Pushing crit to the limit


Creating a Character


i'm trying to make a build that tries to exploit critical hits as much as possible. To see where's the limit.

so far, my "best" one is something like:

fighter (best "base attack bonus"
mc sorc (access to true strike and magical striker, both additive with all conditional/situational modifiers)
2nd mc cleric (access to zeal for a second stacking modifier as well as access to spell pool for more magical striker procs)

race and race feats, are somehwat flexible. You need access to human, so human/halfelf/halforc, but apart from the level 9 racial feat, all others are open (more general feats, more skills, more class feats are all available from human, as well as mien for anti-fear aura, more cantrips, highers speed, and etc if you go half elf)

for class feats:
1)power attack (i know that this is usually a trap, but since we go for high alpha strike, i think it can work)
2)sorc dedication (we choose sorc over wizard because cha>>>int)
4/6/8) sorc spellcasting, familiar, and magical striker
9) (human feat) cleric multiclass
10) cleric domain
12/14)expert sorc spellcasting, sorc breadth

for weapons we go dual wielding a Pick and a staff of divination. Staff allows for somatic components, and sorcerer spellcasting doesn't have material components. So we can cast freely with those 2 in hand.

at 14 level we have:
+14 from level, +5 from strength, +3 from weapon, +3 from prof, so:
+25 attack for 4d6+5 (fatal d10)

we also have 2/2/2/1/1 spells as well +1 spell of either 1st or 2nd level (we'll go for 1st) from familiar, so 3/2/2/1/1 spells

we also have a spellpool of 4 points for zeal.
we also have another 5 true strikes/day from the staff of divination

that gives us heroism (3rd) for 2 battles, and heroism (5th) for 1 battle. As well as 8 true strikes/day, and we're left with 2 more level 2 spells and 1 more level 4 spell (invis and fly come into mind)

that also gives us a max of 18 times/day that we can use magical striker (if we stretch out our uses)

our "nova crit" though eats 2 uses of this pool

nova crit would be something like:
+2 conditional attack bonus from heroism (5th)
+1 zeal
+1 magical striker
+3 (from -2 circumstantial flanked monster and -1 conditional frightened monster (we do have secondary Cha)
roll twice from true strike
+2 dices of damage from power attack
+2 dices of damage from zeal and magical striker

for a total of:
+32 vs an AC of 34 (so we need a 12 to crit) for 8d6+5 (17d10+27 crit)

12 to crit with roll twice comes out as 1-(0,6*0,6)= 64% for 120.5 damage crit
chance to miss is 1/400 (so 0,25%)
chance to just hit is thus 35,75% for 33 damage

average DPR would be around 89 damage (but, due to the polarizing results of either 33 or 120, "average" doesn't mean much in such a build)


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

I was helping a player trying to create this exact build for Heroes of Undarin, but we ran into a few problems getting it to work at 12th level. You need 16 Cha at character creation to take Sorcerer dedication at 2nd, and you need at least 14 wisdom at character creation if you want to have 18 by 10th when you get weapon surge, and of course you want to keep Str maxed or it's all for naught. To do this you'd need a Str/Wis/Cha ancestry bonus, but there's currency no ancestry that can support this combination. Then there's the issue that the spells per day are really limited until 14th. The staff of divination is definitely a good idea, and you could also carry around wands of true strike to add even more daily uses.


Dasrak wrote:
I was helping a player trying to create this exact build for Heroes of Undarin, but we ran into a few problems getting it to work at 12th level. You need 16 Cha at character creation to take Sorcerer dedication at 2nd, and you need at least 14 wisdom at character creation if you want to have 18 by 10th when you get weapon surge, and of course you want to keep Str maxed or it's all for naught. To do this you'd need a Str/Wis/Cha ancestry bonus, but there's currency no ancestry that can support this combination. Then there's the issue that the spells per day are really limited until 14th. The staff of divination is definitely a good idea, and you could also carry around wands of true strike to add even more daily uses.

yes, ultimately, i went for a 12 wisdom starting, that gets me to 16 wisdom at 10

that's 1 less use of zeal at 14 which is the build, but at 15 it comes back to normal 4 uses.

staff is there from early level, that's why i prefer to first grab spellcasting and then the feat, so that by 8 that you get magical striker, while i only have 1/1/1 spells, i also have 3 more castings from the staff.

for 6 magical striker procs at 8, to 9 at 10, to 13 at 12, to 17 at 14 and etc

definately a late bloomer build, but as you pointed out, wands can really help with this.


Utilizing some functions I previously wrote and t-roll we can calculate the full spread of damage, after a few alterations to specific numbers.

Quote:

function rollpicktwice(n) =

roll := max(2d20);
bonus := 32+n;
targetac := 34;

if (roll+bonus)>=(targetac+10) then sum 17d10+27 else if roll>=20 then sum 17d10+27 else if (roll+bonus)>=targetac then sum 8d6+5 else 0

call rollpicktwice(0)

(Note that all lines except first and last need 2 spaces of indentation)

Average value = 93.94875
Spread = 41.6296904077
Mean deviation = 37.10376691

So your average value is off some, not sure where the error is.

We can even use this to calculate a second swing:

Quote:

function rollpick(n) =

roll := max(2d20);
bonus := 30+n;
targetac := 34;

if (roll+bonus)>=(targetac+10) then sum 9d10+10 else if roll>=20 then sum 9d10+10 else if (roll+bonus)>=targetac then sum 4d6+5 else 0

Assuming I got the flat damage correct (not sure where the bonus 17 was coming from).

And this invoke:

Quote:
call rollpicktwice(0) + call rollpick(-10)

We get (just the second attack):

Average value = 14.92125
Spread = 17.5684389869
Mean deviation = 12.7877729167

With a total of:

Average value = 108.87
Spread = 45.1849662153
Mean deviation = 37.667090816

Or we could not power attack at all (remove 4 dice from crits, remove 2 dice from base damage on the roll-twice function) and swing 3 times (once with all the buffs, twice without):

Average value = 115.08
Spread = 43.3062563922
Mean deviation = 34.3305904968

(Hey look, power attack is a trap! We already knew that, though: the extra dice we don't compare with the base damage and a second swing).


Draco18s wrote:


Average value = 93.94875
Spread = 41.6296904077
Mean deviation = 37.10376691

So your average value is off some, not sure where the error is.

-----

Assuming I got the flat damage correct (not sure where the bonus 17 was coming from).

-----

Or we could not power attack at all (remove 4 dice from crits, remove 2 dice from base damage on the roll-twice function) and swing 3 times (once with all the buffs, twice without):

Average value = 115.08
Spread = 43.3062563922
Mean deviation = 34.3305904968

(Hey look, power attack is a trap! We already knew that, though: the extra dice we don't compare with the base damage and a second swing).

a)my mistake was calculating crit chance at 40% when it was 45% (12+)

that's why your function has a bit higher average dpr (1 less hit and 1 more crit compared to mine)

but yeah, it's even better average wise^^ (although again, the spread is so huge that average is pretty pointless, you either do bad damage, or you do superb damage... at least you'll almost never do no damage with true strike on...)

b)the +17 flat comes from Pick group crit specialization effect that adds 1 damage per die in a crit (inculding the extra die from crit)

so, 17dx gives +17

c)power attack may be off (not sure, i still think it's better than 2 strikes), but i think you did the math wrong there.

for the second attack you'll also have to subtract both the zeal and the magical striker, since those only apply for the first hit.

that's an additional -2 to attack on the second attack and another -2 dices (-4 on crit) on it,

Also, since the static mod is based on dices, you'll also have to subtract +4 from the first crit and a total of +8 on the second crit.

lastly, true strike will only affect your first hit

overall, you'll be looking at something like:
6d6+5 (13d10+23 crit) for the 1st hit and 4d6+5 (9d10+19 crit) on the second with attack rolls of +32/+23

so:
+32(roll twice)/+23 for 6d6+5(13d10+23)/ 4d6+5(9d10+19)
vs
+32(roll tiwce) for 8d6+5(17d10+27)

on a hit that's just 2d6 extra damage vs an attack at +23 for 4d6+5(9d10+19)
on a crit you're comparing 4d10+4 vs an attack at +23 for 4d6+5(9d10+19)

breaking it down to our numbers, we know we crit 1-(0.55*0.55) (thanks for the correction there) so 69,75% of the time and we hit 30% of the time.

so, the dpr difference of power attack is
crit: 69,75%*(4d10+4)= 18,135
hit 30%*(2d6)= 2,1
miss 0,25%
so: 20,235

dpr of the second attack is:
+23 vs ac 34 hits on a 11 crits on a 20
45%*(4d6+5)= 8,55
5%*(9d10+19) = 3,425
miss 50%
so: 11,975

so:
power attack with true strike beats 2 attacks (one of them with true strike) by a bit more than 8 dpr

not sure how this stacks up without the true strike though, too bored to do that math as well

thing is, because magical striker is ONLY on the first hit, and extra dices do add extra static modifier due to Pick specialization, i feel this might be the outlier case where power attack is universally better than 2nd attack.


shroudb wrote:

b)the +17 flat comes from Pick group crit specialization effect that adds 1 damage per die in a crit (inculding the extra die from fatal)

so, 17dx gives +17

Ah, that's what'd do it. Means my secondary attacks are low on damage (but it's at least consistent).

Quote:
c)power attack may be off (not sure, i still think it's better than 2 strikes), but i think you did the math wrong there.

Would you rather:

- Have 2 extra dice
- Hit a second time for 4 extra dice + flat damage

Even if your second attack hits exactly half as often, the flat damage pays for itself (the number of dice averaging out; crits can be ignored because it doubles on both sides and at comparable rates). And 4 dice is probably on the low side here (a +5 weapon would be 5 dice).

Quote:

for the second attack you'll also have to subtract both the zeal and the magical striker, since those only apply for the first hit.

that's an additional -2 to attack on the second attack and another -2 dices (-4 on crit) on it,

Pretty sure I had, but I didn't look up their effects in the book, I was going by the numbers you listed.

And why I included the used formulas, so it could be double-checked.

Quote:

so:

+32/+23 for 6d6+5(13d10+23)/ 4d6+5(9d10+19)
vs
+32 for 8d6+5(17d10+27)

I'm not sure +23 is correct.

Base is +25, +3 for conditionals (they're still flat footed and frightened), +2 for heroism (10 minute duration), and -5 (MAP) for a total of +25

+32/+25: Average value = 90.06375
+32/N-A: Average value = 93.94875

Which makes Power Attack only slightly better (3.88 DPR) for this given setup. If we had a mere +1 extra we could pick up on that second attack that'd bring the average to 93.4

However, now we arrive at a new problem:

Quote:

> MAGICAL STRIKER FEAT

4
Trigger You finish casting a non-cantrip spell on your turn.
You siphon residual spell energy into one weapon you’re wielding. If the weapon is nonmagical, it becomes a +1 magic weapon, and one that’s already a magic weapon increases its bonus by 1 (from a +1 magic weapon to a +2 magic weapon, and so on). This benefit applies only to the next Strike you make on your turn, and is wasted if you don’t Strike by the end of your turn. You can gain the benefit of Magical Striker only once per turn.
Quote:

> TRUE STRIKE SPELL

1
Casting Verbal Casting
Duration until the end of your turn
The next time you make an attack roll before the end of your turn, roll the attack twice and use the better result. The attack ignores circumstance penalties to the attack roll and any miss chance due to the target being concealed or sensed.

You can't use both of these on the same turn that you use Power Attack, you have to pick one.


Draco18s wrote:
shroudb wrote:

b)the +17 flat comes from Pick group crit specialization effect that adds 1 damage per die in a crit (inculding the extra die from fatal)

so, 17dx gives +17

Ah, that's what'd do it. Means my secondary attacks are low on damage (but it's at least consistent).

Quote:
c)power attack may be off (not sure, i still think it's better than 2 strikes), but i think you did the math wrong there.

Would you rather:

- Have 2 extra dice
- Hit a second time for 4 extra dice + flat damage

Even if your second attack hits exactly half as often, the flat damage pays for itself (the number of dice averaging out; crits can be ignored because it doubles on both sides and at comparable rates). And 4 dice is probably on the low side here (a +5 weapon would be 5 dice).

Quote:

for the second attack you'll also have to subtract both the zeal and the magical striker, since those only apply for the first hit.

that's an additional -2 to attack on the second attack and another -2 dices (-4 on crit) on it,

Pretty sure I had, but I didn't look up their effects in the book, I was going by the numbers you listed.

And why I included the used formulas, so it could be double-checked.

Quote:

so:

+32/+23 for 6d6+5(13d10+23)/ 4d6+5(9d10+19)
vs
+32 for 8d6+5(17d10+27)

I'm not sure +23 is correct.

Base is +25, +3 for conditionals (they're still flat footed and frightened), +2 for heroism (10 minute duration), and -5 (MAP) for a total of +25

+32/+25: Average value = 90.06375
+32/N-A: Average value = 93.94875

Which makes Power Attack only slightly better (3.88 DPR) for this given setup. If we had a mere +1 extra we could pick up on that second attack that'd bring the average to 93.4

However, now we arrive at a new problem:

Quote:

> MAGICAL STRIKER FEAT

4
Trigger You finish casting a non-cantrip spell on your turn.
You siphon residual spell energy into one weapon you’re wielding. If the weapon is nonmagical, it becomes a +1
...

yeah messed up the +attack there, not sure why, maybe it's the booze, but that can't be it^^

i fail to see why you can't magical striker+true strike a Power attack though though?

i mean:
you cast true strike (1 action):
your next strike, that has to be before the end of your turn, gets rolled twice
since you casted a spell, you activate magical striker (free action)

you power attack (2nd and 3rd action of your turn), which does a strike with 2 extra dices on it.

where's the problem?

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