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Dungeon Tables: Critical Hits, Part 3

Dungeon Tables: Critical Hits, Part 3

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 Lightning Damage

1d20Result
1–3Electricity skitters across their body, causing their teeth to clench so tightly you swear you hear one crack. [Stunned until the end of their next turn.]
4–6They spasm as the lightning courses through them, then fall to the ground in a heap, gasping for air. [Knocked prone.]
7–9 Lightning crackles through them, leaving them momentarily twitching and uncoordinated [Disadvantage on their next attack roll.].
10–12The electricity jolts through them, leaving their synapses fried and their muscles spasming uncontrollably. [Disadvantage on Dexterity saving throws and ability checks until the end of their next turn.]
13–15Lightning burns across their skin, leaving behind a scorched scar like the branches of a tree. [Triple your damage instead of doubling it.]
16–17The lightning runs across their skull in sparking patterns, penetrating the vital speech centers of their brain [Cannot speak or comprehend spoken language until the end of their next turn.].
18–19Electricity courses through them, and they shriek in horror and pain as their eyeballs explode in a crackle of blue and white. [Blinded until they heal.]
20Lightning sparks from their body, leaping and arcing to strike nearby enemies. [Choose up to three creatures within 10 feet of the target; each of them takes 1d6 lightning damage.]

Critical Hit with Thunder Damage

1d20Result
1–3The booming crack of thunder bursts their eardrums, and blood dribbles out of their ears. [Deafened.]
4–6The rolling thunder echoes back on itself in a deafening reverberation, disorienting them. [Disadvantage on attack rolls until the end of your next turn.]
7–9The force of the thunder is more than they can handle! Their feet skid along the ground as they’re pushed backward. [Shoved 5 feet directly away from you.]
10–12The thunder rattles their insides and compresses their lungs, leaving them shocked and gasping for air. [Stunned until end of their next turn.]
13–15Thunder echoes around them. [Disadvantage on Dexterity (Stealth) checks until the end of their next turn.]
16–17The thunder batters and bruises them, pulverizing their insides and weakening their resolve. [Disadvantage on Constitution saving throws until the end of their next turn.]
18–19The pressure from the shift in the air causes black spots to swim in front of their eyes. [Blinded until the end of their next turn.]
20Thunder booms from your target. A wave of force emanates back from them, pushing nearby enemies away. [All creatures and items within 5 feet of the target are shoved 5 feet directly away from the target and take 1d4 thunder damage. Your allies ignore this effect.]

Critical Hit with Necrotic Damage

1d20Result
1–3Black veins of decay spread across their body like vile roots, weakening their body’s natural resistances. [Disadvantage on Constitution saving throws until the end of your next turn.]
4–6The tips of their fingers (or similar extremities) rot and fall off in chunks of decomposing flesh. [Disadvantage on attack rolls until the end of your next turn.]
7–9 Their limbs wither and shrivel, temporarily atrophied by the vile magic of your attack. [Disadvantage on Dexterity saving throws until the end of your next turn.]
10–12They scream in terror as they feel their organs putrefying and rotting inside them. [Frightened of you until the end of your next turn.]
13–15They vomit thick, black bile as their stomach lining decays into a putrid mass of sludge. [Stunned until the end of your next turn.]
16–17Their teeth crumble to dust in their mouth, and their tongue blackens and shrivels like a slug coated in salt. [Can’t speak until healed.]
18–19The blood in their veins turns black and putrescent, coursing through their body with vile determination. [Take an additional 2d4 necrotic damage at the beginning of their next turn.]
20Their skin shrivels as they shrink into a desiccated husk of their former self. [Disadvantage on attack rolls, ability checks, and saving throws for the next three rounds.]

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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