Ablative Barrier - Lethal Damage


Rules Questions

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Paizo Charter Superscriber; Pathfinder Companion, Pathfinder Accessories Subscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber
Elven_Blades wrote:

d20pfsrd.com

There are several web sights with reference documents for Pathfinder. The one I listed above is the one I assume people are referencing whenever they say srd. There is no need to be snippy with someone just because they use a different srd than you do.

The d20pfsrd.com site is not associated with Paizo and in no way an official source of the rules. The site has been know to have outdated rules more than once. We cannot be sure that any rule quoted from there is correct without comparing it to the latest official rule source by Paizo. The only acceptable source for Pathfinder rules in a discussion about rules is Paizo. The relevance of d20pfsrd.com to a rules-oriented discussion is void. How they arrived at their name is irrelevant. There is no official Pathfinder rules "SRD".


thrikreed wrote:

So... What excuse are you going to use to ignore this evidence? Are you going to say "It's not part of the rules because it's a feat description?" Yup, it is and that makes it part of the rules.

Honor.

Only you thrikreed, would quote flavor text and expect it to be considered a rule.

PRD wrote:

Merciful Spell (Metamagic)

Your damaging spells subdue rather than kill.
Benefit: You can alter spells that inflict damage to inflict nonlethal damage instead. Spells that inflict damage of a particular type (such as fire) inflict nonlethal damage of that same type. A merciful spell does not use up a higher-level spell slot than the spell's actual level.

The actual feat, does not at all mention lethal damage. If you cared more about what the rules said, instead of trying to be correct in your assessment you wouldn't be grasping at flavor text or short descriptions that don't use the same language under the complete description.

This is what it seems the Rules Message board is, a bunch of people quoting opinion as RAW.

No discussion on what or how something should be, just a bunch of rules lawyers arguing their opinions as the guise of something else.

If you want to have a discussion on ablative barrier or lethal damage as it stands, it is simple. There are no clear cut rules, no explanation that clearly states how these two things operate.

If you wish to discuss, how they should operate I'm all ears. Otherwise it is evident that none of you actually can prove anything, and the more I have listened to the more I have realized no one is capable of solving this, since the problem will go unresolved till Paizo makes a FAQ or ruling update.

Thank you for helping me realize there are no clear rules on this issue.

I won't pay any more attention to your opinions, unless they are explained as opinions and why you believe what you do.

State an opinion as fact, and it will be ignored from now on.

Thank you again.


Look at the rules in general. They're in the english language, and they're made up of words. Most of those words are just english words that have no special function within the rules other than to help convey the rules in the same way that they can convey other ideas and concepts outside of the rules.

Some words, or word combinations, are game terms. These serve a special function within the rules in that they have a specific meaning there that they don't necessarily also have outside of the rules. Such terms need to be defined. In many places in the online PRD, game terms are shown in the form of links to the section where they are defined. (You will notice that "lethal damage" never appears as a link to anything.)

When a word (or sequence of words) isn't defined in the rules as a game term, this shouldn't immediately be considered an omission requiring FAQ or errata attention. If the usual english meaning of the word is sufficient to make the rules clear and consistent, there's no need to assume, or demand, that it needs to be clarified or defined.

"Lethal damage" is such a sequence of words. Interpret it simply as "damage that isn't nonlethal" and the rules make perfect sense.

Assume (why?) that it means something else and you create an unnecessary gap in your interpretation of the rules. Fill that gap with rather specific and limiting made-up definitions and examples, and your interpretation of the rules comes apart at the seams.

Mind you, it's just your interpretation of the rules that suffers. Everyone else is doing just fine.

None of this is opinion, all of this is fact.

Dark Archive

necronus wrote:
PRD wrote:

Merciful Spell (Metamagic)

Your damaging spells subdue rather than kill.
Benefit: You can alter spells that inflict damage to inflict nonlethal damage instead. Spells that inflict damage of a particular type (such as fire) inflict nonlethal damage of that same type. A merciful spell does not use up a higher-level spell slot than the spell's actual level.

The actual feat, does not at all mention lethal damage. If you cared more about what the rules said, instead of trying to be correct in your assessment you wouldn't be grasping at flavor text or short descriptions that don't use the same language under the complete description.

It doesn't need to because all references to damage that are not nonlethal are - IN EVERY REASONABLE WAY - Lethal.

necronus wrote:


Show in the book were it defines spell damage as lethal.
thrikreed wrote:


Okay I accept your challenge.
PRD wrote:


Merciful Spell — Spell inflicts nonlethal damage instead of lethal

This can be found at http://paizo.com/pathfinderRPG/prd/advanced/advancedFeats.html#_merciful-sp ell under the description of feats.

So... What excuse are you going to use to ignore this evidence? Are you going to say "It's not part of the rules because it's a feat description?" Yup, it is and that makes it part of the rules.

necronus wrote:


Only you thrikreed, would quote flavor text and expect it to be considered a rule.

I did what you asked. EXACTLY WHAT YOU ASKED. I clearly found a spot in the book where it defines where spell damage as lethal.

And in your opinion it is not part of the rules.

necronus wrote:


This is what it seems the Rules Message board is, a bunch of people quoting opinion as RAW.

In your case, yes. I have summed up all your assertions here, countered them logical using RAW, and then stated what RAW would need to be cited for you to open up those assertions to further debate. YOU have chose not to progress logically using RAW; instead citing YOUR opinions.

There is absolutely nothing wrong with stating your opinions until...

Mirror, mirror; On the wall... wrote:
If Necronus states an opinion as fact, it should be ignored from now on.

Despite the elementary school "I'm rubber and you're glue, what bounces off me sticks to you." mentality behind the mirror, mirror approach... It seems pretty applicable to these circumstances... So... Will do, buddy. Will do.

“Honor isn't about making the right choices. It's about dealing with the consequences.” - Sophocles

P.S. - I know a guy in real life that's like this. He just keeps talking and talking and talking, ignoring everything everyone else has to say; literally increasing volume to monologue over everyone else, disregarding everything they have to say and all the proof they show him. Then, no matter what comes of it or what the rest of the world decides; he says that it's his opinion, that the rest of the world cannot change his opinion, and that quite specifically that he has never been proven wrong. Well, in my opinion, monologing is not an acceptable debate strategy and being able to admit when you're wrong is part of civility.

The Exchange

Zaister wrote:
The d20pfsrd.com site is not associated with Paizo and in no way an official source of the rules.

Correct.

Zaister wrote:
The site has been know to have outdated rules more than once. We cannot be sure that any rule quoted from there is correct without comparing it to the latest official rule source by Paizo.

I am comfortable that our information is *at least as* accurate and up-to-date as the PRD. If you like I can go back and dig up repeated instances where the content on d20pfsrd.com was actually MORE up-to-date than the PRD. That is, when official errata is released we consistently have it applied to d20pfsrd.com faster than it is to the PRD. That's no slight to the people working on the PRD, after all, they probably have many other tasks to do as well. However, in almost all instances where someone thought something was wrong because it didn't match the PRD it turned out it was because the PRD had not applied the errata that we did. So, while you are correct that d20pfsrd.com is *not* official, and we're certainly capable of making mistakes or missing something, I'm confident we're no more or less reliable than the PRD. Whether you, or your GM wants to accept that is of course up to you.

Zaister wrote:
The only acceptable source for Pathfinder rules in a discussion about rules is Paizo. The relevance of d20pfsrd.com to a rules-oriented discussion is void. How they arrived at their name is irrelevant. There is no official Pathfinder rules "SRD".

Well I suppose it depends on your definition of official lol I consider us QUITE OFFICIALLY the Pathfinder rules SRD (mainly because the rules reference from Paizo isn't known as an SRD lol.)

So in short, yes, you are correct that we are not official, and yes, when discussing TRULY official, whether its correct or not, or whether its up-to-date or not, one should reference the PRD. That is of course, unless one is looking for content, rules, or mechanics not found in the books added to the PRD that is.


You must be correct. What was I thinking, it must of been an oversight on my part to assume someone made a mistake when the one and only spell that deals with lethal damage, a vague term that everyone seems to assume therefore it must mean, in a way that no other spell does.

It changes both weapon damage, spell damage, and supernatural damage all into nonlethal damage.

It doesn't matter if you already instant healed damage using DR, or that DR doesn't stack with itself, only the best applies.

It doesn't matter if you resisted part of the damage with fire resistance for example.

Lets ignore how damage operates in all other instances, for this one spell. That must be the intention of this spell. To ignore all other printed rules, and do what you say it does.

I apologize for thinking there was a problem with using an uncommon and unused term in reference to spells as a sign that there was something must be wrong.

I guess I must be wrong in my assertion that a spell that works with all other forms of DR and Resistance just stacks with them no problem.

I guess if my character gets hit with an axe for 10 slashing damage, 5 fire damage from flaming, 5 cold damage from frost, 5 electricity damage from shocking, 5 acid damage from corrosive would only take 5 regular damage and 25 nonlethal since that must be how this ablative barrier works.

Guess it turns force damage into nonlethal as well, because so many spells work against force.

Yup that's how this spell was intended to work, it does what no other spell, feat, extraordinary, spell-like, or supernatural ability does.

So, glad I posted here. That way I learned that a term used to explain a relationship but goes undefined in context to the rest of the game is unimportant and not worthy of further thought or consideration.

So glad I asked for view points, and instead get lectured on how to read correctly.

So glad people understand and interpret RAW in such a way they don't actually need to justify their opinions or thoughts.

So glad to find out that everyone but me is infallible.

Sure glad everyone is in agreement that this spell was designed to stack with all other spells, abilities and protections. That it was designed to stop even nonresistable damage from sources like vampiric touch.

This all now makes perfect sense to me. There is no room for consideration, no errors here at all, lethal damage is all damage. After all a character with 400 hit points taking 10 points of damage suffered lethal damage.

After all 10 points of damage dealt to a creature/character with 400 hit points is:

le·thal (lthl)
adj.
1. Capable of causing death.
2. Of, relating to, or causing death. See Synonyms at fatal.
3. Extremely harmful; devastating: accusations lethal to the candidate's image.

The most interesting thing is that if ablative barrier didn't exist, it wouldn't matter what lethal damage was or if spells did lethal damage.

Without ablative barrier, the issue of what lethal damage is and if spells and supernatural abilities deal lethal is immaterial.

Even so, you are all correct, this one spell that does something that no other spell does or has ever done must be correctly written and work just as you say. It works against everything. It turns epic damage into nothing more than a bad bruise that goes away in an hour or so.

Thank you all for stating the RAW rules to me, and educating me on how the rules are infallible in this case. That it is all so clear and concise that I should of just known from the beginning that lethal damage is all damage. After all it makes perfect sense after all everything is classified as lethal damage, unless it is doing nonlethal per the book. It isn't necessary to state that all damage is lethal damage unless it is nonlethal damage because this relationship is obvious and doesn't need to be written down, because why waste space in the book. After all its best not to waste ink or space. It would take to much time to write the one line anyways.

Thank you again for making everything so clear. I'm so glad that everyone is open minded and took time to consider and discuss what was intended and what impacts would be made on the game.

It is nice that everyone expressed the same view point of just because it isn't written doesn't mean its not RAW. So glad I learned something new. Thank you all once again for your unbiased regurgitation of RAW.


It's clear that much of that rant is a reaction to my previous post.

I'll just say that sarcasm is never a good substitute for refutation of arguments.


Per RAW this spell would convert any type of damage into non-lethal damage, I do not think that is RAI because the context and flavor/fluff of the spell suggests otherwise.


Eben TheQuiet wrote:

"Rules as written." Basically it means that you translate the words in the rulebook very literally. Taking only what the words actually and literally say into consideration.

This is opposed to RAI... or "Rules as Intended", which is reading between the lines and distinguishing what the writer/editor/dev. probably intended as opposed to strictly what it says. This can be incredibly tricky and dangerous in many situations because sometimes a reader can make a logical leap that the writer never meant.

Determining when its appropriate to use RAW or RAI is something of an art, and is the basis for many, many arguments.

RAI, all damage may be lethal based on the assertion all non-lethal damage is lethal damage.

However, seeing as:

PRD wrote:

Merciful Spell (Metamagic)

Your damaging spells subdue rather than kill.
Benefit: You can alter spells that inflict damage to inflict nonlethal damage instead. Spells that inflict damage of a particular type (such as fire) inflict nonlethal damage of that same type. A merciful spell does not use up a higher-level spell slot than the spell's actual level.
PRD wrote:
Ablative Barrier: Invisible layers of solid force surround and protect the target, granting that target a +2 armor bonus to AC. Additionally, the first 5 points of lethal damage the target takes from each attack are converted into nonlethal damage. Against attacks that already deal nonlethal damage, the target gains DR 5/—. Once this spell has converted 5 points of damage to nonlethal damage per caster level (maximum 50 points), the spell is discharged.

What is the point of the spell stating lethal damage gets converted into nonlethal.

When a feat states converts damage into nonlethal damage.

Why specify, if all damage is lethal damage, then why must Ablative Barrier state lethal damage and not just damage.

"the first 5 points of damage the target takes from each attack are converted into nonlethal damage"

I am using the RAW definition of how Merciful Spell changes damage to prove it is unnecessary to use the word lethal to define damage.

It is only in the instance of this singular spell that knowing what lethal damage is, makes a difference.

When I started this thread, I was hoping for a constructive conversation.

Instead all I get are people quoting RAI by them as RAW, and people holding on to the thread of descriptions as a Rules.

This is pointless, since it seems there is nothing in the book that directly states all damage is lethal damage. No one even wants to consider how the spell is supposed to work, or discuss why. Everyone wants to rant on about their opinion on RAW as if it is the only way for it to all work.


AnnoyingOrange wrote:
Per RAW this spell would convert any type of damage into non-lethal damage, I do not think that is RAI because the context and flavor/fluff of the spell suggests otherwise.

RAW doesn't state all damage is lethal damage. People are using RAI to state that all damage is lethal. Non-lethal damage isn't actually damage.

Dark Archive

necronus wrote:


It changes both weapon damage, spell damage, and supernatural damage all into nonlethal damage.

Now you're getting it!

Does anything else Necronus say about this matter now?


necronus wrote:

Oh I'm sorry, the spell provides DR, if there was a descriptor for DR, this spell would have it.

You seem to be ignoring that.

You tell use that we have to keep to RAW but you yourself interpret what the spell description gives as "it is DR".

No, RAW it is not DR. You could, however state: "It should be listed as DR, because I interprete ist as being DR and thus believe that is what I believe to be implied by the book"

The spell states it gives DR vs nonlethal, it does not, however state giving DR vs lethal. And it would be much more powerful if it WAS DR vs lethal. Because then it would negate the damage, not convert it to nonlethal.

You are setting double standards in requiring us to stick to RAW but not sicking to it yourself.


necronus wrote:
AnnoyingOrange wrote:
Per RAW this spell would convert any type of damage into non-lethal damage, I do not think that is RAI because the context and flavor/fluff of the spell suggests otherwise.
RAW doesn't state all damage is lethal damage. People are using RAI to state that all damage is lethal. Non-lethal damage isn't actually damage.

RAW doesn't have a definition for lethal damage, it is only used in cases where it tries to distinguish itself from non-lethal damage. I do not have the exact definition of non-lethal damage but I am fairly certain it is explained.

The reason it mentions lethal damage, in my point of view, is to more clearly distinguish between 'normal damage' and non-lethal damage.

I think it should have mentioned physical damage (bludgeoning, piercing or slashing) in specific, but I am just making an educated guess here in the end, only the developers could give a satisfactory answer for PFS. In games I play at home we pretty much go along with the GM's verdict, which in many cases are better arbiters for those games than the developers.


AnnoyingOrange, Thank you.


Now I'm as pedantic about the rules as the next guy, but the amount of hot air that people have been blowing around is getting ridiculous.

Its not even a big thing.The impact of ruling one way or the other is converging to zero.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber

Now that's not true. If I read what Necronus is... claiming... properly, then his reading would cause Ablative to do nothing against energy attacks.


Nuku, that is my assessment. It would only work against P/B/S damage. After reading the spell, looking how it operates, and considering how other spells work and stack with one another I came to the assessment, that it shouldn't work against energy attacks.

When I include energy attacks, that also includes channeling so negative or positive energy. Also untyped damage, such as vampiric touch.

I feel the spell is best suited for just the P/B/S damages.

Even still, imagine a necromancer with a few decent skeletons. He casts ablative barriers on them, they now get +2 AC and it would increase their DR to 10. The spell lasts hours per level, and doesn't cost anything.

I had a friend read the spell, and he is as munchkin as they come. He stated it should work as DR does, and it shouldn't stack with existing DR.

Digital Products Assistant

Removed a post. Please leave personal insults out of the conversation.

Dark Archive

necronus wrote:

Nuku, that is my <b>assessment</B>. It would only work against P/B/S damage. After reading the spell, looking how it operates, and considering how other spells work and stack with one another I came to the <b>assessment</B>, that it shouldn't work against energy attacks.

I <B>feel</B> the spell is best suited for just the P/B/S damages.

As was stated by Necronus himself, the conversation should not be about opinions and feelings... Yes, that includes using 'assessment' to disguise your 'opinion'. Sounds like a double standard.

necronus wrote:
When I include energy attacks, that also includes channeling so negative or positive energy. Also untyped damage, such as vampiric touch.

And by RAW you would be wrong.

necronus wrote:
I had a friend read the spell, and he is as munchkin as they come. He stated it should work as DR does, and it shouldn't stack with existing DR.

And one uninformed friend does not trump RAW and everyone else that has participated in this thread. The simple fact he hasn't participated in this thread says quite a bit.

necronus wrote:
Even still, imagine a necromancer with a few decent skeletons. He casts ablative barriers on them, they now get +2 AC and it would increase their DR to 10. The spell lasts hours per level, and doesn't cost anything.

If a character wants to use several of his 3rd level spells doing so, that's up to him. Should we cry and complain when it's <i>blink</i> or <i>fly</i> too? Or how about <i>fireball</i>?

What's next? Are you going to find something wrong with every magic spell how it could be used or are you just going to limit it to the ones you don't like?


Thrikreed wrote:
As was stated by Necronus himself, the conversation should not be about opinions and feelings... Yes, that includes using 'assessment' to disguise your 'opinion'. Sounds like a double standard.

I stated my opinion as an opinion, it was not in disguise. Hence why I didn't say it was RAW, at all. The reason I never mentioned anything about RAW is because RAW doesn't define lethal damage, and RAW doesn't answer the question how this spell works. It is left up to the interpretation of those playing. Felt I was clear on this, if not, maybe now I am clear. Unlike other people, I am stating my opinion as an opinion and I am not trying to disguise this as RAW or claiming my interpretations are RAW.

Maybe you should try it once in a while.

Thrikreed wrote:
Necronus wrote:
When I include energy attacks, that also includes channeling so negative or positive energy. Also untyped damage, such as vampiric touch.
And by RAW you would be wrong.

How am I wrong? I'm not even sure why you would mention this, since I was merely clarifying that I was including other types of damage with elemental damage, and then I then clearly defined which other types of damage I was including.

Thrikreed wrote:
Necronus wrote:
I had a friend read the spell, and he is as munchkin as they come. He stated it should work as DR does, and it shouldn't stack with existing DR.
And one uninformed friend does not trump RAW and everyone else that has participated in this thread. The simple fact he hasn't participated in this thread says quite a bit.

No one here is quoting RAW, they are stating interpretations of the rules as they read them. Why would he participate in a thread of people quoting opinions as facts? Why would he even care?

At least he read the spell, and made a judgement call on how he saw the spell working. I never said it was RAW, and since RAW doesn't actually specify anything about the spell or lethal damage, other than interpretations.

Since, there is no clear defined way for the spell to work, I felt it was important to find out what people actually thought. Figured it would be easier to ask, what do you think about this and how do you feel it should work. This way I don't have to wade through a bunch of people misquoting RAW.

Maybe you should try looking at this topic objectively instead of subjectively.

I doubt it will matter, though, since there is no answer that can be found in RAW. That much is clear after all of these posts. It is left up to a GM, or a FAQ.

Dark Archive

necronus wrote:


The reason I never mentioned anything about RAW is because RAW doesn't define lethal damage, and RAW doesn't answer the question how this spell works.

Whether or not RAW defines lethal damage; RAW does answer the question about how this spell works, you have chosen to ignore RAW. You have also chosen to ignore pretty much everyone here on the subject of either how ablative barrier works or what lethal damage is. You have chosen to ignore posts like this which objectively cover every single one of your ever changing goal posts.

necronus wrote:


It is left up to the interpretation of those playing. Felt I was clear on this, if not, maybe now I am clear. Unlike other people, I am stating my opinion as an opinion and I am not trying to disguise this as RAW or claiming my interpretations are RAW.

Until you GM a table that is... Which I think you said you were at the beginning of this thread.

necronus wrote:


Spells and other abilities that do damage such as Fireball do what kind of damage. Does a fireball do lethal fire damage, and since hitting a person with a fireball is an attack that does damage does the Ablative Barrier protect against this.

The rule books are very vague in regards to damage, and I need a clarification for my table.

Then all of a sudden your affecting everyone at your table. With rulings like 'Fireballs do not do lethal damage' and the arguments that ensue, we're talking about something that affects a whole table of people and possibly more if you GM Pathfinder Society.

necronus wrote:


ThriKreed wrote:


necronus wrote:


I had a friend read the spell, and he is as munchkin as they come. He stated it should work as DR does, and it shouldn't stack with existing DR.

And one uninformed friend does not trump RAW and everyone else that has participated in this thread. The simple fact he hasn't participated in this thread says quite a bit.

Why would he participate in a thread of people quoting opinions as facts? Why would he even care?

That is exactly my point. Why would he care? If he really cared, why not invite him to participate in this thread?

It seems to me you came in here wanting validation of your opinion and when no one gave it to you, you went to a friend that you indicate may not even care and used him as a source to validate your opinions to us.

necronus wrote:


It is left up to a GM, or a FAQ.

I can honestly say, based upon this thread, if that GM were you I'd be thinking pretty hard about getting up from the table and leaving.


The phrase "lethal damage" isn't a defined damage type, so you just have to use the regular old meaning of words. So, it would be damage of, relating to, or causing death. And what can cause death is clearly defined in the Pathfinder Rules: "When your character's current hit points drop to a negative amount equal to his Constitution score or lower, he's dead."

Nonlethal damage won't kill you. What will kill you is when any amount in excess of your maximum HP is treated as lethal damage, and if you take an amount of that of that equal to your HP plus your CON, then you're dead.

Why are there three pages of debate over the word lethal? It's in the dictionary: http://lmgtfy.com/?q=Lethal


Huh? I'm back after three years. I guess that was just non-lethal damage after all.


Undead Thread wrote:
Huh? I'm back after three years. I guess that was just non-lethal damage after all.

Aah, that's what I get for not looking at the last posting date.

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