15
\$\begingroup\$

The Savage Attacker feat (PHB 169) says:

Once per turn when you roll damage for a melee weapon attack, you can reroll the weapon’s damage dice and use either total.

Critical hits (PHB 196):

When you score a critical hit, you get to roll extra dice for the attack’s damage against the target. Roll all of the attack’s damage dice twice and add them together. Then add any relevant modifiers as normal. To speed up play, you can roll all the damage dice at once.

For example, if you score a critical hit with a dagger, roll 2d4 for the damage, rather than 1d4, and then add your relevant ability modifier. If the attack involves other damage dice, such as from the rogue’s Sneak Attack feature, you roll those dice twice as well.

If a character with Savage Attacker gets a crit, what happens? Sticking with their dagger example, I see at least two interpretations:

  1. You have two instances of d4 weapon damage. Since Savage Attacker applies once per turn, you can choose either of the dice (after rolling) to reroll.

  2. Your weapon deals 2d4 damage, so you can choose to reroll the 2d4 and take the higher total.

In the event, I ruled option 2, but in retrospect I think maybe option 1 might make more sense. Some people on enworld claimed 2, without any discussion of the possibilities (though there the OP was pretty confused).

How is it supposed to work?

\$\endgroup\$
14
\$\begingroup\$

Once per turn when you roll damage for a melee weapon attack, you can reroll the weapon’s damage dice and use either total.


Roll all of the attack’s damage dice twice and add them together.

Emphasis mine. Savage Attacker causes you to reroll all of the weapon's damage dice, so if you used it with a greatsword that deals 2d6, you would reroll both dice and choose one of the two sets of results. In the same way, if something (such as a critical hit) causes you to roll the weapon's damage dice more than once, then you have the option of re-rolling all of those dice and choosing which to use.

\$\endgroup\$
2
\$\begingroup\$

I'd argue that interpretation 1 is correct. On a crit you roll the damage dice twice (two separate rolls added together), but with savage attacker you can only re-roll damage dice once per turn. You could therefore re-roll either the regular dice or the crit dice, but not both.

To speed up play, you can roll all the damage dice at once.

This sentence would further imply that the rolls are meant as separate rolls, and rolling them at the same time is for convenience only. Using different colored dice for the regular and crit damage would still allow you to roll them at the same time.

On the other hand, with this interpretation, interaction with barbarians Brutal Criticals (and half-orc Savage attacks) is quite vague (especially if you use a 2d6 weapon like a greatsword.) You either

  • never re-roll brutal criticals,
  • can re-roll them instead of either crit or regular dice,
  • can re-roll them with the crit dice or
  • house rule: on a crit, roll one extra set of weapon dice and drop the lowest set of weapon dice from total. For example, a lvl 4 half-orc barbarian with Savage Attacker and a greatsword would on a crit roll 7d6 and drop the lowest two dice. With a greataxe, he'd roll 4d12 and drop the lowest die.

Also on the other hand, re-rolling all the dice on a crit is definitely more fun, if that's what you're into.

\$\endgroup\$

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy