Improved Critical with Falling Water Gambit?


Rules Questions


So... I've been looking at the Swashbuckler for a little while now. Specifically, the Aldori Dueling Sword wielding Rostland Bravo archetype. However, I have found a feat that has perplexed me and how it functions with the Archetype and build as a hole. Falling Water Gambit says "When attacking a creature denied its Dexterity bonus to AC because of your successful feint, you increase the threat range of your Aldori dueling sword by 1 (typically to 18–20/×2)".

How exactly does this stack with Improved Critical? I can see 3 possible outcomes regarding this feat and how it "Stacks":

1) The increased threat range occurs before the multiplier. Aldori Dueling Sword becomes a 18-20/x2 Crit that turns into a 15-20/x2 Crit with Imp. Crit.

2) The increased threat range occurs after the multiplier. This means the 17-20/x2 crit range after applying both feats.

3) Neither additions nor multipliers stack (ala: Keen/Improved Critical) - effectively turning this into a worthless feat that requires a 4 feat tax?

Also, if possible, could someone link the Keen/Improved Critical FAQ link? I can't find it, and was hoping that the wording of the FAQ might help clarify this situation. If Falling Waves Gambit does end up being an overpriced Improved Crit, I know I'll be saving $9.99 before the game I'm joining. lol


Falling Water Gambit increases the Threat Range from 19-20/x2 to 18-20/x2 and Improved Critical (or Keen) would double it to 15-20/x2.

I couldn't find the FAQ either, but I'm 97.136% sure this is correct :P


TheMonkeyFish wrote:

S/×2)How exactly does this stack with Improved Critical? I can see 3 possible outcomes regarding this feat and how it "Stacks":

1) The increased threat range occurs before the multiplier. Aldori Dueling Sword becomes a 18-20/x2 Crit that turns into a 15-20/x2 Crit with Imp. Crit.

2) The increased threat range occurs after the multiplier. This means the 17-20/x2 16-20/x2 crit range after applying both feats.

3) Neither additions nor multipliers stack (ala: Keen/Improved Critical) - effectively turning this into a worthless feat that requires a 4 feat tax? (this ends up with a 17-20/x2 crit range)

I don't know how it works, I'll see if I can find a link to the FAQ ...


The relevant line from the improved critical feat:

"This effect doesn't stack with any other effect that expands the threat range of a weapon"

The Keen ability has similiar language.


Java Man wrote:

The relevant line from the improved critical feat:

"This effect doesn't stack with any other effect that expands the threat range of a weapon"

The Keen ability has similiar language.

Bingo. You'd apply the better of the two effects.

Not sure how that'd make either feat "worthless" though.


@Java Man - Ah, my mistake. I must have missed that. I thought that the "(typically to 18–20/×2)" text meant that it could stack with something else. I presume if there was another feat or feature that didn't have that phrase, than the two of them would stack - otherwise this feat becomes inherently worthless to me.

@blahpers - In all seriousness, how often do NPCs in Pathfinder Society actually engage in a duel with a Player? More specifically, how many NPCs are going to engage in a duel in Emerald Spire? I highly doubt that any monster in a hack-in-slash super dungeon will go "Sure, I'll fight you one-on-one!"

As it stands, Falling Water Gambit is inferior to Improved Critical in almost all regards. You require 5 additional feats, the same BAB requirements, it is only active after you've successfully feinted the enemy during combat, and it ONLY works with the Aldori Dueling Sword. (Edit: One of those feats don't count, I am pretty sure EVERYONE picks Weapon Focus for the weapon(s) they are using.)

I just don't see any reason to even consider Falling Water Gambit on any class - let alone the Swashbuckler which gets Improved Critical for free.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion, Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

If all you want is a better threat range, than it indeed inferior (although the only works with an aldori dueling sword vs only works with one chosen weapon complaint isn't any different for an aldori dueling sword using character.)

That feat does do other things though, as do the prerequisites. Obviously these are focused on a character that wants to, and expects to, engage in formal duels, and those are probably rare. It also is more useful if the stamina rules are being used (also a rarity I believe.)

The good news is that I have arranged with the crack team of Paizo Golem enforcers to give you a pass on this, and if you choose not to take it they have agreed not to assault you. You can breathe a sigh of relief that you won't be forced to take this feat.

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