One of the players in my game is playing a dragon instinct barbarian. The GM is calculating the elemental damage separately from the weapon damage for resistance purposes (i.e. an axe attack deals 8 slashing and 4 cold, which is broken into two different damage groups.) Is this correct, or should this be counted as a single group (12 damage)?

Draconic Rage (Instinct Ability) While raging, you can increase the additional damage from Rage from 2 to 4 and change its damage type to match that of your dragon's breath weapon instead of the damage type for your weapon or unarmed attack. If you do this, your Rage action gains the arcane and evocation traits, as well as the trait matching the damage type.

Dragon Instinct: https://2e.aonprd.com/Instincts.aspx?ID=2


1 Answer 1


You should do both, calculate and note each type of damage, but also apply the damage as a whole.

Most of the time, it won't make a difference, because most creatures lack damage resistances or weaknesses. But of the creatures that do resist damage, they may have resistance to one type of damage, but not the other. Take the adult red dragon as an example. It has weakness to cold 15, and no special weakness or resistance to slashing. If you hit it with your axe for 8 slashing and 4 cold, it takes the 8 slashing, and increases the cold damage by its weakness value (a total of 19 cold damage).

At the same time, if you have to make a check based on the total amount of damage dealt, then you don't make 2 checks, one for the slashing damage and one for the cold damage, you make one check based on the total of 27.

So the damage needs to be separated when applying it to weaknesses and resistances, then apply the final result as a single instance of damage.

  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ I'm pretty sure this is correct, but is there any supporting text that could be referenced? Actually, looking below, I think @YopiLapi quoted the exact text I would be looking for. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Jan 14, 2021 at 21:53
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Ifusaso I deleted my answer after realizing I wasn't answering the question title, just addressing the way resistances worked with strikes dealing multiple damage types. \$\endgroup\$
    – Yopi Lapi
    Commented Jan 14, 2021 at 22:52
  • \$\begingroup\$ @YopiLapi I think that is still a valid and good question to answer. Might be worth asking as another question. \$\endgroup\$
    – ESCE
    Commented Jan 14, 2021 at 22:55

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