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Thoughts on Damage Reduction and Magical Weapon?


Pathfinder RPG General Discussion

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Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Don’t like it. IIRC, it was optional in the Beta book.

If DR is part of a creature’s CR, and a weapon or effect makes it irrelevant, then the CR isn’t appropriate; for example how dangerous is a rakshasa if the party is (or party warriors are) wielding holy piercing weapons? (Rhetorical)

There are so many ways to ignore, reduce or add DR anyway, aside from that rule. Cluster Shot (UC) for arrows, Penetrating Strike and Greater Penetrating Strike (Core), the Align Weapon spell (Core), weapon blanches (APG) are things I’m not a fan of. The Holy weapon quality and the like, and different materials are fine with me, though. (I’m not a fan of Spell Pentration or Greater Spell Penetration, either.)

I think I remember seeing that the reason given that the x/type numbers were reduced in 3.5 was so that cohorts and animal companions could have a chance to harm monsters...

Scarab Sages

Another thing overlooked in the 3.5 revision (although a minor quibble):

Note: When I say "damage" I mean "easily deal melee damage".

The tiered magic DR, and the magic bypass system, allowed for monsters to be "ranked" in the natural order. Compare, for example, a lycanthrope to a balor. In 3.0 the lycanthrope could not hope to damage the balor, while the balor easily bypasses DR/silver. In 3.5, the balor can no longer overcomes the (lower) DR. In Pathfinder, the balor still cannot overcome the DR.

Also, why do devils natural weapons count as good-aligned!? Shouldn't they count as Evil aligned so they can, you know, kill Good creatures? That whole 3.5 system just has so many oddities!


Jal Dorak wrote:
Also, why do devils natural weapons count as good-aligned!? Shouldn't they count as Evil aligned so they can, you know, kill Good creatures? That whole 3.5 system just has so many oddities!

They count as both actually:

- attacks (both natural and wielded weapons) of creatures with evil subtype count as evil.
- natural attacks of a creature penetrate natural DR possessed by that creature allowing them to easily damage other specimens of their own kind.

Which means that devil wielding non-magical, non-silver dagger cannot easily penetrate DR of its colleague (not taking high Str bonus and low DR of the colleague in question into the equation) but it can penetrate DR/evil of encountered celestial.


Pathfinder Modules Subscriber
Drejk wrote:
- natural attacks of a creature penetrate natural DR possessed by that creature allowing them to easily damage other specimens of their own kind.

Interesting. Apart from the aligned attack rule you've mentioned, I've only been able to find this applying to DR/magic or DR/epic (and DR/whatever-alignment):

prd wrote:

Some monsters are vulnerable to magic weapons. Any weapon with at least a +1 magical enhancement bonus on attack and damage rolls overcomes the damage reduction of these monsters. Such creatures' natural weapons (but not their attacks with weapons) are treated as magic weapons for the purpose of overcoming damage reduction.

A few very powerful monsters are vulnerable only to epic weapons—that is, magic weapons with at least a +6 enhancement bonus. Such creatures' natural weapons are also treated as epic weapons for the purpose of overcoming damage reduction.

Is there text that makes this apply to, e.g., DR/silver or DR/bludgeoning? From what I can gather, werewolves are practically immune to each others bites, and skeletal eagles will have a rough time using their talons against each other.


Apart from DR/magic and DR/epic, a creature's natural attacks do not count as its own DR/<whatever>. It's a common misconception that they do (hailing from way back in 3.x, although it wasn't true even then).

A creature's natural attacks count as that creature's alignment subtypes, however.


The inability to bypass their own DRs is probably a contributing factor to certain types of fiends not tearing each other apart on a regular basis. When you've got DR 10/good and deal 1d4+3 with a claw attack, it's pretty certain that most fiends might get into some scraps without actually killing one another. Which is probably good for them, since death is far more final for outsiders.


ryric wrote:
I actually like the fact that there is a reason to have more +s on a weapon now.

Ah, but mathematically . . . there already was, heh. That's the crux of my problem with making straight enhancement bonuses even better than "already the best." The only real exceptions were things like holy that broke damage reduction, or situational abilities like bane (or anything for roleplay and flavor, of course).

Quote:
I also think its an important advantage for primary combatants. Chances are the full bab 1 weapon smash it guys get the higher +x weapons sooner in a campaign then the other characters.

But everyone has iterative attacks (or can have them). A fighter's first iterative attack is similar to a rogue's first attack in terms of damage bonus. If a rogue needs the bonus to help on that attack, then logically the fighter also needs it for later bonuses. A full extra attack is better than +1d6 on one or even three more attacks.

Quote:
weapon blanches (APG) are things I’m not a fan of

Does anyone actually like those? o.O


Drejk wrote:


- natural attacks of a creature penetrate natural DR possessed by that creature allowing them to easily damage other specimens of their own kind.

Can you cite this? Where does it say this?

Because it's at odds with what Ashiel said right below you.

Ashiel wrote:
The inability to bypass their own DRs is probably a contributing factor to certain types of fiends not tearing each other apart on a regular basis.


Brogue The Rogue wrote:
Drejk wrote:


- natural attacks of a creature penetrate natural DR possessed by that creature allowing them to easily damage other specimens of their own kind.

Can you cite this? Where does it say this?

Because it's at odds with what Ashiel said right below you.

Ashiel wrote:
The inability to bypass their own DRs is probably a contributing factor to certain types of fiends not tearing each other apart on a regular basis.

creatures bypass the oposite aligment DR not their own.


Quote:


creatures bypass the oposite aligment DR not their own.

No, creatures bypass their own alignment DR. Evil subtype creatures have evil aligned weapons, and overcome DR/evil. Demons have DR/good, and angels have DR/evil.

Quote:
A creature with an alignment subtype (chaotic, evil, good, or lawful) can overcome this type of damage reduction with its natural weapons and weapons it wields as if the weapons or natural weapons had an alignment (or alignments) that matched the subtype(s) of the creature.

Which means demons overcome the DR of angels, but no other demons.


Universal Monster Rules on the PRD

Copied here:
Damage Reduction (Ex or Su) A creature with this special quality ignores damage from most weapons and natural attacks. Wounds heal immediately, or the weapon bounces off harmlessly (in either case, the opponent knows the attack was ineffective). The creature takes normal damage from energy attacks (even nonmagical ones), spells, spell-like abilities, and supernatural abilities. A certain kind of weapon can sometimes damage the creature normally, as noted below.

The entry indicates the amount of damage ignored (usually 5 to 15 points) and the type of weapon that negates the ability.

Some monsters are vulnerable to piercing, bludgeoning, or slashing damage. Others are vulnerable to certain materials, such as adamantine, alchemical silver, or cold-forged iron. Attacks from weapons that are not of the correct type or made of the correct material have their damage reduced, although a high enhancement bonus can overcome some forms of damage reduction.

Some monsters are vulnerable to magic weapons. Any weapon with at least a +1 magical enhancement bonus on attack and damage rolls overcomes the damage reduction of these monsters. Such creatures' natural weapons (but not their attacks with weapons) are treated as magic weapons for the purpose of overcoming damage reduction.

A few very powerful monsters are vulnerable only to epic weapons—that is, magic weapons with at least a +6 enhancement bonus. Such creatures' natural weapons are also treated as epic weapons for the purpose of overcoming damage reduction.

Some monsters are vulnerable to good-, evil-, chaotically, or lawfully aligned weapons. When a cleric casts align weapon, affected weapons might gain one or more of these properties, and certain magic weapons have these properties as well. A creature with an alignment subtype (chaotic, evil, good, or lawful) can overcome this type of damage reduction with its natural weapons and weapons it wields as if the weapons or natural weapons had an alignment (or alignments) that matched the subtype(s) of the creature.

When a damage reduction entry has a dash (—) after the slash, no weapon negates the damage reduction.

A few creatures are harmed by more than one kind of weapon. A weapon that inflicts damage of either type overcomes this damage reduction.

A few other creatures require combinations of different types of attacks to overcome their damage reduction, and a weapon must be both types to overcome this type of damage reduction. A weapon that is only one type is still subject to damage reduction.

Format: DR 5/silver; Location: Defensive Abilities.


Are wrote:
Apart from DR/magic and DR/epic, a creature's natural attacks do not count as its own DR/<whatever>. It's a common misconception that they do (hailing from way back in 3.x, although it wasn't true even then).

How do those 3.0 leftovers stick so long? In 3.0 the creature always penetrated DR of the same type as their and this stuck in minds of lots of people, me included, assuming that each creature is capable of fighting their own kin without hindrance.

Yes, now rereading carefully the rule applies only to DR/magic and DR/epic. So two lowly devils may bite each other for hours without results.

Quote:
A creature's natural attacks count as that creature's alignment subtypes, however.

Weapons wielded by the creature count as their alignment subtype too - I am sure that rule is correct in Pathfinder, I just reread it twice.


Drejk wrote:
Are wrote:
Apart from DR/magic and DR/epic, a creature's natural attacks do not count as its own DR/<whatever>. It's a common misconception that they do (hailing from way back in 3.x, although it wasn't true even then).

How do those 3.0 leftovers stick so long? In 3.0 the creature always penetrated DR of the same type as their and this stuck in minds of lots of people, me included, assuming that each creature is capable of fighting their own kin without hindrance.

Yes, now rereading carefully the rule applies only to DR/magic and DR/epic. So two lowly devils may bite each other for hours without results.

The rule on overcoming DR was the same in 3.5 as in Pathfinder. Unfortunately I don't have access to the 3.0 core books, so I can't tell if the rule was as you suggest back then. But at least since the time of 3.5, monsters have not been able to overcome their own DR.

3.5 SRD on Damage Reduction:

Damage Reduction
A creature with this special quality ignores damage from most weapons and natural attacks. Wounds heal immediately, or the weapon bounces off harmlessly (in either case, the opponent knows the attack was ineffective). The creature takes normal damage from energy attacks (even nonmagical ones), spells, spell-like abilities, and supernatural abilities. A certain kind of weapon can sometimes damage the creature normally, as noted below.

The entry indicates the amount of damage ignored (usually 5 to 15 points) and the type of weapon that negates the ability.

Some monsters are vulnerable to piercing, bludgeoning, or slashing damage.

Some monsters are vulnerable to certain materials, such as alchemical silver, adamantine, or cold iron. Attacks from weapons that are not made of the correct material have their damage reduced, even if the weapon has an enhancement bonus.

Some monsters are vulnerable to magic weapons. Any weapon with at least a +1 magical enhancement bonus on attack and damage rolls overcomes the damage reduction of these monsters. Such creatures’ natural weapons (but not their attacks with weapons) are treated as magic weapons for the purpose of overcoming damage reduction.

A few very powerful monsters are vulnerable only to epic weapons; that is, magic weapons with at least a +6 enhancement bonus. Such creatures’ natural weapons are also treated as epic weapons for the purpose of overcoming damage reduction.

Some monsters are vulnerable to chaotic-, evil-, good-, or lawful-aligned weapons. When a cleric casts align weapon, affected weapons might gain one or more of these properties, and certain magic weapons have these properties as well. A creature with an alignment subtype (chaotic, evil, good, or lawful) can overcome this type of damage reduction with its natural weapons and weapons it wields as if the weapons or natural weapons had an alignment (or alignments) that match the subtype(s) of the creature.

When a damage reduction entry has a dash (-) after the slash, no weapon negates the damage reduction.

A few creatures are harmed by more than one kind of weapon. A weapon of either type overcomes this damage reduction.

A few other creatures require combinations of different types of attacks to overcome their damage reduction. A weapon must be both types to overcome this damage reduction. A weapon that is only one type is still subject to damage reduction.

Ammunition fired from a projectile weapon with an enhancement bonus of +1 or higher is treated as a magic weapon for the purpose of overcoming damage reduction. Similarly, ammunition fired from a projectile weapon with an alignment gains the alignment of that projectile weapon (in addition to any alignment it may already have).

Whenever damage reduction completely negates the damage from an attack, it also negates most special effects that accompany the attack, such as injury type poison, a monk’s stunning, and injury type disease. Damage reduction does not negate touch attacks, energy damage dealt along with an attack, or energy drains. Nor does it affect poisons or diseases delivered by inhalation, ingestion, or contact.

Attacks that deal no damage because of the target’s damage reduction do not disrupt spells.

If a creature has damage reduction from more than one source, the two forms of damage reduction do not stack. Instead, the creature gets the benefit of the best damage reduction in a given situation.


In 3.0 the rule was expressed as:

Spoiler:
For purposes of harming other creatures with damage reduction, a creature's natural weapons count as weapons of the type that can ignore its own innate damage reduction. The amount of damage reduction is irrelevant.


Interesting. That explains some things for me.

Scarab Sages

Drejk wrote:
Jal Dorak wrote:
Also, why do devils natural weapons count as good-aligned!? Shouldn't they count as Evil aligned so they can, you know, kill Good creatures? That whole 3.5 system just has so many oddities!

They count as both actually:

- attacks (both natural and wielded weapons) of creatures with evil subtype count as evil.
- natural attacks of a creature penetrate natural DR possessed by that creature allowing them to easily damage other specimens of their own kind.

Which means that devil wielding non-magical, non-silver dagger cannot easily penetrate DR of its colleague (not taking high Str bonus and low DR of the colleague in question into the equation) but it can penetrate DR/evil of encountered celestial.

Ah, serves me right for referencing the 3.0 MM and not 3.5 as well!


at high enough level I'm happy for every little bit of statistics I can skip (i.e. resistances). So yes I like it.

Also as flaming does 1d6=3.5 average damage, and common knowledge says +1 hit= +2 damage worth, we got +3 damage on a normal +1 sword, thus it lacks behind .5 damage which is compensated by bypassing.

Scarab Sages

The many points raised in the last dozen posts or so only reinforce to me that the 3.5 DR changes were made without consideration to their effect on the whole game world.


Jal Dorak wrote:
The many points raised in the last dozen posts or so only reinforce to me that the 3.5 DR changes were made without consideration to their effect on the whole game world.

There were many changes that the 3.5 system made to the 3.0 system, seemingly without consideration to their effect on the whole game environment. For example, 3E introduced full-attacks, which require a full-round action to use. However, haste was an enhancement everyone had one way or another (either via boots of speed, permanent haste effects on items, or via casters casting it, etc); which allowed an extra standard or move action during around. This mean virtually all martial characters had the potential to full-attack every round, since you could still move + full-attack while hasted.

In 3.5, they nerfed haste, arguing that haste was too good because it let casters get off an extra spell per round (due to the extra standard action). So instead of being single-target and granting +4 hit, +4 AC, +4 reflex, and +1 action (standard or move), it became multi-target and only gave +1 hit, AC, reflex, and +1 attack on a full-attack.

Incidentally, WotC themselves said that there was nothing wrong with Fighters in 3.0, and that's why the class was completely untouched from 3.0 to 3.5. Yet Fighters suck like industrial vacuums in 3.5, because everything they had going for them got nerfed. New weapon size rules hurt them, keen + improved critical nerfs hurt them, vorpal nerfs hurt them, feat interaction nerfs hurt them, haste nerfs hurt them, and so forth. In essence, everything that had been playtested and the system balanced around (the concept of a full-attack came out in the same iteration as 3.0 haste, for example) had been turned against them.

Meanwhile, casters got buffs to a number of their spells, and got access to all these sexy new metamagic rods that boosted their potential with magic in awesome new ways.


Jeraa wrote:
Quote:


creatures bypass the oposite aligment DR not their own.

No, creatures bypass their own alignment DR. Evil subtype creatures have evil aligned weapons, and overcome DR/evil. Demons have DR/good, and angels have DR/evil.

Quote:
A creature with an alignment subtype (chaotic, evil, good, or lawful) can overcome this type of damage reduction with its natural weapons and weapons it wields as if the weapons or natural weapons had an alignment (or alignments) that matched the subtype(s) of the creature.
Which means demons overcome the DR of angels, but no other demons.

True :). This is what i wanted to say "Which means demons overcome the DR of angels, but no other demons. " but i mees up with the wording.

Scarab Sages

@Ashiel: Don't get me started on full-attacks. If there is one thing a fighter should be able to do well, it's FIGHT! Am I right!?


Jal Dorak wrote:
@Ashiel: Don't get me started on full-attacks. If there is one thing a fighter should be able to do well, it's FIGHT! Am I right!?

You are right!

Scarab Sages

Ashiel wrote:
Jal Dorak wrote:
@Ashiel: Don't get me started on full-attacks. If there is one thing a fighter should be able to do well, it's FIGHT! Am I right!?
You are right!

It was my first complaint about 3rd Edition. "How come the wizard can move 30 feet and cast meteor swarm but the fighter has to stand still to use his only class feature?"

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber

Kirthfinder fixes that.


I still houserule 3.0 haste into my games with the slight alteration that the bonus action is either a move or a swift, not a standard (and the pathfinder rule of only 1-swift-action-spell/round remains intact)

On topic, Magical Weapons overcoming material and alignment DRs is something I'm sometimes ok with and sometimes not depending on the type of game. If it's a gritty, supernatural, survival themed campaign, then I don't care how fancy your sword is, werewolves can only be killed with silver. Part of the fun is figuring out what hurts the thing, finding something that fits the bill, and then finally slaying the werewolf.

If it's a more high-fantasy game I'm running, then sure, your super sword is super awesome and is capable of slaying the werewolf, silver blade or not.


Ashiel wrote:
Midnight_Angel wrote:
Ashiel wrote:
The best weapon enhancements are bane, merciful, holy, vicious, spell storing, disruption, collision, and speed. Most other weapon enhancements are wastes of money.
What about axiomatic (which, I know, is more situational than holy), and keen?

I almost listed Keen, since criticals are nice and Pathfinder has fewer things immune to criticals; so maybe. But for half the cost of keen you can have light fortification on your armor, which negates critical hits 25% of the time. So you're looking at a weapon enhancement that adds +5-15% threat, depending on the weapon, and doesn't stack with Improved Critical; which means the folks who would want it the most (the critical fishers) can't make use of it anyway (you need Imp. Critical to take the critical hit feats, for example, so Keen is pretty redundant).

The requirement for the critical hit feats in the CRB is Critical Focus (+4 on confirmation rolls) Improved Critical is not required. So it really comes down to what do you have more of gold or feats.

Scarab Sages

TriOmegaZero wrote:
Kirthfinder fixes that.

Wow. That's what happens when you leave the boards for 2 years. (Delayed) Congratulations on the project!

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber

You can congratulate the man here and help with the final proofing for the hardcover if you like! :)


TriOmegaZero wrote:
You can congratulate the man here and help with the final proofing for the hardcover if you like! :)

Are you guys really doing a hardcover? ?_?

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber
Ashiel wrote:
Are you guys really doing a hardcover? ?_?

Not for public consumption. Just making a private Lulu option for our group to order.

Scarab Sages

TriOmegaZero wrote:
Ashiel wrote:
Are you guys really doing a hardcover? ?_?
Not for public consumption. Just making a private Lulu option for our group to order.

Out of curiousity, have you worked out the price-per-page?

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber

Not yet, we're not sure what the actual page count will be. I estimate it at 500, and the 800 page book I ordered as a test of their services ran me about $25. I'm not sure if fewer pages will lower or increase the cost.

Scarab Sages

TriOmegaZero wrote:
Not yet, we're not sure what the actual page count will be. I estimate it at 500, and the 800 page book I ordered as a test of their services ran me about $25. I'm not sure if fewer pages will lower or increase the cost.

I'm not remotely familiar with it - were you satisfied with the result? $25 is miles below what you would pay at a brick-and-mortar!

I ask because I love printing up my campaign settings and houserules, but I have a similar page count.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber

It had a minor tear on one page out of the whole book, and the binding was of comparable quality to any WotC or Paizo print book. I've uploaded a couple photos of it here and here. I've only done black and white text, so I can't say how the color printing is, beyond the other POD things I've gotten from Lulu. Obviously, color printing will cost more as well.

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