College of Lore bards get the Cutting Words feature at 3rd level:

When a creature that you can see within 60 feet of you makes an attack roll, an ability check, or a damage roll, you can use your reaction to expend one of your uses of Bardic Inspiration, rolling a Bardic Inspiration die and subtracting the number rolled from the creature’s roll. You can choose to use this feature after the creature makes its roll, but before the DM determines whether the attack roll or ability check succeeds or fails, or before the creature deals its damage.

When a bard uses Cutting Words to reduce damage, is resistance/vulnerability applied before or after the damage is reduced?

  • 2
    \$\begingroup\$ Related What part of a multi-type damage roll is reduced by a non-type specific event? \$\endgroup\$ – NautArch Aug 27 '18 at 17:03
  • \$\begingroup\$ Are you asking in the context of a multi-type damage roll? The rules are pretty straightforward otherwise, but go completely off the rails when there's resistance to only part of the damage from the attack. \$\endgroup\$ – Mark Wells Aug 27 '18 at 18:27
  • \$\begingroup\$ @MarkWells An answer should include both, but I"m having trouble seeing how it wouldn't work (but an answer to that would be a great answer!) \$\endgroup\$ – NautArch Aug 27 '18 at 18:34

Resistance/Vulnerability is applied at the very end of damage calculation, after the cutting words

The basic rules say (emphasis mine):

Resistance and then vulnerability are applied after all other modifiers to damage. For example, a creature has resistance to bludgeoning damage and is hit by an attack that deals 25 bludgeoning damage. The creature is also within a magical aura that reduces all damage by 5. The 25 damage is first reduced by 5 and then halved, so the creature takes 10 damage.

Since cutting words is a flat (although variable) damage reduction, it occurs before resistance or vulnerability is applied.


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