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Alchemist can take Sticky Bombs, an Additive that allows you to cause persistent damage when you hit with a bomb.

You mix in an additive to make your bomb’s contents adhere to the target and continue to deal damage. A creature that takes a direct hit from one of your sticky bombs also takes persistent damage equal to and of the same type as the bomb’s splash damage. If the bomb already deals persistent damage, combine the two amounts.

I believe it comes down to if the persistent damage is considered part of the attack damage per critical hits.

If you critically succeed at a Strike, your attack deals double damage.

Notably, persistent damage can double on a critical hit but it's unclear, to me, if the Sticky Bombs damage is part of the attack damage or not.

If your attack roll is a critical hit, is this persistent damage doubled?

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  • \$\begingroup\$ Your last link links to Splash Damage rules; is that intentional, or did you mean to link to the Persistent Damage rules? None of those seem to mention critical hits. \$\endgroup\$
    – ESCE
    Sep 7, 2021 at 15:58
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    \$\begingroup\$ I assume he’s linking to the splash damage rules because they explicitly cite an example of a splash weapon (a bomb even!) that doubles its persistent damage on a crit. The thing is that that’s an Acid Flask which deals such persistent damage baseline, as well as fixed splash damage that does not double on a crit. \$\endgroup\$ Sep 7, 2021 at 16:47
  • \$\begingroup\$ @ecse I don’t believe it has. Persistent damage can crit, but splash damage still can’t, and the effect of Sticky Bombs is keyed from that. \$\endgroup\$ Jul 6 at 0:47

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NO.

The key phrase here is “persistent damage equal to and of the same type as the bomb’s splash damage.

So we’re doing an amount equal to our splash damage. Now, what are the rules for critical hits and Splash damage?

Most bombs also have the splash trait. When you use a thrown weapon with the splash trait, you don't add your Strength modifier to the damage roll. If an attack with a splash weapon fails, succeeds, or critically succeeds, all creatures within 5 feet of the target (including the target) take the listed splash damage. On a critical failure, the bomb misses entirely, dealing no damage. Add splash damage together with the initial damage against the target before applying the target's resistance or weakness. You don't multiply splash damage on a critical hit.

Since the splash damage is not multiplied on a critical hit, the persistent damage, which is equal to that splash damage, is also not multiplied.

To use the example from the linked text on Nethys;

For example, if you throw a lesser acid flask and hit your target, that creature takes 1 acid damage, 1d6 persistent acid damage, and 1 acid splash damage. All other creatures within 5 feet of it take 1 acid splash damage. On a critical hit, the target takes 2 acid damage and 2d6 persistent acid damage, but the splash damage is still 1. If you miss, the target and all creatures within 5 feet take only 1 splash damage. If you critically fail, no one takes any damage.

With Sticky Bombs added to this equation, on either a normal or a critical hit, you would add the 1 point of splash damage, as persistent damage, to the 1 or 2d6 persistent acid damage (on a hit or crit respectively) caused by the base bomb. These numbers are combined into a single persistent damage effect.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ While it's hard to conclusively prove, my impression is that in most cases what to do with persistent damage on a critical hit (or critical failure on a save) is explicitly mentioned; but given that absence here, this seems like a very reasonable and accurate interpretation. Well done! \$\endgroup\$
    – ESCE
    Sep 7, 2021 at 16:03
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Fizz you might wanna update your answer based on the latest errata: paizo.com/pathfinder/faq. \$\endgroup\$
    – ESCE
    Jul 5 at 17:28
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    \$\begingroup\$ I don’t actually think that errata changes anything. Again, sticky bomb damage is EQUAL TO THE SPLASH DAMAGE, which emphatically and clearly declared to never be doubled in a crit. \$\endgroup\$ Jul 6 at 0:45
  • \$\begingroup\$ fair enough - I'll leave these comments here in case anyone has the same thought. \$\endgroup\$
    – ESCE
    Jul 6 at 4:34
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Yes

Persistent damage is normally doubled when the attack is a critical hit. Some sources of persistent damage explicitly have an exception against that, but most follow the base rules for critical hits as confirmed in the CRB 3rd printing errata:

There are a lot of questions about persistent damage. Check the CRB FAQ for more information, but the one thing that we're adding in errata is explicitly stating " Like normal damage, it can be doubled or halved based on the results of an attack roll or saving throw."

There is the argument that Sticky Bomb's persistent damage wouldn't double because it's "equal to and of the same type as the bomb’s splash damage.", and that splash damage never doubles.

'Deal damage equal to X on a hit' and 'deal X damage on a hit' are equivalent, and would be treated no differently for critical hits. It's also worth noting that 'splash' is not a type of damage like acid or slashing, so the damage from Sticky Bomb isn't persistent splash damage.

The rules for critical hits doubling damage in PF2e are very broad as to what applies, only damage that is specifically granted on a critical hit and splash damage aren't doubled. Sticky Bomb's persistent damage meets these requirements, and is doubled the same way any other ability adding damage on a hit would be.

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    \$\begingroup\$ But the number to which sticky bombs damage is pegged, explicitly does not double. \$\endgroup\$ Sep 7, 2021 at 16:46
  • \$\begingroup\$ @LessPop_MoreFizz Thanks for pointing out the other answers argument more clearly to me, I've edited my answer to hopefully explain my reasoning a bit more thoroughly. \$\endgroup\$
    – brandon
    Sep 7, 2021 at 17:22

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