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The Rune Priest in my group grants DR4 to anybody next to him. Not a problem. But then, my players heard me say: "He swings his axe against the paladin of Khalmyr and: 15 damage plus 8 cold damage."

That was all it took for the Rune Priest (who was feeling useless until the cleric stopped playing with us) to say: "Sooo... Does the DR I grant count twice? 'Cause it is 15 from the axe and 8 from the cold, right?"

And I seriously didn't know. If does make sense, though. Because if they had used a potion of resistance, it would only count against the extra damage.

So... What is the correct way?

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marked as duplicate by doppelgreener, Oblivious Sage, mxyzplk May 20 '14 at 4:33

This question has been asked before and already has an answer. If those answers do not fully address your question, please ask a new question.

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    \$\begingroup\$ First, you need to figure out if the DR applies to cold damage. \$\endgroup\$ – Powerdork May 19 '14 at 19:24
  • \$\begingroup\$ This is unclear: D&D 4e doesn't have "DR4". What does your Rune Priest actually grant? Resist 4 to all damage types? Naming the feature which grants the resistance will help. \$\endgroup\$ – doppelgreener May 20 '14 at 1:03
  • \$\begingroup\$ Yes, he grants resist 4 to all damage, obviously. Otherwise I would have specified. \$\endgroup\$ – Davi Braid May 20 '14 at 20:45
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The answer is on page 145 of the DM Manual.

A creature's damage resistance is ineffective against combined damage types unless the creature has damage resistance to each of the damage types, and the only the weakest of the resistances applies. For example, a creature has resist 10 lighting and resist 5 thunder and an attack deals 15 lightning and thunder damage to it. The creature takes 10 lightning and thunder damage, because the resistance to the combined damage type is limited to the lesser of the two (in this case, 5 thunder).

If you have DR 5 all, it is in effect resist 5 cold, and resist 5 fire, and resist 5 lightning et cetera. So if the attack does 15 damage plus 8 cold damage, the PC has resist 5 normal damage and resist 5 cold damage (both from it's resist 5 all), only the lowest of the two (i.e. 5 in this case, since they are equal) is applied as damage resistance.

So the attack deals 18 damage in total, instead of 23.

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    \$\begingroup\$ It wasn't a combined damage, though. It was part normal, part cold. \$\endgroup\$ – Davi Braid May 20 '14 at 20:50
  • \$\begingroup\$ @DaviBraid yes but it was once instance though. The accepted answer to the duplicate question explains it very well. \$\endgroup\$ – nobody May 21 '14 at 11:17
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Yes, the damage resistance would apply to each damage, resulting in 13 damage total, because they are of different type.

While the rules did mention that only the lowest resistance apply to damage of combined type, it is not the same with adding a damage of different type. For example, Runepriest's Rune of Endless Fire power deals 2[W]+Strength modifier fire and radiant damage, which is a combined damage. (notice the and is between damage type)

But most power and added damage is of single type, like your case, and would independently apply resistant and vulnerability.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ Incorrect. Damage resistance applies only once per instance of damage. Bonus damage does not create a new damage instance of a different type, but adds damage of a different type to the same instance. Essentially, DR applies once per hit, per target. \$\endgroup\$ – Travis May 20 '14 at 19:04
  • \$\begingroup\$ Travis, can you justify that? Because if I have resist 4 all, isn't it the same as having resist 4 cold and resist 4 normal, therefore both would apply and I would take only 13 damage anyaway? \$\endgroup\$ – Davi Braid May 20 '14 at 20:50
  • \$\begingroup\$ @DaviBraid I know I can't, since there are no rules that says resist all is different. I've explained my reasoning in an answer to the duplicate question. \$\endgroup\$ – Sheepy May 21 '14 at 3:38

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