A defining class feature for the Blood Mage paragon path is Bolstering Blood where, when you use a blood mage, daily, or encounter power that deals damage,

...you can, once per turn as a free action just prior to using the power, deal either a minor wound or a severe wound to yourself.

  • A minor wound deals 1d10 damage to you.
  • A severe wound deals 2d10 damage to you.

You gain a bonus to the power’s damage rolls equal to the damage you dealt to yourself.

The last sentence is the revised version from the errata.

Now suppose I have an effect that gives me resist 5 all damage until the end of my next turn.

Does the damage reduction apply to the self-inflicted damage done by Bolstering Blood?

If it does, is the bonus to the damage rolls to be added to my power also reduced?

  • \$\begingroup\$ As a note, the recent Arcanist errata has changes to blood mage: Bolstering Blood's extra damage is against one and only one target, and burning blood: "Updates and combines the feature’s effects: revises the damage type from psychic to fire and makes it ongoing damage, but requires the target to be suffering an effect that a save can end. " \$\endgroup\$ Jul 15, 2011 at 4:43

2 Answers 2


There are a number of other powers and effects that allow you to deal damage to yourself, and they often indicate that the damage cannot be reduced or prevented in any way.

The absence of such wording on the Bolstering Blood feature should be taken as indication that it is allowable to reduce and/or prevent the damage.

Bolstering Blood says "You gain a bonus to the power’s damage rolls equal to the damage you dealt to yourself." while resist talks about reducing the damage taken, which produces a semantic argument about the difference between "damage dealt" and "damage taken".

I would rule that having resist 5 all does not reduce the damage bonus you gain from bolstering blood.

  • \$\begingroup\$ So you would rule that I could deal 8 to myself, resist 5 of that damage, take 3 points of damage and wind up with bonus damage 8 added to the power? \$\endgroup\$
    – yhw42
    Sep 23, 2010 at 2:40
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    \$\begingroup\$ Exactly. As resist appears to reduce the amount taken, while bolstering blood only appears to care about the amount dealt. \$\endgroup\$ Sep 23, 2010 at 2:42
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    \$\begingroup\$ Damage Dealt and Damage Taken are different concepts and should not produce a semantic argument IMHO. See p222 of the Rules Compendium. \$\endgroup\$
    – Pat Ludwig
    Sep 23, 2010 at 14:35

Your answer is suggested in resist, curiously enough:

A creature that has resistance takes less damage from a specific damage type. For example, a creature that has resist 10 fire takes 10 less damage whenever it takes fire damage.

While this begs Simon's semantic difference between takes and deals, (and the correct solution to this problem is temporary hit points) I cannot in good conscience support a differentiation between takes and deals.

Thus, assuming you have resist X all, you would augment your damage by taken damage-X. This is also suggested by the lack of "unable to reduce damage" terminology.

There has been no discussion on the wizards boards about this problem. However, fundamentally the question is: "Ask your GM." With the limitation of 1 boost per turn, the power is not broken if you allow for resistance to benefit yourself.

  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ Sorry if I missed something, but where do the Temp HP come in? What problem are they the "correct solution" for? \$\endgroup\$
    – yhw42
    Oct 23, 2010 at 14:52
  • \$\begingroup\$ In terms of "taking" damage without needing to reduce it, most people rely on THP. Blood mages are far better equipped to use THP than resist, especially as THP damage counts as "real" damage. \$\endgroup\$ Oct 24, 2010 at 0:06

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