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Squig of Darkness

Pathfinder Critical Hits

So, here are the original rules for critical hits in Pathfinder:

When you make an attack roll and get a natural 20 (the d20 shows 20), you hit regardless of your target's Armor Class, and you have scored a "threat," meaning the hit might be a critical hit (or "crit"). To find out if it's a critical hit, you immediately make an attempt to "confirm" the critical hit—another attack roll with all the same modifiers as the attack roll you just made. If the confirmation roll also results in a hit against the target's AC, your original hit is a critical hit. (The critical roll just needs to hit to give you a crit, it doesn't need to come up 20 again.) If the confirmation roll is a miss, then your hit is just a regular hit.

A critical hit means that you roll your damage more than once, with all your usual bonuses, and add the rolls together. Unless otherwise specified, the threat range for a critical hit on an attack roll is 20, and the multiplier is ×2.

I propose:

When you threaten a critical hit with a weapon or touch spell, the enemy must roll a Fortitude save against a DC equal to the threatening attack roll.  If the enemy succeeds, the attack does normal damage.  Otherwise, the damage is multiplied.  

Confirming critical hits always seemed so arbitrary and, as Jacki put it, takes away from the excitement of the moment.  With a Fortitude save, the enemy has a slim chance of resisting such a devastating attack through his own grit.  While this still adds another step to the critical hit process, it is definitely more realistic and will properly balance the new mechanic against the loss of the old one.

As far as the crit cards:

After looking over the crit cards, I realized that many of them deal double or triple damage, which, on top of the damage being multiplied already, seemed a little extreme.  I think I would rather make a custom critical hit chart with similar effects.  Or maybe, we could just choose a card and ignore the damage multiplier.  Or stick to pulling a crit card once per encounter.  

Anyway, tell me watcha think!


For your information, when it comes to the crit cards, it doesn't get multiplied several times. The cards were designed to work in sync with 3.5 and 3.5 type rules.

The cards work as follows:
1.) Only PC's and named NPC's can pull crit cards
2.) Anytime you score a crit, you draw cards.
3.) How many cards you draw depend on your type of crit. You take your crit multiplier of your weapon -1, and that's how many cards you draw. You choose which of the two cards you will use.
Example, your weapon is a x3. You draw 2 cards, because 3-1=2.

Get the general picture?
Squig of Darkness

I don't see why you would draw multiple cards at all.  What happens after that?  I think it would probably be better not to use those rules lol.  They seem horribly unbalanced.


I don't see how it is supposed to be unbalanced. Your only using the effect of one card. Having a higher crit instead means you have more options as that no two cards are alike. Cards will read normal, double, and in the case of a couple cards, triple damage, as well as an effect from the damage. Your crit does more then just extra damage, its a grievous wound that has lasting consequences.
Squig of Darkness

Ah, well that was what I was asking.  I didn't know you just chose one.  My miff is with the fact that there is a weapon multiplier and a multiplier on the card.  Which do you use?


You use only the card. The muliplier determines how many you draw.

I am down for doing crit cards. and for having the fort save to resist the crit it's self. I get what chris is saying about the cards.

let's say I crit and have a x2 weapon then I pull ONLY 1 card and use the effect for the type of weapon I have. I do not get the x2 to damage unless the card says i get it. You only get the effects of the crit card. which as chris pointed out have other effects.

Personally though, I don't thiink that ONLY named characters should get the crit cards. I think that monsters should also get to pull crit cards.  Could make for a very interesting campaign lol. It makes sense also, getting multiple crits on a PC should have lasting effects.

I disagree about every monster we fight being allowed crit cards. We'll be dead within a gametime week!

The crit cards are awesome, there's no need to tweak or change the guideline Chris just pointed out. They's perfect.

I was just thinking about this before I read this thread.  I once disliked the idea of confirming the crit, but then I got to thinking...

Barbarian wildly swings axe at scrawny cloth wearing caster, 5% chance to crit, to land a devastating mortal blow.

Barbarian wildly swings axe at a fighter decked out in plate like robocop with a car door for a shield, or Barbarian wildly swings axe at a nimble monk whose heightened senses allow him to feel and react to every subtlety (or lack there of) .... 5% chance to crit... to land a devastating mortal blow?

I see AC as an abstraction of the things mentioned above.  These things are meant to eliminate, or at least minimize the effect of pure dumb luck getting you killed (the irony of me using luck as an argument is not lost).  If someone takes these measures they should appreciate the benefits of their efforts... until pure dumb luck catches up with them.

Now, mechanically, fortitude save is identical in effect, well, not statisctically speaking, but it reduces the odds of a crit.  What it does though, is it makes the argument that through sheer strength of body you can shrug off a wildly swung axe that hit the right spot.  I think it is more accurate to say that the armor and the shield deflect and absorb the force, or that the nimble roll with it... because, we're all pink on the inside.

I think the way things are done with crits is just fine. There is no tinkering required. Crit cards will be used simply because they will add a random effect the wound suffered.

Brandon has stated in a good enough way that how armoured, aware, and agile you reflects your ability to endure a blow.

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