[RPG] Does untyped damage overcome all DR


According to a Pathfinder designer, untyped damage overcomes all DR. The comments are recorded in the last entry in this d20pfsrd FAQ section (just before "Blink and Mirror Image (4/22/10)") and comes from this forum post.

Spells and effects that do untyped damage are pretty rare in Pathfinder, since these spells are quite powerful since their damage can't be stopped by any form of immunity, resistance, or damage reduction.James Jacobs

This is surprising and counter-intuitive to me. As I understand it, DR 5/X is meant to mean "DR 5 bypassed by X", and I'd interpret untyped damage as simply never counting as any value of X, not something that magically ignores it altogether. The Overcoming DR section doesn't mention anything about untyped damage.

I'd like to fact-check this, since it's not unheard of that designers are wrong or confused about their games. By the rules we have actually written: does untyped damage really bypass all DR, even DR/—? Does it only bypass it if it's from a spell, or does all untyped damage from any source (e.g. falling damage) bypass DR? If applicable, please cite relevant rules in your answer.

Best Answer

It’s not really a property of being untyped that ignores DR (that's more relevant for ignoring resistance/immunity), it’s just the fact that physical attacks are always bludgeoning, piercing, and/or slashing, and thus the only things that deal with DR are also never going to do untyped damage, and the things that do use untyped damage are the things DR doesn’t apply to.

But Paizo isn’t interested in being clear or precise, and likes to treat off-the-cuff developer comments as official rules of the game, so, this kind of confusion is just a part of the game.