Jump to content
Smoothjedi

Active Stun quality and Critical hits

Recommended Posts

So I was curious about a question someone in our group asked, and I wasn't sure of the answer. Let's say someone is using a weapon that has an active stun quality, such as a shock gauntlet, and makes a successful attack against an opponent inflicting 5 damage. Next let's say the target has a soak of 5+, and no net base damage is done, preventing a Critical hit from being triggered.

However, assume the attacker has plenty of advantage to spend. Spending some to activate Stun 3, he causes 3 unsoakable damage to the target. Could he now spend any excess advantage to activate Critical hits? It is in the same step of combat of spending advantage, but it seems pretty strong to basically guarantee the ability to land a crit no matter the soak of the target provided they have enough advantage for both.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
26 minutes ago, Smoothjedi said:

So I was curious about a question someone in our group asked, and I wasn't sure of the answer. Let's say someone is using a weapon that has an active stun quality, such as a shock gauntlet, and makes a successful attack against an opponent inflicting 5 damage. Next let's say the target has a soak of 5+, and no net base damage is done, preventing a Critical hit from being triggered.

However, assume the attacker has plenty of advantage to spend. Spending some to activate Stun 3, he causes 3 unsoakable damage to the target. Could he now spend any excess advantage to activate Critical hits? It is in the same step of combat of spending advantage, but it seems pretty strong to basically guarantee the ability to land a crit no matter the soak of the target provided they have enough advantage for both.

No. You need to cause Damage (to WT or ST) before you can activate a Critical Hit. Some effects just add points of Wound or Strain without actually doing Damage, and the Stun quality is of this type.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 minutes ago, HappyDaze said:

No. You need to cause Damage (to WT or ST) before you can activate a Critical Hit. Some effects just add points of Wound or Strain without actually doing Damage, and the Stun quality is of this type.

There is a sidebar in the F&D book that says that strain can cause critical hits, page 223. Is this specifically speaking about the Stun Damage quality vs the active quality? 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
5 minutes ago, Smoothjedi said:

There is a sidebar in the F&D book that says that strain can cause critical hits, page 223. Is this specifically speaking about the Stun Damage quality vs the active quality? 

No, it's referring to the ability of strain damage-dealing weapons to cause critical injuries. I'm AFB right now, but my recollection is it's primarily dealing with two things:

  1. Weapons that have the Stun Damage quality or a stun setting that also have a critical rating. In that case, that number of advantages (or a Triumph) can cause a critical injury as normal, which is where the rule about needing at least one point of damage to get through soak to inflict a critical injury comes in.
  2. Whenever someone's strain threshold gets exceeded, it has the potential to cause a critical injury. This is usually up to the GM in the moment: for example, Scathing Tirade in a social encounter wouldn't ordinarily trigger a critical injury, but if you stun someone, they exceed their strain threshold, and they fall to the deck, that might cause a critical injury.

Stun as an active quality is neither of these things, though it can cause someone to go over their threshold, in which case #2 above could apply.

Think about it this way: if you threw a grenade and missed, but had enough advantages to activate Blast, you wouldn't then try to spend additional advantages on a crit. Why? Because the actual attack missed, and critical injuries key off of the attack hitting. When no damage gets through soak, Parry/Reflect, etc., the attack is effectively a miss.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)
2 hours ago, CaptainRaspberry said:

No, it's referring to the ability of strain damage-dealing weapons to cause critical injuries. I'm AFB right now, but my recollection is it's primarily dealing with two things:

  1. Weapons that have the Stun Damage quality or a stun setting that also have a critical rating. In that case, that number of advantages (or a Triumph) can cause a critical injury as normal, which is where the rule about needing at least one point of damage to get through soak to inflict a critical injury comes in.
  2. Whenever someone's strain threshold gets exceeded, it has the potential to cause a critical injury. This is usually up to the GM in the moment: for example, Scathing Tirade in a social encounter wouldn't ordinarily trigger a critical injury, but if you stun someone, they exceed their strain threshold, and they fall to the deck, that might cause a critical injury.

Stun as an active quality is neither of these things, though it can cause someone to go over their threshold, in which case #2 above could apply.

Think about it this way: if you threw a grenade and missed, but had enough advantages to activate Blast, you wouldn't then try to spend additional advantages on a crit. Why? Because the actual attack missed, and critical injuries key off of the attack hitting. When no damage gets through soak, Parry/Reflect, etc., the attack is effectively a miss.

watch how  you word that, most weapon qualities require a successful attack to trigger, example if you roll a miss with a brawl attack you cant trigger knockdown, however a successful attack (ie a roll with one net success, irrespective of damage caused) can trigger knockdown, so if you did 3 damage against 10 soak and rolled 2 advantages this is not a miss for the purposes of triggering knockdown, though you couldn't trigger a critical as it requires the attack to do at least 1 damage. which brings us back to the original request, because in that the stun quality does indeed cause damage , since im not near my core book if the requirement is for the hit to cause at least 1 point of damage, it could well be that triggering the weapon quality for stun meets that requisite, not sure on the wording though so I can't say 100%

Edited by syrath

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
10 minutes ago, syrath said:

watch how  you word that, most weapon qualities require a successful attack to trigger, example if you roll a miss with a brawl attack you cant trigger knockdown, however a successful attack (ie a roll with one net success, irrespective of damage caused) can trigger knockdown, so if you did 3 damage against 10 soak and rolled 2 advantages this is not a miss for the purposes of triggering knockdown, though you couldn't trigger a critical as it requires the attack to do at least 1 damage. which brings us back to the original request, because in that the stun quality does indeed cause damage , since im not near my core book if the requirement is for the hit to cause at least 1 point of damage, it could well be that triggering the weapon quality for stun meets that requisite, not sure on the wording though so I can't say 100%

Yeah, this lies out my original question well. In the multi step process of resolving attacks, spending advantage for crits and activating qualities is in the same step, so it seems plausible at least that damage triggered here could then be used to validate the requirements for a crit, especially given the sidebar saying that stun damage can inflict criticals.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Smoothjedi said:

Yeah, this lies out my original question well. In the multi step process of resolving attacks, spending advantage for crits and activating qualities is in the same step, so it seems plausible at least that damage triggered here could then be used to validate the requirements for a crit, especially given the sidebar saying that stun damage can inflict criticals.

Stun Damage (including that from a Stun Setting), can inflict critical hits. Stun or other forms of inflicted Strain (e.g., Scathing Tirade talent, Suppressing Fire talent, Influence power, etc.)  that are not Stun Damage cannot inflict critical hits.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
13 hours ago, Smoothjedi said:

So I was curious about a question someone in our group asked, and I wasn't sure of the answer. Let's say someone is using a weapon that has an active stun quality, such as a shock gauntlet, and makes a successful attack against an opponent inflicting 5 damage. Next let's say the target has a soak of 5+, and no net base damage is done, preventing a Critical hit from being triggered.

However, assume the attacker has plenty of advantage to spend. Spending some to activate Stun 3, he causes 3 unsoakable damage to the target. Could he now spend any excess advantage to activate Critical hits? It is in the same step of combat of spending advantage, but it seems pretty strong to basically guarantee the ability to land a crit no matter the soak of the target provided they have enough advantage for both.

My read on this would be "no," as triggering the critical would have to come from the weapon's actual damage having exceeded the target's soak value and inflicted at least 1 wound (or 1 strain for those weapons that have the stun damage quality).

The Stun # quality is an extra kicker to the damage the weapon already inflicts, and since it's triggered as part of the resolving the advantage/threat step of the attack (which if I remember the order of operations correctly is after damage has been determined and applied to the target's soak value), by the time you'd get to activate the Stun # quality, the window of opportunity for triggering a critical has already closed.

To allow otherwise makes the Stun # quality even more potent than it already is, since as written the quality is assured damage (that bypasses soak no less) provided you score at least one uncancelled success and two advantage, which against most Minions and Rivals means they're taking wound damage anyway since they don't have a strain threshold.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

There are two ways for a character to gain wounds/strain:

  • You can take damage (either wound damage or strain damage)
  • You can suffer wounds or strain

Damage is reduced by soak while wounds and strain suffered is not. A Critical Injury (not a Critical Hit, which is what vehicles take) can only be triggered if your target takes 1 or more damage from an attack. Because the Stun quality causes the target to suffer strain and not take strain damage a Critical Injury cannot be triggered.

"Remember, a Critical Injury can only be triggered upon a successful hit that deals damage that exceeds the target’s soak value." CRB211.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

×