What does it mean for a commoner to take 300 points of damage?


Pathfinder First Edition General Discussion

1 to 50 of 55 << first < prev | 1 | 2 | next > last >>

So, if a level 20 two-handed fighter/tier 10 champion with Maximized Critical uses devastating blow with a x4 weapon on a 1st-level commoner, what does that actually represent? Does the blade smash his heart into pieces and send him sprawling? Or does it go further? Can he be split in two down the long axis and fall apart in B-movie horror fashion? Does his upper body go flying 2d6x10 feet in a random direction away from the fighter? Does he fall apart into ludicrous gibs like in Quake III or UT 2004?

This somewhat has a rules implication, because if you bisect him purely through hit point damage, that makes him just as difficult to raise from the dead as if you'd animated him as a ghoul.


3 people marked this as a favorite.

It just means he dies. That is it. Anything beyond that is completely houseruled.

It doesn't matter if you just barely kill someone or reduce them to -300 hit points. Its just as easy to resurrect both or turn both into an undead.

Sovereign Court

24 people marked this as a favorite.

"The room looks like a vat of beef stroganoff exploded."


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Thelemic_Noun wrote:

So, if a level 20 two-handed fighter/tier 10 champion with Maximized Critical uses devastating blow with a x4 weapon on a 1st-level commoner, what does that actually represent? Does the blade smash his heart into pieces and send him sprawling? Or does it go further? Can he be split in two down the long axis and fall apart in B-movie horror fashion? Does his upper body go flying 2d6x10 feet in a random direction away from the fighter? Does he fall apart into ludicrous gibs like in Quake III or UT 2004?

This somewhat has a rules implication, because if you bisect him purely through hit point damage, that makes him just as difficult to raise from the dead as if you'd animated him as a ghoul.

That's up to the game master. There is no rules to support any particular interpretation.

At my table, it would depend strongly on the weapon used, but in general, any killing blow would be just that, a single blow. So if you're using a bow-and-arrow, then he was shot with a single arrow and died, but didn't explode into salsa. A katana, on the other hand, or any other suitable slashing weapon, is perfectly capable of cutting a human body in half at a single blow (that was how weapons were tested, and archeologists have found examples of such bodies). I don't believe there are any real-world cases of bodies being "split in two down the long axis," but if you've got some sort of magical enhancement, that might well be possible.

And, of course, if he died from a rock fall, then he's probably been turned into a red paste.


5 people marked this as a favorite.

The commoner goes supernova and deals 100d20 damage to everything within a 200 mile radius.

Sovereign Court

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Orfamay Quest wrote:


So if you're using a bow-and-arrow, then he was shot with a single arrow and died, but didn't explode into salsa.

Didn't catch "The Gamers" quote? Admittedly - that was done with a backstabbing ballista.

Grand Lodge

3 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Thelemic_Noun wrote:

So, if a level 20 two-handed fighter/tier 10 champion with Maximized Critical uses devastating blow with a x4 weapon on a 1st-level commoner, what does that actually represent? Does the blade smash his heart into pieces and send him sprawling? Or does it go further? Can he be split in two down the long axis and fall apart in B-movie horror fashion? Does his upper body go flying 2d6x10 feet in a random direction away from the fighter? Does he fall apart into ludicrous gibs like in Quake III or UT 2004?

This somewhat has a rules implication, because if you bisect him purely through hit point damage, that makes him just as difficult to raise from the dead as if you'd animated him as a ghoul.

I promise to give serious thought to this the next time I put up CR25 player characters vs Elmer the Inept Baker.

Honest... I really do...

Really!


The narrative dictates what happens to the person. Whether it be the DM or the player, or a combination of both. The only thing that strictly matters mechanically is that the creature becomes dead.


TheJayde wrote:
The narrative dictates what happens to the person. Whether it be the DM or the player, or a combination of both. The only thing that strictly matters mechanically is that the creature becomes dead.

As the OP pointed out, there are some limitations in the text of the raise dead spell: While the spell closes mortal wounds and repairs lethal damage of most kinds, the body of the creature to be raised must be whole. Otherwise, missing parts are still missing when the creature is brought back to life..

So if I put the blade of my sword through a creature's eye socket and out the back of his skull, killing him instantly, he will be raised without injury.

If I cut off a creature's leg and he bleeds out in a few seconds, he will be raised successfully, but without a leg.

If I cut him in half (like Darth Maul in the Star Wars prequel) he will not be able to raised at all; more powerful and more expensive magic would be required.

The Exchange

This is a great opportunity for story telling. I would be wary of having the massive damage require higher level magic to resurrect unless that is something you feel is warranted from the massive damage.

personally a x4 im thinking scythe to me that is a reaping at waist level cleaving the poor inn keeper in twain. last warm beer he will ever hand out in his miserable little life.


Bah, if the corpse is missing a leg sew a new one on. It worked for Frankenstein.

Grand Lodge

1 person marked this as a favorite.

He turns into a pinata, explodes in to a flurry of candy and toys. The game ends, close up your rule books and start playing "Cards Against Humanity."


7 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Maps, Pawns Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber

The commoner is dead, his piece is removed from the field of battle, and in its place remain the effects of a grease spell.

(Just kidding.)


1 person marked this as FAQ candidate. 1 person marked this as a favorite.
Orfamay Quest wrote:

As the OP pointed out, there are some limitations in the text of the raise dead spell: While the spell closes mortal wounds and repairs lethal damage of most kinds, the body of the creature to be raised must be whole. Otherwise, missing parts are still missing when the creature is brought back to life..

So if I put the blade of my sword through a creature's eye socket and out the back of his skull, killing him instantly, he will be raised without injury.

If I cut off a creature's leg and he bleeds out in a few seconds, he will be raised successfully, but without a leg.

If I cut him in half (like Darth Maul in the Star Wars prequel) he will not be able to raised at all; more powerful and more expensive magic would be required.

This isn't at all true. Whole means all the parts must be present, not intact and connected. *Missing parts* doesn't include the leg that you're holding against the stump, or the other half you've pressed back together.

Now if you cut them in half and one half falls far far away from the other half... that's more trouble.


2 people marked this as a favorite.

I'd say that the commoner in question doesn't even die of the sword swing--as soon as your hand moves to draw your blade, he keels over from a heart attack.

Scarab Sages

1 person marked this as a favorite.

I imagine it might go something like this:

What if Superman punched you?


bookrat wrote:
The commoner goes supernova and deals 100d20 damage to everything within a 200 mile radius.

That was 3rd edition. Nowadays they do 200d10!


3 people marked this as a favorite.

The real question is: has the paladin that did this fallen?


He would cease to exist*attack happens*... who were we talking about?

Silver Crusade

1 person marked this as a favorite.

Have you ever played Metal Gear Rising? THAT's what would happen.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Create Mr. Pitt wrote:
The real question is: has the paladin that did this fallen?

The Paladin was never there at all... *X-Files music*

Also, Commoners can be evil too.


DominusMegadeus wrote:
Create Mr. Pitt wrote:
The real question is: has the paladin that did this fallen?

The Paladin was never there at all... *X-Files music*

Also, Commoners can be evil too.

They're just much lower on the priority list for paladins than others.

Shadow Lodge

2 people marked this as a favorite.

The commoner dies. The Advanced Giant Half-Fiendish Half-Dragon Robot Tarasque Swarm in him gets a little bit cheesed off though.


2 people marked this as a favorite.

Nothing for about 10 seconds. Apply the stunned condition as the commoner can't understand what happened.

After that, you tell them that they "Are already Dead" and the have their head explode.

At least, this is what happens if it was a sohei monk 20/champion tier 10 that critted with pummeling style.


2 people marked this as a favorite.
Jeraa wrote:
It just means he dies. That is it. Anything beyond that is completely houseruled.

Or purely narrative.


3 people marked this as a favorite.
Terronus wrote:
bookrat wrote:
The commoner goes supernova and deals 100d20 damage to everything within a 200 mile radius.
That was 3rd edition. Nowadays they do 200d10!

Yeah, well, back in 1e it took 500 damage to make a commoner go supernova. And you only got 2xp for it! These new systems make things way too easy for players.

Lantern Lodge

One of my DM's had an interesting ruling of dealing more than twice the Hp of the victim: Roll 1d100 for a random effect (ranging from a corpse explosion causing blindness, to his life force binding to your weapon causing your weapon to gain that person's intelligence, to having his ghost haunt you the next night (resulting in fatigue the next day) etc...).

It was fun, for each multiple of the person's HP you dealt above 2, you gain either an additional effect or add potentcy to one of the effects already in play.

I got to read his list: 1-30 was all debuff type stuff, 30-90 was all cinematic, no real game effect stuff, and 90-100 was boons. A 1 was the worst, the target instantly trades position with your next of kin or best friend, as far as I knew.

As for if your trying for actual game rules, consider the body an object with X hardness and HP for the remaining damage per inch of thickness. Calculate the target's width (or length), and find out if you "broke" every part ofthe body in your blade's path. If yes, then awesome, you've cut them in half.

Liberty's Edge

Go through his pockets and look for loose change.

This commoner has ceased to be. He has joined the choir invisible. This is an ex-commoner.

Are there any more quotes?


1 person marked this as a favorite.

What happens? Ask the player who delivered the killing blow. We let the victor narrate the demise of their victims.


Pathfinder Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Maps, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber
Herald wrote:

He turns into a pinata, explodes in to a flurry of candy and toys. The game ends, close up your rule books and start playing "Cards Against Humanity."

Heh, I played that game a few times. First time I played it was the most fun I've had playing a game around a table that didn't involve dice. You don't really know your friends until you've played "Cards Against Humanity" with them.

Back on topic...

Describe what happens as being similar to the ragdoll physics in games these days (I'm looking at you, Bethesda. Now hurry up and release FO4).


There is such a thing as overkill. The strike was so perfect and well placed even a master swordsman would have had trouble. The commoner had not a chance.


With a different weapon, it'd kinda be like the showdown between Dr. Manhattan and Rorschach.

Dark Archive

2 people marked this as a favorite.
Thelemic_Noun wrote:
So, if a level 20 two-handed fighter/tier 10 champion with Maximized Critical uses devastating blow with a x4 weapon on a 1st-level commoner, what does that actually represent?

A complete jerkhole.


You must make a reflex save or die - pierced by a hundred fragments of razor-sharp bone, strangled by explosive coils of gut, and suffocated by a volley of organ fragments.

RPG Superstar Season 9 Top 16

bookrat wrote:
The commoner goes supernova and deals 100d20 damage to everything within a 200 mile radius.

My GM actually did that. Except it was the essence of pure evil instead of a commoner. I was the only survivor.


I am having "Ultima: Exodus" flashbacks while reading this thread. You know, fight the old woman running the shop for her gold (usually taking her out in one hit), then leave town before the town guards find you? Or am I the only one who played that way?

RPG Superstar Season 9 Top 16

TarSpartan wrote:
I am having "Ultima: Exodus" flashbacks while reading this thread. You know, fight the old woman running the shop for her gold (usually taking her out in one hit), then leave town before the town guards find you? Or am I the only one who played that way?

I can only think of Ultima: Ascension, the game where unarmed shirtless guys will pick a fight with you, the demigod messiah visibly armed and armored with magical gear, and be turned into a pile of gore. And then there's the kid that can cast fire balls when magic supposedly doesn't work such that even the god of magic (you) cannot cast fireballs.

Liberty's Edge

Cyrad wrote:
TarSpartan wrote:
I am having "Ultima: Exodus" flashbacks while reading this thread. You know, fight the old woman running the shop for her gold (usually taking her out in one hit), then leave town before the town guards find you? Or am I the only one who played that way?
I can only think of Ultima: Ascension, the game where unarmed shirtless guys will pick a fight with you, the demigod messiah visibly armed and armored with magical gear, and be turned into a pile of gore. And then there's the kid that can cast fire balls when magic supposedly doesn't work such that even the god of magic (you) cannot cast fireballs.

I assure you, not only were you NOT the only person who played Ultima III (or IV!) that way, you aren't playing an Ultima game right if you aren't butchering townsfolk for gold and ducking out of town before the guards decide to put the hurt on you (and doing some ridiculously easy stuff in IV to ease the karma penalties.) =p

Anyway. 300 damage on a 1st level commoner from a level 20 fighter/tier 10 Champion who gets really lucky on his critical hit? The commoner's limbs are ejected (including his head!); his thoracic and abdominal organs, along with most of his spine, are forcefully ejected through his back at mach 24; what's left of his torso basically explodes like a pot roast in a microwave, the commoner's family has to get Make Whole cast on his face just to identify the remains, and they'll be finding pieces of his itempack and remains all over the town square for weeks.

Good job, champ.


Anyone have any Pasta? We have meatballs and Marinara sauce now.


3 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

It means he's dead, Jim.

Shadow Lodge Contributor, RPG Superstar 2010 Top 8

4 people marked this as a favorite.

That much damage to a character with so few hit points actually triggers a karmic energy surge between the two of you.

The commoner becomes a Level 20 Commoner with 10 Mythic Tiers, you become a level 1 Fighter.

This is actually where 20th level commoners come from.


You can use the Confetti rule from the old Car Wars game. Take a "generous handful of obstacle and debris counters" and drop them onto the board from about a foot up.


1 person marked this as a favorite.

If the fighter was using a katana, then nothing happens for a few moments, as the fighter sheathes their blade. Then, at the click of the tsubo meeting the saya, the commoner gasps, and falls into into six cleanly cut pieces.

Lantern Lodge

Your weapon causes an effect similar to this...


Thelemic_Noun wrote:

So, if a level 20 two-handed fighter/tier 10 champion with Maximized Critical uses devastating blow with a x4 weapon on a 1st-level commoner, what does that actually represent? Does the blade smash his heart into pieces and send him sprawling? Or does it go further? Can he be split in two down the long axis and fall apart in B-movie horror fashion? Does his upper body go flying 2d6x10 feet in a random direction away from the fighter? Does he fall apart into ludicrous gibs like in Quake III or UT 2004?

This somewhat has a rules implication, because if you bisect him purely through hit point damage, that makes him just as difficult to raise from the dead as if you'd animated him as a ghoul.

While there is no rules system flavor text is very much apart of combat so i would say something like this. " your sword slashes through the top of his head splitting him in two down to the breast bone where it lands with a solid crack of bone, his brain splatters out from the wound and lands at your feet as you pull up on the hilt you realize the blade is stuck in the breast bone, instead of removing it normally you jerk up on the blade lifting his entire body and bringing crashing down folding his body like an accordion and ripping the blade from his breast bone.


3 people marked this as a favorite.

The weapon slices clean through the commoner in multiple places. The cut is so perfect that the poor lad doesn't even realize he is dead. He takes a few steps before the layers that made up his body slide off and he crumbles onto the floor in sections. You're baffled by this, because you did it with a mace.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Benchak the Nightstalker wrote:

That much damage to a character with so few hit points actually triggers a karmic energy surge between the two of you.

The commoner becomes a Level 20 Commoner with 10 Mythic Tiers, you become a level 1 Fighter.

This is actually where 20th level commoners come from.

You, sir win this thread.

RPG Superstar Season 9 Top 16

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Snorb wrote:
Cyrad wrote:
TarSpartan wrote:
I am having "Ultima: Exodus" flashbacks while reading this thread. You know, fight the old woman running the shop for her gold (usually taking her out in one hit), then leave town before the town guards find you? Or am I the only one who played that way?
I can only think of Ultima: Ascension, the game where unarmed shirtless guys will pick a fight with you, the demigod messiah visibly armed and armored with magical gear, and be turned into a pile of gore. And then there's the kid that can cast fire balls when magic supposedly doesn't work such that even the god of magic (you) cannot cast fireballs.
I assure you, not only were you NOT the only person who played Ultima III (or IV!) that way, you aren't playing an Ultima game right if you aren't butchering townsfolk for gold and ducking out of town before the guards decide to put the hurt on you (and doing some ridiculously easy stuff in IV to ease the karma penalties.) =p

It doesn't help that the creator of the Ultima series has said in an interview that he created a tradition of putting scenarios of obligated child slaying in the games just to troll the player.


1 person marked this as a favorite.

You destroy him. Chunky salsa flies everywhere. For a moment you see a translucent form of him and then it too is hit by the afterimage of your strike. An observing cleric or wizard can tell you that not only you killed him but somehow managed to kill his soul. For a quick moment you see Pharasma standing by your side looking flabbergasted, her mouth hanging open and her arms waving in a 'what the hell' motion. The she turns at you with a scowl and a glare and dissappears. Alternatively you see Zon-Khuton looking impressed. He turns and offers two thumbs up and what passes for a smile and then dissapears. If you are quick enough to raise an empty hand before he dissapears, he gives you a high five and then dissapears.


Cyrad wrote:
Snorb wrote:
Cyrad wrote:
TarSpartan wrote:
I am having "Ultima: Exodus" flashbacks while reading this thread. You know, fight the old woman running the shop for her gold (usually taking her out in one hit), then leave town before the town guards find you? Or am I the only one who played that way?
I can only think of Ultima: Ascension, the game where unarmed shirtless guys will pick a fight with you, the demigod messiah visibly armed and armored with magical gear, and be turned into a pile of gore. And then there's the kid that can cast fire balls when magic supposedly doesn't work such that even the god of magic (you) cannot cast fireballs.
I assure you, not only were you NOT the only person who played Ultima III (or IV!) that way, you aren't playing an Ultima game right if you aren't butchering townsfolk for gold and ducking out of town before the guards decide to put the hurt on you (and doing some ridiculously easy stuff in IV to ease the karma penalties.) =p
It doesn't help that the creator of the Ultima series has said in an interview that he created a tradition of putting scenarios of obligated child slaying in the games just to troll the player.

I give thanks to thee, Ultima designer, on behalf of all the paladins that never made it past book 1 of rise of the runelords.

1 to 50 of 55 << first < prev | 1 | 2 | next > last >>
Community / Forums / Pathfinder / Pathfinder First Edition / General Discussion / What does it mean for a commoner to take 300 points of damage? All Messageboards

Want to post a reply? Sign in.