damage saves and weakness


Rules Discussion

Shadow Lodge

Just a simple order of operations question. If you have weakness to a damage, but make your save.
For example say burning hands vs a swarm that has weakness to aoe 5. The swarm makes its saving throw. Is the damage (2d6)/2 +5, or (2d6+5)/2?

Shadow Lodge

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Chapter 9: Playing the Game / General Rules / Damage
Weakness and Resistance are applied AFTER the save result is applied, so it would be ((2d6) / 2) + 5
Re-reading these rules, I guess your swarm even takes 5 damage on a Critical Success.


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Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Pathfinder Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber

You have to take damage to trigger a weakness, so the critical success of a basic reflex save would be 0 damage, still.


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HammerJack wrote:
You have to take damage to trigger a weakness, so the critical success of a basic reflex save would be 0 damage, still.

That seems the most reasonable interpretation, that the process ends since there's no damage to continue.

Horizon Hunters

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Just a small exception to that rule that was in the errata that I thought I should mention.

"CHAPTER 9: PLAYING THE GAME
Page 451: Following the formulas for calculating damage
rolls, add the sentence “If the combined penalties on an
attack would reduce the damage to 0 or below, you still
deal 1 damage.”

So a 0 damage due to a Crit Success on a Save or Shield Block would not trigger a weakness. However if you achieve 0 damage due to other penalties you would still do 1 damage and potentially be able to trigger a weakness an enemy creature had.

Silver Crusade

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Yep, basically "0 damage", and "no damage" are two very different things with an important distinction.


Goldryno wrote:
...So a 0 damage due to a Crit Success on a Save or Shield Block would not trigger a weakness. However if you achieve 0 damage due to other penalties you would still do 1 damage and potentially be able to trigger a weakness an enemy creature had.

Not sure if the bolded part is correct. There was a discussion that e.g. attacking a werewolf fighter using shield block with your silver weapon would indeed damage and destroy his shield faster than normal, simply due to the order in which weaknesses and resistances are applied.

Silver Crusade

Interesting, got a link for that one?


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Link

Silver Crusade

Thankies :3

Shadow Lodge

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Thanks everyone. Looks like the overall order is:

determine damage (add bonuses and penalties here, min 1 damage)
roll saves
apply weakness
apply resistance
shield block

Horizon Hunters

Yeah I probably could have phrased that better. What I was meaning to convey was that although you can still get 0 damage through shieldblock the damage otherwise should be a minimum of 1. I think gnoams hit the nail on the head with his order of operations here.

Thinking about it you could probably flip flop the first two steps without any real impact on the game though.


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As the one who conjectured the werewolf w/ a shield back in that thread, I must add that the idea seemed ludicrous (albeit rules-abiding).

Shuriken hits shield. No damage to shield.

Silver shuriken hits shield. No damage to shield...
Unless the bearer is a lycanthrope. Then the pseudo-magnetic werewolf causes the shuriken doing low damage to now ding the shield? Really?

I think there's room here to rule that if the shield can annul all the damage on its own, it doesn't get through to trigger the weakness.
As mentioned though, maybe 1 damage does always get through? But in that case I wouldn't say the shield must therefore take extra damage too.

(Exceptions may occur for Frost Giants that make their shields out of ice.)

In the same vein, the shield wouldn't benefit from the bearer's resistance either, though I can see that leading to issues too!
It's almost like we should have a judge at each table. Oh, wait.

Horizon Hunters

The Werewolf's curse is so dark and pervasive that it spreads to and corrupts even the equipment the Werewolf uses (including its shield)? A bit of a stretch but that's really all I got for that one.

Silver Crusade

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Did some checking and asking and on the subject of Weakness/Resistances and Shield Block: GM’s call.

Horizon Hunters

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Great find Rysky! I think a common fallacy I see often in this forum is where there isn't a clear cut answer there is a call for Dev clarification or for a Errata update when it seems like there are definitely some things that are intentionally left up to the GM, and that's a design decision.

I know some like clear cut black and white answers for every scenario but I for one am happy that Paizo attempts to empower their GMs (even to some extent for PFSociety play) to run the table in the way that makes sense for them and is consistent.


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Goldryno wrote:

Great find Rysky! I think a common fallacy I see often in this forum is where there isn't a clear cut answer there is a call for Dev clarification or for a Errata update when it seems like there are definitely some things that are intentionally left up to the GM, and that's a design decision.

I know some like clear cut black and white answers for every scenario but I for one am happy that Paizo attempts to empower their GMs (even to some extent for PFSociety play) to run the table in the way that makes sense for them and is consistent.

And every time I hear this it is driving me a little mad and away from literally any role-playing system. Not that I am against GM empowerment per se but GM's call should really, really only be necessary in uncommon or rare (corner) cases and not for common cases like how to handle resistances and weaknesses. Not everybody is playing with his one and only GM all the time and what GM empowerment for common issues usually does in all other cases is allowing for unnecessary table variation (i.e. no consistency).

Also note that I am very well aware that some cases simply have too many possible outcomes to put into a fixed ruleset without inflating any CRB by manyfold and therefore always have to and should have to rely on GM's call. What I can not understand though is that if a 100% rule is not possible a 50% rule is included instead with the other 50% depending on GM's call without explicitly stating so apart from a general "and by the way anthing that does not make sense or adds up in the CRB is GM's call" statement.

tl;dr: I understand the underlaying design decision / concept but I find the execution lacking and therefore agree to disagree with its current implementation.


In my mind the lycanthrope shield block issue doesn't mean that the shurikan hits the shield and b/c of the weakness some damage magically goes through. I imagine it's more like the werewolf deflects the shurikan with their shield so it only grazes them. If they were human then that graze would be meaningless. The lycan, however, still takes damage even from that minor graze.

A shield block doesn't mean it intercepted the entire attack, it often just reduces it's impact. The shuriken attack could do 6 damage and the shield block could reduce that to 1. The shuriken DID hit the shield but then deflected off to still do minor damage - less than if the shield hadn't intercepted it. That's how I justify it in the theatre of my mind at least. YMMV.


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Ishyna wrote:

In my mind the lycanthrope shield block issue doesn't mean that the shurikan hits the shield and b/c of the weakness some damage magically goes through. I imagine it's more like the werewolf deflects the shurikan with their shield so it only grazes them. If they were human then that graze would be meaningless. The lycan, however, still takes damage even from that minor graze.

A shield block doesn't mean it intercepted the entire attack, it often just reduces it's impact. The shuriken attack could do 6 damage and the shield block could reduce that to 1. The shuriken DID hit the shield but then deflected off to still do minor damage - less than if the shield hadn't intercepted it. That's how I justify it in the theatre of my mind at least. YMMV.

The trouble is if the shuriken couldn't hurt the shield at all because it couldn't get past hardness (it's poorly thrown). Now the shuriken hitting with the same force gets past hardness and damages the shield because the bearer has a weakness? (Essentially the shield is gaining the weakness of its bearer, somewhat retroactively.)

I'm glad Rysky found that adjudication.

Horizon Hunters

Ubertron_X wrote:
Goldryno wrote:

Great find Rysky! I think a common fallacy I see often in this forum is where there isn't a clear cut answer there is a call for Dev clarification or for a Errata update when it seems like there are definitely some things that are intentionally left up to the GM, and that's a design decision.

I know some like clear cut black and white answers for every scenario but I for one am happy that Paizo attempts to empower their GMs (even to some extent for PFSociety play) to run the table in the way that makes sense for them and is consistent.

And every time I hear this it is driving me a little mad and away from literally any role-playing system. Not that I am against GM empowerment per se but GM's call should really, really only be necessary in uncommon or rare (corner) cases and not for common cases like how to handle resistances and weaknesses. Not everybody is playing with his one and only GM all the time and what GM empowerment for common issues usually does in all other cases is allowing for unnecessary table variation (i.e. no consistency).

Also note that I am very well aware that some cases simply have too many possible outcomes to put into a fixed ruleset without inflating any CRB by manyfold and therefore always have to and should have to rely on GM's call. What I can not understand though is that if a 100% rule is not possible a 50% rule is included instead with the other 50% depending on GM's call without explicitly stating so apart from a general "and by the way anthing that does not make sense or adds up in the CRB is GM's call" statement.

tl;dr: I understand the underlaying design decision / concept but I find the execution lacking and therefore agree to disagree with its current implementation.

Yeah we will have to agree to disagree there.

I'd rather be playing a game where the system is flexible and not so rigid as to make it just a giant overcomplicated game of chess. Or where everything is so granular it is just plain difficult to play or for curious new players to try. Obviously rules exist for a reason and I don't advocate for crazy deviations...but as a sometimes GM it is good to know that if certain things don't make sense or are an exception to a rule that will work just fine most of the time I'm not stuck playing it in a weird way, especially if there's an obvious alternative solution that makes sense.

That's a subjective opinion though. I have to admit too, I also like games where the rules are the rules and there's no exceptions or GM to interpret and adapt. For me those tend to be mostly video games and things like Warhammer 40,000.


Goldryno wrote:

Yeah we will have to agree to disagree there.

I'd rather be playing a game where the system is flexible and not so rigid as to make it just a giant overcomplicated game of chess. Or where everything is so granular it is just plain difficult to play or for curious new players to try. Obviously rules exist for a reason and I don't advocate for crazy deviations...but as a sometimes GM it is good to know that if certain things don't make sense or are an exception to a rule that will work just fine most of the time I'm not stuck playing it in a weird way, especially if there's an obvious alternative solution that makes sense.

That's a subjective opinion though. I have to admit too, I also like games where the rules are the rules and there's no exceptions or GM to interpret and adapt. For me those tend to be mostly video games and things like Warhammer 40,000.

As already stated I am not against GM empowerment nor for a set of rules covering every imaginable case. I am however a huge fan of rules that also cover the absence of rules, especially for rare cases.

For example take the paragraph for moving through a creature's space.

CRB page 474 wrote:
...If two creatures end up in the same square by accident, the GM determines which one is forced out of the square (or whether one falls prone).

This is a damn fine GM empowerment rule. It covers all these odd cases that should anyhow be rare, respectively "by accident" and clearly states that a GM call is required in such situations. With such a simple yet elegant rule in place no one should ever have be forced to do what you have described earlier because everybody instantly knows that this was a deliberate design decision.

Goldryno wrote:
I think a common fallacy I see often in this forum is where there isn't a clear cut answer there is a call for Dev clarification or for a Errata update when it seems like there are definitely some things that are intentionally left up to the GM, and that's a design decision.

However this is exactly what I am missing here. Resistances and weaknesses are common game mechanics. Shield block is a common game mechanic. The interaction in between resistances/weaknesses and shield block will probably also be a (probably less common but still) common game mechanic. Why the rules are entirely silent on this one apart from a general "if in doubt GM call" statement is therefore totally beyond me.


Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber

I'm with Ubertron here. The nature of a narrative game means a lot of elements are left up to the GM and should be left up to the GM.

But 'how does damage work' feels like a really fundamental part of the game, and it's a part of the game that PF2 normally spells out a lot more explicitly.

I certainly don't think it's a "fallacy" that someone might want some real clarification on a mechanic like that.

Horizon Hunters

I guess my thing is the clarification is there. We know how it works normally and are empowered to make changes if that template doesn't fit for narrative reasons. Like the shieldblocking silver shurikens (try saying that 5 times fast!) example. That's as deep as it needs to be for me to be satisfied but like I said that's just my humble opinion.

And the fallacy I mention wasn't anything specific to damage calculations. It is the mentality of being quick to call for dev clarification or errata entries when discussing a rule. There are times when it is warranted but there are a good deal of what I would consider "false alarms". Ubertron was not doing that this thread so that wasn't a commentary on him. Just a trend that I had noticed lately while browsing the forum.


Goldryno wrote:
We know how it works normally and are empowered to make changes if that template doesn't fit for narrative reasons.

I guess this statement is key in understanding the different points of view of the "we don't understand all the hustle, why don't you just make an appropriate GM call" and "how can we make a GM call when we do not understand how it works in the first place" crowds.

Just by looking at the multitude of threads raised on this forum it seems to be that for many people there are a lot of question marks about how shield block works normally apart from getting hit by a simple physical strike, mainly in regards to the paragraph about damage (CRB page 450 and following).

* Questions about timing, i.e. at which step of damage does it really happen or does it happen even after all the damage steps?
* Questions about the interaction of shield hardness and multiple damage types? Which part(s) of damage to block or not to block and who decides that?
* Questions about the interaction of shield block with resistances and weaknesses (aka this thread)?

...and maybe many more.

Which of course leads down the rabbit hole of how specific any ruleset really needs to be understandable for the "majority" of GM's and players in order to create at least a semblance of consistency. Nonetheless I think it is clear that I and many others would apparently have preferred the rules to be more explicit and less general for this common case.

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