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You are here: Home --> Forum Home --> General Forum --> Gaming surveys --> Damage Types
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Padre J Roulston
Karma: 16/1
428 Posts

Damage Types

If a special damage type (fire, sonic, shock, etc) is added to a weapon that deals nonlethal damage (whip or sap), is the special damage also nonlethal?

Or would the weapon damage be nonlethal, and the special damage be lethal?
In the case of the whip, because it deals a special damage would it then be able to hurt a creature with an armour bonus?

Posted on 2014-12-24 at 12:31:07.

Keeper of Dragons
Devil's Advocate
Karma: 51/18
2228 Posts


The whip damage would still be non-lethal but added damage would be lethal. Imagine getting hit with flaming whip. The whip would just hurt but the fire would be potentially deadly. I would not allow it in my campaign as a DM as it would be a nightmare keeping track of multiple damage types.

Posted on 2014-12-24 at 13:13:51.

Padre J Roulston
Karma: 16/1
428 Posts


I was thinking about having a shocking whip. And the Dungeon master hasn't vetoed the idea, but wanted me to find out how that worked.

So would you say then, that to use a whip against an armoured target, it would be a ranged touch attack then, because I am just trying to touch the whip to the target to deal the shock damage?

Posted on 2014-12-24 at 13:24:18.

Keeper of Dragons
Devil's Advocate
Karma: 51/18
2228 Posts


In that case yes a "shocking whip" would deliver lethal type electric shock. I would likely play it that a successful attack with the whip would allow either of two options:

1. Roll a second attack roll to see if the shock damage occurs

2. Assume auto shock but have the target roll vs spell to determine damage taken.

Posted on 2014-12-24 at 21:27:32.

Karma: 154/25
6171 Posts

My 2 cents.........

The weapon is just the delivery system. I'd see this weapon the same as a rod or staff that would deliver a shock attack. So the rules for rods and staffs would apply. Then it would depend on the weapon rules set you are playing.

Posted on 2014-12-24 at 23:29:45.

Keeper of Dragons
Devil's Advocate
Karma: 51/18
2228 Posts

Ranged touch

Yes a ranged touch attack as you are trying to touch with the whip to allow the shock damage.

Posted on 2014-12-25 at 09:16:04.

Padre J Roulston
Karma: 16/1
428 Posts

Thank you

Thank you all for your replies. It was very helpful.

And I hope you all have a truly Merry Christmas!.

Posted on 2014-12-25 at 20:24:08.

Karma: 37/4
502 Posts


Depending on your ruleset, a whip already has been defined as a melee weapon, with 15ft reach. It provokes attacks of opportunity like a ranged weapon. You literally are just adding your energy damage to a standard melee attack. No ranged touch attack, that would be cool and all, but you actually DON'T deal damage to a creature with armor on. The energy would, but the whip does not. It's a niche weapon. For instance, you can use weapon finesse to apply your dexterity to the attack roll instead of your strength.

I'd have to do more research to find out whether or not the magical enhancement would override the damage penalty to armour or not. But there you have it, my understanding of the rules.

Posted on 2014-12-28 at 11:39:38.

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