Some monsters are poisonous, and make you roll to save against some unpleasant effects. Most of the mundane monsters poison their target through injury... And that's where it gets strange See, for example, Monstrous Spiders. They are dealing STR damage to their victim through their bite - and yet, their Tiny and Small versions have (1d3-4) and (1d4-2) damage... Which seems odd to me

Does that mean that Small Monstrous Spiders only poison their victims if they roll 3-4 on their damage die, and tiny ones - only with 3 AND critical hits? Or do they poison their targets anyway despite inflicting 0 actual HP damage?

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    \$\begingroup\$ As a side note the reason to have the base damage and such a strange damage roll bonus is if you cast a bull strength spell, or other modifier, on a tiny spider it can do more damage and without the base we would just have 1 hp damage in the dice for damage entry. \$\endgroup\$ – Vethor May 25 '14 at 18:06

All attacks do a minimum of one point of damage regardless of damage penalties. Therefore the poison would still potentially affect the target.

If penalties reduce the damage result to less than 1, a hit still deals 1 point of damage.

Note that in Pathfinder the rule is slightly different -

If penalties reduce the damage result to less than 1, a hit still deals 1 point of nonlethal damage.

If you take zero damage from an attack due to Damage Reduction, however, many special effects are also avoided.

Whenever damage reduction completely negates the damage from an attack, it also negates most special effects that accompany the attack, such as injury type poison, a monk’s stunning, and injury type disease. Damage reduction does not negate touch attacks, energy damage dealt along with an attack, or energy drains. Nor does it affect poisons or diseases delivered by inhalation, ingestion, or contact.

This is identical in Pathfinder.


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