I finally decided to test-drive a Ranger and had the following question about Damage Resistances:

If a monster is resistant to piercing (as an example), and I hit him with a heavy crossbow bolt, would his resistance also reduce the ancillary damage related to Colossus Slayer (PHB p93) and/or Hunter's Mark (PHB p251)?

While there is nothing written under that specific feature nor spell that would suggest those damages are also resisted and thus reduced, I just wanted to make sure before I took this character on the road.


1 Answer 1


Yes, because the damage is "bonus damage."

Let's take a look at Colossus Slayer and Hunter's Mark, the ancillary damage-dealers in question:

Colossus Slayer: Your tenacity can wear down the most potent foes. When you hit a creature with a weapon attack, the creature takes an extra 1d8 damage if it’s below its hit point maximum. You can deal this extra damage only once per turn.

Hunter's Mark: Until the spell ends, you deal an extra 1d6 damage to the target whenever you hit it with a weapon attack.

Well that's no help, it doesn't even say what kind of damage it is! Let's keep digging. Another ancillary damage-dealer that does keep the same damage type is the Barbarian's Rage feature. It reads as follows:

When you make a melee weapon attack using Strength, you gain a bonus to the damage roll that increases as you gain levels as a barbarian, as shown in the Rage Damage column of the Barbarian table.

I get that one is a damage die increase and the other is a flat damage increase. But they are still both bonus damage sources with no specification. So that makes sense that it's the same type. By this logic, and by Mike Mearls' confirmation of this ruling, the damage types will be the same as their original source. Ergo, if you had a bow that shot arrows of light (dealing radiant damage), the bonus damage would then also be radiant damage.

Now the real question, are they also resisted?

If a creature or an object has resistance to a damage type, damage of that type is halved against it.

Since bonus damage sources are the same damage type as their original source, then it also stands to reason that they would be halved by the resistance of a foe.

  • 4
    \$\begingroup\$ It might be worth noting that because hunter's mark is a spell, its damage does overcome resistance to damage from nonmagical weapons, even if the weapon triggering the attack does not. Jeremy Crawford Twitter clarification via Sage Advice \$\endgroup\$
    – Josh Clark
    Jan 2, 2016 at 20:07
  • \$\begingroup\$ Yes, good point. I was just assuming physical resistance in general. \$\endgroup\$
    – D. Sorrim
    Jan 2, 2016 at 20:35

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