Odd question came up in a game today and that was how is a concentration check affected by damage that is not lethal damage.

So these other sources are non-lethal damage, ability score damage, and ability score drain. I assume that non-lethal would be performed the same way as lethal. Its the ability score ones that I dont even know if they would affect the check?


Ability Score damage doesn't trigger a Concentration check. Nonlethal damage does.

Looking carefully at the relevant rules, it appears that ability damage doesn't actually damage the character, but rather damages their scores.

Diseases, poisons, spells, and other abilities can all deal damage directly to your ability scores.

Since this damage is affecting a character's scores, and not the character themselves, the damage doesn't count under the Injury section of the Concentration rules.

If you take damage while trying to cast a spell, you must make a concentration check

Nonlethal damage, however, is still damage to a character.

When you take nonlethal damage, keep a running total of how much you’ve accumulated.

Since Injury applies whenever a character takes damage, taking nonlethal damage still requires a Concentration check.

  • \$\begingroup\$ The lines immediately following your quote about Ability Score damage negate the quoted line... "For every 2 points of damage you take to a single ability, apply a –1 penalty to skills and statistics listed with the relevant ability. If the amount of ability damage you have taken equals or exceeds your ability score, you immediately fall unconscious..." I think that portion is just poorly stated \$\endgroup\$ – Ifusaso Mar 25 at 1:16
  • \$\begingroup\$ Does the portion of Nonlethal damage "Do not deduct the nonlethal damage number from your current hit points. It is not “real” damage." affect your answer? \$\endgroup\$ – Ifusaso Mar 25 at 1:18

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