resolve. [Frightened of you until the end of their next turn.]
18–19The flames leap to your target’s items and clothing, consuming them quickly. [A single nonmagical item, weapon, or armor of your choice that you can see is destroyed. The item must be made of flammable material, and must be worn or carried by your target.]
20Fire engulfs your target and flares out in a massive conflagration. [Each creature of your choice within 5 feet of the target takes half the damage dealt to the initial target.]

Critical Hit with Cold Damage

1d20Result
1–3Frost and ice coat your target, freezing them nearly straight through. [Stunned until the end of your next turn.]
4–6Their extremities become frozen and stiff, making movement difficult. [Disadvantage on attack rolls until the end of their next turn.]
7–9Their fingers become numb, and they fumble whatever they’re holding. [Drop anything they’re holding. Reroll if not applicable.]
10–12The ground beneath their feet becomes icy and slick, and they slip on the treacherous terrain. [Fall prone.]
13–15Ice forms around their feet, freezing them in place. [Movement speed is 0 until the end of their next turn.]
16–17They’re wracked with severe shivers as the cold races up their spine, and they begin to regret their life choices. [Frightened of you until the end of their next turn.]
18–19Jagged bits of frozen flesh crack and break off as they try to shake off the attack. [Take an additional 1d4 cold damage.]
20They are frozen solid. Hoarfrost coats their skin and penetrates deep into their bones. [Paralyzed until the end of their next turn.]

Critical Hit with Force Damage

1d20Result
1–3The impact from your refined magic hits more strongly than anticipated, sending your target reeling. [Shoved 5 feet directly away from the origin of the attack.]
4–6Your magic buffets their body. They stagger and fall from the force of the blow. [Knocked prone.]
7–9 The force of the impact ruptures something vital. They keel over, coughing up blood. [Stunned until the end of their next turn.]
10–12Your potent magic blows chunks of flesh from their body, exposing vital organs. [Bleeding; take 1d4 damage at the end of their turn until someone takes an action to stanch the wound.]
13–15They are caught completely off guard by the severity of your attack, and their courage wavers. [Frightened of you until the end of their next turn.]
16–17Your pure, concentrated magic slams into your target, throwing them off balance. [Disadvantage on Dexterity saving throws until the end of your next turn.]
18–19The puissance of your magic rattles them. [Disadvantage on saving throws against spells until the end of your next turn.]
20Your magic bursts as it hits your target, throwing off a wave of force and knocking back foes near your target. [All enemies within 5 feet of the target are shoved 5 feet directly away from the target and take 1d4 force damage.]

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 2”

  1. Scrivener of Doom

    I once bought a couple of Rolemaster products simply to steal their critical hit tables for descriptions in my D&D game.

    These are great. Thanks for posting them.

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