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There are a few bits about damage reduction that I'm unclear on in pathfinder, specifically...

  1. Easy one first; Do cold iron/silver weapons equivalent (+3) count as magic for purposes of ignoring DR? This is certainly implied, but not categorically stated as I read it.

  2. Is the only way to get an alignment based attack in a weapon to cast either align weapon, use a +5 weapon or be a monster with a 10/lawful (for example) reduction and use a natural attack? Or is a alignment monster using it's natural attacks counted as damage of that type , e.g. an Morlock is CE, do it's attacks count as Chaotic?

  3. If you are a monster with alignment based reduction (eg 5/Lawful) do your natural attacks have no effect on any other alignment DR other than lawful? I.e. if a summoners Eidolon has 5/Neutral are a monster with DR 5/Lawful attacks still reduced by 5?

  4. If a monster has two types of DR what do it's attacks natural attacks count as, eg a Kyton has DR 5/silver or good, do it's attacks count as silver (+3) or alignment (+5)?

  5. Speaking of Eidolons; the evolution "Damage Reduction" (p63 advanced players guide) gives the Eidolon DR5/alignment; does this now mean that the Eiodolons natural attacks will now count as ignoring DR for that alignment (and cold iron, silver, adamantantine, maybe magic) as alignment based attacks are equivalent to +5. Note that Eiodolons also have a cheaper evolution "magic attacks" (p60 APG) as well.

  6. If a monster has DR of (Greater Earth Elemental for example) 10/- what do it's attacks count as? A monster with 10/magic has attacks that are counted as magic, if I read it correctly, but I don't see text for monsters with the '-' reduction.

  7. Certain massive monsters (Rolling out the Tyrannosaurus again) have no DR at all, but are massive beasties; do their attacks not count in any way against DR? (Not that the T-Rex needs to worry much about DR, it does massive amounts of damage!)

  8. Spells aren't affected by DR at all? So your common or garden magic missile happily does full damage against a monster with 20/- reduction?

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Note, if needed I can break this up into several questions, would that be better? –  Rob Apr 15 '12 at 9:12
In general, yes you should break something like this up into a series of questions. It promotes getting answers (as an answerer doesn't need to know the answer to ALL the questions to answer), and you'll tend to get a bit more depth on each one. But you got a good answer, so I wouldn't worry about it in this case. –  AceCalhoon Apr 15 '12 at 16:04
This old question already has a perfect answer, perhaps we could better use our question-meddling time elsewhere. –  mxyzplk Sep 15 '13 at 14:49
@Rob No, we just close this question and leave it at that. It has its answers. People looking for this stuff can find them. –  doppelgreener Sep 16 '13 at 1:17
@JonathanHobbs Ah, misunderstood what closing a question did, apologies :) –  Rob Sep 16 '13 at 11:31

3 Answers 3

up vote 18 down vote accepted

Okay, let's take it from the top.

1) The equivalency table is cumulative. Bypassing DR/Magic requires a magical enhancement bonus of +1 or greater, which a +3 weapon has. A +5 weapon bypasses silver, cold iron, adamantine, and all alignment based DR.

2) The Universal Monster Rules in the Bestiary 2 clears this up:

Some monsters are vulnerable to good-, evil-, chaotic-, or lawful-aligned weapons, such as from an align weapon spell or the holy magical weapon property. A creature with an alignment subtype (chaotic, evil, good, or lawful) can overcome this type of damage reduction with its natural weapons and weapons it wields as if the weapons or natural weapons had an alignment (or alignments) that matched the subtype(s) of the creature.

Basically, you need the alignment subtype for your attacks to count as that alignment. In addition, weapons with a permanent alignment based enhancement, like Holy or Unholy, count as aligned.

3) DR/Alignment does not automatically make your natural weapons aligned. If I have DR/Lawful (implying that I am Chaotic), my attacks do not automatically bypass DR/Chaotic unless I also have the Chaotic alignment subtype. Also note that Eidolons have to choose between chaotic, evil, good, or lawful for their DR, they cannot choose Neutral. DR/Neutral isn't a thing in Pathfinder, that I am aware of.

4) Having DR/Silver or Good does not let your natural weapons bypass silver or good DR. The important things to look at are your alignment subtypes, and DR/Magic. Kytons have the Evil and Lawful alignment subtypes, so their weapons bypass DR/Evil and DR/Lawful. If the Kyton had DR/Magic, then it would be able to bypass DR/Magic as well.

5) In short, no. Eidolons are the same alignment as their summoners, but they do not have a alignment subtype. Getting DR/Alignment does not let you bypass that alignment's DR for free. The Magic Attacks evolution does allow your Eidolon to bypass a certain aligned DR at high enough levels.

6) A monster with DR/- doesn't get any DR penetration ability because of it's DR. Their attacks don't count as magic, or of any material.

7) Nope. Their attacks do lots of damage, for sure, but they have no special DR penetration.

8) Correct. Specifically:

Spells, spell-like abilities, and energy attacks (even nonmagical fire) ignore damage reduction.

One of the things that you keep mentioning is alignment and material DR being equivalent to certain enhancement bonuses. All that table says is that weapons with a high enough enhancement bonus let you bypass certain types of DR. Being able to bypass aligned DR does not make your attack equivalent to a +5 weapon. Being able to bypass aligned DR does not let you also bypass silver, adamantine, and magic for free. The specific rule to pay attention to reads:

Weapons with an enhancement bonus of +3 or greater can ignore some types of damage reduction, regardless of their actual material or alignment.

This only applies to weapons with a high enough enhancement bonus, not any other attacks that can bypass certain types of DR. Note that this does not apply to weapons with a high effective enhancement bonus, only a high actual enhancement bonus. The rules for enchanted weapons state:

Special abilities count as additional bonuses for determining the market value of the item, but do not modify attack or damage bonuses (except where specifically noted).

Since the enhancement bonus to DR rules only mention enhancement bonus, and don't specifically call out that the full effective enhancement bonus applies, only the actual enhancement bonus applies.

Another thing to keep in mind is that creatures with an alignment subtype apply their alignment to their weapons as well as their natural attacks, while creatures with DR/magic only bypass DR/magic with their natural weapons.

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Fantastic answer! I don't have Bestiary 2 so that crucial piece of clarification has passed me by, every answer and it all makes sense now; cheers! –  Rob Apr 15 '12 at 13:24
Linked the Bestiary 2 rules from the PRD. –  mxyzplk Apr 15 '12 at 14:48

I believe you read the table backwards on #1. Cold iron, silver, etc. do not bypass DR/magic unless they are also enchanted. It is an enchanted weapon with +3 or higher equivalent that can bypass DR/silver or DR/cold iron. For example, any +1 flaming burst longsword, even if it is just made of steel, will bypass a werewolf's DR.

I don't think that your assumption is implied, exactly, but I can see how it would be inferred.

Also, to clarify something that the previous answerer touched on, but didn't make explicit, there is no real connection between any creature having DR/anything, and being able to bypass DR. The ability to have DR/magic, for example, and have attacks that bypass DR/magic are two completely separate abilities. A creature can have one, without implying or necessitating the other in any way. This is why DR/- doesn't grant any sort of ability to bypass DR, not simply because it has DR/-.

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This answer is incorrect, on several counts. a) A +1 flaming burst longsword does not bypass cold iron/silver DR. The relevant quote is "Weapons with an enhancement bonus of +3 or greater can ignore some types of damage reduction, regardless of their actual material or alignment." and "Special abilities count as additional bonuses for determining the market value of the item, but do not modify attack or damage bonuses (except where specifically noted)." The weapon only has an enhancement bonus of +1, not +3. It counts as 3 for pricing, but no other purposes. –  DuckTapeAl Sep 15 '13 at 7:14
b) You're right about most DRs not giving the ability to bypass DR, but DR/Magic is a specific exception: "Such creatures' natural weapons (but not their attacks with weapons) are treated as magic weapons for the purpose of overcoming damage reduction." –  DuckTapeAl Sep 15 '13 at 7:15

A +1 flaming burst longsword would not bypass the werewolfs 10/silver. the chart shows what enchantment bonus you need to equal to be able to bypass some DR's. So a +3 could bypass -/silver. you need at least a +4 to bypass -/adamantine, and a +5 weapon can by pass those two plus -/ alignment-based.

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I realize this is not a complete answer but it is still useful information. Basically a +1 flaming burst is priced at a +3 bonus, but it only overcomes DR as if it were a +1 weapon. I don't think the down votes are necessary. –  JStephen Jul 24 at 22:56

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