Damaged Objects skill check


Pathfinder Second Edition General Discussion


Hello.
Can't find how to determine that some object, piece of armor, etc is broken (has broken condition). And how to understand how many hp it has right now. What skill can do this? Appraise, Perception, Craft


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Gonna be honest, the concept or requiring a skill check to tell that something has broken had never even crossed my mind. If you want to involve a skill, Crafting would certainly be appropriate.


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Few things can strictly speaking damage objects. You can cause damage trying to fix an object using the repair action from Crafting. Otherwise, shields easily take damage from the shield block action.

Otherwise, the general rule is that things only cause damage to objects only if they explicitly say they do, or allow them to target such objects (and normally when they do, only do for unattended objects) There are I believe special abilities of attacks that may cause damage to subjects, such as the Rust Monster's attack.

Generally, HP is determined by the material, and potentially its thickness. If you want to see where the basics for this is covered, it should be: Core Rulebook pg. 577 3.0


Outside of shields, objects getting damaged isn't something that happens a lot by the rules. There's not even a sunder maneuver anymore.

For determining an objects hp, assuming I needed to for some reason, I would use most likely the craft skill. Although if it were something like a bridge or building I would use lore engineering or something similarly appropriate. Basically whatever skill you would have had someone use to make or design it in the first place is what I would use to identify it's hp.


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Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Pathfinder Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber
Loreguard wrote:

Few things can strictly speaking damage objects. You can cause damage trying to fix an object using the repair action from Crafting. Otherwise, shields easily take damage from the shield block action.

Otherwise, the general rule is that things only cause damage to objects only if they explicitly say they do, or allow them to target such objects (and normally when they do, only do for unattended objects) There are I believe special abilities of attacks that may cause damage to subjects, such as the Rust Monster's attack.

Generally, HP is determined by the material, and potentially its thickness. If you want to see where the basics for this is covered, it should be: Core Rulebook pg. 577 3.0

Big, indiscriminate AoE effects also may affect anything lying around. The effect those have on the environment is a GM call, case by case, but it's definitely not like the rules tell you that you should expect to throw fireballs around a pile of loose documents and assume they'll definitely be fine and readable when you're done fighting.


Really, Strikes should damage objects considering there's multiple feats that let them bypass object Hardness.

Pretty much anything that does damage should damage objects if you decide that's what you're aiming at.


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Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Pathfinder Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber
Guntermench wrote:

Really, Strikes should damage objects considering there's multiple feats that let them bypass object Hardness.

Pretty much anything that does damage should damage objects if you decide that's what you're aiming at.

It's clear enough that they do, and pointing at the target line saying creatures is contrary to how it's supposed to work. I wouldn't allow that to extend that into working like 1E Sunder against equipment in use, though, because of the durability mot scaling for that to be a functional game.


HammerJack wrote:
Guntermench wrote:

Really, Strikes should damage objects considering there's multiple feats that let them bypass object Hardness.

Pretty much anything that does damage should damage objects if you decide that's what you're aiming at.

It's clear enough that they do, and pointing at the target line saying creatures is contrary to how it's supposed to work. I wouldn't allow that to extend that into working like 1E Sunder against equipment in use, though, because of the durability mot scaling for that to be a functional game.

That's a big issue though.

If you allow things to start targeting equipment, intelligent monsters are going to start attacking your gear. Imagine how combat will go when they rip off your armor and your AC is suddenly 4 to 6 points less.

And this disproportionately affects PCs over NPCs. Many NPC monsters don't rely on items. And even humanoid NPCs don't technically. They may drop a +2 greater striking weapon when the go down, but technically their stats are set based on their level/CR and role, not their equipment.

Now I wouldn't begrudge players who expected an NPC "using" weapons to become less effective when that weapon is destroyed, but NPC stats aren't derived the way PCs are. They just kind of exist without anything to "add up" to achieve it.


I think it's part of the reason disarm is such discouraged by its mechanices ( contributes to MAP, has a real effect only on a critical success, costs 1 action ).

But in the end I suppose that if players felt themselves more comfortable with flavor rather than rules ( for example, disarming enemies and pick up their weapons to fight ), they probably whouldn't have choosen a similar system to begin with.

Though I have to say that with ABP, while fighting humanoids, this may be somehow possible ( humanoids tend to have 2 melee weapon and a ranged one ). But on the other hand it would be pretty annoying for either DM and players to destroy stuff / stealing stuff over and over.

Liberty's Edge

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Claxon wrote:
HammerJack wrote:
Guntermench wrote:

Really, Strikes should damage objects considering there's multiple feats that let them bypass object Hardness.

Pretty much anything that does damage should damage objects if you decide that's what you're aiming at.

It's clear enough that they do, and pointing at the target line saying creatures is contrary to how it's supposed to work. I wouldn't allow that to extend that into working like 1E Sunder against equipment in use, though, because of the durability mot scaling for that to be a functional game.

That's a big issue though.

If you allow things to start targeting equipment, intelligent monsters are going to start attacking your gear. Imagine how combat will go when they rip off your armor and your AC is suddenly 4 to 6 points less.

And this disproportionately affects PCs over NPCs. Many NPC monsters don't rely on items. And even humanoid NPCs don't technically. They may drop a +2 greater striking weapon when the go down, but technically their stats are set based on their level/CR and role, not their equipment.

Now I wouldn't begrudge players who expected an NPC "using" weapons to become less effective when that weapon is destroyed, but NPC stats aren't derived the way PCs are. They just kind of exist without anything to "add up" to achieve it.

I can't quite find it right now and I need to head off to bed, but there's actually a rule somewhere unexpected (probably in the GMG somewhere?) that says if your weapon-using enemy is disarmed as a GM, give them an unarmed strike appropriate to their form, take a -2 penalty to their attack rolls, and lower their damage. You're fully correct that their stats aren't derived from their other stats or equipment, but they should be dealing a damage dice appropriate for their weapon and taking penalties if it's disarmed!


Claxon wrote:
HammerJack wrote:
Guntermench wrote:

Really, Strikes should damage objects considering there's multiple feats that let them bypass object Hardness.

Pretty much anything that does damage should damage objects if you decide that's what you're aiming at.

It's clear enough that they do, and pointing at the target line saying creatures is contrary to how it's supposed to work. I wouldn't allow that to extend that into working like 1E Sunder against equipment in use, though, because of the durability mot scaling for that to be a functional game.
That's a big issue though.

I allow attacks against unattended objects while not in encounter mode in most cases. Though usually what the character actually wants is Force Open - which is a skill check.

But in the middle of combat, or attacking another characters worn or used equipment - like you are both pointing out, that doesn't work so well because of item HP and how reliant characters are on their equipment.


After a point it's easier to just cut down doors and walls than pick the lock.


Guntermench wrote:
After a point it's easier to just cut down doors and walls than pick the lock.

Yep, or go mining.

In 3.X/PF1, buy an adamantine weapon that resembles a digging tool, i.e. hammer or pick. This gives allowance for digging directly through walls because walls have hundreds of hit points which amounts to very little against Power Attack, and having a digging tool got around the "some weapons might be ineffective against some objects" advice (with some PCs buying actual digging tools if needed). Some highest-level adventures took this into account with special materials, teleportation areas, or counterintuitive maps (including one in Dungeon w/ then unbreakable Walls of Force everywhere), yet many didn't so you could go around the whole locked/trapped/obstacle-heavy area.
Could have made updating classic modules a chore if my players hadn't played along with the genre norms.

I'm quite thankful for PF2 flat out playing to the narrative rather than trying for a mechanical balance which might be impossible. Need those special papers on the desk as evidence, but don't know they're there?
Fireball's fine. In a dusty old library full of dried parchment? Yep, you'd better trust your intuition not to bring fire in there.

I'm reminded of a tournament dungeon in DnD where the final fight takes place in a luxurious space where one fireball can (and with my players did!) wipe out half the final treasure (which amounted to much of the dungeon's loot). Spices, rugs, fine porcelain, etc., all gone, and quite intentionally so as noted in the module. Players had to play wiser to earn so much, and that was in a system where retrieving treasure made up a major portion of one's XP. Since there was only one enemy, there really wasn't a reason to unleash AoEs anyway.


Castilliano wrote:

Some highest-level adventures took this into account with special materials, teleportation areas, or counterintuitive maps (including one in Dungeon w/ then unbreakable Walls of Force everywhere), yet many didn't so you could go around the whole locked/trapped/obstacle-heavy area.

Could have made updating classic modules a chore if my players hadn't played along with the genre norms.

Honestly, I always felt it was bad design to try to force players into trapped areas, especially areas that were the only way and no way to disable it. Like, necromancers with only undead minions might manage it but everybody else is going to want to take breaks and leave the dungeon occasionally. And that means traps need to be able to disabled.

And PF2 is better because they've not relegated trap disabling to one class. But in PF1 and D&D it sucked to force the party to have a rogue to disable magical traps. And traps as lone set pieces sucked anyways.

If you're going to include traps, make them part of the combat, so that there are real stakes. Otherwise traps tend to be healed through and ignored or outright kill someone.


Traps were just one example of an obstacle, not the main point.
Super duper magic door opened by riddles? We'll dig around it.
Drow have built a fortress at the opening to their cavern?
We'll dig around it, even if it takes days. Maybe summon a purple worm.
And so forth. Designers pretty much had to funnel high level PCs, add barriers against teleportation effects, etc. otherwise they could and would skip to the end. Heck, I did that in a low-midlevel PFS scenario with Locate Object on kidnap victim's ceremonial dagger followed by Dim Door using the highest slot of two casters. Can't say it was particularly wise, and thankfully the other caster had Wall of Ice to hedge out the guards storming in. :-)

And I'd say forcing players into trapped areas would be an objective of in-game trap designers (who of course should have means to bypass). Except since they live in the RPG world, they should also be aware of the Medicine skill's ability to mend typical damage, and thus they should avoid investing in traps that are lone set pieces (which should likely be avoided anyway due to poor narrative impact).


Personally I think avoiding sprawling "dungeons" as a challenge is a better way to go so that "tunneling" to the end isn't really a thing. Once players have teleport equali-ish level enemies should generally be aware that it's something they should deal with and not rely on giant sprawling entrenched facilities to protect their stuff.

I guess I just always found it really heavy handed to continue using these things that obviously didn't work (within the game world context) by forcing more and more extreme measures to "keep players on the rails" rather than adapt the world.

Like sure, the players dig around the Drow fortress entrance to their cavern. That's okay, the majority of the enemies inside were inconsequential. But the thing/person players need to have access to is well guarded and can't simply be tunneled around.

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