The Force


Rules Questions


1 person marked this as FAQ candidate.

Do force effects ignore hardness? I can't seem to find it either way in the books...

Sczarni

Pathfinder Starfinder Society Subscriber

Interesting. The only discussion I can find at the moment had no consensus.

You'd think this would be a more commonly asked question.

That being said, "Force" isn't energy damage, and it gets past DR.

I'd imagine, combining those two pieces of information, that a comfortable ruling could be that Force damage can be lowered by Hardness (as it's a physical effect), but not halved afterwards (since it's not energy damage).

YMMV

RPG Superstar Season 9 Top 16

Force effects do not ignore hardness.

Physical damage consists of bludgeoning, piercing, or slashing damage. Any other typed hitpoint damage is considered energy damage. Abilities that use force damage are often associated with energy damage, such as alchemist bomb discoveries and the bladebound magus's energy attunement ability. Spells that deal force damage allow spell resistance whereas spells that deal physical damage (piercing/slashing/bludgeoning) do not allow spell resistance. All of this suggests to me that while force is sometimes dense enough to enable physical effects like Shield and Wall of Force, force damage is energy damage. If it's physical, why would the designers make an entirely new type of damage instead of simply saying all force effects deal bludgeoning damage with a hardness of X?

Additionally, nothing implies force damage bypasses hardness. PF has exception-based rules, and the rules for hardness applies to all types of damage regardless of type, with the note that energy damage is halved before applying hardness unless GM fiat says otherwise. If you cannot find any rule that suggests force ignores hardness, then hardness applies normally to force damage.

From the above points, I conclude that force damage does not ignore hardness and is treated as energy damage.


I agree that force is an energy type and is treated as energy damage.

An example is spiritual ally/weapon which explicitly calls out that the force damage strikes as a spell and bypasses DR.


Force is a PHYSICAL energy, like Sonic, not an ELEMENTAL energy, like Fire, Cold, Acid, and Electricity, nor is it a PLANAR energy, like Positive, Negative, nor a CELESTIAL energy, like Good/Holy, Evil/Unholy, Lawful/Axiomatic, and Chaotic/Anarchic.

Force damage is simply kinetic energy (thus why it ignores both DR and Armor/Shield bonuses).

Sonic energy is, in some ways, the opposite, because it internalizes the energy and causes it to explode outward in the form of vibrations; this is why Sonic damage breaks fragile/crystalline things, and because most animals' hearing is based on sensing vibrations, it also causes intense "sounds" and thus most Sonic spells can cause Deafness or similar effects.

If something blocks Force damage, it's because it creates a cushion that absorbs and disperses kinetic force.

Note that the other types of Physical Damage are from physical actions - Slicing from cutting, Piercing from impalaing, and Bludgeoning from crushing - and thus they don't directly cause Force damage (any resulting "Force" would technically be part of the whole damage, and created by the action, rather than causing it directly).

---

Anyway, getting back to the point:

Only spells/supernatural effects cause Force damage. Spells always bypass DR unless specifically noted in their text.

Hardness is DR, but only for Objects.

Q.E.D., Spells which cause Force Damage bypass Hardness, yes.

RPG Superstar Season 9 Top 16

chbgraphicarts wrote:
Only spells/supernatural effects cause Force damage. Spells always bypass DR unless specifically noted in their text.

That's not true. A FAQ says that DR applies to spells that do physical damage.

chbgraphicarts wrote:
Hardness is DR, but only for Objects.

DR and hardness are two completely different game mechanics with different rules. Being able to bypass DR does not enable you to bypass hardness.

chbgraphicarts wrote:
Q.E.D., Spells which cause Force Damage bypass Hardness, yes.

You don't have any evidence here whatsoever. You're just making things up and saying very untrue things. There's no such thing as good/evil/lawful/chaotic energy damage. Alignment is just a property that adds to the damage and is not a damage type itself.


Cyrad wrote:
chbgraphicarts wrote:
Only spells/supernatural effects cause Force damage. Spells always bypass DR unless specifically noted in their text.

That's not true. A FAQ says that DR applies to spells that do physical damage.

chbgraphicarts wrote:
Hardness is DR, but only for Objects.

DR and hardness are two completely different game mechanics with different rules. Being able to bypass DR does not enable you to bypass hardness.

chbgraphicarts wrote:
Q.E.D., Spells which cause Force Damage bypass Hardness, yes.
You don't have any evidence here whatsoever. You're just making things up and saying very untrue things. There's no such thing as good/evil/lawful/chaotic energy damage. Alignment is just a property that adds to the damage and is not a damage type itself.
Quote:
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.

RAW Force effects do half damage to objects because they are an energy attack. It would be worth asking your GM what sorts of objects might receive full damage form Force attacks though, as that is specifically a GM fiat decision.

Sczarni

Pathfinder Starfinder Society Subscriber
Cyrad wrote:
There's no such thing as good/evil/lawful/chaotic energy damage. Alignment is just a property that adds to the damage and is not a damage type itself.

One exception comes immediately to mind: an Alchemist's Holy Bombs deal "good divine damage".


*clicks on a thread titled "The Force"*

*realizes the thread is not about Star Wars, Jedi, Force Adepts, or Sith*

soniamdisappoint.jpg

*sees the rules discussion on force damage*

"Wait, they changed that? I'm pretty sure it wasn't like that in 3.5..." derp.jpg "It seems like I learn something new about Pathfinder's Core Rulebook every 6-12 months." everythingwentbetterthanexpected.jpg

EDIT: Need to remember to refresh after being asleep.

Nefreet wrote:
One exception comes immediately to mind: an Alchemist's Holy Bombs deal "good divine damage".

And now I want to make the nerdy friar from the Van Helsing movie. "Now I know what it's for! Now I know what it's for!" *sunlight bombs an entire building of vampires*

Not to derail, but I'm starting to think that the friar was MORE badass than Van Helsing himself...even if he was comic relief at times. Kinda-sorta Badass Ordinary to Van Helsing's

Wait, he's actually a WHAT?!:
Badass Archangel in Human Form.

RPG Superstar Season 9 Top 16

Nefreet wrote:
Cyrad wrote:
There's no such thing as good/evil/lawful/chaotic energy damage. Alignment is just a property that adds to the damage and is not a damage type itself.
One exception comes immediately to mind: an Alchemist's Holy Bombs deal "good divine damage".

Divine damage is a special type of energy damage. Again, the alignment is a property of the damage, not a type of damage itself.


For some reason, I recall that force damage was especially useful against objects. Was that a 3.5 thing?


I would say that force damage should be treated equally with energy damage in this situation, since it is not an actual physical object hitting another object. Also, (if I were GM) I would make glass/crystal objects suffer the full effects of force, just as they would sonic.

Conceptually, a force/magic missile is not impacting an object like an actual hammer, and should be thus subject to 1/2 reduction and object's hardness. I think a little hint of this is found in Spiritual Hammer's description when it states, "It strikes as a spell, not as a weapon, so for example, it can damage creatures that have damage reduction."

Finally, it might also completely depend on the spell being used. The spell description might note that it bypasses Hardness or does full damage, though I can't think of anything that immediately comes to mind.


I am pretty sure that Spiritual Hammer has the "It strikes as a spell, not as a weapon, so for example, it can damage creatures that have damage reduction." statement so that you know to NOT apply DR to its damage, as it isn't a weapon, even though the spell says "Hammer" in the name. At least that's what I read in a post where someone was asking why it said that, and a game designer posted this as the reason. Similar to various spells that affect objects, especially weapons, having a statement clarifying that even though the name has "dagger" or "blade" in the name, it can affect other types of weapon.


Depend on the ruling, a bladebound magus can be REALLY interesting to sunder enemy's equipment. Ho My!


Did anyone ever find proof that force is an Energy Type?


I can't find anything definitive, but this seems strongly indicative that force is indeed an energy type.

and this

also this

It's also not a weapon.

I'm not sure there is any real evidence that it's not an energy type. but I look forward to being corrected :)

Community / Forums / Pathfinder / Pathfinder First Edition / Rules Questions / The Force All Messageboards

Want to post a reply? Sign in.