The official GemStone IV encyclopedia.
Jump to: navigation, search

A critical (or crit) is a term that refers to the extra damage done to a creature or character in an attack. For example, a hit that does 18 raw damage to a creature wearing soft leather armor will suffer a level 3 critical, on average. The critical determines the message (see critical table) that is seen after an attack, the stun, the wound, how badly the creature bleeds, and the extra damage done by the critical hit.

Determining Critical Rank

Critical hits are determined by the raw damage (not blood loss) and the critical divisor of the armor the defender is wearing. The raw damage is determined by the damage factor of the weapon used against the armor the defender wears and the end roll of the attack. The general formula for critical rank is:

  • Critical Rank = Truncate[ ( (Endroll - 100) * Weapon Damage Factor - Armor Padding Points + Weapon Weighting Points ) / Armor Critical Divisor ]

Weapon Damage Factor & Raw Damage

The raw damage in an attack is an unseen number that contributes to the critical ranking of an attack. It can be considered a measure of how effective the weapon is against the armor for that particular attack. As such it only utilizes the endroll or the attack and the damage factor of the weapon against the armor of the defender. The general formula for raw damage is:

  • Raw damage = (Endroll - 100) * Weapon Damage Factor

The amount of raw damage done by a weapon can be increased or decreased with weapon weighting or armor padding respectively. These enhancements will directly add or subtract some amount of phantom damage from the raw damage calculation above.


You swing a gleaming vultite battlesword at a thunder troll!
   AS: +195 vs DS: +49 with AvD: +42 + d100 roll: +4 = +192
   ... and hit for 53 points of damage!
   Strong slash to the thunder troll's right hand cuts deep.
   The thunder troll is stunned!
Roundtime: 5 sec.

The battlesword, a two-handed sword, has a damage factor of 0.500 against the troll. The end roll is +192 (192 - 100 = 92) and is multiplied by 0.500, resulting in 46. Therefore, the attack above did 46 raw damage. The additional seven damage comes from the critical.

Armor Critical Divisor

Armor Group Critical Divisor
Robes 5
Leather 6
Scale 7
Chain 9
Plate 11

A critical divisor or crit divisor refers to a property of armor that determines the rank of a critical when struck. The critical divisor for an unarmored opponent is 5, so in order to inflict a level 1 critical, an attacker must deal 5 to 11 raw damage in the absence of weighting. Achieving ten raw damage can cause a level 2 critical, though the actual level of a critical will vary due to critical randomization. See also damage factor and armor.

Critical Randomization

Base Rank Randomized Rank
0 0
1 1
2 1 or 2
3 2 or 3
4 2, 3 or 4
5 3, 4 or 5
6 3, 4, 5 or 6
7 4, 5, 6 or 7
8 4, 5, 6, 7, or 8
9 5, 6, 7, 8 or 9

The ranking of a critical attack has some variation according to the critical randomization mechanics. First, the base rank of the critical is determined as normal (the raw damage of an attack modified by weighting and padding, followed by scaling according to critical divisor). This is the maximum possible critical rank of the attack. The minimum critical rank is half of the maximum rounded up. The actual critical rank of the attack is anything in that range (inclusively) with equal probability. The maximum critical rank of an attack is 9. The table at right summarizes these values.

The effectiveness of a given critical hit is different depending on which location is hit, which is normally determined randomly unless the AMBUSH verb is used, generally. Also, there are different types of critical hits for each location, which include crushing, piercing, or slashing damage. What type of damage a critical hit does is randomly determined between the possible damage types a given weapon is capable of, unless the Combat Maneuver, Precision is used. However, both the hit location and the type of damage cannot be influenced at once. If the AMBUSH verb is used, one cannot benefit from Precision, and if Precision is used, one cannot aim an attack through AMBUSH. In such a case, using a weapon that only deals certain types of damage is paramount.


The italicized line below is the line known as the critical messaging.

You swing a gleaming vultite battlesword at a thunder troll!
   AS: +195 vs DS: +49 with AvD: +42 + d100 roll: +4 = +192
   ... and hit for 53 points of damage!
   Strong slash to the thunder troll's right hand cuts deep.
   The thunder troll is stunned!
Roundtime: 5 sec.

Note that the critical location was determined to be the right hand and that the damage type shown is slashing. The damage factor of a two-handed sword against a thunder troll's armor is .500, so the +192 endroll does 46 raw damage. The message given is a level 4 critical. The critical multiplier against the hand is 5, so the expected critical level is 9, but the troll is protected by natural critical padding and critical randomization reduced the critical level to 4. A level 4 slashing critical to the hand does 7 extra damage.

Fatal Critical Rank

The following table lists the minimum critical ranks that cause instant death for the victim. Limb injuries are not shown as they are not immediately fatal.

Type Head Neck Eye Chest Abdomen Back
ACID 6 6 6 8 8 8
COLD 6 6 6 8 8 8
CRUSH 5 5 7 9 8 8
DISRUPTION 6 6 6 9 8 8
ELECTRICAL 6 6 6 9 8 8
FIRE 6 6 7 8 8 8
GRAPPLE 9? 8 - - - -
IMPACT 5 5 7 9 8 8
PLASMA (BOLT) 6 5 7 8 8 -
PLASMA (OTHER) 6 5 7 5 8 -
PUNCTURE 6 6 4 8 8 8
SLASH 6 6 5 8 8 8
STEAM 7 7 7 8 8 8
UNBALANCE 9 9 9 - - -
VACUUM 6 6 7 8 8 8