15-20x2 or 17-20x3 Critical


Pathfinder First Edition General Discussion


Working on a character concept for a two handed critical fighter trying to decided on what weapons to use. Options are

Dual Wield Falcata 1d8 19-20x3 (17-20x3 with improved critical)
or
Dual Wield Katana 1d818-20x2 (15-20x2 with improved critical)

Bassically I'm wondering what other people think about higher crit range or higher crit dmg. Would the extra dmg from x3 crits going to be worth it over getting more critical hits at x2 dmg?

Sczarni

My vote would be on the Falcata.


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The falcata is the better choice mathematically for max DPR, but that doesn't factor in any abilities that trigger on a crit, which might swing the decision to the katana.


The Falcata...

If you make 100 swings against a target, the Falcata will have 20 chances to crit providing an opportunity for 40-320 bonus damage. On the other hand, the Katana will have 30 chances to crit but that only provides the possibility for 30-240 bonus damage.

That's based on the idea that your crit chance is a hit.

PRD wrote:
Increased Threat Range: Sometimes your threat range is greater than 20. That is, you can score a threat on a lower number. In such cases, a roll of lower than 20 is not an automatic hit. Any attack roll that doesn't result in a hit is not a threat.

If you're fighting creatures with high ACs on a regular basis...the extra threat range of the Katana is nullified. This probably isn't much of a concern in normal situations.

Bearded Ben wrote:
but that doesn't factor in any abilities that trigger on a crit, which might swing the decision to the katana.

There is that to consider. What types of things might trigger on a crit?


Cynge wrote:


There is that to consider. What types of things might trigger on a crit?

Any of the Critical Feats. Or Magi can cause the spells they deliver to critical with the increased crit range. This is limited to x2 damage, making the x3 damage pointless for extra spell damage.


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Cynge wrote:
Bearded Ben wrote:
but that doesn't factor in any abilities that trigger on a crit, which might swing the decision to the katana.
There is that to consider. What types of things might trigger on a crit?

To name a few:

Core Rulebook - Bleeding Critical, Blinding Critical, Deafening Critical, Exhausting Critical, Sickening Critical, Staggering Critical, Stunning Critical, Tiring Critical (feats), thundering (weapon ability).

APG - Bashing Finish (if also going TWF/Shield Bash), Crippling Critical (feats)

Ultimate Combat - Dispelling Critical (if multiclassing into arcane duelist bard or magus), Impaling Critical, Improved Impaling Critical (feats)

IMO, unless you want to switch back and forth between one-handed weapon in two hands and TWF/bashing quickdraw light shield (which is definitely a possible route), then nodachi is a more optimal choice than katana. In fact, unless/until you can benefit from enlarge person and/or either lead blades or the impact weapon ability (which is great for a TWF/Shield Bash character with Shield Slam) on a regular basis, a katana isn't that much better than a scimitar.


There's also several feats that give you a free combat maneuver on a crit (e.g. Tripping Strike), and some weapon special abilities that do extra damage or debuff on a crit (e.g. Flaming Burst or Glorious).


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If you want to TWF with two one-handed weapons (at -4 on attack rolls), I'd say don't. Stick with two kukris (or, if you want to spend the feat, two wakizashis). The extra -2 on attack rolls really hurts.


Dragonchess Player wrote:
If you want to TWF with two one-handed weapons (at -4 on attack rolls), I'd say don't. Stick with two kukris (or, if you want to spend the feat, two wakizashis). The extra -2 on attack rolls really hurts.

That's just what I was going to point out. There is one exception, a Fighter(Two-Weapon Warrior) of level 11 or higher.

Sczarni

Cynge wrote:


There is that to consider. What types of things might trigger on a crit?

Usually it's feats like Crippling Critical or Deafening Critical. Most "crit trigger" effects don't care about your multiplier, only crit or no crit.

The big exception is elemental burst weapon enhancements, like Flaming Burst. If you intend to get those, definitely go Falcata.


Ok so far great input and I think I'm going to go with the Falcata

Yeah it would be TWF with two main hand weapons giving me the extra -2, but with weapon focus and high str I think I will be alright. It seems to matter less at lvl 12+ which is when encounters truly get challenging. Might go with a light off hand till higher lvl if I find I'm not hitting enough. The only real critical feat I would be getting that might make going katana/wakizashi or katana/katana with the 15-20 crit range would bleeding critical which causes 2d6 of bleed dmg that stacks. So I could be adding 2d6 of dmg for each hit but I think the x3 dmg throughout an encounter would be more then x2 with more often critical hits getting a few more 2d6s added. I was going to go falcata main hand with a light off hand but that would cost me a exotic weapon prof feat which I can't spare even if I went with a martial weapon feat I would never be able to get weapon focus and weapon specialization and greater version for my off hand. So my off hand would still be the same as double Falcatas with weapon focus feats (I think). Another thing that makes my Falcata's really deal some extra dmg from the x3 is that I plan on getting impact on one or both(If I can spare the gp for 2nd one) making the hit dice go from d8 to 2d6, 2d6 x3 dmg is damn good. My build as is pure fighter with at lvl 14 my feats looking like this.

I think this is in order I would select but might not be.
Two Weapon Fighting
Exotic Weapon Proficiency Falcata
Weapon Foucs Falcata
Power Attack
Weapon Specialization Falcata
Improved Critical Falcata
Double Slice
Improved Two-weapon Fighting
Greater Weapon Focus Falcata
Critical Focus
Bleeding Critical
Staggering Critical
Sickening Critical
Greater Two-Weapon Fighting
Greater Weapon Specialization Falcata
Critical Mastery

I've also thought about fitting in a couple levels of Barb but that makes me get Critical Mastery and Greater Weapon Secialization later which might not be worth the ability to rage for extra dmg. Another option I was thinking of is just going Katana/Wakazashi with one level of samurai for the exotic prof feats or maybe even 3 levels for the feats and the level 3 samurai class ability which lets me quick draw my katana and +2 bonus to crit chance. But once again that hurts the high amount of feats I want/need. Love any opinions on any options to make this stronger with the same style of dealing massive critical hits with TWF and opinions on if this build would be useful in level 12+ mods. Not really worried with any difficulties pre 12 since 1-11 can be achieved with a lot of sub-par characters through good team work and wise decisions.


If you want to do TWF with a falcata, the Buckler Duelist is worth looking at. It specializes in the falcata.


Falcatas do more DPR unless you have a critical burst weapon, but even then it's a toss up. Falcata's are the bomb, though the THF with a large one is better than TWF.


Dr. Calvin Murgunstrumm wrote:
Falcatas do more DPR unless you have a critical burst weapon, but even then it's a toss up. Falcata's are the bomb, though the THF with a large one is better than TWF.

THF with a large one? what does that mean?


Another interesting thing to do with the higher threat range: butterfly's sting. This passes your critical onto the next guy who hits that opponent. Maybe pair with someone with a scythe or some form of pick. That would cause nasty amounts of damage. That could overturn the argument of higher threat or higher crit.

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BlkRosePhoenix wrote:
Dr. Calvin Murgunstrumm wrote:
Falcatas do more DPR unless you have a critical burst weapon, but even then it's a toss up. Falcata's are the bomb, though the THF with a large one is better than TWF.

THF with a large one? what does that mean?

THF should be two handed fighting

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Cynge wrote:

The Falcata...

If you make 100 swings against a target, the Falcata will have 20 chances to crit providing an opportunity for 40-320 bonus damage. On the other hand, the Katana will have 30 chances to crit but that only provides the possibility for 30-240 bonus damage.

Actually the max dmg for criticalling on every critical out of hitting 100 times is 480 dmg for both weapons. So the only real benefit is if you don't have to take a proficiency feat for a weapon.

Also the dmg ranges are (Falcata 60-480) and (Katana 60-480)
Falcata
(low) 3x20=60 (high) 24x20=480
Katana
(low) 2x30=60 (high) 16x30=480


I would rather go with that which has the larger threat range. This is doubly so if I were say a magus that can nova best off of crits in multiple ways. Also, u are rebuffed somehow or ur opponent so buffed that a crit almost the onlyway to bit then a larger threat range creeps a head a little. Finally, spells that allow rerolls of attacks win make not getting a crit hard, almost 50/50.

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brad2411 wrote:
Cynge wrote:

The Falcata...

If you make 100 swings against a target, the Falcata will have 20 chances to crit providing an opportunity for 40-320 bonus damage. On the other hand, the Katana will have 30 chances to crit but that only provides the possibility for 30-240 bonus damage.

Actually the max dmg for criticalling on every critical out of hitting 100 times is 480 dmg for both weapons. So the only real benefit is if you don't have to take a proficiency feat for a weapon.

Also the dmg ranges are (Falcata 60-480) and (Katana 60-480)
Falcata
(low) 3x20=60 (high) 24x20=480
Katana
(low) 2x30=60 (high) 16x30=480

The falcata would still deal normal damage on 15-16 provided it hits AC.

Threats on iteratives also favor the falcata, considering that a 15 or 16 might not be sufficient to actually hit the target, thereby negating the threat.

I'd also use kukris instead of katanas. The reduced penalty is worth more than the increased damage die.


BlkRosePhoenix wrote:
Dr. Calvin Murgunstrumm wrote:
Falcatas do more DPR unless you have a critical burst weapon, but even then it's a toss up. Falcata's are the bomb, though the THF with a large one is better than TWF.

THF with a large one? what does that mean?

Two handed fighting with a large falcata gives you an extra damage dice, coupled with the best crit range. You can also go with a dip into barb for jotun grip and TWF with two of them for insane to hit penalties. But there is a certain glamour to having two large falcatas in either hand.

Elven curved blades and kukris are also worth investigating.


Renegadeshepherd wrote:
Also, u are rebuffed somehow or ur opponent so buffed that a crit almost the onlyway to bit then a larger threat range creeps a head a little. Finally, spells that allow rerolls of attacks win make not getting a crit hard, almost 50/50.

Only natural 20's automatically hit. A threat of 15-19 doesn't necessarily hit an enemy with high AC.


I'm not going to do the math for Katanas versus Falcata, but it is the same argument as the Greatsword versus the Nodachi had here.

We basically came to the conclusion that if your static bonus to damage was +28 or more the avaerage DPR of the Nodachi was higher than that of a Greatsword. That was the break even point. Someone could calculate the value for falcata versus katana and see what it is. +28 static damage is pretty easy to get, especially once you get to higher levels. The ultimate answer is larger crit range weapons tend to favor higher level characters with larger static damage bonuses. What isn't really taken into account (because it would be near impossible) is damage wasted by higehr crit multiplier where the monster was going to die with either a x2 or x3, and where a character cannot hit at the lower end of their threat range (like on a 15). Personally my characters usually have such high to hit bonuses that I never miss on a 15 or better, so its something that I don't worry about. With TWF that isn't necessarily going to be true since you take penalties from TWF, especially with 1 handed weapons instead of a light off-hand and 1 handed.


Claxon wrote:

I'm not going to do the math for Katanas versus Falcata, but it is the same argument as the Greatsword versus the Nodachi had here.

We basically came to the conclusion that if your static bonus to damage was +28 or more the avaerage DPR of the Nodachi was higher than that of a Greatsword. That was the break even point. Someone could calculate the value for falcata versus katana and see what it is. +28 static damage is pretty easy to get, especially once you get to higher levels. The ultimate answer is larger crit range weapons tend to favor higher level characters with larger static damage bonuses. What isn't really taken into account (because it would be near impossible) is damage wasted by higehr crit multiplier where the monster was going to die with either a x2 or x3, and where a character cannot hit at the lower end of their threat range (like on a 15). Personally my characters usually have such high to hit bonuses that I never miss on a 15 or better, so its something that I don't worry about. With TWF that isn't necessarily going to be true since you take penalties from TWF, especially with 1 handed weapons instead of a light off-hand and 1 handed.

I have done the math on katana vs. falcata, and it favors the falcata. (I'd still use the katana for applying crit-triggered effects, of course.)

The math for greatsword v. nodachi, or longsword v. scimitar only accounts for threat range, not for a x3 crit multiplier.

Liberty's Edge

Why kukris, not sawtooth sabers, for TWF?
I haven't done the math - is the increased threat range (18-20 for the kukri, 19-20 for the sawtooth saber) better than the increased damage (1d4 vs. 1d8)? Of course, you would also need EWP to treat the sabers as light weapons.


nearly 100 percent certain, both are heavy weapons, aka if you try to duel wield them you will take SUUUPER massive penalities even with two weapon fighting.


Well, if you mean the original argument of the thread, I am going to assume that this person is going to use a Two Weapon Warrior fighter, which can dual wield with two one handed weapons normally after a certain level (although the use of one or two light weapons still might be better since the same ability lowers their penalties)

If you meant the sawtooth sabers....they have a weird proficiency clause that allows for good dual wielding since they were made for an assassin prestige class focused on copying a huge divine murder mantis.


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Theconiel wrote:

Why kukris, not sawtooth sabers, for TWF?

I haven't done the math - is the increased threat range (18-20 for the kukri, 19-20 for the sawtooth saber) better than the increased damage (1d4 vs. 1d8)? Of course, you would also need EWP to treat the sabers as light weapons.

Generally speaking, yes: The increased threat range is usually better at a certain point. That point is usually about 7th or 8th level with a keen weapon ability or Improved Critical.

A wakizashi (1d6/18-20) only does 1 less point of base damage on average than a sawtooth sabre (1d8/19-20), but threatens a critical 5% more often. With keen or Improved Critical for both, the difference in critical threats between the two is 10%; once your bonus to damage is about +11 or more with keen or Improved Critical, the wakizashi will actually start to do more damage overall than a sawtooth sabre, assuming all else is equal.

A kukri (1d4/18-20) does 2 points less on average, which means they pull ahead of the sawtooth sabre at +21 damage bonus with keen or Improved Critical

Enlarge person and/or lead blades/impact weapon ability will affect the break point by changing the base weapon damage. The sawtooth sabre benefits more from this (1d8 -> 2d6 -> 3d6 vs. 1d6 -> 1d8 -> 2d6 for the wakizashi vs. 1d4 -> 1d6 -> 1d8 for the kukri), but adding enough damage bonuses (or having other effects trigger on a critical hit) still favors the weapon with the larger critical threat range.

From a pure damage perspective, the falcata still wins. However, effects that trigger on a critical hit keep the 18-20/x2 weapons popular.

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Theconiel wrote:

Why kukris, not sawtooth sabers, for TWF?

I haven't done the math - is the increased threat range (18-20 for the kukri, 19-20 for the sawtooth saber) better than the increased damage (1d4 vs. 1d8)? Of course, you would also need EWP to treat the sabers as light weapons.

Using a DPR Caluculator we can answer that.

Assuming we have BAB of 10, STR of 20, hit on a roll of 11 with our first attack, have a total of +20 to damage, and took Improved Critical we have the following results for the following weapon types:

1d4 18-20 (now 15-20): 21.66 Full, 14.63 Single
1d8 19-20 (now 17-20): 22.05 full, 14.70 single

That is only a .39 difference in a full attack, or a .07 difference in a single.


Blueluck wrote:
Renegadeshepherd wrote:
Also, u are rebuffed somehow or ur opponent so buffed that a crit almost the onlyway to bit then a larger threat range creeps a head a little. Finally, spells that allow rerolls of attacks win make not getting a crit hard, almost 50/50.
Only natural 20's automatically hit. A threat of 15-19 doesn't necessarily hit an enemy with high AC.

Perhaps not automatic, but realistically if a dice roll of 15+ in conjunction with what is almost certainly a full BAB class (otherwise we likely would not have such a good threat range) it is HARD to not hit even those very high ac characters. And again that is ignoring buffs and debuffs. If I cant hit something of comparative level with a 15 or better im looking for what design error I made for my character.


That additional penalty to attack for using to one-handed weapons is not your friend. You actually do more damage with two kukris, but if you insist on one-handed weapons use the sawtooth sabre since you can take EWP and the one in your off-hand counts as a light weapon.

Alternately taking the two bladed sword will get you the same numbers, and you can power attack with it as a two-handed weapon when needed.


Renegadeshepherd wrote:
Blueluck wrote:
Renegadeshepherd wrote:
Also, u are rebuffed somehow or ur opponent so buffed that a crit almost the onlyway to bit then a larger threat range creeps a head a little. Finally, spells that allow rerolls of attacks win make not getting a crit hard, almost 50/50.
Only natural 20's automatically hit. A threat of 15-19 doesn't necessarily hit an enemy with high AC.
Perhaps not automatic, but realistically if a dice roll of 15+ in conjunction with what is almost certainly a full BAB class (otherwise we likely would not have such a good threat range) it is HARD to not hit even those very high ac characters. And again that is ignoring buffs and debuffs. If I cant hit something of comparative level with a 15 or better im looking for what design error I made for my character.

I'm not entirely sure what you are trying to say now, but I was disputing your original statement that, "ur opponent so buffed that a crit almost the only way to bit then a larger threat range creeps a head a little."

In a scenario where the opponent's armor class is very high, the weapon with the highest base damage will beat the weapon with lower base damage and a higher threat range.

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Renegadeshepherd wrote:
Perhaps not automatic, but realistically if a dice roll of 15+ in conjunction with what is almost certainly a full BAB class (otherwise we likely would not have such a good threat range) it is HARD to not hit even those very high ac characters. And again that is ignoring buffs and debuffs. If I cant hit something of comparative level with a 15 or better im looking for what design error I made for my character.

For attacks at your full BAB, that might be true. For those made at -15, not so much.

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