We know that the Great Weapon Fighting fighting style allows the rerolling of all 1 and 2s that come from a weapon taking the new roll.

If a player using a Greatsword gets a critical hit and rolls 4d6 damage, does the GWF count for all 4d6, or just the underlying 2d6?

Does a Half-Orc get to apply GWF to their Savage Attacks, allowing a potential 5d6 under the GWF rule to be rerolled on 1 and 2's?


1 Answer 1


The crit with the great sword: yes, you can reroll 1s or 2s on all four dice.

When you roll a 1 or a 2 on a damage die for an attack you make with a melee weapon that you are wielding with two hands ... (PHB p. 72)

Greatsword? Two handed. Yes
Damage die rolled? Yes.
Melee weapon attack? Yes.
Any of the 4 die that shows a 1 or 2 can be re-rolled.

About that last d6 for the half orc:

When you score a critical hit with a melee weapon attack, you can roll one of the weapon's damage dice one additional time and add it to the extra damage of the critical hit. (PHB p. 41)

  1. Yes, you can reroll a 1 or 2 for the SA die

    My ruling would be yes, any 1 or 2 would be re-rolled.
    Rules support is as follows:
    Two handed weapon? Yes.
    Melee weapon attack? Yes.
    Weapon damage die? Yes.

    • The Savage Attacks damage die is based on the weapon used for the attack, unlike (for example) the Divine Strike class ability which brings its own damage die regardless of weapon type: a paladin gets the 1d8 even if she is using a 1d4 dagger on that attack.

      • The damage is: 4d6rr 1 or 2 + STRmod + 1d6rr 1 or 2,SAmod
    • If the half orc were re-rolling one die, for example from a longsword (versatile) used two-handed, it would be a d10 for Savage Attacks. The damage die for this half-orc ability is directly tied to the weapon being used in the attack that scores a critical hit.
      • The damage is: 2d10rr 1 or 2 + STRmod + 1d10rr 1 or 2,SAmod
  2. No, you can't reroll a 1 or 2 for the SA die

    A reasonable argument against my ruling is that this extra damage die is somehow separate from the weapon, since it's origin is within the half-orc (racial ability) rather than within the weapon itself. Thus, even if it meets two of the three criteria solidly, and one as close as can be, that extra damage die in the case of a critical hit does not get to re-roll a 1 or 2.

    With this ruling, the damage is: 4d6rr 1 or 2 + STRmod + 1d6SAmod

    I've seen this above argument support a ruling of rule "no;" it's not beyond reason. (I've got a Champion half-orc fighter and that is how the DM ruled. No worries, I understood his premise).

  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ The Savage Attacks does not add an extra die to the attack, it rolls a seperate die to add extra damage to it. Shouldn't be affected by GWF or the like. The critical hit however adds extra dice to the attack. This supports the 'no' part. Your damage is 4d6+str+SA. \$\endgroup\$
    – FenrirG
    Commented Oct 24, 2017 at 13:26
  • \$\begingroup\$ I just wanted to add my two cents in favor of the 'no' part. I meant to show the difference between the wording of the two (crit & savage attacks). Critical hits (also see: Sneak Attack or Paladin's Smite) say they add extra damage dice, therefor can be affected by GWF. While Savage Attacks says it rolls an additional(seperate?) die and add the number as extra damage. \$\endgroup\$
    – FenrirG
    Commented Oct 24, 2017 at 14:37
  • \$\begingroup\$ Do you think it makes sense to call it a modifier? The formula suggests that's how it works. I think it makes things easier to grasp. It's your call. \$\endgroup\$
    – FenrirG
    Commented Oct 24, 2017 at 14:45
  • \$\begingroup\$ there is also the easier to deal with method, you throw out 5d6, any ones get re-rolled and you don't have to label one of the d6 as the Savage Attack die \$\endgroup\$ Commented Oct 25, 2017 at 3:19
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ @KorvinStarmast the comment from Jeremy Crawford is about the "Savage Attacker" feat from the customization feats, not the half-orc racial. \$\endgroup\$
    – FenrirG
    Commented Oct 25, 2017 at 8:57

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