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Gods I Hate Confirming Critical Hits!


Pathfinder RPG General Discussion

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Scarab Sages

Please get rid of this massively stupid rule! You're rollin in combat and BAM! A Nat20 is rolled and everyone is excited and happy. Then the excitement gets ruined by the confirm. Its just garbage.

Silver Crusade

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Pathfinder Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

If you’re the GM, you can modify rules as you see fit, it says as much in the introductory chapter. If you aren’t the GM, talk to your GM about it.

Related: Starfinder doesn’t require critical rolls to be confirmed. Pathfinder’s CRB was far and away a modified DND 3.5, which was by another company. In order to maintain as much of the fan base as they could (as this was a scary new venture for Paizo way back then) they kept a lot of rules that they didn’t necessarily agree with/want, and perhaps this was a result of that. The only real reason I suspect that is because it was removed from Starfinder.


7 people marked this as a favorite.

Critical hit confirmation has intersting math behind it.

Imagine that Pathfinder had set up critical hits as a separate die from the attack die. One d20 is rolled for hitting and a second d20 is rolled for criticals. Say that the creature is hit on a roll of 13 or more (40% chance) and the hit is a critical on a roll of 19 or more on the other d20 (10% chance). That gives 36% of hitting without a crit and 4% chance of hitting with a crit. Of course, 6% of the time the player would roll a crit but miss, so the crit would not count. Overall, it is 60% misses, 36% hits without a crit, and 4% critical hits.

But rolling two dice is more awkward than rolling one die. Instead the D&D and Pathfinder system is that both the hot roll and the crit roll are on the same die, but crits require a second d20 roll to confirm. If a hit requires a 13 or better (40%), then the confirmation also requires a 13 or better (40% chance). So if the attack die shows a possible crit, we have a 40% chance of confirming it and a 60% chance of not confirming it. Overall, it is 60% misses, 36% hits without a crit, and 4% critical hits.

We have the exact odds as the two-dice system. The confirmation roll was designed to give the same odds as the two-dice system.

Leaving out the confirmation roll biases the odds so that a creature that is hard to hit will have a high proportion of its hits as crits, and a creature that is easy to hit will have a lower proportion of its hits as crits. Hard-to-hit creatures will be easier to take down.

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Maps, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber; Pathfinder Comics Subscriber

Just Houserule?

I've houseruled crits plenty of times in the past.
Examples include:


  • Always critical hit on a natural 20, only roll confirmation on wider crit chance (otherwise crit fishing builds are too good).

  • On natural 20 maximize damage, on confirm roll the additional damage for your critical (so once for x2, twice for x3, thrice for x4). Means Natural 20s are always meaningful, but not crazy without the confirmation.

  • On a natural 1 take a critical fumble, on doing so you draw a critical hit card. When you roll a critical threat you can spend a critical hit card to automatically confirm, or roll confirmation to use the additional effects of the critical hit card.


crits are large damage spikes, very large damage spikes, so they game's math says that they should be "rare" to compensate.

Grand Lodge

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Card Game Subscriber; Pathfinder Comics Subscriber
Cole Cummings wrote:
Please get rid of this massively stupid rule!

No one is stopping you. I recommend removing threat ranges and multipliers higher than 2, if you do.


2 people marked this as a favorite.
Starfinder Charter Superscriber

I'm *pretty* sure the Gaming Police will not come to your house and rip your Core Rulebook in half for deviating from the rules.


Adventure Path Charter Subscriber
Chess Pwn wrote:
crits are large damage spikes, very large damage spikes, so they game's math says that they should be "rare" to compensate.

The confirmation check also generates trends the original designers probably wanted - more often successful with first attacks than with later iterative attacks, more common when there's a level differential between attacker and target in the attacker's favor, less common when the differential goes the other way, etc.


3 people marked this as a favorite.
Jhaeman wrote:
I'm *pretty* sure the Gaming Police will not come to your house and rip your Core Rulebook in half for deviating from the rules.

It was worse! They busted down my door, tore the pdfs right out of my laptop, and hurled them into the sun!

Don't make my mistake!


I sat at a table once where nat 20's were auto-confirms. The dice were swingier there. It's for some people, though probably not for me.

Personally, I think Fantasy Age has an amazing "Critical" system in place. You roll 3d6, for attack instead of a d20, two of which are the same color and the third which is a different color. If you get doubles, you get a number of points to spend on doing cool stuff equal to the off-color die. You can spend this on extra attacks, double damage, knockdowns, repositioning, scene advantages, ignoring armor, etc. It's pretty cool, and it's something I've considered trying to bring to Pathfinder somehow, but Pathfinder just wasn't designed with that in mind.


I always remember that what is good for the players, is also good for the monsters.

Fighting orcs with greataxes suddenly becomes a lot more scary. (Not to mention redcaps with their Scythes!).


Skull wrote:
Fighting orcs with greataxes suddenly becomes a lot more scary.

They've always been scary, especially when the GM "helps" by having them declare Power Attack (so they have to higher higher to confirm).

Scarab Sages

Pathfinder Card Game Subscriber

I have Pendant of the Blood Scarab on few characters, it allows auto-confirm critical hits as immediate action once per day. Especially for those 4x crit modifier weapons it's a great thing to have. And it's cheap.

Removing critical confirmation rules at this point probably breaks a lot of things. But as for home games it's always up to GM to remove it if they wish. But pathfinder is to tied to organized play that they probably won't be making huge rule changes at this point.

Dark Archive

Math questions aside I disagree with the original premise, the confirmation roll adds extra excitement in my experience. Particularly in those moments when the combat is looking rough and you could really use a big hit.

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

I actually like the way Pathfinder does this. In Starfinder I really miss the confirmation rolls. It just feels hollow in some way.


Cole Cummings wrote:
Please get rid of this massively stupid rule! You're rollin in combat and BAM! A Nat20 is rolled and everyone is excited and happy. Then the excitement gets ruined by the confirm. Its just garbage.

Which is why we dropped the confirmation roll. It can suck ALL the excitement of rolling the classic "natural 20" out of an encounter and the player who rolled it in the first place.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Companion, Maps, Modules, Roleplaying Game Subscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber
Jhaeman wrote:
I'm *pretty* sure the Gaming Police will not come to your house and rip your Core Rulebook in half for deviating from the rules.

Too bad they won't do that for Starfinder. That would be a very efficient way to get those books with defective bindings replaced. ;)


1 person marked this as a favorite.

I've tried "players don't have confirming crits, but monsters don't" because the players are supposed to win their fights, the story is about them after all. It works, but it sort of distorts the game by emphasizing "crit builds." Just try stuff and see how it works. If you're open with your players and say "hey, this is an experiment, we'll talk about it afterwards and see if we like it" they'll go along with it.


I love this rule I think it's the exact opposite of stupid. If I only have a 5% chance of hitting someone I shouldn't automatically crit that makes no sense. This rule is pure genius on Paizo's part.


Pathfinder Companion, Maps, Modules, Roleplaying Game Subscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber

The Starfinder rule for crits (also used in D&D 4E and 5E, as I recall) has a natural 20 as an automatic hit. If that 20 would have hit anyway, that hit is automatically a critical hit; otherwise, it is a normal hit.

Of course, one key point of such a rule is that you need to do something to prevent rolls lower than 20 from being crits.


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We don't just crit on a 20, but still use the weapon's normal crit range. Feats and magic that increase the range are still used.

Grand Lodge

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Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Card Game Subscriber; Pathfinder Comics Subscriber

If I were to do anything, it would be to make one damage die maximized for each 20 rolled. So even if you don't confirm, you do max damage. (And the most you can maximize is two dice, one for the attack and one for the confirmation. Any extra dice over that are rolled as normal.)


3 people marked this as a favorite.
Jhaeman wrote:
I'm *pretty* sure the Gaming Police will not come to your house and rip your Core Rulebook in half for deviating from the rules.

We prefer using portable shredders.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Cole Cummings wrote:
Please get rid of this massively stupid rule! You're rollin in combat and BAM! A Nat20 is rolled and everyone is excited and happy. Then the excitement gets ruined by the confirm. Its just garbage.

1. Invest in Oils of Bless Weapon

2. Invest in a weapon that threatens on a 15-20.

Even without the oils, a decent build can easily manage 2+ crits/round. My magus, for example, has a 15-20 crit range and a +10 to-hit bonus on confirmation rolls.


Jokey the Unfunny Comedian wrote:
Jhaeman wrote:
I'm *pretty* sure the Gaming Police will not come to your house and rip your Core Rulebook in half for deviating from the rules.

It was worse! They busted down my door, tore the pdfs right out of my laptop, and hurled them into the sun!

Don't make my mistake!

You deserved it. You know what you did. And we are still keeping an eye on you.


Cole Cummings wrote:
Please get rid of this massively stupid rule! You're rollin in combat and BAM! A Nat20 is rolled and everyone is excited and happy. Then the excitement gets ruined by the confirm. Its just garbage.

You won't think that when you're the one receiving critical hits a lot more often than before.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Volkard Abendroth wrote:
Cole Cummings wrote:
Please get rid of this massively stupid rule! You're rollin in combat and BAM! A Nat20 is rolled and everyone is excited and happy. Then the excitement gets ruined by the confirm. Its just garbage.

1. Invest in Oils of Bless Weapon

2. Invest in a weapon that threatens on a 15-20.

Even without the oils, a decent build can easily manage 2+ crits/round. My magus, for example, has a 15-20 crit range and a +10 to-hit bonus on confirmation rolls.

mmmh, you mean, like a keen rapier or scimitar? (or kukris, katana, wakizashi, no dachi and a few others ...) BTW, is there an equivalent to the 'keen' weapon quality, but for blunt weapons (of course, most of them are 20/x2 or x3 but a crit range of 19-20 still is better than just 20 when you're bound to using, say, a warhammer, and it saves on taking the imp crit feat).

BTW, a large crit range does not much improve the chance of confirming... if you need a natural 16 to hit your for, you still have only 25% of hitting and 6.25% of confirming the critical...


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Quote:

1. Invest in Oils of Bless Weapon

2. Invest in a weapon that threatens on a 15-20.

Bless Weapon does not autoconfirm threats when applied to any weapon that already has a magical effect related to critical hits. (So it works with the Improved Critical feat, but not Keen.)


Shorticus wrote:

I sat at a table once where nat 20's were auto-confirms. The dice were swingier there. It's for some people, though probably not for me.

Personally, I think Fantasy Age has an amazing "Critical" system in place. You roll 3d6, for attack instead of a d20, two of which are the same color and the third which is a different color. If you get doubles, you get a number of points to spend on doing cool stuff equal to the off-color die. You can spend this on extra attacks, double damage, knockdowns, repositioning, scene advantages, ignoring armor, etc. It's pretty cool, and it's something I've considered trying to bring to Pathfinder somehow, but Pathfinder just wasn't designed with that in mind.

The first group I ever played with were very fond of Dragon Warriors, a fairly simple system that separated a to-hit roll overcoming one's opponent's defence, from a different roll depending to get past their armour, and a critical hit on the first ignored the second and did either double or max damage, I forget which.

I've always wanted to figure out some mathematically solid and fun way of integrating that into Pathfinder-type rules, because the way armour affects Dexterity and its consequences in the existing maths feel like AC ends up flattening two different things into one number.


Double-or-more damage every 5% of the time would be kind of absurd. And it's not like failing to confirm means you wind up missing.

I go at it from the other angle ... Natural 20s (and Natural 1s) are nothing special. Some things you can't mess up, some things you just can't succeed at.


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Sorry, I prefer the excitement of "oh crap I'm about to get beheaded by that orc *fails confirmation* Phew, that was close!". Players get excited when they make lots of critical hits. Players get dead PCs when monsters make lots of critical hits. The game gets rocket-taggy enough as it is.


If you don't want to go through the disappointment of not confirming, roll another (red) d20 at the same time as the original (white) d20. If the white d20 hits, it hits. If not, ignore the red. If white hits and red is in the threat range, it's a crit.

To make it easier in use, you can sub 1d10 for crit range of 19-20 or 17-20, and maybe 1d6 for 18-20 or 15-20 if you want to approximate slightly.


As others have said, just house rule it bro.

In our games, our GM uses his own home-made crit/fumble tables that really add to our games.

All crits are crits, both for us and against us.

A "1" counts as a fumble, which has it's own table.

The tables he created are %d100, and instead of just doing x2 or x3 damage, we have specific hit locations, short descriptions, and extra dice damage.

Every crit and fumble are events that draw all eyes.

It's a great system.


Klorox wrote:
Volkard Abendroth wrote:
Cole Cummings wrote:
Please get rid of this massively stupid rule! You're rollin in combat and BAM! A Nat20 is rolled and everyone is excited and happy. Then the excitement gets ruined by the confirm. Its just garbage.

1. Invest in Oils of Bless Weapon

2. Invest in a weapon that threatens on a 15-20.

Even without the oils, a decent build can easily manage 2+ crits/round. My magus, for example, has a 15-20 crit range and a +10 to-hit bonus on confirmation rolls.

mmmh, you mean, like a keen rapier or scimitar? (or kukris, katana, wakizashi, no dachi and a few others ...) BTW, is there an equivalent to the 'keen' weapon quality, but for blunt weapons (of course, most of them are 20/x2 or x3 but a crit range of 19-20 still is better than just 20 when you're bound to using, say, a warhammer, and it saves on taking the imp crit feat).

BTW, a large crit range does not much improve the chance of confirming... if you need a natural 16 to hit your for, you still have only 25% of hitting and 6.25% of confirming the critical...

+10 to confirmation on top of normal to-hit mods.

If he needs a natural 16 to hit, he'll only need a natural 6 to confirm.


Klorox wrote:
BTW, is there an equivalent to the 'keen' weapon quality, but for blunt weapons (of course, most of them are 20/x2 or x3 but a crit range of 19-20 still is better than just 20 when you're bound to using, say, a warhammer, and it saves on taking the imp crit feat).

Lifesurge double's the threat range versus undead.


limited... my Dwarf cleric would prefer something that does it on orcs, goblinoids and giants...


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Mathmuse wrote:

Critical hit confirmation has intersting math behind it.

Imagine that Pathfinder had set up critical hits as a separate die from the attack die. One d20 is rolled for hitting and a second d20 is rolled for criticals. Say that the creature is hit on a roll of 13 or more (40% chance) and the hit is a critical on a roll of 19 or more on the other d20 (10% chance). That gives 36% of hitting without a crit and 4% chance of hitting with a crit. Of course, 6% of the time the player would roll a crit but miss, so the crit would not count. Overall, it is 60% misses, 36% hits without a crit, and 4% critical hits.

But rolling two dice is more awkward than rolling one die. Instead the D&D and Pathfinder system is that both the hot roll and the crit roll are on the same die, but crits require a second d20 roll to confirm. If a hit requires a 13 or better (40%), then the confirmation also requires a 13 or better (40% chance). So if the attack die shows a possible crit, we have a 40% chance of confirming it and a 60% chance of not confirming it. Overall, it is 60% misses, 36% hits without a crit, and 4% critical hits.

We have the exact odds as the two-dice system. The confirmation roll was designed to give the same odds as the two-dice system.

Leaving out the confirmation roll biases the odds so that a creature that is hard to hit will have a high proportion of its hits as crits, and a creature that is easy to hit will have a lower proportion of its hits as crits. Hard-to-hit creatures will be easier to take down.

Not quite.

Any time I need a number higher to hit than my minimum crit, it breaks.

Ex: I crit on a 19. I need a 20 to hit. Your two dice system lets me hit 5% and crit 10% of those times. The current system gives me hit 5% and crit 5% of those times.

/cevah


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Cevah wrote:
Mathmuse wrote:

Critical hit confirmation has intersting math behind it.

Imagine that Pathfinder had set up critical hits as a separate die from the attack die. One d20 is rolled for hitting and a second d20 is rolled for criticals. Say that the creature is hit on a roll of 13 or more (40% chance) and the hit is a critical on a roll of 19 or more on the other d20 (10% chance). That gives 36% of hitting without a crit and 4% chance of hitting with a crit. Of course, 6% of the time the player would roll a crit but miss, so the crit would not count. Overall, it is 60% misses, 36% hits without a crit, and 4% critical hits.

But rolling two dice is more awkward than rolling one die. Instead the D&D and Pathfinder system is that both the hot roll and the crit roll are on the same die, but crits require a second d20 roll to confirm. If a hit requires a 13 or better (40%), then the confirmation also requires a 13 or better (40% chance). So if the attack die shows a possible crit, we have a 40% chance of confirming it and a 60% chance of not confirming it. Overall, it is 60% misses, 36% hits without a crit, and 4% critical hits.

We have the exact odds as the two-dice system. The confirmation roll was designed to give the same odds as the two-dice system.

Leaving out the confirmation roll biases the odds so that a creature that is hard to hit will have a high proportion of its hits as crits, and a creature that is easy to hit will have a lower proportion of its hits as crits. Hard-to-hit creatures will be easier to take down.

Not quite.

Any time I need a number higher to hit than my minimum crit, it breaks.

Ex: I crit on a 19. I need a 20 to hit. Your two dice system lets me hit 5% and crit 10% of those times. The current system gives me hit 5% and crit 5% of those times.

/cevah

Quite correct. I simplified my explanation by leaving out that case where the odds are different. It is rare, but becomes more common with a large critical hit threat range, such as 15-20.


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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Modules, Pawns, Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Jhaeman wrote:
I'm *pretty* sure the Gaming Police will not come to your house and rip your Core Rulebook in half for deviating from the rules.

The phone police, however, now that's a different story.

Shadow Lodge

That would give you a flat chance to get a critical hit on any target no matter how hard they are to hit.

Also is kind of an odd reason to rule out the critical confirm, you just have to delay your excitement for when a critical actually confirms rather than just for a roll of 20.

still, you can rule out crit confirms at your table, just be aware that they were there for a reason.


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DM_aka_Dudemeister wrote:


  • Always critical hit on a natural 20, only roll confirmation on wider crit chance (otherwise crit fishing builds are too good).
  • My group has agreed on this one! I'm glad someone else came up with it, too.

    My reasoning when I thought of it was that it makes a natural 20 special for everyone, and also means that the high multiplier weapons are a little less outclassed by the wide threat range weapons. It also means that, unlike removing confirmation entirely, bonuses to confirmation rolls aren't just useless.

    Grand Lodge

    1 person marked this as a favorite.

    The third party book Laying Waste does a great job of building a Crit system that seems well balanced and automatically confirms on 20. Even has a free app to go with it. We have been using it the last two campaigns and haven't had any complaints.


    Bloodrealm wrote:
    DM_aka_Dudemeister wrote:


  • Always critical hit on a natural 20, only roll confirmation on wider crit chance (otherwise crit fishing builds are too good).
  • My group has agreed on this one! I'm glad someone else came up with it, too.

    My reasoning when I thought of it was that it makes a natural 20 special for everyone, and also means that the high multiplier weapons are a little less outclassed by the wide threat range weapons. It also means that, unlike removing confirmation entirely, bonuses to confirmation rolls aren't just useless.

    Playing a character who is both very high AC and a crit fisher, I'm happy with the rules exactly the way they are.

    Confirming criticals, when you've invested in it, is very easy.

    On the other hand, forcing opponents to confirm against me means I basically have a 1/400 chance of a confirmed crit as opposed to my character getting critically hit 1/20 attacks.

    Given that even a single death is painful, I would much rather miss the occasional confirmation roll than have the number of criticals scored against me increased by a factor of 20.


    I suppose that does make a lot of sense when you get up to the Rocket Tag levels.


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    Paizo Charter Superscriber; Pathfinder Deluxe Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Legends Subscriber; Pathfinder Tales Subscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber

    Note how the OP seems to have no interest in a discussion and has not returned to this thread in three weeks.


    When using the auto confirm on a critical do you make weapons with a higher crit multiplier roll to confirm, with failure meaning they only deal a x2 critical?


    Bardarok wrote:
    When using the auto confirm on a critical do you make weapons with a higher crit multiplier roll to confirm, with failure meaning they only deal a x2 critical?

    That actually might be a cool idea.


    Well, it does sound reasonable.
    "20s auto-confirm" is a much bigger boost to 20/x4 weapons than to 18-20/x2 weapons. But then, higher crit ranges already are better than higher crit multipliers...


    Cole Cummings wrote:
    Please get rid of this massively stupid rule! You're rollin in combat and BAM! A Nat20 is rolled and everyone is excited and happy. Then the excitement gets ruined by the confirm. Its just garbage.

    I actually have grown to love confirming critical hits and think that it is a great rule because I like how it seems like martial characters have an advantage on confirming crits whereas non-martials seem less likely to confirm.


    if you dont like confirming crits with the current die.
    drop it to a roll a d6 die, 4 up confirms crit hit.

    or as others have said house rule it to either ditch it or replace it.
    but also as said: it goes for the monsters too

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