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I had a friend tell me about a DnD 3.5 specialization for a fighter class, the crit fighter. Somehow, using the int score, this class would lower the die needed for a crit, and could, for instance, crit on a 14 rather than a 20. I am just wondering if anyone else has heard of this or something similar. If you have, would you please post a link to the source? Thanks.

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5 Answers 5

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I'm not familiar with the Int rule but there are several ways to lower your crit so that you have a good crit chance (>25%).

First you start with a weapon with a high critical range. The obvious choices are Rapier (1d6, 18-20/x2), Scimitar (1d6, 18-20/x2) and Falchion (2d4, 18-20/x2). Many people prefer the Falchion as a two handed weapon and therefore a better damage dealer.

Next you double the crit range. There are many ways to do it, but in the often the best way to do it (especially over a campaign) is to take the feat Improved Critical. This extends your critical range to 15-20, giving you a 6/20 (30%) critical threat chance. The other options are the Keen weapon enhancement, a Scabbard of Keen Edges, and the Keen Edge spell. Note that these effects don't stack so you only need one.

This benefit doesn’t stack with any other effect that expands the threat range of a weapon (such as the keen edge spell or the Improved Critical feat).

Next most players take feats and abilities to increase their attack, to confirm more critical threats. Once that reaches a certain level they invest in additional damage. The Burst enhancements (Icy Burst, etc) are often chosen because this build makes better use of their crit damage.

All references from

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@Snowbody The answer has correctly calculated the threat range. An 18-20 threat range is not already "triple", it's simply 18-20, and doubling it is 15-20. See the keen weapon enhancement description for a clarification of this: "This transmutation doubles the threat range of the weapon. A threat range of 20 becomes 19-20, a threat range of 19-20 becomes 17-20, and a threat range of 18-20 becomes 15-20." – Jonathan Drain Oct 13 '11 at 23:57

Here's how you get a threat range of 13-20 or better.

  • Wield a weapon with 18-20 threat range (scimitar, for example)
  • Take the Improved Critical feat to double your threat range
  • Take the Disciple of Dispater prestige class for the level 8 Iron Power ability, which grants triple threat range and stacks with Improved Critical
  • Additionally, a barbarian with the urban class feature variant gains +1 to threat range on a charge or flat-footed opponent

You now have a threat range of 9-20. With the urban barbarian, you have 8-20 on a charge or versus a flat-footed opponent.

If you don't want to play an evil character, the Weapon Master (Sword and Fist, 3.0) or Psychic Weapon Master (WotC web article, 3.5) will give you +2 to threat range, for a respectable 13-20. My old fighter character not only took this combination, but created a scabbard which applied the paladin spell bless weapon, which automatically confirms critical hits against evil foes.

If you're willing to delve into third-party, 3.0 and pre-errata material, there are some 17-20 base weapons that will give you an even more ridiculous threat range: with the Dispater prestige class, 5-20.

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@Snowbody A threat range is not itself a multiplier. If you threaten three numbers (18-20) and something like a Keen weapon doubles that, you threaten six numbers (15-20), as clarified in the Keen edge spell description. A scimitar threatens 3 numbers, Improved Critical (x2) adds 3 to the range, Iron Power (x3) adds 6, for 12 numbers threatened or 9-20. – Jonathan Drain Oct 14 '11 at 0:07
You might want to add mention of crit multipliers as well -- there's a trade off, because all weapons with 18-20 crit range have a x2 multiplier. If you can find a way to increase that you'll see a drastic increase of damage output from crits. – starwed Aug 23 '12 at 13:18
I could've sworn that Player Handbook states that the maximum critical range is 15-20, isn't that true? – Maurycy Aug 23 '12 at 15:08
@MaurycyZarzycki In practice, 15-20 is the maximum you can get using only Player's Handbook material (e.g. keen scimitar), but the rules don't actually put a cap on threat range. – Jonathan Drain Aug 23 '12 at 17:04

the weapon master (kensai) in the oriental adventure books states that upon reaching 7th lvl in kensai achieves an additive to crit range and it stacks with improved crits. so i'm not sure but by the time you reach epic levels you could have classes in kensai, and Disciple of Dispater, the psychic weapon master, plus the barbarian with the urban class feature should stack. Schimitar crit 18-20 + improved crit + kensai levels+ disciple of dispater+ psychic weapon master.

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Welcome. Could you add some more details to this? Perhaps a specific build or some discussion of expected damage? – Brian Ballsun-Stanton Mar 28 '13 at 14:50

There are some good answers above, but a few things to remember when creating a crit fighter.

I had made a crit fighter in Star Wars once (where it was particularly deadly with wound points) and found it is rather trivial for a DM to counter a crit fighter since there are lots of creatures immune to critical hits. In which case you can find yourself outmatched pretty easily by something you would normally be able to beat. But the same thing can happen anytime you over specialize in something.

Watch your math. Crit multipliers dont multiply each other, they add together with each subsequent number being reduced by one. Its easy to forget this rule. Especially when a player is lured by the possibility of a 2-20 threat range.

Multiplying Sometimes a rule makes you multiply a number or a die roll. As long as you’re applying a single multiplier, multiply the number normally. When two or more multipliers apply to any abstract value (such as a modifier or a die roll), however, combine them into a single multiple, with each extra multiple adding 1 less than its value to the first multiple. Thus, a double (×2) and a double (×2) applied to the same number results in a triple (×3, because 2 + 1 = 3).

Also as for improved critical:

This effect doesn’t stack with any other effect that expands the threat range of a weapon.

So be careful when trying to stack with this, as it won't work unless specifically stated otherwise.

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This should probably be a comment as it does not answer the question. – mxyzplk Oct 13 '11 at 0:41

It is possible, by mixing levels in monk and fighter, to get a 20th level character specialized in bladed gauntlets to have a crit range of 12-20. Base of 17-20, keen weapon for 16-20, then improved threat range for 12-20, IIRC. I did the math for that back when the complete fighter book was released. You'll need the weapon specialization, improved threat range and a couple other specific feats; I no longer have the math, and the board I wrote it up on is no longer present online (nor was it in the Web Archive).

But pushing threat range down so far isn't all that useful; as C Ross notes, at some point, most start using feats on other things.

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I didn't think Improved Critical stacked with anything, though I could be mistaken. Also mixing monk and fighter is nonstandard (except in settings like Eberron) because monk has a single class requirement (can't class back in monk after something else). – C. Ross Oct 12 '11 at 20:12
it doesnt. per the d20srd: This effect doesn’t stack with any other effect that expands the threat range of a weapon. – Arr MiHardies Oct 12 '11 at 22:35
That only worked back in 3.0. – LitheOhm Aug 23 '12 at 19:01
But it DID work in 3.0. I never really got into 3.5 – aramis Aug 24 '12 at 0:47

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