Probably a recurring theme, but here’s the first 4th edition D&D rule that we’ve been doing wrong
1. You only roll once to attack, even when you’re about to Critical.
It looks like we skimmed the rules around this section, or we read them and then forgot them, or we just plain got them confused. When you roll to attack, if you roll a 20* then you automatically hit. You also have the chance to cause a critical hit. The determination of whether it’s a critical hit is simple. Does your total attack roll score enough to hit. If it does, you criticalled, if it doesn’t you still hit, but for regular damage.
So if the enemy AC is 23, and you roll 20, and add 2 for a total of 22, you hit but don’t crit, if your total turned out to be 24, you would have caused a crit instead. This gives you the chance to hit something 1 in 20 times that you might never otherwise be able to hit, and also gives you an increasing chance to crit against creatures as you increase your attack bonuses off of that automatic hit.
Let me know if I’m still wrong 😉
* A 20 is always an automatic hit, some weapons have an increase critical hit range (19-20), if you roll a 19 and the total is enough to hit, you crit, but if you roll a 19 and the total is not enough to hit, you miss and don’t crit. Only a natural 20 is enough to automatically hit, no matter what the weapon.
Wrote a couple more 4th edition D&D encounters last night, again won’t really know how well they play out until the characters get to them (maybe this week, maybe not, depends how quick we get through the remaining encounters in the ‘intro’ adventure).
I knocked up a quick spreadsheet (yes Grete), which does the work of adding up the numbers so you can play with how many of each creature type you want included. That makes it easy to move between a load of minions and a few tough mobs, to more tough mobs and fewer minions while staying within your XP budget.
I did flirt briefly with the idea of signing up to WoTC’s D&D Insider thing which gives you access to some online tools, but decided not to in the end, we’re on a budget this month for one, and secondly I think I can probably hack together anything I really need. We used to do all this by hand you know 🙂 I’ve enjoyed working out the maps for the encounters as well, trying to take into consideration the different kinds of terrain and situations that affect abilities, to spice things up.
The three encounters are sort of bridging encounters between the starter adventure and the published module I want to run. I’ve added some treasure although it’s a bit of guesswork as to how much I should be giving out. All-in-all it should be enough to get the PC’s to 2nd level and give them some excitement. We’ll see if they turn into pushovers or are so deadly the PC’s die three times over.