Critical Hits and Critical Failures

Friday, March 30, 2018

In the Pathfinder Playtest Rulebook, when you roll your d20, there's more than just success and failure on the line. You can also critically succeed or critically fail at a variety of checks, from attack rolls, to saving throws, to skill checks and beyond. Rules like these have always been a part of Pathfinder—for example, if you fail a Climb check by 5 or more you fall, and if you fail a Disable Device check by 5 or more you set off the trap—but they are uncommon and not universally applied. In the playtest, we have a unified mechanic.

The Four Degrees of Success

In Pathfinder Second Edition, every check is rolled against a particular DC. Your roll on the d20 + your proficiency modifier + your ability modifier + all your relevant modifiers, bonuses, and penalties make up your check result. If your check result meets or exceeds the target DC, congratulations! You succeeded, and you might have critically succeeded. Otherwise, you failed. If you exceeded the target DC by 10 or more, or if you rolled a natural 20 and met or exceeded the target DC, then you critically succeeded. If your result was 10 or more lower than the target DC, or if you rolled a natural 1 and didn't meet the target DC, then you critically failed. Collectively, success, critical success, failure, and critical failure are called the four degrees of success. You can gain special abilities that increase or decrease your degree of success, often due to having a high proficiency rank. For instance, if your class grants you evasion, you get master proficiency in Reflex saves and treat any success on a Reflex save as a critical success!

Examples

Let's start with a fireball spell. In Pathfinder First Edition, if you succeed the Reflex save, you take only half damage, and evasion allows you to take no damage on a successful save. In Pathfinder Second Edition, here are the degrees of success for fireball (and many of its old friends like lightning bolt and cone of cold) in the playtest.

    Success Half damage
  • Critical Success No damage
  • Failure Full damage
  • Critical Failure Double damage

Illustration by Wayne Reynolds

Any character who critically succeeds takes no damage, and characters with evasion count their successes as critical successes. What about someone legendary at Reflex saves with improved evasion? They count critical failures as failures and thus can never suffer the deadliest effects of a Reflex save, even on a natural 1!

Not all effects list all four degrees of success. If an effect doesn't list a critical success entry, that means there is normally no special effect for critically succeeding, so you just use the result for a success. Similarly, if an effect doesn't list a critical failure entry, there is normally no special effect for critically failing, so you just use the result for a failure. If a success entry is missing, that means nothing happens on a success, and if a failure entry is missing, that means nothing happens on a failure. Let's take a look at an example that combines two of these rules: the results of a basic attack called a strike.

Success You deal damage, which equals the weapon's or unarmed attack's damage dice plus your Strength modifier if it's a melee attack, plus any bonuses.

Critical Success You deal double damage—you roll twice as many damage dice and add double the ability modifier and double any other bonuses to damage.

Let's unpack what this means. You deal damage on a success and double damage on a critical success. Since there is no failure entry, that means normally nothing happens on a failure, and since there is no critical failure entry, that means a critical failure has the same effect as a failure, so nothing happens. But the fighter might have something to say about that! The fighter can use the special certain strike action, which lets him strike with the following failure effect.

Failure Your attack deals the minimum damage. (Treat this as though you had rolled a 1 on every die.)

So with certain strike, a failed attack roll isn't actually a miss—your fighter is so skilled that you still get a glancing blow on a failure and miss entirely only on a critical failure! Meanwhile, a fighter with the twin riposte reaction can use one weapon to parry and attack with the other weapon whenever an enemy critical fails an attack roll.

Save or Lose

One of the effects of the four degrees of success that adds the most fun to the game is what this means for save or lose effects—effects where if you fail your save, you're unable to continue the fight. These sorts of effects are tricky in almost every roleplaying game, and Pathfinder is no exception. In Pathfinder First Edition, even if your character has a 75% chance of succeeding at your Will save against a mummy's paralysis, chances are pretty high that four mummies are going to paralyze you. (Thanks a lot for that encounter in your Pathfinder Society Scenario, Jason!)

It's tempting to just decide the solution is not to have save or lose effects, but that really cuts off a wide variety of classic feats, monster abilities, and spells from the game. The flip side of those abilities is that if they don't just win, chances are that many of these effects are just wasting a turn. So you either cast the save or lose spell and win, or you cast it and waste the turn. Having those as the only two outcomes is not a great proposition, and of course, players and GMs often maximize their DCs and saving throw bonuses in order to tilt the outcome to their side as much as possible.

But with four degrees of success, suddenly the design space broadens significantly. You can still suffer an effect that takes you out of the action entirely on a critical failure, and you can completely ignore the effect on a critical success. But on a failure, you suffer a powerful effect but not one that takes you entirely out of the fight in one go, and even on a success, you suffer a milder effect that is still useful for the spell's caster. For example, if you critically fail your save against dominate, you are completely under the spellcaster's control, but if you only fail, you can try to break out of the effect each round. On a successful save, you aren't controlled, but you still lose an action on your next turn as you struggle to fight off the mental commands, which could be a serious problem—you might not be able to step away before casting a spell, or have time to raise a shield.

Some Mysterious Critical Effects

I'm closing out with some cool critical effects that result from critical successes on your attack rolls or skill checks or from critical failures on your enemy's saving throws. See if you can figure out where they come from!

  • The creature is banished and can't return to your home plane by any means for 1 week.
  • The creature takes the full collapse damage and falls into a fissure.
  • The target believes the fact for an unlimited duration.
  • The target's intellect is permanently reduced below that of an animal, and it treats its Charisma, Intelligence, and Wisdom modifiers as –5. It loses all class abilities that require mental faculties, including all spellcasting. If the target is a PC, she becomes an NPC under the GM's control.
  • The creature is pushed 30 feet in the direction of the wind, is knocked prone, and takes 2d6 bludgeoning damage.
  • You grant a +4 circumstance bonus.
  • Per a failure, except the target believes that everyone it sees is a mortal enemy. It uses its reactions and free actions against these enemies regardless of whether they were previously its allies, as determined by the GM. It otherwise acts as rationally as normal and will likely prefer to attack enemies that are actively attacking or hindering it.
  • The target must succeed at a Fortitude save or die. Even on a successful save, the target is frightened 2 and must flee for 1 round.
  • Your target regains Hit Points equal to 2d10 + your Wisdom modifier.
  • Per a success, but even afterward, the target is too scared of you to retaliate against you.

Mark Seifter
Designer

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Tags: Pathfinder Playtest Wayne Reynolds
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Hmmmm....
(seems to be my reaction a lot lately)

So, does this mean that a medusa will only turn you into a statue if you fail the save by more than 10? That seems... incredibly counter-genre.

That said, I can't say I'm opposed to the four degrees of success, just that it could prove problematic in certain situations meant to be highly deadly.

Still, I was kind of hoping we would get something new in this blog, not just the crit system, which we've known about for a while.


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Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

This is something I feel like I need to experience and playtest before I can fully weigh in on. For every blessing, there's a curse, which can be quite interesting.

EDIT: If I'm interpreting it correctly, I'm glad Nat 1s are auto-failures and I think the compromise that if it would be a success, you just fail instead of crit fail will help competent characters not look incompetent 5% of the time. But I may be misreading.

EDIT 2: Looks like I'm wrong. The text just says if your roll + modifier meets the DC, you succeed, so nat 1s can still pass. Make of that what you will!

EDIT 3: Mark has confirmed below that Nat 1s are at least failures (critical failure if your total does not meet the DC) and Nat 20s are at least successes (critical success if you do meet the DC).


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Anyway, guessing on what the various examples are:

  • Critical Failure on a banishment spell.
  • Critical failure against earthquake.
  • A critical success on a Bluff check? (Or some variant of suggestion)
  • Probably a critical failure on feeblemind.
  • Gust of wind, critical failure.
  • Critical Aid Another check?
  • My guess, this is a new fear spell (paranoia?) or some variant of a reversed unwitting ally
  • Phantasmal Killer. Interesting enough of a change, I suppose.
  • Critical success on the Heal skill?
  • Critical use of Intimidate.


Not to be a pain, but you reeeally should move "Otherwise you failed" back one sentence, after the critical success mention. It's mildly confusing otherwise, and I had to read it twice before I knew what you meant

Dark Archive

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Dαedαlus wrote:

Anyway, guessing on what the various examples are:

  • Critical Failure on a banishment spell.
  • Critical failure against earthquake.
  • A critical success on a Bluff check? (Or some variant of suggestion)
  • Probably a critical failure on feeblemind.
  • Gust of wind, critical failure.
  • Critical Aid Another check?
  • My guess, this is a new fear spell (paranoia?) or some variant of a reversed unwitting ally
  • Phantasmal Killer. Interesting enough of a change, I suppose.
  • Critical success on the Heal skill?
  • Critical use of Intimidate.

The paranoia one could be confusion


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Best Blog post yet! Super well presented and organized, and full of fun little teasers. The bullet list at the end was a nice touch.


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It doesn't appear as though natural 1's are auto-failure. They become critical failures only if it would normally be a failure anyways.


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Meophist wrote:
It doesn't appear as though natural 1's are auto-failure. They become critical failures only if it would normally be a failure anyways.

Yeah, reading it again I think I have to agree with you. I'm not crazy about that, personally. I'd be alright if you could invest a Skill Feat to not auto-fail on a 1 for a selection of skills, but I think Nat 1 on saves and attacks should always be failures.


Pathfinder Tales Subscriber

Not entirely sure how this'll work in actual game play.


Meophist wrote:
It doesn't appear as though natural 1's are auto-failure. They become critical failures only if it would normally be a failure anyways.

Similarly, it appears that a natural 20 is no longer auto-success.

Contributor, RPG Superstar 2010 Top 4

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I'm loving this. Well done. No reservations.

EDIT: I mean let's playtest it of course, but I love the concepts behind it. I feel it's on the right track. I especially love that the team has considered that many players avoid spells with saving throws or that do not have partial effects. You read these optimization guides and those authors all particularly point out those "no effect on save" spells as mediocre choices. This is a good response to the perception that you wasted your turn if the enemy succeeds on their saving throw.


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So sneak attack are damage dice... am i right!?

Also, I like the addition "and meet/don't meet the target DC" for natural 1's and 20's. Don't want to be turning those failures into critical successes!


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Re auto success & fail:

The blog says:
natural 20 is a critical success if you beat the DC
natural 1 is a critical failure if you didn't beat the DC

It doesn't say what happens with a natural 20 and failed to beat DC (could still be an auto-hit)
or a natural 1 and beat the DC (could still be auto-fail)


CharlieIAm wrote:
Meophist wrote:
It doesn't appear as though natural 1's are auto-failure. They become critical failures only if it would normally be a failure anyways.
Similarly, it appears that a natural 20 is no longer auto-success.

That's true, although if I remember correctly, it was never auto-success for skills. I guess this just makes it universal.

Paizo Employee Designer

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Meophist wrote:
It doesn't appear as though natural 1's are auto-failure. They become critical failures only if it would normally be a failure anyways.

If your nat 20 isn't a critical success, it is still a success, and if your nat 1 isn't a critical failure, it is still a failure.

Scarab Sages

Xethik wrote:
Meophist wrote:
It doesn't appear as though natural 1's are auto-failure. They become critical failures only if it would normally be a failure anyways.
Yeah, reading it again I think I have to agree with you. I'm not crazy about that, personally. I'd be alright if you could invest a Skill Feat to not auto-fail on a 1 for a selection of skills, but I think Nat 1 on saves and attacks should always be failures.

I think Natural 1's now always critically fail if you don't meet the target DC, but Natural 1's that meet or exceed the target DC are not automatic failures. The skill system in PF1 worked this way anyways. It looks like they are bringing things in line with the way activating a magic item works with Use Magic Device.

Blog wrote:
If your result was 10 or more lower than the target DC, or if you rolled a natural 1 and didn't meet the target DC, then you critically failed.

Liberty's Edge

Cool. Looks good. Definitely opens up some very interesting design space.


Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Mark Seifter wrote:
Meophist wrote:
It doesn't appear as though natural 1's are auto-failure. They become critical failures only if it would normally be a failure anyways.
If your nat 20 isn't a critical success, it is still a success, and if your nat 1 isn't a critical failure, it is still a failure.

Oh, huzzah! Time to make a 3rd edit on my post. Thanks for the clarification.


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I really like what I see here. Expanding the degrees of success like this is one of the first tidbits of information that made me cross the line from "cautiously optimistic" to "super excited." I like that no matter how high or low the DC for something is, the roll still matters, because even someone without Evasion might get lucky and completely avoid that fireball.

I think that the design philosophy of making spells with saves unlikely to be a complete waste has a good chance of making many of those spells worthwhile choices again. A few of my players make it a point to never choose spells with saves if they can help it in PF1, and I can't really blame them for it.

Just as some points of clarification:

  • Is a roll of natural 20 where the total is not a success treated as a success?
    What happens in the unlikely event that the result would have been a critical failure?
  • Is a roll of natural 1 where the total is a success treated as a failure?
    What happens in the event that it would have been a critical success?
  • Will these nat 20 (or 1) rules apply universally in PF2? Or will there be some applications where nat 20 (or 1) don't matter, like in PF1?


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This is another one that's still a complete mystery. With no crit fail /fumble like stupidity on attacks, it doesn't seem that bad, but on the other hand double damage from crit failing saves vs common stuff like fireball is that bad.

It purely depends on how many spells/abilities/special attacks have rider effects on them. If it's a lot, statistical averages will make every game keystone kops levels of failure.

Scarab Sages

Mark Seifter wrote:
Meophist wrote:
It doesn't appear as though natural 1's are auto-failure. They become critical failures only if it would normally be a failure anyways.
If your nat 20 isn't a critical success, it is still a success, and if your nat 1 isn't a critical failure, it is still a failure.

Interesting. The Blog post seems to refer to a natural 1 meeting or exceeding the DC as not being a failure?

Scarab Sages

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By the way, as critical as I've been on blog posts to date, I wanted to give kudos. Either this was just easier to give us more meat, or we have been heard. In either case, this is what I was asking for when asking for more meat to the blog posts!


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Dαedαlus wrote:
So, does this mean that a medusa will only turn you into a statue if you fail the save by more than 10? That seems... incredibly counter-genre.

I feel like "instantly turn to stone on a critical failure, slowly start turning to stone on a failure" can be consistent with fictional representations of medusae.


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As a fan of FFG Star wars RPG and having looked into their Recent Genesys system(which is mostly that regardless), this change excites me greatly.

Not really the biggest fan of binary success/failure systems over the years, so to see that one can make a save with potential minor/unintended consequences gets mechanically added to PF play is a big plus from me. A lot of extra flexibility for RP and effects this way.

Scarab Sages

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One major critique:

The way Witch hexes work, is if they have the cackle hex, succeeding on a save often doesn't matter. The witch just cackles and extends the hex at least by 1 round (the prevailing consensus interpretation is that cackle is not a one time thing for each Hex, but can be done in perpetuity if the witch wants to.) This hex is a must have for witches built around using hexes in combat.

PLEASE do not make an ability that essentially turns a class feat or spell or whatever into some version of cackle. With 4 levels of success/failure, if someone critically succeeds or even just succeeds, having a ubiquitous class feat that negates the meaning of that success, EVERY SINGLE TIME, will suck.


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Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Dαedαlus wrote:

Hmmmm....

(seems to be my reaction a lot lately)

So, does this mean that a medusa will only turn you into a statue if you fail the save by more than 10? That seems... incredibly counter-genre.

That said, I can't say I'm opposed to the four degrees of success, just that it could prove problematic in certain situations meant to be highly deadly.

Still, I was kind of hoping we would get something new in this blog, not just the crit system, which we've known about for a while.

Nothings saying that, if you or the paizo design want something to be particularly brutal, that a character with expert proficiency in Fort saves or worse treats any failures against a medusa's gaze is treated as a critical failure against flesh to stone.

EDIT : Another thing of note is that a regular success might still see you slowly petrified, making medusa's gaze less instantaneous, and puts the party on a timer to beat it before they're all petrified.


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Dαedαlus wrote:

Anyway, guessing on what the various examples are:

  • Critical Failure on a banishment spell.
  • Critical failure against earthquake.
  • A critical success on a Bluff check? (Or some variant of suggestion)
  • Probably a critical failure on feeblemind.
  • Gust of wind, critical failure.
  • Critical Aid Another check?
  • My guess, this is a new fear spell (paranoia?) or some variant of a reversed unwitting ally
  • Phantasmal Killer. Interesting enough of a change, I suppose.
  • Critical success on the Heal skill?
  • Critical use of Intimidate.

I actually think number 4 is the secondary effect to P1e Baleful Polymorph - currently you get two saves; a fortitude to avoid becoming a newt here's to hoping you get better, and a will save to avoid having animal-like intellect, losing all your class abilities and the like. This makes me believe that, instead of two separate saves, you just suffer the "you're now effectively an animal in all aspects" effect if you crit fail


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I REALLY like the ideas of degrees of failure. I definitely see the added utility from such a mechanic.

That being said, I don't know if I like some of the specifics.

Critically failing a save utterly ruining your day is probably good, but I am a little worried about new players rolling a nat 1 at low level and having their character insta-gibbed. Will low level critical failure effects be less punishing, or am I going to have to fudge die rolls so that one player who rolls 1s half the time can live past level 1?

I'm not sure I like the fighter doing minimum damage when he "misses". The way I read this, because there is no "critical failure" blurb, he even does minimum damage on a critical failure too? (Or is it that because there is no critical failure blurb, that there is no effect?) I feel like a fighter should still be able to miss, no matter how high a level he is.

I don't mind casters still getting some benefit from their spells even if the opponent makes the save, but, as with dominate, could 3 lower level casters effectively "stun lock" a character by casting dominate on him every turn or do the effects not stack?


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I like this a lot, the extra granularity specially for save-or-lose is a really welcome addition, although it could have been even better without the natural rolls inclusion.


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PossibleCabbage wrote:
Dαedαlus wrote:
So, does this mean that a medusa will only turn you into a statue if you fail the save by more than 10? That seems... incredibly counter-genre.
I feel like "instantly turn to stone on a critical failure, slowly start turning to stone on a failure" can be consistent with fictional representations of medusae.

I think it would be pretty cool if it was crit fail=instant stone, fail=slowly transform to stone (so you get maybe one or two more rounds in), succeed=your body partially calcifies but you don't turn to stone completely (IE dex/str penalties), crit succeed=unaffected


Mark Seifter wrote:
Meophist wrote:
It doesn't appear as though natural 1's are auto-failure. They become critical failures only if it would normally be a failure anyways.
If your nat 20 isn't a critical success, it is still a success, and if your nat 1 isn't a critical failure, it is still a failure.

Well... darn.

Ah, I shouldn’t worry too much. Hero points as a default makes more sense with this.

I’m hoping that skill expertise/mastery deals with this or crit fails in some fashion, or that it’s only one skill feat to cover all expert/master skills.


Andy Brown wrote:

Re auto success & fail:

The blog says:
natural 20 is a critical success if you beat the DC
natural 1 is a critical failure if you didn't beat the DC

It doesn't say what happens with a natural 20 and failed to beat DC (could still be an auto-hit)
or a natural 1 and beat the DC (could still be auto-fail)

I would sort of assume that natural 20 is auto hit/success if you miss the DC. So gives you that 1 in 20 chance at succeeding but you are not getting anything in addition to it. Same for rolling a 1 probably just turns into a basic failure.


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As much as I like the range of results that the critical success and critical failure rules add to the game I am not a fan of these results applying automatically to natural 20s and natural 1s.

The succeed/fail by 10 is within the players ability to control. If you are stretching, the chance of a critical failure increases and if you are doing something that is comfortably within your ability, a critical success is increasingly likely. I think this is an excellent addition to the game for all the reasons mentioned in the blog and in the subsequent posts.

However having these results on a natural 20 and natural 1 is just a player killer. Pretty much every roll in the game is either a player trying to act or a player being the subject of an action by an NPC. It is players that are effected the most by natural 20s and natural 1s so it is players who will be subject to double damage from their fumbled saves or their opponents attacks. I don't think I've ever been in a session where one of the players hasn't been on the receiving end of a natural 20 or natural 1.

I know it is part of current Pathfinder and indeed in some cases more dangerous (I'm looking at you Scythe) but I don't think it is something that should carry over to the new edition for the reasons mentioned above.


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In the certain strike example, we'd need a "critical failure: miss" rules line to match up to description of the feat/ability, given the logic right before. Ie upstream it said if no critical failure is listed, then use the failure result, but certain strike changed failure from miss to "minimum damage hit" so critical failure should also be "minimum damage hit" if not called out, right?


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thflame wrote:
I'm not sure I like the fighter doing minimum damage when he "misses". The way I read this, because there is no "critical failure" blurb, he even does minimum damage on a critical failure too? (Or is it that because there is no critical failure blurb, that there is no effect?) I feel like a fighter should still be able to miss, no matter how high a level he is.

That's a special attack, like Sudden Charge, so probably something you have to take a feat to do and might have to spend two actions on doing.


Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

So, the Certain Strike action only takes one action! I'm not sure if this can completely replace the "Strike" action or if there are per-turn limits, but that seems very strong!

Do remember that magic weapons are moving to additional dice of damage, so there will be a larger discrepancy between minimum and average damage than in PF1e.


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I'm interested if there will be abilities that change the +-10 window for the criticals (e.g. with a keen weapon the critical hit is now at 5 over AC or something like that)?
Also I very much hope that there will be some other way to get at those Fighter-only abilities. I see no reason why a Rogue should be unable to train into using Twin Riposte or AOO.

Grand Lodge

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Raises Hand* Does this mean critical failures will be a part of pathfinder society version 2? Because I can of more than a couple scenarios where one critical failure would be instant death. Imagine a critical failure vs. a round one horrid wilting. Double damage from 14 D6's = 16 PP.

One bad die roll meaning instant death for every caster sounds like the combats will be rocket tag sooner than later. There's a reason crit failures aren't in PFS and I hope that will continue to be the case.

Silver Crusade

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F@@!ing sweet.


Xethik wrote:

So, the Certain Strike action only takes one action! I'm not sure if this can completely replace the "Strike" action or if there are per-turn limits, but that seems very strong!

Do remember that magic weapons are moving to additional dice of damage, so there will be a larger discrepancy between minimum and average damage than in PF1e.

The post doesn't mention it, but I wonder if you get all bonuses to damage (Strength/Sneak Attack/other buffs) or just weapon damage.


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Looks like there still has been no mention of modifying the 10 barrier. i.e lowering the positive 10 side for more crit successes or increasing the negative 10 barrier to decrease the crit fails.

Mark, is crit fishing still a thing in PF2? It seems like if you want to crit hard and often you just increase your to attack numbers as high as you can. There has been no mention of confirming crits also. It just happens if you hit hard enough. In PF1 you could modify your crit range, damage, confirmation ,etc. Meaning you did not necessarily have to have a super high to hit bonus. So it felt cool that your damage burst out really high sometimes. Unless this information has not been revealed yet like a weapons blog to explain this mechanic.


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GentleGiant wrote:
thflame wrote:
I'm not sure I like the fighter doing minimum damage when he "misses". The way I read this, because there is no "critical failure" blurb, he even does minimum damage on a critical failure too? (Or is it that because there is no critical failure blurb, that there is no effect?) I feel like a fighter should still be able to miss, no matter how high a level he is.
That's a special attack, like Sudden Charge, so probably something you have to take a feat to do and might have to spend two actions on doing.

Mark mentioned on Facebook that it only takes one action. I'd link, but I don't have access to Facebook at this very moment (work PC).


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42nfl19 wrote:
There has been no mention of confirming crits also.

There has, actually, there's no confirming crits anymore.


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I'm not sure that it's a good idea that a natural 20 auto-succeeds regardless of the DC, even if the result would be a failure, or even a critical failure. That might work for attack rolls and saving throws, as in First Edition, but I don't think it makes sense for skills, for example. That's a flat 5% chance of success, no matter how impossible the attempted action actually is.


Xethik wrote:
GentleGiant wrote:
thflame wrote:
I'm not sure I like the fighter doing minimum damage when he "misses". The way I read this, because there is no "critical failure" blurb, he even does minimum damage on a critical failure too? (Or is it that because there is no critical failure blurb, that there is no effect?) I feel like a fighter should still be able to miss, no matter how high a level he is.
That's a special attack, like Sudden Charge, so probably something you have to take a feat to do and might have to spend two actions on doing.
Mark mentioned on Facebook that it only takes one action. I'd link, but I don't have access to Facebook at this very moment (work PC).

Okay, but I can't imagine that it isn't something you don't have to "pay" for, like with a feat, or if not then it's a high level ability that mimics your "Expert" level of being a fighter.


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Zaister wrote:
I'm not sure that it's a good idea that a natural 20 auto-succeeds regardless of the DC, even if the result would be a failure, or even a critical failure. That might work for attack rolls and saving throws, as in First Edition, but I don't think it makes sense for skills, for example. That's a flat 5% chance of success, no matter how impossible the attempted action actually is.

My thought with skills is that if there is no chance you could succeed, then you shouldn't be able to make the roll at all. This is somewhat codified with the tiered proficiency system.

GentleGiant wrote:
Xethik wrote:
GentleGiant wrote:
thflame wrote:
I'm not sure I like the fighter doing minimum damage when he "misses". The way I read this, because there is no "critical failure" blurb, he even does minimum damage on a critical failure too? (Or is it that because there is no critical failure blurb, that there is no effect?) I feel like a fighter should still be able to miss, no matter how high a level he is.
That's a special attack, like Sudden Charge, so probably something you have to take a feat to do and might have to spend two actions on doing.
Mark mentioned on Facebook that it only takes one action. I'd link, but I don't have access to Facebook at this very moment (work PC).
Okay, but I can't imagine that it isn't something you don't have to "pay" for, like with a feat, or if not then it's a high level ability that mimics your "Expert" level of being a fighter.

I imagine limited usages or a high level feat.


Xethik wrote:
So, the Certain Strike action only takes one action! I'm not sure if this can completely replace the "Strike" action or if there are per-turn limits, but that seems very strong! Do remember that magic weapons are moving to additional dice of damage, so there will be a larger discrepancy between minimum and average damage than in PF1e.

Like you said, minimum damage is a different story with new Power Attack paradigm. Opportunity cost is also a thing, both re: in-combat and character design alternatives. Most valuable potential may be 'counting as a hit' for triggering other abilities, but that isn't clear from what we read, it could very well NOT count as successful attack even while managing to do some damage. More interesting IMHO is how does this interact with Mirror Image... pop and image and still get some minor damage thru?

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