Developing To Spec: Part 8 (b) -Deafening and Tiring

This is a continuation of Part Eight of a series of articles looking at creating a set of Starfinder feats under specific constraints.  — or just the finished feats (as they are written) here.

While we were going through the PF core rulebook feats in order, when we ran into the first critical feat, we paused in Part Seven to look at all of those as a whole, and we tackled Critical Focus and Critical Mastery. Now, for the rest of this week, we can just write up the critical feats themselves.

It’s useful to tackle all the critical feats at once, because they are interconnected both with each other and with the existing critical effect rules in Starfinder. All these rules could come into play on a single attack roll, so it’s worth writing them all in once block, so we remember what we are doing and why, and keep a consistent answer. This is different from, say, PF feats that give bonuses to two different skills, such as Acrobatic and Athletic, which function similarly, but aren’t going to all interact on the same skill check, since they boost different skills.

The next two critical feats in out list are Deafening Critical and Exhausting Critical. Since Exhausting Critical has Tiring Critical as a prerequisite, we’ll obviously write that one up first.

Like Bleeding Critical, Deafening Critical plays with the same concept as one of Starfinder’s existing critical hit effects, so we need to include how to handle that interaction in our feat. Doing a copy-and-paste of our revised Bleeding Critical seems like a good place to start… but:

When copying-and-pasting, I discovered I thought the first sentence I have been using, that says you can add a critical hit effect to any attack you make, is not clear enough. Someone might decide that means even non-critical attacks get the benefit of the critical hit effect. I don’t think RAW supports that interpretation (critical hit effects have their own rules, which say they only kick in on a critical hit), but if you can remove potential ambiguity without bogging things down, or making it seem like you ALWAYS clarify every interaction (which suggests to some players and GMs that without a clarification the interaction should be read in the most permissive way, rather than in keeping with standard rules). you should. I go back an add “that is a critical hit” to the previous feats in the final archive of feats, and now use that language going forward.

Your critical hits cause opponents to lose their hearing.
Prerequisites: Critical Focus, base attack bonus +13.
Benefit: You can add the deafen critical hit effect to any attack you make that is a critical hit. If the attack already had a deafen critical hit effect, you may also permanently deafen the target on a critical hit if it fails a Fortitude save. The DC of this Fortitude save is equal to 10 + half your base attack bonus + your key ability score modifier. This deafness can be cured by regenerateremove condition (greater), or any spell or effect which is capable of restoring life to the dead or states it cures deafness.
If the attack already has a non-deafen critical hit effect, when you score a critical hit you may apply its normal critical hit effect or the effect from this feat, but not both.

Tiring Critical is in many ways easier, because Starfinder DOES have a fatigued condition, but DOESN’T have any tiring critical hit effects of fusions. (As an aside, I think Fatiguing Critical would be a better name for this feat… but that’s not in the remit of our assignment, so I keep that opinion to myself. It’s not worth taking to our theoretical producer to ask for an exception, especially if they already insisted on having every name from the PF core rulebook in this project when we brought them Armor Proficiency (medium)).

Your critical hits cause opponents to become fatigued.
Prerequisites: Critical Focus, base attack bonus +13.
Benefit: Whenever you score a critical hit, your opponent becomes fatigued. This feat has no additional effect on a fatigued or exhausted creature. The fatigue ends as described in the condition, or can be removed by any effect that states it removes fatigue.
If the attack already has a critical hit effect, when you score a critical hit you may apply its normal critical hit effect or the effect from this feat, but not both.

That means we’ll tackle Exhausting Critical, and one more crit feat, tomorrow!

Like all my blog posts, this is brought to you by the wonderful patrons of my Patreon! I’m happy to do this kind of Practical TTRPG Designer masterclass free to the public… but it’s only possible for me to take the time to do so if people join my Patreon and help me have the free time to write these things!

About Owen K.C. Stephens

Owen K.C. Stephens Owen Kirker Clifford Stephens is a full-time ttRPG Writer, designer, developer, publisher, and consultant. He's the publisher for Rogue Genius Games, and has served as the Starfinder Design Lead for Paizo Publishing, the Freeport and Pathfinder RPG developer for Green Ronin, a developer for Rite Publishing, and the Editor-in-Chief for Evil Genius Games. Owen has written game material for numerous other companies, including Wizards of the Coast, Kobold Press, White Wolf, Steve Jackson Games and Upper Deck. He also consults, freelances, and in the off season, sleeps. He has a Pateon which supports his online work. You can find it at

Posted on October 24, 2019, in Business of Games, Game Design, Pathfinder Development, Starfinder Development and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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