Will the Critical Hit Deck be authorized for Society play?


Starfinder Society


Pathfinder Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Maps, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber

Just wondering, as they bring a fun way to make the story more immersive.

Flyteach

1/5 ⦵⦵⦵⦵

Starfinder Superscriber

I'd love to see it. It doesn't seem like it would "break" any sanctioned material and would make the decks a lot more appealing for purchase.

2/5

Pathfinder Lost Omens, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

It wasn't for PFS and would be a can of worms since you would have to have the approval of everyone at the table to use it.

5/5 ⦵⦵⦵

Ugh god no. I don't want 4 kobolds to suddenly become the most dangerous fight.

Sczarni 5/5 ⦵⦵

Starfinder Charter Superscriber

It's the only product that made me email customer service and ask if I could ignore it as part of my subscription, since I knew it wouldn't be allowed in Society.

Paizo Employee Starfinder Society Developer

There's no plans to make it legal at this time.

Rules aside (I actually use it for my streamed game and haven't found them that bad) the biggest issue with this deck from and Organized Play perspective is the availability of the product at a table and the agreement of everyone to use them. Semi-related, in the unfortunate event that a GM were to use a deck to kill a PC, I suspect there would be complaints, especially given the random nature of the deck. Currently, none of our encounters could be remotely balanced against some of the effects that this deck could provide a PC on a lucky critical, and we'd need to keep some of these effects in mind when designing encounters, which means even more time in the development tank!

So, nothing for now. But, as always, curious to hear what the community thinks about this.

Dataphiles 4/5 ⦵⦵⦵⦵

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You could always make it so that if a Player brought a critical hit deck, they could slot that as their Promotional Boon, and the player that brought the Critical Hit Deck could use it in the game.

You could possibly limit it to 1 use per session. Maybe have a Charity version of the boon that lets you use it for every critical hit you make. And you probably want to make it so that the player can choose to not have the critical hit take effect.

Player: "I want to take this person captive! I am going to use my pulsecaster pistol to knock the unconscious."
GM: "Roll your attack."
Player rolls their dice.
GM: "Oh, nice, critical hit! Please roll your damage!"
Player: "I'm gonna draw from my Critical Hit Deck."
Player draws a card.
Player reading the card: "Your attack incinerates your opponent."
GM: "That was a bit extreme..."
Player: "I wanted to capture them! Pronk!"

Sczarni 5/5 ⦵⦵

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Starfinder Charter Superscriber

Okay a single use Promotional Boon I could get behind.

1/5 ⦵⦵⦵⦵

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Starfinder Superscriber

+1 if it was a one-time use per session as a promotional boon.

5/5 ⦵⦵⦵

As a crit magnet I m fine with it as long as the em doesn't have it

Paizo Employee Starfinder Society Developer

3 people marked this as a favorite.

Reasonable suggestions so far seem reasonable.

I'll certainly consider these for future updates to the guide! :)

Exo-Guardians

Hardware the Tech wrote:

You could always make it so that if a Player brought a critical hit deck, they could slot that as their Promotional Boon, and the player that brought the Critical Hit Deck could use it in the game.

You could possibly limit it to 1 use per session. Maybe have a Charity version of the boon that lets you use it for every critical hit you make. And you probably want to make it so that the player can choose to not have the critical hit take effect.

Player: "I want to take this person captive! I am going to use my pulsecaster pistol to knock the unconscious."
GM: "Roll your attack."
Player rolls their dice.
GM: "Oh, nice, critical hit! Please roll your damage!"
Player: "I'm gonna draw from my Critical Hit Deck."
Player draws a card.
Player reading the card: "Your attack incinerates your opponent."
GM: "That was a bit extreme..."
Player: "I wanted to capture them! Pronk!"

Reminds me of when I tried to take someone captive in To Conquer the Dragon.

ME: "I take my hand off of my plasma lance and prepare for a nonlethal attack. The enemy is backed into a corner and will have to take an AoO if he does almost anything but stand still."

GM: "They shrug and try to cast a spell."

ME: "Uh, a natural 20. Unarmed critical hit for... 42 nonlethal damage..."

GM: "They are unconscious."

ME: "...and my gear boost gives my unarmed attacks the Wound critical... 8. Okay, and my boon means I roll twice for bleed and take highest, so... 6 Bleed. Nonlethal."

GM: "I'm not sure that's how Bleed works. You just ripped out his jugular."

ME: "Nonlethally!"

GM: "What is a nonlethal bleed effect?"

ME: "...A really serious paper cut? I need a Dermal Stapler or something."

Or the time on Cosmic Crit where Edross Veranus knocked out a Kish's eye with a nonlethal attack and felt really bad about it.

But yeah, I think it would make a pretty slick Promotional Boon, 1 use per session.

Scarab Sages ⦵⦵⦵ Venture-Agent, Netherlands aka CptJames

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Nefreet wrote:
Okay a single use Promotional Boon I could get behind.

I'm adding my +1 to this as well.

Btw my preferred option is not to have it by the way...I think it adds far too much randomness to society play and I wouldn't be in favour.

If it has to be done then I +1 that option for implementation.

Silver Crusade 5/5 ⦵⦵ Venture-Captain, Germany—Bavaria

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Having seen what the deck did in Pathfinder I am very much against its use in Starfinder as a general option.

There are certain logistical problems when using the deck online, since letting players draw from their own physical deck is a non-starter - but you could always replace it with a table you could roll on.

Of course, right now that does not exist and would need to be created and accessible for GMs.

The promotional boon is the least problematic suggestion thus far, but it has knock-on effects on further options and honestly - do I really want to check players decks? Are they complete, are their duplicates, are the cards marked in any way? (Played MTG for too many years).

Without having seen the deck, I can't really say if any of those effects have the option to break scenarios and at the very least this makes it more complicated.

Having a significantly stronger charity version of the proposed boon seems like an option that could do serious damage to those parts of the world, where charity boons are much harder to get. Charity boons should be something cool/rare and not just add power and from what I have seen, these cards seem to power up critical hits significantly.

And make it that much harder to judge weapon types if their crit effect could be replaced by this.

Sovereign Court 4/5 Venture-Lieutenant, Netherlands—Leiden aka Ascalaphus

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I'm not really enthusiastic about this, although I don't hate it the way I hate the fumble deck in Pathfinder. That one is just punishing builds that make many attacks (2WF) over casters that just cast spells that make the enemy roll saves. This one is reined in a bit by Starfinder not rolling quite so many to-hit rolls per round, and no expanded crit range.

I'm a bit intrigued by its potential as a promotional boon, but I'd like to propose some safeguards:

1) You cannot absolutely ever use a card from the deck if your critically hitting attack benefited from something that expands your crit chance, be it something that makes you crit on a 19 or a coup de grace.

2) If we're worried about players stacking their deck, leaving out "weak" cards or marking - what about this? When you slot the boon, you can use it twice during that session, but once during that session, if the GM crits against you he's allowed to draw from your deck, and no resistance or immunity can protect you from the effects of the card he draws against you. It's your responsibility to point out to the GM that you slotted the deck, especially if he ever crits against you.

Sovereign Court 4/5 ⦵⦵⦵⦵ Venture-Agent, Georgia—Atlanta aka The Masked Ferret

you know, if they bought multiple decks so that they could cherry pick the cards, I would actually call that a feature, because in many ways the point of a "promotional" boon is to get them to buy more stuff, and they did that...

Which is one reason why I said that each player has to have their own deck.

I know there are people who cheat in other ways. Even language stating that you have to shuffle your deck 3 times and the gm gets to cut your deck(or something like that) before you draw would not stop it. For the normal Promotional boon 1 draw per session, I don't think it would matter.

For a multiple draw situation, I totally understand.

Second Seekers (Luwazi Elsbo) 5/5 ⦵⦵ Venture-Lieutenant, North Carolina—Charlotte aka eddv

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I love it as a potential promotional boon - it feels right there on the level with a reroll or extra RP.

Sczarni 5/5 ⦵⦵

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Starfinder Charter Superscriber

The honor system should protect against outright cheating, but perhaps the GM could draw the card instead of the player?

Sovereign Court 4/5 ⦵⦵⦵⦵ Venture-Agent, Georgia—Atlanta aka The Masked Ferret

Which... might also increase the tension for the player of what was drawn.

Sovereign Court 4/5 ⦵⦵⦵⦵ Venture-Agent, Georgia—Atlanta aka The Masked Ferret

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Also, this would allow for a new product under the same line.. The Critical Skills deck! Get a critical on your Skill Check, get an extra effect!

(Thinking that it might be worth designing the deck for related skills... Critical Skills (Social) - crits for Bluff, Diplomacy, Intimidate... Critical Skills (Technical) - crits for Computers and Engineering... Critical Skills (Knowledge) - Crits for Culture, Life Science, Mysticism, and Physical Science... etc)

Silver Crusade 5/5 ⦵⦵ Venture-Captain, Germany—Bavaria

Nefreet wrote:
The honor system should protect against outright cheating, but perhaps the GM could draw the card instead of the player?

That might help, but not if people are really intent on cheating with their deck - a decklist and something like a raw spoiler list might be necessary. I would not be surprised to see people buy 2 decks and "mess up" when sleeving them.

Might be one of those cases where it is easier to trust players if the GM could actually test the deck.

That might be a rather German approach, but trust is great, control is better.

Sczarni 5/5 ⦵⦵

Starfinder Charter Superscriber

O.O

1/5 ⦵⦵⦵⦵

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Starfinder Superscriber
Sebastian Hirsch wrote:
I would not be surprised to see people buy 2 decks and "mess up" when sleeving them.

This could happen in ACG to a much greater extent but I've never seen or heard of it. The small advantage fudging with the critical hit deck would give them would likely have a negligible impact on other players.

Lets not suck the fun out of the game through over-caution against cheaters.

Dark Archive 5/5 ⦵⦵ Venture-Captain, Germany—Rhein Main South aka schattenstern

@Arc:
I had the mess up quite a lot in ACG. It was not intended but as we have 2 base games at one of our locations I was shocked when I tried to take one to a convention and it took me around 4 hours to make sure both base games (Skull and shackles/Mummys mask) were seperated again.

So I know involuntary mishaps can happen and I know for a fact at least 2 players who I would fully expect to have only a 40 card crit deck (with the "bad" ones missing) or to by 2 decks and double up on the "best" cards. So trust is good but we NEED a way to control it.

But I am very against the idea of including the critical deck into organized play as it will cause balancing concerns and will be most likely a logistical nightmare to use, especially if the full rules are not available to everyone.

Dataphiles 4/5 ⦵⦵

Sebastian Hirsch wrote:
Nefreet wrote:
The honor system should protect against outright cheating, but perhaps the GM could draw the card instead of the player?

That might help, but not if people are really intent on cheating with their deck - a decklist and something like a raw spoiler list might be necessary. I would not be surprised to see people buy 2 decks and "mess up" when sleeving them.

Might be one of those cases where it is easier to trust players if the GM could actually test the deck.

That might be a rather German approach, but trust is great, control is better.

Maybe it is. I care very little if people cheat at my tables. As I tell them "it is not me you have to answer to, it is everyone else at this table that probably does care". There are repercussions to ruining everyone else's fun. If that is a choice someone wants to make, who am I to stop them? They are adults, they can make and live with the decisions they want to.


Starfinder Superscriber

I'll jump on the promotional boon bandwagon. Once per session, each player must bring their own deck seems fair enough. If someone wants to cheat that badly, then it won't impact the scenario too much.

Maybe tone it down by restricting it from being combined with shirt reroll? I.E. choose either crit effect or reroll but not both. That'll even further reduce the incentive to cheat.

I'm intrigued on what will be in the crit fumble deck in a couple months too and how that might work in society.

5/5 ⦵⦵⦵

they'd be mostly prevented from working with the shirt by virtue of both being promotional slot. Acquisitives could still do both.

Grand Lodge 5/5 Regional Venture-Coordinator, Great Lakes aka TwilightKnight

I’d rather not see this become a thing. We played PFS for ten plus years without a crit deck and things were just fine. I don’t see the need to do it in SFS. There is already a lot that the author, developer and GM cannot prepare for, we don’t need to add the randomness of the crit deck to that complexity. YMMV


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Bob Jonquet wrote:
I’d rather not see this become a thing. We played PFS for ten plus years without a crit deck and things were just fine. I don’t see the need to do it in SFS. There is already a lot that the author, developer and GM cannot prepare for, we don’t need to add the randomness of the crit deck to that complexity. YMMV

With all due respect, "We didn't have that newfangled stuff in my day when we played this other game, and we did just fine, I tell you what" is not the most convincing argument to someone who has never played that game.

I've looked through the crit effect cards, and most of them are stuff like, "Bonus Effect: your enemy is flat-footed until the end of your next turn."

i.e. not out of line with a dozen other possible effects in the game.

With it being usable once in a SFS session (and not even every session... how often do you crit? How often do you crit and leave the enemy standing to be the victim of the extra effect?), I hardly think that this will break the metaphorical bank in terms of complexity. Promotional boons are incentives for people to spend money on Paizo products. I haven't bought a character portfolio. I have no use for more t-shirts. I have, however, a use for the crit effect deck outside of SFS, so I did buy that, but if I didn't, a promotional boon would probably be enough to get me to drop $10 or whatever to support my SFS habit.

Sovereign Court 4/5 Venture-Lieutenant, Netherlands—Leiden aka Ascalaphus

How does this work with weapons that already have a crit effect? How does this work with weapons that don't have a crit effect?

Sovereign Court 4/5 Venture-Lieutenant, Netherlands—Leiden aka Ascalaphus

"Dr." Cupi wrote:
Sebastian Hirsch wrote:
Nefreet wrote:
The honor system should protect against outright cheating, but perhaps the GM could draw the card instead of the player?

That might help, but not if people are really intent on cheating with their deck - a decklist and something like a raw spoiler list might be necessary. I would not be surprised to see people buy 2 decks and "mess up" when sleeving them.

Might be one of those cases where it is easier to trust players if the GM could actually test the deck.

That might be a rather German approach, but trust is great, control is better.

Maybe it is. I care very little if people cheat at my tables. As I tell them "it is not me you have to answer to, it is everyone else at this table that probably does care". There are repercussions to ruining everyone else's fun. If that is a choice someone wants to make, who am I to stop them? They are adults, they can make and live with the decisions they want to.

This sounds a lot like "as a GM I'm not going to do anything if a player cheats, but if another player is bothered they'll have to speak up for themselves". I don't like that sentiment.

1/5 ⦵⦵⦵⦵

Starfinder Superscriber

It also encourages new players to support our game store venues. They may be just $11 but the stores notice demand for Starfinder products and respond by continuing to stock them, even though shelf space is limited and board games are so much more profitable.

It'd also be interesting to have something neat for the upcoming Critical Fumble Deck. Eg, you slot the deck in a promotional slot and choose to draw once during the game, taking whatever effects come with it but also regaining resolve.

Dataphiles 4/5 ⦵⦵

Lau Bannenberg wrote:
"Dr." Cupi wrote:
Sebastian Hirsch wrote:
Nefreet wrote:
The honor system should protect against outright cheating, but perhaps the GM could draw the card instead of the player?

That might help, but not if people are really intent on cheating with their deck - a decklist and something like a raw spoiler list might be necessary. I would not be surprised to see people buy 2 decks and "mess up" when sleeving them.

Might be one of those cases where it is easier to trust players if the GM could actually test the deck.

That might be a rather German approach, but trust is great, control is better.

Maybe it is. I care very little if people cheat at my tables. As I tell them "it is not me you have to answer to, it is everyone else at this table that probably does care". There are repercussions to ruining everyone else's fun. If that is a choice someone wants to make, who am I to stop them? They are adults, they can make and live with the decisions they want to.
This sounds a lot like "as a GM I'm not going to do anything if a player cheats, but if another player is bothered they'll have to speak up for themselves". I don't like that sentiment.

100% correct. Why shouldn't a person have to be accountable for their own fun? You may think that it is easy for me to say because I'm confrontational or something. Actually quite the opposite. I rarely speak up. That said, when something bothers me and I don't speak up, I am aware that my unexpressed feelings are on me.

Maybe I am wrong about how Society works but the GM is not the only player at the table. Why should the GM have to regulate literally everything? As a GM I will not punish myself or be punished because someone didn't like something and said nothing. Though I may play them often, I am not psychic. I will not coddle other adults (children at the table are a bit of a different story). As an adult, I expect other adults to be adults and take control of their own lives. (Again, extraneous circumstances are obviously different)

Grand Lodge 5/5 Regional Venture-Coordinator, Great Lakes aka TwilightKnight

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The more optional rules you allow in, the quicker the power curve swoops out of control and the quicker we get to the state PFS1 is in where it becomes exceedingly difficult to write challenging encounters for the "optimizers" without smashing the "casuals" and making them not want to play. If we learned anything from PFS and the other OP systems before it, limit your option power increases no matter how marginal they seem because before you know it, you're wishing you did. YMMV.

Grand Lodge 5/5 Regional Venture-Coordinator, Great Lakes aka TwilightKnight

Arc Riley wrote:
It'd also be interesting to have something neat for the upcoming Critical Fumble Deck.

I might be more inclined to allow a player to use the critical hit deck if they were required to slot the critical fumble deck along with it. That theoretically would restore some balance. And since re-rolls are promotional items, you wouldn't have access to use it to get yourself out of a critical fumble.

While I would prefer to just leave them out of OP and save them for your home games, I would more willing to accept them under these circumstances.

Sczarni 5/5 ⦵⦵

Starfinder Charter Superscriber

TwilightKnight, there are currently several Promotional Boons already available to players, including my personal favorite, the free reroll.

Is a once per scenario randomized replacement crit effect really more powerful than that?

It's not even something that many characters would want. Only those who have a martial focus.

2/5

Starfinder Charter Superscriber

I have used the new critical hit deck in play, and I think it'd be fine as a once per session promotional boon. Yes, someone *could* stack their deck, but that wouldn't be any different than someone bringing in a loaded die. Cheaters gonna cheat, and we can't ban all randomness from the game because of it.

Dark Archive 5/5 ⦵⦵ Venture-Captain, Germany—Rhein Main South aka schattenstern

Well against loaded dice you can (and I have) let players roll with YOUR dice. I had to do it once during a game and I require it when rolling for the 10% chance at a boon at conventions or RSP tables and the numbers got FAR closer to 10% than before that change.

With the deck there NEEDS to be a way to check for cheating (full list of all cards and effects) as operating on a honor system requires a way to check if something is correct. (Audits exist for a reason)

2/5

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Starfinder Charter Superscriber

You could always just do a "I'll cut the deck and you draw" sort of thing. That's going to make it *very* hard for someone to cheat, and if they really go to the trouble of buying twenty decks to stack the deck with one card they really want for one critical hit per scenario, I'd almost let them do it for their sheer craziness :)


Lau Bannenberg wrote:
How does this work with weapons that already have a crit effect? How does this work with weapons that don't have a crit effect?

Each card effect will generally say, "Crit Effect" or "Bonus Effect;" if it is a bonus effect, it happens in addition to the normal crit effect. If it is itself a crit effect, you have to choose which one happens as if you had a fusion and had two or more effects to select from.

So it might not be ANY unusual effect; I might rather use my weapon's normal Burn or Severe Wound effect anyway.

The net result is that it is a more consistent benefit for low-level characters whose weapons don't have base crit effects.

Liberty's Edge 3/5 Venture-Captain, Nebraska—Omaha

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How often are crits in Starfinder? It happens on a 20 only. There is no threat range. I am sure I have gone through adventures without rolling a 20.

I don't see a large negative impact, especially if the player has to slot it and it is usable only one time. Plus it is suggested to be slotted in a spot that replaces a reroll (which is more useful BTW).

How many times have you slotted a boon that was never used in the scenario?

GM should not use.

Sovereign Court 4/5 ⦵⦵⦵⦵ Venture-Agent, Georgia—Atlanta aka The Masked Ferret

100% agree - this is not for the GM, only the players.

Liberty's Edge ⦵⦵⦵⦵ Venture-Lieutenant, Illinois—Fairview Heights aka Freedom Snake

+1 for promotional slot...

(which means no shirt reroll) for a one time use by that player at that game, but deck is subject to inspection and shuffle by GM at their discretion. May only be used by a PC, not an NPC, even one under the control of a PC.

My personal opinion.

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