Can you choose to forgo a crit?


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Well, can you? If you dont want to crit, can you choose not to confirm if you roll a threat?


There is nothing in RAW that allows you to fail a roll (other than a saving throw) but I see no reason to force a player to kill someone if they do not want to.

- Gauss

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yeah, we're playing carrion crown, and we need to ask questions, b/c the whispering way guys tend to explode their faces when they die, and we have a falchion crit fighter who keeps critting while we're trying to capture people.


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RAW I don't think it's possible...

But not only do I allow players to forgo criticals, I also let them reduce/forgo all their modifier bonus to damage if they want, as there is no reason for someone to be unable to hit more softly.

But any damage that comes form the weapon itself (i.e.: base damage die and weapon enhancements such as "Flaming") cannot be reduced.


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Not according to the rules. Accidental kills can happen. If you need to capture rather than kill an enemy, it is better to use non-lethal damage. A sap is a great weapon for this.


Worst case, you can always just suck up the -4 for doing nonlethal damage with a lethal weapon.

Sovereign Court

Yeah, if you really don't want to kill someone, you should be pulling your punches but doing non-lethal attacks.

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even non-lethal can kill someone. our falchion fighter killed a guy we were fighting by critting with non-lethal and doing like fourty non-lethal to him when he was already wounded.


could use the butterfly sting feat. if no one else attacked after that that crit would be null.


Xavier319 wrote:
yeah, we're playing carrion crown, and we need to ask questions, b/c the whispering way guys tend to explode their faces when they die, and we have a falchion crit fighter who keeps critting while we're trying to capture people.

Sounds like this character is intentionally killing folks and pretending he didn't - you usually don't swing a falchion at someone you want to take alive, especially when you are highly trained at maximizing how deadly that falchion is.

In relation to the actual question asked: the rules spell out specifically that you can voluntarily fail a saving throw - so any roll that does not also include that clause does not have a similar option.

Sovereign Court

I'd allow it. People should never be punished for rolling well. You should be allowed to forgo the critical confirmation roll; you rolled high so you hit the way you meant to, in this case you didn't mean to kill them.

I wouldn't let someone forgo bonus damage due to strength and such though, because that's just the risk you take of accidentally killing someone. It's a bit ad-hoc; I definitely would allow people to forgo Precision damage for example.


I actually wouldn't allow it. There are ways to restrain somebody or knock them out if you want to do that. Otherwise, you're swinging around a dangerous instrument and you can accidentally hit harder than you wanted to.

I don't think it's unreasonably to say you want to hit without putting your full effort behind the blow, so you don't get strength bonus to hit/damage. But if you're going to be attacking with a lethal weapon, you run the risk doing more damage than you intended simply because you cannot control what the other person is doing.

If you're serious about capturing somebody, you can use a sap, use your weapon to deal nonlethal at a penalty, or grapple and restrain.

Lantern Lodge

Just tell him to stop applying his Improved Critical Feat. Just because you have a feat doesn't mean you need to apply it all the time. If its a keen falchion, have him take out his non-keen backup version.

There also used to be a weapon enchant out there called "Merciful" that allowed a weapon to deal subdual damage. I don't have my books in front of me, but i think it was in the APG.

Silver Crusade

If you say before your roll to hit that you don't want to add all or part of your Str bonus, or sneak attack dice or other things you control, that's fine.

I wouldn't allow it after the roll. Nor would I allow you to reduce things like energy damage (you should have switched it off), nor would I allow you to forego a critcal. The random chance of hitting somewhere vital still exists if you have to roll to hit. I'd let them say they weren't using their Improved Critical feat, bit if their weapon is Keen then they're stuck with it.

Correct me if I'm wrong, but if you're using a lethal weapon to do non-lethal damage, doesn't the weapons normal crit range get changed to 20/x2?


fretgod99 wrote:

I actually wouldn't allow it. There are ways to restrain somebody or knock them out if you want to do that. Otherwise, you're swinging around a dangerous instrument and you can accidentally hit harder than you wanted to.

I don't think it's unreasonably to say you want to hit without putting your full effort behind the blow, so you don't get strength bonus to hit/damage. But if you're going to be attacking with a lethal weapon, you run the risk doing more damage than you intended simply because you cannot control what the other person is doing.

If you're serious about capturing somebody, you can use a sap, use your weapon to deal nonlethal at a penalty, or grapple and restrain.

This. Use the right tool to get the job done. Brox use a sock with copper coins init to knok peepul out.


Malachi Silverclaw wrote:
Correct me if I'm wrong, but if you're using a lethal weapon to do non-lethal damage, doesn't the weapons normal crit range get changed to 20/x2?

No.

Liberty's Edge

Correct me if I am wrong but non lethal doesnt become lethal until it exceeds the maximum hp, not current hp.

Sczarni

As others have said, no, if they roll a crit they have a crit. If they didn't want to kill the npc then there are plenty of options in the game for live capture.

Silver Crusade

Xavier319 wrote:
even non-lethal can kill someone. our falchion fighter killed a guy we were fighting by critting with non-lethal and doing like fourty non-lethal to him when he was already wounded.

My paladin killed our insane bard with a nonlethal falchion crit in Carrion Crown. It's a risk you accept when you swing a weapon at someone.

Sczarni

...bad fighter is bad...why doesn't he have multiple forms of damage and a wide variety of weapons? As a fighter that is the first thing people will say...get a variety of damage types, materials and light, 1H and 2H weapons. If he keeps murdering things then tell him he needs to use a light mace instead of a falchion all the time.

Sovereign Court RPG Superstar 2011 Top 32

I agree with the people that are saying the time to pull your punches is before the attack roll. If you swing to kill you shouldn't be suprised when it happens.


My belief (not necessarily RAW) is that a critical is an extra choice. This is why you are given choices on what to critical feats you can apply WHEN you critical.

I also believe that a player should be allowed to fail any D20 roll.

Just to remind people:
Both the roll to hit AND the roll to confirm are attack rolls. So I do not see a problem with rolling to hit...but pulling back just before confirming a critical hit.

In any case: by RAW the only d20 rolls you are allowed to fail on purpose are saving throws. By GM fiat I would allow any player to fail any D20 roll they chose to fail.

- Gauss


Ascalaphus wrote:
I'd allow it. People should never be punished for rolling well.

They're running Carrion Crown and one module includes a roll the players want to fail.

Carrion Crown:
In the Lovecraftian 4th module "Wake of the Watcher" players who succeed at a DC 15 Perception check after defeating the last encounter catch a glimpse of Shub-Niggurath. If they then fail a DC 15 Will save, they take 6d6 Sanity damage, which is on average enough to drive any character insane. It's a great nod to CoC.


Anyone who has ever thought they were going to just give their friend a love-tap and accidentally broken a nose knows what's realistic; you can't forgo a crit. Even if you didn't mean to cut the throat, you had no way of knowing that's how that person was going to move/dodge.

Rolling a 20 or a 1 isn't a representation of how well you did or didn't do a thing; it's a representation of the effect what you did had. Just like if a skeleton key fails to open a lock, it's not because you were a bad device disabler, in-game it just means your skeleton key didn't fit.

Letting someone forgo a crit sounds like a way to just keep them from having to take the non-lethal penalty on attack rolls. If you accidentally kill someone dealing non-lethal, that's just bad luck. They had a brain clot, you had no way to know.


dpp84290:

I see your 'love-tap' and raise you 'pulling your punches' (ie: 'pulling your sword'). This could be considered to be non-lethal use of a lethal weapon except that people who are fighting but not trying to kill each other can still wound each other (usually by accident), and then pull back at the last second in order to not cut too deeply. This sounds to me like a Critical threat was rolled and they intentionally failed the check.

With that said: I said before that the only D20 by RAW that you may intentionally fail is a saving throw. However, that simply doesn't make sense as you should be able to intentionally fail any D20 check. A Critical check is just one more D20 check. IF the general idea is you can intentionally fail a D20 check (something not in RAW but not prevented by it either) then that would include Criticals.

- Gauss


I think the decision is made in game once the attack roll is made*. The confirmation is just so the player knows what happened. As an example the instant you have a successful attack roll the damage is applied in the game. We just roll the dice separately in real life because it is easier for us to track it that way.

*If you want to not crit then you have to make that decision before you even roll the dice, and it should carry a penalty just like nonlethal damage does because you are restricting yourself as to how you can fight, which makes it more difficult to hurt the person. <--Not a rule, just my view on the situation. You can't hit someone and then decide you did not mean to hit them so hard after the punch has landed. At the point it is too late.


Wraithstrike:

I disagree because of various abilities that modify a critical (or for that matter, damage roll decisions made AFTER you hit).

- Gauss


Gauss wrote:

Wraithstrike:

I disagree because of various abilities that modify a critical (or for that matter, damage roll decisions made AFTER you hit).

- Gauss

I know about those, but they also change attack rolls and saves, well some of them.

I look at those more like you realizing your attack is going to miss so you change the angle, or some mystical force(witch fortune ability as an example) autocorrects you at the last minute or for saves you find extra resolve. <--flavor

PS:OP, if the fighter is trying to take prisoners why not just use a sap or use nonlethal damage? Yeah I know it is a -4 penalty, but using a high crit range weapon is not the way to keep people alive.

Grand Lodge

By RAW...no, you can't.

I do have a houserule that states that you can ALWAY take 1 (assume you rolled a 1) however ;) .


Using a sap and nonlethal damage will not stop a person from killing the target. A Critical hit could still kill them. Any nonlethal damage beyond maximum hitpoints is lethal damage.

- Gauss


I know, but the nonlethal damage has to equal their max hit points before it becomes lethal, IIRC so the chances of it killing them is less.


Correct. :)

But the principle whether using lethal or nonlethal is the same. Being forced to crit can still kill the person.

- Gauss


I would allow someone to say they are holding back on the damage or not critting before they make the attack. The way I was reading the OP was that the crit is taking place, and then the player is saying they don't want it.

The idea of spells like hold person might also work to capture someone.


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Grapple + pin + tie up, end of story.


Again: "Rolling a 20 or a 1 isn't a representation of how well you did or didn't do a thing; it's a representation of the effect what you did had. Just like if a skeleton key fails to open a lock, it's not because you were a bad device disabler, in-game it just means your skeleton key didn't fit."

You don't actually know how effective what you do is going to be before any d20 roll. a 1 never means that you screwed up badly (until you roll to confirm a critical failure), but that whatever you tried to do simply wasn't effective. And similarly, a 20 doesn't mean that you were exceptionally skilled at what you just did (that's what ranks/BAB is for) it means that what you did happened to be very effective. Everything on a character sheet is skill; a roll of a d20 is the introduction of circumstance and to a lesser extent luck. If you roll high on an attack, it doesn't mean you were even more skillful than usual, it means that your attack happened to be aimed at an effective spot for the situation. If you roll low you weren't less skillful, you just were less effective.

If you roll a crit, it has nothing to do with what you were trying to do, but how what you did interacted with the luck of the situation. You may not want to crit, but that doesn't change that you got unlucky. 20 is not inherently a better result in any situation; sometimes you'd be better off failing a skill check or not critting, but you can't help it at the time.

P.S. and there's RAW for pulling your punches: it's non-lethal attacks. In real life anyone could die of an aneurysm at anytime from just coughing too hard, and you'd never see it coming. If you house rule that a character can stop a crit, your basically houseruling that the character has knowledge to prevent him from ever causing an accident.


"Nonlethal Damage with a Weapon that Deals Lethal Damage: You can use a melee weapon that deals lethal damage to deal nonlethal damage instead, but you take a –4 penalty on your attack roll."

Let them crit nonlethally.


Non lethal works great till you need to interrogate some undead. Or something with fast healing. Then it's either pointless or an uphill battle.

Or when the it has a crap ton of AC and that -4 means your hitting even less. This is one of those mechanics I hope gets a hard look in another 5 years

Liberty's Edge

Beating someone into submission will never be the most efficient way to interrogate and capture someone. Spells and inquisitors exist for this reason.


Gauss wrote:

Correct. :)

But the principle whether using lethal or nonlethal is the same. Being forced to crit can still kill the person.

- Gauss

That can happen when you're whacking somebody over the head with a blunt object. There's always an inherent risk. It's about maximizing your chance of success. If you're going for a capture, dealing nonlethal gives you a much better chance of success, even if there's still a chance that you overdo it.


Gauss wrote:

dpp84290:

I see your 'love-tap' and raise you 'pulling your punches' (ie: 'pulling your sword'). This could be considered to be non-lethal use of a lethal weapon except that people who are fighting but not trying to kill each other can still wound each other (usually by accident), and then pull back at the last second in order to not cut too deeply. This sounds to me like a Critical threat was rolled and they intentionally failed the check.

Pulling your punches is more akin to doing nonlethal or at the very least not using full strength bonuses, etc. on your attacks.

Like I said earlier, I'm not letting someone avoid a crit because they're "pulling their punches". You don't have control over the other person. I've broken a guy's ribs before while sparring because, even though I was pulling the kick and didn't throw it particularly hard, he stepped into it, much farther than I ever thought he would. It doesn't take much outside of your realm of control for things to play out in a completely different manner than you intend. And it's far too late to pull a technique after you've made contact.


Fretgood99, have you ever been in a sword fight? Sparred with swords? I have. While I was never good I did have the (not uncommon) ability to see when my sword swing is going to hit in a place that would have hurt the guy (his throat for example). That directly translates to a 'critical' and yet I was able to redirect it. I still hit him..but I prevented 'the critical'.

- Gauss

Silver Crusade

And I have sparred with a girl in karate class when I was younger and made her nose bleed as the third part of a combination attack.

I felt just awful! The fact is she moved closer to me when I expected her to move away.

Accidents happen, even more so when 'running with scissors', or melée combat as some people call it.

Players should take responsibility for their own actions, including the unintended consequences of those actions.


My point Malachi is that experienced warriors CAN prevent such a life ending hit. I was not experienced and still I could do it. People who were more experienced can do it better than I could.

- Gauss


I'd only allow it if declared before the first attack roll, and probably give a -4 penalty o the attack roll.

Silver Crusade

Gauss wrote:

My point Malachi is that experienced warriors CAN prevent such a life ending hit. I was not experienced and still I could do it. People who were more experienced can do it better than I could.

- Gauss

I respectfully disagree. Experience doesn't make you immune to accidents.

Also, if you could forego a crit, you could do it at first level, so experience would not be a factor.

As a fencer I can judge if an attack will reach me, and I wouldn't waste a parry on an attack which would miss, but we cannot control an opponent's movement and accidents still happen.

The d20 represents the things we cannot control.


Pulling blows in sparring is one thing, pulling them when the other guy is trying to kill you is something else entirely (one presumes).


And the attack bonus represents what we can control. An attack penalty would also be what we can control. Giving ourselves a massive attack penalty would be the same as an autofail.

Again, my point is that it in RL it is possible to avoid making a critical (contrary to some people's opinions). How that translates into PF is another matter. Currently, it does not translate. It is not part of PF rules to choose to fail a D20. However, this thread has gone well past the rules into 'you cannot do it in RL, yes you can, no you cant...'

Anyhow, I have my experiences..you have yours. My experience says you can swing at someone, see the swing is about to hit a vital spot you DONT want to hit, and then redirect it into a less vital spot.

Malachi: your own experience regarding judging where an attack will hit is the same. The part that is lacking is the 'redirect' part. Perhaps fencing does not involve that, I am not a fencer.

- Gauss


Fading Suns used a neat mechanic that let you take penalties on your dice roll, to obviate criticals and the like. COuld use something like that, maybe.


To make sure we are on the same page are we discussing negating the crit before or after the attack dice has been rolled?
I already gave my opinion upthread. I just want to make the rest of you are on the same page. :)


Wraithstrike: Before the crit attack is rolled. The crit attack roll is a separate attack roll.

Attack roll 1 (normal attack): Roll to hit. Assume critical threat.

Attack roll 2 (critical confirmation):
Player states he does not want to critical.
GM says 'no, you cannot do that, it is not in the rules'.
OR
GM says 'ok, you fail your critical attack roll, roll the hit's damage normally'.

- Gauss

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