I was thinking of building a Summoner for a game of Pathfinder. I kinda like the idea of a cat-like Eidolon that can deal a lot of damage by pouncing a target and just shredding them. Going through the Summoner Handbook I found a build for just that, but it also noted the following:

This build revolves around getting lots of natural attacks, stacking extra damage onto them (from energy attacks, Power Attack, and a high Strength), then unloading them all on an enemy with Pounce. Very straightforward and very high first-round damage potential. Dependent on getting off that charge, so make sure you identify the kinds of things that can prevent charges and neutralise them (e.g. give the Eidolon flight so it can charge over difficult terrain, and position yourself in the marching order so that party members won't obstruct you). Your main weakness will be Damage Reduction: since you depend upon landing lots of hits even a small amount of DR will cripple your damage output.

Empathis mine. This got me to think though: just how common is Damage Reduction on monsters in Pathfinder? Does it appear a lot on monsters of a specific type (Aberration, Outsider), is it somewhat evenly spread or is it not as common as the text is implying?

  • \$\begingroup\$ I have no detailed analysis available, but since the question doesn't already include the basic assumptions I'll list those for you at least: DR becomes more common at higher CRs, typically becomes harder to overcome at higher CRs as well, and tends to focus around particular types (yep, Outsiders and Aberrations are really good at it, but don't forget Undead), although when it appears on an off-type monster is when it tends to really throw the wrench. Also beware DR-granting class levels and in "boss fights" DR-granting magic items. Especially beware the "Armor adds DR" alternate rule. \$\endgroup\$ Jul 2, 2015 at 14:56
  • \$\begingroup\$ Over coming DR was often an issue for archer based characters as well, but the feat d20pfsrd.com/feats/combat-feats/clustered-shots-combat was extremely helpful in overcoming that issue. I dont know if there is one for melee based damage, but perhaps your DM would houserule that it works for you. \$\endgroup\$
    – Fering
    Jul 2, 2015 at 23:22

1 Answer 1


A pretty good percentage of monsters have DR.

I have Hero Lab with all the various monster and NPC books loaded. When I use its Encounter Builder, I have the choice of 4169 monsters and pre-built NPCs.

When I search for DR, I get 1555 of them that have DR. So "37%" is the short answer. It's not necessarily biased towards higher CRs - in fact, there's a lot of fae and bugs and stuff under CR 1 with DR!

However, in many cases the DR is not high. If you are doing a lot of damage-stacking, DR does reduce your DPS but you're still able to get a lot of it through. DR of 5 or less, whatever, it's not much of a thing.

957 of the creatures in my list have DR 10 or better, but that starts at CR 14 minimum and includes all them demon lords and whatnot.

DR is much more common among fae, outsiders, and undead. In the current Wrath of the Righteous campaign I'm in, which takes place in the Worldwound and then the Abyss, I don't think we've run across an enemy without DR in months.

  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ As the final paragraph of this answer alludes, not all monsters show up with equal frequency; Exactly what you encounter depends on your GM and the campaign you're playing in. \$\endgroup\$
    – GMJoe
    Jul 3, 2015 at 0:17

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