Is nonlethal damage considered hit point damage?


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Is nonlethal damage considered hit point damage for the purpose of feats, spells and other abilities that only work with effects that deal hit point damage?


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It's hit point damage enough to work with sneak attack. I think that means yes to the others too.


Sneak attack doesn't mention hit point damage so I don't see how that is relevant.


You have to ask a complicated question, don't you? For the purposes of how it interacts with feats, class abilities, and spells, the dealing of non-lethal damage is, yes, considered hit point damage. The complication comes in that it isn't treated that way for the purpose of damage calculations. So, for the purposes you have described, yes. Non-lethal damage is HP damage.


Zarius wrote:
You have to ask a complicated question, don't you? For the purposes of how it interacts with feats, class abilities, and spells, the dealing of non-lethal damage is, yes, considered hit point damage. The complication comes in that it isn't treated that way for the purpose of damage calculations. So, for the purposes you have described, yes. Non-lethal damage is HP damage.

Where in the rules does it say to treat nonlethal damage as hit point damage?

Loss of Hit Points wrote:

The most common way that your character gets hurt is to take lethal damage and lose hit points.

What Hit Points Represent: Hit points mean two things in the game world: the ability to take physical punishment and keep going, and the ability to turn a serious blow into a less serious one.

Effects of Hit Point Damage: Damage doesn't slow you down until your current hit points reach 0 or lower. At 0 hit points, you're disabled.

If your hit point total is negative, but not equal to or greater than your Constitution score, you are unconscious and dying.

When your negative hit point total is equal to your Constitution, you're dead.

The listing for the effects of hit point damage is under the heading "Loss of Hit Points" and exclusively refers to reduction of hit points, which would be lethal damage. I have found nothing in the rules that suggest you should treat nonlethal damage as lethal/hit point damage.


Gallant Armor wrote:
Sneak attack doesn't mention hit point damage so I don't see how that is relevant.

Did you read it?

sneak attack wrote:
With a weapon that deals nonlethal damage (like a sap, whip, or an unarmed strike), a rogue can make a sneak attack that deals nonlethal damage instead of lethal damage.

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Going on top of AVR's post, when the weapon does not take a penalty for dealing Non Lethal, like a whip or a character using Blugeoneer feat with a bludgeoning weapon, that character applies his precision damage as normal for a hit.


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avr wrote:
Gallant Armor wrote:
Sneak attack doesn't mention hit point damage so I don't see how that is relevant.

Did you read it?

sneak attack wrote:
With a weapon that deals nonlethal damage (like a sap, whip, or an unarmed strike), a rogue can make a sneak attack that deals nonlethal damage instead of lethal damage.

i suggest reading the other topic. There are two basic stances.

1. Non-lethal Damage is Hit point damage because it is damage that is tracked in hit points.

2. Hit point Damage is an official term that strictly means lethal damage. Non-lethal Damage is not Hit point damage as it is never referred to as hit point damage and it doesn't reduce hit points.

Sneak Attack deals with precision damage, which has nothing to do with those two positions. Precision Damage is a damage type that can apply to any other type of damage and has text specifically handling Non-lethal damage.


Mallecks wrote:
avr wrote:
Gallant Armor wrote:
Sneak attack doesn't mention hit point damage so I don't see how that is relevant.

Did you read it?

sneak attack wrote:
With a weapon that deals nonlethal damage (like a sap, whip, or an unarmed strike), a rogue can make a sneak attack that deals nonlethal damage instead of lethal damage.

i suggest reading the other topic. There are two basic stances.

1. Non-lethal Damage is Hit point damage because it is damage that is tracked in hit points.

2. Hit point Damage is an official term that strictly means lethal damage. Non-lethal Damage is not Hit point damage as it is never referred to as hit point damage and it doesn't reduce hit points.

Sneak Attack deals with precision damage, which has nothing to do with those two positions. Precision Damage is a damage type that can apply to any other type of damage and has text specifically handling Non-lethal damage.

+1 to Mallecks' statement, he summed it up better that I could have.


Mallecks wrote:
avr wrote:
Gallant Armor wrote:
Sneak attack doesn't mention hit point damage so I don't see how that is relevant.

Did you read it?

sneak attack wrote:
With a weapon that deals nonlethal damage (like a sap, whip, or an unarmed strike), a rogue can make a sneak attack that deals nonlethal damage instead of lethal damage.

i suggest reading the other topic. There are two basic stances.

1. Non-lethal Damage is Hit point damage because it is damage that is tracked in hit points.

2. Hit point Damage is an official term that strictly means lethal damage. Non-lethal Damage is not Hit point damage as it is never referred to as hit point damage and it doesn't reduce hit points.

Sneak Attack deals with precision damage, which has nothing to do with those two positions. Precision Damage is a damage type that can apply to any other type of damage and has text specifically handling Non-lethal damage.

If hit point damage and lethal damage were synonymous, having both terms would be unnecessary and only serve to complicate the rules text.

If hit point damage were broader than just lethal damage, then it would make sense to separate the two terms.

Also, no where in the text does it explicitly say that nonlethal damage is not hit point damage. The associations between nonlethal damage and hit point damage goes to more than just "tracked in hit points", but everywhere that nonlethal damage does interact with hit points, it does so as if it were hit point damage.


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3. No damage is hit point damage. Even lethal damage isn't tracked in hit points--it just happens to be subtracted from your current hit point total when it occurs. Ergo, you can never use Power Attack.


Irontruth wrote:
Mallecks wrote:
avr wrote:
Gallant Armor wrote:
Sneak attack doesn't mention hit point damage so I don't see how that is relevant.

Did you read it?

sneak attack wrote:
With a weapon that deals nonlethal damage (like a sap, whip, or an unarmed strike), a rogue can make a sneak attack that deals nonlethal damage instead of lethal damage.

i suggest reading the other topic. There are two basic stances.

1. Non-lethal Damage is Hit point damage because it is damage that is tracked in hit points.

2. Hit point Damage is an official term that strictly means lethal damage. Non-lethal Damage is not Hit point damage as it is never referred to as hit point damage and it doesn't reduce hit points.

Sneak Attack deals with precision damage, which has nothing to do with those two positions. Precision Damage is a damage type that can apply to any other type of damage and has text specifically handling Non-lethal damage.

If hit point damage and lethal damage were synonymous, having both terms would be unnecessary and only serve to complicate the rules text.

If hit point damage were broader than just lethal damage, then it would make sense to separate the two terms.

Also, no where in the text does it explicitly say that nonlethal damage is not hit point damage. The associations between nonlethal damage and hit point damage goes to more than just "tracked in hit points", but everywhere that nonlethal damage does interact with hit points, it does so as if it were hit point damage.

Loss of Hit Points wrote wrote:

The most common way that your character gets hurt is to take lethal damage and lose hit points.

What Hit Points Represent: Hit points mean two things in the game world: the ability to take physical punishment and keep going, and the ability to turn a serious blow into a less serious one.

Effects of Hit Point Damage: Damage doesn't slow you down until your current hit points reach 0 or lower. At 0 hit points, you're disabled.

If your hit point total is negative, but not equal to or greater than your Constitution score, you are unconscious and dying.

When your negative hit point total is equal to your Constitution, you're dead.

Having synonymous terms does not invalidate the meaning of either term. The rules say what you can do, not what you can't do. If you want to define something in a certain way it is up to you to find evidence in the rules to defend that interpretation, it's not up to the rules to prove you wrong.


blahpers wrote:
3. No damage is hit point damage. Even lethal damage isn't tracked in hit points--it just happens to be subtracted from your current hit point total when it occurs. Ergo, you can never use Power Attack.

Lethal damage reduces current hit points and would therefore be hit point damage by the rules.


Nope, it's just "damage". Reduction of hit points is simply a rule applied when one is lethally damageed. "Hit point damage" is undefined, therefore Power Attack never works, up is down, black is white, and I'm likely to get myself killed at the next zebra crossing.


Nonlethal damage is measured in hit points, so it is. Ability (eg Strength) damage is not measured in hit points, so it is not.

Do you have a specific example you're interested in?


Mudfoot wrote:

Nonlethal damage is measured in hit points, so it is. Ability (eg Strength) damage is not measured in hit points, so it is not.

Do you have a specific example you're interested in?

Your definition of hit point damage is not supported by the rules:

Loss of Hit Points wrote:

The most common way that your character gets hurt is to take lethal damage and lose hit points.

What Hit Points Represent: Hit points mean two things in the game world: the ability to take physical punishment and keep going, and the ability to turn a serious blow into a less serious one.

Effects of Hit Point Damage: Damage doesn't slow you down until your current hit points reach 0 or lower. At 0 hit points, you're disabled.

If your hit point total is negative, but not equal to or greater than your Constitution score, you are unconscious and dying.

When your negative hit point total is equal to your Constitution, you're dead.

Hit point damage specifically refers to damage which reduces current hit points. Therefore nonlethal damage isn't hit point damage.


It starts out not affecting hit points, but once you take nonlethal damage equal to your hit points, it then begins to affect hit points.

If a creature's nonlethal damage is equal to his total maximum hit points (not his current hit points), all further nonlethal damage is treated as lethal damage.

See the Core Rulebook Nonlethal Damage

Nonlethal Damage wrote:

Nonlethal damage represents harm to a character that is not life-threatening. Unlike normal damage, nonlethal damage is healed quickly with rest.

Dealing Nonlethal Damage: Certain attacks deal nonlethal damage. Other effects, such as heat or being exhausted, also deal nonlethal damage. When you take nonlethal damage, keep a running total of how much you've accumulated. Do not deduct the nonlethal damage number from your current hit points. It is not "real" damage. Instead, when your nonlethal damage equals your current hit points, you're staggered (see below), and when it exceeds your current hit points, you fall unconscious.

Nonlethal Damage with a Weapon that Deals Lethal Damage: You can use a melee weapon that deals lethal damage to deal nonlethal damage instead, but you take a –4 penalty on your attack roll.

Lethal Damage with a Weapon that Deals Nonlethal Damage: You can use a weapon that deals nonlethal damage, including an unarmed strike, to deal lethal damage instead, but you take a –4 penalty on your attack roll.

Staggered and Unconscious: When your nonlethal damage equals your current hit points, you're staggered. You can only take a standard action or a move action in each round (in addition to free, immediate, and swift actions). You cease being staggered when your current hit points once again exceed your nonlethal damage.

When your nonlethal damage exceeds your current hit points, you fall unconscious. While unconscious, you are helpless.

Spellcasters who fall unconscious retain any spellcasting ability they had before going unconscious.

If a creature's nonlethal damage is equal to his total maximum hit points (not his current hit points), all further nonlethal damage is treated as lethal damage. This does not apply to creatures with regeneration. Such creatures simply accrue additional nonlethal damage, increasing the amount of time they remain unconscious.

Healing Nonlethal Damage: You heal nonlethal damage at the rate of 1 hit point per hour per character level. When a spell or ability cures hit point damage, it also removes an equal amount of nonlethal damage.


CrystalSeas wrote:

It starts out not affecting hit points, but once you take nonlethal damage equal to your hit points, it then begins to affect hit points.

If a creature's nonlethal damage is equal to his total maximum hit points (not his current hit points), all further nonlethal damage is treated as lethal damage.

See the Core Rulebook Nonlethal Damage

Nonlethal Damage wrote:

Nonlethal damage represents harm to a character that is not life-threatening. Unlike normal damage, nonlethal damage is healed quickly with rest.

Dealing Nonlethal Damage: Certain attacks deal nonlethal damage. Other effects, such as heat or being exhausted, also deal nonlethal damage. When you take nonlethal damage, keep a running total of how much you've accumulated. Do not deduct the nonlethal damage number from your current hit points. It is not "real" damage. Instead, when your nonlethal damage equals your current hit points, you're staggered (see below), and when it exceeds your current hit points, you fall unconscious.

Nonlethal Damage with a Weapon that Deals Lethal Damage: You can use a melee weapon that deals lethal damage to deal nonlethal damage instead, but you take a –4 penalty on your attack roll.

Lethal Damage with a Weapon that Deals Nonlethal Damage: You can use a weapon that deals nonlethal damage, including an unarmed strike, to deal lethal damage instead, but you take a –4 penalty on your attack roll.

Staggered and Unconscious: When your nonlethal damage equals your current hit points, you're staggered. You can only take a standard action or a move action in each round (in addition to free, immediate, and swift actions). You cease being staggered when your current hit points once again exceed your nonlethal damage.

When your nonlethal damage exceeds your current hit points, you fall unconscious. While unconscious, you are helpless.

Spellcasters who fall unconscious retain any

...

This is true, as discussed earlier in the thread. If a nonlethal attack does enough damage to go over the max hit point threshold, then the attack would reduce current hit points and would therefore qualify as hit point damage for effects such as power attack. Nonlethal attacks that don't breach the max hit point threshold do not reduce current hit points and therefore wouldn't qualify as hit point damage so the bonus damage from power attack wouldn't apply.


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Gallant Armor wrote:
This is true, as discussed earlier in the thread. If a nonlethal attack does enough damage to go over the max hit point threshold, then the attack would reduce current hit points and would therefore qualify as hit point damage for effects such as power attack. Nonlethal attacks that don't breach the max hit point threshold do not reduce current hit points and therefore wouldn't qualify as hit point damage so the bonus damage from power attack wouldn't apply.

You seem to be discussing a question from a different thread.


CrystalSeas wrote:
Gallant Armor wrote:
This is true, as discussed earlier in the thread. If a nonlethal attack does enough damage to go over the max hit point threshold, then the attack would reduce current hit points and would therefore qualify as hit point damage for effects such as power attack. Nonlethal attacks that don't breach the max hit point threshold do not reduce current hit points and therefore wouldn't qualify as hit point damage so the bonus damage from power attack wouldn't apply.
You seem to be discussing a question from a different thread.

You are correct, I apologize. That was a novel point for this thread.


Gallant Armor wrote:
blahpers wrote:
3. No damage is hit point damage. Even lethal damage isn't tracked in hit points--it just happens to be subtracted from your current hit point total when it occurs. Ergo, you can never use Power Attack.
Lethal damage reduces current hit points and would therefore be hit point damage by the rules.

Not by your reading of the rules. If words are squirmy enough for non lethal damage to not be hitpoint damage hen they are squirmy enough to support this other reading.

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
blahpers wrote:
Nope, it's just "damage". Reduction of hit points is simply a rule applied when one is lethally damageed. "Hit point damage" is undefined, therefore Power Attack never works, up is down, black is white, and I'm likely to get myself killed at the next zebra crossing.

I pointed this out in the other thread. To put it more plainly, One can either use the feat, or can't use it, with either damage being dealt, Lethal or Non Lethal. To differentiate a difference because of different damage tracks is a really narrow and specific read that breaks almost every other interaction with Damage.


thorin001 wrote:
Gallant Armor wrote:
blahpers wrote:
3. No damage is hit point damage. Even lethal damage isn't tracked in hit points--it just happens to be subtracted from your current hit point total when it occurs. Ergo, you can never use Power Attack.
Lethal damage reduces current hit points and would therefore be hit point damage by the rules.
Not by your reading of the rules. If words are squirmy enough for non lethal damage to not be hitpoint damage hen they are squirmy enough to support this other reading.

Words aren't squirmy, they are quite clear and direct.

Effects of Hit Point Damage wrote:

Damage doesn't slow you down until your current hit points reach 0 or lower. At 0 hit points, you're disabled.

If your hit point total is negative, but not equal to or greater than your Constitution score, you are unconscious and dying.

When your negative hit point total is equal to your Constitution, you're dead.

The section defining the effects of hit point damage (the only place in the rules where the term is defined) clearly shows that hit point damage is damage that reduces current hit points. Any lethal damage reduces current hit points so it would count as hit point damage.


Gallant Armor's argument is pretty clear, as I described it above. I could not find any evidence that directly corroborates that non-lethal damage is actually "HP damage."

While I disagree with his conclusion, I do think it is logically sound. The two premises are...

1. Non-lethal damage is never referred to as "hit point damage."
2. Non-lethal damage does not behave like "hit point damage."

I don't think really think that either of these is really that crazy of a position to take.

Edit: Although, I think if I were taking this position, I would say that Power Attack would never be allowed. As the attack itself isn't actually doing hit point damage, that's just an effect of the non-lethal damage rules.


Gallant Armor wrote:
thorin001 wrote:
Gallant Armor wrote:
blahpers wrote:
3. No damage is hit point damage. Even lethal damage isn't tracked in hit points--it just happens to be subtracted from your current hit point total when it occurs. Ergo, you can never use Power Attack.
Lethal damage reduces current hit points and would therefore be hit point damage by the rules.
Not by your reading of the rules. If words are squirmy enough for non lethal damage to not be hitpoint damage hen they are squirmy enough to support this other reading.

Words aren't squirmy, they are quite clear and direct.

Effects of Hit Point Damage wrote:

Damage doesn't slow you down until your current hit points reach 0 or lower. At 0 hit points, you're disabled.

If your hit point total is negative, but not equal to or greater than your Constitution score, you are unconscious and dying.

When your negative hit point total is equal to your Constitution, you're dead.

The section defining the effects of hit point damage (the only place in the rules where the term is defined) clearly shows that hit point damage is damage that reduces current hit points. Any lethal damage reduces current hit points so it would count as hit point damage.

Nope, that doesn't define "hit point damage" either; it simply describes the effects of "hit point damage", whatever it is. It's too bad we don't have something to fall back on when explicit definitions aren't provided in the rules.


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Mallecks wrote:

Gallant Armor's argument is pretty clear, as I described it above. I could not find any evidence that directly corroborates that non-lethal damage is actually "HP damage."

While I disagree with his conclusion, I do think it is logically sound. The two premises are...

1. Non-lethal damage is never referred to as "hit point damage."
2. Non-lethal damage does not behave like "hit point damage."

I don't think really think that either of these is really that crazy of a position to take.

Edit: Although, I think if I were taking this position, I would say that Power Attack would never be allowed. As the attack itself isn't actually doing hit point damage, that's just an effect of the non-lethal damage rules.

The rules don't specifically say you can't take actions while dead too.


Irontruth wrote:
The rules don't specifically say you can't take actions while dead too.

And this is why having a GM is required.....lol.


And we realize that just because they don't say something explicitly, that doesn't mean we can't arrive at logical conclusions that are consistent with how the rules are written AND intended.

Sczarni

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Hit point damage: Can be lethal or non-lethal.

You keep your current total of "lethal" HP and when it hits 0, you are staggered. When -1 or less you are dying.

You keep your current total of "non-lethal" HP separate (reduced by any lethal damage you've taken). When it hits 0 you are staggered. When it is more than that, you fall unconscious (not dying).

You get back 24 non-lethal damage in a day (1/hour). You also heal non-lethal when you heal normal (lethal) damage from any source.

So to answer the question: yes, it is hit point damage. It is just not LETHAL hit point damage.

Anyone who is going to argue semantics of "it says that you changed your lethal HP damage from an attack to some unknown not specified other kind of non-lethal mystery NON-HP damage because the rules don't explicitly use a term I want them to use" must simply be trying to start something. It is pretty clear that when you say "you can deal non-lethal damage instead". that it is ALSO HP damage, just non-lethal HP damage.

Sczarni

Irontruth wrote:


The rules don't specifically say you can't take actions while dead too.

I often attempt to whip out my WISH SPELL when dead. I have had success with this in the past.


Irontruth wrote:
Mallecks wrote:

Gallant Armor's argument is pretty clear, as I described it above. I could not find any evidence that directly corroborates that non-lethal damage is actually "HP damage."

While I disagree with his conclusion, I do think it is logically sound. The two premises are...

1. Non-lethal damage is never referred to as "hit point damage."
2. Non-lethal damage does not behave like "hit point damage."

I don't think really think that either of these is really that crazy of a position to take.

Edit: Although, I think if I were taking this position, I would say that Power Attack would never be allowed. As the attack itself isn't actually doing hit point damage, that's just an effect of the non-lethal damage rules.

The rules don't specifically say you can't take actions while dead too.

If an individual word is not defined it defaults to the literal meaning. If you want to go by game rules I would say that since a body is treated as an object and objects by default can take no actions a dead body can't take actions.

This also falls under 'the rules tell you what you can do not what you can't do'.


blahpers wrote:
Gallant Armor wrote:
thorin001 wrote:
Gallant Armor wrote:
blahpers wrote:
3. No damage is hit point damage. Even lethal damage isn't tracked in hit points--it just happens to be subtracted from your current hit point total when it occurs. Ergo, you can never use Power Attack.
Lethal damage reduces current hit points and would therefore be hit point damage by the rules.
Not by your reading of the rules. If words are squirmy enough for non lethal damage to not be hitpoint damage hen they are squirmy enough to support this other reading.

Words aren't squirmy, they are quite clear and direct.

Effects of Hit Point Damage wrote:

Damage doesn't slow you down until your current hit points reach 0 or lower. At 0 hit points, you're disabled.

If your hit point total is negative, but not equal to or greater than your Constitution score, you are unconscious and dying.

When your negative hit point total is equal to your Constitution, you're dead.

The section defining the effects of hit point damage (the only place in the rules where the term is defined) clearly shows that hit point damage is damage that reduces current hit points. Any lethal damage reduces current hit points so it would count as hit point damage.

Nope, that doesn't define "hit point damage" either; it simply describes the effects of "hit point damage", whatever it is. It's too bad we don't have something to fall back on when explicit definitions aren't provided in the rules.

So your claim is that the section that outlines how hit point damage damages hit points has no baring on the definition of hit point damage? We should ignore that text completely and choose to believe a definition not supported by the text at all?


Found a spell that's somewhat on topic: Scarify. Spell converts damage into nonlethal damage. Does seem to support the idea that non-lethal damage is not damage.


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Gallant Armor wrote:
blahpers wrote:
Gallant Armor wrote:
thorin001 wrote:
Gallant Armor wrote:
blahpers wrote:
3. No damage is hit point damage. Even lethal damage isn't tracked in hit points--it just happens to be subtracted from your current hit point total when it occurs. Ergo, you can never use Power Attack.
Lethal damage reduces current hit points and would therefore be hit point damage by the rules.
Not by your reading of the rules. If words are squirmy enough for non lethal damage to not be hitpoint damage hen they are squirmy enough to support this other reading.

Words aren't squirmy, they are quite clear and direct.

Effects of Hit Point Damage wrote:

Damage doesn't slow you down until your current hit points reach 0 or lower. At 0 hit points, you're disabled.

If your hit point total is negative, but not equal to or greater than your Constitution score, you are unconscious and dying.

When your negative hit point total is equal to your Constitution, you're dead.

The section defining the effects of hit point damage (the only place in the rules where the term is defined) clearly shows that hit point damage is damage that reduces current hit points. Any lethal damage reduces current hit points so it would count as hit point damage.

Nope, that doesn't define "hit point damage" either; it simply describes the effects of "hit point damage", whatever it is. It's too bad we don't have something to fall back on when explicit definitions aren't provided in the rules.
So your claim is that the section that outlines how hit point damage damages hit points has no baring on the definition of hit point damage? We should ignore that text completely and choose to believe a definition not supported by the text at all?

Hey, if we're going to get pedantic, we might as well go all in.


blahpers wrote:
Gallant Armor wrote:
blahpers wrote:
Gallant Armor wrote:
thorin001 wrote:
Gallant Armor wrote:
blahpers wrote:
3. No damage is hit point damage. Even lethal damage isn't tracked in hit points--it just happens to be subtracted from your current hit point total when it occurs. Ergo, you can never use Power Attack.
Lethal damage reduces current hit points and would therefore be hit point damage by the rules.
Not by your reading of the rules. If words are squirmy enough for non lethal damage to not be hitpoint damage hen they are squirmy enough to support this other reading.

Words aren't squirmy, they are quite clear and direct.

Effects of Hit Point Damage wrote:

Damage doesn't slow you down until your current hit points reach 0 or lower. At 0 hit points, you're disabled.

If your hit point total is negative, but not equal to or greater than your Constitution score, you are unconscious and dying.

When your negative hit point total is equal to your Constitution, you're dead.

The section defining the effects of hit point damage (the only place in the rules where the term is defined) clearly shows that hit point damage is damage that reduces current hit points. Any lethal damage reduces current hit points so it would count as hit point damage.

Nope, that doesn't define "hit point damage" either; it simply describes the effects of "hit point damage", whatever it is. It's too bad we don't have something to fall back on when explicit definitions aren't provided in the rules.
So your claim is that the section that outlines how hit point damage damages hit points has no baring on the definition of hit point damage? We should ignore that text completely and choose to believe a definition not supported by the text at all?
Hey, if we're going to get pedantic, we might as well go all in.

Ignoring relevant text is the exact opposite of pedantic.


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Who's ignoring it? There's no definition there.


The effects of hit point damage are defined, namely the reduction of hit points.


Irontruth wrote:
Mallecks wrote:

Gallant Armor's argument is pretty clear, as I described it above. I could not find any evidence that directly corroborates that non-lethal damage is actually "HP damage."

While I disagree with his conclusion, I do think it is logically sound. The two premises are...

1. Non-lethal damage is never referred to as "hit point damage."
2. Non-lethal damage does not behave like "hit point damage."

I don't think really think that either of these is really that crazy of a position to take.

Edit: Although, I think if I were taking this position, I would say that Power Attack would never be allowed. As the attack itself isn't actually doing hit point damage, that's just an effect of the non-lethal damage rules.

The rules don't specifically say you can't take actions while dead too.
Dying wrote:
A dying creature is unconscious and near death. Creatures that have negative hit points and have not stabilized are dying. A dying creature can take no actions. On the character's next turn, after being reduced to negative hit points (but not dead), and on all subsequent turns, the character must make a DC 10 Constitution check to become stable. The character takes a penalty on this roll equal to his negative hit point total. A character that is stable does not need to make this check. A natural 20 on this check is an automatic success. If the character fails this check, he loses 1 hit point. If a dying creature has an amount of negative hit points equal to its Constitution score, it dies.

Did you even try? This Is literally in the glossary for dying.

Anyway, I don't think we should be trying to look for things that are undefined. Those advocating that nonlethal damage can be used with Power Attack cannot do so RAW, and are arguing RAI (aka: that, just like, your opinion man).

Again, I think Power Attack should work RAI. But Gallant Armor's position is logically consiststent and is not as crazy as everyone seems to be making it.


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Mallecks wrote:
Irontruth wrote:
Mallecks wrote:

Gallant Armor's argument is pretty clear, as I described it above. I could not find any evidence that directly corroborates that non-lethal damage is actually "HP damage."

While I disagree with his conclusion, I do think it is logically sound. The two premises are...

1. Non-lethal damage is never referred to as "hit point damage."
2. Non-lethal damage does not behave like "hit point damage."

I don't think really think that either of these is really that crazy of a position to take.

Edit: Although, I think if I were taking this position, I would say that Power Attack would never be allowed. As the attack itself isn't actually doing hit point damage, that's just an effect of the non-lethal damage rules.

The rules don't specifically say you can't take actions while dead too.
Dying wrote:
A dying creature is unconscious and near death. Creatures that have negative hit points and have not stabilized are dying. A dying creature can take no actions. On the character's next turn, after being reduced to negative hit points (but not dead), and on all subsequent turns, the character must make a DC 10 Constitution check to become stable. The character takes a penalty on this roll equal to his negative hit point total. A character that is stable does not need to make this check. A natural 20 on this check is an automatic success. If the character fails this check, he loses 1 hit point. If a dying creature has an amount of negative hit points equal to its Constitution score, it dies.

Did you even try? This Is literally in the glossary for dying.

Anyway, I don't think we should be trying to look for things that are undefined. Those advocating that nonlethal damage can be used with Power Attack cannot do so RAW, and are arguing RAI (aka: that, just like, your opinion man).

Again, I think Power Attack should work RAI. But Gallant Armor's position is logically consiststent and is not as crazy as everyone seems to be...

So, you got snippy and made fun of me, but you didn't actually read the Dead condition. Cool.

Let me reiterate though, that I am not trying to argue that you being Dead allows you to continue taking actions (or resume, because you're no longer Dying). Rather that the rules don't need to tell you this, because the "loophole" is ridiculous and no one would assume that it works anyways. Rather that the writers are humans, writing for other humans. They aren't computers, and neither are we. Therefore it is assumed that if a particular reading of the rules would result in some sort of ridiculousness, assume that the ridiculousness is actually incorrect, until told otherwise.

Nonlethal damage as hit point damage makes sense. It makes sense both realistically, and within the context of the rules.


Mallecks wrote:
Dying wrote:
A dying creature is unconscious and near death. Creatures that have negative hit points and have not stabilized are dying. A dying creature can take no actions. On the character's next turn, after being reduced to negative hit points (but not dead), and on all subsequent turns, the character must make a DC 10 Constitution check to become stable. The character takes a penalty on this roll equal to his negative hit point total. A character that is stable does not need to make this check. A natural 20 on this check is an automatic success. If the character fails this check, he loses 1 hit point. If a dying creature has an amount of negative hit points equal to its Constitution score, it dies.

Did you even try? This Is literally in the glossary for dying.

Dying is not the Dead Condition. A dying creature can take no actions. But a dead doesn't qualify as a dying, as per the above description, and per the one in the combat section of the CRB.

But I agree with Irontruth, suggesting that because it doesn't say means you can, is not reasonable, especially in this instance. Obviously, a dead creature is a corpse and is unable to take actions. Rules don't say this, but it's very reasonable and I don't expect flak from players if I, the GM, suggest that they can't take actions once they are fully dead.

Though on the other hand, this does leave room within the written rules for the GM to have a scenario that takes place in death.


Gallant Armor wrote:
The effects of hit point damage are defined, namely the reduction of hit points.

The effects, sure, but not the thing itself.


Irontruth wrote:

So, you got snippy and made fun of me, but you didn't actually read the Dead condition. Cool.

Let me reiterate though, that I am not trying to argue that you being Dead allows you to continue taking actions (or resume, because you're no longer Dying). Rather that the rules don't need to tell you this, because the "loophole" is ridiculous and no one would assume that it works anyways. Rather that the writers are humans, writing for other humans. They aren't computers, and neither are we. Therefore it is assumed that if a particular reading of the rules would result in some sort of ridiculousness, assume that the ridiculousness is actually incorrect, until told otherwise.

Nonlethal damage as hit point damage makes sense. It makes sense both realistically, and within the context of the rules.

Didn't mean to come off that way, but in hindsight I guess I was being an jerk. I posted it this morning from my phone and grabbed the wrong definition. My bad!

Dying:
A dying creature is unconscious and near death. Creatures that have negative hit points and have not stabilized are dying. A dying creature can take no actions. On the character's next turn, after being reduced to negative hit points (but not dead), and on all subsequent turns, the character must make a DC 10 Constitution check to become stable. The character takes a penalty on this roll equal to his negative hit point total. A character that is stable does not need to make this check. A natural 20 on this check is an automatic success. If the character fails this check, he loses 1 hit point. If a dying creature has an amount of negative hit points equal to its Constitution score, it dies.
Dead:
The character's hit points are reduced to a negative amount equal to his Constitution score, his Constitution drops to 0, or he is killed outright by a spell or effect. The character's soul leaves his body. Dead characters cannot benefit from normal or magical healing, but they can be restored to life via magic. A dead body decays normally unless magically preserved, but magic that restores a dead character to life also restores the body either to full health or to its condition at the time of death (depending on the spell or device). Either way, resurrected characters need not worry about rigor mortis, decomposition, and other conditions that affect dead bodies.

If a character has HP < Zero AND has not stabilized, they are dying.
If a character has HP <= -CON, then they are dead.

In most situations where a character is dead, they should also be dying, and therefore unable to take actions. They are not mutually exclusive.

I don't find the position that we should assume any rules are "wrong" based on "ridiculousness" to be a helpful one. How "ridiculous" must a rule be before we assume it is "wrong"? Exactly how many people need to agree something is "ridiculous" before we can then start ignoring the rule? Maybe, instead, we can just follow the rules and ask for erratas to rules that cause conflicts.


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Exactly as ridiculous as you and your table think is sufficient.


blahpers wrote:
Exactly as ridiculous as you and your table think is sufficient.

Is this the obligatory "Ask your GM" post of the topic?


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Mallecks wrote:
blahpers wrote:
Exactly as ridiculous as you and your table think is sufficient.
Is this the obligatory "Ask your GM" post of the topic?

You say it like it's a bad thing.


blahpers wrote:
Mallecks wrote:
blahpers wrote:
Exactly as ridiculous as you and your table think is sufficient.
Is this the obligatory "Ask your GM" post of the topic?
You say it like it's a bad thing.

One of my GMs thinks that "Versatile Performance" is "ridiculous" and that it isn't allowed. (My current character in his campaign is a bard.) I haven't gotten it yet, so I don't know what's going to happen when I get it. Can I just "tell him otherwise"? What happens when he still thinks it is ridiculous despite me "telling him otherwise"?

I haven't been allowed to play as a ninja. I've played in games where all Unchained classes were banned. I've played in games were psionics were banned. etc. All for the differing GMs deciding that the were "ridiculous." [Note the exact reasons weren't ridiculous. They were other non-discrete / non-quantifiable reasons.]

Of course, your table is going to make up whatever rules they are going to make up and the GM is the arbiter.

But I don't think I should be coming to the rules forums and telling people that their bards won't be getting Versatile Performance, or that they can't play Unchained characters. So I don't really understand the "ask your gm" posts.


I figured we were past the "answering the rules question" part of the thread at this point. *shrug* But even then, as a GM, you are expected to use your judgment to adjudicate the extent of the rules--that is, itself, a rule of the game.


Mallecks wrote:
Irontruth wrote:

So, you got snippy and made fun of me, but you didn't actually read the Dead condition. Cool.

Let me reiterate though, that I am not trying to argue that you being Dead allows you to continue taking actions (or resume, because you're no longer Dying). Rather that the rules don't need to tell you this, because the "loophole" is ridiculous and no one would assume that it works anyways. Rather that the writers are humans, writing for other humans. They aren't computers, and neither are we. Therefore it is assumed that if a particular reading of the rules would result in some sort of ridiculousness, assume that the ridiculousness is actually incorrect, until told otherwise.

Nonlethal damage as hit point damage makes sense. It makes sense both realistically, and within the context of the rules.

Didn't mean to come off that way, but in hindsight I guess I was being an jerk. I posted it this morning from my phone and grabbed the wrong definition. My bad!

** spoiler omitted **** spoiler omitted **...

They are mutually exclusive. Reread Dying. It mentions twice how it is mutually exclusive from being Dead.

It's a risk of being smarmy. If you're right... well, at least you're right and smarmy. If you're wrong....

How about this, don't bother debating me on this Dead condition thing. If you're curious, go read about it, there are probably a dozen or more threads about it. Lots of good commentary.

If someone came in with a sentence and pointed out that if you read it a certain way it meant that Wizards can never cast spells... ever... would you take that seriously? Would you consider it a valid interpretation of the rules?

Now this situation with nonlethal isn't that ridiculous, but it is on a level where it doesn't make any sort of real sense. While it is true that no sentence like "Nonlethal damage is considered hit point damage," exists in the game, no sentence saying the opposite exists either. Nor is there a sentence that says "Lethal damage is the only type of hit point damage." In fact, the default term for most damage is "hit point damage", and the terms lethal and nonlethal typically only appear as a way to differentiate between each other. You never see a sentence like "both hit point damage and nonlethal damage can...." or "hit point damage can *blank*, but nonlethal damage cannot".

Lastly, nonlethal damage as not hit point damage forces us into situations and computations that do not otherwise exist in the game. Situations that have never existed before, have never been reflected in any of the game's writing ever, but would have been necessary for over 10 years to make sure that this aspect of the game is clear and understandable.

Or...

If you make the assumption that nonlethal damage is just a different category of hit point damage, the lack of examples and clarifications on interactions and procedures makes perfect sense because those examples would be unnecessary.

I concede that it is possible that nonlethal damage is not hit point damage. But that idea requires explanations, potential rewordings of other rules and abilities, creates strange interactions that have never been explained before, and generally makes the whole process more complicated.

Barring a conclusive piece of evidence (ie: a statement saying "Nonlethal damage is not considered hit point damage." A clear and unambiguous statement), I'm going to apply Occam's Razor. The explanation that fits all the available evidence, and requires less manipulation to arrive at, is more likely the correct one.

1. Nonlethal damage is hit point damage, but has additional rules.
2. Nonlethal damage is a completely separate game concept, unrelated to hit point damage.

1, requires very little thought, is easy to implement and explains everything about how the game works perfectly fine without having to introduce any new sort of accounting.

2, requires a lot of thought, takes effort to implement, doesn't explain everything about how the game works now, and requires a completely new style of accounting that currently doesn't exist in the process of the game.

This is also why I consider 2 to have a significantly higher burden of proof.


blahpers wrote:
Gallant Armor wrote:
The effects of hit point damage are defined, namely the reduction of hit points.
The effects, sure, but not the thing itself.

Barring a definitive definition of hit point damage, the definition of it's effects should be used to clarify any misconceptions. If the effects of hit point damage don't align with the effects of nonlethal damage then the logical conclusion is that nonlethal damage is not hit point damage.


Irontruth wrote:
Mallecks wrote:
Irontruth wrote:

So, you got snippy and made fun of me, but you didn't actually read the Dead condition. Cool.

Let me reiterate though, that I am not trying to argue that you being Dead allows you to continue taking actions (or resume, because you're no longer Dying). Rather that the rules don't need to tell you this, because the "loophole" is ridiculous and no one would assume that it works anyways. Rather that the writers are humans, writing for other humans. They aren't computers, and neither are we. Therefore it is assumed that if a particular reading of the rules would result in some sort of ridiculousness, assume that the ridiculousness is actually incorrect, until told otherwise.

Nonlethal damage as hit point damage makes sense. It makes sense both realistically, and within the context of the rules.

Didn't mean to come off that way, but in hindsight I guess I was being an jerk. I posted it this morning from my phone and grabbed the wrong definition. My bad!

** spoiler omitted **** spoiler omitted **...

They are mutually exclusive. Reread Dying. It mentions twice how it is mutually exclusive from being Dead.

It's a risk of being smarmy. If you're right... well, at least you're right and smarmy. If you're wrong....

How about this, don't bother debating me on this Dead condition thing. If you're curious, go read about it, there are probably a dozen or more threads about it. Lots of good commentary.

If someone came in with a sentence and pointed out that if you read it a certain way it meant that Wizards can never cast spells... ever... would you take that seriously? Would you consider it a valid interpretation of the rules?

Now this situation with nonlethal isn't that ridiculous, but it is on a level where it doesn't make any sort of real sense. While it is true that no sentence like "Nonlethal damage is considered hit point damage," exists in the game, no sentence saying the opposite exists either. Nor is there a...

Loss of Hit Points wrote:

The most common way that your character gets hurt is to take lethal damage and lose hit points.

What Hit Points Represent: Hit points mean two things in the game world: the ability to take physical punishment and keep going, and the ability to turn a serious blow into a less serious one.

Effects of Hit Point Damage: Damage doesn't slow you down until your current hit points reach 0 or lower. At 0 hit points, you're disabled.

If your hit point total is negative, but not equal to or greater than your Constitution score, you are unconscious and dying.

When your negative hit point total is equal to your Constitution, you're dead.

Effects of hit point damage are listed under "Loss of Hit Points" and exclusively refers to damage that reduces hit points. Any other interpretation is conjecture not based on anything in the text.

This is further shown with how the term is used elsewhere:

Healing Nonlethal Damage wrote:
You heal nonlethal damage at the rate of 1 hit point per hour per character level. When a spell or ability cures hit point damage, it also removes an equal amount of nonlethal damage.
Weapon Rules wrote:
All weapons deal hit point damage. This damage is subtracted from the current hit points of any creature struck by the weapon.

It is possible to make the argument RAI that nonlethal should qualify as hit point damage, but I don't see any justification for it in the rules.

As for your statement that it requires more thought, effort and accounting; aside from a few unlikely corner cases, what issues are there? Certain abilities would just not be used with nonlethal damage, that is not a lot of effort.

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