A standard troll has Regeneration 5 (acid or fire). Suppose that the troll somehow gains fire resistance 10, such as through the Resist Energy spell. If a level 3 wizard casts Burning Hands at this troll and rolls 8 on his 3d4 damage dice, does it shut off the troll's regeneration for the round?

The text of the Regeneration ability reads in part (some emphasis added):

Regeneration (Ex)

A creature with this ability is difficult to kill. Creatures with regeneration heal damage at a fixed rate, as with fast healing, but they cannot die as long as their regeneration is still functioning (although creatures with regeneration still fall unconscious when their hit points are below 0). Certain attack forms, typically fire and acid, cause a creature’s regeneration to stop functioning on the round following the attack. During this round, the creature does not heal any damage and can die normally. The creature’s descriptive text describes the types of damage that cause the regeneration to cease functioning.

Normally, I would say that the fire has to reduce the troll's HP in order to shut off its regeneration. However, the term "attack forms" has me a bit uncertain.


1 Answer 1


No. The reason is because they did not actually take any damage of a type that would shut off their regeneration.

We can see further example of this from the DR rules.

Whenever damage reduction completely negates the damage from an attack, it also negates most special effects that accompany the attack, such as injury poison, a monk’s stunning, and injury-based disease. Damage Reduction does not negate touch attacks, energy damage dealt along with an attack, or energy drains. Nor does it affect poisons or diseases delivered by inhalation, ingestion, or contact.

  • \$\begingroup\$ I think you're right, but why would the rules for damage reduction apply to the rules for regeneration? I mean, yeah, they're both the same kind of thing, but they're still different things. \$\endgroup\$ Oct 5, 2019 at 14:13
  • \$\begingroup\$ I included that because as far as I know, there are no specific rules covering this situation, so looking at similar rules provides a basis. From regeneration monster ability it does say "Certain attack forms, typically fire and acid, cause a creature’s regeneration to stop functioning on the round following the attack." That actually leads to a stronger proof because it doesnt mention damage (or even if the attack hits, lol) just that an attack was made \$\endgroup\$
    – Fering
    Oct 5, 2019 at 15:19
  • \$\begingroup\$ Thing is, that comparison also seems to support the exact opposite position. I mean, if DR mandates that it be overcome either by the damage type or amount, yet regeneration only mandates that to turn it off an attack form be used, then it seems like the special damage need not deal hp damage to the creature to switch off its regeneration. (And I swear there was a question like this already posed on the site; I just can't find it.) \$\endgroup\$ Oct 5, 2019 at 16:14
  • \$\begingroup\$ An attack that doesnt even need to hit turns off regen just seems wrong and against the spirit of the game. So the DR example makes more sense. \$\endgroup\$
    – Fering
    Oct 5, 2019 at 17:54

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