[RPG] Do Temporary Hit Points confer some form of protection


I have been thinking that temporary hit points were like virtual health as per:

Temporary hit points aren’t actual hit points; they are a buffer against damage, a pool of hit points that protect you from injury.

The fact that's virtual makes me think that you don't actually get hit per se. That is, you'd get out without even a scratch if you only lose temporary hit points (i.e. protect you from injury).

However, I have not seen anything anywhere saying that if you are bitten by a creature such as a spider and only lose temporary hit points, you don't get poisoned. Yet, if you don't even sustain a scratch, how could you get poisoned or paralyzed or sick?

How do you guys understand the rules in such circumstances?

Best Answer

No they do not

The books do not clarify the matter, but Jeremy Crawford has said:

When temporary hit points absorb damage for you, you're still taking damage, just not to your real hit points.

when confirming that temporary HP lost will count toward the DC of a concentration check. This implies that the loss of temporary HP should trigger any effect that happens on the loss of HP.