Is nonlethal damage considered hit point damage?


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Butt_Luckily wrote:


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).

It only depends on whether you decide to do what the book tells you, or to make something up on your own.

You and Mallecks are making something up on your own. Nonlethal damage does do damage to hit points. For you to claim otherwise is patently false and does not follow the rule book. If you want to say that that is wrong, don't @me, you should instead address your comments to the Paizo rules design team.


thaX wrote:

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?

It depends on exactly what you are talking about. In my recent posts, I have been talking about the combination of my position on Nonlethal AND Irontruth's position on what a roll is.

Irontruth seems to believe that you can add a bonus or subtract a penalty "at any time" because of the lack of a "timing rule."

So, IF you believe that bonuses and penalties can effect the total of a die roll "at any time" instead of being part of the action of "making a roll," then it is possible for nonlethal overflow to interact with Power Attack, and therefore, you would get the bonus when nonlethal damage exceeds HP.

However, played normally, it is not possible for a nonlethal attack to benefit from Power Attack.

Scenario 1:
A: Nonlethal damage is not hit point damage
B: Penalties/Bonuses can modify a die roll at any time (even after it has been rolled)
1. Choose to use Power Attack
2. Make a nonlethal attack roll and succeed.
3. Roll damage (not eligible for Power Attack based on A)
4. Abilities/effects/etc. modify the damage (Such as damage reduction)
5. Target takes the damage, some of the nonlethal damage is in excess of the target's HP and is therefore considered lethal damage
6. Target takes the additional PA attack damage (roll modified based on B)

Scenario 2: Penalties/Bonuses to die rolls can only happen at the die roll
A: Nonlethal damage is not hit point damage
B: Penalties/Bonuses only modify a die roll when it is rolled.
1. Choose to use Power Attack
2. Make a nonlethal attack roll and succeed.
3. Roll damage (not eligible for Power Attack based on A)
4. Abilities/effects/etc. modify the damage (such as damage reduction)
5. Target takes the damage, some of the nonlethal damage is in excess of the target's HP and is therefore considered lethal damage.

I should warn that the idea of bonuses and penalties being added after the roll is complete is not a good idea, has you will need to keep track of each damage result and modify the numbers has conditions change over the course of the combat.

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.

I am unaware of a scenario where nonlethal damage can reduce hit points.

If you are referring to "nonlethal overflow", the rules say to treat the nonlethal damage as lethal damage. I don't normally consider lethal damage to be nonlethal damage, so I don't consider the nonlethal overflow to be nonlethal damage.

Irontruth wrote:

It only depends on whether you decide to do what the book tells you, or to make something up on your own.

You and Mallecks are making something up on your own. Nonlethal damage does do damage to hit points. For you to claim otherwise is patently false and does not follow the rule book. If you want to say that that is wrong, don't @me, you should instead address your comments to the Paizo rules design team.

I am unaware of any reference to nonlethal damage reducing hit points.

There is a case where you treat nonlethal damage as lethal damage and lethal damage reduces hit points. However, I don't normally consider lethal damage as nonlethal damage, so I don't consider this to be a case of nonlethal damage reducing hit points.

If this issue continues to come up, we may want to instead refer to it as "lethal overflow" to reinforce that it is lethal damage and not nonlethal damage.

Irontruth, I feel that the Power Attack issue is resolved. If you feel that you can add/subtract bonuses at any time instead of at the time of the roll, you are able to get the Power Attack bonus on a nonlethal attack (if it rolls over). This is not an ideal position, because it greatly impacts the way tracking damage works in combat, but is ultimately "correct."

Please feel free to bring up your next discussion point you alluded to earlier.


Mallecks wrote:
thaX wrote:

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?

It depends on exactly what you are talking about. In my recent posts, I have been talking about the combination of my position on Nonlethal AND Irontruth's position on what a roll is.

Irontruth seems to believe that you can add a bonus or subtract a penalty "at any time" because of the lack of a "timing rule."

So, IF you believe that bonuses and penalties can effect the total of a die roll "at any time" instead of being part of the action of "making a roll," then it is possible for nonlethal overflow to interact with Power Attack, and therefore, you would get the bonus when nonlethal damage exceeds HP.

This is the RULES forums. Therefore, lets discuss the RULES.

I have laid out how to follow the rules for Power Attack. You seem to suggest that there is some sort of "timing" issue with how I do this, but you have not put forward a rule that tells us what that issue is.

Power Attack adds to hit point damage. Therefore if you aren't adding it, you are breaking the rules.

If you think I am breaking a rule, please post it.

And since you're a goldfish and don't remember rules that have been posted well over a hundred times in this thread:

PFSRD Nonlethal 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.

But let's double check to make sure we know what lethal damage does.

PFSRD Loss of Hit Points wrote:

Loss of Hit Points

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.

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.

The rule book disagrees with you.


Irontruth wrote:

This is the RULES forums. Therefore, lets discuss the RULES.

I have laid out how to follow the rules for Power Attack. You seem to suggest that there is some sort of "timing" issue with how I do this, but you have not put forward a rule that tells us what that issue is.

Power Attack adds to hit point damage. Therefore if you aren't adding it, you are breaking the rules.

If you think I am breaking a rule, please post it.

And since you're a goldfish and don't remember rules that have been posted well over a hundred times in this thread:

PFSRD Nonlethal 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.

But let's double check to make sure we know what lethal damage does.

PFSRD Loss of Hit Points wrote:

Loss of Hit Points

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.

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.

The rule book disagrees with you.

Well, the rules say that the bonus or penalty to a roll is a part of the roll. If you want to add bonuses and subtract penalties some other time, this isn't how it works and creates very silly situations.

Based on your current argument for how "rolling" works (that rolls are never over and can be at any time), then when a nonlethal attack deals lethal overflow, it would modify the attack roll and change it to possibly be below the target's AC.

I have an archer with point blank shot. I shoot someone with an arrow, then move within 30 feet of them. They suddenly take an extra point of damage.

And for the rest, we believe "treats as" means different things. I believe that when it says "treats as" I should actually treat it as the thing it tells me too. You appear to believe that it retains some of its original qualities. We have no guidance on this, so we will have to agree to disagree here.

But, again...

With your interpretation of "rolling" and my interpretation of "nonlethal damage is not hit point damage", you would indeed get the bonus damage to Power Attack. So, we agree on this point.


I'm adding Power Attack to the roll. Just like the rules tell me to.

Feel free to reference the rule book if there's something I'm missing.

As for "treat as", you are literally doing the opposite of what you claim you are doing. You are NOT treating it as the thing the books says to treat it as. Otherwise you would be adding in Power Attack, because lethal damage is eligible for Power Attack.


Irontruth wrote:

This is the RULES forums. Therefore, lets discuss the RULES.

I have laid out how to follow the rules for Power Attack. You seem to suggest that there is some sort of "timing" issue with how I do this, but you have not put forward a rule that tells us what that issue is.

We have, you just disagree with the interpretation of the rule, and that's OK.

Irontruth wrote:

Power Attack adds to hit point damage. Therefore if you aren't adding it, you are breaking the rules.

To be clear, power attack does not add to hit point damage. It adds to the damage roll on effects that deal hit point damage. Just as there are attacks that deal hit point damage and do not cause the target to lose hit points, there are attacks that do not deal hit point damage and cause the target to lose hit points.

Whether you want to consider that loss of hit points to still be nonlethal damage is up for debate, but that doesn't change that the attack did not deal hit point damage.

Irontruth wrote:
If you think I am breaking a rule, please post it.

I don't think anyone has accused you of breaking a rule, I'm not sure why you would say this.

Irontruth wrote:

And since you're a goldfish and don't remember rules that have been posted well over a hundred times in this thread:

PFSRD Nonlethal 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.

But let's double check to make sure we know what lethal damage does.

PFSRD Loss of Hit Points wrote:
...
The rule book disagrees with you.

Sure,we may disagree on what "all further nonlethal damage is treated as" means. Luckily, this question need not be answered for power attack, because our interpretation does not require a specific rule check.

If you continue to argue that nonlethal overflow is a problem for power attack, be prepared for me to be confused over what "your interpretation" is, because in mine power attack does not interact with nonlethal overflow in any way.


Irontruth wrote:

I'm adding Power Attack to the roll. Just like the rules tell me to.

Feel free to reference the rule book if there's something I'm missing.

As for "treat as", you are literally doing the opposite of what you claim you are doing. You are NOT treating it as the thing the books says to treat it as. Otherwise you would be adding in Power Attack, because lethal damage is eligible for Power Attack.

Given your interpretation of how "rolling" works, and my interpretation of "nonlethal damage is not hit point damage", then you would indeed get the Power Attack bonus.

If you can't accept my agreement that this would be accurate, how do we move on? We are in agreement on this point.


Butt_Luckily wrote:
Irontruth wrote:

This is the RULES forums. Therefore, lets discuss the RULES.

I have laid out how to follow the rules for Power Attack. You seem to suggest that there is some sort of "timing" issue with how I do this, but you have not put forward a rule that tells us what that issue is.

We have, you just disagree with the interpretation of the rule, and that's OK.

My sincere apologies, I must have missed it.

What page are the timing rules for rolls on? If you don't have a book handy, a PFSRD quote will suffice.


Irontruth wrote:

My sincere apologies, I must have missed it.

What page are the timing rules for rolls on? If you don't have a book handy, a PFSRD quote will suffice.

Pathfinder Core Rule Book(6th Edition) Page 8 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.

Here it is.

This is the description of what a roll is according to the rule book. Basically, a roll is XdY+Z. This is determined by the emphasized text.

No "timing" rule is required, because it all a single action.

If you believe that bonuses and penalties can be added after the roll is complete, then you run into major issues.

All the arrows fired by an Archer with Point Blank Shot dynamically gain/lose 1 damage depending on how far away the archer is, for example.


The discussion of timing of steps doesn't matter.

We've given our interpretation of how one determines if an effect deals hit point damage.

If it does, we apply the bonus. If it doesn't, we don't.

We certainly meet the requirements for power attack, and so the only real question is if there is some problem with our method of determining what is/isn't hit point damage.


Mallecks wrote:
Irontruth wrote:

My sincere apologies, I must have missed it.

What page are the timing rules for rolls on? If you don't have a book handy, a PFSRD quote will suffice.

Pathfinder Core Rule Book(6th Edition) Page 8 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.

Here it is.

This is the description of what a roll is according to the rule book. Basically, a roll is XdY+Z. This is determined by the emphasized text.

No "timing" rule is required, because it all a single action.

If you believe that bonuses and penalties can be added after the roll is complete, then you run into major issues.

All the arrows fired by an Archer with Point Blank Shot dynamically gain/lose 1 damage depending on how far away the...

I'm modifying the roll. I have never disagreed with that statement. We aren't modifying the dice, but just the total result.

Since the hit points that are lost are the end result, that is the number that gets modified by each spell, feat, ability that the roll interacts with. I am following this to the letter.


Butt_Luckily wrote:

The discussion of timing of steps doesn't matter.

We've given our interpretation of how one determines if an effect deals hit point damage.

If it does, we apply the bonus. If it doesn't, we don't.

We certainly meet the requirements for power attack, and so the only real question is if there is some problem with our method of determining what is/isn't hit point damage.

Your determination of whether an effect deals hit point damage excludes times where an effect deals hit point damage. You've even proven as much by your own definitions. The discussing of timing does matter, because you are saying that a determination is made at a certain point and cannot change after that. I don't see anything in the rules about that, and then your determination fails at correctly predicting if a target loses hit points, so obviously it is false.

You can't even interpret your own interpretations correctly. That's how bad you are at this.

Basically your argument boils down to "because I said so". And that isn't good enough in this forum. If you'd like to go to the homebrew forums, you can make up whatever rules you'd like.


Irontruth wrote:

I'm modifying the roll. I have never disagreed with that statement. We aren't modifying the dice, but just the total result.

Since the hit points that are lost are the end result, that is the number that gets modified by each spell, feat, ability that the roll interacts with. I am following this to the letter.

The rule doesn't say to modify the end result. The rules says to modify the dice total, which may or may not be the end result eventually, depending on the circumstances.


Total result and end result are synonyms in the english language. Unless you are arguing that the game defines them specifically and differently. In which case I'd like to see that.

I modify the total result of the dice, just like the rules tell me to.

Power Attack says it modifies damage rolls that deal hit point damage. So I follow the rules for Power Attack.

You claim that there is an exception to this, but have not provided a source that backs up that claim. Show me the source and I'll believe you. Otherwise you're just wasting both ours time.


Irontruth wrote:

Your determination of whether an effect deals hit point damage excludes times where an effect deals hit point damage. You've even proven as much by your own definitions. The discussing of timing does matter, because you are saying that a determination is made at a certain point and cannot change after that. I don't see anything in the rules about that, and then your determination fails at correctly predicting if a target loses hit points, so obviously it is false.

You can't even interpret your own interpretations correctly. That's how bad you are at this.

Basically your argument boils down to "because I said so". And that isn't good enough in this forum. If you'd like to go to the homebrew forums, you can make up whatever rules you'd like.

We check the rules for the kind of damage used on the damage roll. You check the rules for the actual damage that the target takes.

So, no, our interpretation never allows for a situation where an effect that deals hit point damage is excluded. The answer is static and unchanging, so timing never matters.

It would be more accurate to say that effects that deal hit point damage in our interpretation exclude times where an effect deals hit point damage in your interpretation. Thankfully, we don't need to care about this scenario. Why would anyone combine two different interpretations for the same thing?


At the time of the roll, how do you know that the damage doesn't qualify for Power Attack?


Irontruth wrote:
At the time of the roll, how do you know that the damage doesn't qualify for Power Attack?

By checking the rules for the kind of damage on the damage roll.


What kind of damage doesn't qualify for Power Attack?


Any that is not subtracted from a target's hit points.


Nonlethal subtracts from the targets hit points.

You guys keep trying to claim it doesn't, but the rules clearly lay out the conditions under which it does. So, I'm going to believe the rulebook over you.

Score:
Rule book: 1
You: 0


Irontruth wrote:

Total result and end result are synonyms in the english language. Unless you are arguing that the game defines them specifically and differently. In which case I'd like to see that.

I modify the total result of the dice, just like the rules tell me to.

Power Attack says it modifies damage rolls that deal hit point damage. So I follow the rules for Power Attack.

You claim that there is an exception to this, but have not provided a source that backs up that claim. Show me the source and I'll believe you. Otherwise you're just wasting both ours time.

Well, I think that in some circumstances, total result and end result could be synonymous. However, in this circumstance you are trying to equate "total results of the dice" with your own personal term "end result of the attack" and these two things are not synonymous.

And again..

Given your personal interpretation, you would get the Power Attack bonus. Who cares that we disagree on this? If you believe that this is how it truly is, then you are correct in that you would get the bonus. And my stance is still logically consistent.


Irontruth wrote:

Nonlethal subtracts from the targets hit points.

You guys keep trying to claim it doesn't, but the rules clearly lay out the conditions under which it does. So, I'm going to believe the rulebook over you.

Score:
Rule book: 1
You: 0

I'm assuming you refer to nonlethal overflow.

When making the determination, Power Attack is not comparing an amount of nonlethal damage to a creature's maximum hp, so the specific rule for nonlethal overflow is not applicable.


Butt_Luckily wrote:
Irontruth wrote:

Nonlethal subtracts from the targets hit points.

You guys keep trying to claim it doesn't, but the rules clearly lay out the conditions under which it does. So, I'm going to believe the rulebook over you.

Score:
Rule book: 1
You: 0

I'm assuming you refer to nonlethal overflow.

When making the determination, Power Attack is not comparing an amount of nonlethal damage to a creature's maximum hp, so the specific rule for nonlethal overflow is not applicable.

You're not making any sense.

I asked you how to make the determination. You told me it has to subtract from the target's hit points. I followed that, but you tell me it is wrong.

Please tell me the correct method to know if something is hit point damage.

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber

Less HP to work with to stay conscious. Nonlethal effects HP just as Lethal does. Tell me, if Nonlethal damage is not HP, then what is it? Str Dmg? Poison? Radiation? A pool of points for fun and the glory of Math? A Salamander?


Mallecks wrote:
Irontruth wrote:

Total result and end result are synonyms in the english language. Unless you are arguing that the game defines them specifically and differently. In which case I'd like to see that.

I modify the total result of the dice, just like the rules tell me to.

Power Attack says it modifies damage rolls that deal hit point damage. So I follow the rules for Power Attack.

You claim that there is an exception to this, but have not provided a source that backs up that claim. Show me the source and I'll believe you. Otherwise you're just wasting both ours time.

Well, I think that in some circumstances, total result and end result could be synonymous. However, in this circumstance you are trying to equate "total results of the dice" with your own personal term "end result of the attack" and these two things are not synonymous.

And again..

Given your personal interpretation, you would get the Power Attack bonus. Who cares that we disagree on this? If you believe that this is how it truly is, then you are correct in that you would get the bonus. And my stance is still logically consistent.

No, this is not my personal interpretation. Power Attack explicitly says what it does and doesn't apply to. Nonlethal rules explicitly state under what circumstances it subtracts from hit points. If you argue that either of these isn't true, you are making s!%$ up.

This isn't cable news, having an opinion on something doesn't make you a valid commentator. You are arguing against the explicit instructions in the rule book. You are arguing with facts about the game.

If I said, "Your Strength modifier doesn't apply to melee damage rolls ever," you would rightly claim that I am not paying attention to the rules. My opinion would not be valid.

Just because you have an opinion, doesn't mean you are right, nor that your opinion is worthwhile to others.


thaX wrote:
Less HP to work with to stay conscious. Nonlethal effects HP just as Lethal does. Tell me, if Nonlethal damage is not HP, then what is it? Str Dmg? Poison? Radiation? A pool of points for fun and the glory of Math? A Salamander?

Nonlethal damage represents harm to a character that is not life-threatening. The unit of measure is hit points.

Irontruth wrote:

You're not making any sense.

I asked you how to make the determination. You told me it has to subtract from the target's hit points. I followed that, but you tell me it is wrong.

Please tell me the correct method to know if something is hit point damage.

It's unclear how you get to the wrong answer. It appears either we disagree on what to make the determination for, or we disagree that specific rules should only be considered in situations where they are applicable.


Irontruth I do have to ask then If a target has ablative barrier or DR 5/- going and my damage roll before power attack is 5 or less then i don't get to add PA to still deal some form of damage to the target correct?


Irontruth wrote:

No, this is not my personal interpretation. Power Attack explicitly says what it does and doesn't apply to. Nonlethal rules explicitly state under what circumstances it subtracts from hit points. If you argue that either of these isn't true, you are making s%&$ up.

This isn't cable news, having an opinion on something doesn't make you a valid commentator. You are arguing against the explicit instructions in the rule book. You are arguing with facts about the game.

If I said, "Your Strength modifier doesn't apply to melee damage rolls ever," you would rightly claim that I am not paying attention to the rules. My opinion would not be valid.

Just because you have an opinion, doesn't mean you are right, nor that your opinion is worthwhile to others.

Currently, our disagreement is on what a "roll" is. I am using the literal text of the rulebook to make my determination on what a roll is. You are using your own made up term "end result of the attack," saying it is equivalent (even though it isn't), and then claiming this is the RAW and that my literal reading of the rule is not RAW.

It's OK that you like to play how you want, but you shouldn't claim that it is RAW.

The literal text of the rulebook has been provided. the + or - X from a roll modifies the "total result of the dice." If my weapon type determines I roll 1d8 and I get +2 from a bonus (such as Power Attack), when I roll a 3, the +2 is added to the number that comes up on the die.

If I can add bonuses whenever I want, you have silly things like...

I attack target and roll 3 damage. The target has DR5/-. The damage is reduced to zero. Then I add my +2 and the target takes 2 damage.

Again, you can play with zany dice rolls where bonuses and penalties are dynamic and can be added/removed at any time. However, the text in the book says that these bonuses/penalties modify the result of the dice rolls, not the result of the attack.


Talonhawke wrote:
Irontruth I do have to ask then If a target has ablative barrier or DR 5/- going and my damage roll before power attack is 5 or less then i don't get to add PA to still deal some form of damage to the target correct?

From my perspective.... nonlethal is always hit point damage. The test of "hit point damage: yes/no?" is not "does it", but "could it", and we have no sorts of weirdness or issues.

The issue is if we (as Mallecks and Butt_Luckily propose) we make the test "does it" cause hit damage, then we get into all sorts of weirdness, such as with Power Attack and Ablative Barrier.

If nonlethal is no longer hit point damage, then yes, all of sudden you lose the PA bonus if you don't exceed the Ablative Barrier threshhold. I personally don't think this is a good way to interpret the game, and I think it introduces complexity and confusion. This is also why I'm opposed to this definition of "hit point damage".


Mallecks wrote:
Irontruth wrote:

No, this is not my personal interpretation. Power Attack explicitly says what it does and doesn't apply to. Nonlethal rules explicitly state under what circumstances it subtracts from hit points. If you argue that either of these isn't true, you are making s%&$ up.

This isn't cable news, having an opinion on something doesn't make you a valid commentator. You are arguing against the explicit instructions in the rule book. You are arguing with facts about the game.

If I said, "Your Strength modifier doesn't apply to melee damage rolls ever," you would rightly claim that I am not paying attention to the rules. My opinion would not be valid.

Just because you have an opinion, doesn't mean you are right, nor that your opinion is worthwhile to others.

Currently, our disagreement is on what a "roll" is. I am using the literal text of the rulebook to make my determination on what a roll is. You are using your own made up term "end result of the attack," saying it is equivalent (even though it isn't), and then claiming this is the RAW and that my literal reading of the rule is not RAW.

It's OK that you like to play how you want, but you shouldn't claim that it is RAW.

The literal text of the rulebook has been provided. the + or - X from a roll modifies the "total result of the dice." If my weapon type determines I roll 1d8 and I get +2 from a bonus (such as Power Attack), when I roll a 3, the +2 is added to the number that comes up on the die.

If I can add bonuses whenever I want, you have silly things like...

I attack target and roll 3 damage. The target has DR5/-. The damage is reduced to zero. Then I add my +2 and the target takes 2 damage.

Again, you can play with zany dice rolls where bonuses and penalties are dynamic and can be added/removed at any time. However, the text in the book says that these bonuses/penalties modify the result of the dice rolls, not the result of the attack.

I'm adding it to the dice.

1d8+3 (+2 more if the target loses hit points)

Conditional modifiers exist in this game. We've literally been talking about a conditional modifier this whole thread. I'm not adding the bonus to some other number, I'm adding it to the roll.

If I get +2d6 damage versus evil targets, do I add it to all damage that I roll? Or do I have to make a conditional check on the target's alignment to determine if that value is added in? What if the DM doesn't want to reveal their alignment? Do you give one total, or two?


You do not have an accurate view of our interpretation.

The "does it" is checking the kind of damage on the roll, not the kind of damage that the target takes.


And how do you know that it doesn't do hit point damage?

It feels like I understand your position better than you do. I get what you are trying to say, but you aren't actually saying that. Tell me the method of determining what is and isn't hit point damage.

Also, what rule states when you check, or that you check at a specific time?

And don't just tell me your method. Make sure to back up each point with a specific rule from the book. Like, I can back up each portion of nonlethal (191) being hit point damage (189), which then is eligible for Power Attack (131). Each of these is explicit, and the logic progression from each is clear and concise.

Where do I find the rules for the timing of when to add, and not add, modifiers to rolls? You guys have cited the rule for adding modifiers to a roll, but that rule doesn't say that there is a time limit, or some sort of window of availability to which modifiers are available, but become unavailable later.

Note, that even if the bonus is added in later in the process, it is still the exact same action and roll that is being discussed and nothing else has actually happened in the game. There is no intervening passage of time that has happened if PA gets applied to excess nonlethal. It is all in the same exact moment.

A Fireball spell has a duration of "instantaneous", but we all recognize that it takes us, the humans playing this game, a moment or two to calculate the consequences of the spell. Just because a GM rolls a saving throw for one creature before the other does not imply a separation in timing of the events of when each creature was affected by the spell.

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber
Butt_Luckily wrote:
thaX wrote:
Less HP to work with to stay conscious. Nonlethal effects HP just as Lethal does. Tell me, if Nonlethal damage is not HP, then what is it? Str Dmg? Poison? Radiation? A pool of points for fun and the glory of Math? A Salamander?

Nonlethal damage represents harm to a character that is not life-threatening. The unit of measure is hit points.

Thank you! The discussion is closed. Yes, Nonlethal is HP.


Irontruth, I don't believe there is a need to list the steps out. We appear to have the same logic progression, but for some reason you feel the need to include the specific rule in the determination.

thaX wrote:
Thank you! The discussion is closed. Yes, Nonlethal is HP

Unfortunately, the discussion was never about the unit of measure of nonlethal damage.

The question is whether or not nonlethal damage is hit point damage.

It appears you are of the interpretation that, because nonlethal damage is measured in hit points, it is hit point damage. If that's good enough for you, despite conflicting with the definition of hit point damage provided by the Weapons section, then I suppose that's an OK interpretation.


Irontruth wrote:

From my perspective.... nonlethal is always hit point damage. The test of "hit point damage: yes/no?" is not "does it", but "could it", and we have no sorts of weirdness or issues.

The issue is if we (as Mallecks and Butt_Luckily propose) we make the test "does it" cause hit damage, then we get into all sorts of weirdness, such as with Power Attack and Ablative Barrier.

If nonlethal is no longer hit point damage, then yes, all of sudden you lose the PA bonus if you don't exceed the Ablative Barrier threshhold. I personally don't think this is a good way to interpret the game, and I think it introduces complexity and confusion. This is also why I'm opposed to this definition of "hit point damage".

Power Attack's text says "The bonus damage does not apply to touch attacks or effects that do not deal hit point damage."

Power Attack's text does not say "The bonus damage does not apply to touch attack or effects that could not deal hit point damage."

Please provide your rule to support this interpretation.

Nothing about whether or not nonlethal damage is hit point damage changes when you add bonuses to a roll.

Irontruth wrote:
And how do you know that it doesn't do hit point damage?

What do you mean by "do hit point damage"? If you mean "do hit point damage" [to the target], then it is irrelevant.

If you mean "deal hit point damage", then I'm using one of the rules that determines the type of damage an attack deals.

Irontruth wrote:
It feels like I understand your position better than you do. I get what you are trying to say, but you aren't actually saying that. Tell me the method of determining what is and isn't hit point damage.

P1: Hit Point damage damages hit points.

P2: Nonlethal damage doesn't damage hit points.
P3: Lethal damage isn't considered to be nonlethal damage.
P4: If you treat anything as lethal damage, it is not considered nonlethal damage. (P3)
C1: Nonlethal damage is not hit point damage.
C2: Lethal Overflow is not nonlethal damage.

This now works with your "could deal hit point damage" interpretation. Although, I feel we will fall back into "damage dealt = damage taken" argument if we continue down this path.

Irontruth wrote:


Also, what rule states when you check, or that you check at a specific time?

And don't just tell me your method. Make sure to back up each point with a specific rule from the book. Like, I can back up each portion of nonlethal (191) being hit point damage (189), which then is eligible for Power Attack (131). Each of these is explicit, and the logic progression from each is clear and concise.

When you roll a die, and you get +2, you add it to the total results of the dice. (8)

The +2 bonus on the melee damage roll is not granted if the effect does not deal hit point damage (131)

The effect of the attack deals nonlethal damage (145, Nonlethal weapon type)

Irontruth wrote:

Where do I find the rules for the timing of when to add, and not add, modifiers to rolls? You guys have cited the rule for adding modifiers to a roll, but that rule doesn't say that there is a time limit, or some sort of window of availability to which modifiers are available, but become unavailable later.

Note, that even if the bonus is added in later in the process, it is still the exact same action and roll that is being discussed and nothing else has actually happened in the game. There is no intervening passage of time that has happened if PA gets applied to excess nonlethal. It is all in the same exact moment.

A Fireball spell has a duration of "instantaneous", but we all recognize that it takes us, the humans playing this game, a moment or two to calculate the consequences of the spell. Just because a GM rolls a saving throw for one creature before the other does not imply a separation in timing of the events of when each creature was affected by the spell.

Would you agree that you must add bonuses before Damage Reduction?

Creature attacks Target. Target has DR 5/-.

1. Choose to use Power Attack
2. Make melee attack
3. Roll Damage and get 3.
4. Apply Damage Reduction.
5. Add +2 Damage.
6. Target takes 2 damage.

Please refer me to the timing rule that shows this is not allowed. It'll be the same timing rule I use to support my position.

What about conditions that change?

Creature Shoots an arrow at Target. Creature has Point Blank Shot.

Point Blank Shot wrote:
You get a +1 bonus on attack and damage rolls with ranged weapons at ranges of up to 30 feet.

Creature shoots an arrow from outside 30 feet and deals X damage. Creature then moves inside 30 feet and deals X+1 damage.

For this one, I'll need the timing rule and an answer for this one...

Irontruth wrote:
Where in the rules does it say the damage roll is complete?


Mallecks wrote:


P2: Nonlethal damage doesn't damage hit points.

And this is patently false. Nonlethal doesn't always deal hit point damage, but under certain conditions it does. So if you claim it can't, or does not in all situations, you are wrong.

The rule book clearly lays out the conditions for when it does do hit point damage, and how to apply that damage.

As for the rest, there's kind of a word salad effect going on where you are mixing up different concepts and seem to be getting confused, that me adding to it will only make your posts more of a rambling nightmare.


Irontruth wrote:

And this is patently false. Nonlethal doesn't always deal hit point damage, but under certain conditions it does. So if you claim it can't, or does not in all situations, you are wrong.

The rule book clearly lays out the conditions for when it does do hit point damage, and how to apply that damage.

As for the rest, there's kind of a word salad effect going on where you are mixing up different concepts and seem to be getting confused, that me adding to it will only make your posts more of a rambling nightmare.

If you feel inadequate in defending the consequences of your homebrew rule for "rolling", I understand. It is certainly a zany way to play with lots of what I would call "unintended consequences", but maybe you prefer it that way.

If you can provide the reference for nonlethal damage damaging hit points, that would be great. However, I feel this will result in you referencing the lethal overflow rule. If you plan to do this, please also provide a secondary rule that demonstrates lethal damage is normally considered nonlethal damage. Otherwise, you aren't really treating it as lethal damage.


Irontruth, what is your justification for considering the overflow specific rule when determining whether nonlethal damage is hit point damage?


Mallecks wrote:
Irontruth wrote:

And this is patently false. Nonlethal doesn't always deal hit point damage, but under certain conditions it does. So if you claim it can't, or does not in all situations, you are wrong.

The rule book clearly lays out the conditions for when it does do hit point damage, and how to apply that damage.

As for the rest, there's kind of a word salad effect going on where you are mixing up different concepts and seem to be getting confused, that me adding to it will only make your posts more of a rambling nightmare.

If you feel inadequate in defending the consequences of your homebrew rule for "rolling", I understand. It is certainly a zany way to play with lots of what I would call "unintended consequences", but maybe you prefer it that way.

If you can provide the reference for nonlethal damage damaging hit points, that would be great. However, I feel this will result in you referencing the lethal overflow rule. If you plan to do this, please also provide a secondary rule that demonstrates lethal damage is normally considered nonlethal damage. Otherwise, you aren't really treating it as lethal damage.

No dude, it's every time I try to explain it to you, you go further off the rails. I feel like I could explain it to a normal person just fine.

The part you don't understand is that the zaniness as you call it is a consequence of your interpretation. You are trying to convince me it doesn't exist and we can just ignore the zaniness, but nothing you've said actually does that.

I agree with you that the zany consequences seem silly and dumb. Which is why I don't like your interpretation at all, and is how I would avoid those consequences.


Butt_Luckily wrote:
Irontruth, what is your justification for considering the overflow specific rule when determining whether nonlethal damage is hit point damage?

Nonlethal damage that exceeds the target's capacity meets all proposed criteria for what is hit point damage, and so far no one has shown a rule that tells us to exclude it.

Here's the thing on the "timing" issue. It is up to interpretation. The problem is that an interpretation MUST adhere to all other rules. If an interpretation tells us that a written rule is incorrect, then that de facto means that the written rule is correct and the interpretation is wrong.

If I tell you my interpretation is "Strength damage can never be applied to melee damage rolls." You'd go and read the rule book and realize very quickly that my interpretation is not in keeping with the rules as written. Then you would have to make a choice, believe me, or believe the book. Assuming that this is a discussion about RAW (Rules as Written), then that would mean that the book always wins.

Right now, Power Attack tells me it applies to hit point damage. Nonlethal that exceeds the target's capacity meets all definitions of hit point damage (including every definition you have given).

You are telling me to not add in Power Attack, even though the damage included meets all definitions.

You are contradicting the book.

Without a specific source in the book to back up your claim, the book wins.


Irontruth wrote:

No dude, it's every time I try to explain it to you, you go further off the rails. I feel like I could explain it to a normal person just fine.

The part you don't understand is that the zaniness as you call it is a consequence of your interpretation. You are trying to convince me it doesn't exist and we can just ignore the zaniness, but nothing you've said actually does that.

I agree with you that the zany consequences seem silly and dumb. Which is why I don't like your interpretation at all, and is how I would avoid those consequences.

You are the one coming up with all these silly additional changes on top of my interpretation. Nothing about whether or not nonlethal damage is hit point damage changes how rolling works, when bonuses/penalties are added.

On top of that, even if your interpretation were correct, my position is still logically consistent, because it would rightfully grant the bonus to melee damage rolls as it would logically require.

So, no matter which one of us is right in regards to the Power Attack/rolling disagreement, my view is logically consistent. Does it matter if we disagree if my view is logically consistent either way? I don't think it does.

If you are feel this is acceptable, we can move on to the next point.


Irontruth wrote:

Nonlethal damage that exceeds the target's capacity meets all proposed criteria for what is hit point damage, and so far no one has shown a rule that tells us to exclude it.

Here's the thing on the "timing" issue. It is up to interpretation. The problem is that an interpretation MUST adhere to all other rules. If an interpretation tells us that a written rule is incorrect, then that de facto means that the written rule is correct and the interpretation is wrong.

If I tell you my interpretation is "Strength damage can never be applied to melee damage rolls." You'd go and read the rule book and realize very quickly that my interpretation is not in keeping with the rules as written. Then you would have to make a choice, believe me, or believe the book. Assuming that this is a discussion about RAW (Rules as Written), then that would mean that the book always wins.

Right now, Power Attack tells me it applies to hit point damage. Nonlethal that exceeds the target's capacity meets all definitions of hit point damage (including every definition you have given).

You are telling me to not add in Power Attack, even though the damage included meets all definitions.

You are contradicting the book.

Without a specific source in the book to back up your claim, the book wins.

This has nothing to do with timing. This could happen last. The kind of damage on the attack doesn't change.

Whatever you think happens for nonlethal overflow doesn't matter. The damage roll is a kind of damage. This is what the determination for power attack is against. It is not possible to be in a state where you are checking nonlethal damage in excess of the target's maximum hit points, because there is no amount of damage involved in the determination, nor is there a maximum HP, nor is there a target. Why do you think the specific rule should be included in this case?

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber

The point went well over your head, BL.

The fact that Nonlethal can do HP damage at all means that it is considered HP damage as far as Power Attack is concerned. (and any other ability unless specifically specified)

Mallecks is arguing that Nonlethal is not HP damage and that we shouldn't even bother keeping track of it. It's something like Rubber Ducks instead.


That would depend on how you determine whether or not an effect deals hit point damage.


thaX wrote:

The point went well over your head, BL.

The fact that Nonlethal can do HP damage at all means that it is considered HP damage as far as Power Attack is concerned. (and any other ability unless specifically specified)

Mallecks is arguing that Nonlethal is not HP damage and that we shouldn't even bother keeping track of it. It's something like Rubber Ducks instead.

No, I think we should track it as per the rules.


Mallecks wrote:
Irontruth wrote:

No dude, it's every time I try to explain it to you, you go further off the rails. I feel like I could explain it to a normal person just fine.

The part you don't understand is that the zaniness as you call it is a consequence of your interpretation. You are trying to convince me it doesn't exist and we can just ignore the zaniness, but nothing you've said actually does that.

I agree with you that the zany consequences seem silly and dumb. Which is why I don't like your interpretation at all, and is how I would avoid those consequences.

You are the one coming up with all these silly additional changes on top of my interpretation. Nothing about whether or not nonlethal damage is hit point damage changes how rolling works, when bonuses/penalties are added.

On top of that, even if your interpretation were correct, my position is still logically consistent, because it would rightfully grant the bonus to melee damage rolls as it would logically require.

So, no matter which one of us is right in regards to the Power Attack/rolling disagreement, my view is logically consistent. Does it matter if we disagree if my view is logically consistent either way? I don't think it does.

If you are feel this is acceptable, we can move on to the next point.

No, your view isn't consistent, because it is non-RAW. If you want to have a discussion about RAW, you have to actually apply what is written. You are avoiding that at all costs right now.

Your original argument is that nonlethal isn't explicitly stated to be hit point damage, and based on other evidence you think it is something separate. Fine, okay. I can get that.

Then you immediately go off the rails and refuse to acknowledge parts of the text that are explicit.

There is no moving on as long as you behave this way. Anything and everything you claim is tainted by this core behavior of yours. You have a poor grasp of the rules.

Remember your very first reply to me? I made a comment about the Dead condition. You replied by analyzing the Dying condition. You didn't even bother to read the Dead condition. The only difference between then and now is that you realized your mistake in that exchange. Now though, you've dug in your heals and refuse to acknowledge your mistakes.

The best response you'll be able to muster against this "I know you are but what am I?"

I'm paying attention to the rules as written. I can (and have, repeatedly) shown rules you are violating. You haven't been able to muster anything in your defense, and can't show me a single piece of text that I'm violating.

How long do you want to keep this farce of a "debate" going?


Butt_Luckily wrote:
Irontruth wrote:

Nonlethal damage that exceeds the target's capacity meets all proposed criteria for what is hit point damage, and so far no one has shown a rule that tells us to exclude it.

Here's the thing on the "timing" issue. It is up to interpretation. The problem is that an interpretation MUST adhere to all other rules. If an interpretation tells us that a written rule is incorrect, then that de facto means that the written rule is correct and the interpretation is wrong.

If I tell you my interpretation is "Strength damage can never be applied to melee damage rolls." You'd go and read the rule book and realize very quickly that my interpretation is not in keeping with the rules as written. Then you would have to make a choice, believe me, or believe the book. Assuming that this is a discussion about RAW (Rules as Written), then that would mean that the book always wins.

Right now, Power Attack tells me it applies to hit point damage. Nonlethal that exceeds the target's capacity meets all definitions of hit point damage (including every definition you have given).

You are telling me to not add in Power Attack, even though the damage included meets all definitions.

You are contradicting the book.

Without a specific source in the book to back up your claim, the book wins.

This has nothing to do with timing. This could happen last. The kind of damage on the attack doesn't change.

Whatever you think happens for nonlethal overflow doesn't matter. The damage roll is a kind of damage. This is what the determination for power attack is against. It is not possible to be in a state where you are checking nonlethal damage in excess of the target's maximum hit points, because there is no amount of damage involved in the determination, nor is there a maximum HP, nor is there a target. Why do you think the specific rule should be included in this case?

It's like a goldfish, I swear.

One step at a time... again.

How do you know that nonlethal damage isn't hit point damage? I'm not arguing the point, I just want to know how YOU know this to be true.


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I just saw this thread and it said "911 new posts."

Still no closer huh?


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No at this point I think either both sides are under a Geas spell or neither ego will just let it go.


Irontruth wrote:

One step at a time... again.

How do you know that nonlethal damage isn't hit point damage? I'm not arguing the point, I just want to know how YOU know this to be true.

Weapons wrote:
All weapons deal hit point damage. This damage is subtracted from the current hit points of any creature struck by the weapon.
Nonlethal Damage wrote:
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.

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