Can we use Power Attack feat with a Meiciful weapon?


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Silver Crusade

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This might be a stupid question, but Power Attack feat says Touch Attacks or effects that do not deal hit point damage could not use this feat. Thus, Is Nonlethal Damage from Merciful weapon such a “effect” that could not use this feat or a “attack” that could use this feat although it does not deal hit point damage?


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Nonlethal damage is HP damage that can just doesn't kill the target therefore, power attack works for merciful weapons, normally nonlethal weapons, and blunt weapons effected by the bludgeoner feat, as does piranha strike for light weapons under the same circumstances.

Silver Crusade

Jae Wolftail wrote:
Nonlethal damage is HP damage that can just doesn't kill the target therefore, power attack works for merciful weapons, normally nonlethal weapons, and blunt weapons effected by the bludgeoner feat, as does piranha strike for light weapons under the same circumstances.

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.

This is what is said in CRB which tells that Nonlethal damage is not HP damage


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It is still damage that is tied to your HP, and weapons with the Merciful property, or normal weapons used to deal nonlethal damage, still roll their regular damage dice.

That phrase about non hit point damage means you can't use it on attacks that cause, say, ability score damage or drain. Mostly that applies to monsters with special attacks.

Dark Archive

I've seen plenty of low level mooks outright killed by an overzealous PC dealing nonlethal damage (almost always because they thought the mook was tougher than he was), so nonlethal definitely affects hit points

Sovereign Court

It does affect hit-points...once you take nonlethal equal to your current total, nonlethal damage does hit point damage!

Silver Crusade RPG Superstar 2013 Top 8

KitsuneWarlock wrote:
It does affect hit-points...once you take nonlethal equal to your current total, nonlethal damage does hit point damage!

Max hit points, not current hit points.

PRD wrote:
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.

Scarab Sages

Michael Eshleman wrote:
KitsuneWarlock wrote:
It does affect hit-points...once you take nonlethal equal to your current total, nonlethal damage does hit point damage!

Max hit points, not current hit points.

PRD wrote:
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.

Correct. To kill someone with non-lethal you essentially have to do double their hit points plus their constitution score. (that is assuming there is no other lethal damage.)

Sczarni

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Starfinder Charter Superscriber

If nonlethal wasn't classified as "damage" it would become the easiest way to bypass DR.

"How'd you defeat the Tarrasque?"

"Bludgeoned it with a sap."

Paizo Employee Customer Service Representative

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I have moved this thread to the Rules forum.

Silver Crusade

All right, does that mean the answer of my question is "yes"?

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Clarifying, the answer is that you can use Power Attack with Non Lethal damage. Your question, however, is a either/or question, not a yes or no.


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Oh, c'mon. If you wanna split hairs today, the question in the title is a yes/no question, and that is also the OP's question. : P


yes you can power attack for non lethal nothing in the power attack right up outright states you cant, all it says is you cant add it to touch attacks and things that dont do hp damage, nonlethal is still hp damage, were as things like ability damage are not


So, I'm gonna point something out, just because it's a misconception. Non-lethal damage CAN kill. If you keep going after you've dealt their total HP in non-lethal damage. Anything past a characters max HP is dealt as lethal damage.

I specify this because my main uses a Merciful sword (annoys my GM, because I can go balls to the wall and not kill my target by accident, if I don't want to), and I looked into it.

"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."

As a real world example, this is how an untrained mob of school children can beat someone to death. Admittedly very slowly.

Dark Archive

Yes. It works. Depending on the build, it can work to great effect. Barb/Rogue

Silver Crusade

Well, I mean the subject is a yes/no question. You guys can understand so that doesn't matter.


CN_HookF wrote:
Well, I mean the subject is a yes/no question. You guys can understand so that doesn't matter.

This is the rules forum though. Dissecting the phrasing of generally understandable text is a fundamental food group.


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Actually, based on the grammar of the question, the real answer is "3".


RAW nonlethal damage doesn't count as hit point damage as "It is not 'real' damage" so it shouldn't work with power attack.

RAI I agree that it is likely referring to ability score damage and wasn't intended to lock out nonlethal.


Nonlethal damage is a subset of "damage" and not a wholly different thing. It is damage, but has additional rules, not different rules.


I would agree that nonleathal damage and hit point damage both fall under damage. That does not make nonleathal damage hit point damage.

"When a spell or ability cures hit point damage, it also removes an equal amount of nonlethal damage"

They are two separate things.


So, it's your claim that any rule that doesn't specifically refer to "nonlethal damage", but only refers to "damage", has no bearing on "nonlethal damage" because they're different?


Not "damage", "hit point damage" in particular. As I said, nonlethal damage is damage, but it is not hit point damage.

This would mean you couldn't use the following feats with nonlethal damage:
Casting Conduit, Deadly Aim, Furious Spell, Piranha Strike, Power Attack, Take the Hit, and Divine Fighting Technique (Lamashtu's Carving)

I am not sure if that was the intention, but I can't find anything RAW to indicate otherwise.


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Lets take Power Attack, since it's the most relevant to the thread.

Does PA refer to "hit point damage"? (hint, it just says damage)

Also, what does nonlethal damage deal damage to? If it isn't hit points, is it an ability score? Where on my character sheet would I find the number that nonlethal damage is interacting with?

In addition, your interpretation means that a nonlethal attack with a weapon cannot crit. Based on your assumption that "damage" does not mean nonlethal (since PA says "damage" and you say that it doesn't apply), and we know that PA bonus damage is multiplied on a critical hit, that means critical hit damage is also different from nonlethal damage. Wow, the designers must really not know what they're doing, since every nonlethal weapon (weapons that only deal nonlethal damage) all have critical damage multipliers!

The Strength score bonus damage is also multiplied on a critical hit, and uses the same language as Power Attack, so by your ruling, nonlethal weapons do not benefit from Strength bonus damage.

Hmm.... your interpretation seems to create all sorts of problems. Perhaps it isn't correct.


Irontruth wrote:

Lets take Power Attack, since it's the most relevant to the thread.

Does PA refer to "hit point damage"? (hint, it just says damage)

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

Irontruth wrote:
Also, what does nonlethal damage deal damage to? If it isn't hit points, is it an ability score? Where on my character sheet would I find the number that nonlethal damage is interacting with?

"Effects of Hit Point 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."

"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"

Hit point damage is damage that reduces your hit points, nonlethal damage does not reduce your hit points so it is not hit point damage.

Irontruth wrote:
In addition, your interpretation means that a nonlethal attack with a weapon cannot crit. Based on your assumption that "damage" does not mean nonlethal (since PA says "damage" and you say that it doesn't apply), and we know that PA bonus damage is multiplied on a critical hit, that means critical hit damage is also different from nonlethal damage. Wow, the designers must really not know what they're doing, since every nonlethal weapon (weapons that only deal nonlethal damage) all have critical damage multipliers!

Everything under critical hits refers to "damage", not "hit point damage", so your point here is moot.

Irontruth wrote:

The Strength score bonus damage is also multiplied on a critical hit, and uses the same language as Power Attack, so by your ruling, nonlethal weapons do not benefit from Strength bonus damage.

Hmm.... your interpretation seems to create all sorts of problems. Perhaps it isn't correct.

Again, the section on how to add strength mod to damage refers to "damage" not "hit point damage"

Did you bother to read any of the rules before you made your assertions? The rules make a clear distinction between "nonlethal damage" and "hit point damage" and use these terms sparingly.

All of the general listings use "damage" meaning that those rules apply to all forms of damage. Damage types can have specific rules that trump the general damage rules, but unless there is an exception the damage rules would apply.


For what it's worth, IIRC there's an NPC in RotRL:AE who has Power Attack and whose strategy is to use unarmed strikes to beat opponents unconscious. It's possible that this was intended to only use nonlethal damage for the finishing blow (the NPC also has Improved Unarmed Strike and thus could fight lethally), but the rest of the encounter description leads me to believe that only nonlethal damage was intended and, thus, that the encounter designer (possibly JJ?) believed Power Attack was compatible with nonlethal damage.


Gallant Armor wrote:
Irontruth wrote:

Lets take Power Attack, since it's the most relevant to the thread.

Does PA refer to "hit point damage"? (hint, it just says damage)

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

Irontruth wrote:
Also, what does nonlethal damage deal damage to? If it isn't hit points, is it an ability score? Where on my character sheet would I find the number that nonlethal damage is interacting with?

"Effects of Hit Point 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."

"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"

Hit point damage is damage that reduces your hit points, nonlethal damage does not reduce your hit points so it is not hit point damage.

Irontruth wrote:
In addition, your interpretation means that a nonlethal attack with a weapon cannot crit. Based on your assumption that "damage" does not mean nonlethal (since PA says "damage" and you say that it doesn't apply), and we know that PA bonus damage is multiplied on a critical hit, that means critical hit damage is also different from nonlethal damage. Wow, the designers must really not know what they're doing, since every nonlethal weapon (weapons that only deal nonlethal damage) all have critical damage multipliers!

Everything under critical hits refers to "damage", not "hit point damage", so your point here is moot.

Irontruth wrote:
The Strength score bonus damage is also multiplied on a critical hit, and uses the same language as Power Attack, so by your ruling, nonlethal weapons do not benefit from Strength bonus
...

You failed to quote other portions of the rules. If your argument requires selective reading, and has to leave out certain sentences, than your argument is wrong.

Can nonlethal damage deal hit point damage? Simple yes/no answer.


Irontruth wrote:

You failed to quote other portions of the rules. If your argument requires selective reading, and has to leave out certain sentences, than your argument is wrong.

Can nonlethal damage deal hit point damage? Simple yes/no answer.

What rules didn't I quote? Where does it say I'm wrong? Stop making baseless assertions.

No, only lethal damage can deal hit point damage. "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." In this instance the damage is by definition not nonlethal damage anymore, it is converted to lethal damage.

Even taking your premise as true; the vast majority of times that nonlethal damage is done, it does not result in lethal damage so your point is moot anyway.


Gallant Armor wrote:
Irontruth wrote:

You failed to quote other portions of the rules. If your argument requires selective reading, and has to leave out certain sentences, than your argument is wrong.

Can nonlethal damage deal hit point damage? Simple yes/no answer.

What rules didn't I quote? Where does it say I'm wrong? Stop making baseless assertions.

No, only lethal damage can deal hit point damage. "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." In this instance the damage is by definition not nonlethal damage anymore, it is converted to lethal damage.

Even taking your premise as true; the vast majority of times that nonlethal damage is done, it does not result in lethal damage so your point is moot anyway.

You left that bit out when it wasn't convenient to you earlier. Read it again. The damage is still nonlethal. It's just treated as lethal, but that doesn't change it's core characteristic of nonlethal. If you try to deal nonlethal in that situation with a sword, the -4 penalty to attack isn't removed.

Does Power Attack refer to "lethal damage"?

It refers to "hit point damage". Nonlethal attacks deal damage that references hit points. Therefore, Power Attack applies, because nonlethal is a type of damage that interacts with hit points.

Feel free to show that nonlethal interacts with a different statistic. Just curious, where on the character sheet, or monster stat block would I find this mysterious statistic?

Shadow Lodge

Pathfinder Card Game Subscriber

To the original post, yes on part of your post. Using power attack will increase the lethal and non-lethal damage dealt by a weapon and using a weapon with the merciful quality means it will be non-lethal damage plus 1d6 (non-lethal) until the weapon is commanded not do non-lethal and then it will just be the usual damage (lethal) for the weapon (with or without power attack etc).

The part about non-hit point damage is a separate issue and a no. As pointed out above this means poison, ability damage, curses, spell effects, etc.

Touch attacks are a third issue and self answered in your post.

At higher level in the game you run across weapons that have multiple effects; damage, poison, typed damage, and spell effects. You have to separate them out as you don't want power attack to increase the poison damage...


Irontruth wrote:
Gallant Armor wrote:
Irontruth wrote:

You failed to quote other portions of the rules. If your argument requires selective reading, and has to leave out certain sentences, than your argument is wrong.

Can nonlethal damage deal hit point damage? Simple yes/no answer.

What rules didn't I quote? Where does it say I'm wrong? Stop making baseless assertions.

No, only lethal damage can deal hit point damage. "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." In this instance the damage is by definition not nonlethal damage anymore, it is converted to lethal damage.

Even taking your premise as true; the vast majority of times that nonlethal damage is done, it does not result in lethal damage so your point is moot anyway.

You left that bit out when it wasn't convenient to you earlier. Read it again. The damage is still nonlethal. It's just treated as lethal, but that doesn't change it's core characteristic of nonlethal. If you try to deal nonlethal in that situation with a sword, the -4 penalty to attack isn't removed.

Does Power Attack refer to "lethal damage"?

It refers to "hit point damage". Nonlethal attacks deal damage that references hit points. Therefore, Power Attack applies, because nonlethal is a type of damage that interacts with hit points.

Feel free to show that nonlethal interacts with a different statistic. Just curious, where on the character sheet, or monster stat block would I find this mysterious statistic?

"Treated as lethal" means that for all effects it is no longer treated as nonlethal damage. The attack attempted to do nonlethal damage so it would still take the -4 to attack, but the target could take no more nonlethal damage so the attack did lethal damage.

"Loss of Hit Points
The most common way that your character gets hurt is to take lethal damage and lose hit points."

Hit point damage is equivalent to lethal damage as a game term. They are used interchangeably.

As state above, nonlethal damage is neither lethal damage nor hit point damage, it is a separate kind of damage. If you bothered to read you would see that I already answered your questions. You however, have still not presented any evidence to support your case based on the rules.

To reiterate:
"Effects of Hit Point 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."

"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"

Hit point damage is damage that reduces your hit points, nonlethal damage does not reduce your hit points so it is not hit point damage.

Can you find something in the rules that refutes anything I have said? Stop making baseless assertions, back up what you are saying with actual rules.


"Most common" does not mean that the two terms are synonymous. It means that "loss of hit points" is a broader definition than "lethal damage," because there are more ways to "lose hit points" than "lethal damage."

You're trying to constrict "loss of hit points" to only "lethal damage," but that is not what that sentence means. Therefore, if your argument is based on that that sentence being restrictive, you are wrong. The sentence is inclusive, not exclusive.

What's awesome is you already know you are wrong. You even admitted it when you said that RAI it isn't intended to lock out nonlethal. So now you are inventing a RAW (because it doesn't actually say what you are saying it says) in order to be "right". But you aren't.

I'm done with this. You can continue if you want, but what you are doing is intentionally trying to introduce problematic readings into the rules where there are none. Your reading of this text is not helpful, nor insightful. All it does is encourage other people to introduce other readings that are also not helpful, nor insightful, because it presupposes that we must ignore our understanding of English in order to read the rules, and instead read it in the most rigid and unhelpful manner possible.

You aren't right. You know you aren't right. Yet you persist.


That is not how to parse that sentence. It is saying there are other ways to be hurt (ability score damage for example) but the most common way is to take lethal damage and lose hit points. "the most common way" is singular indicating one clause, not two separate clauses meaning "to take lethal damage and lose hit points" is a combined singular effect.

I can understand you not wanting to continue as you are unable to provide any evidence that doesn't require a twisting of the rules.

Dark Archive

It is weirder that a Rogue can cause bleed damage with a non-lethal sneak attack than non-lethal with a power attack.


If PA did not work on non-leathal, then you get the weird effect of PA suddenly switching on when the non-leathal reaches max hit-points, and the non-lethal damage does lethal-damage.

/cevah

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Gallant Armor wrote:

That is not how to parse that sentence. It is saying there are other ways to be hurt (ability score damage for example) but the most common way is to take lethal damage and lose hit points. "the most common way" is singular indicating one clause, not two separate clauses meaning "to take lethal damage and lose hit points" is a combined singular effect.

I can understand you not wanting to continue as you are unable to provide any evidence that doesn't require a twisting of the rules.

Your placing a rule into the mix that is simply not there.

Non-Lethal Damage is done to the character, and it is tallied up separately than the HP damage that is lethal. If the two added together go beyond the total HP of that character, then that character goes unconscious. The two are linked and effect the same "stat" when taken, even when the book keeping is separated to see if the character is staying on their feet.

Your thinking is more along the lines of Temporary HP. Some abilities that have Temp HP have some things (like Poisons) not effect the character if Temp HP have prevented real damage.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

OPs Question: yes. If a character didn’t know he was holding a merciful weapon, he could use power attack with it, and the weapon would add 1d6 damage and turn all of the damage done into non-lethal damage. This is a feature of the weapon special ability, and it would be really weird to allow an ignorant character to use power attack, but a character who knows what weapon they have not to use it.

There is, however, the other question now being talked about “can a character purposefully doing non-lethal damage (either with a non-lethal weapon or choosing to do non-lethal damage) use the power attack feat?” I’m not sure, personally.


thaX wrote:
Gallant Armor wrote:

That is not how to parse that sentence. It is saying there are other ways to be hurt (ability score damage for example) but the most common way is to take lethal damage and lose hit points. "the most common way" is singular indicating one clause, not two separate clauses meaning "to take lethal damage and lose hit points" is a combined singular effect.

I can understand you not wanting to continue as you are unable to provide any evidence that doesn't require a twisting of the rules.

Your placing a rule into the mix that is simply not there.

Non-Lethal Damage is done to the character, and it is tallied up separately than the HP damage that is lethal. If the two added together go beyond the total HP of that character, then that character goes unconscious. The two are linked and effect the same "stat" when taken, even when the book keeping is separated to see if the character is staying on their feet.

Your thinking is more along the lines of Temporary HP. Some abilities that have Temp HP have some things (like Poisons) not effect the character if Temp HP have prevented real damage.

What rule am I placing into the mix that "is simply not there"? My post that you quoted was a portion of a discussion between me and Irontruth about the difference between hit point damage and nonlethal damage. You seem to have inherited his penchant for making assertions without having anything in the rules to back them up.

Every single mention of nonlethal damage and hit point damage indicate that they are not the same thing. They would both qualify as damage, but neither would qualify as the other.


Chemlak wrote:

OPs Question: yes. If a character didn’t know he was holding a merciful weapon, he could use power attack with it, and the weapon would add 1d6 damage and turn all of the damage done into non-lethal damage. This is a feature of the weapon special ability, and it would be really weird to allow an ignorant character to use power attack, but a character who knows what weapon they have not to use it.

There is, however, the other question now being talked about “can a character purposefully doing non-lethal damage (either with a non-lethal weapon or choosing to do non-lethal damage) use the power attack feat?” I’m not sure, personally.

When wielding a merciful weapon you could attempt to use power attack and take the penalty to attack, but you wouldn't get the bonus damage if the damage inflicted was nonlethal. The wielder knowing a weapon is merciful would have no baring on the situation.


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For the people saying that non-lethal is not hit points: how is said damaged tracked?


Dajur wrote:
It is weirder that a Rogue can cause bleed damage with a non-lethal sneak attack than non-lethal with a power attack.

Yes. And even more weird is that with the right feats it's possible to with a merciful weapon attack force someone's guts to start to spill out due to Con bleed.


thorin001 wrote:
For the people saying that non-lethal is not hit points: how is said damaged tracked?

As quoted ad nauseam:

Dealing Nonlethal Damage wrote:
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.

It is by definition not hit point damage.

Liberty's Edge

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Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

You didn't quote the next part, where if the total of HP and Non Lethal HP added together exceed the max HP of the character, then the character goes unconscious. They are linked and effect each other. The separation between them is for ease of tracking the difference. Typically, one tracks up as the other tracks down. When they meet, the character sleeps.


thaX wrote:
You didn't quote the next part, where if the total of HP and Non Lethal HP added together exceed the max HP of the character, then the character goes unconscious. They are linked and effect each other. The separation between them is for ease of tracking the difference. Typically, one tracks up as the other tracks down. When they meet, the character sleeps.

Nonlethal damage being checked against max hit points does not make it hit point damage. They are two completely unrelated pools as shown by nonlethal damage being checked against max hit points instead of current hit points.

Hit point damage is damage that reduces current hit points.

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.

If nonlethal damage is also hit point damage how do explain how nonlethal damage is healed?

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.

If nonlethal damage is the same as hit point damage then 10 points of healing should remove 20 points of nonlethal damage by your logic.


while not being real hp damage it is still fake hp damage and when the real damage is healed an amount of fake damage is also healed equal to the amount of real damage healed


Correct, and Power Attack only works with "real" hit point damage not "fake" nonlethal damage.


Power attack applies to non lethal.
Merciful is specific that all damage dealt is non lethal.

Therefore you would add up damage and make it non lethal after. So statements on power attack doing hit point damage only are moot.

It could be a flaming burst weapon, it's still non lethal. It's made so by the weapon quality. Same with power attack damage.

A lot of back and forth could have been saved by reading merciful.

Quote:
all damage it deals is nonlethal damage."


Cavall wrote:

Power attack applies to non lethal.

Merciful is specific that all damage dealt is non lethal.

Therefore you would add up damage and make it non lethal after. So statements on power attack doing hit point damage only are moot.

It could be a flaming burst weapon, it's still non lethal. It's made so by the weapon quality. Same with power attack damage.

A lot of back and forth could have been saved by reading merciful.

Quote:
all damage it deals is nonlethal damage."

As stated repeatedly:

Power attack wrote:
The bonus damage does not apply to touch attacks or effects that do not deal hit point damage.

Nonlethal damage is not hit point damage so the bonus damage from power attack cannot apply based on the rules. The merciful weapon property makes the weapon damage nonlethal which negates the bonus damage from power attack.


So...if it's out cold could you use power attack then?

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