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Specifically, does a damage reduction reduce the damage from each dice of falling damage or from the total?

If it is the former, does this combination worth less than 2000 gp make me immune to falling damage (for 24 hours)?

Boots of the Cat (1000 gp) The boot’s wearer always takes the minimum possible damage from falls (as if the GM had rolled a 1 on each die of damage incurred by the fall) and at the end of a fall always lands on his feet.


Shoanti War Paint [...] Once applied, the effects granted by the war paint last for 24 hours. [...] Orange (900 gp): You gain damage reduction 1/—. This effect stacks with the damage reduction granted by the barbarian class.

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This question also provides some other damage reduction clarifications –  Rob May 24 '13 at 8:21
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2 Answers

up vote 7 down vote accepted

Damage reduction reduces the damage from the total, not the individual dice. From the D20 Pathfinder SRD's section on Falling Damage (emphasis added):

Creatures that fall take 1d6 points of damage per 10 feet fallen, to a maximum of 20d6. Creatures that take lethal damage from a fall land in a prone position.

If a character deliberately jumps instead of merely slipping or falling, the damage is the same but the first 1d6 is nonlethal damage. A DC 15 Acrobatics check allows the character to avoid any damage from the first 10 feet fallen and converts any damage from the second 10 feet to nonlethal damage. Thus, a character who slips from a ledge 30 feet up takes 3d6 damage.

You take 20d6 damage if you fall 200 feet, once, not 1d6 damage 20 times.

If you have any damage reduction capable of reducing fall damage, it reduces the total damage. In your example, let's say you fell 200 feet: Boots of the Cat means you take only 20 fall damage, and Shoanti War Paint's DR 1/— reduces that to 19 fall damage. You still land on your feet thanks to those boots.

If it makes it clearer: you take fall damage when you hit the ground, all at once. You don't progressively take 1d6 fall damage per 10 feet whilst falling through the air. The increasing number of damage dice is not taking damage from the air, but an increasing measure of how hard you're going to hit the ground when you finally reach it.

Maybe you'd prefer a Wand of Feather Fall, or a Ring of Feather Falling?

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Technically, with the Rules As Written, damage reduction does not apply to falling damage, only to attacks.

This is because DR says only that it is the ability to:

instantly heal damage from weapons or ignore blows altogether as though they were invulnerable.

and that

damage reduction (or DR) is the amount of damage the creature ignores from normal attacks.

Since the damage from falling is not from an attack, it doesn't count. That said, every group I've ever played with has house ruled that damage reduction should apply as normal to bludgeoning damage.

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Never ran into a post? More than once I've heard people say "that post attacked me" and from a pure physical force perspective (equal opposing force) it might as well have attacked you... –  Julix Jun 2 '13 at 9:30
@Julix The term "Rules as Written" (or RAW for short) indicates a purely literal interpretation of the game mechanics, and that's what I address in this post. As I note at the end, I don't actually play it like this -- I just thought it was worth noting, since there are folks who do. –  starwed Jun 3 '13 at 1:40
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