What's the highest critical hit damage a level 1 character can do?


  • The character must be level 1
  • The character cannot have any magical items
  • The character's starting equipment must be affordable with the standard 15 gp start
  • The character can be assisted by up to three other level 1 characters with the same restrictions
  • The three assistant characters each have one round before the primary character makes their attack
  • The damage must come off of one critical hit (i.e. the first hit of Flurry of Blows, not both)
  • Max damage can be assumed
  • Don't count persistent damage - theoretically any amount of persistent damage could be infinite if the enemy never manages to stop it somehow. Additionally, it's not part of the immediate damage of the critical.
  • Characters can be assumed to know that this is going to happen; therefore, they can start with weapons and items drawn so long as they can properly hold them in their hands.

120, the party is as follows, a bard, 2 alchemists, and dwarven fighter

Builds for each class




Actions for each


  1. Cast magic weapon on the fighter's greatpick
  2. Previous action requires 2 actions
  3. Use inspire courage

Alchemist 1:

  1. Draw giant centipede venom from bandoleer and apply it to the fighter's greatpick
  2. Previous action requires 2 actions
  3. draw an energy mutagen(fire) from bandoleer and pour it down the fighter's throat.

Alchemist 2:

  1. Draw giant centipede venom from bandoleer and apply it to their own weapon
  2. Previous action requires 2 actions
  3. strike to apply stage 1 giant centipede venom to target


  1. Power attack on a valid vengeful hatred target
  2. Previous action requires 2 actions
  3. ??

Damage breakdown:

Greatpick does a d10 but has the fatal(d12) trait that changes the weapon dice to d12s on a crit and adds an extra d12 ~ 3d12

Power attack adds an extra damage dice (2 on a crit) ~5d12

Magic weapon adds an extra damage dice (2 on a crit) ~7d12

Giant centipede poison has a stage 1 poison damage of 1d6, a stage 2 venom damage of 1d8, and a stage 3 damage of (1d12) so assuming that the target critically fails the fort save and that they also failed the previous poisioning they advance from stage 1 to stage 3 ~ 7d12+1d12

18 strength add 4 damage or 8 on a crit ~8d12+8

Inspire courage adds +1 status bonus to damage or 2 on a a crit ~ 8d12+10

Energy Mutagen adds 1 point of fire damage or 2 on a crit ~8d12+12

Vengeful Hatred add damage equal to the weapon damage dice which is 6 ~8d12+18

Owlbear token grants critical specialization effects 1 hit hit when consumed which for a pick adds damage equal to the number of weapon dice which is 6 ~8d12+24


8x12+24 = 120 and stage 3 giant centipede venom

*feel free to edit for clarity*

  • \$\begingroup\$ You forgot to note the d12 from poison on the poison line item (it says 7 but is 8 at that point) You included it on the next line. However, it should be 4 (maybe 5) weapon dice, not 6. (Normal, striking magic, Fatal, PA, maybe crit). This will reduce Owlbear token and Vengeful Hatred to 4(8) each (or 5(10)). I would rule that, even if the GM allowed rolling the crit dice they do not count toward weapon dice, personally. \$\endgroup\$ – Ifusaso Jan 12 at 19:37
  • \$\begingroup\$ @CaptianObvious I think it most consistent with allowing weapons to be "pre-drawn" to allow items to be "pre-drawn" as well. Obviously characters can only hold so much in their hands. This means that you can probably make your alchemist actions work. \$\endgroup\$ – ESCE Jan 12 at 21:45

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