[RPG] Does a githyanki’s silver sword instantly kill an astral traveler on a critical hit


DMG 47 states,

Only the severing of a character's silver cord while on the Astral Plane (or the death of his or her helpless physical body on the Material Plane) can result in the character's true death.

MM 160 states,

On a critical hit against a target in an astral body (as with the astral projection spell), the githyanki can cut the silvery cord that tethers the target to its material body, instead of dealing damage.

Does this mean that if the githyanki deals a critical hit against an astral traveler, it can choose to instantly kill its target?

That's what the feature seems to imply, but given that the githyanki has a ~10% chance of rolling a 20 on at least one of its two attacks per round, that makes fighting githyanki on the astral plane exceedingly deadly. Am I reading this correctly?

Best Answer

Yes, a githyanki will kill an astrally projected creature on a critical hit (which occurs 5% of the time for each non (dis)advantaged attack).

However, since they can't kill you at all if they don't get a critical this seems fair enough. Especially when you consider that none of the other creatures you meet on the Astral Plane get this benefit, so they really can't hurt you.

Of course, many creatures you meet on the Astral can kill you in ways that don't involve hitting you with a sword but then, you're playing with the big boys now. Also, at these levels, death is a minor inconvenience rather than a major disaster.