Attacking stationary objects / structures


Rules Discussion


Pathfinder Maps, Pawns Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber

What and where are the rules for attacking stationary, unattended objects and structures, such as a door, window, or rotted flooring underneath the big bad guy in a tall building?

It came up last night in a game. One of my players was able to find the hit points and hardness of many things, and determined that you COULD get critical hits on objects in 2E, but we couldn't find out what it takes to attack an object/structure, or what the AC might be. Without that, I'm not sure how to best determine whether you crit or not.

Can someone tell me the rule and/or point me in the right direction please?


I can find no explicit rule for determining the AC of an object, which is the one thing missing from being able to Strike them as you please.

However, it would make sense to infer that the AC of an object can be set like any other DC with the GM using table 10-4 or 10-5.

I lean towards table 10-5 myself, since items have levels, but I wouldn't fault anyone for making an attack against an unattended object a simple DC 10 thing either.


I haven't found anything either. As I see it, they are stationary so it is assumed that you hit automaticlly so you just would roll damage to overcome the hardness.


Pathfinder Maps, Pawns Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber
Pepor wrote:
I haven't found anything either. As I see it, they are stationary so it is assumed that you hit automaticlly so you just would roll damage to overcome the hardness.

Then why say they can be crit? How does one determine the crit without a target DC?


Yeah, Crits are the thing here. I think this may be Errata'd to give workable info.


Pathfinder Maps, Pawns Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber
Quandary wrote:
Yeah, Crits are the thing here. I think this may be Errata'd to give workable info.

Hope so.


Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber

I think the fact that they only refer to attacking objects once and the rest of the time just talk about damaging or destroying them is purposeful.

If they use the same formula as 1E, items are automatically hit by anything but a natural 1, and since critical immunity is still a thing (although far rarer), I think it likely that they just intended for you to just automatically deal damage against objects. They didn't clarify it well, but that seems to be the intent.


Ravingdork wrote:
Pepor wrote:
I haven't found anything either. As I see it, they are stationary so it is assumed that you hit automaticlly so you just would roll damage to overcome the hardness.
Then why say they can be crit? How does one determine the crit without a target DC?

Could you please point out the page where it is said that they can be crit?


Pepor wrote:


Could you please point out the page where it is said that they can be crit?

Page 273 has a paragraph on Object Immunities. Critical hits are not listed.


thenobledrake wrote:
Pepor wrote:


Could you please point out the page where it is said that they can be crit?
Page 273 has a paragraph on Object Immunities. Critical hits are not listed.

Blinded, Confused, Clumsy, Dazzled.... neither. So?

Many objects are immune to other conditions, at the GM’s discretion.

Grand Lodge

Pepor wrote:


Blinded, Confused, Clumsy, Dazzled.... neither. So?

I think these were left off inadvertently or maybe the list was not so long at the time it was created since Confused is clearly a Mental trait and Blinded/Dazzled only applies to creature/objects that "see" somehow. Clumsy applies the same except that most common objects do not move of their own accord.

On to other topics, I think the best way to handle this is to assign the object an AC like the Hazards they are often lumped in with when referencing damaging objects:

CRB wrote:


Damaging a mechanical trap or another physical hazard works like damaging objects: the hazard reduces the damage it takes by its Hardness.

(pg. 521)

A review of the sundry Hazards in that section of the book shows several different AC amounts given. The general rule seems to be that the AC DC goes up for Hazard Level and possibly adjusts for size

Thoughts?

Thanks NiftyB

Grand Lodge

Nifty Butterfinger wrote:
Pepor wrote:


Blinded, Confused, Clumsy, Dazzled.... neither. So?

I think these were left off inadvertently or maybe the list was not so long at the time it was created since Confused is clearly a Mental trait and Blinded/Dazzled only applies to creature/objects that "see" somehow. Clumsy applies the same except that most common objects do not move of their own accord.

On to other topics, I think the best way to handle this is to assign the object an AC like the Hazards they are often lumped in with when referencing damaging objects:

CRB wrote:


Damaging a mechanical trap or another physical hazard works like damaging objects: the hazard reduces the damage it takes by its Hardness.

(pg. 521)

A review of the sundry Hazards in that section of the book shows several different AC amounts given. The general rule seems to be that the AC DC goes up for Hazard Level and possibly adjusts for size

Thoughts?

Thanks NiftyB

On a secondary review of Hazards, it appears they indicate an immunity to critical hits as well as the normal Object Immunities and precision damage, so my thinking is that normal objects would too be immune to critical hits.

Other thoughts?

Thanks,

NiftyB


Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber

You'll see that same critical hit immunity on wall spells. I believe it is appropriate for many stationary objects, but you may make exceptions if an object seems like it should have weak points that a precise enough attack might reasonably have that much extra effect.


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For now, the easiest way to address this would be to assign an athletics dc and have the PC make an Athletics check.


Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber

That kind of rules out objects taking incremental damage to hit their break threshold and destroyed levels, as well as preventing some magical attacks against objects that work fine. I don't think ONLY using Athletics DCs to break is a good approach.


That's fine, but the scenarios presented in the OP are all kind of pass/fail, so that's what I responded to. The bad guy isn't going to wait 5 rounds while you incrementally chip away the floor beneath him.


HammerJack wrote:
You'll see that same critical hit immunity on wall spells. I believe it is appropriate for many stationary objects, but you may make exceptions if an object seems like it should have weak points that a precise enough attack might reasonably have that much extra effect.

This is how I have been running it (and thankfully it is in the GMs purvey).

It has also given strong uses for lore engineering :)


The thing is you can't even Strike an object as the target is creature. At present only spells that list object as target can damaged objects and even then, with no AC/saves listed you can't adjudicate damage. As such, Force Open is the only thing to physically affect objects.


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Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber

The strike action does say the target is a creature.

But running the game as though objects cannot be struck is too absurd to actually consider doing.


HammerJack wrote:

The strike action does say the target is a creature.

But running the game as though objects cannot be struck is too absurd to actually consider doing.

You have to make it all up as you go if you allow Strike to hit objects as you have no way to determine your degree of success or failure with no AC or saves. As such, we are clearly far outside the rules as you have to alter the action and invent AC and save numbers.

Now, as a houserule, I'm all for it. I however would make it an interaction action that deals weapon damage plus str bonus damage so there is no roll involved. That takes hits and misses out of the equation so no AC is needed. I'd do the same with a spell, dealing the "hit" damage without the need for a spell roll. Doing it this way avoids the embarrassment of a tree dodging your axe when you're trying to cut down a tree.


graystone wrote:
HammerJack wrote:

The strike action does say the target is a creature.

But running the game as though objects cannot be struck is too absurd to actually consider doing.

You have to make it all up as you go if you allow Strike to hit objects as you have no way to determine your degree of success or failure with no AC or saves. As such, we are clearly far outside the rules as you have to alter the action and invent AC and save numbers.

Now, as a houserule, I'm all for it. I however would make it an interaction action that deals weapon damage plus str bonus damage so there is no roll involved. That takes hits and misses out of the equation so no AC is needed. I'd do the same with a spell, dealing the "hit" damage without the need for a spell roll. Doing it this way avoids the embarrassment of a tree dodging your axe when you're trying to cut down a tree.

Indeed. If the unattended object isn't actually trying to avoid the attack, it probably shouldn't be an opposed roll.


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!BORK BORK!
DOGGO CHASE CAR BUT ONCE CATCH !BORK BORK! DOGGO NOT KNOW WHAT DO
CANNOT STRIKE !BORK BORK! CANNOT BITE

WHAT DO? !BORK BORK!


The sidebar on page 515 also lists damaging doors, windows, etcetera, but not attacking them, much like the section on damaging items does.

The simplest solution for determining the AC of your door would be to assign the door a level, and then use the DCs by level to set it’s AC, likely with the -10 incredibly easy modifier - a level 1 door would then have an AC of 5, and a level 20 door would have an ac of 30.


I would rule that you just hit unattended items within meelee reach.
If you WANT to crit, I'd say make an attack roll. 20 is a crit and 1 is a miss (in absence of an AC).
Id definitly set an AC for ranged attacks on objects. You don't go all William Tell for free.


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I'd generally assume any item that wasn't given stats is an autohit for melee attacks but can't be crit. Most objects which have AC are hazards that are tough to damage and may have components you can actually crit on. There's certainly plenty of corner cases you can come up with, but I think part of why it isn't explicitly defined is so you can decide how to deal with such corner cases yourself.

For example, if an archer decided they wanted to shoot a rope to drop a person or chandelier, I'd probably use a simple DC adjusted by circumstance for the AC and make them roll, probably allowing crits even. But if someone wants to break down a wall? No roll, auto damage, no crits.

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