PROPOSAL - Critical range enhancing fusions


General Discussion

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I am generally underwhelmed by weapon fusions in this game, so I want to add a bunch that could help bring back a little of that crit range that I miss:

THREATENING (lvl. 2)
SEVERE (lvl. 4)
DANGEROUS (lvl. 7)
DEADLY (lvl. 9)

THREATENING:
the critical range of this weapon is increased to 19-20. This means that you can score a critical hit (as per normal rules, pag.xx) on a natural 19 or 20 with this weapon. However, the amount of extra damage rolled as a result of the critical hit, is halved. Divide the total damage of the extra roll by 2, rounding down as usual, with a minimum of 1. This fusion is not compatible with weapons that naturally deal non-lethal damage, and you cannot benefit from the enhanced range if your attack is dealing non lethal damage. Furthermore, critical range enhancing fusions such as this one do not allow you to use the expanded range with any other critical effect the weapon might have as a result of other fusions. It does, however, work for natural critical properties of the weapon, such as "burning", or those granted by attachments. On a natural 20, you can decide to apply the critical effects of other fusions, instead of this. You can only ever have 1 critical range enhancement fusion installed in a weapon at a given time.

SEVERE:
the critical range of this weapon is increased to 19-20. This means that you can score a critical hit (as per normal rules, pag.xx) on a natural 19 or 20 with this weapon. This fusion is not compatible with weapons that naturally deal non-lethal damage, and you cannot benefit from the enhanced range if your attack is dealing non lethal damage. Furthermore, critical range enhancing fusions such as this one do not allow you to use the expanded range with any other critical effect the weapon might have as a result of other fusions. It does, however, work for natural critical properties of the weapon, such as "burning", or those granted by attachments. On a natural 20, you can decide to apply the critical effects of other fusions, instead of this. You can only ever have 1 critical range enhancement fusion installed in a weapon at a given time.

DANGEROUS:
the critical range of this weapon is increased to 19-20. This means that you can score a critical hit (as per normal rules, pag.xx) on a natural 19 or 20 with this weapon. However, the amount of extra damage rolled as a result of the critical hit, is multiplied by a half. Take the total damage of the extra roll and multiply it by 1.5, rounding down as usual. This fusion is not compatible with weapons that naturally deal non-lethal damage, and you cannot benefit from the enhanced range if your attack is dealing non lethal damage. Furthermore, critical range enhancing fusions such as this one do not allow you to use the expanded range with any other critical effect the weapon might have as a result of other fusions. It does, however, work for natural critical properties of the weapon, such as "burning", or those granted by attachments. On a natural 20, you can decide to apply the critical effects of other fusions, instead of this.
You can only ever have 1 critical range enhancement fusion installed in a weapon at a given time.

DEADLY:
Each time you attack with this weapon you can choose to enhance the critical range of this weapon to 18-20, or to 19-20. In the first case this means that you could score a critical hit (as per normal rules, pag.xx) on a natural 18, 19 or 20, rolling extra damage as normal. Instead, in the other case you could score a critical hit on a natural 19 or 20, but this time rolling the extra critical damage twice. This fusion is not compatible with weapons that naturally deal non-lethal damage, and you cannot benefit from the enhanced range if your attack is dealing non lethal damage. Furthermore, critical range enhancing fusions such as this one do not allow you to use the expanded range with any other critical effect the weapon might have as a result of other fusions. It does, however, work for natural critical properties of the weapon, such as "burning", or those granted by attachments. On a natural 20, you can decide to apply the critical effects of other fusions, instead of this. You can only ever have 1 critical range enhancement fusion installed in a weapon at a given time.

What do you ppl think? Please read carefully before commenting.
Thank you!


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The increased crit range is weird if it can't apply crit effects from other fusions, but can from the weapon. A stun weapon and a weapon with a stun fusion are both weapons with the stun crit effect property after all. This bit just seems like additional unnecessary bookkeeping.

Critical hits already do a lot of damage. The question you need to ask yourself is: Is this an item every character that uses weapons will buy because it's better than other options? I think the answer is yes here. Some utility fusions may compete, but no crit fusions would be used compared to this one, especially as this fusion renders them useless.

An effect that is more in line with starfinder's current design is one that increase the range that a weapon's critical effect is applied rather than just increasing the range at which double damage happens.

Also, this thread should probably have been in the homebrew forum.


Garretmander wrote:

The increased crit range is weird if it can't apply crit effects from other fusions, but can from the weapon. A stun weapon and a weapon with a stun fusion are both weapons with the stun crit effect property after all. This bit just seems like additional unnecessary bookkeeping.

Critical hits already do a lot of damage. The question you need to ask yourself is: Is this an item every character that uses weapons will buy because it's better than other options? I think the answer is yes here. Some utility fusions may compete, but no crit fusions would be used compared to this one, especially as this fusion renders them useless.

An effect that is more in line with starfinder's current design is one that increase the range that a weapon's critical effect is applied rather than just increasing the range at which double damage happens.

Also, this thread should probably have been in the homebrew forum.

Very interesting, yes I see your point. I will rethink it. Maybe it would be better leaving the damage alone, and letting the crit range affect every other fusion properties normally.

I originally discarded this option because I thought it would be too strong.
Thanks


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This really sounds more appropriate for the Homebrew forum.

My overall impression is that if it makes you happy, that's great. Personally, when I noticed the lack of critical-enhancement abilities, I concluded it was likely a deliberate choice of the designers. So personally I'd be hesitant to tinker with it. The risk is that this becomes practically mandatory, and encounter balance has to change across the board to compensate.

Whether that's a real risk is up to you. I think the item levels might be somewhat low regardless.


LotsOfLore wrote:

Very interesting, yes I see your point. I will rethink it. Maybe it would be better leaving the damage alone, and letting the crit range affect every other fusion properties normally.

I originally discarded this option because I thought it would be too strong.
Thanks

Death is the ultimate status effect, and increasing crit rate and crit damage have a good chance of inflicting it.

Crit effects that are particularly good when increasing crit effect range:

Stun - no save <-this one might actually be problematic if the range is increased too far.
Knockdown - no save
The various save or sucks, blind, staggered, wound, etc.


Wingblaze wrote:

This really sounds more appropriate for the Homebrew forum.

My overall impression is that if it makes you happy, that's great. Personally, when I noticed the lack of critical-enhancement abilities, I concluded it was likely a deliberate choice of the designers. So personally I'd be hesitant to tinker with it. The risk is that this becomes practically mandatory, and encounter balance has to change across the board to compensate.

Whether that's a real risk is up to you. I think the item levels might be somewhat low regardless.

You might be right. All I can say is that my players, and new players I introduce to the game, always complain that the weapon situation leaves them quite underwhelmed. The feel that there are too few choices at low levels (even counting Armory), and those that are there feel quite weak. They generally don't bother with fusions because they don't see them as impacting, mainly because most of the times unless they get a 20 on their roll, their money is wasted...

Maybe you can help me see it differently?


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Crit fusions are currently something you never buy, they're just simple effects added to found guns.

There are more than crit fusions.

Holy/axiomatic/etc. - bypass DR and ER of aligned dragons, outsiders and undead.

Corrosive/Frost/Flaming - splitting damage types can hurt you vs. some monsters, but it can really help vs. others, a swift action to turn it on/off isn't too bad either.

Called and returning - must haves for expensive thrown weapons.

Seeking - negate concealment miss chance.

Spellthrower - lets non-spellcasters use spell gems as a full action.

Even more in the armory. Once per day launch a grenade without using the grenade loaded into the weapon, sicken a demoralized foe, and many more.


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LotsofLore wrote:

You might be right. All I can say is that my players, and new players I introduce to the game, always complain that the weapon situation leaves them quite underwhelmed. The feel that there are too few choices at low levels (even counting Armory), and those that are there feel quite weak. They generally don't bother with fusions because they don't see them as impacting, mainly because most of the times unless they get a 20 on their roll, their money is wasted...

Maybe you can help me see it differently?

I doubt I can. :) I personally haven't really found fusions to be that interesting either. They're expensive for what they provide, and a sunk cost that you can't recover. Hey if we found one in a loot pile, sure I'd use it. But otherwise, I haven't considered them worth having.

Also, the rules are, in my opinion, overly complicated. Armor, by comparison, is much cleaner: Armor, upgrade slots, upgrades, done. Weapons get messy fast. And an armor upgrade, once bought, maintains it's usefulness and can be moved to new armor. A weapon fusion, not so much.

I'm hopeful that someday that whole 'thing' gets an overhaul.

Nevertheless, I'm not sure this is a sound solution. As I mentioned, if it works for you, that's great, and having fun is more important than anything else. Personally I'm always very hesitant to tinker with core balance mechanics, so it may be my risk aversion. Nothing wrong with trying it and telling folks up front "this is experimental and if it imbalances things, it will need to be changed."


Garretmander wrote:

Crit fusions are currently something you never buy, they're just simple effects added to found guns.

There are more than crit fusions.

Holy/axiomatic/etc. - bypass DR and ER of aligned dragons, outsiders and undead.

Corrosive/Frost/Flaming - splitting damage types can hurt you vs. some monsters, but it can really help vs. others, a swift action to turn it on/off isn't too bad either.

Called and returning - must haves for expensive thrown weapons.

Seeking - negate concealment miss chance.

Spellthrower - lets non-spellcasters use spell gems as a full action.

Even more in the armory. Once per day launch a grenade without using the grenade loaded into the weapon, sicken a demoralized foe, and many more.

Yeah those non crit based are good. It the crit based that I don't find appealing, as well as the fact that weapons' crit effects very rarely occur because of the lack of extended ranges. Even more so in Starfider when PCs and NPCs don't have a gazillion attacks per round.

Anyway, I'll give it another go and post it in the homebrew this time .


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I'm going to have to so no in general.

Crit range was deliberately left at only on natural 20s, and increasing it would start to damage the balance the game has set out. I can't recommend ever increasing the critical threat range to be anything other than 20.

I can recommend something that increases the DC of critical effects more because critical effects are too often resisted (in my experience) to matter. Although there is no resisting the double damage, so it rarely matters since often monsters which are hit by a crit are soon dead anyways.

Or something that allows the critical hit effect only (not double damage but things like burn) to happen on a 19 instead of a 20. Potentially with a bonus to resist for the enemy.

I do agree that currently critical hit effects are in a bad spot since:
1) They can be resisted
2) Enemies that are critically hit usually die too quickly for the effect to matter
3) And last because they only happen on a 20 they're too rare to be worth building.


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Note that the Solar Overload Conduit augmentation now allows Solarions to apply their weapon crystal's critical effect on demand a (sharply) limited number of times per day.


Claxon wrote:

I'm going to have to so no in general.

I do agree that currently critical hit effects are in a bad spot since:
1) They can be resisted
2) Enemies that are critically hit usually die too quickly for the effect to matter
3) And last because they only happen on a 20 they're too rare to be worth building.

Ok, well number 3) is precisely why I made the fusions. Despite you saying no to the proposal, you actually seem to agree with me that extended range is needed.

For number 1) there already is a solution: the Potent fusion (Armory, page 64).
For 2): yes, that's because of 1).
Come over to continue the discussion on my heavily modified version posted in the homebrew forum, if you like.

In general I can see that quite clearly it was a design decision to not ever include extended range... one that I don't understand, and therefore want to change in my homebrews.
If I had to guess reasons why there's no extended range: 1) they eliminated confirmation rolls, 2) PCs deal more crit damage, and more damage in general, with respect to Pathfinder1?

If those are the main reason, then my problem is that they have taken the fun out of being able to use those nice crit effect by making them never happen. I would much rather risk having the PC deal disproportioned damage sometimes and keeping the fun. Besides enemies could use those fusions as well, I would slap one such fusion on a monster's jaw if I had to, and let the dice roll.


The Potent fusion is very bad as a solution to crit effects - it has a 1/400 chance per shot of doing anything (1/20 for a crit, 1/20 that the save result is determined by that DC booster). It's only defensible if you combine it with djezet (+2 DC) to get a total +3 DC on an explode weapon or on a use activated fusion like Malediction that matters a lot to you and you can guarantee at least some use out of it every day.


Xenocrat wrote:
The Potent fusion is very bad as a solution to crit effects - it has a 1/400 chance per shot of doing anything (1/20 for a crit, 1/20 that the save result is determined by that DC booster)

I'm not sure that math makes sense, but regardless, it may not be powerful enough, but it's not "a very bad solution". It's actually a pretty ok one. Also, the fact that it is there means that at least augmenting crits DCs is meant to be allowed. And with an enhanced crit range it would make it better.

If it were up to me it would add a higher level version with a +2 and an even higher one with a +3.


LotsOfLore wrote:
Xenocrat wrote:
The Potent fusion is very bad as a solution to crit effects - it has a 1/400 chance per shot of doing anything (1/20 for a crit, 1/20 that the save result is determined by that DC booster)
I'm not sure that math makes sense, but regardless, it may not be powerful enough, but it's not "a very bad solution". It's actually a pretty ok one.

No one who understand probability, which by your own admission doesn't appear to include you, would think it worth the cost of a fusion to have one out of 1/400 of their shots trigger a crit effect they wouldn't have otherwise had. It's an absolutely absurd allocation of resources compared to all the better things you could do with that money.


Xenocrat wrote:
LotsOfLore wrote:
Xenocrat wrote:
The Potent fusion is very bad as a solution to crit effects - it has a 1/400 chance per shot of doing anything (1/20 for a crit, 1/20 that the save result is determined by that DC booster)
I'm not sure that math makes sense, but regardless, it may not be powerful enough, but it's not "a very bad solution". It's actually a pretty ok one.
No one who understand probability, which by your own admission doesn't appear to include you, would think it worth the cost of a fusion to have one out of 1/400 of their shots trigger a crit effect they wouldn't have otherwise had. It's an absolutely absurd allocation of resources compared to all the better things you could do with that money.

You are mixing together the crit roll and a bonus to a DC, I think your 1/400 is a pretty big oversimplification of what actually happens.


LotsOfLore wrote:
Xenocrat wrote:
LotsOfLore wrote:
Xenocrat wrote:
The Potent fusion is very bad as a solution to crit effects - it has a 1/400 chance per shot of doing anything (1/20 for a crit, 1/20 that the save result is determined by that DC booster)
I'm not sure that math makes sense, but regardless, it may not be powerful enough, but it's not "a very bad solution". It's actually a pretty ok one.
No one who understand probability, which by your own admission doesn't appear to include you, would think it worth the cost of a fusion to have one out of 1/400 of their shots trigger a crit effect they wouldn't have otherwise had. It's an absolutely absurd allocation of resources compared to all the better things you could do with that money.
You are mixing together the crit roll and a bonus to a DC, I think your 1/400 is a pretty big oversimplification of what actually happens.

It's a precise description of what happens.

If you fire 400 times, 5% of those, or 20, are how many you can expect to crit. If you roll 20 saving throws each one has only a 5% chance, expected value of 1, of failing the DC by exactly 1 and therefore the outcome having been determined by the Potent fusion.

We can therefore say that the expected value of a Potent fusion is that for 1/400 or .0025 of your shots it will convert what would have been a crit without a crit effect into a crit with a save effect. You can expect for 380/400 you didn't crit, and for 19/20 you critted but they would have saved or failed the crit effect save without the Potent fusion. So in 399/400 shots you can expect your Potent fusion to do nothing. I doubt many Starfinder players would plan to even shoot a particular gun 400 times before replacing or upgrading it, so you're buying a fusion for a chance that maybe, one time, it will do something. But maybe (and depending on how often you upgrade guns, even probably) not.

That's not a very valuable contribution. (Except, again, for Explode weapons, where it will make 1/20 targets take full damage instead of half, and most shots will probably effect more than one target, so the payoff is much higher.)

It's ok if you can't understand this, past discussions on similar topics like the Deadly Aim feat have shown that a considerably portion of the fan base can't understand basic statistics and trade offs no matter how clearly or frequently its explained. I hope they nevertheless had fun with their suboptimal feat.

If you're in the same boat and still think Potent is a good idea for you, knock yourself out. This post is for other people reading this thread who can understand the issue and make better reasoned choices by understanding the marginal benefit and weighing it against other options at the same cost.


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I would actually like to see more stuff like the Plasma Immolation gear boost that gives plasma weapons a Burn 1d4 result on a natural 19. Natural 19s are called "Super Hits" on Cosmic Crit and it would be fun if they could be slightly toned down critical effects.

Or perhaps a fusion or talent that gives your crit effect if you exceed the Armor Class by 5 or more (or the save is failed by 5 or more), without doubling your damage.


Starfinder Charter Superscriber

Improving poison DCs is good on its own for those who like using poisons frequently. Very specialized, but that is OK.


Nimor Starseeker wrote:
Improving poison DCs is good on its own for those who like using poisons frequently. Very specialized, but that is OK.

There may be people who like using poisons frequently, but are there any who can actually afford to do it?


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LotsOfLore wrote:

Ok, well number 3) is precisely why I made the fusions. Despite you saying no to the proposal, you actually seem to agree with me that extended range is needed.

For number 1) there already is a solution: the Potent fusion (Armory, page 64).
For 2): yes, that's because of 1).
Come over to continue the discussion on my heavily modified version posted in the homebrew forum, if you like.

In general I can see that quite clearly it was a design decision to not ever include extended range... one that I don't understand, and therefore want to change in my homebrews.
If I had to guess reasons why there's no extended range: 1) they eliminated confirmation rolls, 2) PCs deal more crit damage, and more damage in general, with respect to Pathfinder1?

If those are the main reason, then my problem is that they have taken the fun out of being able to use those nice crit effect by making them never happen. I would much rather risk having the PC deal disproportioned damage sometimes and keeping the fun. Besides enemies could use those fusions as well, I would slap one such fusion on a monster's jaw if I had to, and let the dice roll.

Extended range for critical effects only! That is something I agree with. What you proposed is expanding critical hit range in general, which is something I am vehemently against. The difference is that in one you don't deal double damage on a die roll other than 20.

With regard to potent fusion, sorry I was unclear. I meant more better versions that increased the Dc by more than what potent does. Have the existing potent fusion become, a lesser version and introduce a regular (+2) and greater (+3), as an example.

Edit: I added some stuff here, and it got eaten when I tried to submit the post and is no longer here. Short version:

Make better options to increase DC.
Make option that expands crit effect range, maybe 18 but half the duration damage.
NEVER extend normal crit range. System will explode.


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Xenocrat wrote:
LotsOfLore wrote:
Xenocrat wrote:
LotsOfLore wrote:
Xenocrat wrote:
The Potent fusion is very bad as a solution to crit effects - it has a 1/400 chance per shot of doing anything (1/20 for a crit, 1/20 that the save result is determined by that DC booster)
I'm not sure that math makes sense, but regardless, it may not be powerful enough, but it's not "a very bad solution". It's actually a pretty ok one.
No one who understand probability, which by your own admission doesn't appear to include you, would think it worth the cost of a fusion to have one out of 1/400 of their shots trigger a crit effect they wouldn't have otherwise had. It's an absolutely absurd allocation of resources compared to all the better things you could do with that money.
You are mixing together the crit roll and a bonus to a DC, I think your 1/400 is a pretty big oversimplification of what actually happens.

It's a precise description of what happens.

If you fire 400 times, 5% of those, or 20, are how many you can expect to crit. If you roll 20 saving throws each one has only a 5% chance, expected value of 1, of failing the DC by exactly 1 and therefore the outcome having been determined by the Potent fusion.

We can therefore say that the expected value of a Potent fusion is that for 1/400 or .0025 of your shots it will convert what would have been a crit without a crit effect into a crit with a save effect. You can expect for 380/400 you didn't crit, and for 19/20 you critted but they would have saved or failed the crit effect save without the Potent fusion. So in 399/400 shots you can expect your Potent fusion to do nothing. I doubt many Starfinder players would plan to even shoot a particular gun 400 times before replacing or upgrading it, so you're buying a fusion for a chance that maybe, one time, it will do something. But maybe (and depending on how often you upgrade guns, even probably) not.

That's not a very valuable contribution. (Except, again, for Explode...

Hey Xenocrat, your math is right but your tone here is...well pull back a little, I think.

Sovereign Court

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Potent's main use would seem to be raising the DCs of saves that would happen on every successful hit, not just crits; like weapons with the Ignite or Deconstruct properties.


To put it very simply, expanding crit range is a massive bonus in combination with some of the crit effects - for example, expanding the range that Severe Wound can happen on is a pretty massive thing.

I would suggest that crit effects have basically "spent" the design space that expanded crit range would use.


Ascalaphus wrote:
Potent's main use would seem to be raising the DCs of saves that would happen on every successful hit, not just crits; like weapons with the Ignite or Deconstruct properties.

Right, there's also that! And as I said, simply adding a +2 and maybe +3 version at progressively higher levels might be enough.


Ok, thanks for the feedback.

So far I can see we don't seem to agree on much, basically.

There's a camp that says "don't extend range of crit effects", and 1 that says: "do extend effect range, but don't extend damage range".
However, almost everyone agrees that crit effects are underwhelming, and that crits are rare.
Also, since Xenocrat's math is correct, apologies for that (I was trying to say that it might be oversimplifying by not accounting for any other factor occurring during combat), it also appears that extending to 19-20 would do very little. So how could it be a massive boost?
...

Now, out of curiosity, I would like to understand what is so enormous about crit damage in this game (compared say to Pathfinder 1) that if it happened more often here it would completely break the game. Keeping in mind that the increase rate would be more or less symmetrical across PCs and opponents...

Sovereign Court

Crits are a big thing in Pathfinder too. It's rare to see a paladin without a keen nodachi.

Starfinder made the rules for what multiplies on a crit more generous though. Trick attack damage also goes along on a crit. A crit is pretty much "hit twice". Now, bosses need more than a hit or two to go down, but for classes that shoot once per round, a crit is basically another round of hitting. Crits are the best kind of action economy.


LotsOfLore wrote:

Ok, thanks for the feedback.

So far I can see we don't seem to agree on much, basically.

There's a camp that says "don't extend range of crit effects", and 1 that says: "do extend effect range, but don't extend damage range".
However, almost everyone agrees that crit effects are underwhelming, and that crits are rare.
Also, since Xenocrat's math is correct, apologies for that (I was trying to say that it might be oversimplifying by not accounting for any other factor occurring during combat), it also appears that extending to 19-20 would do very little. So how could it be a massive boost?
...

Now, out of curiosity, I would like to understand what is so enormous about crit damage in this game (compared say to Pathfinder 1) that if it happened more often here it would completely break the game. Keeping in mind that the increase rate would be more or less symmetrical across PCs and opponents...

"Underwhelming"

*looks at Severe Wound*

Yeah, that's a no from me.


When crits happen, at least with certain critical effects, the effects are awesome!

It's just they relatively rare. But if they happened more often (at least the damage) the math behind the game would break down.


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

I don't think severe wound is what I would look at as a potential problem, since the most dramatic effects of a wound critical have saving throws.

Someone quad attacking with a Stun critical and a 17-20 crit range is where I would worry about those fusions having a serious chance of negating what should be a threatening enemy.


HammerJack wrote:


Someone quad attacking with a Stun critical and a 17-20 crit range is where I would worry about those fusions having a serious chance of negating what should be a threatening enemy.

Personally, I can see that that particular situation is powerful and I am ok with that. As a player you spent quite a bit of money on that weapon overall, and you are a high level operative. It's fine if you can stun something frequently! Furthermore, I am sure a number of enemies are immune to stun, and if your boss isn't one of them and you don't want your players neutralising it that way, NOTHING prevents you as a GM to give it that immunity, in whatever way you want.

Problem solved.


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HammerJack wrote:

I don't think severe wound is what I would look at as a potential problem, since the most dramatic effects of a wound critical have saving throws.

Someone quad attacking with a Stun critical and a 17-20 crit range is where I would worry about those fusions having a serious chance of negating what should be a threatening enemy.

I think the answer there is don't extend the crit range that far, or as I proposed before (or mayeb that post got eaten by the forum monster) that you could:

Expand the critical effect range to 19, no penalties.
Expand the critical effect range to 18, but on rolls of 18 the DC of the effect takes a -2 penalty.
Expand the critical effect range to 17, but on rolls of 17 the DC of the effect takes a -4 penalty.

The penalty value might need tweaking, but I think you probably balance the expanded threat range for critical effects by having a penalty on the effect. In the case of the staggered critical effect, this would completely negate it.


Claxon wrote:


I think the answer there is don't extend the crit range that far, or as I proposed before (or mayeb that post got eaten by the forum monster) that you could:
Expand the critical effect range to 19, no penalties.
Expand the critical effect range to 18, but on rolls of 18 the DC of the effect takes a -2 penalty.
Expand the critical effect range to 17, but on rolls of 17 the DC of the effect takes a -4 penalty.

The penalty value might need tweaking, but I think you probably balance the expanded threat range for critical effects by having a penalty on the effect. In the case of the staggered critical effect, this would completely negate it.

That's not a bad solution, however I wouldn't want to be punitive with the DCs of the effects, given that they are not very hard to surpass by enemies, already. My final solution is quite different from previous iterations, I published it in a new post on the Homebrew section called "final version" or something.

Thanks everyone for the feedback :)


Claxon wrote:
HammerJack wrote:

I don't think severe wound is what I would look at as a potential problem, since the most dramatic effects of a wound critical have saving throws.

Someone quad attacking with a Stun critical and a 17-20 crit range is where I would worry about those fusions having a serious chance of negating what should be a threatening enemy.

I think the answer there is don't extend the crit range that far, or as I proposed before (or mayeb that post got eaten by the forum monster) that you could:

Expand the critical effect range to 19, no penalties.
Expand the critical effect range to 18, but on rolls of 18 the DC of the effect takes a -2 penalty.
Expand the critical effect range to 17, but on rolls of 17 the DC of the effect takes a -4 penalty.

The penalty value might need tweaking, but I think you probably balance the expanded threat range for critical effects by having a penalty on the effect. In the case of the staggered critical effect, this would completely negate it.

I want to expand on this, because I recently learned that the Stun property allows you to deal non-lethal damage with a weapon. While the Stunned Critical Effect prevents an enemy from taking action with no save. I didn't realize these were two different things previously, and thought both were just referring to the ability to do non-lethal damage.

So on this idea about expanding the range of effects, I would say if a critical effect normally doesn't have a save for it, that this property should include a provision that it adds a save which negates the effect on die rolls other than natural 20s.


Yeah, the stunned critical with no save is a big problem with changing crit frequency, no actions for one round is bad, flatfooted is annoying, but also dropping your weapons (which can usually be scooped up during your no action turn) is a death sentence for many enemies.

Methods to get stunned criticals:

1. Mark 4+ bone blade necrograft.
2. Junksword 4+
3. Bane fusion (fixed to specific subtype)
4. Svartalfar racial bane trait, which can be customized daily

So this is mainly a problem for high level Technomancers (who can't add fusions to their weapon), high level Operatives/Soldiers with bone blades (who arguably can), level 13 Arcane Assailant Soldiers granting themselves Bane, Svartalfars who fight a lot of similar creatures in 1 hour blocks per day, and low to mid level people who receive a Polymorph 2+ spell that grants them the Svartalfar bane trait.

The last is the easiest, and note that a Mass Polymorph 5 can grant Bane to a party of four. If you're all full attacking after you receive and activate the buff that's 8-10 chances per round (assuming some 3 full attack classes) to roll a 20, or a 32.6-40.1% chance per round to stun a single boss you're focusing.


Xenocrat wrote:

Yeah, the stunned critical with no save is a big problem with changing crit frequency, no actions for one round is bad, flatfooted is annoying, but also dropping your weapons (which can usually be scooped up during your no action turn) is a death sentence for many enemies.

Methods to get stunned criticals:

1. Mark 4+ bone blade necrograft.
2. Junksword 4+
3. Bane fusion (fixed to specific subtype)
4. Svartalfar racial bane trait, which can be customized daily

So this is mainly a problem for high level Technomancers (who can't add fusions to their weapon), high level Operatives/Soldiers with bone blades (who arguably can), level 13 Arcane Assailant Soldiers granting themselves Bane, Svartalfars who fight a lot of similar creatures in 1 hour blocks per day, and low to mid level people who receive a Polymorph 2+ spell that grants them the Svartalfar bane trait.

The last is the easiest, and note that a Mass Polymorph 5 can grant Bane to a party of four. If you're all full attacking after you receive and activate the buff that's 8-10 chances per round (assuming some 3 full attack classes) to roll a 20, or a 32.6-40.1% chance per round to stun a single boss you're focusing.

These examples are very well thought out, calculated and situation-specific. So I don't think they represent a problem for the average player in more generic situations and with less min-maxed characters.

Also, the boss can have immunity to stun.

Sovereign Court

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I think the Stun property probably should get a save. I'm fine with Knockdown being no save though. Now that standing up no longer provokes, and since being prone improves your AC against ranged attacks, I think it's reasonable to keep it as is.


Stun doesn’t get a save because it’s so rare (and tied originally to the otherwise lackluster Bane). The things that give it are not otherwise super strong options.


HammerJack wrote:

I don't think severe wound is what I would look at as a potential problem, since the most dramatic effects of a wound critical have saving throws.

Someone quad attacking with a Stun critical and a 17-20 crit range is where I would worry about those fusions having a serious chance of negating what should be a threatening enemy.

It might not be a problem for "disposable" NPCs, but for characters who are meant to be sticking around in any way, it's an issue.


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Nerdy Canuck wrote:
HammerJack wrote:

I don't think severe wound is what I would look at as a potential problem, since the most dramatic effects of a wound critical have saving throws.

Someone quad attacking with a Stun critical and a 17-20 crit range is where I would worry about those fusions having a serious chance of negating what should be a threatening enemy.

It might not be a problem for "disposable" NPCs, but for characters who are meant to be sticking around in any way, it's an issue.

A severe wound has an 36% chance of chopping off a limb when it triggers. Reduce that to 18% for a save, and 0.9% of attacks with a severe wound crit are costing you a hand. A prosthetic arm costs 100 credits and can be crafted by anyone with a rank in Engineering, so the expected long term effect of attacking someone with a severe wound crit is 0.9 credits.


Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Something to keep in mind is that there is another cost besides game balance: complexity. In theory, penalties to the save DC might balance out the power of an expanded critical range. In practice? I wouldn't want to have to recalculate the save DC every time, dependent on the exact number rolled on the attack. After all, there's a reason they got rid of confirmation rolls.


Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

I've had the severe wound fusion for 4 levels now and it has yet to do more than 2d6 points of bleed damage. It cost an enemy an eye a round before they died, twice, though so there is that.


Xenocrat wrote:
Nerdy Canuck wrote:
HammerJack wrote:

I don't think severe wound is what I would look at as a potential problem, since the most dramatic effects of a wound critical have saving throws.

Someone quad attacking with a Stun critical and a 17-20 crit range is where I would worry about those fusions having a serious chance of negating what should be a threatening enemy.

It might not be a problem for "disposable" NPCs, but for characters who are meant to be sticking around in any way, it's an issue.
A severe wound has an 36% chance of chopping off a limb when it triggers. Reduce that to 18% for a save, and 0.9% of attacks with a severe wound crit are costing you a hand. A prosthetic arm costs 100 credits and can be crafted by anyone with a rank in Engineering, so the expected long term effect of attacking someone with a severe wound crit is 0.9 credits.

My point wasn't about current frequency, my point was about the impact when they happen - and therefore the impact of making them more common.

And it appears you haven't considered what happens when someone loses the limb (or eye) that has some kind of valuable augmentation installed in it.


Nerdy Canuck wrote:
Xenocrat wrote:
Nerdy Canuck wrote:
HammerJack wrote:

I don't think severe wound is what I would look at as a potential problem, since the most dramatic effects of a wound critical have saving throws.

Someone quad attacking with a Stun critical and a 17-20 crit range is where I would worry about those fusions having a serious chance of negating what should be a threatening enemy.

It might not be a problem for "disposable" NPCs, but for characters who are meant to be sticking around in any way, it's an issue.
A severe wound has an 36% chance of chopping off a limb when it triggers. Reduce that to 18% for a save, and 0.9% of attacks with a severe wound crit are costing you a hand. A prosthetic arm costs 100 credits and can be crafted by anyone with a rank in Engineering, so the expected long term effect of attacking someone with a severe wound crit is 0.9 credits.

My point wasn't about current frequency, my point was about the impact when they happen - and therefore the impact of making them more common.

And it appears you haven't considered what happens when someone loses the limb (or eye) that has some kind of valuable augmentation installed in it.

My point is that the impact is negligible, and multiplying a negligible value a few times results in a negligible value. If you have an implant all that happens is your expected monetary loss goes up and you have a lag afterwards until your GM adjusts your WBL back where it should be.

Long term effects of wound crits are not worth worrying about. Only whether they actually kill you in combat.


Xenocrat wrote:
Nerdy Canuck wrote:
Xenocrat wrote:
Nerdy Canuck wrote:
HammerJack wrote:

I don't think severe wound is what I would look at as a potential problem, since the most dramatic effects of a wound critical have saving throws.

Someone quad attacking with a Stun critical and a 17-20 crit range is where I would worry about those fusions having a serious chance of negating what should be a threatening enemy.

It might not be a problem for "disposable" NPCs, but for characters who are meant to be sticking around in any way, it's an issue.
A severe wound has an 36% chance of chopping off a limb when it triggers. Reduce that to 18% for a save, and 0.9% of attacks with a severe wound crit are costing you a hand. A prosthetic arm costs 100 credits and can be crafted by anyone with a rank in Engineering, so the expected long term effect of attacking someone with a severe wound crit is 0.9 credits.

My point wasn't about current frequency, my point was about the impact when they happen - and therefore the impact of making them more common.

And it appears you haven't considered what happens when someone loses the limb (or eye) that has some kind of valuable augmentation installed in it.

My point is that the impact is negligible, and multiplying a negligible value a few times results in a negligible value. If you have an implant all that happens is your expected monetary loss goes up and you have a lag afterwards until your GM adjusts your WBL back where it should be.

Long term effects of wound crits are not worth worrying about. Only whether they actually kill you in combat.

If that is your point, then why bring up frequency, which is utterly irrelevant?

And you're making a hell of an assumption about how literally every table runs in order to argue your point, which is generally unwise.


You made an assertion about the impact of this on characters that stick around. I find it unsupported. That is my point. I acknowledge it may have minimal rather than negligible salience in a minority of circumstances.


Xenocrat wrote:
You made an assertion about the impact of this on characters that stick around. I find it unsupported. That is my point. I acknowledge it may have minimal rather than negligible salience in a minority of circumstances.

And, once again, your point is about frequency, which is irrelevant to my point.


Nerdy Canuck wrote:
Xenocrat wrote:
You made an assertion about the impact of this on characters that stick around. I find it unsupported. That is my point. I acknowledge it may have minimal rather than negligible salience in a minority of circumstances.
And, once again, your point is about frequency, which is irrelevant to my point.

My point is that your concern is amusingly trivial even when it happens; given that this trivial inconvenience won’t even occur very often it’s even less worth worrying about.

But of course different people worry about different things. Smarter, richer, and braver people worry about less in life than the poorer, dumber, and skittish. If this sort of thing is a problem for your games and your kind of players then I believe you.


Ascalaphus wrote:
Crits are a big thing in Pathfinder too. It's rare to see a paladin without a keen nodachi.

I can safely say, in all my years of Pathfinder, that I have never seen a paladin with a nodachi, keen or otherwise.

I have however seen long swords and Lucerne hammers. Lots of longswords.

Shadow Lodge

Pathfinder Rulebook, Starfinder Accessories Subscriber
Ascalaphus wrote:
Potent's main use would seem to be raising the DCs of saves that would happen on every successful hit, not just crits; like weapons with the Ignite or Deconstruct properties.

And operative debilitating options!

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