Take the 2-minute tour ×
Role-playing Games Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for gamemasters and players of tabletop, paper-and-pencil role-playing games. It's 100% free, no registration required.

I have a D&D 3.5 character who has gained 3 energy resistance to fire due to an item.

My question is. Does the energy resistance add 3 to AC when dealing with fire attacks or does it negate 3 of the damage when dealt a successful fire attack such as fireball?

share|improve this question

2 Answers 2

up vote 4 down vote accepted

Energy Resistance reduces the damage you take from that energy type. With Fire Resistance 3, you subtract 3 from fire damage you take.

There is some confusion, however, about how often this works. The Resistance to Energy special quality states that

A creature with resistance to energy has the ability (usually extraordinary) to ignore some damage of a certain type each round, but it does not have total immunity.

(emphasis mine) Here, you can subtract 3 from the total amount of fire damage you take each round. However, the resist energy spell says this

The subject gains energy resistance 10 against the energy type chosen, meaning that each time the creature is subjected to such damage (whether from a natural or magical source), that damage is reduced by 10 points before being applied to the creature’s hit points.

(emphasis again mine) In this case, it’s not 3 subtracted from the round’s total fire damage, but 3 subtracted from every instance of fire damage. This is obviously quite a lot stronger.

The Rules Compendium clarifies this situation:

A creature that has resistance to energy has the ability (usually extraordinary) to ignore some damage of a certain energy type each time it takes damage of that type.

(emphasis yadda yadda) So with Rules Compendium it always applies each time. However, you will need to double-check with your DM on this, because A. Rules Compendium is a supplement, and B. the errata rules do not actually allow Rules Compendium to change the rules in the PHB, so your DM will have to OK it.

share|improve this answer
    
In D&D 3.0 it was originally per-round, which left the interesting possibility of overcoming a creature's energy resistance with multiple attacks. However, you had to keep track of how much fire damage each creature absorbed, and often only one spellcaster character in the party used fire attacks anyway. –  Jonathan Drain Aug 12 '13 at 15:52

The second.

d20srd.org states:

Resistance To Energy

A creature with resistance to energy has the ability (usually extraordinary) to ignore some damage of a certain type each round, but it does not have total immunity.

Each resistance ability is defined by what energy type it resists and how many points of damage are resisted. It doesn’t matter whether the damage has a mundane or magical source.

When resistance completely negates the damage from an energy attack, the attack does not disrupt a spell. This resistance does not stack with the resistance that a spell might provide.

Usually, you don't even use AC against fire attacks - you use a reflex save for a fireball for example.

share|improve this answer
    
I suppose Fireball was a bad example for an attack. –  Aaron Aug 12 '13 at 14:43
    
Not necessarily. I can't imagine an instance where you'd use AC against a fire attack, except for the druid "flame blade" spell. –  kravaros Aug 12 '13 at 15:02
    
An enchanted blade or the fire dwarf. (Not the technical name but I can't recall the full name. The race is identical to dwarfs but their hair is fire.) If they get too close you start taking fire damage because they are actually on fire. –  Aaron Aug 12 '13 at 15:14
1  
No. When attacked by an enchanted blade, you are attacked by the blade itself, not the fire on it, the fire is only extra damage in case it hits. Similarly with the fire dwarf, if Azer is the one you mean. –  kravaros Aug 12 '13 at 15:22

Your Answer

 
discard

By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.