Okay this is a question I've come to ask in the current game I'm a player in. Both me and the Barbarian both have resistance to some types of damage.

I was wondering how you are supposed to be calculating damage when you have resistance to a damage type?

Currently, we're totaling the damage and halving it all in one go, but I'm wondering if you are supposed to apply the resistance for each instance of damage? For example, for the common multi-attack of monsters?

In most cases this does not matter,but could add up over the course of an adventure day. Even more noteworthy in the case of heavy armor mastery where applying to each individual attack gives much more than just off the top.

  • \$\begingroup\$ Related (doesn't answer your question): How does resistance work? \$\endgroup\$ – Medix2 Oct 20 '19 at 9:03
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    \$\begingroup\$ Welcome to RPG.SE! Take the tour if you haven't already and see the help center or ask us here in the comments (use @ to ping someone) if you need more guidance. Good Luck and Happy Gaming! \$\endgroup\$ – Someone_Evil Oct 20 '19 at 9:18

You apply resistance to each source of damage

The section on "Resistance and Vulnerability" states:

Resistance and then vulnerability are applied after all other modifiers to damage [...]

This does tell us that Heavy Armor Master will always apply before any resistance, but we do need to know when modifiers are applied, which is covered in the "Damage Rolls" section:

Each weapon, spell, and harmful monster ability specifies the damage it deals. You roll the damage die or dice, add any modifiers, and apply the damage to your target. Magic weapons, special abilities, and other factors can grant a bonus to damage.

However this still doesn't quite tell us explicitly whether multi-attack has one big damage roll or one for each attack, but the "Making an Attack" section states this regarding what happens during an attack:

  1. Resolve the attack. You make the attack roll. On a hit, you roll damage, unless the particular attack has rules that specify otherwise. Some attacks cause special effects in addition to or instead of damage.

An attack deals damage when it hits and with multi-attack there are several individual hits and so damage (and thus resistance) is applied several individual times.

A small sidenote: resistance is also applied damage-type by damage-type, meaning that if a single thing deals multiple types of damage you apply resistance to each one that you resist separately, even if you simply resist the entirety of the damage. This is brought up in the question "Multiple Damage Resistance"

Also note that this has no bearing on Heavy Armor Master's damage reduction as that specifically reduces only the non-magical bludgeoning/piercing/slashing damage of a weapon:

When wearing heavy armor, bludgeoning, slashing and piercing damage you take from non-magical weapons is reduced by 3

  • \$\begingroup\$ Okay thank you my final question using my aforementioned example of the dragon, your break down covers the 3 attacks bite, claw, claw but say for the bite which does two damage rolls one for the physical side of it the other whatever element the dragon. Is that calculated the same way taking each instance of dmg separately and applying resistance or since it is the same attack it all goes together then you apply resistance? Edit: Wait that is answered in your link in the sidenote my apologies \$\endgroup\$ – Justin Forren Oct 20 '19 at 9:17
  • \$\begingroup\$ @justinforren I think my sidenote at the end covers that but I'll add something more \$\endgroup\$ – Medix2 Oct 20 '19 at 9:18

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