These are some very think-y questions! Including a lot about beasts and monsters.
I want to clarify some things about my response to Sean. First, here are the three "roots" of critical hits in text. They're not intended to be in order, as I think they were simultaneous at this scale of history:
- List of described extreme effects, focus on clinical descriptions (examples: early D&D supplement, The Morrow Project) - evident in Rolemaster, although I really should have cited the original Arms Law in the video
- Maximized damage or related effects, no description (example: early RuneQuest) - this is what was applied in the WotC versions of D&D
- Increased, often multiplied damage, no description (examples: Melee); this is what was spitballed into play at many tables regardless of the textual rules, along with the perceived opportunity for special narration
Here's the link I mentioned to Jesse: Keeping them all together. As I also mentioned, this is the beginning of a longer conversation which is currently finding its most effective expression in the People and Play course.
The comments from the Patreon (a month ago) are attached, so check them out too.