Is nonlethal damage considered hit point damage?


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

So, you got snippy and made fun of me, but you didn't actually read the Dead condition. Cool.

Let me reiterate though, that I am not trying to argue that you being Dead allows you to continue taking actions (or resume, because you're no longer Dying). Rather that the rules don't need to tell you this, because the "loophole" is ridiculous and no one would assume that it works anyways. Rather that the writers are humans, writing for other humans. They aren't computers, and neither are we. Therefore it is assumed that if a particular reading of the rules would result in some sort of ridiculousness, assume that the ridiculousness is actually incorrect, until told otherwise.

Nonlethal damage as hit point damage makes sense. It makes sense both realistically, and within the context of the rules.

Didn't mean to come off that way, but in hindsight I guess I was being an jerk. I posted it this morning from my phone and grabbed the wrong definition. My bad!

** spoiler omitted **** spoiler omitted **...

They are mutually exclusive. Reread Dying. It mentions twice how it is mutually exclusive from being Dead.

It's a risk of being smarmy. If you're right... well, at least you're right and smarmy. If you're wrong....

How about this, don't bother debating me on this Dead condition thing. If you're curious, go read about it, there are probably a dozen or more threads about it. Lots of good commentary.

If someone came in with a sentence and pointed out that if you read it a certain way it meant that Wizards can never cast spells... ever... would you take that seriously? Would you consider it a valid interpretation of the rules?

Now this situation with nonlethal isn't that ridiculous, but it is on a level where it doesn't make any sort of real sense. While it is true that no sentence like "Nonlethal damage is considered hit point damage," exists in the game, no sentence saying the opposite exists

...

OMG! You quoted the rule book for the 53rd time, I'm suddenly convinced. 52 times wasn't enough to convince me, but reading that same tired passage, and your twisted reading of it... I'm broken! I finally agree with you!

I'm hoping that isn't what you're waiting for.

Sczarni

So, you declare an attack. You choose to apply power attack. You take a -1 to hit. You roll damage with +2 added. But you missed by 1, So You decide to do non-lethal damage. You mysteriously loose the +2, and now recalculate the attack without the -1 to hit?

If you think this is how combat works you are being silly.

But the claim that you have to declare damage type (lethal or non-lethal) prior to damage resolution is just that. A silly, pedantic, vapid discussion. Consequently, using "order of operations" it is clear to the logical mind that you can use power attack on a melee attack, regardless of what kind of damage you choose to do at the damage resolution stage. What you can't do is take a -1 on your stunning fist and do 2 damage in addition to the stun (but you can add it to the melee strike).


maouse wrote:

So, you declare an attack. You choose to apply power attack. You take a -1 to hit. You roll damage with +2 added. But you missed by 1, So You decide to do non-lethal damage. You mysteriously loose the +2, and now recalculate the attack without the -1 to hit?

If you think this is how combat works you are being silly.

Yeah, I don't think anyone is claiming that. You can choose to use power attack when delivering a touch spell. You take the attack roll penalty, but the damage bonus does not apply. Only the benefit is contingent, not the penalty. Maybe you do it because you want the damage boost if you get to take an AoO or something, who knows.


Gallant Armor wrote:
blahpers wrote:
Gallant Armor wrote:
The effects of hit point damage are defined, namely the reduction of hit points.
The effects, sure, but not the thing itself.
Barring a definitive definition of hit point damage, the definition of it's effects should be used to clarify any misconceptions. If the effects of hit point damage don't align with the effects of nonlethal damage then the logical conclusion is that nonlethal damage is not hit point damage.

So we're agreed that if something is not clearly defined, we may--indeed, must--fall back on our own judgment to determine what the designers' intent is?


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Mallecks wrote:
** spoiler omitted **** spoiler omitted **...

Stop ignoring the first sentenance of dying. "Dying creatures are unconscious and near death."

Dying is also defined in the Combat section.
"If your HP total is negative, but not equal to or greater than your Constitution Score, you're dying."

Liberty's Edge

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Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber

To be quite frank, GA, I am still going to use Power Attack with Non Lethal Damage with my Earth Breaker in PFS. This interpretation you have for this interaction is simply not in line with the rest of the game. It is beyond the scope of what was and is intended, and I only hope you don't have this same confusion on your part with the new ruleset in August of 2019.


Clearly the intent was to produce a game and make some money. Next...


blahpers wrote:
Gallant Armor wrote:
blahpers wrote:
Gallant Armor wrote:
The effects of hit point damage are defined, namely the reduction of hit points.
The effects, sure, but not the thing itself.
Barring a definitive definition of hit point damage, the definition of it's effects should be used to clarify any misconceptions. If the effects of hit point damage don't align with the effects of nonlethal damage then the logical conclusion is that nonlethal damage is not hit point damage.
So we're agreed that if something is not clearly defined, we may--indeed, must--fall back on our own judgment to determine what the designers' intent is?

Correct, but that judgement should take into consideration the relevant text that gives context as to the meaning of the term. You shouldn't ignore all existing text and come up with your own definition out of the clear blue sky.


That's good advice for yourself.


thaX wrote:
To be quite frank, GA, I am still going to use Power Attack with Non Lethal Damage with my Earth Breaker in PFS. This interpretation you have for this interaction is simply not in line with the rest of the game. It is beyond the scope of what was and is intended, and I only hope you don't have this same confusion on your part with the new ruleset in August of 2019.

The rules don't stop being the rules just because you really want something to work.


Gallant Armor wrote:
thaX wrote:
To be quite frank, GA, I am still going to use Power Attack with Non Lethal Damage with my Earth Breaker in PFS. This interpretation you have for this interaction is simply not in line with the rest of the game. It is beyond the scope of what was and is intended, and I only hope you don't have this same confusion on your part with the new ruleset in August of 2019.
The rules don't stop being the rules just because you really want something to work.

This game isn't clear cut enough for this sort of interpretation (Directed at you, Gallant Armor). If a rules interpretation breaks the ruleset, doesn't matter how supported by RAW, that answer is wrong.

Making the game unplayable should not be the goal of rules lawyering.

You want to find some fun loophole, go for it, but if the loophole isn't fun because it just creates arguments, the GM should ban it (if they haven't already).

Your HP and lethal thing. Ignore the RAW for a sec. When playing with others, how do they rule it? Which approach makes the game run smoother? Which approach is easiest to implement? Which approach makes the game more fun?

These games are a democracy. I know, RAW says one thing, but ultimately, people can just quit if they don't like how a rule works, and the players just want to play. So, you can firmly argue RAW and play by yourself, or you can use the rules that make the game fun and play in a group. This doesn't mean ignore the rules as written, but pick your battles - fight the ones that benefit the group, and don't argue as fiercely for the ones that don't benefit the game.

So, back to the debate, how does the ruling that HP isn't non-lethal make the game better? I'm not on either side per say, I just want to have fun while playing. Explain how your arguement makes the game work better and I'll be on your side.


Pathfinder Maps, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

A judge's opinion in Wisconsin yesterday neatly encapsulates my point of view:

" Reynolds said Walker’s interpretation of the law “flies in the face of reason,” ”violates basic rules of grammar” and would lead to an “absurd result.” "

You can argue extremely bizarre interpretations of the rules, but that doesn't mean that the judges will agree with you.


Chatting... The main problem with this argument is; a)game terminology, and b) game design. Nonlethal damage was tacked onto the game model back in 3.0. It is there so players can knock out a foe humainly and consistently rather than accidentially killing a foe (HPs between 0 and -CON). The two tracks of damage combine for staggered & unconsciousness. For reaching death by nonleathal attacks you have to do the targets full nonlethal potential then it starts to become lethal damage (thus doubling the needed damage to kill).
Terminology wise when you say 'HP Damage' or 'damage' the game assumes you mean lethal damage as it is written in a conversational tone. Nonlethal damage has always been kinda special and a rare event in the game.
Pathfinder is copy of DnD 3.5 with a change in tense and very few substantial changes to the core game. After publication polymorphs and other topics were addressed.

Nonlethal and lethal damage are HP damage when addressing damage to creatures. Nonlethal doesn't affect objects(for simplicity).


Pax Miles wrote:
Gallant Armor wrote:
thaX wrote:
To be quite frank, GA, I am still going to use Power Attack with Non Lethal Damage with my Earth Breaker in PFS. This interpretation you have for this interaction is simply not in line with the rest of the game. It is beyond the scope of what was and is intended, and I only hope you don't have this same confusion on your part with the new ruleset in August of 2019.
The rules don't stop being the rules just because you really want something to work.

This game isn't clear cut enough for this sort of interpretation (Directed at you, Gallant Armor). If a rules interpretation breaks the ruleset, doesn't matter how supported by RAW, that answer is wrong.

Making the game unplayable should not be the goal of rules lawyering.

You want to find some fun loophole, go for it, but if the loophole isn't fun because it just creates arguments, the GM should ban it (if they haven't already).

Your HP and lethal thing. Ignore the RAW for a sec. When playing with others, how do they rule it? Which approach makes the game run smoother? Which approach is easiest to implement? Which approach makes the game more fun?

These games are a democracy. I know, RAW says one thing, but ultimately, people can just quit if they don't like how a rule works, and the players just want to play. So, you can firmly argue RAW and play by yourself, or you can use the rules that make the game fun and play in a group. This doesn't mean ignore the rules as written, but pick your battles - fight the ones that benefit the group, and don't argue as fiercely for the ones that don't benefit the game.

So, back to the debate, how does the ruling that HP isn't non-lethal make the game better? I'm not on either side per say, I just want to have fun while playing. Explain how your arguement makes the game work better and I'll be on your side.

This hasn’t been about playing the game for quite some time now. This is about someone’s desperate need to be RIGHT about a rule they admitted they don’t even agree with when interpreted the way they insist it ought to be. I’d be ever so happy if the FAQ were answered so this could just stop already.


Pax Miles wrote:
Gallant Armor wrote:
thaX wrote:
To be quite frank, GA, I am still going to use Power Attack with Non Lethal Damage with my Earth Breaker in PFS. This interpretation you have for this interaction is simply not in line with the rest of the game. It is beyond the scope of what was and is intended, and I only hope you don't have this same confusion on your part with the new ruleset in August of 2019.
The rules don't stop being the rules just because you really want something to work.

This game isn't clear cut enough for this sort of interpretation (Directed at you, Gallant Armor). If a rules interpretation breaks the ruleset, doesn't matter how supported by RAW, that answer is wrong.

Making the game unplayable should not be the goal of rules lawyering.

You want to find some fun loophole, go for it, but if the loophole isn't fun because it just creates arguments, the GM should ban it (if they haven't already).

Your HP and lethal thing. Ignore the RAW for a sec. When playing with others, how do they rule it? Which approach makes the game run smoother? Which approach is easiest to implement? Which approach makes the game more fun?

These games are a democracy. I know, RAW says one thing, but ultimately, people can just quit if they don't like how a rule works, and the players just want to play. So, you can firmly argue RAW and play by yourself, or you can use the rules that make the game fun and play in a group. This doesn't mean ignore the rules as written, but pick your battles - fight the ones that benefit the group, and don't argue as fiercely for the ones that don't benefit the game.

So, back to the debate, how does the ruling that HP isn't non-lethal make the game better? I'm not on either side per say, I just want to have fun while playing. Explain how your arguement makes the game work better and I'll be on your side.

If we are delving into pure opinion, I think it makes more sense to not be able to deal extra damage with those feats while dealing nonlethal. Look at the flavor text many of the feats in question:

Power Attack wrote:
You can make exceptionally deadly melee attacks by sacrificing accuracy for strength.
Deadly Aim wrote:
You can make exceptionally deadly ranged attacks by pinpointing a foe’s weak spot, at the expense of making the attack less likely to succeed.
Furious Spell wrote:
Your spells seethe with the ferocious intensity of your blood-red rage.
Piranha Strike wrote:
You make a combination of quick strikes, sacrificing accuracy for multiple, minor wounds that prove exceptionally deadly.
Divine Fighting Technique (Lamashtu's Carving) wrote:
One of the grisliest divine fighting manuals is Fecundity of Corpses, a harrowing tome that depicts the fighting styles favored by the followers of Lamashtu, the Mother of Monsters. In addition to detailing many of the more gruesome rites favored by the Demon Queen, Fecundity of Corpses includes hundreds of techniques recorded in blood by cultists of Lamashtu from across the Inner Sea region. Though no standardized edition of this manual exists because of the cult’s discordant hierarchy, each tome manages to perfectly capture similar techniques for sowing fear and blood in Lamashtu’s name.

These feats do not work with the concept of dealing nonlethal damage in my opinion.


What are the examples where not treating nonlethal damage as HP damage causes the game to be unplayable?


I wouldn't say unplayable, but it causes procedures that do not otherwise exist in the game.

Such as the amount of damage being dealt to change AFTER that damage has already been applied. Every effect that I can think of that modifies damage does so BEFORE it is actually subtracted from a target's current hit points.

DR = before
Shield Other = before
Resistance = before
etc

If there is a specific instance of the damage value changing part way through application, I suspect that it is not a general rule, but a very specific one, which makes me highly suspicious of any interpretation that would require us to recalculate damage part way through the application.

I also stand by that recalculating damage part way through application is a strange enough effect that if it were true, I would predict that there is at least one example/explanation of it floating around somewhere on these boards from the past 10 years. The glaring absence of explanatory text on how this works is not conclusive, but it is highly suggestive. But that the theory that PA doesn't work with nonlethal does predict that such an explanation is required eventually. In fact I would suggest that if no FAQ is forth coming, but we get only silence, it means that PA does work with nonlethal, because there is nothing to explain. But if PA doesn't work with nonlethal, an explanation is necessary.


Well, if I were taking Gallant Armor's position, I would never apply the extra damage from Power Attack. The attack itself does nonlethal damage, so it doesn't get the bonus damage. Then after the damage is done, the nonlethal rolls over as per normal nonlethal rules.

If we never modify damage after calculation, does that ease your concerns with this interpretation of RAW?


But Power Attack applies to lethal damage. So if I take the penalty, and deal lethal damage, then it should apply. If the target takes lethal damage, which is eligible for Power Attack (assuming no one is disagreeing that lethal damage qualifies as hit point damage), why would the bonus damage from Power Attack not apply?

You can't say that it doesn't apply just to make your life easier. The explanation has to be within the rules. Where in the rules does it say that a lethal damage attack does not gain the bonus damage from Power Attack when it has been turned on prior to the attack roll?

If you have to change the rules in other areas to make an interpretation fit, then it isn't the right interpretation.


But you aren't attacking with lethal damage. You're specifically trying to not kill them (hence the -4) but because the person is already too hurt your nonlethal swing results in them taking lethal damage.

If you're allowing someone to do a full-round power attack for non-lethal but the first hit rolls the enemy over into lethal damage does that mean that the second attack isn't nonlethal and therefore -4 to hit with nonlethal doesn't apply? (but you still get the negative from the PA)

For clarity sake: I don't believe you should be able to power attack for non-lethal.


I agree, I think Power Attack just works for nonlethal all the time, even when you don't overflow.

Whether you attack for nonlethal or lethal is irrelevant, UNLESS you can show text that specifically says that THAT is the condition that turns on/off Power Attack. But that isn't what the text says, it says it works on specific types of damage.

Whether you attack for nonlethal or not, once the TARGET receives lethal damage, it is now... lethal damage. It converts over and becomes lethal damage. Once it is lethal damage, it must be eligible for Power Attack bonus damage.

You can Power Attack on a touch attack which means you take the penalty to your attack roll, but because the DAMAGE is ineligible, the bonus from PA is not applied. That means that the type of attack is irrelevant, only the damage that is applied.

So, if PA doesn't apply bonus damage to nonlethal, than it means that you don't count the bonus damage until you apply at least 1 point of lethal damage to the target.

Having considered this for several days, I don't find the process that confusing, but it isn't intuitive, nor is it a process I can find anywhere else in the game. Hence why an example of how to do the calculation SHOULD exist if this is the correct way to apply the rules.


I need to make sure I'm understanding where you're coming from, Irontruth...
You think nonlethal damage counts as hit point damage even though the rules say:

Quote:
Do not deduct the nonlethal damage number from your current hit points. It is not “real” damage.

Right?

My understanding is that people are using this set of sentences to say that nonlethal isn't hit point damage because it's not deducted the same way as lethal damage.

So, my question instead is this:
When you attack for nonlethal the character takes a -4 to hit because they're being careful as to how they hit the enemy.
When you Power Attack the character takes a -1 (or more) to hit because they're swinging wildly with all their might.
Doesn't it seem contradictory that you can do both at the same time?

(I understand where you're coming from, don't get me wrong... Power Attack says "...effects that do not deal hit point damage." and it doesn't say that it doesn't work with nonlethal. But I disagree with your ruling that seems to come down to "that which is not forbidden is allowed")


Irontruth wrote:

I agree, I think Power Attack just works for nonlethal all the time, even when you don't overflow.

Whether you attack for nonlethal or lethal is irrelevant, UNLESS you can show text that specifically says that THAT is the condition that turns on/off Power Attack. But that isn't what the text says, it says it works on specific types of damage.

Power Attack only works on specific types of damage. [HP damage] The question is whether nonlethal is HP damage. If nonlethal damage is not HP damage, then it never works with power attack.

Irontruth wrote:
Whether you attack for nonlethal or not, once the TARGET receives lethal damage, it is now... lethal damage. It converts over and becomes lethal damage. Once it is lethal damage, it must be eligible for Power Attack bonus damage.

The conversion to damage happens after PA would be applied. The "attack" doesn't do lethal damage, it does nonlethal damage. If the attack DIDN'T do nonlethal damage, it wouldn't be overflowing and converting the nonlethal damage to lethal damage.

Irontruth wrote:

You can Power Attack on a touch attack which means you take the penalty to your attack roll, but because the DAMAGE is ineligible, the bonus from PA is not applied. That means that the type of attack is irrelevant, only the damage that is applied.

So, if PA doesn't apply bonus damage to nonlethal, than it means that you don't count the bonus damage until you apply at least 1 point of lethal damage to the target.

You can Power Attack any melee attack roll or CMB roll, regardless of the expected outcome. The bonus to damage is disallowed in two scenarios.

1. The attack is a touch attack. Any attack that is a touch attack does not work for power attack.
2. The attack does not do HP damage.

According to your statement you have to do at least 1 point of lethal damage to get the bonus from Power Attack...

if I power attack a creature with DR 2 with a dagger. I roll attack, roll damage, damage is calculated, check to see if I beat his DR, then recalculate damage?

I do a nonlethal attack its..

I roll attack, roll damage, calculate damage, check DR / other modifiers / effects, [do we recalculate damage here?], check nonlethal overflow, [do we calculate here again???]

Shouldn't it be...

I roll attack, roll damage, calculate damage, check DR / other modifiers, apply damage to target. Are there any instances of having to go back and recalculate ever?

Irontruth wrote:
Having considered this for several days, I don't find the process that confusing, but it isn't intuitive, nor is it a process I can find anywhere else in the game. Hence why an example of how to do the calculation SHOULD exist if this is the correct way to apply the rules.

The calculation doesn't change, just do it normally. Roll attack, roll damage, calculate damage, the target takes that damage.


Mallecks wrote:
Stuff

The point is though, if your attack results in lethal damage, you gain the bonus damage from Power Attack. I don't see any text that says the opposite, do you?

Grand Lodge

Gallant Armor wrote:
Pax Miles wrote:
Gallant Armor wrote:
thaX wrote:
To be quite frank, GA, I am still going to use Power Attack with Non Lethal Damage with my Earth Breaker in PFS. This interpretation you have for this interaction is simply not in line with the rest of the game. It is beyond the scope of what was and is intended, and I only hope you don't have this same confusion on your part with the new ruleset in August of 2019.
The rules don't stop being the rules just because you really want something to work.

This game isn't clear cut enough for this sort of interpretation (Directed at you, Gallant Armor). If a rules interpretation breaks the ruleset, doesn't matter how supported by RAW, that answer is wrong.

Making the game unplayable should not be the goal of rules lawyering.

You want to find some fun loophole, go for it, but if the loophole isn't fun because it just creates arguments, the GM should ban it (if they haven't already).

Your HP and lethal thing. Ignore the RAW for a sec. When playing with others, how do they rule it? Which approach makes the game run smoother? Which approach is easiest to implement? Which approach makes the game more fun?

These games are a democracy. I know, RAW says one thing, but ultimately, people can just quit if they don't like how a rule works, and the players just want to play. So, you can firmly argue RAW and play by yourself, or you can use the rules that make the game fun and play in a group. This doesn't mean ignore the rules as written, but pick your battles - fight the ones that benefit the group, and don't argue as fiercely for the ones that don't benefit the game.

So, back to the debate, how does the ruling that HP isn't non-lethal make the game better? I'm not on either side per say, I just want to have fun while playing. Explain how your arguement makes the game work better and I'll be on your side.

If we are delving into pure opinion, I think it makes more sense to not be able to deal extra damage with those feats...

I don't care how hard you swing a Nerf bat, it still takes a long time to beat someone to death with it... a Non-Lethal weapon does Non-Lethal damage. Power Attack may mean you are swinging harder, but doesn't mean you are able to deal lethal damage with a sap or whip, but I can still swing it very hard....


Quintin Verassi, you bring up a good point... You can swing a nonlethal weapon as hard as you want and it should do extra damage (sounds like power attack could be applied to things like a sap).

So with that in mind I think I'd make a ruling that weapons that specifically do nonlethal can have power attack applied but weapons that normally do lethal but you're choosing to do nonlethal can't have it applied. (Because swinging something as hard as you can while also trying to swing something carefully so that you don't hurt someone too much doesn't make any sense to me, even if the rules don't specifically say you can't do it.)


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Rulebook, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Just want to point out that the rules do not give a reason for the -4 for doing nonlethal damage with a weapon that deals normal damage, so the assumption that it’s because you’re “being careful” isn’t warranted. It could just as easily be described as because you’re using the weapon in a way it’s not designed to be used, so it’s harder to land a blow that does what you want. In which case, power attack is a completely reasonable feat to use, since you’re swinging hard in a way the weapon isn’t meant to be used.


Irontruth wrote:
Mallecks wrote:
Stuff
The point is though, if your attack results in lethal damage, you gain the bonus damage from Power Attack. I don't see any text that says the opposite, do you?

The attack doesn't result in lethal damage. The attack results in nonlethal damage. That nonlethal damage is run through modifiers/effect, and then applied to the target. At that point, the target damage is treated as lethal damage.

The rule of nonlethal overflow converting to lethal damage has nothing to do with the results of an attack / damage roll.


Where in the rules does it specifically say that that is the process?

Power Attack says it modifies all melee damage (and later excludes non-hit point damage). If a point of damage qualifies as melee AND hit point damage, Power Attack applies and the bonus goes through. I see no other rules that tell us how else to make that determination. There is no clause in PA that requires the attack roll to be a specific type, so it doesn't matter if the attack roll is intended as nonlethal or not. It just has to result in hit point damage.

You've argued that GA might be correct if you use some sort of strictest reading of the rules. Don't change methods just because it isn't convenient now. If his reading is correct about nonlethal, then this reading is also correct about PA. If an attack deals lethal damage (which nonlethal overflow IS lethal damage), then Power Attack applies.

For it to not apply, by RAW, the attack has to be a touch attack, or not deal hit point damage. A nonlethal attack that results in overflow doesn't meet either of those criteria, and so is not excluded.


Chemlak wrote:
Just want to point out that the rules do not give a reason for the -4 for doing nonlethal damage with a weapon that deals normal damage, so the assumption that it’s because you’re “being careful” isn’t warranted.

You're right, it doesn't.

With a sword I remember it being described as hitting with the flat of the blade but how would it work with a club?
So maybe it's that you're aiming for somewhere that isn't going to be lethal, maybe you're trying to hit them not as hard...
It doesn't actually describe it, does it?

Another question:

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

It specifically says "hit point damage" as well as nonlethal damage. Does that not make you think that they're different things from each other?


Irontruth wrote:

Where in the rules does it specifically say that that is the process?

Power Attack says it modifies all melee damage (and later excludes non-hit point damage). If a point of damage qualifies as melee AND hit point damage, Power Attack applies and the bonus goes through. I see no other rules that tell us how else to make that determination. There is no clause in PA that requires the attack roll to be a specific type, so it doesn't matter if the attack roll is intended as nonlethal or not. It just has to result in hit point damage.

You've argued that GA might be correct if you use some sort of strictest reading of the rules. Don't change methods just because it isn't convenient now. If his reading is correct about nonlethal, then this reading is also correct about PA. If an attack deals lethal damage (which nonlethal overflow IS lethal damage), then Power Attack applies.

For it to not apply, by RAW, the attack has to be a touch attack, or not deal hit point damage. A nonlethal attack that results in overflow doesn't meet either of those criteria, and so is not excluded.

This is a completely different argument about how Power Attack works and how damage is resolved by the rules.

Power Attack would have the exact same issue with lethal damage trying to break through DR.


What if the only reason Power Attack specifies "...or effects that do not deal hit point damage." is because it's saying that you don't get that bonus if you're doing something that damages/drains a stat?

I'm thinking more and more that Power Attack works when you're doing nonlethal...

Can people provide other things (feat, powers, etc) that specify "hit point damage"?

Also, is dealing damage an "effect"?


Warped Savant wrote:
Chemlak wrote:
Just want to point out that the rules do not give a reason for the -4 for doing nonlethal damage with a weapon that deals normal damage, so the assumption that it’s because you’re “being careful” isn’t warranted.

You're right, it doesn't.

With a sword I remember it being described as hitting with the flat of the blade but how would it work with a club?
So maybe it's that you're aiming for somewhere that isn't going to be lethal, maybe you're trying to hit them not as hard...
It doesn't actually describe it, does it?

Another question:

Quote:
When a spell or ability cures hit point damage, it also removes an equal amount of nonlethal damage.
It specifically says "hit point damage" as well as nonlethal damage. Does that not make you think that they're different things from each other?

And yet it heals at the rate of 1 hit point per hour...

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

It's also worth point out here that Hit Points are defined as

Core Rule Book wrote:
Hit Points (hp): Hit points are an abstraction signifying how robust and healthy a creature is at the current moment. To determine a creature's hit points, roll the dice indicated by its Hit Dice. A creature gains maximum hit points if its first Hit Die roll is for a character class level. Creatures whose first Hit Die comes from an NPC class or from his race roll their first Hit Die normally. Wounds subtract hit points, while healing (both natural and magical) restores hit points. Some abilities and spells grant temporary hit points that disappear after a specific duration. When a creature's hit points drop below 0, it becomes unconscious. When a creature's hit points reach a negative total equal to its Constitution score, it dies.

Hit Points are damaged by wounds, wounds are not defined, we assume that lethal damage is wounds, and in the non-lethal section it is defined as

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

So, it is harm (wounds), but heals quicker.


Wounds reduce hit points.

Nonlethal damage does not reduce hit points.

Therefore, nonlethal damage are not wounds


Mallecks wrote:

Wounds reduce hit points.

Nonlethal damage does not reduce hit points.

Therefore, nonlethal damage are not wounds

If nonlethal does not reduce hit points how are they healed at the rate of 1 HP/CL/hour? If healing restores hit points (as indicated above), it must be damaged, non-lethal heals at a specified rate of hit points, so it must be damaged. It is not TRACKED the same as lethal, but is still damage to hit points.

Also, if we follow your logic,

PRD wrote:

All weapons deal hit point damage.

Saps are weapons, they deal nonlethal damage. Being a weapon, it deals hit point damage, but of the nonlethal variety. So nonlethal is hit point damage.


Nonlethal damage reduces how much damage you can take before you fall unconscious.
Sure, it's tracked by counting up instead of down, but I would think that would be for the sake of simplicity.

Also worth noting, if you can't use Power Attack with nonlethal damage that would mean that you can't Power Attack with a sap or a whip... unless you take -4 to turn the nonlethal damage into lethal damage.
(CRB, page 191 under "Nonlethal Damage")


bhampton wrote:

If nonlethal does not reduce hit points how are they healed at the rate of 1 HP/CL/hour? If healing restores hit points (as indicated above), it must be damaged, non-lethal heals at a specified rate of hit points, so it must be damaged. It is not TRACKED the same as lethal, but is still damage to hit points.

Also, if we follow your logic,

PRD wrote:

All weapons deal hit point damage.

Saps are weapons, they deal nonlethal damage. Being a weapon, it deals hit point damage, but of the nonlethal variety. So nonlethal is hit point damage.

The nonlethal rules explicitly state that nonlethal damage does not reduce hit points. However, that doesn't mean they aren't measured in the unit of Hit Points.

Healing restores hit points, and the nonlethal rules have special rules that explain how healing heals nonlethal damage. These rules would be unnecessary if they were hit points.

There is a general rule that all weapons do hit point damage. There are specific rules on how to deal nonlethal damage. Any weapon can do lethal or nonlethal damage.

Warped Savant wrote:


Nonlethal damage reduces how much damage you can take before you fall unconscious.
Sure, it's tracked by counting up instead of down, but I would think that would be for the sake of simplicity.

Also worth noting, if you can't use Power Attack with nonlethal damage that would mean that you can't Power Attack with a sap or a whip... unless you take -4 to turn the nonlethal damage into lethal damage.

You can Power Attack on any melee attack roll or Combat maneuver check. The damage only gets added if the attack does hit point damage.


Mallecks wrote:

The nonlethal rules explicitly state that nonlethal damage does not reduce hit points. However, that doesn't mean they aren't measured in the unit of Hit Points.

Healing restores hit points, and the nonlethal rules have special rules that explain how healing heals nonlethal damage. These rules would be unnecessary if they were hit points.

There is a general rule that all weapons do hit point damage. There are specific rules on how to deal nonlethal damage. Any weapon can do lethal or nonlethal damage.

Actually, what is explicitly stated is not to deduct from your current hit points, not that they don't reduce hit points.

PRD wrote:
When you take nonlethal damage, keep a running total of how much you've accumulated. Do not deduct the nonlethal damage number from your current hit points. It is not "real" damage. Instead, when your nonlethal damage equals your current hit points, you're staggered (see below), and when it exceeds your current hit points, you fall unconscious.

Non-lethal damage behaves in the same manner as lethal, when you reach (a combined) total of your hit-points, you are staggered (same as when lethal deals equal to HP), when you deal past that, your unconscious, again, the same as with lethal (with the difference being non-lethal is non-lethal, you are not dying).

Also, what are hit points?
PRD wrote:
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

So, hit points are an abstraction of how much physical punishment you can take, and non-lethal damage is an abstraction of how much physical punishment is done to you.


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Mallecks wrote:
Irontruth wrote:

Where in the rules does it specifically say that that is the process?

Power Attack says it modifies all melee damage (and later excludes non-hit point damage). If a point of damage qualifies as melee AND hit point damage, Power Attack applies and the bonus goes through. I see no other rules that tell us how else to make that determination. There is no clause in PA that requires the attack roll to be a specific type, so it doesn't matter if the attack roll is intended as nonlethal or not. It just has to result in hit point damage.

You've argued that GA might be correct if you use some sort of strictest reading of the rules. Don't change methods just because it isn't convenient now. If his reading is correct about nonlethal, then this reading is also correct about PA. If an attack deals lethal damage (which nonlethal overflow IS lethal damage), then Power Attack applies.

For it to not apply, by RAW, the attack has to be a touch attack, or not deal hit point damage. A nonlethal attack that results in overflow doesn't meet either of those criteria, and so is not excluded.

This is a completely different argument about how Power Attack works and how damage is resolved by the rules.

Power Attack would have the exact same issue with lethal damage trying to break through DR.

You can't dodge it though if you claim that nonlethal is not hit point damage. You have to be able to answer it sufficiently in order to reconcile how nonlethal damage isn't hit point damage.

Yup, how it interacts with DR is important too. If "hit point damage" is only damage that AT THAT TIME reduces current hit points, then an attack that doesn't overcome DR doesn't qualify, because it doesn't reduce current hit points.

If an interpretation breaks other interactions, it probably isn't a good interpretation. This has been my argument all along.

"Nonlethal damage isn't hit point damage" is an interpretation of the rules, and not an explicit statement in the rules themselves (so, it's not actually RAW, because to qualify as RAW, it would have to be written down). That interpretation is inherently flawed, and fails to pass very reasonable tests of how the rules should work.

So, can you find an example written by Paizo staff of how Power Attack damage is calculated in regards to DR or nonlethal?


Irontruth wrote:
Mallecks wrote:
Irontruth wrote:

Where in the rules does it specifically say that that is the process?

Power Attack says it modifies all melee damage (and later excludes non-hit point damage). If a point of damage qualifies as melee AND hit point damage, Power Attack applies and the bonus goes through. I see no other rules that tell us how else to make that determination. There is no clause in PA that requires the attack roll to be a specific type, so it doesn't matter if the attack roll is intended as nonlethal or not. It just has to result in hit point damage.

You've argued that GA might be correct if you use some sort of strictest reading of the rules. Don't change methods just because it isn't convenient now. If his reading is correct about nonlethal, then this reading is also correct about PA. If an attack deals lethal damage (which nonlethal overflow IS lethal damage), then Power Attack applies.

For it to not apply, by RAW, the attack has to be a touch attack, or not deal hit point damage. A nonlethal attack that results in overflow doesn't meet either of those criteria, and so is not excluded.

This is a completely different argument about how Power Attack works and how damage is resolved by the rules.

Power Attack would have the exact same issue with lethal damage trying to break through DR.

You can't dodge it though if you claim that nonlethal is not hit point damage. You have to be able to answer it sufficiently in order to reconcile how nonlethal damage isn't hit point damage.

Yup, how it interacts with DR is important too. If "hit point damage" is only damage that AT THAT TIME reduces current hit points, then an attack that doesn't overcome DR doesn't qualify, because it doesn't reduce current hit points.

If an interpretation breaks other interactions, it probably isn't a good interpretation. This has been my argument all along.

"Nonlethal damage isn't hit point damage" is an interpretation of the rules, and not an explicit...

Your problem with my interpretation of nonlethal damage is that it doesn't seem to work with your interpretation of how Power Attack should work.

Where the bonus damage of Power Attack is only applied after all other damage of the effects happen and then applied after if conditions are met.

Your interpretation of Power Attack breaks by itself with lethal damage and DR, and it not reliant on my interpretation of nonlethal damage.

My interpretation of nonlethal damage is logically consistent with how I believe resolving damage and Power Attack should work.

You make an attack roll, if you hit, you make your damage and calculate damage. You don't calculate damage multiple times.

However, all of this argument is just opinion, because it has to do with resolving damage, which is not covered by the rules. And doesn't deal ONLY with nonlethal damage, as lethal damage has the same problem. So, it isn't exactly relevant to this topic.

We can make a new topic and discuss how Power Attack and resolving damage rolls happens in a new thread.


Irontruth wrote:
Mallecks wrote:
Irontruth wrote:

Where in the rules does it specifically say that that is the process?

Power Attack says it modifies all melee damage (and later excludes non-hit point damage). If a point of damage qualifies as melee AND hit point damage, Power Attack applies and the bonus goes through. I see no other rules that tell us how else to make that determination. There is no clause in PA that requires the attack roll to be a specific type, so it doesn't matter if the attack roll is intended as nonlethal or not. It just has to result in hit point damage.

You've argued that GA might be correct if you use some sort of strictest reading of the rules. Don't change methods just because it isn't convenient now. If his reading is correct about nonlethal, then this reading is also correct about PA. If an attack deals lethal damage (which nonlethal overflow IS lethal damage), then Power Attack applies.

For it to not apply, by RAW, the attack has to be a touch attack, or not deal hit point damage. A nonlethal attack that results in overflow doesn't meet either of those criteria, and so is not excluded.

This is a completely different argument about how Power Attack works and how damage is resolved by the rules.

Power Attack would have the exact same issue with lethal damage trying to break through DR.

You can't dodge it though if you claim that nonlethal is not hit point damage. You have to be able to answer it sufficiently in order to reconcile how nonlethal damage isn't hit point damage.

Yup, how it interacts with DR is important too. If "hit point damage" is only damage that AT THAT TIME reduces current hit points, then an attack that doesn't overcome DR doesn't qualify, because it doesn't reduce current hit points.

If an interpretation breaks other interactions, it probably isn't a good interpretation. This has been my argument all along.

"Nonlethal damage isn't hit point damage" is an interpretation of the rules, and not an explicit...

The bonus damage from power attack should be added (or not added) when the attack is made. If an attack is attempting to deal nonlethal damage then the bonus damage from power attack wouldn't apply as it isn't hit point damage. Even if the damage is converted to lethal damage the effect itself is still dealing nonlethal damage and should be treated as such.

That interpretation is closest to the text in all regards and will resolve most of the corner cases.


You're are so far gone, that now you're arguing that a target that takes hit point damage, isn't actually taking hit point damage. Please cite a source that says when a target takes damage (reducing current hit points) that it isn't actually taking hit point damage.

You're so convinced you HAVE to be right, that you refuse to acknowledge the flaws in what you're saying and you're bending over backwards trying to find a solution.

Or, you could take the easy way out and realize that nonlethal is a subset of hit point damage, and literally everything falls into place and makes sense without any contortions.


1. You've stated that nonlethal damage doesn't benefit Power Attack, because it isn't hit point damage.
2. Nonlethal damage overflow is lethal damage.
3. Lethal damage IS hit point damage.
4. Power Attack applies to hit point damage.

Therefore, Power Attack must apply to overflow damage.
Feel free to provide a quote from the rules that negates one of those 4 points. I'll be amused if you do, because they're all YOUR points. But for PA to not apply to the overflow damage, one of those points has to be wrong.


Again, it is apparent that we are having a miscommunication on how mechanics behind Power Attack. Your description of the Power Attack mechanic, as I understand it, doesn't make sense and had the exact same problem between lethal damage and nonlethal damage.

I will make a separate topic for it.


We don't need a third thread on this topic.

For our purposes, Power Attack has two exclusionary components (there's more the the feat, but we're not debating the Strength ratios, the BAB to damage ratios, etc). The two exclusionary clauses:

1. It does not apply to touch attacks.
2. It doesn't apply to effects that are not hit point damage.

So, we're not arguing over whether the attack is a touch attack. So that isn't relevant. Just whether or not hit point damage is being done.

Feel free to explain to me how when a target reduces its current hit points, it isn't actually taking hit point damage. We're talking about lethal damage here. Show me in the rules where it says that Power Attack doesn't apply to lethal damage, or show me that nonlethal damage overflow is not lethal damage.

Also, I'm going to remind the both of you that as recently as 2 days ago, BOTH OF YOU were arguing that Power Attack applied to the nonlethal damage overflow. You've only backed off it now that you realize that it backs you into a corner. Unfortunately, you can't get out of this corner by ignoring this.

Quote:
all further nonlethal damage is treated as lethal damage.

In case you forgot. You have to provide text that specifically negates this. I don't care about what you want to be true, you need text. When nonlethal overflows, it is now treated as lethal damage. Since Power Attack applies to lethal damage, it must therefore also apply to nonlethal overflow... because that is treated as lethal damage.

Also, I'd be remiss if I didn't point out that treating nonlethal as a subset of hit point damage runs into zero issues here; it is consistent with all rules, and operates in the same manner as all other types of damage calculation. All of the problems and difficulty come with your interpretation that nonlethal isn't hit point damage (which you both admit is not RAI).


Irontruth -- Just because a target takes lethal damage doesn't mean you aren't doing nonlethal.
For example, a whip does nonlethal (unless you're taking a -4 to do lethal or have a special power or something). If someone has taken 29 out of 30 nonlethal damage and someone attacks the person with a whip does that mean that anything above the first point of damage doesn't count? No, it just means that any damage above the first is lethal.

I believe what Mallecks is trying to say (and correct me if I'm wrong, Mallecks) is that, by their reading of the rules, if someone is Power Attacking with nonlethal they don't get the bonus damage, even if part of that damage rolls over into lethal. (Because, honestly, it would be ridiculous to do it that way. The character is attacking with nonlethal even though the one being attacked takes it as lethal.)

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