When your attack succeeds, you deal damage. The type of weapon used determines the amount of damage you deal. Effects that modify weapon damage apply to unarmed strikes and the natural physical attack forms of creatures.
Damage reduces a target’s current hit points.
If penalties reduce the damage result to less than 1, a hit still deals 1 point of damage. The only exception is if the target has damage reduction.
This does not apply to Reaper difficulty. Damage can be reduced to zero.
When you hit with a melee or thrown weapon, including a sling, add your Strength modifier to the damage result. A Strength penalty or a bonus - the latter only if you have the feat Bow Strength - applies on attacks made with any bow. Certain weapons use different ability modifier on damage rolls (list).
When you deal damage with a weapon in your off hand, you add only ½ your Strength bonus. Note that monks get their full Strength bonus to off-hand unarmed attacks.
Wielding a Weapon Two-Handed
When you deal damage with a weapon that you are wielding two-handed, you add 1½ times your Strength bonus.
Sometimes you multiply damage by some factor, such as on a critical hit. Roll the damage (with all modifiers) multiple times and total the results. Note: When you multiply damage more than once, each multiplier works off the original, unmultiplied damage.
Certain creatures and magical effects can cause temporary ability damage (a reduction to an ability score). This damage is specific to one (or more) Abilities. In some cases this reduction disappears over time, but usually it requires visiting a shrine or tavern to remove the penalty. See Ability Damaged for more information.
There are 9 types of elemental damage (with "elemental" being a loose use of the term for some of these):
There are 4 alignment damages:
Note that being of a certain alignment does not automatically provide immunity to an alignment damage source! For example, evil creatures can suffer evil damage, unless they are specifically immune or resistant.
A few classes and monsters have access to unique sources of damage which is not listed above. Examples include a dark monk's death touch, a ranger's bonus against favored enemies, a fighter's kensei, and a rogue's sneak attack.
Damage by Color
By default*, when you hit a target, the amount of damage inflicted will be shown above that target, orange by default for generic damage (and all killing shots). If the damage has any special modifiers, that damage will appear as a different color - see Monster DR and weaknesses for complete overview.
- (* This can be turned off, or the colors customized, in your Options: Ctl + o, "UI Settings", listed toward the bottom.)
- Orange numbers show normal damage.
- Purple numbers show extra damage.
- Yellow numbers show reduced damage.
- Green numbers indicate target healing. (Some rare enemies are actually healed by certain damage types! e.g. Avatar of Juiblex.)
Other specific shades indicate variations on those main categories.