In D&D3e, if you successfully hit a target you always did at least 1 point of damage (before applying Damage Resistance), even if you had a Strength penalty. I can't find any mention of that rule in the 5e PHB. Does the rule no longer apply, or did I just overlook it?


It is correct to say the 3.5e rule no longer appears in 5e. Another tweet (god I wish we had that back in the 90s) clarifies that the minimum is indeed 0.

There is not a damage minimum of 1, so it is possible to deal 0 damage with an attack.

Jack Abrasion
@JeremyECrawford Do attacks do a minimum 1 point of damage, or would an unarmed strike from a goblin (STR -1) do 0 damage?

8:56 AM - 11 Jun 2015

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    \$\begingroup\$ JC tweets are no longer official rules - I provided a properly sourced answer, but if you change yours in a timely manner I'll just delete mine, so the proper source is easy to access. \$\endgroup\$ – Akixkisu Dec 10 '20 at 11:39

There is no such rule in 5e.

An unarmed strike by someone (other than a monk or tavern brawler) with less than 10 strength will never do any damage, (even on a crit), for example.


There is no damage minimum rule, on the contrary sources of damage can deal 0 damage.

SAC V 2.6 P 13. says:

Can damage be reduced to 0 by resistance or another form of damage reduction? There is no damage minimum in the rules, so it is possible to deal 0 damage with an attack, a spell, or another effect.


According to the Basic Rules, it is possible to deal 0 damage (but never less):

With a penalty, it is possible to deal 0 damage, but never negative damage.


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