View Full Version : Fewer Absolute Effects: Critical Hit Immunity

2010-07-04, 06:48 AM
Okay. So, I'm a fan of Sean K. Reynolds Fewer Absolute Effects (http://www.seankreynolds.com/rpgfiles/misc/variantfewerabsolutes2.html). The article is not finished, of course, and, as far as I know, never finished.

That's not what I'm talking about here, though. Instead, it's a rule that was partially inspired by it, namely, creatures with immunity to critical hits and sneak attack. Some time ago, I already mentioned the idea in a thread somewhere (one of the ToB threads, I think), and talked about it with a few people. Still.

First, the problem: a lot of creatures, namely constructs, elementals, oozes, plants and the undead, are totally immune to critical hits and sneak attack. This is mainly a problem for rogues.

The proposed solution:

Creatures which lack vital organs (Undead, constructs, plants) take -3d6 sneak attack damage per hit. This means that low level rogues can't sneak them, and higher level rogues deal less damage, but still some. Additionally, the critical modifier of weapons is reduced by 1. This means that a weapon with a x2 critical don't deal additional damage, while weapons with a x3 modifier do double damage, and weapons with a x4 deal triple damage.

Creatures which also have amorphous anatomy (elementals and oozes) instead take -5d6 sneak attack damage per hit, and take no extra damage from x2 and x3 weapons, and double damage from x4 weapons.

Good idea? Bad? It creates problems with special attacks which only work against enemies not immune to critical hits, such as a few other precision-based attacks. Those would have to be houseruled individually.

Thrice Dead Cat
2010-07-04, 07:10 AM
I am a fan of the ideas, but your wording on the critical hits example needs work. It should say "weapons with a critical hit multiply of 'x2' do no additional damage from a critical hit to undead, oozes, and [crazy things that had immunity before here]." I'd maybe also decrease the threat amount, but that would probably remove too many weapons.

2010-07-04, 07:22 AM
I can't see a problem, though i'd put Constructs in the second group and state that Oozes were instead immune to most weapons. Hence, hitting it in the right place with the flat of a shovel could have an effect but swords are still pointless.

Never did understand the Ooze creature type though...always felt they would be better as puzzles and traps. Could easily just call things like the Gelatenous Cube an elemental in that case, but the ochre jelly seems...off.

You could just create three grades of immunity:
Crit Resistance I: -2d6 Sneak Attack, -1 Crit multiplier
Crit Resistance II: -5d6 Sneak Attack, -2 Crit multiplier
Crit Resistance III: -8d6 Sneak Attack, -3 Crit multiplier

and state that all monsters of specific types have at least a specific grade of it [perhaps Constructs and Undead at CRI because they're more likely to have some vulnerable points but not always], while Oozes are the other end with at least CRIII?

2010-07-04, 07:28 AM
Corrected the wording.

Anyway: -3 critical multiplier seems mostly pointless.. I can't think of any normal (i.e. non-improved weapon) with a x5 critical multiplier. -2 makes sense, though on the higher ones, for picks, scythes and so on.

I'm not sure a third grade is necessary: how many creatures would go in there?

2010-07-04, 07:42 AM
Oh, and another thing I just thought about: Fortification armour. Instead of percentages, it gives either Crit Resistance I or Crit Resistance II. Does that sound worth the cost of 25%/50% crit immunity?

2010-07-04, 08:06 AM
It's good for all but a point. I think oozes should continue to have a complete immunity to sneak attack and critical hits. It... just doesn't make sense in any other way.

2010-07-04, 08:07 AM
In that case, so should elementals, then. They are just as amorphous in most cases.

2010-07-04, 08:49 AM
While they are amorphous, they at least have a humanoid form, which may justify something like the CR III thing mentioned above.

Elementals are open to interpretation, and I wouldn't have any objection if you would give them total immunity or CR III or even CR II, but oozes are pretty much a no-brainer (for me, at least).

PairO'Dice Lost
2010-07-04, 09:48 AM
I could see a crit on an ooze being something that splatters it all over the place rather than, say, slicing off a chunk that'll either reform immediately or cause the ooze to split. Compared to creatures that are living water or living air, oozes would be simple to crit.

2010-07-04, 10:28 AM
I'm a big fan of the "in the mid levels, players become supernatural, so you can bend the rules of physics a little to make them cooler" philosophy.
Yes, an air elemental is living air. However, your level 9 rogue realized that if you hit them right between the eyes, you hit the core of their anima, the core of energy which binds the rest of the elemental magic. So it takes extra damage.
Really, with some fluff babble, it becomes possible.

2010-07-04, 11:05 AM
I suggested the third grade mostly because my circle are keen on modifying critical hit stuff as a function of various classes and feats.

Besides, while it makes the critter utterly immune to unaugmented weapons in core, it DOES still leave them vulnerable to Sneak Attack at the highest level, which was most of the point.

And on the "living air" thing, logic dictates that there is some kind of signal network within any cohesive species [Oozes being difficult to place, usually being fluffed as colonies] so attacking the right points within the target, especially with a metal weapon is likely to cause a magnetic disruption of some kind. Take that nerves of lightning...

Yes, i've always been a fan of the Tempest compount elemental

2010-07-04, 01:46 PM
I usually fluff them as slime molds, myself. They are basically real world oozes: large organisms, somewhere in the middle between uni- and multicellular. Look like a yellow mass, crawl around and absorb things.

Anyway, I still think two levels is enough... oozes and elementals are really about the same level of immunity in my mind.