Can we use Power Attack feat with a Meiciful weapon?


Rules Questions

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Pink Dragon wrote:
Gallant Armor wrote:
You simply do not understand the terms being used here. "Hit point damage" is a term that is specifically used to mean damage that reduces hit points as previously quoted. Nonlethal damage does not reduce hit points also as previously quoted. Nonlethal damage not being "real" damage is what distinguishes it from lethal hit point damage. Nonlethal damage is damage, but it is not hit point damage RAW.
Nonlethal damage is hit point damage, it is just not "real" hit point damage that a character loses when taking lethal damage.

Please back up your assertions. All text indicates that the two are separate entities.

Also, it doesn't say nonlethal damage is not "real" hit point damage, it says it's not "real" damage, that is an important distinction. Nonlethal damage is still damage, but is isn't hit point damage RAW.


You can't just take a term used to distinguish between hp damage and ability damage, for instance, and use it as a basis for a whole new class of fictional rules and distinctions. Non-lethal damage is damage to hit points, just non-lethal. What else is non-lethal damage damaging if not hit points?

There's no need for contextualizing the rules, when a plain and simple reading, that power attack applies to non-lethal, and it makes sense. This kind of nonsense harms the game by leading to rules bloat or oversimplification.


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Gallant Armor wrote:

Please back up your assertions. All text indicates that the two are separate entities.

Page 192 CRB:

Healing Nonlethal Damage: You heal nonlethal damage at the rate of 1 hit point per hour per character level. When a spell or ability cures hit point damage, it also removes an equal amount of nonlethal damage.

The rules say that nonlethal damage is hit point damage (see above quote from page 192 CRB), therefore nonlethal damage is hit point damage.

Nonlethal damage may be a separate entity from lethal damage, but the two separate entities are still each hit point damage.


Pink Dragon wrote:
Gallant Armor wrote:

Please back up your assertions. All text indicates that the two are separate entities.

Page 192 CRB:

Healing Nonlethal Damage: You heal nonlethal damage at the rate of 1 hit point per hour per character level. When a spell or ability cures hit point damage, it also removes an equal amount of nonlethal damage.

The rules say that nonlethal damage is hit point damage (see above quote from page 192 CRB), therefore nonlethal damage is hit point damage.

Nonlethal damage may be a separate entity from lethal damage, but the two separate entities are still each hit point damage.

Again, back up your assertions. That line of text does not say anything about hit point damage. It simply shows that nonlethal damage is measured in increments of hit points.

Apparently I lack the words to convey this to you: Nonlethal damage is not hit point damage. "Hit point damage" is specifically damage that reduces a creature's current hit points.

Nonlethal hit points are not the same as hit points. Nonlethal damage is not lethal damage.

What you have quoted has no baring on the definition of "hit point damage".


Create Mr. Pitt wrote:

You can't just take a term used to distinguish between hp damage and ability damage, for instance, and use it as a basis for a whole new class of fictional rules and distinctions. Non-lethal damage is damage to hit points, just non-lethal. What else is non-lethal damage damaging if not hit points?

There's no need for contextualizing the rules, when a plain and simple reading, that power attack applies to non-lethal, and it makes sense. This kind of nonsense harms the game by leading to rules bloat or oversimplification.

For the upteenth time: There is a difference between the terms "damage" "hit point damage" and "nonlethal damage".

This is backed up plain text reading of the rules:

Effects of Hit Point Damage wrote:

Damage doesn’t slow you down until your current hit points reach 0 or lower. At 0 hit points, you’re disabled.

If your hit point total is negative, but not equal to or greater than your Constitution score, you are unconscious and dying.

When your negative hit point total is equal to your Constitution, you’re dead.

Healing Nonlethal Damage wrote:
You heal nonlethal damage at the rate of 1 hit point per hour per character level. When a spell or ability cures hit point damage, it also removes an equal amount of nonlethal damage.
Weapon Rules wrote:
All weapons deal hit point damage. This damage is subtracted from the current hit points
Dealing Nonlethal Damage wrote:
Certain attacks deal nonlethal damage. Other effects, such as heat or being exhausted, also deal nonlethal damage. When you take nonlethal damage, keep a running total of how much you’ve accumulated. Do not deduct the nonlethal damage number from your current hit points. It is not “real” damage. Instead, when your nonlethal damage equals your current hit points, you’re staggered (see below), and when it exceeds your current hit points, you fall unconscious.

Hit point damage is damage that reduces a creature's hit points. Nonlethal damage does not reduce hit points, therefore it is not hit point damage.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Rulebook, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

GA, I have to ask: are you absolutely 100% certain that if PDT rule on this they will support your interpretation?

Note, I’m not asking for the RAW, I’m asking what you think PDT intend the rule to be.


Chemlak wrote:

GA, I have to ask: are you absolutely 100% certain that if PDT rule on this they will support your interpretation?

Note, I’m not asking for the RAW, I’m asking what you think PDT intend the rule to be.

As I said in my original post; I think RAI is likely for it to work, I am simply arguing RAW.

Part of the reason why I am arguing is that I hope that someone can provide evidence to prove me wrong. I actually have a character that focuses on nonlethal and I was planning on taking power attack but now I am not sure if it would work given the wording of the rules. I would love to see an official ruling on this, whichever way it goes.

I have seen arguments like this before where the vast majority believe one thing and an FAQ will prove them wrong (bows overcoming DR for example) and I can't in good faith ask my GM for a ruling that has no basis in the rules.


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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Rulebook, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Two words: Ablative Barrier. Please explain how that spell works when the attacker uses power attack.


Chemlak wrote:
Two words: Ablative Barrier. Please explain how that spell works when the attacker uses power attack.

If you are dealing lethal damage and deal 6 or more points of damage (not counting power attack bonus damage) PA would work normally. If you deal 5 or less points of damage, PA wouldn't work.

If you are dealing nonlethal damage, PA wouldn't work no matter what damage is done.


Gallant Armor wrote:
Irontruth wrote:

Evidently you never had to do math or logic proofs in school.

If A=B, and B=C, then A=C.

Nonlethal damage = lethal damage
lethal damage = hit point damage
therefore
nonlethal damage = hit point damage

I agree that it also has additional rules, but you cannot deny the above. And until you can, your argument is bunk.

First off, nonlethal damage being able to be converted to lethal damage under specific circumstances does not mean that it is lethal damage overall, hence the term "nonlethal damage".

What you have proven there I actually agree with as shown in my previous posts; if you attempt to do nonlethal damage and all or part of that damage is converted to lethal damage then that attack would be dealing lethal/hit point damage and would work with power attack.

However, the vastly more common situation is nonlethal damage being dealt as nonlethal damage.

This results in:
Nonlethal Damage ≠ Lethal Damage
Lethal Damage = Hit Point Damage
Therefore
Nonlethal Damage ≠ Hit Point Damage

Except we know that nonlethal damage does equal lethal damage. 1 point of nonlethal damage equals 1 point of lethal damage. Except you are telling us that that isn't true, but we know that that is false, so therefore what you're telling us must also be false.

Because in the situation:
I have 1 hp.
I take 5 hp of nonlethal damage.
How much lethal damage do I take?

Your answer is "I don't know", because to know the answer we would need to know if the person is using PA, and for how much. Is there another situation where we have to recalculate how much damage a character receives in the middle of receiving said damage?


Irontruth wrote:
Gallant Armor wrote:
Irontruth wrote:

Evidently you never had to do math or logic proofs in school.

If A=B, and B=C, then A=C.

Nonlethal damage = lethal damage
lethal damage = hit point damage
therefore
nonlethal damage = hit point damage

I agree that it also has additional rules, but you cannot deny the above. And until you can, your argument is bunk.

First off, nonlethal damage being able to be converted to lethal damage under specific circumstances does not mean that it is lethal damage overall, hence the term "nonlethal damage".

What you have proven there I actually agree with as shown in my previous posts; if you attempt to do nonlethal damage and all or part of that damage is converted to lethal damage then that attack would be dealing lethal/hit point damage and would work with power attack.

However, the vastly more common situation is nonlethal damage being dealt as nonlethal damage.

This results in:
Nonlethal Damage ≠ Lethal Damage
Lethal Damage = Hit Point Damage
Therefore
Nonlethal Damage ≠ Hit Point Damage

Except we know that nonlethal damage does equal lethal damage. 1 point of nonlethal damage equals 1 point of lethal damage. Except you are telling us that that isn't true, but we know that that is false, so therefore what you're telling us must also be false.

Because in the situation:
I have 1 hp.
I take 5 hp of nonlethal damage.
How much lethal damage do I take?

Your answer is "I don't know", because to know the answer we would need to know if the person is using PA, and for how much. Is there another situation where we have to recalculate how much damage a character receives in the middle of receiving said damage?

I have no earthy idea what you are saying here. Your claim is that all nonlethal damage is lethal damage? If you can't see how that is nonsense I have no idea how to explain that to you.

If you are referring to the relatively rare instance of nonlethal damage being converted to lethal damage the answer would be that if PA doesn't work with nonlethal damage as I suggest they would not be used in conjunction. If your goal is to spare someone lethal damage you would have no motivation to do additional damage which could only be lethal.


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Gallant Armor,

I have backed up my assertions each and every time with the same direct quote from page 192 of the CRB. That quote states quite clearly that nonlethal damage is hit point damage. If it was not hit point damage, then healing nonlethal damage would not occur at a rate of 1 hit point per hour per character level.

Your interpretation of that line of text does not meet the plain reading of the words in that line.


Pink Dragon wrote:

Gallant Armor,

I have backed up my assertions each and every time with the same direct quote from page 192 of the CRB. That quote states quite clearly that nonlethal damage is hit point damage. If it was not hit point damage, then healing nonlethal damage would not occur at a rate of 1 hit point per hour per character level.

Your interpretation of that line of text does not meet the plain reading of the words in that line.

You fail to grasp that the line you quote has nothing to do with this discussion. Nonlethal damage is not the same as hit point damage, and no amount of bolding or italicizing of "hit point" makes that quote relevant.

Read your own quote:

"You heal nonlethal damage at the rate of 1 hit point per hour per character level. When a spell or ability cures hit point damage, it also removes an equal amount of nonlethal damage."

The second sentence clearly shows that nonlethal damage is distinct from hit point damage.


Nonlethal damage is hit point damage. Lethal damage is hit point damage. You track the two separately depending on whether you take nonlethal or lethal damage.

The second sentence says that the curing of hit point damage cures both lethal and nonlethal damage at the same time so that you do not need to cure lethal damage separately from nonlethal damage.


Pink Dragon wrote:

Nonlethal damage is hit point damage. Lethal damage is hit point damage. You track the two separately depending on whether you take nonlethal or lethal damage.

The second sentence says that the curing of hit point damage cures both lethal and nonlethal damage at the same time so that you do not need to cure lethal damage separately from nonlethal damage.

So you are saying you are right because the words don't say what they mean and don't mean what they say?

It doesn't say "When a spell or ability cures lethal damage", it specifically says that when hit point damage is cured you also cure nonlethal damage. There is no way to logically read that sentence and come to the conclusion that nonlethal damage is hit point damage. If that were the case if a creature had 20 points of nonlethal damage and received 5 points of healing, they would heal 10 points of nonlethal damage as it would count twice.

The rules make no distinction between lethal damage and hit point damage, those terms are used interchangeably. Nonlethal damage is distinct and has separate rules on how to deal with it.


Nonlethal damage is hit point damage from the previous sentence. The next sentence clarifies that when a cure spell is used, both the lethal and nonlethal damage are cured at the same time.


Gallant Armor wrote:
Irontruth wrote:
Gallant Armor wrote:
Irontruth wrote:

Evidently you never had to do math or logic proofs in school.

If A=B, and B=C, then A=C.

Nonlethal damage = lethal damage
lethal damage = hit point damage
therefore
nonlethal damage = hit point damage

I agree that it also has additional rules, but you cannot deny the above. And until you can, your argument is bunk.

First off, nonlethal damage being able to be converted to lethal damage under specific circumstances does not mean that it is lethal damage overall, hence the term "nonlethal damage".

What you have proven there I actually agree with as shown in my previous posts; if you attempt to do nonlethal damage and all or part of that damage is converted to lethal damage then that attack would be dealing lethal/hit point damage and would work with power attack.

However, the vastly more common situation is nonlethal damage being dealt as nonlethal damage.

This results in:
Nonlethal Damage ≠ Lethal Damage
Lethal Damage = Hit Point Damage
Therefore
Nonlethal Damage ≠ Hit Point Damage

Except we know that nonlethal damage does equal lethal damage. 1 point of nonlethal damage equals 1 point of lethal damage. Except you are telling us that that isn't true, but we know that that is false, so therefore what you're telling us must also be false.

Because in the situation:
I have 1 hp.
I take 5 hp of nonlethal damage.
How much lethal damage do I take?

Your answer is "I don't know", because to know the answer we would need to know if the person is using PA, and for how much. Is there another situation where we have to recalculate how much damage a character receives in the middle of receiving said damage?

I have no earthy idea what you are saying here. Your claim is that all nonlethal damage is lethal damage? If you can't see how that is nonsense I have no idea how to explain that to you.

If you are referring to the relatively rare instance of nonlethal damage being converted to...

Nope, that isn't what I'm saying.

I'm saying that X nonlethal damage = X lethal damage.
You're saying that X nonlethal damage = X+Y lethal damage.

If A=B, and B=C, then A=C.
If it is sometimes true, then we must operate under the idea that it might be true at any moment. Power Attack doesn't "turn on" just because your target drops to unconscious from nonlethal damage. That isn't how Power Attack works, and NOTHING in PA tells that it works that way. It is on PRIOR to damage even being rolled.


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For the record I want to state when you say things like "read before posting", GA, I am reading what you're saying.

You're just really wrong and have created this whole complex system on how this should work based off of misreading Power Attack and nothing else. Even to the point you're now misreading things to fit your interpretation.

As much as I love a good sharpshooter fallacy, it doesn't mean you're right, and the constant "back up your assertions" when you deny the assertions isn't making for healthy conversation.

For the OP. Power attack works on merciful weapons.


@GA:
If someone is using Ablative Barrier, you say you cannot determine what bonus damage PA provides since some of the damage becomes non-lethal.
Likewise, doing non-lethal damage that exceeds max hp becomes lethal also causes the same issue with PA.
Both would require calculations for PA on the fly separate to the damage roll, because PA would trigger only on the lethal part.

Why would PF have create a rule system that complex?
Does it not make more sense that PA should apply the same all the time?

EDIT: If that is how PA works, please cite where it explains how to do that calculation.

/cevah


I think GA has stated you can already take the penalties just they only apply with the bonus once the damage is non lethal.

Which, of course, isn't stated anywhere and is beyond complicated.


Given that non lethal and power attack are both core concepts, one would think this would have been settled a long time ago. Especially since they work the same in 3.X.

/cevah


Pink Dragon wrote:
Nonlethal damage is hit point damage from the previous sentence. The next sentence clarifies that when a cure spell is used, both the lethal and nonlethal damage are cured at the same time.

How? Please explain how the sentence that doesn't contain the phrase "hit point damage" tells us more about hit point damage than the sentence that does contain the phrase.

The concept of nonlethal damage being measured by hit points has absolutely nothing to do with how "hit point damage" is defined. Hit point damage is exclusively used to refer to damage that reduces hit points.


Irontruth wrote:

Nope, that isn't what I'm saying.

I'm saying that X nonlethal damage = X lethal damage.
You're saying that X nonlethal damage = X+Y lethal damage.

If A=B, and B=C, then A=C.
If it is sometimes true, then we must operate under the idea that it might be true at any moment.

"A character might be flatfooted at any moment so all attacks should resolve against touch AC." This logic is deeply deeply flawed. Just because something might be true doesn't mean it is true.

Irontruth wrote:
Power Attack doesn't "turn on" just because your target drops to unconscious from nonlethal damage. That isn't how Power Attack works, and NOTHING in PA tells that it works that way. It is on PRIOR to damage even being rolled.

Please provide evidence for your assertions.

"The bonus damage does not apply to touch attacks or effects that do not deal hit point damage."

Very clearly stating that attacks that don't deal hit point damage don't get the bonus damage. You can choose to take the penalty at any time and if the attack resolves with at least some lethal damage being dealt (without PA bonus damage), the bonus damage would apply as well.


Cavall wrote:

For the record I want to state when you say things like "read before posting", GA, I am reading what you're saying.

You're just really wrong and have created this whole complex system on how this should work based off of misreading Power Attack and nothing else. Even to the point you're now misreading things to fit your interpretation.

As much as I love a good sharpshooter fallacy, it doesn't mean you're right, and the constant "back up your assertions" when you deny the assertions isn't making for healthy conversation.

For the OP. Power attack works on merciful weapons.

Please point to something that I have quoted which is wrong. Where does it say that nonlethal damage is hit point damage? Simple plain text readings prove I am correct and no one has provided anything from the rules to prove me wrong.

The rules don't change to fit what you find convenient, they are what they are. If I am so obviously wrong, prove it.


Cevah wrote:

@GA:

If someone is using Ablative Barrier, you say you cannot determine what bonus damage PA provides since some of the damage becomes non-lethal.
Likewise, doing non-lethal damage that exceeds max hp becomes lethal also causes the same issue with PA.
Both would require calculations for PA on the fly separate to the damage roll, because PA would trigger only on the lethal part.

Why would PF have create a rule system that complex?
Does it not make more sense that PA should apply the same all the time?

EDIT: If that is how PA works, please cite where it explains how to do that calculation.

/cevah

It is quite simple, if the attack does lethal damage (without the bonus damage from power attack) then the bonus damage from power attack applies.

This is all based on the rules on power attack, hit point damage and nonlethal damage which I have quoted countless times.


Cevah wrote:

Given that non lethal and power attack are both core concepts, one would think this would have been settled a long time ago. Especially since they work the same in 3.X.

/cevah

The "hit point damage" line is not in the text of power attack from previous versions as far as I can find.


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OK I misremembered PA. [I never was into it, so never picked it.]

PRD

Power Attack (Combat) wrote:

You can make exceptionally deadly melee attacks by sacrificing accuracy for strength.

Prerequisites: Str 13, base attack bonus +1.
Benefit: You can choose to take a –1 penalty on all melee attack rolls and combat maneuver checks to gain a +2 bonus on all melee damage rolls. This bonus to damage is increased by half (+50%) if you are making an attack with a two-handed weapon, a one handed weapon using two hands, or a primary natural weapon that adds 1-1/2 times your Strength modifier on damage rolls. This bonus to damage is halved (–50%) if you are making an attack with an off-hand weapon or secondary natural weapon. When your base attack bonus reaches +4, and every 4 points thereafter, the penalty increases by –1 and the bonus to damage increases by +2. You must choose to use this feat before making an attack roll, and its effects last until your next turn. The bonus damage does not apply to touch attacks or effects that do not deal hit point damage.

PRD

Weapons wrote:
All weapons deal hit point damage.

So, every weapon does hit point damage.

A sap is a weapon. Lets look it up....

PRD

Weapon Descriptions wrote:

Table: Weapons

Martial Weapons Cost Dmg (S) Dmg (M) Critical Range Weight1 Type2 Special
Light Melee Weapons
Sap 1 gp 1d4 1d6 ×2 — 2 lbs. B nonlethal
Special: Some weapons have special features in addition to those noted in their descriptions.
Nonlethal: These weapons deal nonlethal damage (see Combat)

It has the tag nonlethal, which you can see is nonlethal damage. Right there we see that nonlethal damage is hit point damage.

Also the unarmed strike, whip and bolos have the nonlethal tag.

But what about the "real" bit? Lets look that up....
PRD

Nonlethal Damage wrote:

Nonlethal damage represents harm to a character that is not life-threatening. Unlike normal damage, nonlethal damage is healed quickly with rest.

Dealing Nonlethal Damage: Certain attacks deal nonlethal damage. Other effects, such as heat or being exhausted, also deal nonlethal damage. When you take nonlethal damage, keep a running total of how much you've accumulated. Do not deduct the nonlethal damage number from your current hit points. It is not "real" damage. Instead, when your nonlethal damage equals your current hit points, you're staggered (see below), and when it exceeds your current hit points, you fall unconscious.
...
If a creature's nonlethal damage is equal to his total maximum hit points (not his current hit points), all further nonlethal damage is treated as lethal damage. This does not apply to creatures with regeneration. Such creatures simply accrue additional nonlethal damage, increasing the amount of time they remain unconscious.

Healing Nonlethal Damage: You heal nonlethal damage at the rate of 1 hit point per hour per character level. When a spell or ability cures hit point damage, it also removes an equal amount of nonlethal damage.

So what is damage?

PRD
Loss of Hit Points wrote:

The most common way that your character gets hurt is to take lethal damage and lose hit points.

What Hit Points Represent: Hit points mean two things in the game world: the ability to take physical punishment and keep going, and the ability to turn a serious blow into a less serious one.

Hit points measure your health. Nonlethal damage goes away quickly, and is not as life threatening.

Given the context, as all this is under the Injury and Death heading, it is clear the "real" refers to lethal damage as opposed to nonlethal. It is also clear that they both are damage to hit points.

/cevah


Cevah wrote:

OK I misremembered PA. [I never was into it, so never picked it.]

PRD

Power Attack (Combat) wrote:

You can make exceptionally deadly melee attacks by sacrificing accuracy for strength.

Prerequisites: Str 13, base attack bonus +1.
Benefit: You can choose to take a –1 penalty on all melee attack rolls and combat maneuver checks to gain a +2 bonus on all melee damage rolls. This bonus to damage is increased by half (+50%) if you are making an attack with a two-handed weapon, a one handed weapon using two hands, or a primary natural weapon that adds 1-1/2 times your Strength modifier on damage rolls. This bonus to damage is halved (–50%) if you are making an attack with an off-hand weapon or secondary natural weapon. When your base attack bonus reaches +4, and every 4 points thereafter, the penalty increases by –1 and the bonus to damage increases by +2. You must choose to use this feat before making an attack roll, and its effects last until your next turn. The bonus damage does not apply to touch attacks or effects that do not deal hit point damage.

PRD

Weapons wrote:
All weapons deal hit point damage.

So, every weapon does hit point damage.

A sap is a weapon. Lets look it up....

PRD

Weapon Descriptions wrote:

Table: Weapons

Martial Weapons Cost Dmg (S) Dmg (M) Critical Range Weight1 Type2 Special
Light Melee Weapons
Sap 1 gp 1d4 1d6 ×2 — 2 lbs. B nonlethal
Special: Some weapons have special features in addition to those noted in their descriptions.
Nonlethal: These weapons deal nonlethal damage (see Combat)

It has the tag nonlethal, which you can see is nonlethal damage. Right there we see that nonlethal damage is hit point damage.

Also the unarmed...

For your weapons quote you forgot the next line:

Weapon Rules wrote:
All weapons deal hit point damage. This damage is subtracted from the current hit points.

This clearly defines hit point damage as damage that reduces current hit points, which nonlethal damage doesn't do. Every single mention of the phrase "hit point damage" supports that definition. Weapons dealing hit point damage by default is the general rule, but there are specific exceptions. Exceptions do not disprove general rules.

Nonlethal damage certainly would qualify as an injury/damage, but there is nothing to suggest that it would qualify as hit point damage.


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You're reading everything backwards. The sentence "This damage is subtracted from current hit point" isn't a restriction, but an explanation of how damage works. It doesn't create a new category by fiat of sentence.

The problem here is that you are not arguing RAW, you are reading too much into descriptive sentences and other rules to fit a very particular interpretation that is not in the rules at all.

You can keep quoting the same sentences, but that won't make them mean what you say they mean. We can keep arguing with you, but that's not going to change your mind apparently. But you're wrong. Non-lethal damage is, ultimately, a form of damage to hit points, hit point damage is merely a way of distinguishing from ability damage, and power attack applies to non-lethal. You don't have to agree, but as far of the rules go, it's cut and dry.


Okay, ignoring power attack for a sec. You do understand that non-lethal damage kills things, right? I think the name is terribly misleading.

My level 1 Evil Fighter with a Greataxe and 18 strength decides to "non-lethally" attack a Toad just for the heck of it. A toad has 2 HP and 6 CON. My Fighter rolls a 6 on the d12 and deals a total of 12 "non-lethal" damage to the Toad. 2 of that is non-lethal and knocks the Toad unconscious, then the Toad takes the rest as lethal damage and dies outright, having taken 2 more damage than HP+CON.

There's a whole bunch of PFS scenarios where if the NPC boss was dealing non-lethal instead of lethal, they still have decent odds of killing PCs, due to high damage rolls. Non-lethal kills, just like real world "non-lethal" weapons (which are slowly being rebranded as "less lethal" weapons for this very reason).


Create Mr. Pitt wrote:

You're reading everything backwards. The sentence "This damage is subtracted from current hit point" isn't a restriction, but an explanation of how damage works. It doesn't create a new category by fiat of sentence.

The problem here is that you are not arguing RAW, you are reading too much into descriptive sentences and other rules to fit a very particular interpretation that is not in the rules at all.

You can keep quoting the same sentences, but that won't make them mean what you say they mean. We can keep arguing with you, but that's not going to change your mind apparently. But you're wrong. Non-lethal damage is, ultimately, a form of damage to hit points, hit point damage is merely a way of distinguishing from ability damage, and power attack applies to non-lethal. You don't have to agree, but as far of the rules go, it's cut and dry.

Where are you getting your definition from? Every instance of the term "hit point damage" I have seen specifically refers to damage that reduces hit points. Conversely, nonlethal damage is described as a completely different system where damage accumulates rather than being deducted from a total. I haven't seen any explanation based on the rules that would indicate otherwise.

Look at the examples I have posted and see if the term "hit point damage" makes sense if it means lethal and nonlethal damage.

Effects of Hit Point Damage wrote:

Damage doesn’t slow you down until your current hit points reach 0 or lower. At 0 hit points, you’re disabled.

If your hit point total is negative, but not equal to or greater than your Constitution score, you are unconscious and dying.

When your negative hit point total is equal to your Constitution, you’re dead.

Healing Nonlethal Damage wrote:
You heal nonlethal damage at the rate of 1 hit point per hour per character level. When a spell or ability cures hit point damage, it also removes an equal amount of nonlethal damage.
Weapon Rules wrote:
All weapons deal hit point damage. This damage is subtracted from the current hit points

Does it really seem like hit point damage is referring to nonlethal damage in any way in these passages?


Pax Miles wrote:

Okay, ignoring power attack for a sec. You do understand that non-lethal damage kills things, right? I think the name is terribly misleading.

My level 1 Evil Fighter with a Greataxe and 18 strength decides to "non-lethally" attack a Toad just for the heck of it. A toad has 2 HP and 6 CON. My Fighter rolls a 6 on the d12 and deals a total of 12 "non-lethal" damage to the Toad. 2 of that is non-lethal and knocks the Toad unconscious, then the Toad takes the rest as lethal damage and dies outright, having taken 2 more damage than HP+CON.

There's a whole bunch of PFS scenarios where if the NPC boss was dealing non-lethal instead of lethal, they still have decent odds of killing PCs, due to high damage rolls. Non-lethal kills, just like real world "non-lethal" weapons (which are slowly being rebranded as "less lethal" weapons for this very reason).

Except by your own words "then the Toad takes the rest as lethal damage and dies outright". It is lethal damage that kills, not nonlethal damage. Once nonlethal damage has been converted into lethal damage it is by definition no longer nonlethal damage.


if power attack couldn't work with non lethal you wouldn't be able to use it in the 1st place for it to "turn on" when non lethal becomes lethal


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The weapon must mystically know when it's going to hurt for realsies


Gallant Armor wrote:
Except by your own words "then the Toad takes the rest as lethal damage and dies outright". It is lethal damage that kills, not nonlethal damage. Once nonlethal damage has been converted into lethal damage it is by definition no longer nonlethal damage.

That is a very literal reading. I can see why the others are having difficulty with you.

I think the confusion is that you are treating non-lethal damage as a damage type. And I can see where it would be confusing. It is a damage type per say, but it's not the same as saying an attack deals fire damage or slashing damage. Non-lethal damage is more a ruleset of how to apply a subset of the damage rules.

I will note that attacks will retain their damage type while dealing non-lethal damage. Using the Greataxe as mentioned, would deal Non-lethal Slashing Damage. Just like a Merciful Fireball would deal non-lethal Fire Damage. The damage types matter for DR and for Resistances, as well as a few other effects.

Anyway, this sort of rules interaction is best solved by weighing the percieved solution with the rules debates it resolves vs the rules debates it creates. Does your solution create rules problems, or does it resolve them? Sounds like lots of people object to your reading, objections are problems. What rules disputes does your reading solve?


Lady-J wrote:
if power attack couldn't work with non lethal you wouldn't be able to use it in the 1st place for it to "turn on" when non lethal becomes lethal

Not true. The restriction from power attack only prevents the attacker from gaining the bonus damage from power attack, not from using power attack entirely. When attempting to deal nonlethal damage you can use power attack and take the penalty, but you won't gain the benefit if the damage dealt is nonlethal damage.


Pax Miles wrote:
Gallant Armor wrote:
Except by your own words "then the Toad takes the rest as lethal damage and dies outright". It is lethal damage that kills, not nonlethal damage. Once nonlethal damage has been converted into lethal damage it is by definition no longer nonlethal damage.

That is a very literal reading. I can see why the others are having difficulty with you.

I think the confusion is that you are treating non-lethal damage as a damage type. And I can see where it would be confusing. It is a damage type per say, but it's not the same as saying an attack deals fire damage or slashing damage. Non-lethal damage is more a ruleset of how to apply a subset of the damage rules.

I will note that attacks will retain their damage type while dealing non-lethal damage. Using the Greataxe as mentioned, would deal Non-lethal Slashing Damage. Just like a Merciful Fireball would deal non-lethal Fire Damage. The damage types matter for DR and for Resistances, as well as a few other effects.

Anyway, this sort of rules interaction is best solved by weighing the percieved solution with the rules debates it resolves vs the rules debates it creates. Does your solution create rules problems, or does it resolve them? Sounds like lots of people object to your reading, objections are problems. What rules disputes does your reading solve?

If nonlethal damage is treated as lethal damage then it is treated as lethal damage and is no longer treated as nonlethal damage. I don't see any other way to read that passage as it doesn't give restrictions on how it is to be used. If an ability said that weapon damage is treated as fire damage, would you have it go against DR?

I would say my reading resolves more issues than it creates as reading "hit point damage" to mean both lethal and nonlethal damage invalidates every use of hit point damage that exists in the rules.

Lets examine how things look if we were to conflate hit point damage and nonlethal damage:

Effects of Nonlethal Damage
'Damage doesn’t slow you down until your current hit points reach 0 or lower. At 0 hit points, you’re disabled.

If your hit point total is negative, but not equal to or greater than your Constitution score, you are unconscious and dying.

When your negative hit point total is equal to your Constitution, you’re dead.'

Healing Nonlethal Damage
'You heal nonlethal damage at the rate of 1 hit point per hour per character level. When a spell or ability cures nonlethal damage, it also removes an equal amount of nonlethal damage.'

Weapon Rules
'All weapons deal nonlethal damage. This damage is subtracted from the current hit points.'

Do these passages make sense when we use that interpretation, or does it make more sense for hit point damage to refer to lethal damage and not nonlethal damage?


Gallant Armor wrote:
Irontruth wrote:

Nope, that isn't what I'm saying.

I'm saying that X nonlethal damage = X lethal damage.
You're saying that X nonlethal damage = X+Y lethal damage.

If A=B, and B=C, then A=C.
If it is sometimes true, then we must operate under the idea that it might be true at any moment.

"A character might be flatfooted at any moment so all attacks should resolve against touch AC." This logic is deeply deeply flawed. Just because something might be true doesn't mean it is true.

Irontruth wrote:
Power Attack doesn't "turn on" just because your target drops to unconscious from nonlethal damage. That isn't how Power Attack works, and NOTHING in PA tells that it works that way. It is on PRIOR to damage even being rolled.

Please provide evidence for your assertions.

"The bonus damage does not apply to touch attacks or effects that do not deal hit point damage."

Very clearly stating that attacks that don't deal hit point damage don't get the bonus damage. You can choose to take the penalty at any time and if the attack resolves with at least some lethal damage being dealt (without PA bonus damage), the bonus damage would apply as well.

Not what I'm saying at all. Read it again and come back to me.

And to the post above, our reading of the rules makes perfect sense and works just fine.


Irontruth wrote:
Gallant Armor wrote:
Irontruth wrote:

Nope, that isn't what I'm saying.

I'm saying that X nonlethal damage = X lethal damage.
You're saying that X nonlethal damage = X+Y lethal damage.

If A=B, and B=C, then A=C.
If it is sometimes true, then we must operate under the idea that it might be true at any moment.

"A character might be flatfooted at any moment so all attacks should resolve against touch AC." This logic is deeply deeply flawed. Just because something might be true doesn't mean it is true.

Irontruth wrote:
Power Attack doesn't "turn on" just because your target drops to unconscious from nonlethal damage. That isn't how Power Attack works, and NOTHING in PA tells that it works that way. It is on PRIOR to damage even being rolled.

Please provide evidence for your assertions.

"The bonus damage does not apply to touch attacks or effects that do not deal hit point damage."

Very clearly stating that attacks that don't deal hit point damage don't get the bonus damage. You can choose to take the penalty at any time and if the attack resolves with at least some lethal damage being dealt (without PA bonus damage), the bonus damage would apply as well.

Not what I'm saying at all. Read it again and come back to me.

And to the post above, our reading of the rules makes perfect sense and works just fine.

You quite literally said that nonlethal damage is the same as lethal damage so it should be treated as lethal damage which makes absolutely no sense at all. Lethal and nonlethal damage have separate rules as to how they are to work and should be treated as such.

If you think that those passages make sense by your interpretation then you are deeply delusional. By your reading if a creature has 20 points of nonlethal damage and receives 5 points of healing then they are healed for 10 points of nonlethal damage.


Gallant Armor wrote:
Irontruth wrote:
Gallant Armor wrote:
Irontruth wrote:

Nope, that isn't what I'm saying.

I'm saying that X nonlethal damage = X lethal damage.
You're saying that X nonlethal damage = X+Y lethal damage.

If A=B, and B=C, then A=C.
If it is sometimes true, then we must operate under the idea that it might be true at any moment.

"A character might be flatfooted at any moment so all attacks should resolve against touch AC." This logic is deeply deeply flawed. Just because something might be true doesn't mean it is true.

Irontruth wrote:
Power Attack doesn't "turn on" just because your target drops to unconscious from nonlethal damage. That isn't how Power Attack works, and NOTHING in PA tells that it works that way. It is on PRIOR to damage even being rolled.

Please provide evidence for your assertions.

"The bonus damage does not apply to touch attacks or effects that do not deal hit point damage."

Very clearly stating that attacks that don't deal hit point damage don't get the bonus damage. You can choose to take the penalty at any time and if the attack resolves with at least some lethal damage being dealt (without PA bonus damage), the bonus damage would apply as well.

Not what I'm saying at all. Read it again and come back to me.

And to the post above, our reading of the rules makes perfect sense and works just fine.

You quite literally said that nonlethal damage is the same as lethal damage so it should be treated as lethal damage which makes absolutely no sense at all. Lethal and nonlethal damage have separate rules as to how they are to work and should be treated as such.

If you think that those passages make sense by your interpretation then you are deeply delusional. By your reading if a creature has 20 points of nonlethal damage and receives 5 points of healing then they are healed for 10 points of nonlethal damage.

And I'm telling you that that isn't what I said. So, feel free to keep arguing with that if you want, but you aren't arguing with me. You are literally reaching a conclusion that isn't in my writing. I guess it's apropos that you are reading into what I'm saying things that aren't there.


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Gallant Armor wrote:


If you think that those passages make sense by your interpretation then you are deeply delusional.

Please refrain from accusations of insanity, and otherwise personally insulting phrases. They don't help these conversations and don't resolve anything. It's also hate speech against the mentally ill when you refer to mental illness as an insult.


Gallant Armor wrote:


If nonlethal damage is treated as lethal damage then it is treated as lethal damage and is no longer treated as nonlethal damage. I don't see any other way to read that passage as it doesn't give restrictions on how it is to be used. If an ability said that weapon damage is treated as fire damage, would you have it go against DR?

I would say my reading resolves more issues than it creates as reading "hit point damage" to mean both lethal and nonlethal damage invalidates every use of hit point damage that exists in the rules.

Lets examine how things look if we were to conflate hit point damage and nonlethal damage:

Effects of Nonlethal...

It cut you off, not me.

Have you eaten today? Have you had enough water and sleep? I'm having great difficulty understanding your points. I'm going to go to the store and get some food and drink myself. Maybe your points will make more sense later. Take care.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Rulebook, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Okay, GA, mind if I ask what you are looking to gain from your possible interpretation of the rules?

Do you want us all to acknowledge that you have a deeper insight into the Pathfinder rules than the rest of us combined?

Do you want us to agree that the only way to read this rule is the way you have presented it?

Do you want us to march on Paizo’s office and demand that the design team stop designing 2E to focus on this one specific rule query that only a tiny proportion of the forum population are able to interpret in this one unusual way and even they acknowledge that it’s probably not what the design team intended but damnit that’s how the rule is written drop everything to agree that it’s badly worded?

If the answer to those questions is “no”, please tell us what you actually want (oh, and if the answer to that is “a FAQ and a fix” then please provide a FAQable question following the rules forum guidelines).

For some perspective, here’s a helpful link.


I never knew that there was any question about power attack applying to non-lethal damage. Wow!


Gallant Armor wrote:


If you think that those passages make sense by your interpretation then you are deeply delusional. By your reading if a creature has 20 points of nonlethal damage and receives 5 points of healing then they are healed for 10 points of nonlethal damage.

For clarity, I'm not going to respond to your specific example, but rather reiterate the formula for making that determination.

X nonlethal = X lethal

For the purposes of our conversation, we'll stick with relatively simple algebra and assume that within a given equation, X will always equal itself.

I agree that you don't always convert nonlethal to lethal, but when you do, it MUST always follow that formula. My point is that your rule interpretation creates a new formula.

X nonlethal = X+Y lethal

Do you have direct and explicit information from the rules text that backs you up on this? Because everything I see supports the first formula.


A thought occurred that helps illustrate why X=X is the simpler and truer method.

When you take lethal damage, it also reduces your pool of nonlethal capacity. It does this on a 1 for 1 basis (or X=X). In every case where we look at the transfer of lethal to nonlethal, or vice versa, we see the the ratio is always 1:1.

Therefore any rules interpretation that changes that ratio is incorrect, unless the rules specifically tell us to change the ratio (ie, a weapon says that it does full damage when doing nonlethal, but only does half damage when doing lethal). To operate within the rules, the ratio must be 1:1, so if I do 1 point of nonlethal, but this turns into 3 points of lethal, then the rules are being applied incorrectly. Similarly, if someone were to say that healing 1 point of lethal becomes 2 points of nonlethal healing, that would also be incorrect, as the rules tell us the ratio is 1:1.

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber

GA.

When you convert Non Lethal damage to Lethal, the character is still doing Non-Lethal, it is the target that has no more Non Lethal to take.


Irontruth wrote:

Evidently you never had to do math or logic proofs in school.

If A=B, and B=C, then A=C.

Nonlethal damage = lethal damage
lethal damage = hit point damage
therefore
nonlethal damage = hit point damage

I agree that it also has additional rules, but you cannot deny the above. And until you can, your argument is bunk.

Wat?

Actual math time! Lets break it down!
A = Ammount of Nonlethal Dealt
B = Max Health
x = Nonlethal Damage
y = Lethal Damage

When A > B:
Ax = Bx + (A-B)y
x = (B/A)x + (A/A)y - (B/A)y
x - (B/A)x = y - (B/A)y
x(1-B/A) = y(1-B/A)
x = y

...
I really did not expect that to check out. Did I mess something up? WTF. They are only equivalent when the nonlethal dealt is greater than total health though. In order for your claim to work you need to demonstrate that it is valid for all possible values of A and B, not just the subset.

Edit: More Alarming: When A = 12 and B = 10, you have 10x + 2y which equals 12y. And
y>B = Dieing. Clearly counter to the written rules, so even if mathematically sound for the subset, it is still demonstrably false.


Pink Dragon wrote:


Nonlethal damage is hit point damage, it is just not "real" hit point damage that a character loses when taking lethal damage.

What the heck do you all think 'not real' means? Do you accept payment at your jobs in Monopoly bills? Sure, it's not 'real' money, but it is still money, right?


Pax Miles wrote:


My level 1 Evil Fighter with a Greataxe and 18 strength decides to "non-lethally" attack a Toad just for the heck of it.

Lets Rock, punk.

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