GameMastery Critical Hit Deck (3.5/PFRPG)

4.10/5 (based on 20 ratings)

PFRPG Unavailable

Non-Mint Unavailable

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Tired of the same old double damage? Wouldn’t you rather chop off your opponent’s head in one clean swing or put an arrow in his heart? Paizo Publishing presents the GameMastery Critical Hit Deck!

Rolled a critical hit? Draw a card and apply the result. Each of the Critical Hit cards in this 52-card deck has four different results based on weapon type, all of which are compatible with the 3.5 rules set and the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game.

Crushing your enemy’s skull has never been this much fun.

Useable by experienced GMs and novices alike, this product fits perfectly into any Game Master's arsenal.

Note to owners of the previous edition of this product: The significant changes in the new edition are that three cards now reference Perception instead of Spot, Search, and Listen; an "additional rules" card has been added with 3.5 usage notes and new optional rules; a couple of typos have been corrected; and the damage type labels on each card are now light yellow instead of red to improve readability. All of the cards with textual changes are pictured below.

ISBN-13: 978-1-60125-195-4

Sample cards. Click to enlarge.
Card back Rules card front Rules card back
Additional rules card front Additional rules card back Sample card
Sample card Sample card Sample card
Sample card Sample card Sample card

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This product is non-mint. Refunds are not available for non-mint products. The standard version of this product can be found here.

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4.10/5 (based on 20 ratings)

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Livens up Critical Hits!


I've used the Critical Hit Deck in several hundred sessions of D&D 3.5/Pathfinder, and it's one of those little things that adds a lot to the game. Simply put, the deck is a lot of fun and makes a mundane crit into something memorable. With the deck, a critical hit doesn't just do extra damage anymore: it might make the opponent blind, start to bleed, fall down, or any of about two hundred other things! Each card in the 52-card deck has four critical hit effects on it, categorized by damage type (Blugeoning, Piercing, Slashing, or "Magic" for spells delivered with attack rolls). A fun bludgeoning effect might be "To Your Thinky Bits" which does double-damage and 1 Int bleed, while a magic effect might be "Vampiric Magic" that heals the caster the same amount of damage that the attacking spell delivers the target! I've found the effects to be well-balanced and reasonable within the mechanics of Pathfinder, and there aren't any effects that are permanent that don't allow for a saving throw. The deck also comes with two double-sided cards with instructions and optional rules that change how often players and the GM draw cards. If it sounds at all appealing, it's worth trying out for a couple of sessions--I'm pretty sure you'll be glad you did.

Critical Hit/Fumble deck review


For the full video review please see below...

Go to Video review.



This and its twin, the Critical Fumble deck, have become an interesting and enlivening adjunct to our group's gaming experience. We tend to believe that extraordinary circumstances should be, well, somewhat extraordinary. It doesn't come up often enough to make or break a game for us, but on the occasions when a draw from one of these decks becomes necessary, it does lend a bit of flavor to the experience. A former member of our group introduced us to them, and once he left we realized that we did rather like the decks. So now I've bought them, and look forward to using them once again!

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Vic Wertz wrote:
Stasiscell wrote:
whats the deal with firearms (things that do 2 types of damage at once?)
My house rule is if the damage type is listed as "X or Y", the player has to choose one before the effect is revealed. If the damage type is "X and Y", the player gets to read both effects before choosing one.

That sounds reasonable thanks for the response!

Shadow Lodge

When using this deck, how do you account for energy damage, such as alchemist's fire? It's not a spell effect, and it doesn't correspond to any of the damage types...

Technically it wouldn't be something to use with the deck then. However, you can still come up with something. The bombs could be seen as bludgeoning or slashing for the purpose of the deck. You could also use the magic critical hits if you want and just redraw for the effects that are inappropriate. Just looking through, there are several that would be just fine for bombs.

I just started using the GameMastery Critical Hit Deck and GameMastery Critical Fumble Deck cards in my Pathfinder Dragon Age game and we are having fun with them (a player got a critical hit that slowed the charging Darkspawn Ogre by half for 3 rounds, that saved them from a TPK!).

However, the instructions/rules on both sets of cards are too tiny to read for most of us. Is there a way to get that information is a larger text format? :)


Paizo Employee Chief Technical Officer

Click the rules cards pictured above.

I don't know if this will be answered, but think that there could be a PDF version of this, so I can print it on special paper and such?

Paizo Employee Chief Technical Officer

We don't offer PDFs of our card products.

Adventure Path Charter Subscriber

Today, in my Wrath of the Righteous game, the warpriest got an ear sliced off and became Len Half-ear, and the bloodrager ended up a pinky short and became Ruarc Ninefingers, all thanks to the Critical Hit Deck.

Thanks, Critical Hit Deck!


I noticed that the bleed definition on the rules card says to apply the damage at the end of the affected character's turn, but the bleed condition in the Pathfinder rules says to apply it at the beginning of the turn. Is this a misprint on the card, or was this intended to work differently than the normal bleed condition?

Paizo Employee Chief Technical Officer

This product was originally designed for 3.5, where "bleed" didn't exist; when we added bleed to the RPG, we changed the timing on it (relative to this product). And when we updated this product for PFRPG, we didn't change its rule about when the bleed occurs, meaning bleed from these effects technically fires off at a different time than other things that cause bleed in the RPG. As several print runs of these cards work that way, we're unlikely to change it anytime soon. But if that bugs you, feel free to apply the bleed from these effects at the start of the turn instead.

Hi, I have heard a lot about these cards, good an bad for the next reason: do you use them also with the enemies, are they allow to draw tme aswell, let say, just the bosses not the henchmen type, the typical goblin, but instead a Warchief Goblin... or on the other hand, if combined with the Critical Fumble Deck, then just the PC's will use both decks, but not the enemies... How is the way you use them?

Paizo Employee Chief Technical Officer

1 person marked this as a favorite.

Tazera, you might want to have a close look at the second card image, which gives you some guidelines for GM use.

But what is your experience as Masters and Players? Did you enjoy them?

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