One D&D Has Reversed Unpopular Critical Hit Rules Changes

The latest One D&D article for Dungeons & Dragons has reversed course on the unpopular changes to the critical hit rules that were recently introduced as playtesting material. One D&D made critical hits less exciting in the past, so it's easy to see why the rules have changed, at least for the time being.

In the D&D 5e rules introduced in the 2014 Player's Handbook, if the player rolled a critical hit, then they doubled the amount of damage dice that they rolled. This included all extra damage dice added outside the source of the attack, such as those granted from a rogue's Sneak Attack. It was only possible to perform a critical hit on an attack that had an attack roll, so it was mostly something experienced by the warrior classes, as many spells force a saving throw instead. The spells that did have an attack roll could still score a critical hit if the player rolled a 20.


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The first One D&D article featured many changes to the critical hit system. One D&D monsters couldn't crit, and it was something only players could do. Meanwhile, players only rolled one additional damage die, and spells could no longer perform critical hits at all. The second One D&D article is called "Expert Classes" and it's now available on the official One D&D website. "Expert Classes" features new rules and updated versions of old classes, as well as a return to the status quo.

D&D 5e's Critical Hit Rules Are Back In One D&D

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In "Expert Classes", the critical hit rules have now been changed, and players are asked to refer to the critical hit rules introduced in the D&D 5e Player's Handbook. This means that the old rules are back, and D&D's spells can crit once more. It's not surprising to see this reversed, as One D&D is about testing new ideas out ahead of publication, and the fan response to the critical hit rules changing was negative from the start.

The critical hit rules in D&D can lead to instances of overwhelming damage being done, but that's part of the chaos and the fun of the game. There are few moments more memorable in a D&D game than when a player defeats a powerful enemy with a critical hit. This is especially true for the melee classes, who rarely get to inflict lots of damage dice in a single attack.

The first One D&D article had some good ideas for critical hits, such as restricting how monsters use them, and it's likely that the rules will be changed in the D&D books arriving in 2024. Players still have over a year to let the creators of Dungeons & Dragons know their opinions on the rules and shape the future of the game.

Source: One D&D