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Thoughts on Damage Reduction and Magical Weapon?


Pathfinder RPG General Discussion

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Hey, all,

We recently had a discussion in my group about the merits of the straight +X weapons bypassing different types of damage reduction. Our DM actually hadn't even been aware of the fact that they did so, and was very surprised when it recently came up in our campaign.

I'm just wondering what other people think about the rule. Do you like it? Do you dislike it? I'm personally not sure. I like that it makes weapon special abilities less common, since it makes straight enhancement bonuses significantly better. Granted, they were already better, and now they're much better. It also cheapens the value of special material weapons, and gives players a significant boost over monsters in terms of bypassing Damage Reduction (assuming that hasn't already been worked in monsters' stats, which I'm assuming it hasn't).

So, any thoughts on the subject? I'd love to hear more opinions on this. I'm not sure if I, personally, like or dislike it, so I'd like to get some new perspectives.

Thanks. :)

Grand Lodge

At first I was a bit taken aback by the change to DR from 3.5 to Pathfinder. "DR 10/magic? You mean my +1 dagger can kill this guy now? but as I looked at more and more creatures it began to make sense. High level baddies are even more likely to resist your weapon attacks, a +4 weapon is easy to come by at higher levels, but a cold iron/good weapon?

I think the current balance is just fine, while I miss the idea that to truly harm a balor you need a super-duper mega sword it's better balanced now and even more dramatic in my opinion.


Jorda75 wrote:
At first I was a bit taken aback by the change to DR from 3.5 to Pathfinder. "DR 10/magic? You mean my +1 dagger can kill this guy now?

Well, DR/Magic already existed. I'm talking about the ability of a +5 weapon to bypass all alignment based damage reduction.

Quote:
but as I looked at more and more creatures it began to make sense. High level baddies are even more likely to resist your weapon attacks, a +4 weapon is easy to come by at higher levels, but a cold iron/good weapon?

That's sort of the opposite point, heh. A +4 weapon is significantly harder to get ahold of than a cold iron or adamantine weapon. The problem comes in when you have to deal with multiple special materials. Having one +5 sword means you don't have to worry about special materials or alignment based damage reduction at all. It simplifies the situations, but also makes it a bit more easy-mode, too. In Pathfinder, it's significantly easier to bypass damage reduction than it was in 3.5. That's what I'm not sure about.


Pathfinder Modules Subscriber

I'm not a huge fan of the bypass, but by the time it starts to matter it's not much of a big deal. A +3 weapon is quite strong; it's not out of the question that it would be strong enough to slay werewolves. And a +4 weapon still doesn't bypass hardness the way an adamantine weapon would--only damage reduction. A +5 weapon is amazingly powerful, just short of epic territory--even most artifacts don't go past this enhancement apart from situational bonuses (e.g., bane). By the time the PCs get one of these, things like "are those bullets blessed?" seem like pretty sorry excuses for keeping DR.


I'm not a fan of the "high-enhancement grants alignment/material-bypass" rules. It's one of the few changes from 3.5 to Pathfinder I dislike.

Not so much because of the monsters who require a material or an alignment, but primarily because of those monsters who require both a material and an alignment (like DR 10/cold iron and good). Instead of actually needing to perform at least a minimal amount of work to overcome such a creature's DR, the same weapon you used to overcome the DR of its lesser brethren (only having DR/cold iron or DR/good) can be used against this creature with no additional "work".

Of course, +5 weapons don't grow on trees, so it's not a massive issue. The paladin aura that grants all allies the ability to overcome all DR is a bigger issue for me :)


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What I don't like is DR/Magic as this is basically pointless. By the time you meet a creature with DR/Magic, everyone in the party has a magic weapon. It might as well be DR/weapon. I allow each enhancement bonus to bypass 5 points of DR/Magic, so DR 10/Magic drops to DR 5 if struck with a +1 weapon (regardless of any other magical properties, so a +1 flaming still only bypasses 5 of the DR) but is entirely bypassed by +2 or better weapon. (This also makes a +2 enhancement more valuable compared with elemental damage so it's not such an easy decision). With the same general sense, I would probably inform my players that high enhancement bonuses don't bypass other types of DR.

Osirion

3rd Edition (3.0) had the same rule as Pathfinder in regards to this. It basically means that if your warrior invests in a powerful magic weapon, you get to use it without worrying, while the cleric can keep around a few different weapons just in case. It also cuts down on the "golf-bag" syndrome of 3.5.

From what I remember, the main argument for the 3.5 revision of the rule was that it was too hard to remember which bonuses overcame which defenses, leading to DM mistakes and unfairly dead characters (or monsters). The proper solution is, of course, to have the players record this next to their weapons!

My only complaint is that Pathfinder did not return the DR levels back to or close to the 3.0 levels (since it is again easier to bypass DR). I HATE that a group of town guards can simply hack a werewolf to death in a matter of rounds. I want that iconic image of the indestructible terror (see the 'Beast of Gevaudan').


Are wrote:


Not so much because of the monsters who require a material or an alignment, but primarily because of those monsters who require both a material and an alignment (like DR 10/cold iron and good). Instead of actually needing to perform at least a minimal amount of work to overcome such a creature's DR, the same weapon you used to overcome the DR of its lesser brethren (only having DR/cold iron or DR/good) can be used against this creature with no additional "work".

There are a few critters with DR/Magic that matter, but it's significantly less unimportant than you're inferring. It DOES matter to anyone that's carrying backup weapons. That's melee characters with bows or backup bludgeoning/piercing/slashing weapons, and, basically, anyone that's prepared enough to have something other than one single weapon with all their money thrown into it.

Don't forget that DR/Magic can get templated with another type of DR to give you DR/Magic AND {something else}, which can be quite good. Liches have DR/Magic and Bludgeoning.

So all in all, I disagree with the uselessness of DR/Magic. It has its place. It might not be a very high place, but the niche exists. If nothing else, it serves to demonstrate to the commoners and general populace that the PCs really are heroes when they're the only ones that can damage the monster attacking.

Regardless, though, I'm really not wondering about DR/Magic at all. The purpose of this post is to get opinions on enhancement bonuses bypassing Damage Reduction other than /magic, which they have always done. Perhaps I wasn't specific enough (though most people seem to have gotten it, and I thank you so far for the interesting thoughts), but I'm specifically looking for advice and opinions on whether people like or dislike that +X weapons can bypass cold iron, silver, adamantine, and alignment-based damage reductions, and why you think so.

I'm really on the fence as to whether I want to keep this in or take it out for the next campaign, so I wanted the more opinions. :)

Quote:
Not so much because of the monsters who require a material or an alignment, but primarily because of those monsters who require both a material and an alignment (like DR 10/cold iron and good). Instead of actually needing to perform at least a minimal amount of work to overcome such a creature's DR, the same weapon you used to overcome the DR of its lesser brethren (only having DR/cold iron or DR/good) can be used against this creature with no additional "work".

This is a good point. The current rule also cheapens the knowledge skill, and lowers the dramatic tension in a fight. There's no scrambling to figure out what esoteric material damages a critter . . . just whip out your best weapon. I do like, as Jal Dorak said, that it cuts down on the Golf Bag syndrome of 3.5, but I rather consider it to be a good thing to see a fighter carrying multiple weapons. It means he's prepared, and that he's prepared to be prepared. He's not a brainless basher. Having to put some thought into your resource allocation is a good thing, I think.


I hate it. I like the idea that certain materials are required to harm certain creatures for two reasons, but with one caveat. That caveat is that such damage resistance is rare and restricted to legendary creatures (legendary in the sense that people in the campaign world tell legends about the monster).

The reasons I like the idea of needing certain materials is
1.) It goes along with the idea that the creature is legendary, so you have to go on a quest to get the great Dingus to kill it
2.) It makes the fact that martial characters are proficient in nearly all weapons more worthwhile (because the great Dingus could be nearly any weapon type).

Brogue makes a good point about the knowledge skill, too. Anything which helps support the theme of the Bard's "utility belt" is something I'll support.


My main objection to that rule is that it makes Penetrating Strike (and the improved/greater version) less worthwhile. If any high-enhancement bonus can overcome such a large variety of DRs, it cheapens the value of the feats.


Good points, both. Keep 'em coming, and thanks for everything so far. :)


First, overcoming DR doesn't kick in until a +3 bonus. PCs are unlikely to come across such a weapon before 10th or 11th level. That's pretty high, nearly the end of PFS games and many home campaigns as well.
Actually, since a +3 sword is likely to have other enhancements on it as well (making it a +4 or +5 for pricing), most players shouldn't see one before 13th or 14th level.

That said, I like that it reduces the need for a golf bag at high levels. I like the idea of a Fighter that can say, "This is my sword, there are few like it, and this one is mine," rather than "This is my sack of +2 weapons."

Elinor Knutsdottir wrote:


What I don't like is DR/Magic as this is basically pointless. By the time you meet a creature with DR/Magic, everyone in the party has a magic weapon. It might as well be DR/weapon. I allow each enhancement bonus to bypass 5 points of DR/Magic, so DR 10/Magic drops to DR 5 if struck with a +1 weapon (regardless of any other magical properties, so a +1 flaming still only bypasses 5 of the DR) but is entirely bypassed by +2 or better weapon. (This also makes a +2 enhancement more valuable compared with elemental damage so it's not such an easy decision). With the same general sense, I would probably inform my players that high enhancement bonuses don't bypass other types of DR.

That's an interesting idea, I may steal it. :)


Isn't DR / Magic just to penalize the monk?

Side note - my players weren't prepared to come up against werewolves but it happened, and they had no time to melt down their silver, but fortunately the gun slinger had some big ugly pistols he could load with silver coins.

Andoran

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Card Game, Companion, Modules, Pawns, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Personally I dislike the rule that the enhancement allow a weapon to bypass a alignment based DR.

I am not a huge fan of the idea that it is sufficient to bypass Adamantine DR, but that is acceptable, my problem is with the aligned based DR.


I approve of the change, because gods above I hated fighter weapon tax.


Quantum Steve wrote:

First, overcoming DR doesn't kick in until a +3 bonus. PCs are unlikely to come across such a weapon before 10th or 11th level. That's pretty high, nearly the end of PFS games and many home campaigns as well.

Actually, since a +3 sword is likely to have other enhancements on it as well (making it a +4 or +5 for pricing), most players shouldn't see one before 13th or 14th level.

Well, that's actually part of the problem. If you're using the rule, you won't be putting anything but straight enhancement bonuses on the weapon [unless you're a barbarian or a class that grants an enhancement bonus to their weapon, it's a bane weapon, you really hate ghosts, or you like the flavor of a special ability]. In terms of raw damage and effectiveness, +X is better than "Of the whatever." I guess my real problem is that they made the better option . . . even better.

In the campaign we're running right now, the barbarian has had a +1 furious falchion since level 6 or 7 or so. That's +3, effectively, so the DR bypassing comes in earlier than you might think.

And the bard ALMOST bought a +5 whip at level 11, but eventually opted against it. Admittedly, that would have been an abnormally large amount of her treasure, but she wanted to do it, and could have.

So I disagree that it doesn't come up at all, or even early. It really depends on the different levels of playstyle, for sure, but you'll definitely see these no later than 11.

Quote:
Isn't DR / Magic just to penalize the monk?

Monk can bypass it really easily with an Amulet of Mighty Fists.


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Actually I think a +1 furious falchion does not cut through DR, if you go searching there are threads and FAQS on this subject that point out temporary increases to enhancement bonuses do not allow things to by-pass DR, just straight up +3 and higher.

And DR/Magic is a joke to monks, they have ki strike so long as they dont use all their ki recklessly.


Temporary bonus granted by situational abilityes like bane or furious d not count for bypassing DR, only straight enhancment bonuses.
As far as the whole discussion, it's actually a stealth "return to the roots". In basics (5 boxes) and advanced, up to 3.0, the moster had DR/+3 to indicate that only +3 or superior weapon could actually damage that moster. In 3.5 the DR changed to the type-based everyone seems to know of. Whith this change to enhancment bonus bypassing DR, we are kind back again to "the old way". I actually don't dislike that, i'm not a fan of DR mechanics in the first place.


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

I don't know. I hated that in 3.5, everyone ran around with the minimum +1 weapons and as many special abilities as they could afford and just cast GMW on it for the enhancement bonus. And I also disliked the golf bag approach to weapons.

Even in Pathfinder, my experience is people often choose the special abilities over the increased enhancement bonuses. I still find it far more like for a PC to choose a +1 keen, +1 shocking, +1 agile, or +1 furious weapon often over a +2, or the ever popular +1 holy over a +3 when given a choice.


I usually see the full BAB characters going for additional goodies instead of the higher enhancement bonus, while the 3/4 BAB characters seem to need that bonus to attacks to really stay competitive.


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Brogue The Rogue wrote:

Hey, all,

We recently had a discussion in my group about the merits of the straight +X weapons bypassing different types of damage reduction. Our DM actually hadn't even been aware of the fact that they did so, and was very surprised when it recently came up in our campaign.

I'm just wondering what other people think about the rule. Do you like it? Do you dislike it? I'm personally not sure. I like that it makes weapon special abilities less common, since it makes straight enhancement bonuses significantly better. Granted, they were already better, and now they're much better. It also cheapens the value of special material weapons, and gives players a significant boost over monsters in terms of bypassing Damage Reduction (assuming that hasn't already been worked in monsters' stats, which I'm assuming it hasn't).

So, any thoughts on the subject? I'd love to hear more opinions on this. I'm not sure if I, personally, like or dislike it, so I'd like to get some new perspectives.

Thanks. :)

Personally I'm sad they didn't go in reverse with it. In 3.0, monsters with DR/magic had progressively stronger damage reductions. Something like a younger dragon with DR might only require a +1 or better weapon to damage effectively. Meanwhile, a great wyrm red dragon might require a +4 or +5 to properly damage. I liked that as both a PC and a GM. Now, DR/Magic is a joke. You can overcome it at 1st level for the cost of an antitoxin.

They further trivialized it in Pathfinder, since now a +3, +4, or +5 weapon basically negates unusual DRs such as silver, cold iron, adamantine, or even alignment based DRs. A little lame in my humble opinion. I rather like the fact certain creatures are hard to kill without their anti-material. +X weapons already mitigate DR in a way, because a +5 weapon without the appropriate material is offsetting the DR anyway.

It was the result, IMHO, of a double nerf. Monsters in 3.0 has progressively harder DRs, but the amount of damage reduction was also waaaay higher. A pit fiend was CR 16 and had DR 30/+3, which meant any attack that wasn't a +3 or better was reduced by 30 damage. In essence, killing a pit fiend without a +3 weapon or greater magic weapon spell was hard. Due to a combination of spell resistance and DR, they were fairly real threats. During 3.0, the arcane archer was also highly attractive because getting free +5 arrows was nice.

In 3.5/Pathfinder, creatures had the DR reduced drastically. The same pit fiend only has DR 15, which can be punched through by any 20th level warrior worth his salt, even with a mundane iron sword. So in 3.5/Pathfinder, monsters are made harder due to their DR, but they aren't anywhere near unbeatable due to their DR if you don't have your trusty blessed sword or whatever.

Personally, I'm actually a fan of golf-bagging weapons and items. I think being prepared is part of being an adventurer. I think having one weapon to rule them all is generally kind of lame. Look at any of the Pathfinder iconics. Most are carrying a ton of different weapons, for different purposes, and different uses. I like seeing Fighters who carry a club for the odd DR/bludgeoning enemy, a cold iron and silver/mithral weapon, and an oil of align weapon or three, for emergencies. I do this sort of thing with my own PCs.

I like the tactical considerations it makes to need different types of weapons. I like the interest it generates when you are fighting two different DR monsters at the same time (such as a planar bound demon and devil in the service of an evil master).

Personally I'd like to see magic weapons require progressively stronger enhancements to hit increasingly stronger DR/magic like in 3.0, and I'd like to see the 3.5 special material DRs remain in place. DR as is isn't very interesting nor impressive. It used to be a solid defense, now it's pretty pointless, IMO.
===============================================

If anyone feels the same way, here's an optional and quick method for determining the +X requirement for DR/magic for existing 3.5 of Pathfinder monsters.

Divide the existing magic DR by 5, and the result is the +X weapon enhancement needed to bypass it. So a creature with DR 5/magic requires a +1 or better. DR 10/magic requires a +2 or better, DR 15/magic requires a +3 or better, and so forth. This method is quick, simple, and feels pretty good watching the power of the DR scale up.


I outrightly houseruled that high enhancement-bonus weapons do not penetrate alignment- or material-based damage reduction. While I did not enjoyed 2nd edition or earlier overused "hit only by +x weapon" special defense, I like making damaging certain monsters much harder (or in case of unique monstrosities) next to impossible without right weapons.

I might consider houseruling that Paladin's smite evil does not ignore all DR of evil creatures as well, only evil-aligned, the damage bonus is enough most of the time.


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On the subject of weapon special abilities...

I tend to agree with the original poster. Most of the weapon enhancements are just lame wastes of money. It's trivially easy to be outright immune to effects like flaming weapons, and many enemies are naturally immune do to things like energy resistance. Most creatures with energy resistance are resistant to multiple types of energy, while often being immune to several types. Most summoned monsters, for example, are nearly completely immune to the +1d6 elemental damage from most weapons. A 50 gp potion of resist energy gets you resist 10 to an element of your choice for 10 minutes. At CL 11, almost every caster in core can grant someone resist 30 against most energy attacks, and it lasts over an hour.

The best weapon enhancements are bane, merciful, holy, vicious, spell storing, disruption, collision, and speed. Most other weapon enhancements are wastes of money.

In fact, it's basically better to get a +1 bane, bane, bane, bane if you plan to use your +X mods for special abilities. Just make the banes stuff like undead, evil outsiders, magical beasts, and aberrations (or maybe elementals). Now your weapon is a +3 with +2d6 damage against a very large variety of enemies.

A +1 disruption weapon is all you need when fighting anything undead. Just keep pounding them and it's like having a classic vorpal weapon. Every hit forces a DC 14 save or be destroyed, and they always fail on a 1. A hasted fighter can force 2-6 save or dies per round in this way.

A +1 merciful vicious weapon is legitimately useful against most enemies, as it's an extra +3d6 untyped damage against everything except constructs and undead, and deals 1d6 nonlethal damage to you, which gets healed alongside your regular HP when you get healed.

The majority of enhancements, however, are just worthless. Again, the elemental damage weapons are pointless because they cannot be applied multiple times to make them stronger (a +1 nova blade that deals +9d6 fire damage might actually be worth something at higher levels, since it would be enough fire damage to punch through most resistances). Many of the weapon effects have been nerfed in Pathfinder to uselessness if you take FAQ rulings and such. For example, Defending weapons now only function if you're actively attacking with them, which basically makes them useless if you have nothing to attack (though I suppose you can always declare that you're attacking an empty space, but that requires more actions and so you gotta keep recalculating your AC every time you have a round where you don't attack, and makes them useless against AoOs and the like, unless you've already attacked that round).

Meanwhile, +X to hit and damage is just always useful. It helps you hit stuff, deals more damage, is multiplied on critical hits, ignores resistances, helps overcome DR (regardless of PF DR penetration or not, since more +X damage means more penetration), and so forth. In Pathfinder, it's almost a no-brainer since it also means penetrating virtually every DR under the sun.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Modules Subscriber
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?

Andoran

Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber
cranewings wrote:
Isn't DR / Magic just to penalize the monk?

Only if the monk isn't 4th level. Ki Strike makes his fists magic.


I house rule it to where you need the specific type to overcome DR. I was not a fan of the +X catchall that came with pathfinder.

As mentioned earlier, I agree with the 'right tool for the job' approach. In my experience, the party usually needs a few types of weapons, not one for each type, as I've never thrown every DR type under the sun at them.

I'm not sure how varied the DR types are in pathfinder modules, if they'd require the golfbag otherwise.


Dekalinder wrote:

Temporary bonus granted by situational abilityes like bane or furious d not count for bypassing DR, only straight enhancment bonuses.

Do you happen to have a source for this? Thanks.


Pathfinder Modules Subscriber
Ashiel wrote:
For example, Defending weapons now only function if you're actively attacking with them,

Yeah . . . does anybody outside of PFS actually play it that way? It's counterintuitive that a defense-themed weapon requires you to attack every turn to get that defense instead of just wielding it. I mean, I didn't expect it to work if you kept it in the sheath while casting a spell or slashing around with a different weapon, but wielding should be enough. It's not like you have to shield bash to get your shield bonus.


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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?

Keen is iffy. In 3.0, it was really awesome, and you wanted it on your weapons for sure. That's because it stacked with Improved Critical, which most warrior types were looking to take anyway (especially fighters). In 3.5 and Pathfinder, it's really only good if you plan to pass up Improved Critical as a feat option, and if the extra cost added to your weapon is worth it to you. Since it's not a flat cost like +3,000 gp, but instead adds into the weapons +X modifier, it can make an otherwise affordable weapon excessively expensive for a marginal boost.

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).

If it was like 3.0, and Keen + Improved Critical stacked, I'd rate Keen with 5 stars. Since it's not, 2.5 stars at best, IMHO.

As for axiomatic, it's great if you're fighting demons, but then again so is holy, and so is evil outsider bane. Law and Chaos are rarely done in the game because they are frankly just not as interesting as good and evil. Axiomatic becomes more situational. IMHO, it's usefulness is generally only for pushing even more damage against demons, after you've already got a +1 vicious evil outsider-bane holy merciful weapon and just want even more anti-demon. It might not be bad if your GM likes using antipaladins, but it's way more situational than Holy in most campaigns.

Anarchic and unholy are at the bottom of the barrel in most games, but Anarchic is at least useful against the legions of lawful folks you might run into in a game with an oppressive empire; at least.

Blaphers wrote:
Yeah . . . does anybody outside of PFS actually play it that way? It's counterintuitive that a defense-themed weapon requires you to attack every turn to get that defense instead of just wielding it. I mean, I didn't expect it to work if you kept it in the sheath while casting a spell or slashing around with a different weapon, but wielding should be enough. It's not like you have to shield bash to get your shield bonus.

I agree with you 100%. Just saying that Defending goes from a legitimate weapon enhancement to stupidly useless, if the FAQ is applied.


alientude wrote:
Dekalinder wrote:

Temporary bonus granted by situational abilityes like bane or furious d not count for bypassing DR, only straight enhancment bonuses.

Do you happen to have a source for this? Thanks.

Incidentally, Alientude is mistaken. According to the rules on damage reduction in the core rulebook, merely having a +X or higher enhancement bonus is enough to penetrate the damage reduction. As such, a +1 bane weapon will penetrate as a +3 weapon against the appropriate creature type. It is only some temporary or situational effects that do not, and they specifically call it out (such as greater magic weapon which has to specifically call out that it doesn't allow you to bypass exotic DRs).


I agree with ashield. The DR/+1, DR/+2..., is a much much better system that the simpler DR/magic.

Osirion

I'm starting to think that some of the power-creep of Pathfinder might be mitigated by a return to the old DR values (an easy rule to apply would be to add +10 to the DR (to a maximum of double the value, so skeletons would be DR 10/bludgeoning).

For some particularly difficult monsters, reinstate the old damage immunity rules. So maybe DR 20 or DR 30 becomes Damage Immunity bypassed by the appropriate type.

In some respects, I feel that the 3.5 changes (and holdover to PFRPG) are dishonest to players. Take the pit fiend (extreme example): DR 30/+3 vs. 15/good and silver. When taking it on, the players may be falsely encouraged that they are able to damage it with a decent attack. In 3.0, the party would quickly realize most of their attacks are ineffective.


Ashiel wrote:
alientude wrote:
Dekalinder wrote:

Temporary bonus granted by situational abilityes like bane or furious d not count for bypassing DR, only straight enhancment bonuses.

Do you happen to have a source for this? Thanks.
Incidentally, Alientude is mistaken. According to the rules on damage reduction in the core rulebook, merely having a +X or higher enhancement bonus is enough to penetrate the damage reduction. As such, a +1 bane weapon will penetrate as a +3 weapon against the appropriate creature type. It is only some temporary or situational effects that do not, and they specifically call it out (such as greater magic weapon which has to specifically call out that it doesn't allow you to bypass exotic DRs).

How am I mistaken? All I was doing is asking for a source.

Osirion

alientude wrote:
Ashiel wrote:
alientude wrote:
Dekalinder wrote:

Temporary bonus granted by situational abilityes like bane or furious d not count for bypassing DR, only straight enhancment bonuses.

Do you happen to have a source for this? Thanks.
Incidentally, Alientude is mistaken. According to the rules on damage reduction in the core rulebook, merely having a +X or higher enhancement bonus is enough to penetrate the damage reduction. As such, a +1 bane weapon will penetrate as a +3 weapon against the appropriate creature type. It is only some temporary or situational effects that do not, and they specifically call it out (such as greater magic weapon which has to specifically call out that it doesn't allow you to bypass exotic DRs).
How am I mistaken? All I was doing is asking for a source.

DO NOT ASK FOR HELP ON THE PAIZO BOARDS!


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I often wonder what percent of those calling for buffs to monsters are DM's.


alientude wrote:
Ashiel wrote:
alientude wrote:
Dekalinder wrote:

Temporary bonus granted by situational abilityes like bane or furious d not count for bypassing DR, only straight enhancment bonuses.

Do you happen to have a source for this? Thanks.
Incidentally, Alientude is mistaken. According to the rules on damage reduction in the core rulebook, merely having a +X or higher enhancement bonus is enough to penetrate the damage reduction. As such, a +1 bane weapon will penetrate as a +3 weapon against the appropriate creature type. It is only some temporary or situational effects that do not, and they specifically call it out (such as greater magic weapon which has to specifically call out that it doesn't allow you to bypass exotic DRs).
How am I mistaken? All I was doing is asking for a source.

My apologies Alientude, I meant to say Dekalinder, but was thinking your name because I had just quoted your post; and it had been too long since I posted to edit the post when I realized what I did. ^-^"

So sorry!


Glutton wrote:
I often wonder what percent of those calling for buffs to monsters are DM's.

Does it count if you're both a GM and a Player?

EDIT: Because even as a player, it kind of bugs me that the only investment it takes to be able to slash a great wyrm dragon is a measly 50 gp oil. :P


Ashiel wrote:
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).

Which feats require Improved Critical as a prereq? All the critical feats that I've seen require Critical Focus, which has no issues with the Keen enchantment.

Improved Critical reduces in value if you have to switch weapons, since it only applies to one type of weapon, making keen (or a wand of Keen Edges) the better choice.

Also, you can't have more than one Bane on a weapon:

PFSRD wrote:
Weapons cannot possess the same special ability more than once.


Ashiel wrote:
(you need Imp. Critical to take the critical hit feats, for example, so Keen is pretty redundant).

You mixed up Improved Critical with Critical Focus, Ashiel - all citical feats require Critical Focus which gives +4 bonus to critical hit confirmation. Keen is still pretty useful to them if they want to save feats. Which is quite useful for those who want to take as much critical feats they can, especially if they are not Fighters with their bonus feats. Maybe except kukri dual-wielding fighters as they benefit from Improved Critical feat twice.

Quote:
If it was like 3.0, and Keen + Improved Critical stacked, I'd rate Keen with 5 stars. Since it's not, 2.5 stars at best, IMHO.

My feeling after 3.0 to 3.5 transition was that removal of their stacking was long term benefit - improved critical keen kukri/scimitair was insane with critical hits scored on natural 12+. If keen and improved critical would increase critical threat by 1 each it would be more manageable but it would screw math of high critical multiplier.

To make weapon properties more attractive in my games (and more accessible as I intend to end campaign around 10th level) I decided to change pricing of magic weapons calculating price from actual enhancement bonus and properties total separately and adding them afterwards instead of calculating the price from their sum. (e.g. +1 keen weapon has price of 4,000 instead of standard 8,000 and +1 flaming burst weapon would be 10,000 instead of 18,000). I do not intend to introduce weapons beyond +3 bonus during the current campaign anyway.

EDIT:

Irontruth wrote:
Also, you can't have more than one Bane on a weapon:

It could be argued that bane against each type is separate weapon quality and thus can be placed on the same weapon. I think that I saw multi-bane weapons in official adventure or something like that in 3.5 (where the same rule applied). I might be mistaken about that being WotC (and thus official) adventure however, or it could be more akin to legenadry/unique/minor artifact item.


alientude wrote:
Dekalinder wrote:

Temporary bonus granted by situational abilityes like bane or furious d not count for bypassing DR, only straight enhancment bonuses.

Do you happen to have a source for this? Thanks.

And approfondite search reveals i misunderstud part of the ruling. As i said temporary enhancment bonuses do not count for damage reduction. Per temporary enhancment bonuses is intended class ability like arcane pool, divine bond ecc or spells like greater magic weapon. Actual weapon proprieties that increase the enhancment bonuses shuld help bypass the DR of the creatures. Quote


Drejk wrote:


It could be argued that bane against each type is separate weapon quality and thus can be placed on the same weapon. I think that I saw multi-bane weapons in official adventure or something like that in 3.5 (where the same rule applied). I might be mistaken about that being WotC (and thus official) adventure however, or it could be more akin...

I wish I could remember what exactly it was. In a recent game I was randomly rolling all the treasure and not letting the players make or buy anything, so they had a lot of random / wacky crap. While they got the short end of the stick on a couple of things, twice I randomly rolled so way OP Long Bows.

One of them had 2 or 3 types of elemental damage, which was pretty nice, but towards the end when they were fighting demons, one type times 3 would have been better because it just got eaten up in the ER.

The other bow, which leads me to think there must be a restriction on this sort of thing, turned out to be really, really nice. It was Bane against demons, had a die of cold damage, and I think it might have been Axiomatic? Anyway, 1d8 + 2d6 anti-demon + 2d6 anti-chaotic on one weapon in the hands of a 7th level Ranger (many shot, deadly aim, rapid shot) was brutal.


I would be a bit let down if a +5 equivalent weapon that was also the bane of the prime enemy of the adventure wasn't amazing at 7th level. :\

Shadow Lodge

This is why I like the magus. At 11th levek he can make his sword a +5 Keen (provided he has a +3 already). Personally I like the idea that a weapon is so powerful it cuts through defenses. If the monster notices that you are cutting through DR, congratulations, you are now the prime target of the balor/great wyrm/iron golem. Also, no mention of DR/Epic?


Glutton wrote:
I often wonder what percent of those calling for buffs to monsters are DM's.

As a player and a DM, I'd like stronger monsters. ;-)

Great responses so far, everyone. Thanks so much. :)

Ashiel wrote:


Personally I'm sad they didn't go in reverse with it. In 3.0, monsters with DR/magic had progressively stronger damage reductions. Something like a younger dragon with DR might only require a +1 or better weapon to damage effectively. Meanwhile, a great wyrm red dragon might require a +4 or +5 to properly damage. I liked that as both a PC and a GM. Now, DR/Magic is a joke. You can overcome it at 1st level for the cost of an antitoxin.

They further trivialized it in Pathfinder, since now a +3, +4, or +5 weapon basically negates unusual DRs such as silver, cold iron, adamantine, or even alignment based DRs. A little lame in my humble opinion. I rather like the fact certain creatures are hard to kill without their anti-material. +X weapons already mitigate DR in a way, because a +5 weapon without the appropriate material is offsetting the DR anyway.

It was the result, IMHO, of a double nerf. Monsters in 3.0 has progressively harder DRs, but the amount of damage...

Great points on all, and I have to say I really agree. I always liked the older style of damage reduction that we saw in 3.0. It's different from Pathfinder in that it's an extension of DR/Magic. It's not the fact that higher-magic weapons bypass damage reduction that annoy me as much as it is the fact that higher-magic weapons ignore almost ALL types of damage reduction. It kills monster lore, lessens dramatic tension (I feel like Elan as I say that xD), and makes the game more hack'n'slash. I guess if you like that, it's less a problem, but I, personally, enjoy thinking about encounters while fighting them. I wish there were more tactical options than "5-foot step and ready and action."

Ashiel wrote:
On the subject of weapon special abilities...

Don't forget that some weapons have to be turned on. Merciful is a toggle, which makes it great, but elemental weapons all have to be turned on with a standard action. I realize many DMs rule this away because it's cumbersome, destroys a very iconic image, and makes a subpar weapon choice even worse, but that is the RAW, sadly. My DM does not houserule it away, so elemental options for weapons are . . . a poor choice.

I know some DMs also let you keep a weapon engaged all day, or while sheathed, but ours doesn't do that, either, heh (and I personally agree with that - just seems silly). And walking down the dungeon hallway with your sword on fire is just asking for trouble. >.>

Quote:
The best weapon enhancements are bane, merciful, holy, vicious, spell storing, disruption, collision, and speed. Most other weapon enhancements are wastes of money.

So how do you rate Ghost Touch in here? For a meager +1, most of my mid- to high-level fighters usually have a +1 silver, ghost touch, undeadbane warhammer.

Also, what's collision?


Quote:
Also, what's collision?

I believe he is talking about the collision property from 3.5 D&D. Its a +2 equivalent weapon enhancement that deals an extra 5 points of damage on a successful hit, and can be applied to all weapons (even ranged).

I don't know of a Pathfinder collision property.


Jeraa is correct. Collision was an enhancement that was introduced back in 3.5 in the Expanded Psionics Handbook. It was also re-released in Dreamscarred Publishing's Psionics Unleashed (literally the 3.5 psionics reworked for Pathfinder, and some bugs ironed out; all in all a wonderful rule set that's actually a lot better than the stuff Paizo is putting out lately); and it can be found on the d20pfsrd.com (collision).

It's simple, strait-forward, and nicely effective.

Taldor RPG Superstar 2011 Top 32

I actually like the fact that there is a reason to have more +s on a weapon now. In my local area, through all of 3.0-3.5 you only saw +1 with all the special abilities that could be crammed onto the weapon, with GMW used to contribute the actual + effects. Heck in 3.0 everyone just made their weapon +1 sure striking and now it could hit any DR. Way way too many weapons were +1 sure striking keen vicious holy whatevers. I like that now taking pure +s is a viable option.

It also makes sense to me that bane weapons should be better at piercing the DR of the correct creature type. So, to hurt a golem, for example, you can use a normal adamantine weapon, a +4 weapon, or a +2 construct bane weapon. I like options.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

I am kind of on the fence about this. On the one hand, all things considered, a +3 weapon is a very valuable and powerful item. And chances are it will have something besides a +x on it, so you are talking an equivalenet +4 or +5 item. Thematically such weapons cutting through typical resistences makes a heck of alot of sense. The idea that a particularly powerful magic sword cuts a werewold or fey down easily works for me.

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. The battle cleric, the summoner, the druid (characters with split focus) often have mixed priorities and wont always have the highest +x weapon. So the overcoming damage reduction is an advantage for primary martial characters and I am loath to remove any advantage the currently have. For instance in a friends campaign, my synthesist is pretty bad ass, but because he uses natural weapons in 5 attacks, he takes a pretty big hit from damage reduction. On the other hand the players with +3 weapons cut down the fey we are fighting without as much difficulty.

That said, I think part of the problem is that everyone has a friggan magic sword. In my game I have worked to remove the commonness of magic items making a fair amount of adjustments in the process. Because part of the problem is how EVERYONE eventually has a +3 or +4 or +5 sword. And its that ubiquity that makes this rule a problem. If only the front liner had such a weapon and everyone else was contending with DR unless they had the right material, I dont think it would be a problem in the first place.


I have no problem with magical weapons overcoming material and alignment based damage reductions. Requiring higher +'s is more in-line with how Dungeons & Dragons has been from the beginning anyway. And magic is already better at doing stuff in all other areas of the game, why not in overcoming damage reduction as well?

For my own houerules, I'm in the process of rewriting monsters using the 3.5/Pathfinder amount of damage reduction, and the 3.0 method of overcoming that damage reduction. (3.0 damage reduction amounts are too high, but I like how it requires +'s to overcome.) There was no alignment based damage reduction in 3.0, and material based damage reduction was limited (At least in the Monster Manual) to silver (and even then, limited to 8 creatures total: bodaks, vampire spawn, yeth hounds, lycanthropes, dretch and quasit demons, lemure and imp devils.)


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Another thing is that a +X enhancement really isn't that big of an investment. As I noted before, there's very few weapon enhancements that are particularly impressive or even just functional at higher levels. At 3rd level, a +1 flaming sword would seem really cool. At 13th level, anything with flaming on it would seem uselessly wasteful, since virtually everything either comes with resist 10, or can have it for trivial investments.

A +5 weapon is 50,000 gp, market price. By 20th level, you're expected to have about 880k gp worth of equipment. You could literally line your character's belts with +5 weapons without really breaking the bank. That's also assuming they can't be crafted by someone in the party, and thus getting a significant discount.

In essence, a +5 weapon is not what it used to be. Back in 1st and 2nd edition, monsters suffered from the "must be this tall to ride" issue. You literally couldn't strike a creature for damage in those editions without the correct weapon enhancement. No matter your strength, skill, or circumstances, you simply could not harm a creature that required a +3 weapon or higher with a +2 weapon or lower. Meanwhile, a +X weapon was a much, much bigger deal in 1E and 2E because bonuses to hit and damage were few and far between. Most enemies had few hit points (in 1E, the demon queen Lolth had about 60-something HP, which means that a +5 weapon is worth 1/12th her total HP), so they were stronger in that way too.

3E came along and turned this on its head a bit. They gave monsters Damage Reduction, which wasn't the same as immunity, but it was definitely hard to hurt a creature without the appropriate weapon (a CR 16 pit fiend had DR 30, which is huge, for example). It removed the outright immunity and placed a heavy resistance in its place; which could be overcome with enough force. The problem was, the +X system was incredibly boring, because you just needed to keep upgrading your weapons. Creatures requiring exotic materials like silver, cold iron, or adamantine basically didn't exist (they did, sort of, but simply having the higher +X meant that you could ignore it entirely).

3.5 nerfed damage reduction even further, making it nothing more than a minor inconvenience in many cases, but introduced new types of DRs, such as silver, cold iron, and adamantine, but turned all magic-based DRs into DR/Magic, which was a big step backwards, IMHO.

Pathfinder has returned special materials to being irrelevant at anything except the lowest levels, while also maintaining the pitiful DR X/Magic formula for DR. In essence, Pathfinder loses on both counts here. It has neither the variety of 3.5, nor the practicality of 3.0.

It's not even like golf-bagging isn't easy. Weapon material prices are very reasonable, and due to the way prices scale, carrying around a belt full of +2 weapons of different types is cheaper than carrying around a single +4 weapon, and makes you less likely to get targeted by shatters, sunders, or disarms (because you have spare weapons).

I mean, where is the spirit of adventure? I personally like my adventurers to appreciate being prepared. It's way cooler, to me, to think that having a few exotic weapon types (cold iron, silver, etc) should be rewarded. I like the idea that a fighter can encounter a werewolf, and so he draws his masterwork silver broadsword to cut it down, because his +3 iron sword just wouldn't be as good at killing the monster.

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