What is the definition of "hitting" when a move misses but still deals damage in relation to using consecutive powers. For example:

Jaws of the Wolf

Attack: Strength vs. AC (main weapon and off-hand weapon), two attacks

Hit: 2[W] + Strength modifier damage per attack.

Miss: Half damage per attack.

Say I miss with both attacks but the Miss grants me the ability to still deal damage. Now I can I still use this next power?

Sohei Flurry

Requirement: You must have hit an enemy with a weapon attack during this turn

Target: One creature

Attack: Highest ability modifier vs. AC

Hit: 1[W] damage.

Does dealing damage on an enemy still count as a "hit" for the requisite? Theoretically, the damage did land on the enemy and therefore had to have actually hit him/her/it even though the attack calls it a miss.


2 Answers 2


No, dealing damage does not mean you "hit"

4e uses a highly formulaic language. Miss, hit, attack roll and damage - these are all specific game terms. There are no gray areas there.

As for hit points, they are an abstraction. Loss of hit points due to Missed attacks could be explained as exhaustion, demoralization, etc. You can even describe the Missed attack as connecting with the target - that won't change the way game treats them.


Fourth edition is very "game-y," which means the actions which happen on the table may not match up with the actions as you perceive them. Since hurting people with real, live weapons relies on you making contact with that person, seeing "damage" on a person implies they've been hit by a weapon. This can lead you to say "If I've hurt someone, I've hit them." (Which is a very reasonable statement.)

This is not so in 4e. Due to its "gameiness," words like "hit" have very specific meanings. In this case, a "hit" is whenever you beat a character's defense value (AC/Fort/Ref/Will) on an attack roll. A "miss" is when you fail to overcome the defense value. It has nothing to do with if you deal damage or not.

If you take everything in D&D 4e as representing something in real life, you should really wonder why damage happens when a character totally and utterly misses their target. Even more so when a specific power is used. This is that "game-y" part of D&D 4e overriding what we would expect from real-life experience. People whose prior RPG experience is with "simulationist" games may find this sort of thing hard to adjust to.

  • 4
    \$\begingroup\$ Good answer. Might be worth noting in your last paragraph: hit points in D&D 4e don't necessarily represent physical harm; they can also represent fatigue and other factors. Dealing damage even if you missed could be interpreted as the stress of merely getting away from the attack! (You've probably seen a movie scene where someone has a beast snapping its jaws at them, and they have to put all their strength into keeping it just far enough away.) \$\endgroup\$ Commented Apr 16, 2014 at 2:36
  • \$\begingroup\$ We shan't get into the details of this here, but the last paragraph in the post was just one example; there are many more. I suggest looking at the videos on this link to learn more about this: extra-credits.net/?s=mechanics \$\endgroup\$
    – PipperChip
    Commented Apr 16, 2014 at 17:17

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .