Crit Range Enhancing Fusions (FINAL VERSION)!


Homebrew


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Thanks to everyone for their feedback in previous posts. This is the definitive version I came up with. It's an attempt to make crit effect fusions (specifically) more palatable to players, especially at low levels, (and fun for monsters and NPCs to have) by extending crit range. The drawback is that you forfeit crit damage, which also helps avoiding them becoming "must have" fusions.

HAZARDOUS (lvl. 2)
DANGEROUS (lvl. 5)
DIRE (lvl. 8)

HAZARDOUS:
a weapon with this fusion has it's critical hit range increases by 1 number. This means that with this weapon you can score a critical hit (as per the normal rules on page 245 of the Core Rulebook) on a natural 19 or a 20, with the exception that the attack does not benefit from the extra damage normally rolled as a result of a critical hit. You apply damage normally, as if it were a simple hit. Damage related to critical hit effects such as "burning" or , however, still applies. You can only have one crit range enhancing fusions such as this one installed on a weapon at any given time.

DANGEROUS:
a weapon with this fusion has it's critical hit range increases by 2 number. This means that with this weapon you can score a critical hit (as per the normal rules on page 245 of the Core Rulebook) on an natural 18, 19 or a 20, with the exception that the attack does not benefit from the extra damage normally rolled as a result of a critical hit. You apply damage normally, as if it were a simple hit. Damage related to critical hit effects such as "burning" or , however, still applies. You can only have one crit range enhancing fusions such as this one installed on a weapon at any given time.

DIRE:
a weapon with this fusion has it's critical hit range increases by 3 numbers. This means that with this weapon you can score a critical hit (as per the normal rules on page 245 of the Core Rulebook) on a natural 17, 18, 19 or a 20, with the exception that the attack does not benefit from the extra damage normally rolled as a result of a critical hit. You apply damage normally, as if it were a simple hit. Damage related to critical hit effects such as "burning" or , however, still applies. You can only have one crit range enhancing fusions such as this one installed on a weapon at any given time.

I will add them to my homebrew and let you know if they're good and fun, or if they make the game explode!


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The two things I would add are:
1) If the critical effect does not normally have a save (such as the Stunned critical effect) it gains one that negates the effect on non-natural 20 rolls.
2) Perhaps a penalty to save DCs should be applied on rolls of 17 or 18.

Because your version is still really strong, becoming virtual must haves for almost anyone.

A weapon with the Stunned critical effect becomes a no save debuff with your current version of your rules. With a quad attack or even 3 attacks in a round, you have a relatively significant chance of stunning an enemy every round once you reach a 17-20 range.


Claxon wrote:

The two things I would add are:

1) If the critical effect does not normally have a save (such as the Stunned critical effect) it gains one that negates the effect on non-natural 20 rolls.
2) Perhaps a penalty to save DCs should be applied on rolls of 17 or 18.

Because your version is still really strong, becoming virtual must haves for almost anyone.

A weapon with the Stunned critical effect becomes a no save debuff with your current version of your rules. With a quad attack or even 3 attacks in a round, you have a relatively significant chance of stunning an enemy every round once you reach a 17-20 range.

I'll take it into consideration if I see that it's too powerful, thanks.

However, for now I still think the 17-20 stun example is strong, but adequate for a high level character that spent quite a bit of money on the weapon, and is constantly forefeitting a lot of damage. In general, I prefer giving the enemy (probably only if it's a boss) immunity to stun, and letting the players have fun in the other situations.

Also, at least for now I don't think the low level ones are a must have, because of the trade-off with damage. The last one, maybe... but I want to see it in action first. :)


LotsOfLore wrote:
Claxon wrote:

The two things I would add are:

1) If the critical effect does not normally have a save (such as the Stunned critical effect) it gains one that negates the effect on non-natural 20 rolls.
2) Perhaps a penalty to save DCs should be applied on rolls of 17 or 18.

Because your version is still really strong, becoming virtual must haves for almost anyone.

A weapon with the Stunned critical effect becomes a no save debuff with your current version of your rules. With a quad attack or even 3 attacks in a round, you have a relatively significant chance of stunning an enemy every round once you reach a 17-20 range.

I'll take it into consideration if I see that it's too powerful, thanks.

However, for now I still think the 17-20 stun example is strong, but adequate for a high level character that spent quite a bit of money on the weapon, and is constantly forefeitting a lot of damage. In general, I prefer giving the enemy (probably only if it's a boss) immunity to stun, and letting the players have fun in the other situations.

Also, at least for now I don't think the low level ones are a must have, because of the trade-off with damage. The last one, maybe... but I want to see it in action first. :)

Yeah, you can't count that as "forfeiting" a lot of damage. I guess what you're getting at is that they're not getting double damage. But as I told you previously expanded crit range with double damage would be completely unbalanced.

This fusion will get them extra damage (or other critical effects) that they normally wouldn't be entitled to. They are getting something here, in fact quite a lot.

There isn't a trade off in damage like you seem to think, since generally speaking that aren't any weapon fusions that add flat-damage. And you're not taking away double damage on a natural 20. You're just not allowing double damage on the expanded range, it just expands when critical effects happen.


Claxon wrote:


There isn't a trade off in damage like you seem to think, since generally speaking that aren't any weapon fusions that add flat-damage. And you're not taking away double damage on a natural 20. You're just not allowing double damage on the expanded range, it just expands when critical effects happen.

Nope. I AM taking away normal crit damage, even on a 20. There's no exception in this version, read carefully.

The only damage that remains is the normal hit (not critical) + any crit effect damage (e.g. 1d4 corrosion, and similar stuff).

These fusions let you create a sort of "effect stick", a weapon that you bring around not to do damage, but to inflict fun and useful debuffs to enemies in a more reliable way. These become trapping, versatile weapons made with purpose.

To be honest, all considered, I think it's a fair trade-off.

Sovereign Court

Would you really pay (in credits to buy the fusion, and in opportunity cost because you can't apply other fusions) to gain more crit effects but give up the double damage on a "classic" crit?

Remember, a weapon has to have at least the item level of the combined "fusion pips" you want to put on it. So a "Dangerous" fusion can only be put on a level 5+ item, and consumes 5 of that weapon's possible fusion pips.

I wouldn't use this, except for really hardcore crit effects. Getting 1d6 Burn on a 19-20 isn't as good as doing double regular damage on a 20. Because regular damage is much more, and it's right now, quite possibly taking the enemy out of the fight. Whereas with Burn, the enemy gets to fight back some more before he crisps.


Ascalaphus wrote:

Would you really pay (in credits to buy the fusion, and in opportunity cost because you can't apply other fusions) to gain more crit effects but give up the double damage on a "classic" crit?

Remember, a weapon has to have at least the item level of the combined "fusion pips" you want to put on it. So a "Dangerous" fusion can only be put on a level 5+ item, and consumes 5 of that weapon's possible fusion pips.

I wouldn't use this, except for really hardcore crit effects. Getting 1d6 Burn on a 19-20 isn't as good as doing double regular damage on a 20. Because regular damage is much more, and it's right now, quite possibly taking the enemy out of the fight. Whereas with Burn, the enemy gets to fight back some more before he crisps.

Indeed you make exellent points, taking away the double damage feels like a overall nerf.


Ascalaphus wrote:
Would you really pay (in credits to buy the fusion, and in opportunity cost because you can't apply other fusions) to gain more crit effects but give up the double damage on a "classic" crit?

What? Of course you can put other fusions on that weapon (as per normal rules). You can only have 1 OF THOSE THREE specifically, but you can have any other fusion on as you want.

So no, I don't think they are too weak at all. Also... ppl make up your mind, they can't be too powerful and too weak at the same time, lol.
That decent drawback is necessary to avoid making them "must haves".

Ascalaphus wrote:

I wouldn't use this, except for really hardcore crit effects. Getting 1d6 Burn on a 19-20 isn't as good as doing double regular damage on a 20.

Exactly, of course you wouldn't use it for damage, that's not the point. And fusions in this game are not designed to be stuff that makes your weapon a lot more powerful, they mostly have a situational/utility flavour. These ones are for you to make a reliable "stun stick", or a "knockback blast whatever", or a whip that more reliably bleeds making it impossible for mystics to cast spells. Specifcally built weapons, not your everyday damage dealer, but your OTHER weapon. You don't need damage there, you need a higher chance of your effect happening. Exactly what the fusion does.

:)

Sovereign Court

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LotsOfLore wrote:
Ascalaphus wrote:
Would you really pay (in credits to buy the fusion, and in opportunity cost because you can't apply other fusions) to gain more crit effects but give up the double damage on a "classic" crit?
What? Of course you can put other fusions on that weapon (as per normal rules). You can only have 1 OF THOSE THREE specifically, but you can have any other fusion on as you want.

The rules for adding multiple fusions to weapons say that the sum of fusions on a level cannot exceed the item's level. So a level 3 weapon can hold at most a level 2 and a level 1, or three level 1 fusions. So that's the opportunity cost: levels spent on a crit-extending fusion can't be spend on other fusions.

LotsOfLore wrote:


So no, I don't think they are too weak at all. Also... ppl make up your mind, they can't be too powerful and too weak at the same time, lol.
That decent drawback is necessary to avoid making them "must haves".

What would be really powerful is extending the range at which you get double crit damage.

What is rather weak though, is paying credits and fusion opportunity to raise the chance of extra crit effects (which are usually in the 1d6 damage range) by 5-15% at the cost of the much larger damage bonus of a regular crit.

LotsOfLore wrote:
Ascalaphus wrote:

I wouldn't use this, except for really hardcore crit effects. Getting 1d6 Burn on a 19-20 isn't as good as doing double regular damage on a 20.

Exactly, of course you wouldn't use it for damage, that's not the point. And fusions in this game are not designed to be stuff that makes your weapon a lot more powerful, they mostly have a situational/utility flavour. These ones are for you to make a reliable "stun stick", or a "knockback blast whatever", or a whip that more reliably bleeds making it impossible for mystics to cast spells. Specifcally built weapons, not your everyday damage dealer, but your OTHER weapon. You don't need damage there, you need a higher chance of your effect happening. Exactly what the fusion does.

:)

I disagree that fusions aren't about making weapons more powerful. And don't knock reliable utility effects:

* Called: turn a starknife or singing disk into a strength-based reusable ranged weapon for melee characters
* Soulfire: add significantly more damage to solarian weapons
* Holy: punch through the energy resistance of some classes of creatures notorious for having many resistances
* Opportunistic: +2 to hit is a lot in this game
* Throwing: turn your ridiculous beatstick into a ranged weapon, with Called perhaps
* Disrupting: ignore the DR of undead completely
* Potent: make your blast weapons more powerful
* Seeking: negate miss chance
* Accurate: reliable to hit bonus for someone already using a scope to aim-to-reduce cover on for example an unwieldy heavy weapon
* Apprehending: try to trip people when you hit, much more reliable than waiting for a crit
* Ghostkiller: almost anyone can hit incorporeal creatures in Starfinder, but it's usually half damage. Incorporeal creatures aren't all that rare as enemies, and this lets you effectively deal double damage.
* Selective: bomb your friends

It's not fusions that are underwhelming, it's crit fusions that are underwhelming compared to other fusions and to the double damage of crits.

If I deal someone 30 damage with a hit, and I can can either do double damage and 1d6 burn 5% of the time, or 1d6 damage 20% of the time, the former is much stronger. Doing an extra 30 damage at once might just kill the enemy, which is better than waiting for a slow sizzle.

Now if we're talking about a "stun-stick" weapon: I don't think I'd use a weapon just because it does something useful on a 17+. I'd rather pick a weapon that does something useful every time I hit, or that does lots of damage.

Sovereign Court

Putting this separate for emphasis.

I think the change should be:
* Nobody does double damage on crits anymore
* Everyone can crit on a 17+ (assuming it hits AC)
* NPCs without a crit effect have as fallback crit effect +2 damage per CR, so that NPC crits always do something

This weakens crits, for everyone. 1d6 burn over a couple of rounds is not as strong as another 10 damage right now. And so on at higher levels: the damage from attacks generally goes up faster than the effects of crits. So it's an overall nerf on everyone.

However, it makes weapons with crit effects relatively more attractive than weapons without them. And for weapons without crit effects, it makes the crit fusions more relevant that they were before.


Ascalaphus wrote:


The rules for adding multiple fusions to weapons say that the sum of fusions on a level cannot exceed the item's level. So a level 3 weapon can hold at most a level 2 and a level 1, or three level 1 fusions. So that's the opportunity cost: levels spent on a crit-extending fusion can't be spend on other fusions.

Yep, we both understand how the rules work. That's how fusions are balanced in the game. There are more useful fusions and less useful fusions, it's up to you to decide if the opportunity cost is worth the price. In the case of my fusions, I think it is. Although, If I see that it's too much, I can just lower the levels.

Ascalaphus wrote:


What would be really powerful is extending the range at which you get double crit damage.

Yes, that's why I'm not doing that.

Ascalaphus wrote:


What is rather weak though, is paying credits and fusion opportunity to raise the chance of extra crit effects (which are usually in the 1d6 damage range) by 5-15% at the cost of the much larger damage bonus of a regular crit.

Again, no. I don't think it's weak. I could consider lowering the level of the fusions even more, but not before I test them the way they are.

Ascalaphus wrote:


If I deal someone 30 damage with a hit, and I can can either do double damage and 1d6 burn 5% of the time, or 1d6 damage 20% of the time, the former is much stronger. Doing an extra 30 damage at once might just kill the enemy, which is better than waiting for a slow sizzle.

Now if we're talking about a "stun-stick" weapon: I don't think I'd use a weapon just because it does something useful on a 17+. I'd rather pick a weapon that does something useful every time I hit, or that does lots of damage.

I disagree. I can think of many situations where it would be fun and effective to bring an "effect stick" along, moreover you might be underestimating how useful it can be to deal DoT against a caster in this game where you can't roll concentration to keep a spell. But if you don't see these as useful, then just don't use them. They are there, just another option.

Also, you are calling crits "double damage", but they are not that. You roll damage an extra time; not the same thing. You wouldn't necessarily deal 60 damage in your example.


Ascalaphus wrote:

Putting this separate for emphasis.

I think the change should be:
* Nobody does double damage on crits anymore
* Everyone can crit on a 17+ (assuming it hits AC)
* NPCs without a crit effect have as fallback crit effect +2 damage per CR, so that NPC crits always do something

This weakens crits, for everyone. 1d6 burn over a couple of rounds is not as strong as another 10 damage right now. And so on at higher levels: the damage from attacks generally goes up faster than the effects of crits. So it's an overall nerf on everyone.

However, it makes weapons with crit effects relatively more attractive than weapons without them. And for weapons without crit effects, it makes the crit fusions more relevant that they were before.

Interesting idea, however as I said before in other posts, I am not interested in discussing changes to the core rules of the game, here. This post is to discuss the new fusions that I would like to add to the game.

You seem to think they are too weak. Noted, thanks.

Sovereign Court

LotsOfLore wrote:
I disagree. I can think of many situations where it would be fun and effective to bring an "effect stick" along, moreover you might be underestimating how useful it can be to deal DoT against a caster in this game where you can't roll concentration to keep a spell. But if you don't see these as useful, then just don't use them. They are there, just another option.

Actually, damage over time doesn't inhibit spellcasting. The CRB states (p. 331): Normally, you can concentrate even in a distracting situation, but if you’re casting a spell and you take damage from either a successful attack that targeted your AC or from an effect that you failed a saving throw against, the spell fails. Ongoing damage is not an attack that targets your AC, and the saving throw against them doesn't happen until the end of your turn.

Starfinder's approach to concentration is to on the one hand remove the chance to keep your spell when something gets through, but they've also drastically reduced the amount of things that can actually interrupt you.

LotsOfLore wrote:
Also, you are calling crits "double damage", but they are not that. You roll damage an extra time; not the same thing. You wouldn't necessarily deal 60 damage in your example.

A crit does double damage on average. You roll all the dice twice and add all the modifiers twice. If my average damage on a hit is 30, then my average crit is 60.


LotsOfLore wrote:
Claxon wrote:


There isn't a trade off in damage like you seem to think, since generally speaking that aren't any weapon fusions that add flat-damage. And you're not taking away double damage on a natural 20. You're just not allowing double damage on the expanded range, it just expands when critical effects happen.

Nope. I AM taking away normal crit damage, even on a 20. There's no exception in this version, read carefully.

The only damage that remains is the normal hit (not critical) + any crit effect damage (e.g. 1d4 corrosion, and similar stuff).

These fusions let you create a sort of "effect stick", a weapon that you bring around not to do damage, but to inflict fun and useful debuffs to enemies in a more reliable way. These become trapping, versatile weapons made with purpose.

To be honest, all considered, I think it's a fair trade-off.

Then I misunderstood your design.

The way it should work in my opinion is:
Nat 20 functions like normal
17 - 19 don't get double damage, but can have crit effects. These all get saves (even if the normally wouldn't have one for that crit effect) and have increasing penalty to the save DC.

I think your current version has the serious problem of encouraging an operative to pick up quad weapons with the Stunned critical hit effect and to simply make 4 attacks each round hoping to crit fish. Because causing the stunned condition with no save is going to be better than double damage. It's a super strong effect because it flat out denies the enemy the ability to do anything.

Outside of very specific critical effects your current design is weak, but for certain ones is exceptionally overpowered. So what is needed is to design it in a way that it is (mostly) level for all effects.


Ascalaphus wrote:


Actually, damage over time doesn't inhibit spellcasting. The CRB states (p. 331): Normally, you can concentrate even in a distracting situation, but if you’re casting a spell and you take damage from either a successful attack that targeted your AC or from an effect that you failed a saving throw against, the spell fails. Ongoing damage is not an attack that targets your AC, and the saving throw against them doesn't happen until the end of your turn.

That's correct, apologies.


Claxon wrote:


Outside of very specific critical effects your current design is weak, but for certain ones is exceptionally overpowered. So what is needed is to design it in a way that it is (mostly) level for all effects.

Have you at all considered that you might simply be overestimating the effectiveness of some and underestimating others?

I think it's ok, overall. But I will let you know after testing.

Claxon wrote:
I think your current version has the serious problem of encouraging an operative to pick up quad weapons with the Stunned critical hit effect and to simply make 4 attacks each round hoping to crit fish. Because causing the stunned condition with no save is going to be better than double damage. It's a super strong effect because it flat out denies the enemy the ability to do anything.

You have already brought this up. I have already replied that, in my opinion, there is no problem with "encouraging" anything. This isn't an MMO with an extremely tight balancing math and scripted events.

It's way more fun to let that operative take advantage of that if they want! Let them stun, they paid good credits for it! If I as GM think that it might ruin an important boss fight, I will simply give the boss immunity to stun. I generally believe in dealing with outlier situations on a case by case, from the GM side, and let the players have fun otherwise.

Claxon wrote:

The way it should work in my opinion is:

Nat 20 functions like normal
17 - 19 don't get double damage, but can have crit effects. These all get saves (even if the normally wouldn't have one for that crit effect) and have increasing penalty to the save DC.

This does not work, in my opinion. It would take away a significant drawback at low levels. At higher levels, the penalties to DC feel punitive, and in general adding saves where they shouldn't be seems even more punitive. I don't think that would be fun. You would end up with a situation where you spent money and time to make a weapon that stuns or bleeds, only to find out that your enemies will be very likely to resist the effect.

Whereas in my version, you make a choice at the start to forefit something, so you are aware/more in control of what you are trading off.


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We are both entitled to our opinions. In my opinion, if you have to give bosses special immunity to things (to keep them a "boss fight") then you've made a bad design.

All I can say is, try running it both ways and report back with real experience on how it functions.

I'm not sure exactly how you plan to test either function, but I would say you do need to cover an array of levels.

It might be most effective to choose the levels at which you're allow the fusions to be chosen (so if it's item level 7 for the lowest version, run level 7 characters with the fusion) and run it with both your and mine versions and see how they work. And make sure to include weapons with critical effects that don't have a save.

Let us know how it turns out. Happy gaming!

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