Untyped Bludgeoning Damage, or Bludgeoning Fire?


Rules Questions


So while trying to do a martial fire damage build, I stumbled upon Weapon Versatility and wondered how it would interact with the 'damage type: Fire' property of the Battle Poi.

Battle Poi wrote:

This pair of arm-length chains has handles at one end and heavy fuel-soaked torch heads at the other.

Benefit: The weight of the poi is insufficient to deal physical damage, but the burning fuel deals fire damage. If you are proficient in battle poi, you are treated as if you have the Two-Weapon Fighting feat for the purposes of making poi attacks.

Special: Poi can be extinguished by spending a full round action smothering them in sand or submerging them in water.

Name: Battle poi

DMG (M): 1d4 fire
Critical: ×2
Damage Type: fire

Weapon Versatility wrote:

You can use your favored weapons in unconventional ways.

Prerequisite(s): Weapon Focus, base attack bonus +1

Benefit(s): When wielding a weapon with which you have Weapon Focus, you can shift your grip as a swift action so that your weapon deals bludgeoning, piercing, or slashing damage instead of the damage type normally dealt by that weapon. You may switch back to the weapon's normal damage type or another damage type as a swift action.

If your base attack bonus is +5 or higher, using this feat is a free action instead.

Now as you might have noticed the Battle Poi doesn't deal physical damage at all. It normally deals elemental fire damage, but Weapon Versatility will take away its damage type and would let it deal bludgeoning damage instead.

But what kind of bludgeoning damage?

Can't be physical, so it's either Untyped Bludgeoning or Bludgeoning Fire damage.


Bludgeoning damage *is* physical. There is no such thing an fire bludgeoning. Your versatile battle poi would deal bludgeoning damage.


Weapon Versatility wasn't written with Energy Weapons in mind. This is an unusual corner case, but the feat doesn't care what kind of weapon it is, or what type of damage it originally dealt. There is no such thing as Bludgeoning-Fire, and even if there was it is not cited as an options for the feat. Therefore it can, and would be, normal physical damage (and be either bludgeoning, piercing or slashing), just as if you had used the feat on a longsword.


With Weapon Versatility you figure out ways to do physical damage with the battle poi, despite the weapon description "weight of the poi is insufficient to deal physical damage". But those ways do not include fire damage, as already pointed out.


So...
since bludgeoning *is* physical damage, and Battle Poi *can't* deal physical damage...
Using this feat with a Battle Poi would not create a new category of elemental damage, but just render all damage dealt null? Cheese attempt terminated.

Or, it would simply make the Battle Poi a physical weapon. Either way, not what I was after. Tried to fulfill the requirements for Sap Master with a (Fire) Battle Poi.


Pathfinder Companion Subscriber
Wonderstell wrote:

So...

since bludgeoning *is* physical damage, and Battle Poi *can't* deal physical damage...

It doesn't say that. At all.

The battle poi says that its weight is insufficient to do physical attacks. Not that it cannot, under any circumstances, do physical attacks, but that, as a general rule, it is unable to.

Weapon Versatility lets you deal one of the stated three types of damage instead of fire. It is an exception to the general rule that the battle poi deals fire damage, in exactly the same way it is an exception to the general rule that warhammers deal bludgeoning damage.

With the feat, you can make your battle poi deal bludgeoning damage. Or slashing, or piercing, as you prefer at any given time. During this time, it is subject to DR, but not fire resistance.


Saethori wrote:
Wonderstell wrote:

So...

since bludgeoning *is* physical damage, and Battle Poi *can't* deal physical damage...

It doesn't say that. At all.

The battle poi says that its weight is insufficient to do physical attacks. Not that it cannot, under any circumstances, do physical attacks, but that, as a general rule, it is unable to.

("The weight of the poi is insufficient to deal physical damage")

That was more meant as a joke, but sure, we can have a good talk about cheese/rules lawyering.

If you want to deal physical damage with a Battle Poi (without Weapon Versatility), then you would need to use it as an improvised weapon. A Battle Poi cannot deal physical damage. That's a 'general' rule.

Saethori wrote:

Weapon Versatility lets you deal one of the stated three types of damage instead of fire. It is an exception to the general rule that the battle poi deals fire damage, in exactly the same way it is an exception to the general rule that warhammers deal bludgeoning damage.

With the feat, you can make your battle poi deal bludgeoning damage. Or slashing, or piercing, as you prefer at any given time. During this time, it is subject to DR, but not fire resistance.

Furthermore, weapons can inflict one of the three damage types, but none of them are actually called out as physical damage. It's (heavily) implied that they are, but the rules doesn't outright state that.

So that the Battle Poi's damage type changes to Bludgeoning is not an exception to the rule that the Battle Poi cannot deal physical damage. Since Bludgeoning isn't called out as physical damage.

Ergo, we have a weapon which deals bludgeoning damage, and is affected by DR, but does not do Physical damage. Instead it would deal fire damage, but still not the Damage Type 'Energy Damage'.

In other words, Bludgeoning fire damage.


Wonderstell wrote:
In other words, Bludgeoning fire damage.

Apologies, but no. I agree with Saethori. There is no such thing as bludgeoning fire damage. You are attempting to create an imaginary damage type. The rules tell us what we CAN do and no where does it say we can do 'bludgeoning fire" damage. It is up to you to prove the positive and find the rule that explains what 'bludgeoning fire' damage is and what it does.

As it is, you can do fire damage or use your feat to deal one of the three physical damage types, bludgeoning, slashing, or piercing.

Weapons deal physical damage is a general rule. "The weight of the poi is insufficient to deal physical damage" is a specific rule to that weapon. Weapon Versatility is a more specific rule that overwrites the weapon's normal abilities. Go with the feat. Don't make your life difficult.


DeathlessOne wrote:
Wonderstell wrote:
In other words, Bludgeoning fire damage.
Apologies, but no. I agree with Saethori. There is no such thing as bludgeoning fire damage. You are attempting to create an imaginary damage type. The rules tell us what we CAN do and no where does it say we can do 'bludgeoning fire" damage. It is up to you to prove the positive and find the rule that explains what 'bludgeoning fire' damage is and what it does.

Don't worry, I know I'm off the deep end of this discussion. It's like, I know I'm wrong but I still want to see just how far I can take the interaction of the feat and the weapon. Any reasonable GM would simply say that the weapon now deals physical damage of the Damage Type chosen. I just find the interaction very interesting.

DeathlessOne wrote:

As it is, you can do fire damage or use your feat to deal one of the three physical damage types, bludgeoning, slashing, or piercing.

/.../

Weapons deal physical damage is a general rule.

Bludgeoning/Slashing/Piercing are all Damage Types, but I can't find any rule saying that these three Damage Types are restricted to 'Physical Damage'.

So if a weapon didn't deal physical damage, and now dealt damage of the Damage Type 'Bludgeoning', nothing in the rules says that it must deal physical damage.


Wonderstell wrote:
So if a weapon didn't deal physical damage, and now dealt damage of the Damage Type 'Bludgeoning', nothing in the rules says that it must deal physical damage.

Nothing in the rules says that characters with the 'dead' condition can't take actions, either.

Nothing to see here, folks. Obvious troll is obvious.


Wonderstell wrote:
Don't worry, I know I'm off the deep end of this discussion. It's like, I know I'm wrong but I still want to see just how far I can take the interaction of the feat and the weapon. Any reasonable GM would simply say that the weapon now deals physical damage of the Damage Type chosen. I just find the interaction very interesting.

Oh, good. That's .. good.

Quote:
Bludgeoning/Slashing/Piercing are all Damage Types, but I can't find any rule saying that these three Damage Types are restricted to 'Physical Damage'.

And there's your answer. Damage that is not elemental or magical in nature is physical damage. Physical damage has one (or more) of the three types that are described in the core rules. Since no new damage type has been printed, we must assume that bludgeoning, slashing or piercing damage types are all there is to a 'physical damage type'.

Quote:
So if a weapon didn't deal physical damage, and now dealt damage of the Damage Type 'Bludgeoning', nothing in the rules says that it must deal physical damage.

The problem is that the weapon's weight is 'insufficient to deal physical damage', not that it absolutely CANNOT deal physical damage. Use it like an improvised weapon and you have damage. Probably of the non-lethal kind, as I would rule as a GM. You hit someone hard enough with a light object (like a pillow), you can cause SOME kind of damage.

But, if you are adamant that it can't deal physical damage, have fun with a weapon that does literally nothing (not even fire damage) when you use weapon versatility.


DeathlessOne wrote:


Quote:
So if a weapon didn't deal physical damage, and now dealt damage of the Damage Type 'Bludgeoning', nothing in the rules says that it must deal physical damage.
The problem is that the weapon's weight is 'insufficient to deal physical damage', not that it absolutely CANNOT deal physical damage. Use it like an improvised weapon and you have damage. Probably of the non-lethal kind, as I would rule as a GM.

By that argument, a .22 calibre bullet can only do nonlethal damage as well. (A battle poi weighs about two pounds as per PRD; a .22 bullet weighs roughly two and a half grams, so call it 1/500 of the weight of a battle poi.

You hit someone hard enough with anything, you'll do lethal damage. The question becomes how you can swing a battle poi at 100 ft/second, and that, of course, is what you learned when you took the appropriate feat.


Wonderstell wrote:


Don't worry, I know I'm off the deep end of this discussion.

When you get bored of this one you can segue off into "do you add your strength modifier to attacks with the battle poi?" land.


Orfamay Quest wrote:

By that argument, a .22 calibre bullet can only do nonlethal damage as well. (A battle poi weighs about two pounds as per PRD; a .22 bullet weighs roughly two and a half grams, so call it 1/500 of the weight of a battle poi.

You hit someone hard enough with anything, you'll do lethal damage. The question becomes how you can swing a battle poi at 100 ft/second, and that, of course, is what you learned when you took the appropriate feat.

Shh. When you bring physics into this, you'll start a chain reaction that will destroy the way everything works. OP is just being stubborn.


Wonderstell wrote:

So...

since bludgeoning *is* physical damage, and Battle Poi *can't* deal physical damage...
Using this feat with a Battle Poi would not create a new category of elemental damage, but just render all damage dealt null? Cheese attempt terminated.

Or, it would simply make the Battle Poi a physical weapon. Either way, not what I was after. Tried to fulfill the requirements for Sap Master with a (Fire) Battle Poi.

If you'll allow a flavor text argument rather than a rules mechanics argument:

The poi is designed to expose the target with the flames within the torch heads without the torch heads hitting the target. The flame touches as it passes the target, dealing damage, but the torch itself doesn't touch. If the torch heads actually hit the target then it would interfere with the normal use of the weapon.

Someone with weapon versatility has learned how to hit their target with the torch head and recover from any interference this would cause to swinging the poi, but by hitting with the torch head the fire doesn't touch the target. Bludgeoning damage is done, but no fire damage.

Effectively, using weapon versatility with a poi in this way would be like using the improvised weapon feat. Someone without weapon versatility could try to use an unlit poi as a bludgeoning weapon, but would be doing so as an improvised weapon.

Scarab Sages

Orfamay Quest wrote:
Wonderstell wrote:
So if a weapon didn't deal physical damage, and now dealt damage of the Damage Type 'Bludgeoning', nothing in the rules says that it must deal physical damage.

Nothing in the rules says that characters with the 'dead' condition can't take actions, either.

Nothing to see here, folks. Obvious troll is obvious.

You may be overreacting, While I'm not sure about this Bludgeoning and fire damage concept, I will note that there are methods of using magic to create bludgeoning damage - and it is rather unclear if DR applies to spells that deal so called "physical" damage. The Kineticist in particular, has many spell-like abilities that deal "physical" damage.

Regarding Bludgeoning AND fire damage, the only thing I can think of on that topic would be the Torch in the CRB when used as an improvised weapon. It deals damage as a gauntlet + 1 fire damage. So it deals Fire and Bludgeoning damage in a single attack. I've always resolved these as if the damage was from two sources, but I'll admit to being a bit unclear on this one.

Sovereign Court

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Card Game, Companion, Lost Omens, Pathfinder Accessories, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Maps, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber
Murdock Mudeater wrote:
Orfamay Quest wrote:
Wonderstell wrote:
So if a weapon didn't deal physical damage, and now dealt damage of the Damage Type 'Bludgeoning', nothing in the rules says that it must deal physical damage.

Nothing in the rules says that characters with the 'dead' condition can't take actions, either.

Nothing to see here, folks. Obvious troll is obvious.

You may be overreacting, While I'm not sure about this Bludgeoning and fire damage concept, I will note that there are methods of using magic to create bludgeoning damage - and it is rather unclear if DR applies to spells that deal so called "physical" damage. The Kineticist in particular, has many spell-like abilities that deal "physical" damage.

Regarding Bludgeoning AND fire damage, the only thing I can think of on that topic would be the Torch in the CRB when used as an improvised weapon. It deals damage as a gauntlet + 1 fire damage. So it deals Fire and Bludgeoning damage in a single attack. I've always resolved these as if the damage was from two sources, but I'll admit to being a bit unclear on this one.

FAQ check! Rated: Pois on Fire

How does DR interact with magical effects that deal bludgeoning, piercing, or slashing damage? wrote:

If a magical attack specifically mentions that it deals bludgeoning, piercing, or slashing damage, DR affects that damage normally, as if it were from a physical weapon. (Otherwise the magical attack might as well not have a damage type, as it would only interface with B/P/S damage in a very few corner cases, such as whether or not an ooze splits from that attack.)

For example, the ice storm spell deals 3d6 points of bludgeoning damage and 2d6 points of cold damage. If you cast ice storm at a group of zombies, the zombie's DR 5/slashing protects them against 5 points of the spell's bludgeoning damage. Their DR doesn't help them against the spell's cold damage because DR doesn't apply to energy attacks.

Posted: 2013


DeathlessOne wrote:
Orfamay Quest wrote:

By that argument, a .22 calibre bullet can only do nonlethal damage as well. (A battle poi weighs about two pounds as per PRD; a .22 bullet weighs roughly two and a half grams, so call it 1/500 of the weight of a battle poi.

You hit someone hard enough with anything, you'll do lethal damage. The question becomes how you can swing a battle poi at 100 ft/second, and that, of course, is what you learned when you took the appropriate feat.

Shh. When you bring physics into this, you'll start a chain reaction that will destroy the way everything works. OP is just being stubborn.

If we assume a velocity of 45 m/s and 1 kilogram of weight for the battle poi, the battle poi delivers ~1012.5 joules of kinetic energy

A 7.62 x 51mm bullet delivers ~3800 joules, and does so to a much, much smaller area.

Always remember, velocity is squared when calculating kinetic energy, and bullets move very fast relative to anything a human can manage.


Snowlilly wrote:
DeathlessOne wrote:
Orfamay Quest wrote:

By that argument, a .22 calibre bullet can only do nonlethal damage as well. (A battle poi weighs about two pounds as per PRD; a .22 bullet weighs roughly two and a half grams, so call it 1/500 of the weight of a battle poi.

You hit someone hard enough with anything, you'll do lethal damage. The question becomes how you can swing a battle poi at 100 ft/second, and that, of course, is what you learned when you took the appropriate feat.

Shh. When you bring physics into this, you'll start a chain reaction that will destroy the way everything works. OP is just being stubborn.

If we assume a velocity of 45 m/s and 1 kilogram of weight for the battle poi, the battle poi delivers ~1012.5 joules of kinetic energy

A 7.62 x 51mm bullet delivers ~3800 joules, and does so to a much, much smaller area.

... which is why I specified a .22, which (when fired out of a pistol) delivers about 159 joules, roughly 15% of the 45 m/s battle poi.

And can still do lethal damage.


The battle poi should probably have its damage line expressed as "0 + 1d4 fire".


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Rulebook, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Ian Bell wrote:
The battle poi should probably have its damage line expressed as "0 + 1d4 fire".

No, because if it did you'd add Str to damage.

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