Pacifist Clerics (and anyone who takes Astral Seal, for example, but there are other powers- Hymn of Resurgence, for example that do no damage) can use their magic holy symbols to augment their attack roll.

On a critical hit, there is bonus damage.

  1. Does this bonus damage even take place on a non-damaging attack like Astral Seal?
  2. If it does take place, is it mandatory? Like..could you choose not to do the damage at all?

2a. In a case like Hymn of Resurgence-which is a blast effect that has different effects depending on whether it affects enemies or allies) can you choose whether or not to apply the crit damage depending on the creatures bloody status or not?

This is obviously in regards to the follow on effects of the Pacifist Healer feat's unique requirements.


3 Answers 3



Player's Handbook pg 225

An attack that does not deal damage still does not deal damage on a critical hit.

This is also part of the DDI definition of Critical Hit.

  • \$\begingroup\$ The definitive answer at last. \$\endgroup\$ Jan 7, 2011 at 22:16

I'd stick to the Maximum Damage clause of the Critical Hit rule, here:

Maximum Damage: Rather than roll damage, determine the maximum damage you can roll with your attack. This is your critical damage. (Attacks that don’t deal damage still don’t deal damage on a critical hit.)

Taken from the D&DI Compendium entry on Critical Hit.


Since this is a power that doesn't do damage by definition then I would say that a critical would not do damage either. There is nothing affecting the target damage-wise to 'piggy-back' on to do the critical damage.

Additional thought is that Critical is defined as: (per DDI) If you roll a 20 on the die when making an attack roll, you score a critical hit if your total attack roll is high enough to hit your target’s defense. If your attack roll is too low to score a critical hit, you still hit automatically.

Since it specifically says "attack roll" and these type of powers are not 'attacks' then this would add some weight to not having a critical do the damage.

  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ Nope, these are in fact attacks. Astral Seal has an attack roll, and is used against hostiles, and must beat a defense. Astral Seal is kinda the iconic one, but I use Hymn of Resurgence as an alternate example. since the power doesn't do damage I think you do make a good case for their not being crit damage, (and I feel pretty comfortable making rulings like that myself) but I was wondering if there are principles at work here. Because there is something kinda of interesting that happens when a pacifist attacks a bloodied creature, even accidentally- he gets stunned. \$\endgroup\$ Jan 7, 2011 at 19:03
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    \$\begingroup\$ Interesting. This means (by strict definition) a power that doesn't do damage will do some amount of damage on a critical. I'd say that needs a house rule. Kind of defeats the spirit of the power (and the build). \$\endgroup\$ Jan 7, 2011 at 19:07
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    \$\begingroup\$ I would still rule that it doesn't do damage because there is no initial damage to start with. Critical does not mean 2nd hit but a really good first hit. No damage on base power, no damage on crit. \$\endgroup\$ Jan 7, 2011 at 19:09
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    \$\begingroup\$ I upvoted but I want to entertain alternate possibilities. As a DM I love the idea of involuntary astral backlash. By a strict reading of the rules that damage occurs. unless someone can point out where it says it doesn't. \$\endgroup\$ Jan 7, 2011 at 20:05
  • \$\begingroup\$ I can see that. I might toy with it. \$\endgroup\$ Jan 7, 2011 at 20:52

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