Role-playing Games Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for gamemasters and players of tabletop, paper-and-pencil role-playing games. Join them; it only takes a minute:

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

If an archer with the Ranged Sunder feat shoots a blunt arrow (A&EG, p. 5), can he try to Sunder with it? Or is this not possible because blunt arrows deal subdual damage, with no way to deal lethal damage?

share|improve this question
up vote 3 down vote accepted

You can (probably) try to Sunder, but it won't do any good.

Subdual damage was renamed nonlethal damage in 3.5, so I'm going of that.

Smashing an Object has this to say (under Hardness):

Whenever an object takes damage, subtract its hardness from the damage. Only damage in excess of its hardness is deducted from the object’s hit points.

There's no basis to differentiate object hit points from character hit points. Nonlethal damage states:

Dealing Nonlethal Damage

Certain attacks deal nonlethal damage. Other effects, such as heat or being exhausted, also deal nonlethal damage. When you take nonlethal damage, keep a running total of how much you’ve accumulated. Do not deduct the nonlethal damage number from your current hit points. It is not "real" damage. Instead, when your nonlethal damage equals your current hit points, you’re staggered, and when it exceeds your current hit points, you fall unconscious.

Emphasis not even mine.

Furthermore, objects can neither be staggered nor unconscious, so keeping track of nonlethal damage on an object is pointless.

Of course, as always, you are free to houserule this particular case, since it seems to make sense. Even with Ranged Sunder you deal only half damage to objects with piercing weapons, so you might allow blunt arrows to do full damage.

share|improve this answer
From what I understand, the 1/2 damage is only with piercing weapons. So if you were to, say, sunder using a sling (as a Scout, so you get a damage bonus from your Skirmish), this does not get half-damage, right? – Thomas Jacobs Jun 16 '14 at 10:09
@ThomasJacobs I don't know about sundering specifically, but piercing weapons simply can't be used to smash an object, and ranged weapons do half damage. – starwed Jun 16 '14 at 10:54
I've just noticed that Ranged Sunder changes the rules for damaging objects with ranged attacks. Without the feat, Piercing does 0, Bludgeoning or Slashing does 1/2. With, P does 1/2, B or S does full. This doesn't affect the answer, since nonlethal damage still doesn't work, but I've edited the last part. – MrLemon Jun 16 '14 at 11:14

Your Answer


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.