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Critical hit clarification


Rules Questions


I'm sure there are countless threads about this topic but I'm being lazy.

Now I don't have a lot experience in Pathfinder, just 1 session, nor do I have a lot of experience in D&D and never landed a critical hit.

Now I've read the "multiplying damage" section on page 179 of the Core Rulebook and have two interpretations of this:

I've got a bastard sword (1d10 19-20/x2) and 18 strength. No feats no nothing. Assuming I've rolled a threat and confirmed I would roll critical hit damage as:

A: 1d10+3=10+3=13
1d10+3=5+3=8
13+8=21

or

B: 2d10+6=10,8+6=24

Which is correct?


andromada369 wrote:

I'm sure there are countless threads about this topic but I'm being lazy.

Now I don't have a lot experience in Pathfinder, just 1 session, nor do I have a lot of experience in D&D and never landed a critical hit.

Now I've read the "multiplying damage" section on page 179 of the Core Rulebook and have two interpretations of this:

I've got a bastard sword (1d10 19-20/x2) and 18 strength. No feats no nothing. Assuming I've rolled a threat and confirmed I would roll critical hit damage as:

A: 1d10+3=10+3=13
1d10+3=5+3=8
13+8=21

or

B: 2d10+6=10,8+6=24

Which is correct?

C: 1d10=7,7*2=14,14+4=18 - the STR mod for 18 STR is 4, not 3.


*scratches head*

I'm pretty sure that those to formulas shake out to be the same.

(1d10 + 3) + (1d10 + 3) = 2d10 + 6

So you're doing it right.

Also, just so you know, 18 strength actually is a +4 strength attribute bonus.

Your normal damage would be 1d10 + 4

@lyingbastard

I thought you multiplied the +4 static bonus as well?


B is right.


Stynkk wrote:

*scratces head*

I'm pretty sure that those to formulas shake out to be the same.

(1d10 + 3) + (1d10 + 3) = 2d10 + 6

So you're doing it right.

Also, just so you know, 18 strength actually is a +4 strength attribute bonus.

Your normal damage would be 1d10 + 4

I think how it actually goes for a crit is (weapon damage)*2+STR = damage. At least, that's how my group's been running it.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

A and B (they're the same, no?), but you've got the wrong bonus. (ninjaed by a bunch of people ;))

18str gives +4 bonus, but if you hold the weapon in two hands you get 1,5x str bonus.

Thus you get 2d10 + 12 ⇒ (1, 8) + 12 = 21 (1d10+6 + 1d10+6)

For one-handed use 2d10 + 8 ⇒ (6, 8) + 8 = 22 (1d10+4 + 1d10+4)


Guess I've been doing it wrong, then.


I think you might be confusing this with adding damage dice. Like +1d6 from a Flaming Weapon or sneak attack damage. Those aren't multiplied on critical hits.


Lyingbastard wrote:
Guess I've been doing it wrong, then.

All numeric bonuses are increased so yes you have been. That's ok though since everyone in your group is "doing it wrong" in the same way it shakes out the same (basically).


Alright I think it's making sense now.

So lets take the same scenario in my first post but make it a flaming bastard sword. So my critical damage formula would look like:

2d10 + 8 + 1d6 ⇒ (1, 4) + 8 + (1) = 14


Pathfinder Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Abraham spalding wrote:
All numeric bonuses are increased.

All? What about the Bards Inspire Courage bonus to damage? For some reason I thought there was a rule about moral bonuses not multiplying... maybe it's from an older rule system... YES! My rapier fighter is that much more deadly! Not that she needed the help... Thanks for the info!


andromada369 wrote:

Alright I think it's making sense now.

So lets take the same scenario in my first post but make it a flaming bastard sword. So my critical damage formula would look like:

2d10+8+1d6 = (1, 4) + 8 + (1) = 14

Yes, you've got it.


Valcrist wrote:
Abraham spalding wrote:
All numeric bonuses are increased.

All? What about the Bards Inspire Courage bonus to damage? For some reason I thought there was a rule about moral bonuses not multiplying... maybe it's from an older rule system... YES! My rapier fighter is that much more deadly! Not that she needed the help... Thanks for the info!

Glad to help, again critical hits are very specific in that all numeric, non-variable, non-precision damage bonuses are included in a critical hit multiplier.

On a technical level you are supposed to roll the extra dice, but I've seen plenty of people simply multiple the result of one dice. In the long run it amounts to the same mathematically.


Stynkk wrote:
andromada369 wrote:

Alright I think it's making sense now.

So lets take the same scenario in my first post but make it a flaming bastard sword. So my critical damage formula would look like:

2d10+8+1d6 = (1, 4) + 8 + (1) = 14

Yes, you've got it.

Good luckily it didn't take me 2 years to understand like 3.5 flanking and line of sight.


Pathfinder Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
andromada369 wrote:

Alright I think it's making sense now.

So lets take the same scenario in my first post but make it a flaming bastard sword. So my critical damage formula would look like:

2d10+8+1d6

Yes, if you're using it one handed. If two handed you add half again your STR mod of +4, giving you a +6. So:

2d10+12+1d6(fire)

Also, you have to have at least a +1 enhancement to a weapon before you can add special qualities. So it'd have to be a +1 flaming bastard sword. And so it'd be:

One hand: 2d10+10+1d6(fire)
-or-
Two hand: 2d10+14+1d6(fire)

But yeah, you've basically got it! Welcome to the game by the way, always good to have another gamer out there! Happy gaming!


Valcrist wrote:
Also, you have to have at least a +1 enhancement to a weapon before you can add special qualities. So it'd have to be a +1 flaming bastard sword.

Good catch, I always forget that one...


Pathfinder Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Abraham spalding wrote:
Glad to help, again critical hits are very specific in that all numeric, non-variable, non-precision damage bonuses are included in a critical hit multiplier.

Yeah, we use a few house rules that are throw backs to 3.5, such as having Rangers Favored Enemy bonus count as precision, as does my Duelist Precise Strike ability. Otherwise those critical hit's are just ungodly... Especially since I'm using CotCT's Serithtial(sp?). Anyway, thanks for the clarification!


andromada369 wrote:

I'm sure there are countless threads about this topic but I'm being lazy.

Now I don't have a lot experience in Pathfinder, just 1 session, nor do I have a lot of experience in D&D and never landed a critical hit.

Now I've read the "multiplying damage" section on page 179 of the Core Rulebook and have two interpretations of this:

I've got a bastard sword (1d10 19-20/x2) and 18 strength. No feats no nothing. Assuming I've rolled a threat and confirmed I would roll critical hit damage as:

A: 1d10+3=10+3=13
1d10+3=5+3=8
13+8=21

or

B: 2d10+6=10,8+6=24

Which is correct?

Multiplying Damage wrote:

Multiplying Damage

Sometimes you multiply damage by some factor, such as on a critical hit. Roll the damage (with all modifiers) multiple times and total the results.

Note: When you multiply damage more than once, each multiplier works off the original, unmultiplied damage. So if you are asked to double the damage twice, the end result is three times the normal damage.

Exception: Extra damage dice over and above a weapon's normal damage are never multiplied.

Critical Hit wrote:

A critical hit means that you roll your damage more than once, with all your usual bonuses, and add the rolls together. Unless otherwise specified, the threat range for a critical hit on an attack roll is 20, and the multiplier is ×2.

Exception: Precision damage (such as from a rogue's sneak attack class feature) and additional damage dice from special weapon qualities (such as flaming) are not multiplied when you score a critical hit.

So, your normal damage is 1d10+6 (+4 STR x1.5 for two hands = +6).

So roll that twice: 2d10+12

If you get a sneak attack (or some other precision damage), you can add that at the end after you're done with all the rolling.

If you've got a flaming sword, same deal, you can roll that extra 1d6 (just once) and add it at the end after you're done rolling damage.


Also remember that ranger damage being precision goes back to 3.0. In 3.5 rangers got it as untyped damage so they could add it against enemies immune to precision like undead and constructs.


RAW is to roll it twice as per A in the original post. However, it is an entirely reasonable and mechanically-neutral houserule to roll damage once and multiply it. I even let my players choose before they throw the damage dice which way they want to do it. Multiplying is faster than adding more dice, but it can produce really small or really large crits, whereas rolling multiple dice tends to average out (it's the difference between a 2d10 bell curve and a 1d20 flat line).

As a side note, Lyingbastard's system (roll the damage dice multiple times, but add static bonuses once) is how the vital strike feats work.


Bobson wrote:

RAW is to roll it twice as per A in the original post. However, it is an entirely reasonable and mechanically-neutral houserule to roll damage once and multiply it. I even let my players choose before they throw the damage dice which way they want to do it. Multiplying is faster than adding more dice, but it can produce really small or really large crits, whereas rolling multiple dice tends to average out (it's the difference between a 2d10 bell curve and a 1d20 flat line).

As a side note, Lyingbastard's system (roll the damage dice multiple times, but add static bonuses once) is how the vital strike feats work.

Ah, okay. I usually play casters so I don't worry about melee crits all that often...

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