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11/21/2018 2:20 pm  #1


Ghouls and Damage Reducing Armor

So here's a rules question that came up in my game last night:  A ghoul hit a character wearing Chain with a claw (a solid 18)  however on the damage I rolled a 1 which was negated by the damage reduction of the armor.  I was torn on whether a save had to be made against paralysis if there wasn't any damage taken.  I ended up giving the player a +4 on the save (he rolled a 3 so it didn't really help).  Any thoughts or is there a RAW way to deal with this?

 

11/21/2018 2:30 pm  #2


Re: Ghouls and Damage Reducing Armor

Interesting situation! I have no idea on RAW, but I am guessing the usual chance of paralysis because of the technical hit but with no damage because of the reduction? In my own game, I'd probably go with a more generous interpretation like you did because I'm a "tie goes to the runner" kind of referee to help balance out my otherwise sadistic tendencies.

DMPrata should be along shortly, heheh.


Blackadder23: Insanely long villain soliloquy, then "Your action?"
BORGO'S PLAYER: I shoot him in the face
 

11/21/2018 3:11 pm  #3


Re: Ghouls and Damage Reducing Armor

I might have gone with no save, here's my theory; Damage reduction basically is the armor's ability to block contact from creatures. Damage Reduction applies to melee and missile attacks, but not traps, falling damage, poison, flaming oil or most spells. 

The way I see it is that the paralysis of Ghouls (and other creatures) is from direct contact with the PC's skin. If the DR reduces damage to 0 or below (meaning the armor was contacted but it was not breached), contact with the PC's skin was prohibited. Therefore no save vs paralysis. 

Though that would me my ruling at the table only, and definitely not the word of law. YMMV

I can however attest to the lethality of Chainsaws game!http://cdn.boardhost.com/emoticons/grin.png

Last edited by mavfire (11/21/2018 3:15 pm)


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11/21/2018 6:28 pm  #4


Re: Ghouls and Damage Reducing Armor

This issue came up recently when I ran The Beasts of Kraggoth Manor™ at http://carnagecon.com/. (Avoiding spoilers, let’s just say that the weapons of certain monsters in that adventure have additional “bonus features”.) Korr the Slayer’s scale armour reduced the monster’s attack damage to 0, so I ruled that he was not subject to the weapon’s additional effects and did not need to save. For precedent, consider that a garrotte’s damage must overcome the victim’s DR to trigger its special effects (see AS&SH VOL. I, pp. 117–118: EQUIPAGE, melee weapons).

 

11/21/2018 6:42 pm  #5


Re: Ghouls and Damage Reducing Armor

I personally would probably also rule that a ghoul's attack that was reduced to 0 hp by DR didn't have a paralyzing effect. However...

There are a lot of touch attacks that only have a special effect - they don't do any actual damage. For example, a poison or white hand of death spell. How would that be handled, given a target with DR? Would the effect always just ignore the DR? (That would likely be my personal inclination, but it's something to think about.)

Last edited by Blackadder23 (11/21/2018 6:44 pm)


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11/21/2018 7:44 pm  #6


Re: Ghouls and Damage Reducing Armor

We've used ghouls a lot in our campaigns and have ruled they need to damage the target to force a save. 


“How can I wear the harness of toil
And sweat at the daily round,
While in my soul forever
The drums of Pictdom sound?” 
 

11/21/2018 9:43 pm  #7


Re: Ghouls and Damage Reducing Armor

Blackadder23 wrote:

I personally would probably also rule that a ghoul's attack that was reduced to 0 hp by DR didn't have a paralyzing effect. However...

There are a lot of touch attacks that only have a special effect - they don't do any actual damage. For example, a poison or white hand of death spell. How would that be handled, given a target with DR? Would the effect always just ignore the DR? (That would likely be my personal inclination, but it's something to think about.)

I typically rule that an ability, be it poison, paralysis, or any other detrimental effect, that is contingent on a "hit" must cause damage for that ability to function. In the case of touch attacks, that is different. It has to specifically say that it is a touch attack, in which case DR is not a factor.

All that being said, it warms my cold, cruel heart to read that some of my fellow referees are more harsh than I am. I will be sure to inform my players of this.
 


Astonishing Swordsmen & Sorcerers of Hyperborea - A Role-Playing Game of Swords, Sorcery, and Weird Fantasy
 

11/21/2018 10:03 pm  #8


Re: Ghouls and Damage Reducing Armor

I'm on the other side of fence from Ghul here. A hit is a hit, regardless of damage. Can't tell you how many times I've picked up a scratch or a bruise or a tick in the woods and never felt it until later.....

Last edited by Iron Ranger (11/21/2018 10:04 pm)


3d6 straight.
 

11/22/2018 10:49 am  #9


Re: Ghouls and Damage Reducing Armor

Blackadder23 wrote:

There are a lot of touch attacks that only have a special effect - they don't do any actual damage. For example, a poison or white hand of death spell. How would that be handled, given a target with DR? Would the effect always just ignore the DR? (That would likely be my personal inclination, but it's something to think about.)

Damage reduction applies only versus melee and missile attacks, not against most sorcery, so it wouldn’t protect from a poison or white hand of death spell.

 

11/22/2018 11:05 am  #10


Re: Ghouls and Damage Reducing Armor

DMPrata wrote:

Blackadder23 wrote:

There are a lot of touch attacks that only have a special effect - they don't do any actual damage. For example, a poison or white hand of death spell. How would that be handled, given a target with DR? Would the effect always just ignore the DR? (That would likely be my personal inclination, but it's something to think about.)

Damage reduction applies only versus melee and missile attacks, not against most sorcery, so it wouldn’t protect from a poison or white hand of death spell.

Maybe that's the crux of it, whether that ghoul touch alone is sufficiently "magical" or "supernatural" that it doesn't need to do actual damage to cause a paralytic effect. /shrug


Blackadder23: Insanely long villain soliloquy, then "Your action?"
BORGO'S PLAYER: I shoot him in the face
 

11/22/2018 3:36 pm  #11


Re: Ghouls and Damage Reducing Armor

Lots of great comments here!  I'm now leaning towards no save myself.  One more factor is that AC is based in large part on the armor the character is wearing.  Any thing that would hit an unarmored version of the character (adjusted for dex) up to the armored AC  is stopped by the armor thus implying some sort of touch or 0 damage hit but that doesn't cause a save vs. paralyzation, so I'm thinking DR to 0 could mean the armor isn't really penetrated at all which is essence is the same result.  (In the situation I described in the OP the rest of the party took care of the creatures pretty quickly thereafter so no harm no foul!)

Last edited by lige (11/22/2018 3:44 pm)

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12/19/2018 10:18 am  #12


Re: Ghouls and Damage Reducing Armor

I'm partial to the touch attack reasoning for determining if it works or not. Great question now when this happens in my game I am prepared for how I will rule on it. 


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12/20/2018 7:05 am  #13


Re: Ghouls and Damage Reducing Armor

I from the very early days of playing D&D, thought that it was the ghoul's claws that infected a person, so the filthy fingernails and unclean disposition of the undead creature contaminated the victim. So DR must stop this, it not flesh rubbing on flesh as its leaned against a exposed fleshy area of a character, it needs to infect and that means, lacerations, etc.

The fact that it is an instant paralyzation on a failed safe, could be slowed, but that would take a hit location rule, though one could opt to just allow it for this sole attack...

An adventurer hit in the right arm, would feel the effect slowly move though their arm, so in first round they drop their sword, unable to hold it, the next round it is seeping into their heart causing the full effect of paralyse, but at least it might give PC time to stagger away.

A hit to neck or head is instantaneous, etc.

 

1/23/2019 10:16 am  #14


Re: Ghouls and Damage Reducing Armor

Iron Ranger wrote:

I'm on the other side of fence from Ghul here. A hit is a hit, regardless of damage. Can't tell you how many times I've picked up a scratch or a bruise or a tick in the woods and never felt it until later.....

It may shock you all to learn I agree. I think this comes down to personal aesthetics, though. No one is ever going to prove one side "right" -- but to me it adds to the horror of the ghoul that even though your armor prevented it from damaging you, you can feel waves of nauseous cold spreading from that tiny scratch it managed to make on your neck . . .

It comes down to some thinking DR means any contact is completely negated vs. others who think that it only negates the mechanical effect on HP. To my mind, since HP are abstract anyway and merely represent your ability to keep fighting, NOT actual wounding, there's no reason that negating the HP damage also negates any possibility of touching -- that's what the save is for!

I guess if you don't respect yourself you could always give a bonus on the save. +1 or +.025, maybe . . .

 

1/23/2019 12:48 pm  #15


Re: Ghouls and Damage Reducing Armor

Handy Haversack wrote:

Iron Ranger wrote:

I'm on the other side of fence from Ghul here. A hit is a hit, regardless of damage. Can't tell you how many times I've picked up a scratch or a bruise or a tick in the woods and never felt it until later.....

It may shock you all to learn I agree. I think this comes down to personal aesthetics, though. No one is ever going to prove one side "right" -- but to me it adds to the horror of the ghoul that even though your armor prevented it from damaging you, you can feel waves of nauseous cold spreading from that tiny scratch it managed to make on your neck . . .

It comes down to some thinking DR means any contact is completely negated vs. others who think that it only negates the mechanical effect on HP. To my mind, since HP are abstract anyway and merely represent your ability to keep fighting, NOT actual wounding, there's no reason that negating the HP damage also negates any possibility of touching -- that's what the save is for!

I guess if you don't respect yourself you could always give a bonus on the save. +1 or +.025, maybe . . .

There you go, going soft on everybody again!
 


“How can I wear the harness of toil
And sweat at the daily round,
While in my soul forever
The drums of Pictdom sound?” 
 

1/23/2019 1:07 pm  #16


Re: Ghouls and Damage Reducing Armor

Handy used to be a hardass, now he's all, "I might give someone a +.025 bonus." What happened to you? 


Blackadder23: Insanely long villain soliloquy, then "Your action?"
BORGO'S PLAYER: I shoot him in the face
 

1/23/2019 1:13 pm  #17


Re: Ghouls and Damage Reducing Armor

Chainsaw wrote:

Handy used to be a hardass, now he's all, "I might give someone a +.025 bonus." What happened to you?

No softness there. Handy didn't say "I might" he said "YOU might".  HUGE difference. Stay HARD Handy!

Last edited by Iron Ranger (1/23/2019 1:13 pm)


3d6 straight.
 

1/23/2019 1:21 pm  #18


Re: Ghouls and Damage Reducing Armor

Iron Ranger wrote:

Chainsaw wrote:

Handy used to be a hardass, now he's all, "I might give someone a +.025 bonus." What happened to you?

No softness there. Handy didn't say "I might" he said "YOU might".  HUGE difference. Stay HARD Handy!

Hahah! True, true. He didn't actually committ himself to anything!


Blackadder23: Insanely long villain soliloquy, then "Your action?"
BORGO'S PLAYER: I shoot him in the face
 

1/23/2019 2:45 pm  #19


Re: Ghouls and Damage Reducing Armor

A hit is a hit
Now make a saving throw!


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1/23/2019 2:46 pm  #20


Re: Ghouls and Damage Reducing Armor

Chainsaw wrote:

Iron Ranger wrote:

Chainsaw wrote:

Handy used to be a hardass, now he's all, "I might give someone a +.025 bonus." What happened to you?

No softness there. Handy didn't say "I might" he said "YOU might".  HUGE difference. Stay HARD Handy!

Hahah! True, true. He didn't actually committ himself to anything!

Upon further review, you were already dead.*



*This happened in a game! It was the best.

 

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