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The Sword of Sharpness states:

When you attack an object with this magic sword and hit, maximize your weapon damage dice against the target.

It also has a secondary feature:

When you attack a creature with this weapon and roll a 20 on the attack roll, that target takes an extra 4d6 slashing damage.

1) Would these extra 4d6 damage dice also be maximized in damage (ie just add 24 damage)?

I also play as a level 20 half orc Barbarian, meaning that when I land a critical:

  • Thanks to Brutal Critical I am able to add 3 additional damage dice.
  • Thanks to the Savage Attacks class feature, I can add an additional damage die.

2) Would these 4 additional critical dice also be maximized in damage?

While I'm not sure about question 1, I think question 2 would be yes. Since critical hits use the damage dice of the weapon, and since on a hit the weapon's damage dice are maximized, I don't see why critical dice would not also be maximized.

But some clarification on both of these questions would definitely be appreciated.

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No, these 2 abilities can never work together.

When you attack an object...

vs

When you attack a creature...

The DMG defines objects on page 246 as:

...an object is a discrete, inanimate item like a window, door, sword, book, table, chair, or stone...

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  • \$\begingroup\$ Interesting, is there a common time when a PC would be attacking an object (as opposed to a creature)? I'm not sure I've ever encountered that, or at least nothing comes to mind \$\endgroup\$ – B. S. Morganstein Jul 6 '17 at 14:25
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    \$\begingroup\$ @B.S.Morganstein I'll quote the DMG here: "When characters need to saw through ropes, shatter a window, or smash a vampire's coffin..." \$\endgroup\$ – Miniman Jul 6 '17 at 14:26
  • \$\begingroup\$ I see. Do you have any explanation then for why this is a very rare item requiring attunement? Seems wayyy less good if the maximum damage does not apply to attacking creatures. (I'm happy to move this to chat if that's more appropriate, but I myself don't know how) \$\endgroup\$ – B. S. Morganstein Jul 6 '17 at 14:27
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    \$\begingroup\$ There's one additional wrinkle; Sword of Sharpness, by the books, doesn't add 4d6 slashing damage. It adds 14 slashing damage. For some reason many (all?) of the weapons that do additional damage on a 20 add dice in the SRD. No official explanation has been given for this, but the DMG is an official rulebook and the SRD isn't, so the DMG wins. The SRD is primarily a thing for 3rd parties to build their own worlds/settings/products on top of. It's also debatable whether those dice are weapon damage dice. \$\endgroup\$ – Doval Jul 6 '17 at 14:27
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    \$\begingroup\$ @B.S.Morganstein That's a question that well and truly merits its own question for anyone to even attempt to answer. \$\endgroup\$ – Miniman Jul 6 '17 at 14:32

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