Specifically, Shank, Minor states:

"When using a light melee weapon with which he is proficient, the slayer may replace its normal base damage with 1d6 (1d4 if the weapon is Small, 1d8 if it is Large), and its normal threat range with 19-20."

Emphasis mine.

Improved Critical (and Keen) then state:

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

Would Shank count as expanding the threat range for this purpose, or would 'replacing' the base damage and threat range be akin to using a different weapon (essentially treating any applicable weapon as a 'Shank' - a weapon with 1d6 damage die and 19-20 threat range) as opposed to changing the damage die and threat range of the weapon itself?

As an example: Davey the Slayer uses Shank (the Talent) with his Hook Hand +1. Is the Hook Hand now considered a Shank +1, a weapon with 1d6 damage and a threat range of 19-20?

  • \$\begingroup\$ Im sorry to see that this talent is 3rd party, I could have used it \$\endgroup\$ – Fering Apr 24 '17 at 23:39
  • \$\begingroup\$ I know you've already accepted an answer, but it might be worthwhile, based on your comments on the answers, to update the question by including the light pick as an example. That is, it seems at least part of your question is actually Does the special ability minor shank replace only a weapon's threat range or does the special ability minor shank replace both the weapon's threat range and the weapon's critical multiplier? Or, perhaps, such a question should stand alone? \$\endgroup\$ – Hey I Can Chan Apr 25 '17 at 10:45
  • \$\begingroup\$ The core question was intended to be about whether "replacing" statistics counted as "expanding" them for the purposes of disqualification. It's certainly nice to know that Shank replaces the crit multiplier, though, as it somewhat mitigates the ability to abuse it. \$\endgroup\$ – Tweets Apr 25 '17 at 15:37

As written, you would be able to use Improved Critical or Keen to increase your threat range to 17-20 (15-20 with Shank, Major).

However, you could not take Improved Critical (Shank). You would need Improved Critical (light weapon you're using Shank stats on). Nowhere in the text does it say that the ability replaces the weapon type. Your Hook Hand +1 would still be a Hook Hand +1, but with 1d6 (1d8, 1d10) damage and 19-20 (19-20, 18-20) threat range.

One final note, you wouldn't retain any increased critical multipliers (such as x4 of a light pick)

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  • \$\begingroup\$ So the critical multiplier would become a x2? \$\endgroup\$ – royalmurder Apr 24 '17 at 15:18
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    \$\begingroup\$ That final part's really interesting to me. The question came about due to a friend mentioning his use of Shank and Keen together with a Light Pick for high crit chance with x4 multiplier. Personally if I were DM in the situation I'd not allow it either way, based on the 'spirit' of things, but with the confusing wording wanted some input on how it would be taken by a 'robot' DM. It never even occurred to me that the 20-20 x4 would be overwritten by the 1x-20 x2. \$\endgroup\$ – Tweets Apr 24 '17 at 15:40
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    \$\begingroup\$ @Tweets yup any threat range that doesn't include a multiplier is implied x2. The multiplier is a portion of the threat range nomenclature. Admittedly, it's a little vague here because its 3pp content, so they don't follow Paizo's writing style exactly. As a GM I certainly wouldn't allow someone to take 3 talents+1 feat and have a 1d10 15-20/x4 weapon. \$\endgroup\$ – Ifusaso Apr 25 '17 at 18:48
  • \$\begingroup\$ Here the ruletext is "replace (...) its normal threat range with 19-20", not "replace his threat range by 19-20 and his critical multiplier by x2" like the wording of Improvised weapon mastery for example. For this reason I don't see why the critical multiplier should be replaced. \$\endgroup\$ – Anne Aunyme Jun 9 '17 at 8:24
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    \$\begingroup\$ @AnneAunyme I might agree with your word lawyer'ing if it was Paizo's writing, but it's third party and they rarely, if ever, use the same level of detail in their writing. That being said, the charts list the critical threat as just 'Critical' so there is a premise to replace the whole block. Finally, allowing someone to use a x3 or x4 critical multiplier weapon with a threat range of 18-20 (while also increasing its damage dice) is way too powerful for a couple class features. It's the mathematical equivalent of doubling or tripling all your melee damage. \$\endgroup\$ – Ifusaso Jun 9 '17 at 12:16

Shank replaces the weapon's stats, so it means in the hands of a Slayer with this talent a Hook Hand+1 can become a weapon that has a basic damage dice of 1d6 and a critical threat range of 19-20. It is still +1 though, so this bonus will still apply on top of the 1d6 damages.

If the weapon was a keen +1 hook hand, the keen effect is still here and double the critical range of the weapon, making it threat on 17-20. Same goes for Improved Critical. This is only possible since shank is not expanding the critical range, only replacing it with an other one.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ By the way there is nothing indicated about modifying the critical multiplier, so unless you houserule otherwise the initial critical multiplier is kept. \$\endgroup\$ – Anne Aunyme Jun 12 '17 at 11:37

(I added the x2 even though PF stat blocks would not specify it)

  • If you have Shank your weapon becomes (1d6/19-20, x2)
  • If you have Greater Shank your weapon becomes (1d6/18-20, x2)
  • If you have Shank and Improved Critical (or keen) your weapon becomes (1d6/17-20, x2)
  • If you have Greater Shank and Improved Critical (or keen) your weapon becomes (1d6/15-20, x2)
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