Please explain clearly the Deadly and Fatal weapon traits

Skills, Feats, Equipment & Spells

We just had our first playtest session, and one rule sparked an argument about the Deadly trait (a critical hit with a shortbow being the trigger, here). The fact that the rapier example in the rulebook is probably a typo didn't help solve the argument, either.

For my benefit, could you explain with very clear words and numerical examples how the Deadly trait is supposed to work?

Our 2 interpretations were:

  • A- You roll the normal critical damage for a shortbow (2d6 instead of 1d6), then add a d10. Total damage roll: 2d6+1d10
  • B- You use d10 instead of d6 when calculating critical damage. Total damage roll: 2d10

    Also, please explain how the Fatal trait is different from the Deadly trait.

    Thanks guys!

    (This is less a feedback post, and more of a "help me fellow players!" post...)

  • Deadly adds an additional dice to the damage of a critical hit, as shown with the weapon (I think all Deadly weapons use a d10).

    Fatal changes the weapon damage dice the weapon uses on a critical hit. For example, a 1d6 weapon with the Fatal (d8) trait would deal 2d8 damage instead of 2d6. This increases with magical weapons, so a +3 weapon (3d6) with the Fatal (d8) trait would deal 6d8 damage.

    I kinda agree that it is a bit confusing, though I think part of that has to do with how similar the words Deadly and Fatal are. The fact that both do roughly the same thing (increase how much damage you do on a critical hit) doesn't help.

    Hope this helps!

    The fatal property both changes the die size and adds another die. It is a more powerful form of deadly.

    • 1d6, deadly 1d10 critical hit damage: 2d6+1d10
    • 1d6, fatal 1d10 critical hit damage: 3d10

    One important difference is that a deadly weapon can get extra deadly dice by increasing weapon quality to master/legendary, but a fatal weapon just gets the single die.

    Fatal also adds an additional die after all is said and done. A Greatpick would deal 1d10 normally, but 3d12 on a crit.

    A +1 Greatpick would deal 2d10 normally, but 5d12 on a crit.

    Math-wise, Fatal will always add more damage on a crit than Deadly, though Fatal usually uses a higher die than Deadly, except for the Pick vs. Shortbow case.

    If we look at Pick vs. Shortbow:

    A Fatal crit turns 1d6 into 3d10 = 16.5 avg damage
    A Deadly crit turns 1d6 into 2d6+1d10 = 12.5 avg damage

    At Master quality (or +3 weapons):

    A Fatal crit turns 4d6 into 9d10 = 49.5 avg damage
    A Deadly crit turns 4d6 into 8d6+2d10 = 39 avg damage

    At Legendary quality (or +5 weapons):

    A Fatal crit turns 6d6 into 13d10 = 71.5 avg damage
    A Deadly crit turns 6d6 into 12d6+3d10 = 58.5 avg damage

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