Concerns about Criticals and Degrees of Success


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I have a lot of concerns about the new critical success mechanic for the following reasons:

1) Every +1 matter as it effects success and critical success. This pushes every character to maximize his bonus through magic and other means, limiting magic item diversity. Every fighter will need the next potency ruin, armor bonus and stat bonus as soon as they can. Magic item reliance is even more important and fun, flavorable magic items lose out. Also, this means every character that focuses on attack rolls or DC's should have an 18 in their primary start. Again, a lack of diversity.

2) This mechanic limits the application of bonuses. This has to be very carefully moderated by the developers for if one feat or spells gives a bit too much, then the game can be broken wide open. No more weapon focus feats or the ilk. All the fighter feats remove penalties to hit, not give bonuses or screw up the action economy (incredible aim takes two actions for +2 to hit, I am sure the math would be better to attack twice instead - note I know it has other effects like removing penalties).

3) Most concerning to me is critical effects on the PCs. Monsters have high to hits, causing criticals more often. Especially if you fight higher level monsters. Even the lowly goblin warrior (Creature level 0) gets a +6 to hit, more than any 1st level character except the fighter. Goblins may be the new Orc (remember the great axe orcs of 3rd edition). Goblins with short bows and 3 attacks are nasty (short bow has deadly 1d10 trait). Obviously the second and third attack will only crit on a 20, so that part is more of a concern about the new action economy.

4) It makes every spell with a save more complicated. While the new 4 degrees of success enables the designer more knobs to fine tune spells, it does mean spells are not easy to remember and will have to be looked up all the time. Fireball, reflex save or half damage. Now it 4 possibilities and these won't all me simple damage modifiers. Some spells place different riders/effects depending on the save. This will slow play down.

Hopefully the playtest will show I am wrong, but I am concerned. Have others seen these effects in action?


Pathfinder Companion Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
Kerobelis wrote:
4) It makes every spell with a save more complicated. While the new 4 degrees of success enables the designer more knobs to fine tune spells, it does mean spells are not easy to remember and will have to be looked up all the time. Fireball, reflex save or half damage. Now it 4 possibilities and these won't all me simple damage modifiers. Some spells place...

From the one session we played, the four degrees of success instead of two did slow us down. It remains to be seen how much that will improve over time.


Yes, Critical Hits favour monsters far more than PCs, and this new 4-tiered system can slow down play.


EJDean wrote:
Kerobelis wrote:
4) It makes every spell with a save more complicated. While the new 4 degrees of success enables the designer more knobs to fine tune spells, it does mean spells are not easy to remember and will have to be looked up all the time. Fireball, reflex save or half damage. Now it 4 possibilities and these won't all me simple damage modifiers. Some spells place...
From the one session we played, the four degrees of success instead of two did slow us down. It remains to be seen how much that will improve over time.

I imagine a high level caster will be a handful to organize.


I may have just found a gem of a spell.

True strike. One verbal action. 1st level. Reroll next attack before end of next turn. A character using this ability in place of his third attack would get a large dps boost on his next turn's first attack. I believe the advantage mechanic averages out to a +4.5 to a d20 roll.

It is an arcane and occult spell but clerics can get it through several gods.

Well, it would still be tough to break due to the limited # of spells, but a Greatsword wielding cleric of Gorum can do some damage with this.


Kerobelis wrote:

I may have just found a gem of a spell.

True strike. One verbal action. 1st level. Reroll next attack before end of next turn. A character using this ability in place of his third attack would get a large dps boost on his next turn's first attack. I believe the advantage mechanic averages out to a +4.5 to a d20 roll.

It is an arcane and occult spell but clerics can get it through several gods.

Well, it would still be tough to break due to the limited # of spells, but a Greatsword wielding cleric of Gorum can do some damage with this.

Now that is nice, and way better than the 5th Ed version.


It's an amazing spell in 2e. Also, it combines *amazingly* with Magical Striker, and, if you Multiclass into Cleric, the Weapon Surge domain power. You can essentially have a turn like this:

Weapon Surge (1 somatic action with weapon in hand, 2H possible)
True Strike (1 verbal action, 2H possible)
* Trigger Magical Striker
Swing: Weapon is at an additional +2 item bonus, and you swing twice, taking the better.


Kerobelis wrote:
EJDean wrote:
Kerobelis wrote:
4) It makes every spell with a save more complicated. While the new 4 degrees of success enables the designer more knobs to fine tune spells, it does mean spells are not easy to remember and will have to be looked up all the time. Fireball, reflex save or half damage. Now it 4 possibilities and these won't all me simple damage modifiers. Some spells place...
From the one session we played, the four degrees of success instead of two did slow us down. It remains to be seen how much that will improve over time.
I imagine a high level caster will be a handful to organize.

It already is, but high-level caster players tend to develop or bring resources to help them remember things. I like using spell-cards I can flick through that show me relevant info of the spells I commonly prepare. I also like card games so flicking through cards at the table gives my hands something to do so my add brain can stay focused on the game. I wish Paizo had their own tool for this, rather than having to do it yourself, but Perram's Spellbook was a good resource in 1e.


I did make a mistake, you have to use true strike the turn you cast it so you have to cast it as your first action, then attack twice.

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