What is the spread of monster resistances / immunities at the moment?


Pathfinder Second Edition General Discussion


One of the annoying things I see a lot is people saying that fire is the most commonly resisted. but when all the data for 1e monsters was collected and organized. it turned out that "most common" was like 15 extra monsters. The take away being that your choice of element is near as likely as being resisted as the others (this excludes sonic and force of course)

and yet people always act like fire is just the worst option in damage types and this mentality has carried over in many discussions I have been in.

sure, if you are playing Age of ashes, then yes it is the worst choice. but that is campaign-specific and I have a feeling it may tip the scales towards fire at the moment due to the low number of APs and new monsters they add to the monsterdex.


Argol wrote:

One of the annoying things I see a lot is people saying that fire is the most commonly resisted. but when all the data for 1e monsters was collected and organized. it turned out that "most common" was like 15 extra monsters. The take away being that your choice of element is near as likely as being resisted as the others (this excludes sonic and force of course)

and yet people always act like fire is just the worst option in damage types and this mentality has carried over in many discussions I have been in.

sure, if you are playing Age of ashes, then yes it is the worst choice. but that is campaign-specific and I have a feeling it may tip the scales towards fire at the moment due to the low number of APs and new monsters they add to the monsterdex.

Let's put it this way.

You'll be probably going to find more enemies resistant to fire rather than sonic damage ( talking about weapon runes ).

This also would result into saving a large income because the greater version wouldn't be required ( the one which allows the character to ignore that specific resistance", given the incredibly amount of enemies with sonic damage resistance.

To me, the real question would be "Why giving, again, players the possibility to also choose sonic damage?"

The bestiary seems solid when it comes to resistances/immunities as well as weaknesses, still I can't find a good reason to choose Acid/Electric/Fire/Cold damage over sonic damage.

Sovereign Court

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I don't know how you could objectively measure the spread of resistances/weaknesses if you want to take into account which creatures are frequently encountered. There might be a hundred fire-resistant monsters that are just too awkward to actually use in a campaign.

The fire rune is actually fairly popular because it's the only one with a good crit effect. The others all have fixed DCs that quickly become obsolete. Is it optimal? I dunno - but it's more enjoyable than the others.


Ascalaphus wrote:

I dunno - but it's more enjoyable than the others.

Leaving apart the subjective judgment, having the persistant damage on a critical hit would make the fire rune more enjoyable than the others?

To me, they are all the same:

-Cold & Thundering rely on a DC,which would probably always be too easy to pass.

- Acid might result into destroying part of you loot.

- Fire gives you a great dps increase ( best out of these 5 runes ).

- Electric deals 1d6 to up to 2 other creatures witin 10 feet. Not good as fire in terms of dps, but better than nothing.

Nothing really more enjoyable than another, that's why if I were to choose one of these runes ( I say if I were because I mostly play with a shifting rune + grevious ) choose I'd go with the effect which goes on 100% of the time rather than the one on a critical hit.


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This is a google doc made by a player (I don't remember the name, sorry), that lists all existing resistances.

This answers the question to some extent - yes, fire is easily the weakest of the energy damage types. Not the worst damage type overall, but pretty up there. That is also compounded by the fact that enemies with fire resistance are rather commonly used in APs.

However, it should also be pointed out that fire is a somewhat common weakness, so it isn't all bad.

Sovereign Court

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Fire weakness certainly feels more common. With my monk I have the burning ember stance as my backup stance (after Wolf) and I've gotten good value out of it against swarms (bypassing resistance to BPS), trees (fire weakness) and trolls (fire weakness, suppressing regeneration).

I'd say fire is especially good to have as plan B.

Sczarni

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Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber
Argol wrote:

One of the annoying things I see a lot is people saying that fire is the most commonly resisted. but when all the data for 1e monsters was collected and organized. it turned out that "most common" was like 15 extra monsters. The take away being that your choice of element is near as likely as being resisted as the others (this excludes sonic and force of course)

and yet people always act like fire is just the worst option in damage types and this mentality has carried over in many discussions I have been in.

sure, if you are playing Age of ashes, then yes it is the worst choice. but that is campaign-specific and I have a feeling it may tip the scales towards fire at the moment due to the low number of APs and new monsters they add to the monsterdex.

Fire might be the most resisted, but it's also the most with weaknesses.

It's a give and take.


HumbleGamer wrote:
Argol wrote:

One of the annoying things I see a lot is people saying that fire is the most commonly resisted. but when all the data for 1e monsters was collected and organized. it turned out that "most common" was like 15 extra monsters. The take away being that your choice of element is near as likely as being resisted as the others (this excludes sonic and force of course)

and yet people always act like fire is just the worst option in damage types and this mentality has carried over in many discussions I have been in.

sure, if you are playing Age of ashes, then yes it is the worst choice. but that is campaign-specific and I have a feeling it may tip the scales towards fire at the moment due to the low number of APs and new monsters they add to the monsterdex.

Let's put it this way.

You'll be probably going to find more enemies resistant to fire rather than sonic damage ( talking about weapon runes ).

This also would result into saving a large income because the greater version wouldn't be required ( the one which allows the character to ignore that specific resistance", given the incredibly amount of enemies with sonic damage resistance.

To me, the real question would be "Why giving, again, players the possibility to also choose sonic damage?"

The bestiary seems solid when it comes to resistances/immunities as well as weaknesses, still I can't find a good reason to choose Acid/Electric/Fire/Cold damage over sonic damage.

Sonic damage is weird anyway. Are we talking the concussive force of a sound wave? If so, how is it not bludgeoning damage, just like blasts of air? It would probably be better to narrow down the damage types as much as possible, and then fit each effect into one of the more limited damage types. Sonic effects could deafen you and do bludgeoning damage.

Also, other than being magical and effecting incorporeal/ethereal things, how is force damage different from physical damage? Seems like that should just be physical damage appropriate to the shape of the force object, that is magical and ghost touch.


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S. J. Digriz wrote:
Sonic damage is weird anyway. Are we talking the concussive force of a sound wave? If so, how is it not bludgeoning damage, just like blasts of air? It would probably be better to narrow down the damage types as much as possible, and then fit each effect into one of the more limited damage types. Sonic effects could deafen you and do bludgeoning damage.

While I wont deny that some form of sonic energy can possibly be described via shockwaves (thunderclap etc) there is at least one other type /effect which is not reliant on excessive physical force: Resonance. The old trick of the opera singer shattering glas is not working because of his booming voice, but because he is hitting the right frequencies.

CRB page 452 wrote:
Sonic damage assaults matter with high-frequency vibration and sound waves.

Ever experienced frequencies that you can feel in your bones and that make your teeth chatter? Thats what we are talking about here.


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Karmagator wrote:
This is a google doc made by a player (I don't remember the name, sorry), that lists all existing resistances.

That document is awesome.


Ubertron_X wrote:
S. J. Digriz wrote:
Sonic damage is weird anyway. Are we talking the concussive force of a sound wave? If so, how is it not bludgeoning damage, just like blasts of air? It would probably be better to narrow down the damage types as much as possible, and then fit each effect into one of the more limited damage types. Sonic effects could deafen you and do bludgeoning damage.

While I wont deny that some form of sonic energy can possibly be described via shockwaves (thunderclap etc) there is at least one other type /effect which is not reliant on excessive physical force: Resonance. The old trick of the opera singer shattering glas is not working because of his booming voice, but because he is hitting the right frequencies.

CRB page 452 wrote:
Sonic damage assaults matter with high-frequency vibration and sound waves.
Ever experienced frequencies that you can feel in your bones and that make your teeth chatter? Thats what we are talking about here.

Sonic is also an entire category of weapons technology that is classified separately to explosives in the real world - and this includes stuff beyond just "stuff that makes you ears bleed" - low frequency sonic weapons experimentation caused organ damage, hypothermia (I have no idea how) and tissue shearing.

In a fantasy setting, what a thing is conceptually is also just as important as what a thing is physically. A fireball does fire damage despite being described as a blast (i.e. an explosion, which for the most part do damage via the shockwave they create, the fire is the main visual element but rarely actually kills) because that is what it is linked to conceptually in people's brains. Meteor swarm gets bludgeoning damage in addition to fire damage because meteors are big rocks on fire that fall out of the sky.

On the original subject, it is worth noting that fire turns off regeneration for something like 75% of the existing creatures that have regeneration, and that includes the creatures with regeneration that are most commonly used in adventures (trolls and hydras). It is also the damage type for turning off regeneration for most items and spells that grant regeneration.

Sovereign Court

Yeah, especially with regeneration, NOT having fire available in the party would be a real liability. Acid might do the trick but for example trolls are weak to fire, but not to acid.


Having elemental alternatives is definitely good, but not all classes can achieve this in a easy way as spell casters or monks might do.

Having to choose how to expend 500 g would be a tough choice, for combatants, in terms or rune.


HumbleGamer wrote:

Having elemental alternatives is definitely good, but not all classes can achieve this in a easy way as spell casters or monks might do.

Having to choose how to expend 500 g would be a tough choice, for combatants, in terms or rune.

Surely at low levels only, 500gp quickly becomes chump change. In the mid levels it is quite easy for someone to have two 500gp runes on their main weapon and a different on their spare and everyone can have 3-4 low cost alchemist bombs of each type purely for triggering weaknesses (starting a fight with two cheap lesser bombs in hand if you can scout it out in advance and each player doing 40 damage on two misses is great fun).

Liberty's Edge

Karmagator wrote:

This is a google doc made by a player (I don't remember the name, sorry), that lists all existing resistances.

This answers the question to some extent - yes, fire is easily the weakest of the energy damage types. Not the worst damage type overall, but pretty up there. That is also compounded by the fact that enemies with fire resistance are rather commonly used in APs.

However, it should also be pointed out that fire is a somewhat common weakness, so it isn't all bad.

I believe Exocist created this Google doc.

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