Hardness and energy attacks


Rules Questions


This came up in a game the other day and I need a ruling. The PCs were fighting two living statues (animated objects) each with hardness 5. The wizard cast acid arrow (or acid splash, I don't remember). Since the total damage was less than 5, the ruling was that the hardness negated any damage dealt. A couple people argued that energy attacks and/or spells aren't subject to the rules for hardness, and are only reduced/negated by energy resistance. I could see that argument, but after extensive searching, I still can't find any reference to this rule in the core rulebook. Can someone help with this ruling? And please, give me the page number that states that energy attacks ignore hardness.

Sczarni

I believe I read somewhere that hardness is about similar as damage resistance, so I would treat it that way.

Edit: Found this on SRD:

Energy Attacks:

Energy attacks deal half damage to most objects. Divide the damage by 2 before applying the object's hardness. Some energy types might be particularly effective against certain objects, subject to GM discretion. For example, fire might do full damage against parchment, cloth, and other objects that burn easily. Sonic might do full damage against glass and crystal objects.


Hmmm. I wonder what happens if an animated object wears adamantine armor.


Hardness applies to all damage, energy damage included. Damage reduction only applies to physical damage.

Quote:
Hmmm. I wonder what happens if an animated object wears adamantine armor.

The damage reduction from the adamantine armor reduces damage, then the hardness reduces it more. Hardness and damage reduction are two separate things, and so each would apply.


According to Page 173 of the core rulebook: "Energy Attacks: Energy attacks deal half damage to most objects. Divide the damage by 2 before applying the object’s hardness. Some energy types might be particularly effective against certain objects, subject to GM discretion."
I know the old rules had Acid and sonic only had to get through the Hardness(in your example the damage would have been reduced by 5), Fire and Lightning had to get through twice hardness(The 5 Hardness would have effectively been 10) while Cold had to get through four times hardness(effectively turning 5 Hardness into 20 resistance).


Quote:
Some energy types might be particularly effective against certain objects, subject to GM discretion.

Because of this sentence, I would rule that acid does full damage against stone objects, but as per RAW it's up to GM discretion.


Dustywood wrote:
I know the old rules had Acid and sonic only had to get through the Hardness(in your example the damage would have been reduced by 5), Fire and Lightning had to get through twice hardness(The 5 Hardness would have effectively been 10) while Cold had to get through four times hardness(effectively turning 5 Hardness into 20 resistance).

In 3.5, hardness was not multiplied. Damage was divided by 2 (fire and electricity) or 4 (cold). Acid and sonic weren't divided, but hardness still applied.

40 points of cold damage vs hardness 5
Your method: hardness effectively becomes 20, 40 damage-20=20 cold damage getting through
Actual 3.5 method: 40 cold damage/4 = 10 cold damage -5 hardness = 5 damage getting through.

Your method only works if you both multiply the hardness, and then divide the total. Though I don't know why anyone would bother to add an extra step to get the same total.


So, not only were your players wrong in this case, but they'll find out that it's more difficult to damage objects with energy attacks (per GM discretion).

Ouch.

Dark Archive

But has anyone made a listing of COMMON SENSE. Which of the energy types works better vs metals? Glass? stone? etc etc. Example adamantine has a hardness of 20 but something smelted it. How much heat is needed to smelt/shape adamantine? young red dragon? adult red dragon? maximized fireball? 20th level air kineticist maxxed out with burn and hot to the touch because of his defensive talent? Lay it in a volcano for a year ? Convince thor to hold open a nuetron star?


Emageht wrote:
But has anyone made a listing of COMMON SENSE. Which of the energy types works better vs metals? Glass? stone? etc etc. Example adamantine has a hardness of 20 but something smelted it. How much heat is needed to smelt/shape adamantine? young red dragon? adult red dragon? maximized fireball? 20th level air kineticist maxxed out with burn and hot to the touch because of his defensive talent? Lay it in a volcano for a year ? Convince thor to hold open a nuetron star?

I'm not sure that adamantine is smelted, at least not on Golarion. Adamantine is a starmetal (one of several, although the most common one). All the adamantine that exist on Golarion came from the space already as the adamantine. In my headcanon, it cannot be smelted, one needs to use magic (like fabricate) to shape it.


Adjoint wrote:
Emageht wrote:
But has anyone made a listing of COMMON SENSE. Which of the energy types works better vs metals? Glass? stone? etc etc. Example adamantine has a hardness of 20 but something smelted it. How much heat is needed to smelt/shape adamantine? young red dragon? adult red dragon? maximized fireball? 20th level air kineticist maxxed out with burn and hot to the touch because of his defensive talent? Lay it in a volcano for a year ? Convince thor to hold open a nuetron star?
I'm not sure that adamantine is smelted, at least not on Golarion. Adamantine is a starmetal (one of several, although the most common one). All the adamantine that exist on Golarion came from the space already as the adamantine. In my headcanon, it cannot be smelted, one needs to use magic (like fabricate) to shape it.

Actually in the Iron Gods AP the starting town is built around a flame capable of melting all starmetals. It isn't a normal flame at all, and it is created via super science, not magic.


Don't forget that 'appropriate damage' means weapon damage as well. Stuff like daggers, spears and swords aren't appropriate for damaging Stone Statues. Stuff like picks and hammers ARE appropriate for damaging statues. They should bypass the hardness.

You can argue either side of acid being appropriate or not. If you had 2 players that took turns heating and cooling the statue I'd have that bypass the hardness too (but not the half damage). Sonic damage should be appropriate for stone/crystal. Other types? Not so much.

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber

The rule quoted above is for objects. Hardness act as DR but goes against all attacks. (physical and energy) Some creatures have vulnerabilities that ignore the hardness and may even do half again damage.

A Wood Golem, for example, bypasses it's immunity to magic with any magic with the fire descriptor. (though this monster had DR)

I have been looking through the rules and not finding exactly where this is denoted, but it is how it is run when the creature has DR. Objects have different rules, including how to determine AC and HP for an object.

If anyone can find where it is in the Core Rulebook, or if it is in the Bestiary, might be nice to know where it is.

Or it could be an early FAQ.


Meirril wrote:
Actually in the Iron Gods AP the starting town is built around a flame capable of melting all starmetals. It isn't a normal flame at all, and it is created via super science, not magic.

Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.


Adjoint wrote:
Meirril wrote:
Actually in the Iron Gods AP the starting town is built around a flame capable of melting all starmetals. It isn't a normal flame at all, and it is created via super science, not magic.
Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.

And yet, its monkeys using a microscope to hammer things. It explains this campaign trait.

Iron Gods AP secret:
Torch is built over a fusion generator and the 'torch' everybody uses to forge star metals is actually a vent to prevent the generator from overloading. Tech wise, this was never intended to be used as a smelter or forge. This is just an application of raw heat and radiation!

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