# Sandbox / Random Critical Hit

Go To

A random critical hit is a type of Critical Hit where the possibility of any given attack being a critical hit is random, rather than being determined by the player's actions. They're most common in Tabletop Games and Video Games where there's some element of randomness in whether your attacks hit at all. In tabletop games, the rule is most often that you crit on a maximum possible dice roll (or minimum, if lower numbers are better) — a Dungeons & Dragons "natural 20" (a result of 20 on a 20-sided die) is the classic example of this. Video games, with the math being done by the computer and hidden from the player, can get rather more complicated in their randomness.

Often the chance of getting a crit can be influenced, through a Luck Stat (or a stat that specifically affects the frequency of your critical hits), by using different weapons or abilities that have different critical hit rates, or via positioning attacking characters to take advantage of Geo Effects (or merely let them attack from behind). When random critical hits are in effect, though, none of these things will guarantee a crit — even if you have a 90% chance of critting on any given attack, whether you actually crit or not is ultimately up to the Random Number God. As with any randomness in game mechanics, random critical hits help make things more interesting by making events less predictable. Either way, a lucky crit can turn a losing battle into a hard-won victory — and an unlucky crit can turn an easy Random Encounter into a scramble for survival (or a Game Over if you're really unlucky).

Critical Hit is the supertrope for random critical hit. The Critical Hit Class works by maximizing their chances of scoring a random critical hit. The Luck Stat often affects the frequency of random critical hits, but ultimately it's determined by the Random Number God. Contrast the Critical Failure, which is usually the inverse of a random critical hit.

## Examples

open/close all folders

Roleplay
• Destroy the Godmodder: Crits can happy randomly on any attack, and the chance can be boosted by allied players. This boosting happens frequently, so crits are a regular occurrence.

Tabletop RPG
• Dungeons & Dragons has random crits determined by the dice roll of the attack. The specifics vary from edition to edition, but the most famous incarnation is the d20 System's "natural 20" (getting a result of 20 on the 20-sided die, before adding any modifiers), though it's possible to increase this (ie, a crit on a 19 and up, or 18 and up, or 17 and up...) with certain items, spells, or abilities. Some games using the system (such as Mutants & Masterminds) also use critical successes on anything that involves rolling a d20 (which, in the d20 system, is virtually everything) rather than only on attacks.
• Rolemaster has its criticals be random twice over; you rolled your attack and consulting the weapon's table to see if your result was a crit, then you rolled on the crit table to see what the effect of the crit was.
• Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay has the "Ulric's Fury!" rule, where rolling maximum damage and then succeeding on a weapon skill check allows you to roll damage again and add that to your total (and this continues until you fail the check or roll less than maximum damage). The Warhammer 40,000 version, Dark Heresy, has the same thing (now called the "Righteous Fury!".
• Black Crusade replaced Righteous Fury with Zealous Hatred, which instead of making the damage die explosive, makes you roll a d5 on the critical damage table, independently from any other critical damage (the numbers don't stack). This makes BC's critical hits crippling blows rather than "hurting more" blows.
• Both the Warhammer and Warhammer 40,000 wargames themselves have critical hit mechanics that activate on rolling max damage.
• White Wolf games like Exalted, Scion, and Savage Worlds as well as both Old and New World of Darkness have dice-based crits in two steps: you roll a certain number of dice and every die that rolls above a certain value is a "success". Max rolls either allow you to keep rolling (effectively adding to your dice pool) or simply count as extra successes. If the number of successes you end up with is a lot more than the number you need, the action has additional beneficial effects.
• In Nomine, which is based on the War between Heaven and Hell, uses a system of three six-sided dice per roll. A result of three ones represents the Holy Trinity and is good for Heaven and bad for Hell, while a roll of three sixes is the Number of the Beast and good for Hell but bad for Heaven. It functions as a combined Critical Hit / Critical Failure system depending on who's rolling.
• GURPS also uses 3d6 as its main roll, and has a natural 3 as a crit and a natural 18 as a critical failure. Later editions include natural 4s and 17s in this, since natural 3s and 18s are extremely unlikely.
• Eclipse Phase rolls two 10-sided dice and has a critical success or failure on doubles. 00 is always a critical success and 99 always a critical failure, while other doubles succeed or fail as normal, but the result is a crit either way.
• Unknown Armies also uses a 2d10 roll and has crits on doubles, with the damage applying to your target if you hit and you if you missed. A max or minimum roll was an automatic One-Hit Kill (against your target or you, respectively).
• New Horizon, which uses two color-coded dice, makes a minimum roll on the black die an automatic success, with the degree of success judged by the result of the white die.
• In Paranoia, depending on the GM, sometimes rolling a 1 is a Critical Hit; sometimes it's an Excessively Critical Hit (e.g. your laser blast sends the shattered remains of the targeted Commie Mutant Traitor right through a wall, busting a pipe and flooding the corridor with radioactive sewage. You then get fined for damaging valuable Computer property).
• Ninja Burger has a roll of 3 or 4 on 3d6 as critical successes, which grants you one Honor (the game's victory points) just for being that awesome.
• Fate-based games like The Dresden Files have critical hits on a scale, rather than having a sharp distinction between regular hits and critical hits. The more you beat your target's defense by, the more damage you do, basically meaning that you get bonus damage for rolling well, rather than having to hit a specific crit condition.
• The Dragon Age tabletop adaptation does not have regular critical hits, but instead features "stunts". Every attack roll is a 3d6 and one die is always colored differently from the other two: if any two of the three land with the same face up, the attacker can perform a stunt.

Video Games - RPGs
• The Dragon Quest has random crits from the very beginning ("A terrific blow!"), the details of which have varied throughout the life of the franchise. The original game even allowed you to crit and still miss ("Excellent move! It is dodging!"). Later games allow spells to crit as well, add abilities that either crit or miss every time, and "trip and fall on the enemy" criticals that do even more damage than normal crits.
• Any game based on Dungeons & Dragons or the d20 System, such as the Baldur's Gate and Knights of the Old Republic series, generally uses critical hits in the same manner as their tabletop counterpart.
• In the Growlanser has random crits, though characters can learn skills that increase critical rate, and some techniques are guaranteed to crit.
• The Pokémon games use critical hits. The details vary from generation to generation, but any damage-dealing ability generally has a base 1/16 chance of critting.
• The Mother series has SMASH attacks, random critical hits whose frequency is based on your Guts stat and occasionally weapon.
• Perfect World has a crit rate is based on Dexterity, so classes that use a lot of Dexterity anyway (like Archers) get crits at Game-Breaker rates. This is exceedingly annoying in PvP.
• The Fallout games use crits at random based on a variety of factors, including stats, perks, equipment, and type of attack (aiming at the head is more likely to crit, for example), except for Fallout 4 which has guaranteed crits based on a "critical meter" instead, though some Luck perks still have random crit-style effects.
• Golden Sun two types of random crits, regular critical hits and "Unleash" abilities that have unique magical effects. Dark Dawn uses Unleash abilities exclusively, but many low-level weapons have an Unleash named "critical hit" that simply does extra damage.
• The Final Fantasy franchise usually has a standard random-chance-on-attack system, often based on weapon stats or a Luck Stat. Some games (including the "Finisher" Gladiator Job command in Final Fantasy V, the "Deathblow" materia Final Fantasy VII, and the Ranger ability "Smashing Blow" in Final Fantasy: The 4 Heroes of Light) have commands that result in either a critical hit or a clean miss.
• The Heroes of Might and Magic series use a Luck Stat which determines a unit stack's chance to deal critical hits.
• In Chrono Trigger, criticals are random based on the weapon being used.
• Chrono Cross, the sequel, has three different basic attack types: weak, strong, and fierce. Stronger attacks are more likely to crit (in additional to doing more base damage) but also lower accuracy.
• The Mario & Luigi games has random "Lucky" hits (with "Critical" hits meaning you hit a target's elemental weakness.
• City of Heroes has a variety of critical hit mechanics, some of which are random. Scrappers have a set chance with every attack, with higher chances against higher-ranked enemies. Controllers have a chance to overpower an enemy while held. Corruptors have a chance to land criticals any time the target is below 50% health, with the chance increasing as the target weakens.
• Stalkers also have an interesting property in that each teammate nearby increases their chance of dealing critical damage. Apparently your chances of doing something impressive go up when there are more players to witness it, though the explanation is that the other players are distracting the enemies enough for you to do your thing more often.
• World of Warcraft has random crits based on your equipment stats, with some specs (like fire mages) focusing on them. However, it's Blizzard policy that the chance of a critical shouldn't ever reach 50% (except where cooldowns or short-term talent effects are involved), since if it did, there would no longer be a critical hit system in place, just be critical failures.
• Diablo franchise uses random crit chance for all attacks.
• In Path of Exile, critical hits chance is determined by the weapon (or spell) being used, but can be increased by passive skills and other equipment.
• Super Mario RPG has random critical chance in addition to "timed hits" via Action Command.
• The "One More" system used by Persona 3 and Persona 4 feature random crits for basic physical attacks, with buffs and debuffs that can effect critical hit chance.
• In Planet Alcatraz, chances of critical hit depends on both the attacker's Critical Hit stat and the target's Avoid Critical stat.
• Ys: The Ark of Napishtim and other 3D games in the series have luck-based critical attacks.
• Ragnarok Online has critical hits based on your Luck Stat, but it's so weak that it's generally considered a Dump Stat.
• Dragon Age: Origins has rnadom crits determined by weapon type, with higher crit chance (like swords and daggers) balanced by low armor penetration compared to less-frequently critting weapons (like axes and warhammers).
• Present in the Lufia series. In Lufia: Curse of the Sinistrals, it's possible with Mystic Stones to raise a character's CRT stat to 100, which makes every single attack a critical hit.
• A Blurred Line uses random crits, though items such as Lucky Bandanna will increase their frequency.
• In The Fall: Last Days of Gaia, a skill gives 10% chance of critical hits.
• In Neverend, their likelihood is governed by the Perception stat. It's the only thing the stat does besides determining Action Initiative, so no one bothers to invest in it.
• Critical hits are a significant part of the combat system in The Age of Decadence. Their likelihood governed by the Critical Strike skill. Some weapons (like swords) are also more likely to inflict them than others (i.e hammers.)
• Dead State has random critical hits prominent in its combat system.
• The MMORPG Star Trek Online has the mods [CrtH] (critical hit chance) and [CrtD] (critical severity). The former gives a weapon a 2% better chance at dealing a Critical Hit while the latter gives the weapon 20% extra damage when Critically Hit. Antiproton weapons have a natural [CrtD] and there are numerous items that boost both levels substantially.

Video Games - Shooters
• Team Fortress 2 has a rather complex critical hit system, especially for a First-Person Shooter. There are a variety of buffs that cause automatic crits, but every shot has a crit chance based on the weapon (melee weapons crit more often, for example) and the amount of damage you've done in the last 20 seconds — if you've manage to cause a ton of mayhem by yourself, you're more likely to crit and continue your streak.
• Borderlands has elemental weapons that have a chance of exploding in their element rather than just plain shooting. When this triggers, it either starts the enemy taking continuous damage or does boosted damage for that one hit. Better guns do it more often. Morcedai also has skills that give a random chance for melee or ranged attacks to do extra damage.
• In Warframe, every weapon has an innate critical hit chance per shot, ranging from 0% to 50%. Weapon modifications can increase this, and certain Warframe abilities can increase it as well. A weapon with a crit chance over 100% can inflict "red" crits for massive damage when it rolls two crits on the same bullet. Several Warframes and weapons are built specifically for critical hits.
• Darkest Dungeon's crit system is random based on the attack being used.

Video Games - Strategy Games
• Fire Emblem makes extensive use of random critical hits, based on a unit's class, stats, and weapon. Some entries in the franchise also have skills with their own chance to activate, based on the skill itself.
• The Real-Time Strategy game Warcraft 3 had a critical hit mechanic. This was an ability restricted to certain units — a few Heroes could get it as as normal ability, while other heroes could find items to give them bonuses.
• The Super Robot Wars series uses random critical hits, though there's also a spirit command in some of the games that makes every attack made by that unit a critical attack for one turn.
• Disgaea: Hour of Darkness has its weapons have a fixed chance for criticals, with Axes having the highest natural chance (30%). Disgaea 2: Cursed Memories added the Professional specialist, which upped the critical hit chance proportional to its level (and it caps at 100), and the Item World's Item Assembly can up the critical hit chance. The Male Warrior dealt increased critical hit damage when at 25% health, and the Berserker unit in Disgaea 3: Absence of Justice can get an evility that gives him guaranteed Critical hits when he has an axe.
• In Master of Orion II there's a chance (enhanced with a special targeting system) of hitting a ship's weapons and other systems after Deflector Shields and armor have been stripped away. This does Subsystem Damage and applies debuffs to the target.
• In Shining Force as a random per-attack crit chance.
• Warlords Battlecry uses random crits with a variety of different effects.
• In Yu-Gi-Oh! Monster Capsule GB, rolling a 10 or above means a critical hit, with 00 giving you the highest damage possible for one.
• In Silent Storm, some of the classes have perks that affect crit chance.

Video Games - Other
• Fruit Ninja gives critical hits randomly.
• Terraria also has critical hits which the chance can be boosted by reforged items/weapons, buff potions, armor and armor bonuses, etc.
• Castlevania: Symphony of the Night used many RPG Elements, including critical hits. Crit rates are dependent on the equipped weapon as well as the character's Luck Stat.
• When Shingo Yabuki first showed up in The King of Fighters, he was a Joke Character with one benefit — his attacks randomly dealt a lot more damage and knocked the enemy a far distance back. The game showed the words "Critical Hit" when this happened. By KOF XI, Shingo had gained more power to balance him with the rest of the cast, so this ability went away.
• Ikari Warriors' Ralf Jones had a particular move, the Ralf Kick, which had a random chance to do extra damage and more knockback.
• Melty Blood has critical hits on every attack, dealing 1.5x normal damage.
• Dwarf Fortress relies entirely on Subsystem Damage, which is random, so although there's no formal critical hit mechanic, having a shot that randomly destroys a vital organ and instantly kills the target is effectively the same thing.
• Dex has crits both randomly and by hitting specific areas (such as shooting enemies in the head).
• In Monster Hunter, each weapon has an "Affinity" rating expressed as a percentage, indicating the probability that a given hit will become a critical hit. There are also weapons that have negative Affinity, which instead gives your weapon a chance of "feeble hits" that do less damage than usual. Some equipment skills can alter your Affinity; for example, the Critical Draw skill boosts your weapon's draw attack Affinity by 100%note , while the Critical Eye skill will increase or decrease your weapon's overall Affinity.
• In NeoQuest II you can only get this by using level points to upgrade Critical Hit levels, and only Rohane can use it.

How well does it match the trope?

Example of:

/

Media sources:

/