Please help a beginner to understand how a critical hit works.

From the **Pathfinder Game Master’s Guide**:

Critical Hit

Whenever a creature’s attack roll is a 20 on the d20, the attack might be a critical hit. Make another attack roll for the creature, just like the first one. If this second attack roll would hit the target, the original attack is a critical hit and does double damage—roll the damage for the weapon twice (including modifiers) and add the rolls together to find out how much damage you do. […]

To me this explanation sounds ambiguous, so please help me to understand this right. I'll give you an example fight. Let's assume a *Goblin* is fighting against *Valeros the Fighter*. *Valeros* hits first. The stats are as follows:

Goblin

Armor Class: 16

Valeros the Fighter

Weapon: Longsword

Attack Bonus: +4

Weapon Damage: 1d8+4

What I understand is how a critical hit may fail.

Failing Critical Hit

Valeros rolls a 20 on a d20, so his attack might be critical. He rolls again, but only a 11 on the d20. Even with his attack bonus of +4 his roll is lower than the Goblin's armor. The critical hit fails, but since the first roll was highter than the Goblin's armor, Valeros will deal 1d8+4 damage.

**How much damage does Valeros do on a critical hit?**

Valeros rolls a 20 on a d20, so his attack might be critical. He rolls again, this time 15 on the d20. With his attack bonus of +4 his roll is higher than the Goblin's armor.

The manual says that "the original attack is a critical hit and does double damage". At this point I haven't rolled for any damage. I would assume that the damage roll I do next will double. So 1d8+4 times two could be 2x(8+4)=24.

In the same sentence I read that I have to "roll the damage for the weapon twice". So I could also roll (8+4)(1+4)=17.

So what is true? How do I roll for damage?

## Best Answer

The thing I think you're missing here is that the description of "double damage" is all one sentence.

Let's break it down.

Cool, now we've determined what it is, what does that mean?

That's a bit ambiguous. There's more than one way to think about "double damage" (as your post demonstrates.) But here comes the clarification:

That's not a separate thing, that's the explanation of what they mean by "double damage" immediately before it. In your example, you'd roll (1d8+4)+(1d8+4), which might well be 1+4+8+4=17. Really, you're still doubling the damage you do, just before you roll instead of after.