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For Arcane Archer, when a creature is hit by piercing arrow but passes their save do they take arrow damage (1d8,1d10,etc) + half of 1d6 + modifiers or does it take half of arrow damage + 1d6 + modifiers?

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Half of (arrow + 1d6 + modifier).

The text of piercing arrow says:

On a failed save, a creature takes damage as if it were hit by the arrow, plus an extra 1d6 piercing damage. On a successful save, a target takes half as much damage.

Compare this to fireball:

A target takes 8d6 fire damage on a failed save, or half as much damage on a successful one.

When a creature succeeds a save and takes half damage, it means that they take half of the damage they would have taken on a failure.

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A creature who passes the save takes half of your regular damage with that weapon. The extra 1d6 piercing damage is only for those who fail the save.

"On a failed save, a creature takes damage as if it were hit by the arrow, plus an extra 1d6 piercing damage."

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    \$\begingroup\$ I don't think this is the correct interpretation, as fireball uses very similar text, but we know "half as much" means 8d6 / 2 in that scenario. \$\endgroup\$ Jun 1 '21 at 5:40
  • \$\begingroup\$ You know what, true. If they didn't want to include the extra 1d6 it would have been clear. \$\endgroup\$
    – RallozarX
    Jun 1 '21 at 14:17
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    \$\begingroup\$ "Takes half as much damage" means "takes half as much damage [as they would have if they had failed the save]". There's no basis for the meaning you suggest ("takes half as much damage [as they would have from the arrow component of the damage they would have taken if they had failed the save]"). I even had to invent the concept of "arrow component of damage"! \$\endgroup\$
    – ikegami
    Jun 1 '21 at 20:39

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