Based on the questions below, I think I probably did:

Does sneak attack damage do max damage on a critical hit?
Is extra damage from free actions maximized with a critial hit?
Is the extra damage from Assassin's Strike maximized on a critical?

But I had this happen in a game a couple days ago, and the damage was so absurd that I just want to double-check that I'm not missing something. There are also items involved, and that may not have been handled correctly.

The Question

We've got Horko: a level 5 Half-Orc Fighter Slayer with a Greatspear (AV), 21 Str, 15 Dex, Power Strike (HotFL), Furious Assault (HotFK), a +1 Vanguard Greatspear (AV), a Horned Helm (PH), and Spear Expertise (HotFL).

He charges, and crits. How much damage does he do, ignoring the extra 1d8 from the Vanguard Weapon's Critical property? I'm less certain about maxing the item bonuses than I am about maxing the power bonuses.

My Calculations

This is the damage formula:

1[W] + Str (Melee Basic) + 1[W] (Power Strike) + 1[W] (Furious Assault) + Dex + 2 (Slayer) + 1d8 (Vanguard Weapon) + 1d6 (Horned Helm) + 1 (Spear Expertise) + 1 (Enhancement Bonus)

which works out to:

3d10 + 1d8 + 1d6 + 11

So, if we max all that, we have:


Which is more than Horko's max health.

  • \$\begingroup\$ Wait until your slayer discovers surprising charge :) \$\endgroup\$
    – wax eagle
    Commented Oct 23, 2014 at 20:30
  • \$\begingroup\$ @waxeagle Won't have enough Dex until lvl 11, but yeah, good call. \$\endgroup\$
    – DCShannon
    Commented Oct 23, 2014 at 21:17

1 Answer 1


Yes, your math is correct

Per the Player's Handbook (page 278) (also quoted in one of the other questions you linked):

Maximum Damage: Rather than roll damage, determine the maximum damage you can roll with your attack. This is your critical damage. (Attacks that don’t deal damage still don’t deal damage on a critical hit.)

Extra Damage: Magic weapons and implements, as well as high crit weapons, can increase the damage you deal when you score a critical hit. If this extra damage is a die roll, it’s not automatically maximum damage; you add the result of the roll.

I'm not familiar with most of the sources of bonus damage, but if any of them would have been rolled even if you hadn't critical'd then yes, you get the maximum instead of rolling. I looked up Horned Helm, and the d6 is something you get every time you Charge. It's not a result of the critical hit, so it gets maximized.

What books are the Vanguard Weapon and Furious Assault from? I've played 4e since it came out and have most of the books, but I'm not familiar with either of those.

Just thought I'd also mention, if your weapon is magical (assumed from the +1 enhancement) then you usually get an extra d6 or so damage per plus, maybe that's what you meant by "the Vanguard Weapon's Critical property".

  • \$\begingroup\$ Yes, that's exactly what I meant, but that isn't maxed so I'm ignoring it for the purposes of this question. All of those sources get rolled without a crit. I guess I'm the most uncertain about the dice from Horned Helm and Vanguard Weapon being maxed. \$\endgroup\$
    – DCShannon
    Commented Oct 23, 2014 at 20:19
  • \$\begingroup\$ Vanguard weapon is in AV1, Furious Assault IIRC is in PHB2, it's a half-orc racial trait. You've got the right answer here. \$\endgroup\$
    – wax eagle
    Commented Oct 23, 2014 at 20:31
  • \$\begingroup\$ I added the initials for the appropriate book to each of the things he has. Normally I write out definitions on these types of questions, but that's a lot of things to define. \$\endgroup\$
    – DCShannon
    Commented Oct 23, 2014 at 20:40

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