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What if your PC's have cold resistance? How does the environment affect them?


Reign of Winter


I have a question about the game environment and it's effects on my PC's.

All of my party has 5 cold resistance, and are wearing cold weather outfits. How much does the severe cold, snow etc affect them? I know that they're slowed (1/2 movement) already, and that when it's snowing they take a -4 to Perception and ranged attacks. But, what about the repeated Fortitude checks where cold weather is concerned? Do they still take nonlethal damage etc?

RPG Superstar 2009 Top 16

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Their saves are boosted by the cold weather outfits. If they take any damage that's where the resistance comes in. There are a few feats and traits that may further affect things.

Dark Archive

I ran it like Mark.
Some people say that any amount of cold resistance should protect them from environmental cold, because it happens over an hour instead of a round.
I never found a developer answer to this question.

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Modules, Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Roleplaying Guild, Tales Subscriber; Pathfinder Comics Subscriber

While not strictly Pathfinder, you can check out the excellent 3.5 Frostburn book by James Jacobs.

Though we may be getting full on Pathfinder rules soon in Ultimate Wilderness.

Dark Archive

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

I ruled that the non-lethal that they might take is reduced by the amount of their cold resistance. If you happen to roll a 6 on their non-lethal if they fail the fort save then they are fatigued as normal.


Mark's answer makes sense. There is a difference between cold resistance and cold immunity. A white dragon with cold immunity wouldn't be affected by any cold temperature or weather (in fact, it's kind of his thing) but a creature that is only resistant to cold would eventually succumb to its effects in extreme conditions. They would obviously last longer than someone without resistance, but wouldn't last forever.

Shadow Lodge

Please stop submitting the same post in so many different locations. It's unnecessary and just breaks up the discussion. If someone is interested in your statements, they will find it and respond, especially in subforums that move as slowly as the adventure paths.

CRB: Cold Dangers wrote:

An unprotected character in cold weather (below 40° F) must make a Fortitude save each hour (DC 15, +1 per previous check) or take 1d6 points of nonlethal damage. A character who has the Survival skill may receive a bonus on this saving throw and might be able to apply this bonus to other characters as well (see the skill description).

...
A character who takes any nonlethal damage from cold or exposure is beset by frostbite or hypothermia (treat her as fatigued). These penalties end when the character recovers the nonlethal damage she took from the cold and exposure.

If you read the Snows of Summer GM thread, you will notice that Rob McCreary, the developer, confirms that cold weather gear is enough to negate the requirement for saves between 40°F-0°F, and gives the bonus to saves for temperatures below that, checking at a lower frequency than standard. Cold resistance just lets a creature negate 5 damage of the 1d6 damage taken after failing a save. On a roll of 6, 1 damage gets through, and the creature becomes fatigued.

RPG Superstar 2009 Top 16

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Best feat to have in a cold environment game:Rugged Northerner.

You live a hard life in a cold climate, and after enduring the hardships of many brutal winters, you’ve gained some benefit from the frozen environs.

Prerequisite(s): Con 13, Survival 1 rank.

Benefit(s): You treat extreme cold conditions as severe cold, and severe cold as cold weather conditions. You are not impacted at all by normal cold weather conditions. In addition, you do not become fatigued by frostbite or hypothermia.

Special: This feat is unaffiliated-a character need not be affiliated with the Mammoth Lords to select this feat.


Mark Thomas 66 wrote:

Best feat to have in a cold environment game:Rugged Northerner.

You live a hard life in a cold climate, and after enduring the hardships of many brutal winters, you’ve gained some benefit from the frozen environs.

Prerequisite(s): Con 13, Survival 1 rank.

Benefit(s): You treat extreme cold conditions as severe cold, and severe cold as cold weather conditions. You are not impacted at all by normal cold weather conditions. In addition, you do not become fatigued by frostbite or hypothermia.

Special: This feat is unaffiliated-a character need not be affiliated with the Mammoth Lords to select this feat.

Interesting. Sounds like it would do better to have cold resistance as well. Where did you find the feat?


Narrative-wise, would someone with native cold resistance (ie; aasimar and tieflings) have to rug up in colder weather or not? I don't mean the sort of cold weather that has rules for hypothermia, I mean just an average winter's day in, say, Varisia.

Just got a tiefling character in one game who liked to mess with people by wearing things like sleeveless shirts in winter, just to make everyone else feel even colder.

RPG Superstar 2009 Top 16

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Piccolo wrote:
Mark Thomas 66 wrote:

Best feat to have in a cold environment game:Rugged Northerner.

You live a hard life in a cold climate, and after enduring the hardships of many brutal winters, you’ve gained some benefit from the frozen environs.

Prerequisite(s): Con 13, Survival 1 rank.

Benefit(s): You treat extreme cold conditions as severe cold, and severe cold as cold weather conditions. You are not impacted at all by normal cold weather conditions. In addition, you do not become fatigued by frostbite or hypothermia.

Special: This feat is unaffiliated-a character need not be affiliated with the Mammoth Lords to select this feat.

Interesting. Sounds like it would do better to have cold resistance as well. Where did you find the feat?

Adventurer's Guide. It works really well in tandem with good saves, endurance etc. It gets to a point where even at low levels you pretty much ignore regular cold weather, and aren't anywhere near as harshly affected as your companions even when you fail a save.

But yes, in the instances where you do take damage, Cold Resistance does help.

RPG Superstar 2009 Top 16

1 person marked this as a favorite.
ShadowFighter88 wrote:

Narrative-wise, would someone with native cold resistance (ie; aasimar and tieflings) have to rug up in colder weather or not? I don't mean the sort of cold weather that has rules for hypothermia, I mean just an average winter's day in, say, Varisia.

Just got a tiefling character in one game who liked to mess with people by wearing things like sleeveless shirts in winter, just to make everyone else feel even colder.

You know that one dude who stands around outside in a t-shirt in winter , tah just looking at them makes you feel cold? Your PC with cold resistance is that person.

Silver Crusade

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Mark Thomas 66 wrote:
ShadowFighter88 wrote:

Narrative-wise, would someone with native cold resistance (ie; aasimar and tieflings) have to rug up in colder weather or not? I don't mean the sort of cold weather that has rules for hypothermia, I mean just an average winter's day in, say, Varisia.

Just got a tiefling character in one game who liked to mess with people by wearing things like sleeveless shirts in winter, just to make everyone else feel even colder.

You know that one dude who stands around outside in a t-shirt in winter , tah just looking at them makes you feel cold? Your PC with cold resistance is that person.

It me!


Well that was the intent behind the character doing that, just casually trolling fellow citizens of Sandpoint in winter.

I assume then that it's perfectly valid for someone with cold resistance 5 doing that?


Okay, how FAR can they see when it's snowing? Is it really only 5 ft? And what about the snow glare, how does that affect the PC's?

BTW, I ended up ruling that if you already have 5 cold resistance and you are wearing a cold weather outfit, you are immune to cold weather checks. I figured there's only a 1/6 chance of actually taking cold damage anyway. What do you guys think?


5 feet of visibility is honestly about right in an actual snowstorm (or near the Winter Portal). If it's just lightly snowing, they should be able to see further, though judging distances and whatnot might be much harder. I don't remember the snow glare rules, but if it's awful, that's probably about right. Trying to drive around in snow glare is horrible.

As to the cold resist -

I would (and I have, actually) rule that someone with cold resist 5 doesn't even need the cold weather outfit.

Like, someone with actual cold resistance can handle extremely cold substances like dry ice without harm.

(I'm trying to think of what would actually be cold enough to inflict 1d4 cold damage per round. For comparison, a person with 5 fire resist could just grab the wrong end of a torch and hold it all day. I'm trying to think of the cold version of of that. I don't know if dry ice is dangerous enough to rate that.)

In short, at cold resist 5, you can indefinitely withstand temperatures that would cripple or kill a normal human being in seconds.

And so you really, seriously, aren't in any danger from cold weather. You should probably be more worried about your gear, and honestly any cold weather gear you put on will be just for the sake of protecting the rest of your stuff. (After all, frozen potions are useless.)

Also, you probably still need shelter to rest - soaked or frozen clothing isn't comfortable, even if it's no threat to you.


I wouldn't say it's indefinite. The GM could roll a 6 on 1d6 when determining nonlethal cold damage in severe cold weather, and thus render the PC fatigued. Thus, I figured that cold weather outfits would negate most of the need for those saving throws when combined with cold resistance.

I really would like to know what the snow glare rules are, if any. Do they make you dazzled or something?

The party druid switched his archetype from Arctic to Restorer. Doesn't really do much; just adds spontaneous cure spells and a bonus to Heal checks so far. Reincarnation is useless imho, most players won't want to use it.

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