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In the AD&D Second Edition book Player's Option:Combat and Tactics, an enhanced weapon (+1 bonus or better) also improved the critical range by that much. So if I had a +2 Longsword (19-20 x2) it would become 17-20x2.

Does it work this way in D&D 3.5, or is that replaced by other ways to increase a weapon's crit range?

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closed as not a real question by mxyzplk Oct 22 '12 at 15:48

It's difficult to tell what is being asked here. This question is ambiguous, vague, incomplete, overly broad, or rhetorical and cannot be reasonably answered in its current form. For help clarifying this question so that it can be reopened, visit the help center.If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

    
One might look in AD&D Player's Option:Combat and Tactics... because all of what the question is asking is in Chapter 6 thereof. There's no ambiguity at all except the lack of knowledge of AD&D by the votes to close. –  aramis Oct 19 '12 at 22:25
    
@aramis, being correct is not an excuse for being rude. Semi correct at least, the question's still pretty unclear on both source and target versions for the compare. –  mxyzplk Oct 20 '12 at 23:38
    
What mxy said. Few to no players consider AD&D 2e with the Players Option books to be the same thing as 2e, any more than 3.0 and 3.5 are considered the same game. That does explain the original state of the question, though. –  SevenSidedDie Oct 21 '12 at 4:04
    
@Aramis actually, I've just pulled out my old Combat & Tactics and this isn't in there at all. Their crit system is "natural 18 or more, hit by 5 or more." on p.101 there's an example of this with a magical longsword adding to the THAC0 but not increasing the crit range. (It does add to initiative though, p.18!) Closing this question again for not making sense. –  mxyzplk Oct 22 '12 at 15:48
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2 Answers

Plain enhancement bonuses on weapons generally affect only attack and damage, nothing else (barring a specific class feature, feat, or whatever). The Keen weapon enhancement is the way to improve the threat range. The Improved Critical feat or the keen edge spell can be used to replace the Keen enhancement.

In 3.0, critical threat extenders often did stack, so you could get ranges quite a lot larger, and you were likely to critical on any roll that actually hit.

In 3.5, none of these stack with one another, so generally speaking 15-20 is the best range you can get (e.g. +1 keen rapier). There are a few scattered exceptions that stack, but they’re rare.1

As a result, crit-fishing is not usually seen as a particularly powerful archetype in 3.5. For the most part, even with a lot of investment, crits remain too rare to justify the investment unless you do find some of those exceptions. Even then, it usually only gets really dangerous when you do silly things like +1 Aptitude2 Kaorti-Resin3 Rapiers4 with Lightning Maces5 and Roundabout Kick.6

1 At least one, the Disciple of Dispater, relies on the fact that it was written for 3.0 and never updated for 3.5, which technically makes it legal as-is in 3.5 even though it has 3.0-style critical threat increases.

2 Aptitude is a weapon enhancement that allows the weapon to be treated as a different sort of weapon for feats.

3 Kaorti resin is a special material that can be used to make weapons. Weapons made from it are always Exotic, and always have a ×4 critical multiplier if they deal piercing or slashing damage. Frequently banned.

4 Rapiers are the traditional 18-20 threat range weapons, though there are probably better choices here.

5 Lightning Maces is a feat that gives you a free attack if you roll a critical with a mace. Since maces generally have a small threat range, this wouldn’t be so bad, but (arguably) Aptitude allows you to apply it to wider-range weapons. Even that’s not too awful, since it’s still not infinite or anything...

6 Roundabout Kick normally gives you a free Unarmed Strike attack after a critical. But with Aptitude, that can be another attack with your large-range, high-multiplier weapon. That both Lightning Maces and Roundabout Kick applies to. As a result, you get two free attacks for every critical. Mathematically, your odds of ever stopping go down dramatically after you succeed on the first few criticals, leading to nigh-infinite attacks. Now a build that was only so-so is literally breaking the game – not just by being powerful, but by literally creating a situation that the rules cannot handle.

Lightning Maces was famously banned in the Test of Spite after one of the most impressive matches: OloDemonsbane failed a save against death urge. He then proceeded to crit himself... and crit himself, and crit himself, and crit himself, until he eventually ran out of bullets, scoring nearly 45,000 damage on himself, all thanks to Lightning Maces. (technically he would have died before all the attacks completed but the number is more impressive if he uses all his attacks)

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+1 Post of Hilarity –  tex Oct 22 '12 at 17:45
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No. The bonus to threat range is not in d20 (D&D 3.0/3.5).

There are other ways to increase the threat range in d20, however. Specific enchantments and feats can widen the threat range.

The threat checking is also different; in PO:C&T, on a threat, if the to hit was made by 5 points, it's a crit. In d20, on a threat, if a hit occurred; if the total would have missed, it allows rerolling at +10.

Many other d20 mechanics also originate in PO:C&T, including Attacks of Opportunity.

For the d20 crowd: any modified roll of 18+ was a threat in PO:C&T...

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No - natural 18+ was a threat in PO:C&T. –  mxyzplk Oct 23 '12 at 1:02
    
Corrected for the 18+ but my dead tree doesn't have the "Natural" where my Core Rules 2.0 CD does. I will note, however, that I've found other discrepancies between printed and the Core Rules RTFs. –  aramis Oct 23 '12 at 3:33
    
My print version says "natural." Regardless, the whole frame of the question is wrong. –  mxyzplk Oct 23 '12 at 11:28
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