Critical Hits and modifiers + Deadly vs Fatal


Rules Discussion


Hi there,

1) I was looking into critical strikes and found myself lost regards what can be or not added during the total damage calculation.

Fatal and Deadly can't be multiplied, but have to be added at the end of the calculation.

Sneak attack is multiplied.

What about the other bonuses flat bonuses?

Divine Smite?
Barbarian Rage?
Weapon Specialization?
Picks' critical weapon specialization?

Or even better, is there a simple rule to understand what can or can't be added?

On 5th it was always "if your roll a dice, roll it twice" rule, but here I am not so sure.

2) Also, I was comparing Deadly and Fatal.

Or I did something wrong during the calculation, or seems that Deadly loses its role since Fatal exists.

Let us compare a Rapier and a Pick which both have the same base dmg dice.

rapier with greater rune of striking

Normal hit = 4d6+ STR
Critical hit = (4d6+STR)*2 +4d8

[16 ( 4 times 4 out of 6 ) + 7 ( from 24 str )]*2 + 20 ( 4 times 5 out of 8 ) = 66 DMG

pick with rune of greater striking

Normal hit = 4d6+ STR
Critical hit = (5d10+STR)*2 +10

[30/35 ( depends if you consider 5 times 6 or 7 out of 10 ) + 7 ( from 24 str )]*2 = 74 or 86. + 10 dmg from pick trait = 84 or 96

If you have to add the pick extra dmg before the calculation, it will be 94 or 106.

Am I missing anything or is this going to be world of picks?


Well the first thing is that Greater striking is 3 dice, not 3 EXTRA dice. Your current calculations would be for Major Striking. Additionally, on deadly, it's only +2d8 for greater striking, or +3d8 for major striking.

Fatal is definitely more explosive than Deadly, but Deadly still has a role. Currently, the pick is the only fatal weapon, and other deadly weapons have other traits to balance them out.

I would ASSUME that the extra damage from the critical specialization wouldn't be doubled; it only happens on a crit so there'd be no reason not to already incorporate that into the calculation. Other than that, everything is doubled unless it explicitly says otherwise. I haven't found a general rule that applies to more than one category of damage yet.


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You multiply all damage that doesn't say not to, like Fatal and Deadly.

Fatal is better than Deadly. But the rapier has other traits that the pick lacks. Most notably is finesse, which means it is the weapon of choice for many dexterity based characters. But if you're focused on strength you should use the pick unless you're gonna do a lot of disarming or something.

Weapons and armor are now pretty balanced with each other, but some options are going to be better for specific characters.


4d6 * 2 + 3d8 + 14 (str) = 55.5 + Flat-Footed condition.
5d10 * 2 + 14 (str) = 69 + 10.

Pick does superior damage, yes. But it has only one trait. And the +10 damage are balanced by the Flat-Footed condition.


SuperBidi wrote:

4d6 * 2 + 4d8 + 14 (str) = 60 + Flat-Footed condition.

5d10 * 2 + 14 (str) = 69 + 10.

Nothing incredible for a difference at first glance. And the 10 extra damage are balanced against the Flat-Footed condition, so, I don't count it.

As ofMars pointed out, it is only 3d8 and not 4d8 with a greater striking rune, so it will be 55 vs 89 ( I also would assume as ofMars said about doubling the 10 extra dmg, but we have to stick with what Captain Morgan remind us, until the creators will say something, if they ever will ).

You can get the flat footed condition from an ally, by using feint or in other ways, so I wouldn't count it "that much".

However, the damage to me is simply insane.

If you count to have a rapier as finesse weapon, then your STR modifier will be even lower

Let's say you have 24 dex (+7 hit) and 18 str, the you will have 49 vs 79.

The only thing which really remains is the disarm, which can be achieved by:

- Dex build
- Str Build
- Free hand Athletics Check


K1 wrote:


If you count to have a rapier as finesse weapon, then your STR modifier will be even lower

Unless you're a thief rogue and add dex to damage

Again, fatal weapons are just fatal, all the deadly weapons have other traits or are ranged.

The point about getting the other abilities out of your build is not meaningful because you have to make those build choices that you wouldn't need if you got the value out of the weapon.

The only value you're getting with the pick or greatpick is Critical damage, which you maximize by being a STR fighter. For the most part, if you're not a fighter, you're not getting crits other than with a nat 20 against creatures of your level. This isn't bad, it's just balanced against all the other potential choices. Picks don't become the super optimal at the expense of all other weapons choice


I've corrected after seeing ofMars's post. And the extra damage is not doubled considering the way it is written. So, 55.5 VS 79. 50% more damage, but the pick is clearly a critical oriented weapon, as it's only trait is a critical one. It doesn't feel overpowered to me, unless you manage to score critical hits on a regular basis, which is unlikely.


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Pathfinder Rulebook, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Criticals are also much more common against mooks, who don't generally need as much damage to take down.

It's important to remember that the damage of a massive crit is only useful if it isn't overkill.


In fact, I like the idea of using a Greatpick with Power Attack.

Power Attack Greatpick critical = 16d12 + 16 = 120... Can opener!


ofMars wrote:

Unless you're a thief rogue and add dex to damage

Again, fatal weapons are just fatal, all the deadly weapons have other traits or are ranged.

The point about getting the other abilities out of your build is not meaningful because you have to make those build choices that you wouldn't need if you got the value out of the weapon.

The only value you're getting with the pick or greatpick is Critical damage, which you maximize by being a STR fighter. For the most part, if you're not a fighter, you're not getting crits other than with a nat 20 against creatures of your level. This isn't bad, it's just balanced against all the other potential choices. Picks don't become the super optimal at the expense of all other weapons choice

Unfortunately you can't stick with a single class while talking about a weapon every melee can use it.

Which means the fact that a Rogue, with a specific specialization, could do what a fighter, champion, ranger, barbarian, not specialized rogue can't doesn't count at all.

If you see the rapier "disarm" and "finesse" enough to justify the damage difference, we don't simply give specific traits and dmg the same value.

WatersLethe wrote:

Criticals are also much more common against mooks, who don't generally need as much damage to take down.

It's important to remember that the damage of a massive crit is only useful if it isn't overkill.

Indeed it's true, but you will be likely to critical hit with a 20 ( or even a 18-19 ).

About the time it occurs, well you said everything.
As for any critical hit ( or simply for every 20 rolled ), we have to hope it occurs in the right circumstances, instead of being wasted when not needed.


K1 wrote:


If you see the rapier "disarm" and "finesse" enough to justify the damage difference, we don't simply give specific traits and dmg the same value.

I mean maybe we don't, but it's not just damage vs traits, it's damage you're only getting 5% to 15% of the time (depending on your chances of landing a crit) vs value you're getting 50% or more of the time.


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WatersLethe wrote:

Criticals are also much more common against mooks, who don't generally need as much damage to take down.

It's important to remember that the damage of a massive crit is only useful if it isn't overkill.

Excellent for a fun narrative though - you can get really over-the-top on describing the carnage vs a low-level baddie when you score triple their HP.


ofMars wrote:
K1 wrote:


If you see the rapier "disarm" and "finesse" enough to justify the damage difference, we don't simply give specific traits and dmg the same value.

I mean maybe we don't, but it's not just damage vs traits, it's damage you're only getting 5% to 15% of the time (depending on your chances of landing a crit) vs value you're getting 50% or more of the time.

I do agree.

But on the other hand ( try to consider your past experiences or simply to imagine a campaign ),let's set apart the finesse stuff which will lower the damage outcome ( unless you are a specialized rogue),how many times are you going to use the disarm action?

And we have to remember that the disarm only occurs on critical success.

Paizo Employee Designer

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SuperBidi wrote:

4d6 * 2 + 3d8 + 14 (str) = 55.5 + Flat-Footed condition.

5d10 * 2 + 14 (str) = 69 + 10.

Pick does superior damage, yes. But it has only one trait. And the +10 damage are balanced by the Flat-Footed condition.

This, almost. Like Captain Morgan says above and as it says in the CRB under doubling damage page 451 "Benefits you gain specifically from a critical hit, like the flaming weapon rune’s persistent fire damage or the extra damage die from the fatal weapon trait, aren’t doubled."

So it's

4d6 * 2 + 3d8 + 14 (str) = 55.5 + Flat-Footed condition.
4d10 * 2 + 1d10 + 14 (str) = 63.5 + 10.

The fatal trait is adding 8 more damage than deadly. The pick critical effect is providing more of a difference here than the difference between the two traits.


why did you separate the extra dmg?

Quote:
On a critical hit, the weapon’s damage die increases to that die size instead of the normal die size, and the weapon adds one additional damage die of the listed size.

The weapon transform its own dices in d10 and have one more.

So it should count towards the critical hit calculation.

Paizo Employee Designer

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Quote:
Benefits you gain specifically from a critical hit, like the flaming weapon rune’s persistent fire damage or the extra damage die from the fatal weapon trait, aren’t doubled.

The extra damage die from the fatal weapon trait is a benefit you gain specifically from a critical hit, and more to the point, the extra damage die from the fatal weapon trait is the extra damage die from the fatal weapon trait, which is specifically called out not to double.


Deadly is worse than fatal... But better weapons have deadly. For exemple, the dreaded katana, it's a D10 weapon for two hands or d6 for one, versatile P. Or a lance/Scythe.

The main thing is Fatal is better but you can't put as many traits on it thanks to it being so superior.


Captain Morgan wrote:
Fatal is better than Deadly. But the rapier has other traits that the pick lacks.

I'd amend that to "Fatal is a better trait than Deadly, but takes a reduced die size to compensate, which is flat worse in most situations."

There are no Deadly weapons with the same base damage die as any Fatal weapon (IIRC) and (IIRC) taking a -1 die size is equivalent to taking a -2 on your attack roll: that is, you miss out on 10% of your expected DPR.

The only time Fatal makes up for this...fatal flaw is when you're attacking creatures significantly below your own level. As in you crit on a 12 on your first attack, giving your second attack a decent crit chance. Any higher and Fatal won't trigger often enough to make up for the reduced die size.

I tried really really hard to justify a Fatal build during the playtest.


Mark Seifter wrote:
Quote:
Benefits you gain specifically from a critical hit, like the flaming weapon rune’s persistent fire damage or the extra damage die from the fatal weapon trait, aren’t doubled.
The extra damage die from the fatal weapon trait is a benefit you gain specifically from a critical hit, and more to the point, the extra damage die from the fatal weapon trait is the extra damage die from the fatal weapon trait, which is specifically called out not to double.

So that's sort of unclear in the actual description of the fatal trait. In the deadly trait description, it explicitly says that it doesn't double, whereas the description of fatal has no such clause. It's unfortunate that the clarification of that ability doesn't appear until 3 chapters after the trait description. I think that's a reasonable mistake to make, and ought to be clarified in future printings.

On Disarm, it only actually disarms on a critical success, sure, but a -2 to attack rolls is nothing to sneeze at, especially if you've got assurance to guarantee a success with a second or third attack (the actual modifier here doesn't matter, since it's just 10 + your proficiency)


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ofMars wrote:
Mark Seifter wrote:
Quote:
Benefits you gain specifically from a critical hit, like the flaming weapon rune’s persistent fire damage or the extra damage die from the fatal weapon trait, aren’t doubled.
The extra damage die from the fatal weapon trait is a benefit you gain specifically from a critical hit, and more to the point, the extra damage die from the fatal weapon trait is the extra damage die from the fatal weapon trait, which is specifically called out not to double.

So that's sort of unclear in the actual description of the fatal trait. In the deadly trait description, it explicitly says that it doesn't double, whereas the description of fatal has no such clause. It's unfortunate that the clarification of that ability doesn't appear until 3 chapters after the trait description. I think that's a reasonable mistake to make, and ought to be clarified in future printings.

On Disarm, it only actually disarms on a critical success, sure, but a -2 to attack rolls is nothing to sneeze at, especially if you've got assurance to guarantee a success with a second or third attack (the actual modifier here doesn't matter, since it's just 10 + your proficiency)

It would be pretty solid... if it did't last until the start of that creature's turn, making it only really good for AoO. One house rule I'm going to use is that the penalty lasts until the opponent uses an action to regrip the weapon.


Pathfinder Rulebook, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Captain Morgan wrote:
One house rule I'm going to use is that the penalty lasts until the opponent uses an action to regrip the weapon.

Oooh. I gotta think about that. Sounds pretty nice.


Captain Morgan wrote:
ofMars wrote:
Mark Seifter wrote:
Quote:
Benefits you gain specifically from a critical hit, like the flaming weapon rune’s persistent fire damage or the extra damage die from the fatal weapon trait, aren’t doubled.
The extra damage die from the fatal weapon trait is a benefit you gain specifically from a critical hit, and more to the point, the extra damage die from the fatal weapon trait is the extra damage die from the fatal weapon trait, which is specifically called out not to double.

So that's sort of unclear in the actual description of the fatal trait. In the deadly trait description, it explicitly says that it doesn't double, whereas the description of fatal has no such clause. It's unfortunate that the clarification of that ability doesn't appear until 3 chapters after the trait description. I think that's a reasonable mistake to make, and ought to be clarified in future printings.

On Disarm, it only actually disarms on a critical success, sure, but a -2 to attack rolls is nothing to sneeze at, especially if you've got assurance to guarantee a success with a second or third attack (the actual modifier here doesn't matter, since it's just 10 + your proficiency)

It would be pretty solid... if it did't last until the start of that creature's turn, making it only really good for AoO. One house rule I'm going to use is that the penalty lasts until the opponent uses an action to regrip the weapon.

ooof I missed that. Man, disarm is bad and I will probably be using that house rule, or at the very least applying the penalty until the end of the turn instead


WatersLethe wrote:
Captain Morgan wrote:
One house rule I'm going to use is that the penalty lasts until the opponent uses an action to regrip the weapon.
Oooh. I gotta think about that. Sounds pretty nice.

It feels pretty intuitive to me, given you need to spend an action to grip a weapon in two hands and such.

Another option is you could use a success disarms and a critical success let's you either snag the weapon or going it into a further square. But that is a pretty big buff that will probably hurt players more than it helps them.

Paizo Employee Designer

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Captain Morgan wrote:

Another option is you could use a success disarms and a critical success let's you either snag the weapon or going it into a further square. But that is a pretty big buff that will probably hurt players more than it helps them.

We tried disarm on success at first (before the playtest). It makes gameplay pretty miserable for anyone who depends on a weapon, particularly if the other team has low-value characters at hand who can pick it up and just start leaving with the weapon, both of which are more likely to affect the PCs (monsters don't as often have weapons, and the bad guys more often have minions who can spend actions to dash away, or 5th level dimension door miles away, with the weapon without weakening their side much). Assuming you don't wind up with a gentleperson's agreement at the table to just never use it, like some groups had for breaking gear in PF1. PF1 had a weird side way around PC frustration for disarm by virtue of having two or three negligible-cost ways to be essentially immune to disarming that PCs used and published NPCs and monsters weren't written to include, but that sort of winds up with no one being able to use it if the GM, quite reasonably, has NPCs adopt the same simple methods as the PCs.


Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

Only somewhat related, but sice we're talking about picks and crit hits...

Am I wrong with the idea of a 1st level dwarven universalist wizard using a pick with magic weapon cast on it, casting true strike, guidance and hand of the apprentice to sling their pick at a target 500' away, possibly through a window, for a decent crit chance and massive damage (for a 1st level char) using just that mechanic?

And if so, when are we going to see assassins guilds sending out teams of six dwarf low-level wizards for more or less guaranteed kills from a distance that essentially prevents them being caught??

Or am I missing sonething?


I don't believe that any of a weapon's traits actually apply to Hand of the Apprentice - the description of the ability doesn't paint it as a weapon strike that you make at range, it is essentially a spell with variable damage, type, and critical specialization based on what weapon you're using with it.

Specifically, it indicates that on a success you deal damage as if you had hit with a Strike (using INT instead of STR), but double that damage on a critical success (rather than dealing damage as if you had critically hit with a Strike). Damage from, for instance, property runes or weapon specialization is included (since you would deal that damage if you hit with a melee Strike), but no other effects are duplicated.


Currently on the p2 app it says the critical specialization gives 1 damage per dice, instead of 2 damage per dice.

Could be possible that those who work on the app are a step ahead in terms of errata? If this is the case, then they finally started to address the Pick issues.


K1 wrote:

Currently on the p2 app it says the critical specialization gives 1 damage per dice, instead of 2 damage per dice.

Could be possible that those who work on the app are a step ahead in terms of errata? If this is the case, then they finally started to address the Pick issues.

which app?


ofMars wrote:
So that's sort of unclear in the actual description of the fatal trait. In the deadly trait description, it explicitly says that it doesn't double, whereas the description of fatal has no such clause.

Its certainly not helpful that it's not listed there in the Fatal trait description, but at least the rules for crits calls it out specifically (it mentions "deadly and fatal").


Mark Seifter wrote:
Captain Morgan wrote:

Another option is you could use a success disarms and a critical success let's you either snag the weapon or going it into a further square. But that is a pretty big buff that will probably hurt players more than it helps them.

We tried disarm on success at first (before the playtest). It makes gameplay pretty miserable for anyone who depends on a weapon, particularly if the other team has low-value characters at hand who can pick it up and just start leaving with the weapon, both of which are more likely to affect the PCs (monsters don't as often have weapons, and the bad guys more often have minions who can spend actions to dash away, or 5th level dimension door miles away, with the weapon without weakening their side much). Assuming you don't wind up with a gentleperson's agreement at the table to just never use it, like some groups had for breaking gear in PF1. PF1 had a weird side way around PC frustration for disarm by virtue of having two or three negligible-cost ways to be essentially immune to disarming that PCs used and published NPCs and monsters weren't written to include, but that sort of winds up with no one being able to use it if the GM, quite reasonably, has NPCs adopt the same simple methods as the PCs.

So instead it's a waste of time and effort.


sherlock1701 wrote:
Mark Seifter wrote:
Captain Morgan wrote:

Another option is you could use a success disarms and a critical success let's you either snag the weapon or going it into a further square. But that is a pretty big buff that will probably hurt players more than it helps them.

We tried disarm on success at first (before the playtest). It makes gameplay pretty miserable for anyone who depends on a weapon, particularly if the other team has low-value characters at hand who can pick it up and just start leaving with the weapon, both of which are more likely to affect the PCs (monsters don't as often have weapons, and the bad guys more often have minions who can spend actions to dash away, or 5th level dimension door miles away, with the weapon without weakening their side much). Assuming you don't wind up with a gentleperson's agreement at the table to just never use it, like some groups had for breaking gear in PF1. PF1 had a weird side way around PC frustration for disarm by virtue of having two or three negligible-cost ways to be essentially immune to disarming that PCs used and published NPCs and monsters weren't written to include, but that sort of winds up with no one being able to use it if the GM, quite reasonably, has NPCs adopt the same simple methods as the PCs.
So instead it's a waste of time and effort.

Or it's a high risk, high reward tactic.

And I'd rather the minions needed a 20 to disarm my PC so that they don't try because whatever you can do with a success, they'll have a shot at doing to you.

And cheap equipment had already nullified disarming in PF1. Really cheap, and easy to improvise since it was just a cord tied to a weapon so even primitives might have them. And if disarming were that easy in their reality, they would have them. I'd rather Disarm be a dramatic event. I say this as somebody who used a True Strike wand to disarm at will in PF1, which was funny, but grew old fast. Imagine taking 3 feats to be great at Disarm then get beaten by a cord? In PF2, it takes minimal effort and there aren't such cords, so if anything, Disarm is more legitimate than it was as the end of PF1.


ofMars wrote:
K1 wrote:

Currently on the p2 app it says the critical specialization gives 1 damage per dice, instead of 2 damage per dice.

Could be possible that those who work on the app are a step ahead in terms of errata? If this is the case, then they finally started to address the Pick issues.

which app?

I assume Pathbuilder 2e, on android.

I don't think it's official, but it's pretty nice.


Oh, I love pathbuilder. It's in the release notes that he's not doing ANY errata stuff until an official release from paizo, though


Castilliano wrote:
sherlock1701 wrote:
Mark Seifter wrote:
Captain Morgan wrote:

Another option is you could use a success disarms and a critical success let's you either snag the weapon or going it into a further square. But that is a pretty big buff that will probably hurt players more than it helps them.

We tried disarm on success at first (before the playtest). It makes gameplay pretty miserable for anyone who depends on a weapon, particularly if the other team has low-value characters at hand who can pick it up and just start leaving with the weapon, both of which are more likely to affect the PCs (monsters don't as often have weapons, and the bad guys more often have minions who can spend actions to dash away, or 5th level dimension door miles away, with the weapon without weakening their side much). Assuming you don't wind up with a gentleperson's agreement at the table to just never use it, like some groups had for breaking gear in PF1. PF1 had a weird side way around PC frustration for disarm by virtue of having two or three negligible-cost ways to be essentially immune to disarming that PCs used and published NPCs and monsters weren't written to include, but that sort of winds up with no one being able to use it if the GM, quite reasonably, has NPCs adopt the same simple methods as the PCs.
So instead it's a waste of time and effort.

Or it's a high risk, high reward tactic.

And I'd rather the minions needed a 20 to disarm my PC so that they don't try because whatever you can do with a success, they'll have a shot at doing to you.

And cheap equipment had already nullified disarming in PF1. Really cheap, and easy to improvise since it was just a cord tied to a weapon so even primitives might have them. And if disarming were that easy in their reality, they would have them. I'd rather Disarm be a dramatic event. I say this as somebody who used a True Strike wand to disarm at will in PF1, which was funny, but grew old fast. Imagine taking 3 feats to be great at...

Even with a weapon cord, you still cost them a move action to retrieve it, which means no full attacks. That's well worth the effort.

Disarm is defeated by locked gauntlets, but those do come with other drawbacks.

You can also make a weapon cord in pf2. It may not be an official item, but you can still tie a bit of rope (or a strip of leather sliced off a belt pouch, etc) to your arm and the weapon. It just matters less because nobody is foolish enough to actually try to disarm you in PF2. Much like KAC+8 in starfinder, crit success is a ridiculously hard target for a maneuver.

I suppose if it inflicted a penalty of some type to the enemy, it might be ok, but as it is it basically does nothing on a normal success so it's unreliable and therefore useless.

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