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Pool Strike

Benefit: The magus can expend 1 point from his arcane pool as a standard action to charge his free hand with energy. He can make a melee touch attack with that hand as a free action as part of activating this ability. If the touch attack hits, it releases the charge and deals 2d6 points of energy damage (acid, cold, electricity, or fire, chosen when he spends the arcane pool point to activate this ability). He can use this ability with the spellstrike class feature. If he misses with this attack, he can hold the charge for up to 1 minute before it dissipates. At 6th level, and every three levels thereafter, the amount of damage dealt by this attack increases by 1d6.

Pool Strike, Arcing

Benefit: The magus can expend 1 additional point from his arcane pool when using the pool strike arcana. If his attack hits, the magus can target a number of enemies within 15 feet equal to his Intelligence modifier (minimum 0) with a ranged touch attack as a free action. Those struck take the same energy damage as the primary target of the pool strike, including increased damage on a critical hit.

Critical Interaction

"Those struck take the same energy damage as the primary target of the pool strike, including increased damage on a critical hit. "

Let suppose the magus release his first pool Strike through is spellstrike class feature, threatening on a 19-20/ x3 .

The first attack is a critical Hit ( confirmed!): the magus deal his "pool strike" damage empowered by the critical. This should mean ( regardless of the critical score of the weapon ) a 5d6 + 5d6, a 10d6.

The creatures struck by other " arcing bolts" are subject to "ranged touch attack", this mean that even those attack could crit on their own.

Which scenario should be intended with a critical hit?

On the first enemy - you roll a 1, not enought to hit, the first arcing bolt is wasted. On the second enemy - you roll enought to hit him, you deal 10d6 ( the same increased damage on critical hit ) . Versus the third enemy, the unlucky one, you roll another natural 20 (*).

He get critted for .. a) 10d6 + 5d6 b) 10d6 + 10d6 ?

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Ask the GM

At issue is this sentence from the magus arcana arcing pool strike:

Those struck take the same energy damage as the primary target of the pool strike, including increased damage on a critical hit.

There are two ways to read this:

  1. The damage dealt by each arcing pool strike is the magus's pool strike damage, unmodified by any increase due to a critical hit by the attack that triggered the arcing pool strike.

    That is, a level 12 magus attacks a foe and deals 5d6 points of damage via the pool strike, so targets hit by the arcing pool strikes will be dealt 5d6 points of damage, too.

    That is, just because the pool strike happened to be a critical hit, that has nothing to do with the normal amount of damage dealt by the pool strike. However—as the text points out—, a lucky roll on the ranged touch attack to hit a foe with an arcing pool strike could, subsequently, be a critical hit.

    This is the more conservative reading.

  2. The damage dealt by each arcing pool strike is the magus's pool strike damage, modified by any increase due to a critical hit by the attack that triggered the arcing pool strike. Plus, a ranged touch attack that's a confirmed critical hit will double that damage.

    That is, a level 12 magus attacks a foe and deals 5d6 points of damage via the pool strike and confirms the critical hit, increasing the damage to 10d6, so targets hit by the arcing pool strikes will be dealt 10d6 points of damage. If one of those ranged touch attacks is also a confirmed critical hit, that ranged touch attack deals 20d6 points of damage.

    This is the more liberal reading.

I did some research, and this issue has only arisen occasionally in a few not very noteworthy threads with no developer intervention. If a definitive answer beyond the GM is necessary, you're better off at the Paizo message boards and flagging a new thread there for developer attention so as to get this added to one of Paizo's FAQs. (As an aside, it would take a group of highly optimized PCs adventuring alongside a frequently overshadowed magus to get this GM to go with the more liberal reading.)

Note that, either way, each arcing pool strike should provoke attacks of opportunity as is normal when making a ranged attack (even a ranged touch attack), the magus arcana arcing pool strike in no way eliminating that danger.

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Personally I wouldn't think you could double dip a crit on it. I think it would just do the exact same damage to the enemies you hit as the 1st enemy you crit.

Good question.

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