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A character that selects the Dhampir versatile heritage gains the Dhampir trait, and gains negative healing "as if you were undead."

The tyrant's focus ability Touch of Corruption states the following:

You infuse the target with negative energy. If the target is living, this deals 1d6 negative damage (basic Fortitude save); on a failed save, the target also takes a –2 status penalty to AC for 1 round.

If the target is a willing undead creature, the target instead regains 6 Hit Points, and if you are the undead target, you also gain a +2 status bonus to damage rolls for 1 round.

The Dhampir heritage doesn't appear to make the character actually undead - they just gain negative healing. If a Dhampir tyrant casts this spell on themselves, which of the following is the case?

  1. The Dhampir is still a living creature, so the first part of the spell is triggered. They take 1d6 negative damage, meaning they heal for 1d6. However, they must then make a fortitude save or receive a penalty to AC.

  2. The Dhampir is healed for the full 6hp, and gains the status bonus to damage

RAI, I believe the second option makes sense, and it's certainly the ruling I would take as a DM if a player did this. But RAW, it appears that the Dhampir will basically shoot themselves in the foot if they use this on themselves, as the Dhampir only gains negative healing "as if" they were undead, but they are actually still living.

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    \$\begingroup\$ Whoever added "feats" and "backgrounds" as tags, these are both wrong. Nothing in my question refers to PF2e feats or backgrounds. \$\endgroup\$ – Ben R. Oct 28 '20 at 12:08
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    \$\begingroup\$ "They take 1d6 negative damage, meaning they heal for 1d6." - this was just offhand, but is false. Damage is not healing, and anything that deals an amount of damage does not heal unless a specific other rule is in effect (like a special ability that says "if you would take fire damage, instead heal that amount"). If Touch of Corruption didn't have the specific healing clause, it would do nothing at all for undead creatures. \$\endgroup\$ – Delioth Oct 28 '20 at 20:38
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The Dhampir gains health from this ability

A Dhampir would gain 6 HP because, while the ability references "target is living" and "willing undead creature", the Dhampir's negative healing ability is designed exactly for this distinction

It does not take negative damage, and it is healed by negative effects that heal undead.

The Tyrant ability specifically references negative energy as well as healing undead.

You infuse the target with negative energy. If the target is living, this deals 1d6 negative damage [...] If the target is a willing undead creature, the target instead regains 6 Hit Points, and if you are the undead target, you also gain a +2 status bonus to damage rolls for 1 round.

Of slightly more question is if you would gain the status bonus to damage if you used this on yourself. I would think any reasonable GM would rule that you do, although strict RAW you would only gain the healing.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ The question is not whether the Dhampir is affected by negative healing, but rather, is a Dhampir a living creature or an undead creature? To my understanding, "you are affected by negative healing as if you were undead" is not the same as "you are undead". So which of the two sections of the spell applies is not as clear as "the Dhampir would be healed by negative damage, so the second section" \$\endgroup\$ – Ben R. Oct 28 '20 at 12:34
  • \$\begingroup\$ In that case, it seems like your bigger worry is the +2 status bonus to damage, right? It seems pretty clear that that Dhampir will minimally get the healing from Touch of Corruption. \$\endgroup\$ – ESCE Oct 28 '20 at 16:11
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    \$\begingroup\$ @BenR. The question as phrased didn't really sound that way to me. You should probably find some non-healing effect on undead to use as an example, or state that you understand the healing works. That being said, I do address that they "don't" get the bonus to damage (but reasonable GM's would allow it) \$\endgroup\$ – Ifusaso Oct 28 '20 at 23:14
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    \$\begingroup\$ Essentially it's a 3rd option between your two where they receive the healing but may not qualify for the damage. They never have to Save vs the AC loss because they don't take damage to Save against. \$\endgroup\$ – Ifusaso Oct 28 '20 at 23:17

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