I have a weapon with Wounding and Bloodthirsty. I attack a target (that is not taking any persistent bleed damage) with the weapon and score a critical hit.

Wounding will cause the attack to deal an extra 1d6 persistent bleed damage.

When you critically hit a target with a Bloodthirsty weapon, it becomes drained 1 if it is taking persistent bleed damage.

Does the target become drained 1?


2 Answers 2


Copying my answer from a related question...

It's unclear

I couldn't remember seeing a ruling on this, and that's no surprise as there is nothing in the Encounter Mode, Playing the Game: Encounters, Turns, nor Actions rules about simultaneous Effects. This issue reaches at least as far back as Pathfinder 1e's predecessor, D&D 3.5e.

There are generally two methods for resolving this

  • All effects that can occur simultaneously do so without affecting each other
    • Result: The target is not affected by Bloodthirsty's Drained because it "wasn't" bleeding until the attack.
  • The current turn holder decides the actual order of effects
    • Result: On your turn, you choose to apply Wounding's persistent damage, then Bloodthirsty's Drained 1; if you critically hit an Attack of Opportunity (or similar), the target's player (probably the GM) chooses for it to become bleeding but not Drained.


I did miss one option, which I have seen used but haven't come across a lot of formal community support for:

  • The owner of the abilities chooses the order of effect.
    • Result: the Runes work together in all situations
      • has the benefit of being simple
      • however, all simultaneous effects will be resolved in the most punishing way possible

Ask your GM which they use, or request which ruling that you consider to be more fun play.



Each Effect Happens Simultaneously

Hitting and dealing damage happen at the same time rather than sequentially, as described under the core rules for damage as well as under the rules for Strikes, but most broadly under the generic rules for Checks:

In the midst of combat, you attempt checks to determine if you can damage your foe with weapons, spells, or alchemical concoctions. On a successful check, you hit and deal damage.

Roll the attack roll for the weapon or unarmed attack you are using, and compare the result to the target creature's AC to determine the effect.

Pathfinder has many types of checks, from skill checks to attack rolls to saving throws, but they all follow these basic steps.

  • Roll a d20 and identify the modifiers, bonuses, and penalties that apply.
  • Calculate the result.
  • Compare the result to the difficulty class (DC).
  • Determine the degree of success and the effect.

Both of these runes' effects and the standard effect of a Strike are part of this final step resolving the attack roll. And as noted under @Ifusaso's answer, there's no mention in the rules of ordering effects that occur simultaneously.

It's also worth highlighting that the effect from bloodthirsty applies to a target that is bleeding when hit rather than one that was bleeding before being hit.

Bloodthirsty Wounding Weapon

So for a Strike in this case, the effect on a critically successful check for the attack roll is that:

  • You hit and deal double damage
  • You deal an extra 1d6 persistent bleed damage which is also doubled as damage.
  • Your target becomes drained 1 if they are taking persistent bleed damage.

As each of these effects happen at the same time, the creature is bleeding when they are hit by the weapon and bloodthirsty would trigger to make the target drained 1.

  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ For what it's worth, I don't think this is an overpowered ruling if anyone is worried about that. Bloodthirsty is a level 16 rune, and it basically only does this (plus a gain temp HP for reducing someone to zero as a reaction). \$\endgroup\$
    – ESCE
    Commented Jul 11, 2022 at 16:53
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ I opted for the other answer. I don't think the empathized text in this answer makes it clear if the damage instances occur at the same time, in which case the target wouldn't be bleeding yet, or if there is some kind of order. I agree that it is not overpowered to apply both and that is the ruling our group decided on. \$\endgroup\$
    – Linus
    Commented Jul 19, 2022 at 10:46
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Linus Yeah the assumption that each effect happens simultaneously was undersupported, I've added some direct quotes to clarify that point. \$\endgroup\$
    – brandon
    Commented Jul 19, 2022 at 17:00

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