Campaign of the Month: June 2012
Critical Hits and Misses
The Dungeon Master uses customized Critical Hit and Fumble tables. Neither fumbles nor critical hits will automatically result in instant kills, but merely add flavor to combat.
Critical Hits: 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.
Exception: Precision damage (such as from a rogue’s sneak attack class feature) and additional damage dice from special weapon qualities (such as flaming) are not multiplied when you score a critical hit.
Increased Threat Range: Sometimes your threat range is greater than 20. That is, you can score a threat on a lower number. In such cases, a roll of lower than 20 is not an automatic hit. Any attack roll that doesn’t result in a hit is not a threat.
Increased Critical Multiplier: Some weapons deal better than double damage on a critical hit (see Chapter 6).
Spells and Critical Hits: A spell that requires an attack roll can score a critical hit. A spell attack that requires no attack roll cannot score a critical hit. If a spell causes ability damage or drain (see Appendix 1), the damage or drain is doubled on a critical hit.
In addition to the increased damage, the DM will also ask you to roll on a customized table.
Note: Until the critical hit tables have been modified for the Pathfinder rules, the Critical Hit Deck will be used instead.
Automatic Misses: A natural 1 (the d20 comes up 1) on an attack roll is always a miss. Additionally, this attack is a potential Fumble.
Reroll your attack roll with all current bonuses. If this second roll fails to hit your target’s AC, you have fumbled. The DM will ask you to roll on a customized table.