[RPG] How does Damage Reduction work


I have a character who gained an item that gives him DR 5\bludgeoning.

I am assuming this only effects bludgeoning weapons such as hammers. If that is the case does it effect AC adding 5 to defense when being attacked or does it reduce damage dealt by 5? (I believe it is the latter but want to be sure.)

Best Answer

Actually, in the Damage Reduction notation, the text after the slash tells you what ignores the damage reduction. So DR 5/bludgeoning subtracts 5 from weapon damage unless the weapon is a bludgeoning weapon (like a hammer, yes; all weapons will indicate their damage type).

Note that some weapons might be “bludgeoning and piercing” – these ignore DR x/bludgeoning as well as DR x/piercing, and would also ignore DR x/bludgeoning-and-piercing which neither bludgeoning-only nor piercing-only weapons would.

It’s also common to see things like DR x/magic-and-bludgeoning, which means only magic bludgeoning weapons can bypass it. Less common would be something like DR x/magic-or-bludgeoning, where any bludgeoning weapon (even if not magic) or any magic weapon (even if not bludgeoning) would bypass it.

Finally, DR x/– simply means that no physical damage type bypasses it at all.

If multiple DRs apply, e.g. you have DR 5/bludgeoning and DR 10/magic, and you’re attacked with a non-magic, non-bludgeoning weapon, only the highest applies (so you subtract 10, not 15).

Also, Damage Reduction only applies to “physical” damage, not energy damage like cold or fire. So a fireball does full damage despite DR 5/bludgeoning. Energy Resistance works like Damage Reduction (sort of) for energy damage.

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