Paizo Top Nav Branding
  • Hello, Guest! |
  • Sign In |
  • My Account |
  • Shopping Cart |
  • Help/FAQ
About Paizo Messageboards News Paizo Blog Help/FAQ
Pathfinder Roleplaying Game
Pathfinder Society

Pathfinder Beginner Box

Pathfinder Adventure Card Game

Pathfinder Comics

Pathfinder Legends

RPG Superstar 2015

Bleed isn't cumulative, and natural attacks always threaten, right?


Rules Questions

Scarab Sages

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

I'm prepping for a game tonight and wanted to make sure about two things:

1. A creature who by its nature inflicts bleed damage makes two attacks. The initial bleed damage is taken on each attack, but the amount taken from round to round doesn't stack. Right? So two attacks, let's say 3 points of bleed damage for each. Both attacks will do their normal damage + 3. But on the next round only 3 points of bleed occurs, not 6?

2. A creature with 5-ft reach is wielding a reach weapon which provides 10-ft reach. That creature no longer threatens the squares immediately around it. However, if such creature has natural attacks or Impr Unarmed Strike that creature *does* threaten the surrounding area by virtue of being able to use natural attacks instead of the reach weapon, right? Also, since the reach weapon could be held in one hand and switched to another hand as a free action, both hands could be used to make attacks? (Not necessary in the case of IUS, but it would be required for creatures with two claw attacks, for example.)

As a corollary of #2, an opponent that closes to within 5-ft of the above hypothetical beast (!) would provoke from the reach weapon as it tries to leave the square 10-ft away, but a feat like Stand Still could force the opponent to stop in their tracks, right? And if I use the LargeAndInCharge feat from the Draconomicon the same thing would apply?

Thanks all!


On #2, it is not quite as straightforward as a simple yes or no. Assuming the limb in question is free to make attacks, then the answer is yes.

For example, if I am wielding a two-handed reach weapon, then both of my hands are occupied with using the weapon, thus I cannot make AoOs with claws on my hands or improved unarmed strikes without letting go of my weapon, but I could make a bite attacks.

Letting go of your weapon is a free action, and cannot be done during someone else's turn. If you do let go of a two-handed weapon to make unarmed or claw attacks, then you no longer count as wielding the weapon and thus cannot make AoOs with the reach weapon.

Dark Archive

1. The initial bleed damage is not taken immediately

d20PFSRD wrote:
A creature that is taking bleed damage takes the listed amount of damage at the beginning of its turn. Bleeding can be stopped by a DC 15 Heal check or through the application of any spell that cures hit point damage (even if the bleed is ability damage)... Bleed effects do not stack with each other unless they deal different kinds of damage.

Each attack will do normal damage. On the enemy's turn they will take bleed damage equal to the higher roll of the two since they don't stack but instead overlap.

2. I'm not sure of the RAW on this but I'll keep looking. Hopefully, someone else can come up with something. Here's what I see. If the creature in question had a bite or a kick that's fine. However, you can't take free actions when it is not your turn. So your hands are still occupied by the reach weapon (assuming it takes two hands, I don't know of any one handed reach weapons other than those of a Phalanx fighter from the APG). On your own turn, I would not be adverse to letting you hold the two handed weapon in one hand (using the ground to take the weight off, presumably) so you could use your free hand with claws or whatever to make AoO's. However, this would prohibit you from attacking at reach with an AoO.

2b. Yes. Don't feel like finding my Draconomicon. Would you like to summarize that feat?


Paizo Charter Superscriber; Pathfinder Deluxe Comics Subscriber

Regarding #1, you are correct, bleed damage does not stack (emphasis mine):

PRD wrote:
Bleed: A creature that is taking bleed damage takes the listed amount of damage at the beginning of its turn. Bleeding can be stopped by a DC 15 Heal check or through the application of any spell that cures hit point damage (even if the bleed is ability damage). Some bleed effects cause ability damage or even ability drain. Bleed effects do not stack with each other unless they deal different kinds of damage. When two or more bleed effects deal the same kind of damage, take the worse effect. In this case, ability drain is worse than ability damage.

Also, the bleed damage is not applied immediately in addition to the damage from the attack, as you seem to be implying, but only on the start of the bleeding creature's turn.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Maps, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

So if I cast a spell that turned the target's veins into acid giving him x acid bleed damage per round, then that would stack with other forms of bleed damage?


Paizo Charter Superscriber; Pathfinder Deluxe Comics Subscriber
Ravingdork wrote:
So if I cast a spell that turned the target's veins into acid giving him x acid bleed damage per round, then that would stack with other forms of bleed damage?

Probably, if such a thing as "acid bleed" is possible. Does the spell exist?


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Charender wrote:

On #2, it is not quite as straightforward as a simple yes or no. Assuming the limb in question is free to make attacks, then the answer is yes.

For example, if I am wielding a two-handed reach weapon, then both of my hands are occupied with using the weapon, thus I cannot make AoOs with claws on my hands or improved unarmed strikes without letting go of my weapon, but I could make a bite attacks.

Letting go of your weapon is a free action, and cannot be done during someone else's turn. If you do let go of a two-handed weapon to make unarmed or claw attacks, then you no longer count as wielding the weapon and thus cannot make AoOs with the reach weapon.

True and false. You can't make claw attacks with the appendages that are holding a weapon. I'm unsure whether this carries over to AoO, but it at least makes logical sense to me that it would not work. Unarmed Strike however could be a punch or a kick or a headbutt or a knee or an elbow...etc. So that's kosher.

IUS is a great addition to a reach weapon build for this reason.

The Exchange

Ravingdork wrote:
So if I cast a spell that turned the target's veins into acid giving him x acid bleed damage per round, then that would stack with other forms of bleed damage?

I think it is talking more about this like Con bleed + Str bleed + HP bleed. Three different types of bleed that would all stack.


meatrace wrote:
Charender wrote:

On #2, it is not quite as straightforward as a simple yes or no. Assuming the limb in question is free to make attacks, then the answer is yes.

For example, if I am wielding a two-handed reach weapon, then both of my hands are occupied with using the weapon, thus I cannot make AoOs with claws on my hands or improved unarmed strikes without letting go of my weapon, but I could make a bite attacks.

Letting go of your weapon is a free action, and cannot be done during someone else's turn. If you do let go of a two-handed weapon to make unarmed or claw attacks, then you no longer count as wielding the weapon and thus cannot make AoOs with the reach weapon.

True and false. You can't make claw attacks with the appendages that are holding a weapon. I'm unsure whether this carries over to AoO, but it at least makes logical sense to me that it would not work. Unarmed Strike however could be a punch or a kick or a headbutt or a knee or an elbow...etc. So that's kosher.

IUS is a great addition to a reach weapon build for this reason.

Sorry, you are correct, I still get stuck in the mentality that unarmed strikes are all punches sometimes.


In regards to #1, in most cases it works okay to go ahead and apply the bleed damage when the attack is made, if for no other reason than to prevent you from forgetting. Especially in regards to mooks.

There are some exceptions, tho. If there is a chance that healing or the heal skill could be used on the bleeding character by a different character who acts prior to the bleeding character in initiative order, for instance.

It's also possible that if the bleed damage itself causes the character to drop, then AoOs, flanking, or the ability to pass through or occupy a particular square might be an issue. These are corner cases, tho. Unless I'm running just one or two npcs, I usually go ahead and apply the bleed when the attack occurs.

Dark Archive

meatrace wrote:
Charender wrote:

On #2, it is not quite as straightforward as a simple yes or no. Assuming the limb in question is free to make attacks, then the answer is yes.

For example, if I am wielding a two-handed reach weapon, then both of my hands are occupied with using the weapon, thus I cannot make AoOs with claws on my hands or improved unarmed strikes without letting go of my weapon, but I could make a bite attacks.

Letting go of your weapon is a free action, and cannot be done during someone else's turn. If you do let go of a two-handed weapon to make unarmed or claw attacks, then you no longer count as wielding the weapon and thus cannot make AoOs with the reach weapon.

True and false. You can't make claw attacks with the appendages that are holding a weapon. I'm unsure whether this carries over to AoO, but it at least makes logical sense to me that it would not work. Unarmed Strike however could be a punch or a kick or a headbutt or a knee or an elbow...etc. So that's kosher.

IUS is a great addition to a reach weapon build for this reason.

I like giving monks "Weapon prof: Spear". threat out to 10' and great for shutting up casters.

Sovereign Court

Pathfinder Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Campaign Setting, Cards, Companion, Maps, Modules, Pawns, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Do you re-roll bleed damage each round, or continue bleeding the same amount each round based on the initial bleed damage roll?

Paizo Employee Creative Director

3 people marked this as FAQ candidate. Answered in the FAQ. 1 person marked this as a favorite.
Mosaic wrote:
Do you re-roll bleed damage each round, or continue bleeding the same amount each round based on the initial bleed damage roll?

If the bleed damage is expressed as a die roll... yup; you reroll the damage each round.

Dark Archive

Mosaic wrote:
Do you re-roll bleed damage each round, or continue bleeding the same amount each round based on the initial bleed damage roll?

The rules are not terribly specific on this. For purposes of speed and bookkeeping, you might want to apply the same bleed damage each round after you roll it on the first. However, Generally continuing damage is rolled each turn. Plus, if you roll low you might end up with some pretty disappointing bleed damage for a whole fight if you don't roll each round. Decide between you and your DM what's best for your party.

Edit: Apparently, they're more specific than I thought. Thanks for your input, Mr. Jacobs. However, I still hold to the fact that in a big party or a slow one, you might consider rolling just once so your GM can make a note of it and do it each turn without slowing the game. This will also be useful for a team that likes to stack a number of DOTs


Since we're on the subject of bleeding there's a question I've been meaning to ask for some time. Most abilities that deal with bleeding, such as the rogue's bleeding attack talent, say they can only be stopped by a sufficient heal check or by healing in some other way.

Does this mean that the target will bleed to death unless treated? Can a 2nd level rogue bleed every creature to death that doesn't have access to healing, such as every single animal?

Shadow Lodge

Ellington wrote:


Does this mean that the target will bleed to death unless treated? Can a 2nd level rogue bleed every creature to death that doesn't have access to healing, such as every single animal?

Heal can be used untrained. Animals wound lick or use Zoopharmacognosy (ah, wikipedia). Assuming the animal has sufficient HP at the end of a fight, it could always take 20(and the 20 points of damage), or just get lucky on a roll. Most animals have positive wisdom modifiers.


Ellington wrote:

Since we're on the subject of bleeding there's a question I've been meaning to ask for some time. Most abilities that deal with bleeding, such as the rogue's bleeding attack talent, say they can only be stopped by a sufficient heal check or by healing in some other way.

Does this mean that the target will bleed to death unless treated? Can a 2nd level rogue bleed every creature to death that doesn't have access to healing, such as every single animal?

IMO Animals can heal some wounds even when they haven't got hands, real animals I mean, animals have strong survival instincts and I have seen animals performing self-amputation.

There isn't any rule about it in the RAW afaik, so I would use common sense. An animal wouldn't use Heal in a combat situation, but it should try to heal itself after fleeing i.e.


Natural attacks will only threaten targets if they are not occupied with something else.

-No, you cannot shift your weapon from one hand to the other in order to attack with both claws. When you begin your turn, you either have your weapon or not (or drop it), you can't have a monster do the following:
*5ft step
*Right Claw Attack
*switch weapon from left to right claw
*Left Claw Attack

This does not work...I've never seen it listed anywhere that switching a weapon from one hand to the other is a free action. Its a minor action, surely...but you can't attack with the same hand that is holding a weapon at the start of your turn unless you drop it or put the weapon away. If there is anywhere this is stated in the rules, please post it or a link.

-You can certainly Drop (free action) your weapon in order to attack with the claws.

Honestly, I very well could be wrong on this...but as far as I have ever seen in the rules, you can't juggle a weapon from hand to hand while attacking with both.

Scarab Sages

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Thanks everyone!

I didn't need this information tonight, but I've fed it into my MapTool campaign so I'll have it ready...

It seems that taking the IUS feat would be a really good idea for this creature. I may have to give it one level of monk. :-]


azhrei_fje wrote:

As a corollary of #2, an opponent that closes to within 5-ft of the above hypothetical beast (!) would provoke from the reach weapon as it tries to leave the square 10-ft away, but a feat like Stand Still could force the opponent to stop in their tracks, right? And if I use the LargeAndInCharge feat from the Draconomicon the same thing would apply?

Thanks all!

Step Up only works on creatures in adjacent squares.

as per description: When a foe provokes an attack of opportunity due to moving through your adjacent squares, you can make a combat maneuver check as your attack of opportunity.

and...+1 Yasha.

But you cannot attack with a weapon - drop it - and attack with natural attacks in the same round if there's any confusion.


Thank you for the extra clarity Tanis.

Yeah, you can't attack with the polearm, drop it, then attack with both claws either. Heheh....I wouldn't put it past some folks though.


If you are a sort of animal with opposable thumbs and claws on your hind legs, you could make your hind legs natural attacks on top of attacking with whatever weapon you are holding. Same goes with bite attacks. That is, not forgetting the -2 for using TWF on your weapon, and -5 on your natural attacks because they become secondary.

Liberty's Edge

As for the natural attack question the answer is a guarded yes.

Guarded because as has been stated the part of the body that is attacking has to be free to make said attack, if you have 2 full hands and only have claw attacks, those claws don't threaten. But if you have say a bite, or hoof attacks then the answer is yes you still threaten.


azhrei_fje wrote:


2. A creature with 5-ft reach is wielding a reach weapon which provides 10-ft reach. That creature no longer threatens the squares immediately around it. However, if such creature has natural attacks or Impr Unarmed Strike that creature *does* threaten the surrounding area by virtue of being able to use natural attacks instead of the reach weapon, right? Also, since the reach weapon could be held in one hand and switched to another hand as a free action, both hands could be used to make attacks? (Not necessary in the case of IUS, but it would be required for creatures with two claw attacks, for example.)

Reach weapons need to be able to be used to provoke. If it can be used in one hand then that is perfectly fine with claw attacks. If you had improved unarmed strike or armor spikes you can knee, kick or other attacks, so you can still provoke right next to you as normal with those weapons.


Yasha wrote:

Natural attacks will only threaten targets if they are not occupied with something else.

-No, you cannot shift your weapon from one hand to the other in order to attack with both claws. When you begin your turn, you either have your weapon or not (or drop it), you can't have a monster do the following:
*5ft step
*Right Claw Attack
*switch weapon from left to right claw
*Left Claw Attack

This does not work...I've never seen it listed anywhere that switching a weapon from one hand to the other is a free action. Its a minor action, surely...but you can't attack with the same hand that is holding a weapon at the start of your turn unless you drop it or put the weapon away. If there is anywhere this is stated in the rules, please post it or a link.

-You can certainly Drop (free action) your weapon in order to attack with the claws.

Honestly, I very well could be wrong on this...but as far as I have ever seen in the rules, you can't juggle a weapon from hand to hand while attacking with both.

Moving your weapon from one hand to another is a free action.

Barring specific exceptions, you cannot take one type of action in the middle of another action. Thus you cannot use a free action to swap hand in the middle of a full attack action.


1 person marked this as FAQ candidate.
James Jacobs wrote:
Mosaic wrote:
Do you re-roll bleed damage each round, or continue bleeding the same amount each round based on the initial bleed damage roll?
If the bleed damage is expressed as a die roll... yup; you reroll the damage each round.

How does this work with the fact that multiple sources of hp bleed don't stack?

For example, the rogue in my party lands a Bleeding Strike that causes 7 bleed, on a target I've landed a Bleeding Critical against for 2d6 bleed. Do we roll the 2d6 each round and take it if it's higher than 7? Does the 7 bleed overwrite the 2d6 because 2d6 averages 6.5? Maybe they count as "different types of damage" since one is dice and the other solid, and now he bleeds for 2d6+7?

I always thought you just rolled the bleed dice once and kept that, and so my 2d6 bleed would have a single number on it - so it would be, say, 9 bleed and would make the 7 redundant. Now that I know you reroll the dice every round, I don't get how they work together.

Marathon Voter 2013

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Take the highest of the round.


That is what I was thinking, even though it seems... odd. Roll it every round and take the roll if it's higher than the static.

My problem with that, though, is that if that works that way, then why shouldn't multiple applications of dice bleed also work that way? If I can inflict 2d6 bleed 3 times, should we 2d6 three times a round and take the highest? My group might honestly just stick with the static-dice (roll once and use that) for simplicity, even though we're usually pretty solid on following RAW w/ errata.

Marathon Voter 2013

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Think of static bleed as Xd1? :-D


1 person marked this as FAQ candidate.

What I cant understand is that on bleeding critical feat, it says:

"Benefit: Whenever you score a critical hit with a slashing or piercing weapon, your opponent takes 2d6 points of bleed damage each round on his turn, in addition to the damage dealt by the critical hit. Bleed damage can be stopped by a DC 15 Heal skill check or through any magical healing. The effects of this feat stack."

Each critical adds 2d6? so 2 criticals will be 4d6 bleeding damage?, this will be against the main rule that no 2 bleed effects will stack.


Feats overrule general rules.
It could also overrule the general rule that critical feats don't stack. They really should have been more specific about what it is stacking with.


Well looks like everyone on this post takes as certain that it does not stack.

English is not my native language but I guess that carefull reading can led to think that the effect stack but you just take the highest rol, but can be anoying when you hited 3 or 4 crits and need to rol every round to check which is the highest rol.


I would just roll the bleed attack once unless another crit comes up. In that case take the highest roll.


What Im doing so far is just that, but im still confused about if I should add 2 more d6 bledding damage for each crit or just apply the highest.

Considering how bledding is working on the rest of the rules and how easy is to crit for a warrior, 2d6 for each crit looks imbalanced to me.


2d6 stacking is pretty vicious that is why I think the stacking was not referring to bleed damage, but the rule saying that critical feats don't stack.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Maps, Roleplaying Game Subscriber
James Jacobs wrote:
Mosaic wrote:
Do you re-roll bleed damage each round, or continue bleeding the same amount each round based on the initial bleed damage roll?
If the bleed damage is expressed as a die roll... yup; you reroll the damage each round.

The quoted post says "answered in FAQ" but I cannot so much as find the word "bleed" in any of the official FAQ pages much less find an answer to the question.

Looks to me like someone dropped the ball. That...or it's a cover up!


I could not find it either RD. I think either it was supposed to be answered, but not got entered, or someone marked the wrong question as actually being answered.


RAW it sure looks like it stacks with itself.
But I find it more likely that it stacks with other sources of bleed, like wounding.


RAW it stacks with itself, and the other critical feats which is why I think they need to be specific. I doubt they intended for it to do both.
I will probably make a thread for it so we can get an answer.


http://www.d20pfsrd.com/magic-items/magic-weapons#TOC-Wounding wrote:
A wounding weapon deals 1 point of bleed damage when it hits a creature. Multiple hits from a wounding weapon increase the bleed damage. Bleeding creatures take the bleed damage at the start of their turns. Bleeding can be stopped by a DC 15 Heal check or through the application of any spell that cures hit point damage. A critical hit does not multiply the bleed damage dealt by this weapon. Creatures immune to critical hits are immune to the damage.

Thought this should be pointed out.


bleed does not stack unless the ability specifically says it stacks (like bleeding crit)

this seems very powerful until you realize that by the time your 11th level most creatures are going to have some way to heal, fast heal, regenerate, or simply run away and fix the problem.

a powerfull ability... but not OP


Pathfinder Modules Subscriber
Charender wrote:
Sorry, you are correct, I still get stuck in the mentality that unarmed strikes are all punches sometimes.

Occasionally, so do the folks at Paizo. : D


OK so I'm quite confused about the bleed effect from Thistle Arrows.
"Benefit: Thistle arrows deal damage as a bleed effect for 1d6 rounds."
Does this mean they deal 1 damage for 1d6 rounds or does it take my bow's damage and turn it into bleed damage? or does it do 1d6 bleed for 1d6 rounds?


manicforestwalker wrote:

OK so I'm quite confused about the bleed effect from Thistle Arrows.

"Benefit: Thistle arrows deal damage as a bleed effect for 1d6 rounds."
Does this mean they deal 1 damage for 1d6 rounds or does it take my bow's damage and turn it into bleed damage? or does it do 1d6 bleed for 1d6 rounds?

Bleed damage is normally 1 per round unless specified otherwise.

Paizo / Messageboards / Paizo Publishing / Pathfinder® / Pathfinder RPG / Rules Questions / Bleed isn't cumulative, and natural attacks always threaten, right? All Messageboards

Want to post a reply? Sign in.

©2002–2014 Paizo Inc.®. Need help? Email customer.service@paizo.com or call 425-250-0800 during our business hours: Monday–Friday, 10 AM–5 PM Pacific Time. View our privacy policy. Paizo Inc., Paizo, the Paizo golem logo, Pathfinder, the Pathfinder logo, Pathfinder Society, GameMastery, and Planet Stories are registered trademarks of Paizo Inc., and Pathfinder Roleplaying Game, Pathfinder Campaign Setting, Pathfinder Adventure Path, Pathfinder Adventure Card Game, Pathfinder Player Companion, Pathfinder Modules, Pathfinder Tales, Pathfinder Battles, Pathfinder Online, PaizoCon, RPG Superstar, The Golem's Got It, Titanic Games, the Titanic logo, and the Planet Stories planet logo are trademarks of Paizo Inc. Dungeons & Dragons, Dragon, Dungeon, and Polyhedron are registered trademarks of Wizards of the Coast, Inc., a subsidiary of Hasbro, Inc., and have been used by Paizo Inc. under license. Most product names are trademarks owned or used under license by the companies that publish those products; use of such names without mention of trademark status should not be construed as a challenge to such status.