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Energy damage


Rules Questions

Cheliax

I cant believe I have to ask this... Can somebody quote me a rule defining energy damage? Im simply trying to use my sorcerer elemental bloodline arcana on magic missile and my DM says it only applies to fire cold elec sonic and acid damage.


At first I thought this was a silly question, but when I started thinking about ways to prove a clear separation between force and energy damage, I admit that I was thrown for a bit of a loop.

However, I did find this definition in the glossary:

Common Terms wrote:

Energy Damage

Energy damage is typically dealt by spells (usually evocation spells such as fireball or cone of cold) and typically deals hit point (hp) damage, but unlike damage dealt by weapons or natural attacks, damage reduction usually is not effective against it. Instead, a creature typically must have energy resistance to reduce the amount of damage it takes from one of these sources.

Spells or effects with any of the descriptors [acid], [cold], [electricity], [fire], or [sonic] typically deal energy damage. Energy resistance is usually effective against these types of energy damage.

This doesn't specifically exclude force, but it only lists the typical acid, cold, electricity, fire, and sonic elements.

Strangely, this is as close to definitive as I've gotten so far. I've looked up Energy Resistance as a special ability, Resist Energy and similar spells, and the blurb about the Force descriptor, and nothing in any of those sections definitively spells out what constitutes energy or an element in definitive terms.

I think at this point it's only fair to err on the side of gut instinct and say that force doesn't count as "energy damage" in this case, but I don't blame you at all for asking. I can't shake the feeling that I'm either over-thinking this, or just missing something really obvious, but that's the best I've got!


Wow, this again. I will try to come up with the thread that, not long ago, beat this horse to death.

BTW, your GM is correct.

- Gauss


Bah, the thread was about someone trying to use positive/negative energy to do what you are trying to do with force.

In any case, the gist is this: PF forgot to include a glossary. The game PF is based on (D&D 3.5) had a glossary that defined energy as the 5 types that Chris quoted.

Force is not an energy type. It is an effect. I do not believe you will find any references to Force as an energy type.

In any case here is James Jacobs on the topic of what defines energy:
James Jacobs

Note: he is responding to positive and negative energy not being one of the 5 types of energy. However, he does define what is energy so you can stick to that part.

- Gauss

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