How can I handle critical failure without slowing down the action?

In my last session, my group had in a single encounter over 8 botches, I lost count in fact!

At first, I was statistically amazed at how our ranger botched 4 rounds in a row (in-game interpretation would equal to a birth-deficient kobold with cataracts trying to throw a rock point-blank at a boulder and missing), but then it became agitating coming up with ideas on how to “punish” a botch.

Normally our DM says: “On 1 your bow string snaps, on 2 your arrow hits the fighter adjacent to the enemy, on 3… blah blah blah” and rolls 1d4 to determine the outcome, which in my opinion slows down the fight and does not add to the role-playing experience at all, not to mention each class requires different actions, while AoE attacks can critical hit one target but botch on another… However, I feel critical failure should exist as a means of balancing natural 20 and making multiple attacks during a turn more risky. Being under constant life-threatening stress, even a master would make a mistake, or grow reluctant not knowing his enemies’ traits.

All of the above led to one rational question: how can I introduce critical failure in a way that doesn’t slow down the action?

What are the consequences of removing the potential for critical hit extra damage on spell attacks?

Current table has a house rule that spells attacks can not deal extra damage through critical hits. They have the rule that you can critically succeed or fail on a natural 20 or 1 on saving throws.

I brought up how I was worried about how this would affect the balance of the game, fairly certain this would impair characters who are primarily casters in the long run. (Most of the PCs are half casters or not at all, save for mine and a couple others.)

I was told they are going with this ruling because it is more balanced, but I’m not convinced. Could someone with a more thorough understanding of the rules elaborate on how this could unbalance the game? Or am I just worried over nothing?

This is a pay to play table that I’ve already paid a subscription for so I’d like to not be told to just walk away as an answer. The DM has told me if there really is a balancing issue he’d see to fixing it.

2nd half of this question.

How can giving skill checks critical fails and successes affect game balance?

At my table there is the house rule that skills can crit on a natural 1 and 20.

At least I think a natural 20 would be treated special over a 19. But I do know that 1’s give harsh consequences.

In my last session I rolled natural ones on 2 separate skill checks.

One was a Perception check to listen to the mutters of nearby NPCs, I rolled a natural 1(I had a +6 to it) and the DM said I was talking so loud that all the other PCs had to do their checks at disadvantage.

The second time I rolled insight to see if i could figure out about how badly our setting the dock ablaze affected an invading orc army, whose ship was also set on fire. I rolled a natural 1(+6) and the DM said I did not think it had any effect at all and was going to be frightened for the 1st 3 rounds of the next encounter.

I’m all for having fun and silly things with low skill rolls. And am ok with these harsh consequences if everyone at the table are for the most part. But I feel this kinda screws over bards and rogue who get expertise.

Continuation of another question.

Assassin’s Death Strike Critical?

This is a question regarding the double damage of the Assassin’s Death Strike.

Let’s say a 20th level rogue uses the Sneak attack feature on someone, it is a critical and it fails the CON save for Death Strike. Would the damage be an additional 40d6?

Follow up question. Say that the Rogue in question had purple worm poison on the weapon in which it made the attack. Would the both the critical and Death Strike apply to it, or only one?

Another follow up question: Say the Rogue was using a Giant Slayer Shortsword and the target was a giant. If the giant failed the DC for Death Strike and it was a critical hit, would the 2d6 damage dice be doubled or quadrupled?

Tarokka effect for a given die roll and critical success/miss. Is this balanced?

I’m now setting up my first session as DM. I don’t have the whole story yet, but I have a very simple first session that will introduce 3 players to the game (they are 4 in total).

I’m thinking of a few things to spice things up, based on their die rolls.

  • natural 20: critical success, the player gains advantage on its next attack
  • natural 1 : critical miss, the player misses and gains disadvantage on its next attack
  • natural 13: get a random effect from the tarokka deck

I may swap the 20 and 1 rolls by a player (or me) drawing a card from the luck deck, but not sure.

Does this sound like a good approach, or am I risking losing balance of the game?

Counterspelling or legendarily resisting a Critical hit spell attack [closed]

I was wondering:

  1. ABOUT COUNTER SPELL if my sorcerer casts a spell Rolling 20 against a magic user (normal npc or a boss), Can they counterspell it?

Or is this dependent on the DM’s house rules?

Let’s say my sorcerer is critting with a lvl 6 chain lightning against a lich. Would it be possible for The lich to just counterspell and on a success rob my character of the sweeet sweet taste of satisfaction, as the air starts smelling of crispy lich and singed phylactery?

  1. ABOUT LEGENDARY RESISTANCE Legendary resistance is about saving throws, not about whether my sorcerer’s spell attack is higher than the enemy’s AC… But if my sorcerer crits with a spell (that has a spell save) against a boss that has legendary resistance, can that boss still choose to just succeed their save? … or is this depending on the DM’s rules?

Let’s say it’s a dragon. It still has at least one legendary resistance left, and my sorcerer crits using a disintegrate. The spell attack is higher than thedragon’s AC – the spell hits…

But a successfull dex save means no damage. But as it’s a crit… would the boss get to use the resistance? If a 20 means a guarantied hit, it shouldn’t get the spell save… right?

If my sorcerer has both disintegrate and chain lightning, and the boss hasn’t spent all legendary resistances, then it would be better to use the chain lightning, because a successful save would still result in SOME damage.

Hope some of you can help me 🙂

Best regards Christina

Does an Adamantine greatclub always deal critical damage like other Adamantine weapons?

In general adamantine weapons always deal critical damage on a hit:

Whenever an adamantine weapon or piece of ammunition hits an object, the hit is a critical hit.

– Xanathar’s Guide to Everything, page 78.

However, in SKT chapter 6 room 14 (page 154) it says:

She wields an adamantine greatclub. This magic weapon has no bonus to attack or damage rolls.

Does this mean it also does not crit? Or does it still crit like adamantine weapons do in general, but simply has no +n to attack or damage roll?

Also: is this a property of this particular weapon in this adventure? Or is it a property that always applies to adamantine greatclubs?

Outside of D&D lore this would make sense because adamantine is a very light material but is still very strong and can be sharpened. This makes is a great material for piercing and slashing weapons (swords, axes, arrows), but a terrible material for bludgeoning damage. However, I don’t know if this applies in D&D lore as well (I haven’t read it anywhere up untill now).

Will using Convergent Future give you a critical success if the minimum number you need to hit is 20?

Convergent Future (p185 EGtW) States:

When you or a creature you can see within 60 feet of you makes an attack roll, an ability check, or a saving throw, you can use your reaction to ignore the die roll and decide whether the number rolled is the minimum needed to succeed…

If that number is a “20” does it meet the requirements of a critical success? (p194 PHB)