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So it came up recently that my group was fighting creatures with DR, (silver, for what it matters), and we assumed that aqueous orb, while it would still contain them, wouldn't bypass their DR. I got to thinking, later, and I started to wonder if that wasn't the case.

So there's a FAQ link, here, that states that typed magical damage doesn't overcome DR.

In other words, DR doesn't protect against "typeless damage" from magical attacks.

However, if a magical attack specifically mentions that it deals bludgeoning, piercing, or slashing damage, DR affects that damage normally, as if it were from a physical weapon.

Huh. Well, while non-lethal is a type, but the FAQ mentions that this applies to specifically B/P/S types. I'm still edging on the side that my group made the right call, but I'm not certain. How would your groups rule it?

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    \$\begingroup\$ The link you post mentions that typed magical damage DOES overcome DR. \$\endgroup\$ – Erik Jun 23 '16 at 18:50
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The next sentence of that FAQ entry seems to clarify the intent better -

However, if a magical attack specifically mentions that it deals bludgeoning, piercing, or slashing damage, DR affects that damage normally, as if it were from a physical weapon.

Does Aqueous Orb do bludgeoning, piercing or slashing damage? Nope. So, it is still not affected by DR.

Non-lethal is a qualifier to damage, not a type - a Sap deals non-lethal bludgeoning damage. A sword with the Mercy enchantment would deal non-lethal slashing damage. Aqueous Orb deals untyped non-lethal damage.

As a counterexample, Ice Storm deals both bludgeoning and cold damage. If you were to cast Ice Storm at a group of Skeletons and Zombies, the Zombies would take full damage from the cold component, and apply their DR against the bludgeoning, since they have DR/Slashing. The Skeletons would take full damage from the bludgeoning component, since they have DR/Bludgeoning, and no damage from the Cold component, being immune to cold damage.

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    \$\begingroup\$ The PRD lists non-lethal damage as a “special damage type”, which it seems to consider different from a “damage type”. \$\endgroup\$ – SevenSidedDie Jun 24 '16 at 1:43
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Hey I Can Chan Huh, never actually noticed Skeletons were immune to Cold damage before! I'll update the sample. \$\endgroup\$ – YogoZuno Jun 28 '16 at 2:59
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B/P/S means it is (or is like) a weapon, which this spell does not have, so Yes, aqueous orb would be unaffected by DR. (It wouldn't bypass it, strictly speaking, since only silver bypasses it). One could argue the damage sure reads like bludgeoning, but it doesn't "specifically mention" it.

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