The entry for damage reduction does not state that the creature can voluntary lower its own damage reduction, like it says for spell resistance.

Can a creature choose to be harmed by an attack its damage reduction would lower/negate?

An attacker knows when the attack has not worked because of DR, be it instantaneous healing or just invulnerability.

So, inspired by @GeofreyBent's comment, here are several situations:

  • A Leonal is incognito in Sigil doing undercover shenanigans. Some pesky quasit decides to stab him with a non-silvered weapon, just to expose him.

  • A werewolf wants to impress some adventurers that he is just a polymorphed mage, and not a werewolf. So he wants to be cut by normal weapons.

  • A barbarian wants to cause a ruckus (they started it) by "getting stabbed" from some street urchin.

  • The same leonal from before wants to donate some of his blood to a ritual by a good wizard... How does he even cut himself?

  • creatures that trigger special qualities "when damaged" like a wolverine's rage.

  • 2
    \$\begingroup\$ @HeyICanChan There are a couple of "when damaged" abilities e.g. wolverine rage and jovoc retributive aura (MM4?) where taking damage might be situationally advantageous. But the main reason I can think of is deception: "look, this ordinary weapon cuts me so clearly I'm not the werewolf you're hunting" etc. IIRC, the attacker knows when damage has been reduced by DR so foregoing it could be useful in that situation. \$\endgroup\$ Nov 5, 2017 at 1:29

1 Answer 1


Technically no.

This would invalidate the iron cutting test for lycantrophy. Damage reduction is taken in 2 points of view in 3.5.

The first is the one you describe. A Leonal, as many other outsiders, is literally immune to non-magic damage. One of the descriptions of devas in Book of Exalted Deeds mentioned that they ventured into most hideous places, but returned unscathed, for they could not be scratched and harmed even by harsh conditions and foliage in the abyss - only actual magic or innate evil could do so.

The other is taken as a ridiculously fast healing, in which even if you manage to harm the creature, the wound will close nonetheless. This is for most low level demons as Manes, Barbarians, etc, where they are not formally immune to damage but mitigate it perfectly.

So unless in the second case, it would kind of break the minimal fail safe checks players must know to be valid.


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