Sunday, September 15, 2013

The First Critical Hits

Nothing is more satisfying than rolling the dice and seeing not only that you hit, but that you hit exceptionally well. The adrenaline rush of critical hits proved so compelling that there is scarcely a game today, be it on a tabletop or a computer, where hits can be scored in which they don't have a chance to be critical hits, dealing additional damage. But the time-honored tradition of getting double damage on a natural 20 did not ship with the earliest version of Dungeons & Dragons. In fact, D&D spent decades resisting this idea of critical hits. Even without TSR's endorsement, critical hits still became a part of gaming everywhere, largely due to the impetus of fans like Gary Switzer, who sent the critical hit rules above to APA-L in May 1975.