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.
Note that the sections below describing which monsters are vulnerable, resistant, immune to, or healed by each damage type are only a generalization and do not account for unique resistances (or similar) on certain monsters. For example, some scorpions in Menechtarun have sonic resistance but the Scorpion race in general does not.
Floating Damage Text shows how much damage of each type is dealt on each hit.
Damage from player spells, spell-like abilities, and some other options is increased by Spell Power. In most cases, the spell power value which adjusts a damage type has the same name as that damage type (e.g. "Acid" damage is increased by "Acid" spell power) and is increased by the Spellcraft skill. Exceptions to these general rules are included in the relevant sections below.
These three damage types are the default of nearly all weapons, but are also the damage type of a small number of spells and other abilities. Physical damage from magical effects is modified by Force spell power; this has no effect on the base damage of weapons.
Damage from weapons and other attacks that apply blunt force to the target. Bludgeoning damage bypasses the Damage Reduction of skeletons.
Damage from weapons and other attacks that stab into the target.
Damage from weapons and other attacks that cut the target. Slashing damage bypasses the Damage Reduction of zombies.
Damage caused by caustic or corrosive substances. Acid is typically a pretty solid damage type, as fewer things resist it than fire or cold. Non-black Abishai, Crimson Foot Spiders, most Demons and Devils, Golems, Helmed Horrors, and most Quori have resistance to acid damage. Acid-Scar Troglodytes, Acidstone Elementals, Black Abishai, Black Dragons, Green Hags, Thaarak Hounds, Will o' Wisps and Yugoloths are immune to it. Trolls take extra damage from acid. Arcane Oozes, Clay Golems and green Dream Scourges are healed by acid.
Damage caused by ice or low temperatures. Many things take extra damage from cold, but a lot of things are also resistant to it. Arcane Oozes, Bralani Eladrin, most Demons, Dream Reavers, Ghaele Eladrin, Fiendish Gnolls, Fiendish Lions, Fiendish Scorpions, Fiendish Spiders, Fiendish Troglodytes, Fiendish Trolls, Golems, non-cold form Helmed Horrors, Manticores, most Quori, Will o' Wisps and some Worgs have resistance to cold damage. White Abishai, Flameskulls, Frost Beholders, Frost Giants, Gray Oozes, Gelatinous Cubes, Ice Elementals, Ice Flensers, Ice Spiders, Liches, Nightcrawlers, Night Hags, Skeletons, White Dragons and Winter Wolves are immune to it. Black Puddings, Fire Reavers, Efreeti, Fire Elementals, Fire Giants, Fire Mephits, Forgewraiths, standard Hellhounds, Magma Brutes, Pyrachnids, Red Dragons, and Salamanders take extra damage from cold. Cold form Helmed Horrors and blue Dream Scourges are healed by cold.
Damage caused by lightning or electric shock. Few things resist electricity, but few things are weak to it either. It is, however, unable to damage any Demon, Devil or Good Outsider, making it utterly useless in chains such as Trials of the Archons. Flameskulls, most Golems, non-lightning form Helmed Horrors, Ochre Jellies, some Plant Creatures, Tieflings, Vine Stalkers, Wildmen, Windlasher Gnolls, Wood Woads, some Worgs and Yugoloths have resistance to electricity damage. Blue Abishai, most Angels, Blue Dragons, Bralani Eladrin, most Demons and Devils, Gelatinous Cubes, Ghaele Eladrin, Liches, Shambling Mounds, Storm Giants and Will o' Wisps are immune to it. Green Dream Scourges take extra damage from electricity. Flesh Golems and lightning form Helmed Horrors are healed by electricity.
Damage caused by intense heat. Many monsters are vulnerable to fire damage, but a high number also have some form of resistance to it. Non-red Abishai, Arcane Oozes, most Demons and Devils, Dream Reavers, Fiendish Bats, Fiendish Gnolls, Fiendish Lions, Fiendish Scorpions, Fiendish Spiders, Fiendish Troglodytes, Fiendish Trolls, Firebrand Gnolls, most Golems, non-fire form Helmed Horrors, most Quori, Tieflings, Wildmen, Will o’ Wisps, and Yugoloths have resistance to fire damage. Red Abishai, Blackbone Skeletons, Efreeti, Fire Elementals, Fire Giants, Fire Mephits, Fire Reavers, Flame Eaters, Flameskulls, Forgewraiths, Gray Oozes, Hellhounds, Magma Brutes, Muckmen, Night Hags, Pyrachnids, Red Dragons, and Salamanders are immune to it. Blue Dream Scourges, Frost Beholders, Frost Giants, Frostmarrow Skeletons, Ice Elementals, Ice Flensers, Ice Mephits, Ice Spiders, Mummies, Scarecrows, standard Trolls, Twig Blights, White Dragons, and Winter Wolves take extra damage from fire. Cinderspawn, red Dream Scourges, fire form Helmed Horrors, and Iron Golems are healed by fire.
Damage caused by extremely loud sound. Another extremely powerful damage type - nothing except Golems and Will o' Wisps resist it. Nothing is immune to, vulnerable to, or healed by sonic damage. The damage of Sonic spells is increased by the Perform skill instead of Spellcraft.
A set of four damage types based around the D&D alignment system. Alignment damage from magical effects is modified by Light spell power.
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.
Damage caused by extremely intense light. A rare but powerful damage type, as several things are vulnerable to light - namely, Black Puddings, Evil Eyes, Forgewraiths, Nightcrawlers, Shades, Shadow Dragons, Shadows, and Vampires - but only Golems and Will o' Wisps resist light, and nothing is healed by or immune to it.
Damage caused by negative energy (essentially, anti-life force.) Nothing resists or is vulnerable to negative damage, but all Constructs and Living Constructs are immune to it. In addition, all Undead are healed by negative.
Damage caused by toxic chemicals. Not for nothing is poison considered D&D's weakest damage type, as in addition to all Constructs, Elementals, Living Constructs, Oozes and Undead, poison has no effect on Green Abishai, Angels, Demons, Driders, Drow Scorpions, Fiendish Spiders, Gargoyles, Green Dragons, Scorpions, Spiders, Will o' Wisps, Yuan-ti, and Yugoloths. To top it all off, nothing is vulnerable to it.
Positive energy usually heals players, but also deals damage to Undead type opponents. It has no effect on Constructs and a heavily reduced effect on Living Constructs (as well as players in an Undead form.) Positive spell power is increased by the Heal skill instead of Spellcraft.
A special 'damage' type that heals Constructs and Living Constructs while having no effect on all other types of creatures. It is similar to Positive energy, and can be seen as a replacement for Constructs and Living Constructs, which take no benefit and reduced benefit from Positive Healing respectively. Repair spell power is increased by the Repair skill instead of Spellcraft.
Rust damage injures Construct and Living Constructs while having no effect on all other types of creatures. This damage type only has a handful of sources, such the attack of a Rust Monster, the Corrosive Dust spell, and a few weapons. Only Warforged players (and possibly Artificers with certain enhancements) need to be concerned about this damage type - all other players are immune. However, most Rust effects from monsters also damage the durability of metal items that a target player has equipped. Rust damage from magical effects is modified by Repair spell power, and thus increased by the Repair skill instead of Spellcraft.
Damage from Bane weapons and other uncommon effects counts as untyped damage. Nothing is resistant, immune, vulnerable to, or healed by untyped damage. Untyped damage from magical effects is modified by Force spell power.
Certain rare effects increase all weapon damage by a certain percentage:
- Champion of Good: 3% Sacred bonus
- Crusade: 10% Enhancement bonus
- Chant of Power: up to +6% Music bonus
- Relentless Fury: 5% Enhancement bonus
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.
- Gray numbers indicate the damage was prevented (typically by DR for physical damage and Resistance for magical 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.