As a warlock with the Fiend pact you gain Dark One's Blessing:

Starting at 1st level, when you reduce a hostile creature to 0 hit points, you gain temporary hit points equal to your Charisma modifier + your warlock level (minimum o f 1).

Say you have an item or a spell like Armor of Agathys that damages enemies when they attack you (so auto damage with no save for them and no attack roll for you).

Lets assume you have 1 Temp Hit Point, and get damaged for 5. If that auto damage kills the enemy, and you gain THP from Dark One's Blessing, would you take 4 damage from your real HP or four off the top of the new THP gain?


2 Answers 2


This one is a little bit more tricky to answer than your previous question about Temp HP from one effect canceling out any others that rely on Temp HP from another effect. (Found here: Dark One's Blessing and Armor of Agathys Synergy? )

So then, you have to think in order of events. Combat happens very quickly (an entire round happens in the span of 6 seconds) and things don't really happen at once when it comes down to the rules. The creature doesn't hit you, take damage, your Armor of Agathys goes away but you gain more temp HP because the Armor of Agathys damage killed it and you reaped it's energy with Dark Ones Blessing.

It more happens like this: A creature attacks you, your Armor of Agathys is holding at 1hp , barely there anymore, 1 damage is eaten up by the barrier and the remaining 4 cleave into your shoulder (Since he broke the barrier with damage remaining we assume teh attack follows through, if only a little bit.) and the creature takes cold damage as a result of the Armor of Agathys doing it's job. It falls over, frozen and dead, and the Dark one blesses you with extra HP. After the creature dies, and after it's attack and damage is resolved.

I hope that answers your question?

  • 2
    \$\begingroup\$ This is what I was thinking, kinda. with the one exception being that there are spells that say "when you are hit by..." and "when you take damage from..." how are those 2 descriptors different? One could assume that the hit by phrase would trigger something before the damage is dealt (and in this case possibly killing the creature before taking the damage at all) \$\endgroup\$
    – MC_Hambone
    Aug 1, 2015 at 23:57
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ but I'm not asking about Armor of Agathys specifically, so I think your answer is pretty good the way it is. I'm just gonna hold off excepting an answer for a little bit to see if more people answer and corroborate our thinking about this. \$\endgroup\$
    – MC_Hambone
    Aug 1, 2015 at 23:58
  • 4
    \$\begingroup\$ The difference between "when you're hit by" and "when you take damage from" is that "when you're hit by" activates once a successful to hit roll has been made, while "when you take damage from" activates once damage has been rolled. \$\endgroup\$
    – xanderh
    Aug 2, 2015 at 1:30
  • \$\begingroup\$ so the effects of 'when you are hit' would happen before the damage is dealt, and in the case of Armor of Agathys, might kill the enemy before you take damage? \$\endgroup\$
    – MC_Hambone
    Aug 2, 2015 at 5:43
  • \$\begingroup\$ Yea that's not a D&D possibility, if you go with @xanderh math precisely as stated. I am assuming for intents and purpose, anytime you 'take damage from' a source, you are also 'hit by' said source. It's not always true that if you are 'hit by' the source, you 'take damage' from it; however. Like if something hits you dealing slashing damage and you are immune to slashing damage, you 'are hit by' but don't 'take damage from' the source in question. I hope that make sense? This all plays out at once however. one round is 6 seconds. There's just an important order of events. \$\endgroup\$
    – Airatome
    Aug 3, 2015 at 0:26

The warlock does not take damage to his hp, but rather to the new temporary HP.

Armour of Agathys has the following text (this is the whole text of the ability, bar the 'at higher levels' note)

A protective magical force surrounds you, manifesting as a spectral frost that covers you and your gear. You gain 5 temporary hit points for the duration. If a creature hits you with a melee attack while you have these hit points, the creature takes 5 cold damage.

Emphasis mine. 5E does not have explicit order of operations, and there are several notes that if there is dispute about how an ability works the DM simply decides. However, in general, an attack is rolled and compared to AC before damage is rolled. An attack 'hits' and then you roll and apply damage. Armour of Agathys specifies hits, and does 5 cold damage to them when the attack hits. Not when it does damage. Not after the attack. If it hits.

With Heavy Armour Master or other abilities, it's entirely possible for an attack to hit and do zero points of damage. Some attacks don't do regular damage but instead have other effects. A character may be immune to the kind of damage an attack does (such as Fire, or Necrotic). Armour of Agathys would trigger on any of those attacks, before damage, and any effects triggered by that (such as Dark One's Blessing) would naturally happen when Armour of Agathys happens.

Ergo, in our example, the Warlock would take all 5 damage from his new temporary hp (or some from his new temporary hp, and others from his regular hp total). The Dark One's Blessing temporary HP would replace the armour of agathys temporary hp before damage is rolled.

It would be something like this;

The enemy attacks, and they hit.

Having been hit by an attack while having Armour of Agathys temporary hp, the spell deals 5 cold damage to the attacker. They die. The warlock, being a Fiend Pact warlock, gains Cha mod + level temporary hp from having killed someone. Having gained new temporary hp that is greater than their existing hp, they replace that temporary hp with the new, higher total (temp hp does not stack).

They receive damage from the attack.

  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ A citation on how hits and damage are not simultaneous may be helpful. This high-scoring answer says they are simultaneous. Perhaps linking this answer would help you make your case \$\endgroup\$ Apr 16, 2022 at 11:46

You must log in to answer this question.

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