Touch spell critical failure?


Rules Questions


Say you're a magus about to deliver your shocking grasp through your weapon due to spellstrike and uh-oh you rolled a one. DM "rolls" a percentile and discovers that you've hit yourself. Do you get the brunt of the spell as well as the weapon damage? My thought is no since it's a conscious choice whether you cast the spell on yourself or not, otherwise you'd have it cast on you every time you readjusted your clothes or wiped the "dust" our of your eye.

On a side note do (Su) or (Ex) abilities require you to do anything special? Could I say, hex while grappled?


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There are no critical failures in PF rules; your GM has houseruled in fumbles, so your GM will have to houserule the results.


A natural 1 is just a "miss". Anything else is a house rule.

That said, if the house rule was "you hit yourself" you cannot chose whether a touch spell goes off or not. It goes off on the next thing you touch. I would make the spell effect the magus.

To your side note, it depends. They usually take a standard action. Generally, as long as it doesn't require both hands, you can take that action during a grapple.


So a natural 1 being an automatic miss doesn't entail anything further than missing? No disarming chance, or party hitting, or hitting yourself, or a slew of other things?


Iterman wrote:
So a natural 1 being an automatic miss doesn't entail anything further than missing? No disarming chance, or party hitting, or hitting yourself, or a slew of other things?

RAW: It is just a miss. That is it.

A lot of groups like to add additional effects on a natural 1. Martial characters tend to dislike this, as every attack has a 5% chance of being a natural 1, and so as martials get more iterative attacks (especially TWF) they have a higher and higher chance of getting a negative effect each round. Keeping a natural 1 as a miss helps avoid this penalty to characters with lots of attacks.

Sovereign Court

Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

It used to be described as a suggestion in 3.5 of bad stuffs happening to your character.

Rule wise in pathfinder, a natural 1 is just a miss.

But as usual, your dm can do whatever they want because of rule zero.


Iterman wrote:
So a natural 1 being an automatic miss doesn't entail anything further than missing? No disarming chance, or party hitting, or hitting yourself, or a slew of other things?

No. This is 100% pure houseruling and, IMFAO, one of the worst houserules anybody could ever institute.


Zhayne wrote:
Iterman wrote:
So a natural 1 being an automatic miss doesn't entail anything further than missing? No disarming chance, or party hitting, or hitting yourself, or a slew of other things?
No. This is 100% pure houseruling and, IMFAO, one of the worst houserules anybody could ever institute.

It does tend to shaft me over pretty heartily since there doesn't seem to be a night that passes by where I don't roll at least one critical failure. We also do that with all other d20 rolls so it's not too polarizing.


*headdesk*


Just as another note. Skill checks do not fail on a natural 1. If the check is DC 0, then you cannot fail the check without some kind of negative modifier. Likewise, if you have a +20 modifier, your lowest roll is a 21, and you cannot fail a check with a DC of 20 or lower without having some penalty applied, even if you roll a natural 1.

The only thing natural 1 and natural 20 have any effect on is attacks and saving throws. 1's are a automatic miss on the attack and an automatic fail on the saving throw, while 20's are an automatic hit (and always critical threat) or an automatic success on the save. Any other natural 1 or 20 does not have any special effect to it.


The upside though is that you critically succeed on a 20 (I'll be damned if I don't roll 3 times as many ones though)


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Iterman wrote:
Zhayne wrote:
Iterman wrote:
So a natural 1 being an automatic miss doesn't entail anything further than missing? No disarming chance, or party hitting, or hitting yourself, or a slew of other things?
No. This is 100% pure houseruling and, IMFAO, one of the worst houserules anybody could ever institute.
It does tend to shaft me over pretty heartily since there doesn't seem to be a night that passes by where I don't roll at least one critical failure. We also do that with all other d20 rolls so it's not too polarizing.

Bad GMs and their house-ruled critical failures: The best reason to play a Wizard. You can't fumble a die you don't roll.

When the fighter disembowels himself with his third iterative attack, and the thief hangs himself trying to climb ten feet of knotted rope, you just cast teleport and leave the cleric to his fate.


Iterman wrote:
The upside though is that you critically succeed on a 20 (I'll be damned if I don't roll 3 times as many ones though)

And with a weapon, that means what? you still get your bonus damage? Does the GM give you extra special bonuses for a natural 20 above and beyond the normal critical?


Orfamay Quest wrote:
Iterman wrote:
Zhayne wrote:
Iterman wrote:
So a natural 1 being an automatic miss doesn't entail anything further than missing? No disarming chance, or party hitting, or hitting yourself, or a slew of other things?
No. This is 100% pure houseruling and, IMFAO, one of the worst houserules anybody could ever institute.
It does tend to shaft me over pretty heartily since there doesn't seem to be a night that passes by where I don't roll at least one critical failure. We also do that with all other d20 rolls so it's not too polarizing.

Bad GMs and their house-ruled critical failures: The best reason to play a Wizard. You can't fumble a die you don't roll.

When the fighter disembowels himself with his third iterative attack, and the thief hangs himself trying to climb ten feet of knotted rope, you just cast teleport and leave the cleric to his fate.

This is the precise reason I'm playing an enchantment-oriented kitsune sorceress in one game.


Tarantula wrote:
Iterman wrote:
The upside though is that you critically succeed on a 20 (I'll be damned if I don't roll 3 times as many ones though)
And with a weapon, that means what? you still get your bonus damage? Does the GM give you extra special bonuses for a natural 20 above and beyond the normal critical?

Only if it doesn't matter (AKA they would've already died from the normal times 2 damage, which doesn't include anything but the weapons die damage), which usually results in a beheading. Now it kinda sounds like I'm complaining so I'll say this as well: I've seen at least 10 of her monsters kill themselves because of this ruling, and it does lend itself well if you want the monster to die off earlier than expected. Just last week my friend cast stinking cloud on a basilisk, it apparently rolled three ones in a row and proceeded to "puke its' guts out," causing its' death (I about laughed myself from my seat hearing that).


Iterman wrote:
Tarantula wrote:
Iterman wrote:
The upside though is that you critically succeed on a 20 (I'll be damned if I don't roll 3 times as many ones though)
And with a weapon, that means what? you still get your bonus damage? Does the GM give you extra special bonuses for a natural 20 above and beyond the normal critical?
Only if it doesn't matter (AKA they would've already died from the normal times 2 damage, which doesn't include anything but the weapons die damage),

Wait a minute..... So, if I'm a fighter doing 1d10 + 15, and I roll a critical on a x3 weapon, I get 3d10 + 15 points of damage? Or do I get 2d10 + 15 points?

Because either one is wrong by RAW.


Orfamay Quest wrote:
Iterman wrote:
Tarantula wrote:
Iterman wrote:
The upside though is that you critically succeed on a 20 (I'll be damned if I don't roll 3 times as many ones though)
And with a weapon, that means what? you still get your bonus damage? Does the GM give you extra special bonuses for a natural 20 above and beyond the normal critical?
Only if it doesn't matter (AKA they would've already died from the normal times 2 damage, which doesn't include anything but the weapons die damage),

Wait a minute..... So, if I'm a fighter doing 1d10 + 15, and I roll a critical on a x3 weapon, I get 3d10 + 15 points of damage? Or do I get 2d10 + 15 points?

Because either one is wrong by RAW.

3d10+15; sorry, I was over generalizing.

I believe their interpretation is that the bonuses on count after the two rolls have been added together; we auto confirm criticals so that's one upside (forgot to mention earlier).


Wait, you auto confirm ANY critical threat or only a nat 20 crit? Because if it's ANY threat let me grab a 15-20 crit range weapon with a kensai and get x3 crits on tons of stuff.


Chess Pwn wrote:
Wait, you auto confirm ANY critical threat or only a nat 20 crit? Because if it's ANY threat let me grab a 15-20 crit range weapon with a kensai and get x3 crits on tons of stuff.

Natural 20s


In our group, we use ...

Natural 1: Roll d20 again, if another natural 1, the player draws a card from the critical fumble deck and applies the effects.

Natural 20: Roll d20 again, if another natural 20, the player draws a card(s) from the critical hit deck. The player can choose to use either a standard critical hit or apply the effects of one drawn card. Remaining cards, if any, are discarded after the player's decision is made.

Cards are obviously pretty rarely used (1 in 400 chance either way), so it's pretty interesting when they do get used.

I don't think I'd enjoy using them that often, but if the group enjoys it, that's what matters. If not, you may want to suggest the above or to just play RAW.


I'm not sure if I'd endorse it or not but it does make for interesting game play.


Tarantula wrote:
The only thing natural 1 and natural 20 have any effect on is attacks and saving throws.

Con checks to stabilize also auto-succeed on a nat 20.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Iterman wrote:
So a natural 1 being an automatic miss doesn't entail anything further than missing? No disarming chance, or party hitting, or hitting yourself, or a slew of other things?

It's a stupid rule because at the end result it winds up as a result that the more experienced a martial you are, the more likely you're going to do something stupid like slice your own head off, because of the greater number of d20s you roll in combat.

Grand Lodge

LazarX wrote:
Iterman wrote:
So a natural 1 being an automatic miss doesn't entail anything further than missing? No disarming chance, or party hitting, or hitting yourself, or a slew of other things?
It's a stupid rule because at the end result it winds up as a result that the more experienced a martial you are, the more likely you're going to do something stupid like slice your own head off, because of the greater number of d20s you roll in combat.

It also penalizes the PCs more than the NPCs, since the NPCs usually only have to deal with it for one combat. The PCs have to deal with it for every combat.

And, anyhow, who cares if NPC X disembowels himself once, while PC Y does it every third combat?

And, as mentioned, the more attacks you get, the more the odds favor you getting negatively impacted by this house rule.


Iterman wrote:
Orfamay Quest wrote:
Iterman wrote:
Tarantula wrote:
Iterman wrote:
The upside though is that you critically succeed on a 20 (I'll be damned if I don't roll 3 times as many ones though)
And with a weapon, that means what? you still get your bonus damage? Does the GM give you extra special bonuses for a natural 20 above and beyond the normal critical?
Only if it doesn't matter (AKA they would've already died from the normal times 2 damage, which doesn't include anything but the weapons die damage),

Wait a minute..... So, if I'm a fighter doing 1d10 + 15, and I roll a critical on a x3 weapon, I get 3d10 + 15 points of damage? Or do I get 2d10 + 15 points?

Because either one is wrong by RAW.

3d10+15; sorry, I was over generalizing.

I believe their interpretation is that the bonuses on count after the two rolls have been added together; we auto confirm criticals so that's one upside (forgot to mention earlier).

I think I'd rather use a normal critical hit and take my chances to confirm and deal 3D10+45 instead of auto confirming and doing 3D10+15.

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