# Crit Hard or Crit Often?

Working on a Swashbuckler character, trying to decide between a rapier build or a Falcata build.

Is it better to crit more often for less damage, or crit less frequently, but for more damage?

Rapier: 1d6+4, 18-20/x2 crit (1d6+9, 15-20/x2 at lvl 5)

or

Falcata: 1d8+4, 19-20/x3 crit (1d8+9, 17-20/x3 at lvl 5)

This is for a Pathfinder Society character, if that makes a difference.

The math makes them numerically equivalent, but hitting harder generally results in more overkill situations when compared across similar challenges. What I've experienced matches the number theorycrafting I've seen. So go with crit more often is the generic advice, all other things being equal.

Falcata is not numerically equivalent. Rapier is +15% from criticals. Falcata is +20% from criticals. That's why it's an exotic weapon.

Actually, the math I saw says it is better to crit more often.

It also just makes more sense. A x2 crit will usually result in death. x3 or x4 is just overkill.

In case you're wondering where I found my math I said I saw earlier...https://docs.google.com/document/pub?id=14Fmxv1kZSvm2AbZ0LGjyRQY2 WvhkDj0Wpy8al_bzoGs

That's the short version; I can't remember where the long version I saw before was.

Furthermore, falcata is exotic, meaning you need to burn a feat to get it. A feat you could be burning getting dex-to-damage, the preferred way to buckle your swash.

Personally I'd rather crit more often. When you crit, you're already dealing a ton of damage and if you crit harder some of that damage can go to waste (overkill). So, while you'll be dealing the same damage on paper, critting more often means you'll be actually dealing more damage to enemies.

MisterDoug wrote:
Personally I'd rather crit more often. When you crit, you're already dealing a ton of damage and if you crit harder some of that damage can go to waste (overkill). So, while you'll be dealing the same damage on paper, critting more often means you'll be actually dealing more damage to enemies.

Those numbers are assuming Dex to Damage. (Fencing Grace for the Rapier and Slashing Grace for the Falcata)

Plan is to use the Rapier and Fencing Grace for the first two levels then retrain into Falcata when I pick up a feat at lvl 3.

Or just stay with the rapier and go with Power Attack or Extra Panache instead.

Definately stick with the rapier, or switch to the Katana for the feat again. See if your DM will let you take http://www.d20pfsrd.com/path-of-war/feats#TOC-Deadly-Agility-Combat-

Although some people say Dex>Damage is overpowered, I'm a firm believer in its balance. While some will say it makes Dex an OP stat, you have to have a fair investment to get it.

Normally crit more but it also depends on the multiplier. The falcata crits at 20% but also is a ×3 multiplier.

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MisterDoug, he said it's PFS. No 3rd party allowed, therefore.

Do the rapier, and don't look back. 18-20 is higher average damage than 19-20/x2, especially when you keen/imp.crit it, and doesn't require burning an extra feat like wielding a falcata does.

Generallly.. I go with critting more often. It's always kinda satisfying as a player. They're both pretty equalish, with usefulness dependent on game (higher crit damage means more damage vs dr and such, per hit. less crit damage requires more crits to get through; but i like critting more when its a game that tends to have more smaller monster than big ones)
rapier =criting more often for less damage = good at hitting a variety of htings
falacata = critting less but it has a x3=good for one shotting and blasting past defenses.

I will say though, have a look at inspired blade to compare agianst falcata. I think? the weapon training is different in that class.. I think it gives more damage than normal. also you get free weapon focus in rapier.

thegreenteagamer wrote:

MisterDoug, he said it's PFS. No 3rd party allowed, therefore.

Do the rapier, and don't look back. 18-20 is higher average damage than 19-20/x2, especially when you keen/imp.crit it, and doesn't require burning an extra feat like wielding a falcata does.

Unquestionably, crit more often. It provides more damage overall, but more importantly, you'll generate more Panache.

Thanks for the advice. I'll go with the rapier. I'm liking the look of Inspired Blade as well. It basically allows you to dump charisma for Int, and get bonus damage with your rapier. (Does make Charmed Life useless if you go that route though.)

I'm thinking a low Cha is the only way I'll be able to afford a 13 str and int for feats, and a higher Int means more skill points.

More often. 15-20 Crit threats once you get to the improved critical feat or Keen weapon property will have you dropping criticals left, right and center of body-mass. Sure, one-shotting an enemy feels good, but so does dropping the enemy that's about to get out a save-or-suck spell on your buddy.

To criting often is better if you grab a crit feat.

One thing I haven't seen mention -
Swashbucklers get Panache back when they crit.

So Crit more often is the way to go for Swashbucklers

You're a Swashbuckler, crit more often, get more panache.

Furthermore, if you crit often and combine it with Critical Focus feats then you're getting the effects more often.

Errant Mercenary wrote:
Furthermore, if you crit often and combine it with Critical Focus feats then you're getting the effects more often.

True, but it's kind of limited usefulness for a Pathfinder Society character - your characters are effectively retired at lvl 12, due to the very small number of official mods for lvl 12+.

Falcata is a nice thought, but for a dex based swashbuckler, it is gonna be inferior to a rapier. Falcata builds are almost always strength based with heavy armor or DR. Swashbucklers have a nice mix of offense and defense, but not usually the highest DPR.

Add in Outflank with a partner and crit often for even more fun.

Falcata +slashing grace is superior, albeit it costs an extra feat.

The 18-20 range on a rapier means that, for every twenty attacks, you're going to crit 3 times with a *2 modifier, adding weapon damage+critable bonuses*3 to the total damage. Meanwhile, the Falcata will be critting twice with a *3 mod, adding damage*4.

When you get swashbuckler weapon training, the rapier adds *6, while the falcata adds *8.

The falcata also has an average damage one point higher than the rapier.

However. There are important points against it:

-It has a smaller threat range. This means less crits, which means less panache, which means less cool stuff for your swashbuckler.

-Loot. Rapiers are far more likely to appear as loot than the arcane falcata. (love using that as an adjective, by the by) This might be a non-issue in pfs for some reason, so maybe it's not important.

-Overkill. If you only needed a *2 mod to bring the enemy down with your crit, that fancy EWP feat is wasted for that crit. We see this all the time with barbarians and their greataxes, for example.

-Style points. The falcata is an oversized meat cleaver. Not exactly a swashbuckling weapon of choice.

Finally, you have to pay a feat for it. If you can find something that's better than +1 average damage+2*weapon damage/percentage chance to confirm a critical, then the that's the rapier back in favor, regardless of everything else.

On general principle: crit more often. I'll use a Greatsword over a Greataxe, despite their crit profiles offering identical net results.

On the Falcata vs. Rapier: Falcata. The x3 more than offsets the x2 with increased range. Falcata has the best crit profile in the game.

On the Falcata vs. Rapier for the Swashbuckler: Rapier. Amusingly, the Swashbuckler gets relatively less damage out of critting, because Precise Strike isn't multiplied. But, they get panache, and panache is critical to the Swashbuckler. Ergo, the weapon that works best with class features is the weapon of preference... so rapier.

Panache isn't neccesarily the end-all-be-all.

Killin' things lets you have panache too, you know.

Caliban_ wrote:
Errant Mercenary wrote:
Furthermore, if you crit often and combine it with Critical Focus feats then you're getting the effects more often.

True, but it's kind of limited usefulness for a Pathfinder Society character - your characters are effectively retired at lvl 12, due to the very small number of official mods for lvl 12+.

Eyes of the Ten

Ruby Phoenix Tournament
The Price of Infamy (S&S part 5)
From Hell's Heart (S&S part 6)
Ashes at Dawn (CC part 5)
Shadows of Gallowspire (CC Part 6)
Forest of Spirits (JR Part 4)
Tide of Honor (JR Part 5)
The Empty Throne (JR Part 6)
Beyond the Doomsday Door (SS Part 4)
Into the Nightmare Rift (SS Part 5)
The Dead Heart of Xin (SS Part 6)
The Frozen Stars (RoW Part 4)
Rasputin Must Die (RoW Part 5)
The Witch Queen’s Revenge (RoW Part 6)
Secrets of the Sphinx (MM part 4)
The Slave Trenches of Hakotep (MM part 5)
Pyramid of the Sky Pharaoh (MM part 6)
Parts 4-6 of Rise of the Runelords Anniversary Edition
Tomb of the Iron Medusa
The Moonscar
The Witchwar Legacy
Wardens of the Reborn Forge will be sanctioned soon.

Not as many as the options below that, true, but hardly 'very small', especially since each of those except for the parts of Eyes of the Ten are full-level modules. Leaving out WotRF, which I'm not sure how many levels it will give you (probably 3 or 4), there's enough levels there to take at least 3 characters from 12-20, and twice that if you GM. Note that the adventure paths and large modules (WotRF and similar) can be run in campaign mode which means you can play a normal AP game with your friends and then get credit for it as PFS.

The Dragon wrote:

Panache isn't neccesarily the end-all-be-all.

Killin' things lets you have panache too, you know.

This is true, but I tend to operate under the theory that most things die when you crit them anyway. If this is atypical... then yeah, go Falcata.

kestral287 wrote:
The Dragon wrote:

Panache isn't neccesarily the end-all-be-all.

Killin' things lets you have panache too, you know.

This is true, but I tend to operate under the theory that most things die when you crit them anyway. If this is atypical... then yeah, go Falcata.

Yeah, if this is true, like I said, overkill, and you're better off with the rapier.

It doesn't get that much better untill level five anyway. If retraining is an option, keep the rapier untill you notice things aren't dying when you crit them, then retrain to the falcata.

The Dragon wrote:

Finally, you have to pay a feat for it. If you can find something that's better than +1 average damage+2*weapon damage/percentage chance to confirm a critical, then the that's the rapier back in favor, regardless of everything else.

Yeah. After looking over my options, I've settled on Swashbuckler(Inspired Blade) - they get Weapon Focus (Rapier) for free, and gain +1 att/+2 Dam with rapiers at lvl 5, which costs them 1 fewer feat and nets a +1 att/dam over a falcata swashbuckler.

Inspired blades only get panache when critting (not when killing) so critting frequently is even more important for them.

Caliban_ wrote:
Errant Mercenary wrote:
Furthermore, if you crit often and combine it with Critical Focus feats then you're getting the effects more often.

True, but it's kind of limited usefulness for a Pathfinder Society character - your characters are effectively retired at lvl 12, due to the very small number of official mods for lvl 12+.

Not as many as the options below that, true, but hardly 'very small', especially since each of those except for the parts of Eyes of the Ten are full-level modules. Leaving out WotRF, which I'm not sure how many levels it will give you (probably 3 or 4), there's enough levels there to take at least 3 characters from 12-20, and twice that if you GM. Note that the adventure paths and large modules (WotRF and similar) can be run in campaign mode which means you can play a normal AP game with your friends and then get credit for it as PFS.

Huh, didn't realize there were that many. I'm relatively knew to Pathfinder Society play, but I think the main issue in my area (Phoenix, AZ) is finding a GM willing to run them and group to play the lvl 12+ Mods with.

May not be an issue by the time I get characters to that level.

Can I choose Option C?

Crit often AND hard.

Find a friend to take the butterfly sting feat and team up.

The math favors critting more often, but the math is also close enough that its not a huge deal. I personally go for crit more often as a general rule, but there is a very, very special satisfaction that comes from a X3 or X4 crit.

Crit often is usually more damage efficient. However, Critting harder will usually make much more difference at a single time during a fight - and you're more likely to remember those times more. Also, x4 weapons and lances are f@+!ing brutal.

So I say crit harder.

Also, considering that swashes effectively get improved crit at 5th level, you've got a 1/4 chance of critting with a rapier. That's...well, that's a lot of bloody crits!

thegreenteagamer wrote:
Also, considering that swashes effectively get improved crit at 5th level, you've got a 1/4 chance of critting with a rapier. That's...well, that's a lot of bloody crits!

3/10, actually (discounting the need to confirm). It's impossible to get a 1/4 crit rate right now.

You're right. But 3/10 is 1/3.333, which is actually even better odds than 1/4.

Once your static damage per hit reaches a certain point, tetsubo is the better weapon if you want to get top damage. Much better than falcata. Of course the damage is usually wasted except for your boss fights. Plus if the falcata isnt a swashbuckler weapon, then the tetsubo definitely isnt.