Laying Waste: The Guidebook to Critical Combat (PFRPG) PDF

5.00/5 (based on 6 ratings)

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Everything You Know About Critical Hits is Wrong…

With 600 critical hit and fumble effects, Laying Waste presents a slick system to maximize the enjoyment of critical hits and fumbles in the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game or any OGL d20 systems. This system replaces the standard critical hit and fumble rules, adding realism and balance to combat, while still being simple and elegant enough to use with ease.

Players and GM characters are actually rewarded for *all* of their threat rolls and for their level of skill with weapons! Critical hits will add a very fun element to the game now, rather than simply making combat go faster by doing huge amounts of damage. It is even possible to receive lasting wounds from particularly terrible fights, the sort of thing to show off over tavern ales and campsite fires.

The emphasis of this product is fun however, and not sheer destruction. While the possibility exists for horrific maiming and wicked injuries, clerics also have ways to treat such injuries and it will take a very honed and practiced sword hand to deal the most grievous of blows. Within the 166 pages are over 100 feats, 16 new martial archetypes and a plethora of optional combat rules to add to your games.

Now get your crit together and enjoy LAYING WASTE upon your enemies now and for years to come! This book is a must-have for every gaming table.

From the talented minds of Brian Berg, Clinton Boomer, Brian Boonstra, Creighton Broadhurst, Rick Cox, Thilo “Endzeitgeist” Graf, Hal Greenberg, Adam Meyers, Jason Nelson, James Olchak, Tom Phillips, John Reyst, Rachel Ventura, Jim “Drawmij” Ward, and Mike Welham.

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Are there errors or omissions in this product information? Got corrections? Let us know at store@paizo.com.

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Average product rating:

5.00/5 (based on 6 ratings)

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Don't waste your time with average crits, get this one.

5/5

A truly masterful delivery! This product turns critical hits into a great, gory way of enhancing your character's story, as he cuts a bloody path through the enemy lines. With Laying Waste, criticals not only deal damage, they also impose hindrances, penalties and disadvantages that will surely decide the outcome of a particular encounter, unless they are treated appropriately. Some of them can cause sure death.

Get this if you want your crits to do more than just dish out extra damage, keep in mind the effects are graphical and violent, and that's what adds to the awesomeness.


Used every session. Right On!

5/5

This is such a great addition to my game. I use it every session. My gaming group has played many a Rolemaster session, so the expansion of crits to include a variety of consequences has been a huge improvement on the Paizo Crit deck.

I have not delved into the multitude of character options presented here such as feats, archetypes and item enchantments. That said, the crit tables are worth the price of admission on their own.

I would like to see spells get a similar treatment with crit tables and fumbles in a future product.

See the other reviews for more details. If you want dozens, nay, hundreds of new outcomes for your combat encounters, you can’t do much better than this.


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Shadow Lodge

It is live...

Scarab Sages

Not only live it's holding the still beating heart of every PC in it's path. "Get your Crit Together!"

Shadow Lodge

Thanks for the review NecessaryEvil, I have to agree. Laying Waste will amp your game up to 11.

Scarab Sages

Of course! It's one of the most used gaming supplements at my table. I've got a ton of other groups using it as well.

Had a player finish off a fight by decapitation. Don't see that much anymore.

Shadow Lodge

Thanks for the review Megan!


2 people marked this as a favorite.

One of our players rolled a critical fumble today and failed his save. He became tangled up in his own bow and had to try to use Escape Artist (a skill he didn't have ranks in) to untangle himself. Our table was roaring with laughter--including the player of the hapless archer. Definitely made the combat more memorable and interesting, not just an HP slugfest/war of attrition. Everyone leveled up at the end of the session and I laughed as many of them took ranks in Escape Artist because they feared that result on the fumble table. A monster also fumbled and stuck himself with his own spear and kept bleeding 2 HP per round as a result. This system is really simple and fun.

Shadow Lodge

Love hearing that! One thing we all noted in the playtest was that more people would be taking the Heal skill too. Let's face it, most warrior-types should know some basic medical training just in case!

Shadow Lodge

We are updating the PDF this afternoon to address a couple minor fixes. Print copies are coming soon.


Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Companion, Maps, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Maps, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

The fumble rules definitely seem to favor monks and paladins, given that you can avoid their worst effects with DC 20 saving throws.

Shadow Lodge

Fumbles tend to be less common, depending on the relative power. As a GM you could pretty easily rule that fumbles have DC 15 saves if you are playing in a 15 point buy low-magic game. Of course you are correct though, being good at everything and having divine favor definitely helps!


Have a question....I have the Critical Hit and fumble card decks. How does Laying Waste compare to those?

Shadow Lodge

We built it on the framework of the critical hit and fumble decks. What we did though was address much of the concerns people had with them though. The crits have a new system designed to make even threat rolls exciting (no total let downs from not confirming). Also, we've expanded the crits into tiers of effect (light, moderate and severe). You need to be very skilled or roll really well to do some of the more heinous crits.

On top of that, each of the effects have a save for the critical effect. If you make the save, you suffer some bonus damage instead of a debilitating effect. Even if you save, there is still some effect. Everyone wins. Also, there are options to heal or recover from all the effects. I bet your players all start putting some ranks into Heal or other skills after you play with this.

Not to mention, we put together a veritable who's who of contributing writers who helped design 16 martial archetypes and over 100 combat feats. This is a huge sourcebook that will change how combat works in your games. Thanks to our kickstarter, we had over a hundred playtesters get their input in on the final design and it both works well and is a lot of fun. I've heard from a lot of groups that they won't go back to the old system of critical hits after using this.

It's fun, I promise.


I have a question about the 100 combat feats. Are they all involved with critical hits? One or a few feats would have cut it to make a crit-book but 100 feats implies that this is more of an 'Ultimate Martial' book than a 'Critical Hits' book.


Any plans for it to come to print?

Shadow Lodge

Malwing, almost all the feats have to do with critical effects. The rest are combat feats.

Lord Raptor, we just approved the proofs today, so print copies will be available everywhere soon. In the meantime, you can pre-order them from Shop.d20pfsrd.com though.


Hey, I just bought this product and I'm really digging what I'm reading so far, but as I'm writing out these effects for easy reference on VTT, I found myself confused on how the bludgeoning effect Breathless works across severities.

At light, it tells me that the target is fatigued without listing a duration, so one can assume that should last until rested (as is described in the same entry).

In the moderate section, however, the fatigue lasts only 1d2 rounds, and can also be dealt with via a Heal check - an option not seen at the light. Getting some errata for this result across all severities would be great.

But otherwise the system seems really elegant and I'm pumped to try it out this weekend!

Thanks.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Maps, Rulebook Subscriber

Curious if this ever came up during any playtest. Can a player choose to fail his saving throw on a debilitating effect, to avoid taking the extra damage? For instance the effect would be knocked prone. I could see a player rather have that happen than to be hit with an extra 2d6 - 4d6 points of extra damage.

Shadow Lodge

I wouldn't suggest allowing that. We did have people ask it. Naturally, I would defer to the GM and the situation, but the effects are supposed to be the "bad stuff" and the bonus damage be the trade-off if you save.

Shadow Lodge

1 person marked this as a favorite.

Thanks for the review Yuengling Dragon! The good news is that we left out the more magical archetypes on purpose. You'll see them in a future 'Laying Waste' supplement that deals with magic, psionics and alchemical critical hits (and fumbles). Cheers!


Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Companion, Maps, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Maps, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
Necroblivion wrote:
I wouldn't suggest allowing that. We did have people ask it. Naturally, I would defer to the GM and the situation, but the effects are supposed to be the "bad stuff" and the bonus damage be the trade-off if you save.

I think it is a flaw in a system when it is likely that somebody would prefer to fail a save against an effect inflicted by a foe. Half damage is generally better than full damage, but is being knocked prone worse than taking extra damage? The answer to that question is highly situational.


TPK Games wrote:

Malwing, almost all the feats have to do with critical effects. The rest are combat feats.

Lord Raptor, we just approved the proofs today, so print copies will be available everywhere soon. In the meantime, you can pre-order them from Shop.d20pfsrd.com though.

thank you

The Exchange

Pathfinder Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
David knott 242 wrote:
Necroblivion wrote:
I wouldn't suggest allowing that. We did have people ask it. Naturally, I would defer to the GM and the situation, but the effects are supposed to be the "bad stuff" and the bonus damage be the trade-off if you save.

I think it is a flaw in a system when it is likely that somebody would prefer to fail a save against an effect inflicted by a foe. Half damage is generally better than full damage, but is being knocked prone worse than taking extra damage? The answer to that question is highly situational.

I would think the answer to that is... Was it a ranged attack that knocked you down? No? Then it's probably worst then extra damage.

Shadow Lodge

For those of you who are afraid this may slow down games, it becomes pretty seamless after a few runs through. We are working on a handy cheat sheet for printing that will let you have all the charts for your weapon.

Also, there is a really great Laying Waste app on google play and on d20pfsrd.com. I've used it, and it's very slick.


1 person marked this as a favorite.

Reviewed first on Endzeitgeist.com, then submitted to Nerdtrek and GMS magazine and on Lou Agresta's RPGaggression and posted here, on OBS and d20pfsrd.com's shop.


David knott 242 wrote:
I think it is a flaw in a system when it is likely that somebody would prefer to fail a save against an effect inflicted by a foe. Half damage is generally better than full damage, but is being knocked prone worse than taking extra damage? The answer to that question is highly situational.

Agreed. This is why I would probably allow a character to intentionally choose to fail his/her save, depending on the situation.

Shadow Lodge

I think it's perfectly acceptable to allow PCs to choose to fail saves using this. That would have to be agreed upon by all first, but it won't hurt anything.

We ran an Ultimate Gladiator championship this past weekend using these rules and the option Armor as DR. Wow! It was intense and a ton of fun.

Shadow Lodge

How do you determine what crit tables to use for weapons and effects that deal multiple types of damage, like most natural weapons and morningstars and the like?

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