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Critical Fumble Deck: Attack Damages Self.


Rules Questions


If I roll a 1 on and attack that would cause sneak attack damage, and the card says that you take damage instead of your opponent, is the sneak attack damage included or just normal damage?

Arguement For: The card says that the damage is applied to you and does not say anything about ignoring precision damage (like sneak attack).

Arguement Against: Precision damage (like sneak attack) is based on choosing a vital position to strike and based on the target being flat-footed or flanked. It does not make sense for damage to the self to be either to a chosen vital spot, and if you are making an attack, you are probably not flat-footed.

Afterthought: If the above card is drawn, and you would have been recieving favoured enemy bonus to damage, against your target, does that damage apply to you even though you do not qualify as a favoured enemy?


I'd argue no. That sort of extra damage--both sneak attack and favored enemy--is a sort of "bonus" damage added on after everything else. If you sneak attack an enemy who's wearing fortified armor, there's a chance that your extra damage won't apply; likewise, it isn't multiplied on a critical hit, it's sort of tacked on afterwards. Favored enemy wouldn't count unless you are your own type of favored enemy, and even them I'm not sure it would.


That was what I thought and how I ruled it when it came up in my game last night. I opperate on the policy that you should almost always rule in players' favour if you aren't sure on a rule and are unable to find it with a quick search. You don't want to kill a PC (or NPC ally) and three games later find out that they shouldn't have died.


Don't play with - "you hurt youself" cards - It just nefts the melee char even more...
Really - A twf fighter with 4 attacks pr round - have a better chance of hurting himself each round than a low lvl noob... It makes no sense...


You are not flat-footed against yourself. So no.


1 person marked this as a favorite.

You can't flank yourself. So no. Also, I agree with Bigtuna: you should burn those "you hurt youself" cards and dissolve their ashes into a strong acid.

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Companion Subscriber

Horse pucky.

The "hurt yourself" cards (I call them "Invisible Dead Turtles") are my players' favorites. They laugh at each other's misfortunes and especially enjoy that I apply the effects of those cards to monsters as well. I reserve Critical Hit cards for PCs and boss-type monsters, but Fumble cards are fun for everyone.

As for the question at hand, don't apply the sneak attack dice.
Unless the card say "normal damage" or some set amount, you should apply things like Power Attack and Vital Strike because those bonuses don't really have any qualifiers other than "you choose to use the feat." Damage bonuses with qualifiers like flat-footed, denied DEX bonus, etc. shouldn't apply unless you somehow qualify for the extra damage. That will probably almost never happen. Even blinded, you can't sneak attack yourself by accident since you can't make sneak attacks while blinded.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion, Modules Subscriber

Eh, I'd argue that. Talk to any cook who has cut themselves seriously. As a 'fumble' card is a special circumstance we apply extra damage like sneak attack. You are never expecting to hit yourself so it is most certainly a surprise when it happens.


I'd agree with Skylancer, but the whole Sneak Attack damage is based on the character's enhanced potency of killing the unsuspecting. The real question is, "Can you apply Sneak Attack damage to yourself?" And I would argue no, based simply for the reason that unless you intend to catch yourself Flat-footed or somehow Flank yourself (both of which are pretty much physically impossible, even in the game mechanics), you don't have the intent to apply that Sneak Attack damage.

The point is that Sneak Attack damage is applied with the character purposefully doing it. That is to say that it isn't a surprise, but that the application method to it wouldn't apply since the one applying the Sneak Attack damage isn't purposefully catching himself Flat-footed or flanking himself to deal out that extra damage.

Otherwise, yes, I would agree that he would suffer Sneak Attack damage.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion, Modules Subscriber

But the 'application' of sneak damage is basically fluff. It's a rules mechanic available to certain classes/builds at its core, certain conditions apply, mechanic comes into play.

Again, you are never expecting to hit yourself with a fumble, in effect you are always flatfooted against attacks you make against yourself. Also it doesn't sound like you are making an attack roll for said 'attack on self' which means your DEX isn't coming into play either.

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Companion Subscriber

By the same token, Skylancer4, a fumbling rogue isn't necessarily making a precision attack either.

From the section on Precision Damage: "Precision damage is usually dealt by classes like the rogue when he is able to catch an opponent unable to fully protect itself. Precision damage assumes that the target has a somewhat normal anatomy or at least has a physical form which might have weak spots which could be detected or taken advantage of."

While the rogue probably does have a normal anatomy and weak spots, his fumble probably isn't specifically targeting one of those weak spots. In a game, your example of a cook badly cutting himself by mistake is more about rolling high or low damage than rolling an attack precisely targeting a vital or weak area. I've cut myself cooking and working plenty of times. I wasn't expecting it and it wasn't as if the knife cut into some major artery or important joint every time. It's random and that's hardly precise.

The best reason to not apply sneak attack damage is the card itself. The fact that you're using a fumble deck to start with is punishment enough. Some of the fumble effects can be worse than sneak attacks as it is. Applying sneak attack damage just further penalizes rogues when they back that fumble. It also might scare people away from ever playing rogue/spellcasters once they read some of the magic fumbles.

Besides all that, Uncanny Dodge would seem like pretty good protection against Sneak Attacking yourself. Unless the fumble card says you immediately become immobilized, automatically successfully Feint yourself or need to roll a Feint against yourself (none of the cards say that,) you retain your DEX bonus and can't be caught flat-footed. Sneak attack only works against flat-footed opponents and those denied their DEX bonus so Uncanny Dodge saves the day. Probably just best to ignore all that and not apply the Sneak Attack to start.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion, Modules Subscriber

Unfortunately for every reason each of us comes up with, there is a reason to be made opposing that.

Rules don't always follow 'reason', to each their own.

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