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I am trying to understand how the Crusader's Steely Resolve class feature works in "corner" cases.

From Tome of Battle, p. 10, we get:

Steely Resolve (Ex):

[...] At the end of your next turn, you take damage equal to the total stored in your delayed damage pool, which then resets to 0. [...]

So, in the typical case:

  • Round 1: SR = 0/5
    • Crusader Turn: ...
    • Foe's Turn: Attack Crusader, deal 8 HP damage, -3 HP, SR = 5/5
  • Round 2: SR = 5/5
    • Crusader Turn: ...
    • Crusader End of Turn: -5 HP, SR = 0/5
    • Foe's Turn: ...

However, what happens if our Crusader, during its own turn, somewhat manages to take damage (it falls or takes an attack of opportunity or walk in fire, ...)?

My own understanding of the rules is:

  • if the pool is full, the Crusader takes the damage immediately
  • if the Crusader takes damage during its turn, it will be removed from the pool at the end of its next turn

Let us make this concrete with two examples.

Situation 1: the Crusader adds some damage to its empty pool during its own turn

  • Round 1: SR = 0/5
    • Crusader Turn: Takes Attack of Opportunity for 8 HP damage, -3 HP, SR = 5/5
    • Foe Turn: Attack Crusader, deal 8 HP damage, -8 HP (SR full)
  • Round 2: SR = 5/5
    • Crusader Turn: ...
    • Crusader End of Turn: -5 HP, SR = 0/5

Situation 2: the Crusader adds some damage to its partially full pool during its own turn

  • Round 1: SR = 2/5
    • Crusader Turn: Takes Attack of Opportunity for 8 HP damage, -5 HP, SR = 5/5
    • Crusader End of Turn: -2 HP, SR = 3/5
    • Foe Turn: Attack Crusader, deal 8 HP damage, -6 HP, SR = 5/5
  • Round 2: SR = 5/5
    • Crusader Turn: ...
    • Crusader End of Turn: -5 HP, SR = 0/5

The situation 1 is easy enough to handle, however the situation 2 is a bit more complicated (you have to remember which part of the damage pool is to be drained right now, and which part can wait) which makes me doubt my understanding of the rules.

Note: if situation 2 resolves like I describe, I appreciate any tips from experienced crusader to help remember exactly how much damage is to be drained now and how much remains for the next turn; I know it just happened but...

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Review your own quoted text.

At the end of your next turn, you take damage equal to the total stored in your delayed damage pool, which then resets to 0.

You take damage equal to what's in your pool, not to how much you stored there that one time. There's no mention of partitioning the damage. In scenario 2, at the end of the crusader's first turn, the stored value is 5. You take 5 damage and the stored value becomes 0.

So what happens next turn? There's still a trigger to take the damage from the pool. The damage may be 0, or you might have eaten another Attack of Opportunity and there's some damage to take. But there's no tracking of what damage came when, only when you need to move the damage in the pool to your hit points.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ Ah interesting. So, it means that in the situation 1 the damage taken during one's own turn is delayed by 1 round but in the situation 2 the damage taken during one's own turn is taken immediately at the end of the turn. Easier to track (somewhat), but I didn't expect a "varying" delay! \$\endgroup\$ – Matthieu M. Apr 8 '16 at 18:32

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