Is nonlethal damage considered hit point damage?


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Multiple instances of "healing" use the words recover, remove or restore. Is there an instance in the book where it specifically says that you "remove X damage, but this isn't considered healing"?

I imagine there are a couple, but they're going to be specific abilities and spells (like transferring wounds from one target to another). Unless you have a general rule that makes this specific exclusion, I don't see why we should accept your definition. It seems like something you made up, and not something actually in the rules.

Edit: Vitalist - Transfer Wounds
Even this is a transfer, the damage doesn't really go away, and it still calls it healing.

I'm going to need a specific citation that reduces damage already taken/increases current hit points (excluding temporary hit points, and things that change totals, and the like), but specifically calls it "not healing". Otherwise I'm calling b&+*$##+ on your definition of what is and isn't healing.


It is something I made up. It came up as a discussion of healing nonlethal and what exactly that meant. This would be a RAI definition.

However, I said that if it wasn't defined in the "healing section" or by the "Healing nonlethal damage" rule or another rule that defines healing that I missed then it wouldn't be considered healing RAW.

Edit:

Transfer Wounds wrote:

Transfer Wounds (Su)

All vitalists learn how to transfer wounds with but a touch. As a standard action that does not provoke attacks of opportunity, a vitalist may touch a target and heal it for 1d6 points of damage. The vitalist suffers the same number of points of non-lethal damage (up to the amount the target is actually healed) At 4th level and every 3 levels thereafter, the damage healed to the target and non-lethal damage taken by the vitalist increases by 1d6. A vitalist may use this ability a number of times per day equal to 3 + his Wisdom modifier. A vitalist may not use this ability upon himself.

The vitalist heals 1d6 points of damage and takes the same in nonlethal damage. What exactly is the question?

Edit Edit:

Deny Succor wrote:
Deny Succor (Su): The shaman can place this hex on a single creature within 30 feet. The target does not heal damage from cure spells and does not benefit from any spells or effects that remove conditions. This effect lasts for a number of rounds equal to 1/2 the shaman's level. A successful Will saving throw negates this effect. Whether or not the saving throw is successful, the creature cannot be the target of this hex again for 24 hours.
Lesser Restoration wrote:

This spell functions like lesser restoration, except that it also dispels temporary negative levels or one permanent negative level. If this spell is used to dispel a permanent negative level, it has a material component of diamond dust worth 1,000 gp. This spell cannot be used to dispel more than one permanent negative level possessed by a target in a 1-week period.

Restoration cures all temporary ability damage, and it restores all points permanently drained from a single ability score (your choice if more than one is drained). It also eliminates any fatigue or exhaustion suffered by the target.

Would Deny Succor stop Lesser Restoration from removing ability damage?


The shaman ability specifically calls out cure spells, and the removal of conditions with spells and that is it. Compare it to the spell of the same name:

Deny Succor spell wrote:
Deny succor is a powerful curse that prevents all forms of healing, magical or otherwise, for the duration of the spell. If the target fails its Will save, the spell prevents the recovery of hit points and ability damage by any means. All cure spells and spells with the healing descriptor automatically fail when directed at the target, and the target cannot recover damage through natural healing, use of the Heal skill, or use of the fast healing or regeneration abilities.

That spell is much more broad, explicitly broad, in its description of what is covered. The shaman's ability does not prevent all healing, it only prevents healing through cure spells. Does it have "cure" in the name? It doesn't heal the target then.


Loss of Hit Points wrote:

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

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

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.

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

A plain text reading of the rules indicates that hit point damage is damage that reduces current hit points, which would not include nonlethal damage (with the possible exception of overflow damage). Unless there is something to indicate otherwise, the rules are clear that nonlethal damage should not be considered hit point damage for the general case.

Let's set aside corner cases/rule interactions for a second. Assume a group is picking up the game with no preconceptions and no influence from anything outside of Paizo published materials. Where in the rules is there text that indicates nonlethal damage should be considered hit point damage under normal conditions (no overflow into lethal damage)?

To be clear; I am not asking for text that indicates nonlethal damage is damage or that nonlethal damage is measured in hit points, I am looking for something in the text that explicitly shows that the phrase "hit point damage" should include nonlethal damage.


Well while there are none I have never even seen this argued. In the 10 years i have been playing pathfinder I have never seen a player assume they couldn't use PA with nonlethal and I have never had a DM question it let alone rule against it. So anecdotally I can say that such text isn't needed.


Gallant Armor wrote:


A plain text reading of the rules indicates that hit point damage is damage that reduces current hit points, which would not include nonlethal damage (with the possible exception of overflow damage). Unless there is something to indicate otherwise, the rules are clear that nonlethal damage should not be considered hit point damage for the general case.

Overflow is not a "corner case". It is in the general rules of nonlethal damage, and is fully a characteristic of how nonlethal works.

Nonlethal overflow is normal.

Baseball players miss the ball the majority of the time (hitting it over 30% of the time is considered really good), but getting a base hit is not considered a "corner case".

Besides which, it doesn't matter if something is a corner case or not. A rules interpretation has to square (make sense) with other rules. You don't get to decide that something isn't relevant just because you're having a hard time with it.

If nonlethal overflow were a new rule introduced in Pathfinder Unchained, you would have a case. But it isn't. It is in the main section about nonlethal, in the core rulebook. If you have to ignore it to get your interpretation to make sense, that means your interpretation is not RAW.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Rulebook, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Quote:
Assume a group is picking up the game with no preconceptions and no influence from anything outside of Paizo published materials.

This is... well, I was going to say laughable, but let’s settle for a poor assumption. Sure, in a universe in which only the words used in Paizo published materials exist and are being read by a computer without the ability to understand context and make interpolations, you might be able to argue that nonlethal damage is not a type of hit point damage.

I play in the real world where people like things to make sense, and being able to say “you track it up rather than down, and it heals faster, but it’s otherwise basically the same thing” is a lot easier than saying “well, they’re not the same, so every rule interaction must be carefully parsed by the GM don’t you dare make assumptions about what feats and abilities work with nonlethal damage because even a cure spell doesn’t affect nonlethal damage unless you’ve taken lethal damage too, and since that clearly flies in the face of how nonlethal damage is affected by healing I’ll just hand-wave and ignore it.”


Gallant Armor wrote:


Let's set aside corner cases/rule interactions for a second. Assume a group is picking up the game with no preconceptions and no influence from anything outside of Paizo published materials. Where in the rules is there text that indicates nonlethal damage should be considered hit point damage under normal conditions (no overflow into lethal damage)?

As others have done, I'm calling this out. Everyone, EVERYONE, had to pick up the game at some point, and lots (most? all?) of those groups had no preconceived expectations. And the majority, I'd dare say the vast majority, came to the conclusion that both lethal and non-lethal damage are forms of hit point damage, as they are both tracked against hit points.


bbangerter wrote:
Gallant Armor wrote:


Let's set aside corner cases/rule interactions for a second. Assume a group is picking up the game with no preconceptions and no influence from anything outside of Paizo published materials. Where in the rules is there text that indicates nonlethal damage should be considered hit point damage under normal conditions (no overflow into lethal damage)?
As others have done, I'm calling this out. Everyone, EVERYONE, had to pick up the game at some point, and lots (most? all?) of those groups had no preconceived expectations. And the majority, I'd dare say the vast majority, came to the conclusion that both lethal and non-lethal damage are forms of hit point damage, as they are both tracked against hit points.

I'm going to have to disagree. There are multiple times that this question has been asked on this very forum.

http://paizo.com/threads/rzs2tas3?Power-Attack-and-NonLethal-Damage
http://paizo.com/threads/rzs2ubcr?Is-nonlethal-damage-HP-damage
http://paizo.com/threads/rzs2pjn7?Some-rules-questions-regarding-a-Rogue-bu ild

Those were the ones I was able to find just doing a quick search, and it wouldn't really surprise me if there were more that were just asked in a different way. Even then, I had to wade through multiple posts of people misunderstanding or complaining about their PFS game misusing the basic use of nonlethal damage.

Really, I wouldn't expect new players to think anything about this topic, because it only comes up in a fairly small set of interactions.


Butt_Luckily wrote:


I'm going to have to disagree. There are multiple times that this question has been asked on this very forum.

http://paizo.com/threads/rzs2tas3?Power-Attack-and-NonLethal-Damage
http://paizo.com/threads/rzs2ubcr?Is-nonlethal-damage-HP-damage
http://paizo.com/threads/rzs2pjn7?Some-rules-questions-regarding-a-Rogue-bu ild

I don't consider three threads on the topic very telling of anything. (The third thread isn't even about the topic, but another question, which non-lethal damage comes up as a partial question to a greater set of questions).

Compare those 3 threads to the monthly vital strike question, or the monthly how does magus spell combat work question, and 3 threads just isn't very telling overall.

In fairness, the situation of a power attack non-lethal attack isn't a combo that comes up very often compared to someone building a magus for the first time, or people taking the VS feat, but still, those 3 threads just don't mean much IMO.

In one of those threads the few posters believe RAI that non-lethal is HP damage, but a lawyer-esk reading would probably lead to no its not.
The second thread feels it is not.
The third (that doesn't really apply except that one sub-question) feels it is.


I didn't bring up the content of the posts because my point was that I wasn't sure one could say that in the overwhelming majority of cases people would come to a particular view.

But, if you want to bring up the actual content of the posts, doesn't the fact that the question results in different answers each time suggest that how the vast majority of people interpret the rule is not as obvious as you seem to think it is?


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55 posts this time. This is an impasse, you are at. Give up. Ask your respective GMs and go with their ruling.


It's not actually an impasse. Even the people "disagreeing" agree with how the rule SHOULD be interpreted.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Rulebook, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Which means the appropriate answer to any assertion of the opposite needs to be:

So what?


Irontruth wrote:
It's not actually an impasse. Even the people "disagreeing" agree with how the rule SHOULD be interpreted.

It's an impasse in the respect that the parties disagree and have reached a point where neither side is budging from their beliefs. In such a debate, there is no victory to be had. You can wait for circumstances to change, but there's no present solution which will cause all parties to agree.

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber

To be sure, there is an Impasse, but within the overall discussion, GA and the others (two, three?) have said from the beginning that the intended way that Non Lethal works is as HP as far as it goes. Their overall ignorance of that intent in favor of a written word seems counter to trying to understand the underlining base for that rule.

RAI is a part of RAW. If the intent is clearly understood, then RAW is better understood as it is read. To most here, if not all, the intent of Non Lethal is pretty clear, and the disparity that the RAW interpretation that this discussion is about seems, in my mind, to be nit picking on a particular.


I can't speak for the others, but the above does not apply to me.

My initial reaction to the question was that nonlethal damage is not HP damage. Upon reviewing the rules further, I believe it is that way RAW and RAI.


You feel it was always intended that it be a totally different thing, completely unrelated to hitpoints?


Just because nonlethal damage is not hit point damage does not mean that it is unrelated to hit points.


I have changed positions. Initially in the first thread, I thought Power Attack worked with nonlethal RAI. However, I now believe that RAI nonlethal is not hit point damage and am unconvinced what the RAI is about Power Attack.

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber

My overall point about Non Lethal has always been that it effects HP as it is being tracked separately from it. A character has less HP to work with as he is hit with Non Lethal damage, and that this parity makes Non Lethal damage another type of HP, not a separate damage type like Ability damage. It isn't "Real" HP in the same way that Lethal damage isn't Non-Lethal HP.


thaX wrote:
My overall point about Non Lethal has always been that it effects HP as it is being tracked separately from it. A character has less HP to work with as he is hit with Non Lethal damage, and that this parity makes Non Lethal damage another type of HP, not a separate damage type like Ability damage. It isn't "Real" HP in the same way that Lethal damage isn't Non-Lethal HP.

Nonlethal has zero impact on the HP statistic.

Nonlethal causes the staggered or unconscious conditions.

Negative Levels and constitution damage causes a character "to have less HP to work with" and we don't consider that hit point damage.


As I have stated previously, this situation reminds me strongly of the bows overcoming DR debate. One side was arguing that the text indicated that a bow's enhancement bonus only allowed arrows to overcome DR magic, the other side's argument was that the common interpretation should be followed which allows bows to overcome DR the same as a melee weapon.

Just because an interpretation is common doesn't make it correct.


Except that the interpretation for bows and ammunition can go either way. Treating it one way or the other doesn't cause wholly new rules interactions, or cause rules violations.

Currently, you guys are advocating for rules violations in order to get your interpretation to work. You have not presented a credible rule for why lethal damage is not eligible for Power Attack, or that damage gets added in halfway through the application of damage. One of those must be true for nonlethal to not be hit point damage, and you don't have a rules citation for either.


Irontruth wrote:

Except that the interpretation for bows and ammunition can go either way. Treating it one way or the other doesn't cause wholly new rules interactions, or cause rules violations.

Currently, you guys are advocating for rules violations in order to get your interpretation to work. You have not presented a credible rule for why lethal damage is not eligible for Power Attack, or that damage gets added in halfway through the application of damage. One of those must be true for nonlethal to not be hit point damage, and you don't have a rules citation for either.

You can keep claiming this, but you are either purposefully using a strawman or you do not understand the opposing sides position. Considering the amount of time spent on the topic, I would say the former.


Nonlethal overflow is treated as lethal damage.

Either Power Attack must be added in, or you have to claim that "lethal damage" isn't eligible for Power Attack.

Because there's NOTHING in the rules that say the overflow damage would not be eligible for the bonus damage.

Quote:
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.

Nonlethal overflow must be treated like lethal damage.

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

Lethal damage must be treated as hit point damage.

Quote:

You can choose to take a –1 penalty on all melee attack rolls and combat maneuver checks to gain a +2 bonus on all melee damage rolls. This bonus to damage is increased by half (+50%) if you are making an attack with a two-handed weapon, a one handed weapon using two hands, or a primary natural weapon that adds 1-1/2 times your Strength modifier on damage rolls. This bonus to damage is halved (–50%) if you are making an attack with an off-hand weapon or secondary natural weapon.

When your base attack bonus reaches +4, and every 4 points thereafter, the penalty increases by –1 and the bonus to damage increases by +2.

You must choose to use this feat before making an attack roll, and its effects last until your next turn. The bonus damage does not apply to touch attacks or effects that do not deal hit point damage.

Lethal damage is eligible for Power Attack.

Quote me a RULE that says otherwise. I understand your argument about why it isn't eligible, but the point is that your argument is not based on the RULES. You have to explicitly ignore RAW to arrive at your conclusion. You quote other sections, but ignore these sections. The only ways to arrive at your conclusion is to assume your premise. But if we don't assume your premise, the rules tell us that that is the wrong conclusion.

You guys are trying to prove a technicality by ignoring technicalities. The only way to arrive at your "proof" is to assume it is true in the first place. Without that circular reasoning, your argument makes no sense, but unfortunately circular reasoning is not a legitimate logic tool.

And no, it isn't a strawman, because you have claimed both of those things at different times. You have literally used both conclusions (Power Attack is added later, Power Attack doesn't apply) at different times to support your argument. If you've actually claimed it, it isn't a strawman.


Assuming Nonlethal isn't hp damage, You still feel that the specific rule for treating nonlethal as lethal qualifies a nonlethal attack for power attack in all scenarios.

We (or, at least, I ) feel that when performing an attack, we check the general rule, see that nonlethal doesn't deal hit point damage, and don't add the bonus to the damage roll.

Even if you wanted to consider the overflow rule, I agree with Mallecks's argument that the damage overflow is something that the target does on its own, separate from the attack.

To illustrate and begin to enter RAI: If you are trying to take someone down in a nonlethal manner, in almost every instance, you are not trying to hit them as hard as you can. If you brain someone as hard as you can in the domepiece, even with a sap, you are definitely at risk of dealing lethal damage. How could you take a great club, and "make exceptionally deadly melee attacks by sacrificing accuracy for strength" to deal nonlethal? Even if you aim for a nonvital, are you not able to break bone? Is that not lethal damage? How do you take a greatsword and power attack with it, and deal nonlethal? Even if you use the flat of the blade or pommel, you are still hitting someone as hard as you can with a solid, 8lb piece of metal.

And, more precisely, how do you take any weapon and "make exceptionally deadly melee attacks" with it that are nonlethal (which by definition are not deadly, let alone "exceptionally" deadly)?


Butt_Luckily wrote:


Assuming Nonlethal isn't hp damage, You still feel that the specific rule for treating nonlethal as lethal qualifies a nonlethal attack for power attack in all scenarios.

We (or, at least, I ) feel that when performing an attack, we check the general rule, see that nonlethal doesn't deal hit point damage, and don't add the bonus to the damage roll.

Even if you wanted to consider the overflow rule, I agree with Mallecks's argument that the damage overflow is something that the target does on its own, separate from the attack.

To illustrate and begin to enter RAI: If you are trying to take someone down in a nonlethal manner, in almost every instance, you are not trying to hit them as hard as you can. If you brain someone as hard as you can in the domepiece, even with a sap, you are definitely at risk of dealing lethal damage. How could you take a great club, and "make exceptionally deadly melee attacks by sacrificing accuracy for strength" to deal nonlethal? Even if you aim for a nonvital, are you not able to break bone? Is that not lethal damage? How do you take a greatsword and power attack with it, and deal nonlethal? Even if you use the flat of the blade or pommel, you are still hitting someone as hard as you can with a solid, 8lb piece of metal.

And, more precisely, how do you take any weapon and "make exceptionally deadly melee attacks" with it that are nonlethal (which by definition are not deadly, let alone "exceptionally" deadly)?

The justification for your position is a bunch of stuff that isn't rules of the game.

The rules don't say that the "target" treats the damage as lethal. It just says that the DAMAGE is treated as lethal, without regard to whether from the perspective of the target or attacker. The damage gains all the properties of being lethal at that point.

My question then... can you provide me a RULE that says that lethal damage is not eligible for Power Attack?

Assume:
1. The attacker is using Power Attack.
2. The damage is nonlethal overflow.

Cite a specific rule that lays out the process for how this damage is not eligible for Power Attack.

I don't care about your "think about it realistically", or what you think makes the most sense. I want specific rules text that tells us how to deal with this, or an official clarification. You are making a VERY bold claim that lethal damage (which nonlethal overflow is) is not eligible for Power Attack bonus damage. I want a specific rules citation.

In the RULES section of the forums, if you want to claim something is RAW, you have to back it up with rules text. Show me rules text. And remember, NOTHING so far backs up this claim in the rules text that has been quoted in this thread.


The rules are not specific enough in this case, and I feel that we will have to agree to disagree on the application of a few rules.

The most important difference is probably the application of the nonlethal overflow.

But if you think progress can be made:

1) Assume nonlethal damage is not hit point damage.
2) Assume the attacker is using power attack
3) Assume the attack will be overflow nonlethal damage

Character declares power attack for a nonlethal attack.
Attack roll succeeds.
Nonlethal attacks do not do hp damage.
5 Damage rolled without PA bonus.
5 nonlethal damage dealt to target.
Because the target has nonlethal damage = max hp, the 5 nonlethal damage that was dealt is treated as lethal.

I'm not sure I see the issue here.

Sczarni

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The rules are specific enough in that case. Overflow is lethal. Lethal is treated as hit point damage. So overflow non-lethal is eligible for power attack.

But how do you calculate if you hit in the first place? You do a power attack BEFORE your damage is calculated. Ergo, Power Attack applies to non-lethal attacks as well as lethal attacks. It is just a logical conclusion. You are not going to go back (no RAW FOR IT) and re-calculate the hit. Nor to re-calculate the damage. THUS, if non-lethal overflow happens, and is treated as HP damage, NON-LETHAL is AT FIRST treated as HP Damage when you do the calculation of Damage.

The statement about "effects that do not deal hit point damage" in the Power Attack description have already been pointed out as something completely different. This refers to spell effects that don't damage a target that still require an attack - such as non-hit point dealing touch attacks. ie. You can't take a -2 to hit and do 4 points of damage on a paralysis SU/SA or something that does only Stat damage, blinds, stuns, or otherwise doesn't deal hit point damage. The confusion with non-lethal is DA and your own. Nobody else is confused by this. You never adjust the roll after you declared the attack and calculated damage. No RAW for THAT.


Butt_Luckily wrote:

The rules are not specific enough in this case, and I feel that we will have to agree to disagree on the application of a few rules.

The most important difference is probably the application of the nonlethal overflow.

But if you think progress can be made:

1) Assume nonlethal damage is not hit point damage.
2) Assume the attacker is using power attack
3) Assume the attack will be overflow nonlethal damage

Character declares power attack for a nonlethal attack.
Attack roll succeeds.
Nonlethal attacks do not do hp damage.
5 Damage rolled without PA bonus.
5 nonlethal damage dealt to target.
Because the target has nonlethal damage = max hp, the 5 nonlethal damage that was dealt is treated as lethal.

I'm not sure I see the issue here.

The issue is that Power Attack has 2 exclusionary clauses that prevent the bonus damage, and you HAVE NOT satisfied either of them, so therefore the damage must be eligible for Power Attack. If you don't add in Power Attack damage, you are violating the RAW of Power Attack.

If you think that the lethal damage (nonlethal overflow is treated as lethal) is not eligible for Power Attack, I would like to know what RULE you are using to determine this.

The rules are very clear:

1. Nonlethal overflow is treated as lethal damage.
2. Lethal damage is eligible for Power Attack bonus damage.

Both of those statements are easy to read and verify in the rules.


Power Attack doesn't care about lethal damage.

It cares about touch attacks and attacks that do not do hit point damage.

Unfortunately, due to Assumption 1, nonlethal attacks are not eligible.

As I said, we will have to agree to disagree on the implications of overflow nonlethal damage.


Butt_Luckily wrote:

Power Attack doesn't care about lethal damage.

It cares about touch attacks and attacks that do not do hit point damage.

Unfortunately, due to Assumption 1, nonlethal attacks are not eligible.

As I said, we will have to agree to disagree on the implications of overflow nonlethal damage.

This is not true.

It doesn't apply to...
1)touch attacks
2)damage that isn't hit point damage

This is really important. #2 is not about ATTACKS, it is about DAMAGE.

Regardless, the attack does result in lethal damage, which means it qualifies. Power Attack doesn't care if your attack includes an effect that does something other than hit point damage... as long as it also does hit point damage.

If you hit for 1d6 damage +1d4 strength ability damage, Power Attack still applies to the 1d6 damage (it doesn't apply to the strength ability damage).

So, what rule are you using to determine that the lethal damage (nonlethal overflow) is ineligible for Power Attack? Because by RAW right now, you are saying to use Power Attack incorrectly.

The rules CLEARLY state that nonlethal overflow is lethal damage. This isn't debatable, and if you say it is, you are not arguing RAW, but your own house rules. If you disagree, you are not using RAW.

Quote:
If a creature’s nonlethal damage is equal to his total maximum hit points (not his current hit points), all further nonlethal damage is treated as lethal damage.

This is not debatable. You treat it like lethal damage, because that is what the rules say.


Irontruth wrote:

It doesn't apply to...
1)touch attacks
2)damage that isn't hit point damage

This is really important. #2 is not about ATTACKS, it is about DAMAGE.

Regardless, the attack does result in lethal damage, which means it qualifies. Power Attack doesn't care if your attack includes an effect that does something other than hit point damage... as long as it also does hit point damage.

The effect of the attack is nonlethal. Power Attack works on the effect of the attack, not on the damage the target takes. I've provided several situations to explain this principle, but you continue to ignore them. One of the recent one follows:

=================
Scenario 1:

A caster casts a Merciful Fireball and hits 4 creatures. They roll 10 damage.

Creature 1: 10 HP, 0 nonlethal damage.
Creature 2: 10 HP, 8 nonlethal damage.
Creature 3: 10 HP, 0 nonlethal damage. Reflex saves for half.
Creature 4: 10 HP, 8 nonlethal damage. Reflex saves for half.

What is the effect of the spell? Is it anything other than 10 nonlethal damage?

=================

Here's another one using the same logic of "the excess nonlethal is lethal damage".

1. Creature elects to use power attack.
2. Creature makes attack roll.
3. Creature makes a damage roll and the result is 5 without Power Attack.
4. Target has 5 DR/- and ignores the damage.
5. Attack is no longer eligible for Power Attack and no bonus damage is added.

The above is exactly the same as..

1. Creature elects to use power attack.
2. Creature makes attack roll.
3. Creature makes a damage roll and the result is 5 without Power Attack.
4. The target had 10 HP and 8 nonlethal. 3 lethal damage taken.
5. Attack is now eligible for Power attack and bonus damage is added.

Because Power Attack is added to the EFFECT of the attack (step 3), why would anything that happens after matter? If I bull rush an opponent and it "results" in him falling off a cliff and taking fall damage, do I get Power Attack bonus on that? The bull rush "resulted" in him taking lethal damage?

Can you provide any rule or logic as to why Power Attack's conditions are checked after the effect they are applied to? I understand there is no RAW on the process of damage calculation to the target, so we can agree to disagree on that. But can you provide any actual logic as to why something would check conditions after its effects have already happened in any similar cases?

We agree on all other points. The only point of disagreement, is when Power Attack conditions are checked and when the bonus damage is applied to the damage roll.

I believe that the conditions are checked and applied on the damage roll. Why do you believe that it happens later?


maouse wrote:

But how do you calculate if you hit in the first place? You do a power attack BEFORE your damage is calculated. Ergo, Power Attack applies to non-lethal attacks as well as lethal attacks. It is just a logical conclusion. You are not going to go back (no RAW FOR IT) and re-calculate the hit. Nor to re-calculate the damage. THUS, if non-lethal overflow happens, and is treated as HP damage, NON-LETHAL is AT FIRST treated as HP Damage when you do the calculation of Damage.

The benefit does not apply. You can use Power Attack on any attack, including touch attacks. You will receive the penalty, but not the benefit.

In the situation as I described, there is no reason to ever go back and recalculate anything, and I don't know why you would even suggest such a thing would have to occur.

maouse wrote:
The statement about "effects that do not deal hit point damage" in the Power Attack description have already been pointed out as something completely different. This refers to spell effects that don't damage a target that still require an attack - such as non-hit point dealing touch attacks. ie. You can't take a -2 to hit and do 4 points of damage on a paralysis SU/SA or something that does only Stat damage, blinds, stuns, or otherwise doesn't deal hit point damage. The confusion with non-lethal is DA and your own. Nobody else is confused by this. You never adjust the roll after you declared the attack and calculated damage. No RAW for THAT.

We understand your position and reasoning on how nonlethal is hit point damage. There has been so much focus on attacking our stance that I have not looked into whether yours is internally consistent. I imagine that it probably is (RAW, anyway). We will have to agree to disagree. If I am proven wrong, it will not be a major impact, as the difference in application of the rules is actually fairly minor except in some edge cases.

The main point being discussed in this section of the thread is Irontruth's insistence that our interpretation cannot be true because he views it as internally inconsistent. We are defending that it is internally consistent.

And again, we are not saying that any attack or damage roll be recalculated, and I don't know why you would even suggest such a thing would have to occur.

Irontruth wrote:

It doesn't apply to...

1)touch attacks
2)damage that isn't hit point damage

This is really important. #2 is not about ATTACKS, it is about DAMAGE.

http://paizo.com/pathfinderRPG/prd/coreRulebook/feats.html#power-attack wrote:
The bonus damage does not apply to touch attacks or effects that do not deal hit point damage.

Well, it cares about effects, which are the result of the attacks, which is the damage roll, which is what I checked in the situation I described.

Irontruth wrote:

Regardless, the attack does result in lethal damage, which means it qualifies. Power Attack doesn't care if your attack includes an effect that does something other than hit point damage... as long as it also does hit point damage.

...

So, what rule are you using to determine that the lethal damage (nonlethal overflow) is ineligible for Power Attack? Because by RAW right now, you are saying to use Power Attack incorrectly.

The rules CLEARLY state that nonlethal overflow is lethal damage. This isn't debatable, and if you say it is, you are not arguing RAW, but your own house rules. If you disagree, you are not using RAW.

The rule being used is the general rule of nonlethal damage not dealing hit point damage. The specific rule is not considered at the time of the damage roll, as the damage roll doesn't care about your opponent's HP.

Even if it were, that is your opinion on how to interpret the overflow nonlethal rule.

As I said, we will have to agree to disagree here. We have already discussed this point and disagree on what "treated as" means. I consider it a conversion. You consider it as some weird undefined "property replacement". I don't really have written rules to support my side. Do you?

Irontruth wrote:
Quote:
If a creature’s nonlethal damage is equal to his total maximum hit points (not his current hit points), all further nonlethal damage is treated as lethal damage.
This is not debatable. You treat it like lethal damage, because that is what the rules say.

I do treat it as lethal damage. Just not in the same way that you do.


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Fine, you guys win. I can't deal with your stupidity any more.


Come on Irontruth. We can be civil about it.

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber
maouse wrote:

The rules are specific enough in that case. Overflow is lethal. Lethal is treated as hit point damage. So overflow non-lethal is eligible for power attack.

But how do you calculate if you hit in the first place? You do a power attack BEFORE your damage is calculated. Ergo, Power Attack applies to non-lethal attacks as well as lethal attacks. It is just a logical conclusion. You are not going to go back (no RAW FOR IT) and re-calculate the hit. Nor to re-calculate the damage. THUS, if non-lethal overflow happens, and is treated as HP damage, NON-LETHAL is AT FIRST treated as HP Damage when you do the calculation of Damage.

The statement about "effects that do not deal hit point damage" in the Power Attack description have already been pointed out as something completely different. This refers to spell effects that don't damage a target that still require an attack - such as non-hit point dealing touch attacks. ie. You can't take a -2 to hit and do 4 points of damage on a paralysis SU/SA or something that does only Stat damage, blinds, stuns, or otherwise doesn't deal hit point damage. The confusion with non-lethal is DA and your own. Nobody else is confused by this. You never adjust the roll after you declared the attack and calculated damage. No RAW for THAT.

This is the major point everyone should be looking at.

You do the damage and it is calculated before being tallied to the target. It matters not if the Non Lethal damage is converted to Lethal damage at a given point, it is Non-Lethal damage that is given to the target as such. Whether or not the target has Non-Lethal damage to take has nothing to do with how the attacker hits.

Power Attack, and other abilities that deal damage, does not care if it is Lethal or Non-Lethal damage, but cares if the effects of Damage is something other than Damage to HP, such as what Maouse mentions above. The reason touch attacks are not able to be used with Power Attack is that Touch Attacks do not add the Str bonus to the attack.


Mallecks wrote:

The effect of the attack is nonlethal. Power Attack works on the effect of the attack, not on the damage the target takes. I've provided several situations to explain this principle, but you continue to ignore them. One of the recent one follows:

=================
Scenario 1:

A caster casts a Merciful Fireball and hits 4 creatures. They roll 10 damage.

Creature 1: 10 HP, 0 nonlethal damage.
Creature 2: 10 HP, 8 nonlethal damage.
Creature 3: 10 HP, 0 nonlethal damage. Reflex saves for half.
Creature 4: 10 HP, 8 nonlethal damage. Reflex saves for half.

What is the effect of the spell? Is it anything other than 10 nonlethal damage?

=================

Here's another one using the same logic of "the excess nonlethal is lethal damage".

1. Creature elects to use power attack.
2. Creature makes attack roll.
3. Creature makes a damage roll and the result is 5 without Power Attack.
4. Target has 5 DR/- and ignores the damage.
5. Attack is no longer eligible for Power Attack and no bonus damage is added.

The above is exactly the same as..

1. Creature elects to use power attack.
2. Creature makes attack roll.
3. Creature makes a damage roll and the result is 5 without Power Attack.
4. The target had 10 HP and 8 nonlethal. 3 lethal damage taken.
5. Attack is now eligible for Power attack and bonus damage is added.

Because Power Attack is added to the EFFECT of the attack (step 3), why would anything that happens after matter? If I bull rush an opponent and it "results" in him falling off a cliff and taking fall damage, do I get Power Attack bonus on...

Scenario 1: The effect is that person 1 take 10 nonlethal, person 2 takes 2 nonlethal and 8 lethal, person 3 takes 5 nonlethal, and person 4 takes 2 nonlethal and 3 lethal.

I don't see the point you're trying to make with this question.

Scenario 2: Since the extra damage to power attack is added to the roll the result is 7, not 5. ("...gain a +2 bonus on all melee damage rolls..." You're rolling to see how much you damage the targets hit points therefore it's a melee damage roll. If it said "...gain a +2 bonus when you do melee damage..." you might have something to stand on.)

Scenario 3: This is where your argument seems to have a problem... Because the attack is dealing lethal damage why wouldn't power attack apply? Whereas, if nonlethal counts as hit point damage, power attack applies to it.

Would someone get power attack damage on being bull rushed off a cliff? No. Falling damage is not a melee damage roll, it's a falling damage roll.


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Cavall wrote:
Come on Irontruth. We can be civil about it.

I started civil, but this is frustrating at this point. Either they are intentionally being trolls, or they are too dumb to understand the text.


thaX wrote:
maouse wrote:

The rules are specific enough in that case. Overflow is lethal. Lethal is treated as hit point damage. So overflow non-lethal is eligible for power attack.

But how do you calculate if you hit in the first place? You do a power attack BEFORE your damage is calculated. Ergo, Power Attack applies to non-lethal attacks as well as lethal attacks. It is just a logical conclusion. You are not going to go back (no RAW FOR IT) and re-calculate the hit. Nor to re-calculate the damage. THUS, if non-lethal overflow happens, and is treated as HP damage, NON-LETHAL is AT FIRST treated as HP Damage when you do the calculation of Damage.

The statement about "effects that do not deal hit point damage" in the Power Attack description have already been pointed out as something completely different. This refers to spell effects that don't damage a target that still require an attack - such as non-hit point dealing touch attacks. ie. You can't take a -2 to hit and do 4 points of damage on a paralysis SU/SA or something that does only Stat damage, blinds, stuns, or otherwise doesn't deal hit point damage. The confusion with non-lethal is DA and your own. Nobody else is confused by this. You never adjust the roll after you declared the attack and calculated damage. No RAW for THAT.

This is the major point everyone should be looking at.

You do the damage and it is calculated before being tallied to the target. It matters not if the Non Lethal damage is converted to Lethal damage at a given point, it is Non-Lethal damage that is given to the target as such. Whether or not the target has Non-Lethal damage to take has nothing to do with how the attacker hits.

This is the point we've been debating for several pages. I've been pointing out how what you say in your middle paragraph is NOT RAW for the past 10 days or so. There is nothing in the text that backs up that viewpoint.

IF (and that's a big 'if') you view nonlethal as not hit point damage, the only RAW process for Power Attack is that the damage gets added in part way through the process of compiling the damage. The only argument against that is that it is highly suspicious that it took this long for a very reasonable, yet confusing, interaction to be highlighted and that no one noticed for over 10 years (longer if we add in 3.0 and 3.5, but I haven't gone back to examine those texts, and I don't think we should right now). It isn't unreasonable to ask why no one has bothered to give an explanation for how this works in the past 10 years, but that lack of explanation is not conclusively RAW evidence that it is wrong.

Not adding in Power Attack damage to lethal damage of a melee attack though is flat out wrong and against the rules.


thaX wrote:
maouse wrote:
...

This is the major point everyone should be looking at.

You do the damage and it is calculated before being tallied to the target. It matters not if the Non Lethal damage is converted to Lethal damage at a given point, it is Non-Lethal damage that is given to the target as such. Whether or not the target has Non-Lethal damage to take has nothing to do with how the attacker hits.

Power Attack, and other abilities that deal damage, does not care if it is Lethal or Non-Lethal damage, but cares if the effects of Damage is something other than Damage to HP, such as what Maouse mentions above. The reason touch attacks are not able to be used with Power Attack is that Touch Attacks do not add the Str bonus to the attack.

We can speculate the reason that touch attacks do not count, but it is not given.

Other than that, I completely agree with this. If nonlethal damage were HP damage, it would apply.

And just to be sure, because it was quoted:
Again, we are not saying that any attack or damage roll be recalculated, and I don't know why you would even suggest such a thing would have to occur


Warped Savant wrote:

Scenario 1: The effect is that person 1 take 10 nonlethal, person 2 takes 2 nonlethal and 8 lethal, person 3 takes 5 nonlethal, and person 4 takes 2 nonlethal and 3 lethal.

I don't see the point you're trying to make with this question.
Scenario 2: Since the extra damage to power attack is added to the roll the result is 7, not 5. ("...gain a +2 bonus on all melee damage rolls..." You're rolling to see how much you damage the targets hit points therefore it's a melee damage roll. If it said "...gain a +2 bonus when you do melee damage..." you might have something to stand on.)

Scenario 3: This is where your argument seems to have a problem... Because the attack is dealing lethal damage why wouldn't power attack apply? Whereas, if nonlethal counts as hit point damage, power attack applies to it.

Would someone get power attack damage on being bull rushed off a cliff? No. Falling damage is not a melee damage roll, it's a falling damage roll.

Scenario 1 was to show that the effect of an action is its own thing. Fireball deals 10 damage. It doesn't matter what it hits or if it hits nothing. This was one of the examples I was using to show that how much damage an effect deals is not the same thing of how much damage is taken.

Fireball deals 10 nonlethal damage. Not all the targets took 10 nonlethal damage. There are many examples that illustrate this concept, but I was trying to keep it topical.

Scenario 2: There was no scenario 3. They are both following the exact same process. It has been established that there is a breakdown on how we think Power Attack should work. I have provided how I believe it works and people have agreed with me, but then have not followed this process. Here, again, is how I believe it should work. If you feel this is incorrect, please describe your process.

1. Creature decides to use Power Attack
2. Creature makes attack roll and succeeds.
3. Creature makes a damage roll. If power attack conditions are met here, they get bonus damage.
4. Damage is modified by spells/abilities. (DR, for example.)
5. Target takes damage.

Why would anything that happens in step 5 effect a previous step (step 3)? If you feel that this is incorrect, please feel free to share your step-by-step process and I will try to see what is causing all this confusion.

I have found something I think will make a better example, but I need to verify that the magic item I think exists is a real item.


Irontruth wrote:

The original post that was deleted mainly questioned my claim that "how much damage an effect does" (damage it deals) is different than "how much damage a target takes" (damage taken). I will try to answer this RAW as best as I can.

1.

Damage wrote:
If your attack succeeds, you deal damage. The type of weapon used determines the amount of damage you deal.

Here, it says the weapon determines the damage it deals. Not how much the target takes.

2.

Minimum Damage wrote:
Minimum Damage: If penalties reduce the damage result to less than 1, a hit still deals 1 point of nonlethal damage.

Here, it says if reduced to below 1, a hit "still deals 1 point of nonlethal damage." Given your position, this implies that this nonlethal damage would override all spells/effects/abilities, because according to you, how much damage the effect deals = damage taken.

3. In the same vein as the nonlethal healing rule, this is a weaker example than the first two, but implies my point.

Concentration: Spells wrote:
Spell: If you are affected by a spell while attempting to cast a spell of your own, you must make a concentration check or lose the spell you are casting. If the spell affecting you deals damage, the DC is 10 + the damage taken + the level of the spell you're casting.

Not logically inconsistent to view it either way, but it implies that the damage the spell deals is separate from the damage taken.

Irontruth wrote:

This is the point we've been debating for several pages. I've been pointing out how what you say in your middle paragraph is NOT RAW for the past 10 days or so. There is nothing in the text that backs up that viewpoint.

IF (and that's a big 'if') you view nonlethal as not hit point damage, the only RAW process for Power Attack is that the damage gets added in part way through the process of compiling the damage. The only argument against that is that it is highly suspicious that it took this long for a very reasonable, yet confusing, interaction to be highlighted and that no one noticed for over 10 years (longer if we add in 3.0 and 3.5, but I haven't gone back to examine those texts, and I don't think we should right now). It isn't unreasonable to ask why no one has bothered to give an explanation for how this works in the past 10 years, but that lack of explanation is not conclusively RAW evidence that it is wrong.

Not adding in Power Attack damage to lethal damage of a melee attack though is flat out wrong and against the rules.

Please provide your step-by-step process for how a Power Attack is used including when conditions are checked and when damage is added and we can try see where the confusion is.


1, 2 or 3. None of those say that the attacker and target treat the damage differently. None of them.

1. Yes, it does say that weapons determine the damage you deal. It doesn't say that this is separate from what targets take though. It doesn't say anything about them being separate.

2. That is talking about penalties to the attacker. Penalties and bonuses apply to the individual that they apply to. But that doesn't say that the damage you deal is something different from the damage the target takes.

3. Yes, it says "if the spell deals damage... then this other thing happens". It doesn't say that the damage the spell deals is separate from the damage the target takes.

You are trying to dig into really minute things and grasping for anything to support your position, but none of it does. A plain text reading of the rules does not tell us to treat the damage an attack deals as something different from what the target takes.


Mallecks wrote:
Scenario 1 was to show that the effect of an action is its own thing. Fireball deals 10 damage. It doesn't matter what it hits or if it hits nothing. This was one of the examples I was using to show that how much damage an effect deals is not the same thing of how much damage is taken.

Your basic premise is shown to be false by the writing of Evasion. "...If she makes a successful Reflex saving throw against an attack that normally deals half damage on a successful save..."

Right there it says that the attack deals half damage.
So your merciful fireball is dealing different types and amount of damage in your example.

Yep, you're right:
1. Creature decides to use Power Attack
2. Creature makes attack roll and succeeds.
3. Creature makes a damage roll. If power attack conditions are met here, they get bonus damage.
4. Damage is modified by spells/abilities. (DR, for example.)
5. Target takes damage.

Since nonlethal is hit point damage there's no complication with this.
The complication comes when you think that nonlethal isn't hit point damage because otherwise step 3 is unknown unless the GM tells you that you've done enough nonlethal that you are now doing lethal as well as nonlethal.


Irontruth wrote:

1, 2 or 3. None of those say that the attacker and target treat the damage differently. None of them.

1. Yes, it does say that weapons determine the damage you deal. It doesn't say that this is separate from what targets take though. It doesn't say anything about them being separate.

here is an example with Battle Poi.

1. Attack with a Battle Poi
2. Roll 1d4 fire damage. I get a 3.
3. Damage is modified (Target is immune to fire damage.)
4. Target takes zero damage.

Damage the effect deals: 1d3 fire damage (determined by weapon)
Damage taken: 0 (determined by target)

Irontruth wrote:
2. That is talking about penalties to the attacker. Penalties and bonuses apply to the individual that they apply to. But that doesn't say that the damage you deal is something different from the damage the target takes.

You're right, it doesn't say "the damage you deal is different from the damage the target takes." So, according to you, if I am penalized on my damage roll to less than 1, I will deal 1 nonlethal damage to the target. This is how much damage they must take because the rule specifically says it is how much I am doing.

Irontruth wrote:
3. Yes, it says "if the spell deals damage... then this other thing happens". It doesn't say that the damage the spell deals is separate from the damage the target takes.

If you are looking for a specific quote from the rules, I don't think I can provide it. However, I have provided many examples and scenarios that show the logic you are using to discount my position is not consistent in all scenarios, you have simply ignored them. The logic you have used causes effects to exist in multiple states (dealing different amount of damage to different creatures), to be A and NOT A at the same time (lethal and nonlethal), and have an effect-cause relationship instead of a cause-effect relationship ("Sap Problem" / Excess Nonlethal Strawman).

If you will only accept a quote from the rules that matches your specific criteria, instead of using rules to discuss the concept, then we have run into a communication problem. Neither one of us has a specific quote to back us up, so we need to use a combination of rules / examples to discuss the concepts. If this is unacceptable, then maybe "the rules don't say a dog can't play basketball" was a more acceptable outcome than I originally thought.


Warped Savant wrote:

Your basic premise is shown to be false by the writing of Evasion. "...If she makes a successful Reflex saving throw against an attack that normally deals half damage on a successful save..."

Right there it says that the attack deals half damage.
So your merciful fireball is dealing different types and amount of damage in your example.

Yep, you're right:
1. Creature decides to use Power Attack
2. Creature makes attack roll and succeeds.
3. Creature makes a damage roll. If power attack conditions are met here, they get bonus damage.
4. Damage is modified by spells/abilities. (DR, for example.)
5. Target takes damage.

Since nonlethal is hit point damage there's no complication with this.
The complication comes when you think that nonlethal isn't hit point damage because otherwise step 3 is unknown unless the GM tells you that you've done enough nonlethal that you are now doing lethal as well as nonlethal.

Saving Throws wrote:
Half: The spell deals damage, and a successful saving throw halves the damage taken (round down).

The quote from the magic rules suggests otherwise.

We will walk through the process again.

A. Assume nonlethal is NOT hit point damage.

1. Creature decides to use Power Attack
2. Creature makes attack roll and succeeds.
3. Creature makes a damage roll. Nonlethal damage is not hit point damage(A), not eligible for Power Attack bonus.
4. Damage is modified by spells / abilities. (DR, for example)
5. Target takes damage (any excess is lethal treated as lethal damage.)

Why would any information from 5 effect 3? You do not need any information. You are "doing" nonlethal damage. Nothing about the state of the target changes that.


Mallecks wrote:


If you are looking for a specific quote from the rules, I don't think I can provide it. However, I have provided many examples and scenarios that show the logic you are using to discount my position is not consistent in all scenarios, you have simply ignored them.

We can't do examples because you refuse to admit that certain words exist in the rules text, and insist on inventing rules that don't exist.

When you stop doing that, we can do examples. But I'm not going down rabbit holes that you want to pretend exist. The is the RULES forum. If you aren't going to acknowledge the text of the rules, you should get out.


Irontruth wrote:


We can't do examples because you refuse to admit that certain words exist in the rules text, and insist on inventing rules that don't exist.

When you stop doing that, we can do examples. But I'm not going down rabbit holes that you want to pretend exist. The is the RULES forum. If you aren't going to acknowledge the text of the rules, you should get out.

My perspective does not ignore or invalidate any rules. You keep claiming it does by misrepresenting my view. (Excess nonlethal Straw man.)

We both agree that excess nonlethal is treated as lethal. I believe it is treated in all ways as lethal damage, you believe that it is treated in almost all ways as lethal damage (lethal damage, but still nonlethal.) I believe this causes problems, but you have ignored that example and continued to attack my position, so we haven't really had a lot of time to explore it.

The current disagreement is with when Power Attack conditions are checked and when Power Attack bonus damage is applied. Please feel free to describe the process you use for handling Power Attack (including when damage is added and when conditions are checked) and we can see what is causing the confusion.

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