Is nonlethal damage considered hit point damage?


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Mallecks wrote:
Irontruth wrote:

The bonus is only excluded if there is no hit point damage.

Nonlethal overflow meets your requirements for counting as hit point damage. We've gone over this multiple times and every time I ask questions about it, both you and Mallecks agree to definitions and methods of determining whether it is hit point damage, and concur that it IS hit point damage.

You have not shown a rule that says to exclude the bonus damage from PA though.

I mean... I do provide the rules, but you seem to disagree with them.

Nonlethal Damage with a Lethal Weapon wrote:
You can use a melee weapon that deals lethal damage to deal nonlethal damage instead, but you take a –4 penalty on your attack roll.

Let's say I am attacking an invulnerable rager.

They have DR2/lethal, DR1/-, 20 HP and 20 nonlethal damage taken. I attack with a nonlethal attack, how much damage is blocked?

Let's stick to the one issue.

Yes, I agree the weapon does nonlethal damage. We are talking about nonlethal damage that exceeds the targets capacity for nonlethal damage, which is then treated as lethal damage (and causes a loss of hit points). That loss of hit points means the damage qualifies for Power Attack.

Your citation doesn't change HOW NONLETHAL DAMAGE WORKS. The fact that is it nonlethal is irrelevant, because nonlethal is not explicitly excluded from Power Attack. If nonlethal damage does hit point damage (which we both agree that excess nonlethal does) than it must therefore qualify for Power Attack.


Butt_Luckily wrote:
Irontruth wrote:

The bonus is only excluded if there is no hit point damage.

Nonlethal overflow meets your requirements for counting as hit point damage. We've gone over this multiple times and every time I ask questions about it, both you and Mallecks agree to definitions and methods of determining whether it is hit point damage, and concur that it IS hit point damage.

You have not shown a rule that says to exclude the bonus damage from PA though.

I don't recall agreeing to that. I also suspect Mallecks may have been agreeing to move conversation forward, but am not certain.

In any case, we really need to slow down, as you've asked that we should focus on power attack.

I've given my interpretation of power attack. Is it internally consistent?

After we clear up power attack, we can move on to nonlethal overflow.

You already brought up nonlethal overflow. I'm responding to what you wrote. Do you want me to respond to something else?


Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path Subscriber
Butt_Luckily wrote:
I'm not sure the distiction matters, but I would say that Nonlethal Damage is its own kind of damage. The fact that the unit is hit points is overwhelmingly pivotal in disproving my theory.

Fixed that for you. <Grin>


Irontruth wrote:

Let's stick to the one issue.

Yes, I agree the weapon does nonlethal damage. We are talking about nonlethal damage that exceeds the targets capacity for nonlethal damage, which is then treated as lethal damage (and causes a loss of hit points). That loss of hit points means the damage qualifies for Power Attack.

Your citation doesn't change HOW NONLETHAL DAMAGE WORKS. The fact that is it nonlethal is irrelevant, because nonlethal is not explicitly excluded from Power Attack. If nonlethal damage does hit point damage (which we both agree that excess nonlethal does) than it must therefore qualify for Power Attack.

The actual issue here is whether or not Power Attack interacts with nonlethal damage at a point where it could be considered "nonlethal overflow."

Do you think Power Attack happens before or after damage reduction?


Just making sure you don't have any other problems.

What is the issue with determining the kind of damage at the time of the damage roll?

Anguish,
The two sides each fixate on different rules. I don't feel that the unit of measure is important, because hit point damage is defined as being subtracted from hit points. If this defintion exist, I would probably feel differently.

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber
Mallecks wrote:
Irontruth wrote:

Let's stick to the one issue.

Yes, I agree the weapon does nonlethal damage. We are talking about nonlethal damage that exceeds the targets capacity for nonlethal damage, which is then treated as lethal damage (and causes a loss of hit points). That loss of hit points means the damage qualifies for Power Attack.

Your citation doesn't change HOW NONLETHAL DAMAGE WORKS. The fact that is it nonlethal is irrelevant, because nonlethal is not explicitly excluded from Power Attack. If nonlethal damage does hit point damage (which we both agree that excess nonlethal does) than it must therefore qualify for Power Attack.

The actual issue here is whether or not Power Attack interacts with nonlethal damage at a point where it could be considered "nonlethal overflow."

Do you think Power Attack happens before or after damage reduction?

No, the issue that you have created is whether or not Nonlethal Damage is able to be used with Power Attack. We already gave you that answer, in two other threads. It is Yes, it can be. Whether or not it is converted to Lethal damage is a moot point and one that Iron Truth has used as an example to tell you this. What he is trying to get across is the fact that Nonlethal Damage does effect HP, and can deduct HP from the total if the conditions are right.

That doesn't mean that Nonlethal only works with Power Attack at a certain point, it means it works no matter when or if the "overflow" happens.


Mallecks wrote:
Irontruth wrote:

Let's stick to the one issue.

Yes, I agree the weapon does nonlethal damage. We are talking about nonlethal damage that exceeds the targets capacity for nonlethal damage, which is then treated as lethal damage (and causes a loss of hit points). That loss of hit points means the damage qualifies for Power Attack.

Your citation doesn't change HOW NONLETHAL DAMAGE WORKS. The fact that is it nonlethal is irrelevant, because nonlethal is not explicitly excluded from Power Attack. If nonlethal damage does hit point damage (which we both agree that excess nonlethal does) than it must therefore qualify for Power Attack.

The actual issue here is whether or not Power Attack interacts with nonlethal damage at a point where it could be considered "nonlethal overflow."

Do you think Power Attack happens before or after damage reduction?

Which definition of hit point damage do you want me to use while answering this question?


Butt_Luckily wrote:

Just making sure you don't have any other problems.

What is the issue with determining the kind of damage at the time of the damage roll?

Anguish,
The two sides each fixate on different rules. I don't feel that the unit of measure is important, because hit point damage is defined as being subtracted from hit points. If this defintion exist, I would probably feel differently.

If you'd like to talk about timing rules, I'm willing to do that. I don't see any that have been cited yet though.

You are arguing that these imaginary timing rules take precedence over the real rules of Power Attack.

You: imaginary > real
Me: real > imaginary

Show me a rule that talks about the timing of when modifiers are applied and we can discuss it.


Again, I listed it under my assumptions for a reason.

If you have a rule that contradicts, please provide it, otherwise we can agree to disagree.


Power Attack applies to hit point damage. That is the rule I'm following.

I'm willing to hear about a rule that supersedes it.


Power attack does not say that it applies to hit point damage. It applies to all damage rolls that aren't touch attacks and effects that do not do hit point damage.

If that distinction doesn't matter to you, that's fine, I guess. Just trying to be clear.

We just disagree on how and at what point to determine if something is hit point damage.


The effect causes a loss of hit points. Yes or no?

You are arguing that there is a cut-off point where the bonus cannot be applied after. I just want to know where I can find that cut-off point in the rules.

Either this cut-off point exists in the rules, or you are making it up. If you aren't making it up, tell me what page I find it on.

I have fully laid out the process by which nonlethal damage causes hit point damage. Neither of you has denied that the damage causes a lot of hit points, which is YOUR definition of what is and isn't hit point damage.

There is no "agree to disagree" here. You are flat out wrong.

The funny part is, if you accepted this part of Power Attack, I wouldn't have a RAW argument against you. Just like you, I can't prove the "timing" issues of how damage is counted, because they don't exist. The best argument I have against it is that it hasn't been explained once in the previous 10 years, but that isn't proof, just suggestive.

As it stands though, you and Mallecks are choosing the obviously not-RAW argument to make your stand on. Continue to not cite rules, it makes your argument super "convincing".


This entire point of contention is not RAW. That's what I've been saying.

Irontruth wrote:
The effect causes a loss of hit points. Yes or no?

We should be careful over consideration of "cause". Just because an effect causes a loss of hit points does not mean it was an effect that deals hit point damage.

So, while I may agree that a nonlethal attack caused hit point damage, I would not agree that the attack dealt hit point damage.


I disagree.

Power Attack provides a bonus to the damage roll. Bonuses are added to the results of the dice to determine the total of the effect. This is based on:

Getting Started wrote:
Whenever a roll is required, the roll is noted as "d#," with the "#" representing the number of sides on the die. If you need to roll multiple dice of the same type, there will be a number before the "d." For example, if you are required to roll 4d6, you should roll four six-sided dice and add the results together. Sometimes there will be a + or – after the notation, meaning that you add that number to, or subtract it from, the total results of the dice (not to each individual die rolled). Most die rolls in the game use a d20 with a number of modifiers based on the character's skills, his or her abilities, and the situation. Generally speaking, rolling high is better than rolling low. Percentile rolls are a special case, indicated as rolling d%. You can generate a random number in this range by rolling two differently colored ten-sided dice (2d10). Pick one color to represent the tens digit, then roll both dice. If the die chosen to be the tens digit rolls a "4" and the other d10 rolls a "2," then you've generated a 42. A zero on the tens digit die indicates a result from 1 to 9, or 100 if both dice result in a zero. Some d10s are printed with "10," "20," "30," and so on in order to make reading d% rolls easier. Unless otherwise noted, whenever you must round a number, always round down.

Power Attack is added to the damage roll as per this rule. It doesn't happen any other time.


I'm adding it to the roll. All the damage is being done by the damage roll. I don't contest this. In fact, I embrace it. Zero disagreement, the damage from the roll is what is causing hit point loss, and therefore I get to add Power Attack to the damage roll.


Irontruth wrote:
I'm adding it to the roll.

Are you adding it to the roll before or after damage reduction?


I'm adding it any time that the damage roll causes hit point loss, because you have told me that is the definition of hit point damage.

If you want to give me a different definition/criteria to know if I'm doing hit point damage, I'm willing to hear it.


Butt_Luckily wrote:

This entire point of contention is not RAW. That's what I've been saying.

Irontruth wrote:
The effect causes a loss of hit points. Yes or no?

We should be careful over consideration of "cause". Just because an effect causes a loss of hit points does not mean it was an effect that deals hit point damage.

So, while I may agree that a nonlethal attack caused hit point damage, I would not agree that the attack dealt hit point damage.

So you are contending that the target didn't lose hit points?


Irontruth wrote:

I'm adding it any time that the damage roll causes hit point loss, because you have told me that is the definition of hit point damage.

If you want to give me a different definition/criteria to know if I'm doing hit point damage, I'm willing to hear it.

So, if you are "adding it any time that the damage roll causes hit point loss", then you are exclusively adding it after the target takes the damage? (after damage reduction)


Why add it after damage is done when it's part of the damage itself?

You hit. You roll damage. You add that to the damage to determine damage given, they reduce it with damage reduction.


Mallecks wrote:
Irontruth wrote:

I'm adding it any time that the damage roll causes hit point loss, because you have told me that is the definition of hit point damage.

If you want to give me a different definition/criteria to know if I'm doing hit point damage, I'm willing to hear it.

So, if you are "adding it any time that the damage roll causes hit point loss", then you are exclusively adding it after the target takes the damage? (after damage reduction)

Is there a criteria you want to add in there?

As far as I know, I've satisfied all the requirements of Power Attack.

1. melee attack
2. not a touch attack
3. includes hit point damage

If you have something else to add, please let me know.


Cavall wrote:

Why add it after damage is done when it's part of the damage itself?

You hit. You roll damage. You add that to the damage to determine damage given, they reduce it with damage reduction.

Irontruth appears to do it some otherway.

Irontruth wrote:
Is there a criteria you want to add in there?

No, I'm trying to figure out how you are applying power attack.

If you when the target loses HP, then PA doesn't help bypass damage reduction.

In any case, my position appears to be consistent with how you handle Power Attack.


Irontruth wrote:
Butt_Luckily wrote:

This entire point of contention is not RAW. That's what I've been saying.

Irontruth wrote:
The effect causes a loss of hit points. Yes or no?

We should be careful over consideration of "cause". Just because an effect causes a loss of hit points does not mean it was an effect that deals hit point damage.

So, while I may agree that a nonlethal attack caused hit point damage, I would not agree that the attack dealt hit point damage.

So you are contending that the target didn't lose hit points?

No, just that the attack didn't deal hit point damage.

There are also times that an attack deals hit point damage, but the target's hit points do not go down.

Irontruth wrote:

Is there a criteria you want to add in there?

As far as I know, I've satisfied all the requirements of Power Attack.

1. melee attack
2. not a touch attack
3. includes hit point damage

If you have something else to add, please let me know.

Great news. We also meet all the requirements of Power Attack (as someone so focused on RAW, I'm sure you'd much prefer the requirements written in a way that matches the feat a bit more).

Provide attack penalty and damage bonus if:
1) Melee attack that is not touch attack
2) Effect that deals hit point damage


Except that you aren't abiding by #2. The attack deals hit point damage, but you aren't adding in Power Attack.

According to you:

Butt_Luckily wrote:


Damage is hit point damage if it is subtracted from a target's hit points.

The nonlethal overflow subtracts from the target's hit points. By YOUR definition, that is hit point damage. Therefore Power Attack applies. I'm literally using the definition for hit point damage that you told me to use.


I mean...

Even with your uncommon use of Power Attack,

"The rule says you add the bonus but it doesn't say WHEN you add the bonus, therefore, I can do it whenever I want"

You still haven't invalidated my position. Based on this silly interpretation of Power Attack, my position is still logically consistent.


You are telling me that we should violate the Power Attack rule. I've asked you for this "timing rule" you speak of, but you haven't shown it to me yet. If there is a timing rule, you would be right and it could supersede Power Attack.

As it is, you are explicitly telling us to go against RAW.


Irontruth wrote:

Except that you aren't abiding by #2. The attack deals hit point damage, but you aren't adding in Power Attack.

According to you:

Butt_Luckily wrote:
Damage is hit point damage if it is subtracted from a target's hit points.
The nonlethal overflow subtracts from the target's hit points. By YOUR definition, that is hit point damage. Therefore Power Attack applies. I'm literally using the definition for hit point damage that you told me to use.

Whether or not nonlethal overflow should be considered hit point damage is irrelevant (to PA, anyway). Just as there are attacks that deal hit point damage that do not reduce a target's hp, there are attacks that do not deal hit point damage that do reduce a target's hp.

Irontruth wrote:

You are telling me that we should violate the Power Attack rule. I've asked you for this "timing rule" you speak of, but you haven't shown it to me yet. If there is a timing rule, you would be right and it could supersede Power Attack.

If the rules for a die roll do not convince you that bonuses are added at the time of the damage roll, that's fine. There is no timing rule. You add it whenever you want, and we'll add it whenever we want.


Butt_Luckily wrote:
Irontruth wrote:

Except that you aren't abiding by #2. The attack deals hit point damage, but you aren't adding in Power Attack.

According to you:

Butt_Luckily wrote:
Damage is hit point damage if it is subtracted from a target's hit points.
The nonlethal overflow subtracts from the target's hit points. By YOUR definition, that is hit point damage. Therefore Power Attack applies. I'm literally using the definition for hit point damage that you told me to use.

Whether or not nonlethal overflow should be considered hit point damage is irrelevant (to PA, anyway). Just as there are attacks that deal hit point damage that do not reduce a target's hp, there are attacks that do not deal hit point damage that do reduce a target's hp.

Irontruth wrote:

You are telling me that we should violate the Power Attack rule. I've asked you for this "timing rule" you speak of, but you haven't shown it to me yet. If there is a timing rule, you would be right and it could supersede Power Attack.

If the rules for a die roll do not convince you that bonuses are added at the time of the damage roll, that's fine. There is no timing rule. You add it whenever you want, and we'll add it whenever we want.

You're allowed to play the game however you want. But this isn't the homebrew forum, it is the rules forum. And your current method (under your nonlethal isn't hit point damage assumption) is not legal by RAW. You know you're wrong at this point, but don't want to admit it.

Name a type of damage that isn't hit point damage, but causes hit point loss?

Remember, if you say nonlethal you are factually wrong, because even under the definition you gave me, nonlethal is hit point damage when it causes a loss of hit points. It also is hit point damage if you define hit point damage as lethal damage, because nonlethal acts as lethal damage, and lethal damage is defined as hit point damage.


Irontruth wrote:
Name a type of damage that isn't hit point damage, but causes hit point loss?

You keep using this specific language, which is not present in the power attack feat.

In relation to Power Attack, it would be, "Name a type of damage that does not deal hit point damage, but causes hit point loss?"

The answer is nonlethal.

I've given my interpretation for how to determine if something is dealing hit point damage. It has nothing to do with the target. If you continue to attempt to argue such a thing, be ready for me to get confused over what "your interpretation" is, because my interpretation doesn't need to check anything about the target whatsoever. I say this because I don't want you to think I'm putting words in your mouth.

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber

I get that there is a particular query on how Nonlethal works and it's relation to Hit Points. To say that Nonlethal is nothing, as Mallecks interpretation implies, is going beyond Rules As Written and breaks completely from Rules As Intended.

Nonlethal is a separate pool of HP, one that simulates the character taking lesser damage that bruises instead of cuts. It effects Lethal HP and makes it so the character will be taken out of combat much like he would be with Lethal Damage, being Knocked Out instead of Dying.

You can use Power Attack with Nonlethal Damage. Nothing is preventing you from doing this.

Thread Title wrote:
Is nonlethal damage considered hit point damage?

Yes!


Butt_Luckily wrote:
Irontruth wrote:
Name a type of damage that isn't hit point damage, but causes hit point loss?

You keep using this specific language, which is not present in the power attack feat.

In relation to Power Attack, it would be, "Name a type of damage that does not deal hit point damage, but causes hit point loss?"

The answer is nonlethal.

I've given my interpretation for how to determine if something is dealing hit point damage. It has nothing to do with the target. If you continue to attempt to argue such a thing, be ready for me to get confused over what "your interpretation" is, because my interpretation doesn't need to check anything about the target whatsoever. I say this because I don't want you to think I'm putting words in your mouth.

Your definition was "damage that causes a loss of hit points is hit point damage". That would mean that if nonlethal does cause a loss of hit points, it is now hit point damage.

If you don't want that to be true, you need to present a different definition of what is hit point damage, because right now you are violating YOUR definition.

You aren't even arguing with me right now. You are losing an argument to yourself.


I don't even see the logic in not allowing power attack to non lethal.

You hit a guy on the head to knock him out.
You hit him harder to make sure he is knocked out. Like... it's just straight up logical.


I don't believe I used that as my definition. The correct one is "[Hit point damage] is subtracted from the current hit points of any creature struck by the weapon."

The distinction may not matter to you, just providing it to be clear.

Anyway, whether or not nonlethal overflow is hit point damage doesn't matter, as an effect "causing" anything is not checked by power attack, only the kind of damage it deals.

Cavall wrote:

I don't even see the logic in not allowing power attack to non lethal.

You hit a guy on the head to knock him out.
You hit him harder to make sure he is knocked out. Like... it's just straight up logical.

Well, nonlethal damage is pretty strange. If you wanted to consider the RAI in a life-like scenario, then I very much disagree with you. Nearly any head damage suffered by a person is at great risk of being life-threatening. Doesn't seem that nonlethal to me.

If you want to consider RAI based off what the text says, the description for Power Attack is: "You can make exceptionally deadly melee attacks by sacrificing accuracy for strength."

I don't know if I can conceive of an attack that is simultaneously "exceptionally deadly" and nonlethal.


Excepting that a sap does exactly that and it's non lethal. Unless you hit too hard. Then it could become lethal.

So you're not disagreeing with me at all.


Irontruth wrote:


You are telling me that we should violate the Power Attack rule. I've asked you for this "timing rule" you speak of, but you haven't shown it to me yet. If there is a timing rule, you would be right and it could supersede Power Attack.

As it is, you are explicitly telling us to go against RAW.

There is no timing rule that I am aware of. I am using this rule that describes what a die roll is. It says you roll the die and that bonuses are added and penalties are subtracted.

Getting Started wrote:
Whenever a roll is required, the roll is noted as "d#," with the "#" representing the number of sides on the die. If you need to roll multiple dice of the same type, there will be a number before the "d." For example, if you are required to roll 4d6, you should roll four six-sided dice and add the results together. Sometimes there will be a + or – after the notation, meaning that you add that number to, or subtract it from, the total results of the dice (not to each individual die rolled). Most die rolls in the game use a d20 with a number of modifiers based on the character's skills, his or her abilities, and the situation. Generally speaking, rolling high is better than rolling low. Percentile rolls are a special case, indicated as rolling d%. You can generate a random number in this range by rolling two differently colored ten-sided dice (2d10). Pick one color to represent the tens digit, then roll both dice. If the die chosen to be the tens digit rolls a "4" and the other d10 rolls a "2," then you've generated a 42. A zero on the tens digit die indicates a result from 1 to 9, or 100 if both dice result in a zero. Some d10s are printed with "10," "20," "30," and so on in order to make reading d% rolls easier. Unless otherwise noted, whenever you must round a number, always round down.

Why do you think "+X" can be added later?

Can "-X" be subtracted later?
How do you know when you can no longer +X or -X?

Your interpretation seems to require a timing rule, otherwise bonuses and penalties can happen at any time. My interpretation is that the +X or -X is actually part of the roll itself and is supported by the rule that instructs players what a roll is.

Also, this interpretation still doesn't even invalidate the "nonlethal damage is not hit point damage" position.

thaX wrote:


I get that there is a particular query on how Nonlethal works and it's relation to Hit Points. To say that Nonlethal is nothing, as Mallecks interpretation implies, is going beyond Rules As Written and breaks completely from Rules As Intended.

Nonlethal is a separate pool of HP, one that simulates the character taking lesser damage that bruises instead of cuts. It effects Lethal HP and makes it so the character will be taken out of combat much like he would be with Lethal Damage, being Knocked Out instead of Dying.

You can use Power Attack with Nonlethal Damage. Nothing is preventing you from doing this.

No, I believe that nonlethal damage is its own type of damage of "Nonlethal damage." I am unaware of characters having multiple HP statistics. The rules state that nonlethal damage is tallied and it is compared against the HP statistic.


Cavall wrote:

Excepting that a sap does exactly that and it's non lethal. Unless you hit too hard. Then it could become lethal.

So you're not disagreeing with me at all.

You'd still be delivering an attack that is "exceptionally deadly" and nonlethal. Because "deadly" and "lethal" are direct synonyms, that's the same as saying you are delivering an "exceptionally lethal nonlethal attack". In my opinion, any attack that is nonlethal, by definition, cannot be "exceptionally deadly".

But if that's how you want to read it, I suppose it isn't that big of a deal. As I've said before, I have no problem with people considering nonlethal hit point damage and using it for power attack. I'm sure it's perfectly internally consistent. You asked for the logic behind not including nonlethal for power attack, and that's it.

As a reminder, the main shape of the thread has been Irontruth's criticism that one cannot possibly interpret it my way, because my interpretation is not internally consistent and is demonstrably false. I am just defending that my interpretation is internally consistent, and doesn't cause the great upheaval of rules that he claims.


Mallecks wrote:
Irontruth wrote:


You are telling me that we should violate the Power Attack rule. I've asked you for this "timing rule" you speak of, but you haven't shown it to me yet. If there is a timing rule, you would be right and it could supersede Power Attack.

As it is, you are explicitly telling us to go against RAW.

There is no timing rule that I am aware of. I am using this rule that describes what a die roll is. It says you roll the die and that bonuses are added and penalties are subtracted.

Getting Started wrote:
Whenever a roll is required, the roll is noted as "d#," with the "#" representing the number of sides on the die. If you need to roll multiple dice of the same type, there will be a number before the "d." For example, if you are required to roll 4d6, you should roll four six-sided dice and add the results together. Sometimes there will be a + or – after the notation, meaning that you add that number to, or subtract it from, the total results of the dice (not to each individual die rolled). Most die rolls in the game use a d20 with a number of modifiers based on the character's skills, his or her abilities, and the situation. Generally speaking, rolling high is better than rolling low. Percentile rolls are a special case, indicated as rolling d%. You can generate a random number in this range by rolling two differently colored ten-sided dice (2d10). Pick one color to represent the tens digit, then roll both dice. If the die chosen to be the tens digit rolls a "4" and the other d10 rolls a "2," then you've generated a 42. A zero on the tens digit die indicates a result from 1 to 9, or 100 if both dice result in a zero. Some d10s are printed with "10," "20," "30," and so on in order to make reading d% rolls easier. Unless otherwise noted, whenever you must round a number, always round down.

Why do you think "+X" can be added later?

Can "-X" be subtracted later?
How do you know when you can no longer +X or -X?

Your interpretation seems to require a timing rule,...

The rules tell us what to add and subtract. I don't see anything about timing at all. I only see things about conditions, and a nonlethal attack that deals overflow meets all the conditions of Power Attack.

Power Attack is added when hit point damage is an effect.

You are telling me that Power Attack doesn't get added to hit point damage.

Why should I believe you over the book?


Butt_Luckily wrote:

I don't believe I used that as my definition. The correct one is "[Hit point damage] is subtracted from the current hit points of any creature struck by the weapon."

The distinction may not matter to you, just providing it to be clear.

Anyway, whether or not nonlethal overflow is hit point damage doesn't matter, as an effect "causing" anything is not checked by power attack, only the kind of damage it deals.

So, your "new" definition:

Hit point damage is damage caused by a weapon that subtracts from the targets hit points.

I'm paraphrasing slightly to see if I understand what you are trying to say. Feel free to correct me if I made a mistake, I want to make sure I understand your definition.

This vacillates between frustrating and amusing for me. It's frustrating, because the truth is so obvious, yet you two close your eyes and plug your ears and go "NANANANANANANA". Then it's amusing to watch you jump through hoops, torture the English language, and continue to say things that disprove your own points.

Your position is so blatantly bad here I can let you define hit point damage any way you want, and either it will be so bad as to be unusable, or it will prove you wrong. But I digress.

Did I get the new definition right? Or is there a correction to be made?


Irontruth wrote:

The rules tell us what to add and subtract. I don't see anything about timing at all. I only see things about conditions, and a nonlethal attack that deals overflow meets all the conditions of Power Attack.

Power Attack is added when hit point damage is an effect.

You are telling me that Power Attack doesn't get added to hit point damage.

Why should I believe you over the book?

There is no timing because it is a single thing. A die roll result is the numbers on the die +X and/or -Y. It is a single action that is performed.

Your interpretation requires some type of limitation on when you can and can't add bonuses and penalties. Otherwise, bonuses and penalties can happen "at any time" depending on the conditions. Would you agree that a bonus or penalty could happen turns later, if the conditions are met then? According to you, there is no timing rule, so even if turns pass, if conditions are met later to provide a bonus, it should happen, right?

Also, you STILL haven't demonstrated how this breaks the Power Attack rule. Even if we use your homebrew calculation rule where bonuses and penalties can be added at any time, it still doesn't change that my position is internally consistent.

Whenever you check conditions for Power Attack, if it's hit point damage, you get the bonus damage. If you believe this means you can compare it against the nonlethal overflow, then sure, it should get the bonus damage as well.

Where is the problem, exactly?


Irontruth wrote:

So, your "new" definition:

Hit point damage is damage caused by a weapon that subtracts from the targets hit points.

I'm paraphrasing slightly to see if I understand what you are trying to say. Feel free to correct me if I made a mistake, I want to make sure I understand your definition.

This vacillates between frustrating and amusing for me. It's frustrating, because the truth is so obvious, yet you two close your eyes and plug your ears and go "NANANANANANANA". Then it's amusing to watch you jump through hoops, torture the English language, and continue to say things that disprove your own points.

Your position is so blatantly bad here I can let you define hit point damage any way you want, and either it will be so bad as to be unusable, or it will prove you wrong. But I digress.

Did I get the new definition right? Or is there a correction to be made?

The weapon is not required, of course. It is mentioned because the definition is found in the weapon rules.

Again, I was merely providing the wording to be clear. I am not too sure the distinction matters, but since you are hyper-focused on what is explicitly in the text, it seemed odd for you to continually paraphrase them. If you feel that there's no change from what you were arguing before, that's fine.

Still, the question of nonlethal overflow is not applicable to power attack, because an attack deals "nonlethal", not "nonlethal overflow". If you were to begin to consider overflow damage, you have already left my interpretation, and have now begun something else that no one is arguing for (Based off what I have read so far, this applies to Mallecks's interpretation as well, if I'm wrong on that Mallecks, please feel free to correct).


Yes, it's the same for me.

But the weird part is that it doesn't even break in his interpretation either, so I'm confused which rule he thinks we are breaking. He won't explain how we are breaking the rule.


Adventure Path Charter Subscriber
Mallecks wrote:
No, I believe that nonlethal damage is its own type of damage of "Nonlethal damage." I am unaware of characters having multiple HP statistics. The rules state that nonlethal damage is tallied and it is compared against the HP statistic.

It is a bit different from your run-of-the-mill hit point damage, but that doesn't prevent it from being also a type of hit point damage. So let's try a different exercise in looking at hit point damage.

You can certainly think of non-lethal damage behavior being similar to the way hit point damage normally interacts with DR. If you don't roll enough damage, it's ignored. But if you do, it deducts from the target's pool of hit points. It only does actual hit point damage when the prior defense is overcome. Either way, whether DR is overcome or not, you're still rolling your damage in hit points of damage and therefore power attack applies.

Non-lethal is similar in that it will also inflict hit point damage when it overcomes the prior defense - in this case, the target's regular pool of hit points. Once you exceed those, you're doing regular hit point damage. And it's all rolled exactly the same, so whether you're overcoming that defense or not, you really are rolling your damage in hit points and power attack, which applies to attacks that do hit point damage, applies to the non-lethal damage roll as well.


Butt_Luckily wrote:
Irontruth wrote:

So, your "new" definition:

Hit point damage is damage caused by a weapon that subtracts from the targets hit points.

I'm paraphrasing slightly to see if I understand what you are trying to say. Feel free to correct me if I made a mistake, I want to make sure I understand your definition.

This vacillates between frustrating and amusing for me. It's frustrating, because the truth is so obvious, yet you two close your eyes and plug your ears and go "NANANANANANANA". Then it's amusing to watch you jump through hoops, torture the English language, and continue to say things that disprove your own points.

Your position is so blatantly bad here I can let you define hit point damage any way you want, and either it will be so bad as to be unusable, or it will prove you wrong. But I digress.

Did I get the new definition right? Or is there a correction to be made?

The weapon is not required, of course. It is mentioned because the definition is found in the weapon rules.

Again, I was merely providing the wording to be clear. I am not too sure the distinction matters, but since you are hyper-focused on what is explicitly in the text, it seemed odd for you to continually paraphrase them. If you feel that there's no change from what you were arguing before, that's fine.

Still, the question of nonlethal overflow is not applicable to power attack, because an attack deals "nonlethal", not "nonlethal overflow". If you were to begin to consider overflow damage, you have already left my interpretation, and have now begun something else that no one is arguing for (Based off what I have read so far, this applies to Mallecks's interpretation as well, if I'm wrong on that Mallecks, please feel free to correct).

You're right, attacks deal "nontlethal".

And the property of what happens when nonlethal exceeds the target's capacity is the same for ALL nonlethal damage. "Nonlethal overflow" is not a damage type, it is what nonlethal does. It is a characteristic of how NONLETHAL behaves. I guess I can take the blame for introducing the phrase "nonlethal overflow". It seems to have confused the two of you into thinking I was treating it as a specific damage type. I'm not. I am treating it like nonlethal damage, and the rules tell me how that damage behaves.

So, your interpretation has to account for how nonlethal damage behaves. Which includes what happens when the damage exceeds the target's capacity.

At that point, we know that nonlethal then subtracts from the targets hit points.

Explain to me how nonlethal subtracting from the targets hit points isn't hit point damage, even though it is literally damaging hit points. If you want to pretend that nonlethal damage isn't damaging the targets hit points, you can, but you are violating the rule book.

Violating the rules of the game to justify other violations of the rules of the game in order to justify a "RAW" interpretation strikes me as particularly ironic, but it will be par for the course for you two.


Just a reminder that according to this thread, Damage reduction applies to ability damage.


Bill Dunn wrote:

It is a bit different from your run-of-the-mill hit point damage, but that doesn't prevent it from being also a type of hit point damage. So let's try a different exercise in looking at hit point damage.

You can certainly think of non-lethal damage behavior being similar to the way hit point damage normally interacts with DR. If you don't roll enough damage, it's ignored. But if you do, it deducts from the target's pool of hit points. It only does actual hit point damage when the prior defense is overcome. Either way, whether DR is overcome or not, you're still rolling your damage in hit points of damage and therefore power attack applies.

Non-lethal is similar in that it will also inflict hit point damage when it overcomes the prior defense - in this case, the target's regular pool of hit points. Once you exceed those, you're doing regular hit point damage. And it's all rolled exactly the same, so whether you're overcoming that defense or not, you really are rolling your damage in hit points and power attack, which applies to attacks that do hit point damage, applies to the non-lethal damage roll as well.

I understand the other side's position. People are claiming that my position is not logically consistent, and so far the only hang up is Irontruth claiming that Power Attack has a rule that is being broken, but this requires someone to ignore the rule on making rolls so the bonus can be added at any point in time instead of on the damage roll.

If you have a specific issue, please let me know and I'm sure we can clear up any confusion. My position follows:

P1: Hit Point Damage damages hit points.
P2: Nonlethal damage doesn't damage hit points.
C: Nonlethal damage is not hit point damage.

Irontruth wrote:

You're right, attacks deal "nontlethal".

And the property of what happens when nonlethal exceeds the target's capacity is the same for ALL nonlethal damage. "Nonlethal overflow" is not a damage type, it is what nonlethal does. It is a characteristic of how NONLETHAL behaves. I guess I can take the blame for introducing the phrase "nonlethal overflow". It seems to have confused the two of you into thinking I was treating it as a specific damage type. I'm not. I am treating it like nonlethal damage, and the rules tell me how that damage behaves.

So, your interpretation has to account for how nonlethal damage behaves. Which includes what happens when the damage exceeds the target's capacity.

At that point, we know that nonlethal then subtracts from the targets hit points.

Explain to me how nonlethal subtracting from the targets hit points isn't hit point damage, even though it is literally damaging hit points. If you want to pretend that nonlethal damage isn't damaging the targets hit points, you can, but you are violating the rule book.

Violating the rules of the game to justify other violations of the rules of the game in order to justify a "RAW" interpretation strikes me as particularly ironic, but it will be par for the course for you two.

I agree that "nonlethal overflow" is hit point damage. And, based on your homebrew interpretation of bonuses interact with die rolls, you would be able to get the Power Attack bonus. This does not invalidate my position, and it is not surprising that you are getting a damage bonus via Power Attack when you would not normally be able to if you decide to ignore rules.

However, I completely agree that you would get the bonus with that interpretation and circumstances.

willuwontu wrote:
Just a reminder that according to this thread, Damage reduction applies to ability damage.

I don't remember anyone making this claim, you will need to be more specific about which side you are talking about and how such a thing would happen.

The only assumptions for my position are:

P1: Hit Point Damage damages hit points.
P2: Nonlethal damage doesn't damage hit points.
C: Nonlethal damage is not hit point damage.

Everything else should behave the same, so I'm not sure how my position would suddenly cause this.


Bill Dunn, we already understand the various ways people interpret nonlethal damage to be hit point damage. From the beginning, we have said that we are sure this is a perfectly fine way to play that is internally consistent. The discussion at hand is whether or not our interpretation is internally consistent.

Irontruth wrote:

You're right, attacks deal "nontlethal".

And the property of what happens when nonlethal exceeds the target's capacity is the same for ALL nonlethal damage. "Nonlethal overflow" is not a damage type, it is what nonlethal does. It is a characteristic of how NONLETHAL behaves. I guess I can take the blame for introducing the phrase "nonlethal overflow". It seems to have confused the two of you into thinking I was treating it as a specific damage type. I'm not. I am treating it like nonlethal damage, and the rules tell me how that damage behaves.

So, your interpretation has to account for how nonlethal damage behaves. Which includes what happens when the damage exceeds the target's capacity.

At that point, we know that nonlethal then subtracts from the targets hit points.

Explain to me how nonlethal subtracting from the targets hit points isn't hit point damage, even though it is literally damaging hit points. If you want to pretend that nonlethal damage isn't damaging the targets hit points, you can, but you are violating the rule book.

Violating the rules of the game to justify other violations of the rules of the game in order to justify a "RAW" interpretation strikes me as particularly ironic, but it will be par for the course for you two.

Again, whether or not nonlethal overflow is hit point damage does not need to be considered, because what matters is the kind of damage the effect deals. As I said before, it is more of a definition look-up than application result.

Even if you were to interpret nonlethal overflow to be hit point damage, this is a specific rule that is not checked at the time of consideration of nonlethal for power attack, because, at that time, you do not have nonlethal overflow damage.

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber

See, your seeing Apples and comparing it to Oranges here.

Nonlethal is only different than Lethal because it is a measure of what the character can take before being Knocked Out rather then Killed Outright.

Both of the Damages from Weapons is HP damage. It says it is in the Weapon section, which has been pointed out in this very thread.

So, Mallecks says it doesn't matter when the 'overflow' happens for Nonlethal. Are you now saying that it is viable to use with Power Attack? Or are you saying Power Attack can't be used with Lethal or Nonlethal Damage, that the feat is broken because of this issue?

Or are you trying to say something else, but failing because of an overly long post and lost your place at some point?


Adventure Path Charter Subscriber
Mallecks wrote:

If you have a specific issue, please let me know and I'm sure we can clear up any confusion. My position follows:

P1: Hit Point Damage damages hit points.
P2: Nonlethal damage doesn't damage hit points.
C: Nonlethal damage is not hit point damage.

Except that there are clearly situations in which non-lethal damage does damage hit points so P2 cannot be said to be always true.


thaX wrote:

See, your seeing Apples and comparing it to Oranges here.

Nonlethal is only different than Lethal because it is a measure of what the character can take before being Knocked Out rather then Killed Outright.

Both of the Damages from Weapons is HP damage. It says it is in the Weapon section, which has been pointed out in this very thread.

So, Mallecks says it doesn't matter when the 'overflow' happens for Nonlethal. Are you now saying that it is viable to use with Power Attack? Or are you saying Power Attack can't be used with Lethal or Nonlethal Damage, that the feat is broken because of this issue?

Or are you trying to say something else, but failing because of an overly long post and lost your place at some point?

We understand how people consider nonlethal hit point damage. There's no issue there (at this time, anyway). The current discussion is whether our interpretation is internally consistent.

But I wouldn't cite the weapons rule to show that nonlethal damage is hit point damage. Weapons describes hit point damage as being subtracted from hit points, and nonlethal specifically says to not deduct from hit points.

It probably does matter 'when' overflow happens for some abilities, find one and we can discuss it. The primary focus so far, however, has been on Power Attack, and to Power Attack it doesn't matter, because it doesn't need to be considered at all.

Bill Dunn wrote:
Except that there are clearly situations in which non-lethal damage does damage hit points so P2 cannot be said to be always true.

Well, that probably depends on one's interpretation of nonlethal overflow (unless you're referring to some other scenario).

In any case, for power attack(and similar abilities) it can be thought of either a definition lookup (similar to how Mallecks laid it out), or using the general rule over the specific. For determining the kind of damage an effect deals, it is not "Is this 8 nonlethal damage being applied to the target hit point damage?" (especially because the die has not been rolled yet), it is "Is nonlethal damage hit point damage?".

To be clear, this is just my interpretation of the rules. I understand yours may be different.


Mallecks wrote:

P1: Hit Point Damage damages hit points.
P2: Nonlethal damage doesn't damage hit points.
C: Nonlethal damage is not hit point damage.

As Bill Dunn said, P2 is patently false.

Nonlethal damage doesnt' ALWAYS damage hit points, but it CAN damage hit points. The conditions and specifics are laid out in the rule book, and if you claim otherwise you are saying that the rule book is wrong.

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