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The rules for precision damage are kinda vague, and from as far as I can tell there's only a couple things that are actually considered precision. My question has two parts though, first where in the rules can I find more information about Precision Damage. Looking at the Core Rule book I could only find that sneak attack damage is precision damage and not multiplied on a crit.

Secondly, and more importantly if its not in the answer to the first part, where does it say how precision damage works against DR. I assumed that its type matched they type of whatever weapon caused it. So a silver weapon's sneak attack bypasses DR/silver, but a regular weapon's sneak attack doesn't. However, my DM said in a similar situation that it was a separate damage source and would not bypass DR even if the weapon did.

The actual situation that came up was we were fighting an incorporeal creature, which is immune to non-magic weapons (also crits which negate the sneak attack damage all together, but we found out about that later). Assuming that they were not immune though, he said that our rogue could not add in the sneak attack damage even though the weapon was magic. And unless I can show him where it is in the rules that's the way its going to be.

EDIT: I realize it is mentioned in the answer found here, but this is not what im asking:

Precision damage and damage reduction

I am specifically looking for where any of this actually is in the rule books. Which book is it and which section or page number.

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marked as duplicate by starwed, mxyzplk Jun 16 '14 at 2:35

This question has been asked before and already has an answer. If those answers do not fully address your question, please ask a new question.

I don't have the citations that you need, but I can assure you that your DM was wrong regarding DR. Sneak Attack adds a bonus to your weapon damage, that is, it is a part of your weapon damage roll. Your attack deals regular + SA type damage, not regular type damage + SA precision damage or whatever. – KRyan Jun 16 '14 at 1:58
Well I'm looking for where in the rule books I can find the answer. I figured this was the case by looking at other questions here, or forums elsewhere, but nowhere have I seen where it is in the rule books. – JStephen Jun 16 '14 at 2:48
You should probably add a comment to the duplicate question requesting specific page citations. – mxyzplk Jun 16 '14 at 3:19
@JStephen mxyzplk has the process right, but since I saw this anyway, I've gone and added some citations. I don't own the Pathfinder book, though, so I can only quote the SRD. – KRyan Jun 16 '14 at 3:27
@mxyzplk I was going to just leave a comment on that one but I'm new to this SE site so I don't have the rep yet. – JStephen Jun 16 '14 at 13:31
up vote 0 down vote accepted
  • There are no general rules about precision damage, other than those you've already found. A few abilities will refer to precision damage, but there's no central place which talks about it. (Which annoys me a little, becuase it was exactly this sort of stuff PF was supposed to clarify!)

  • DR works against an attack. Precision damage is added to your attack; it's not a separate damage source. The designers felt this was evident enough that they don't specifically call it out. You can put it this way: either the precision damage is part of your attack, in which case DR only affects the overall damage, or it isn't, in which case DR doesn't apply to it.

  • There are some creatures which are immune to crits but can take sneak attack damage. This is described in a sidebar here.

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I used to play dnd 3.5 and I think the precision damage classification was added in pathfinder, so you would think this would have more description than most things. I didn't realize immunity to crits was different from immunity to precision damage, so that's kinda cool. – JStephen Jun 16 '14 at 3:07
@JStephen 3.5 used "precision" damage as a game term in a few places, but it was never defined. It was just a concept in the designers heads, that popped out in a few places like manyshot: "Regardless of the number of arrows you fire, you apply precision-based damage only once." – starwed Jun 16 '14 at 7:43

Precision damage and damage reduction

As stated in one of the linked threads on the sidebar, "Precision damage is of the same type as the attack to which it is applied. [In pathfinder]"

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OK, but anyone can post that as an answer. I'm looking specifically for where it is in the rules and that answer doesn't have that information. – JStephen Jun 16 '14 at 2:50 is an authoritative source for 3.5. – Scott Jun 16 '14 at 2:54
but I don't think Pathfinder is as likely to have official FAQs. Most importantly, Dnd runs on a philosophy of "Things aren't the case unless some book says they are" There isn't going to be anywhere in the rules that states that a sneak attack is not a second attack with a different damage type, which contrasts against other cases where the rules specifically say "the usual thing that would happen doesn't happen", such as doubling of sneak attack damage with a crit. – Scott Jun 16 '14 at 3:03
Well I'm sure it mentions somewhere that dnd 3.5 can be used as a fallback. I know there is a section in ultimate combat for converting 3.5 spells to pathfinder. I just find it annoying that its not in the rules anywhere. – JStephen Jun 16 '14 at 3:11
@JStephen try to point your GM to that quote ("The rogue's attack deals extra damage [...]"), and ask him why he would treat that as a different damage type in the first place. As Scott points out, the rules are exception-based, rather than explicit. If something is not called out as an exception, it follows the simplest interpretation, which "Sneak attacks deal two different kinds of damage" is certainly not. – MrLemon Jun 16 '14 at 11:45

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