I was recently watching a stream with a Black Pudding attacking a player. The DM missed the player but still had the dissolve effect happen to their armour.

(MM p. 241) Pseudopod ...[snip] Hit: 6 (1d6 + 3) bludgeoning damage plus 18 (4d8) acid damage. In addition, nonmagical armour worn by the target is partly dissolved and takes a permanent and cumulative -1 penalty to the AC it offers. The armour is destroyed if the penalty reduces its AC to 10.

This differs slightly from the more clear verbiage on the Grey Ooze, where the corrosion is clearly still part of the Hit sentence:

(MM p. 243) Pseudopod ...[snip] Hit: 4 (1d6 + 1) bludgeoning damage plus 7 (2d6) acid damage, and if the target is wearing nonmagical armour, its armour is partly corroded and takes a permanent and cumulative -1 penalty to the AC it offers. The armour is destroyed if the penalty reduces its AC to 10.

Since the Black Pudding is a higher CR creature, it's not outside the realm of belief that it was intended to be a more dangerous effect, and since the verbiage is actually different and part of a separate sentence it raises a bit of confusion as well.

Does the Black Pudding apply this effect on hit, or on attack?

If it's also on hit, is there any concrete reason why the language on two creatures in the same Monster Family, only two pages away from each other is different?

  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ [related] Do lycanthropes need to do damage in order to inflict the curse? \$\endgroup\$
    – nitsua60
    Dec 26, 2016 at 4:08
  • 4
    \$\begingroup\$ The DM may have also been utilizing what's called, Success at a cost, or Failure with a benefit. In other words, if the pudding JUST missed the AC of the player, the DM could have been role playing it as splashing against the armor, but otherwise unharming the character. Is this something that could have been in play here, or was the roll very far off? \$\endgroup\$ Dec 26, 2016 at 6:56
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ @Lino Frank Ciaralli that's what I thought at first, and I think it's a sensible ruling, if you miss within the bonus AC that your armour provides. One of the attacks was suitably close, but the other was a pure miss (rolled quite low). \$\endgroup\$
    – Randomorph
    Dec 26, 2016 at 13:35

2 Answers 2


This is spelled out in the Monster Manual:

Hit. Any damage dealt or other effects that occur as a result of an attack hitting a target are described after the "Hit:" notation. (MM p.11, "Melee and Ranged Attacks")

Therefore an attack needs to hit in order for any/all of its effects, such as the black pudding's armor-dissolving, to occur.


I would imagine this could also be a DM call. Remember, the whole point of armor is to deflect, absorb, and mitigate damage--otherwise what is the point of wearing it. If the creature struck at the player and "missed" it could also be "roleplayed" as, "The oozing mass lashes out with a black tendril, striking at your chest... (Player AC 11...DM rolls to hit...1d20...9...a "miss")...glancing off your armor. As you real back, you hear sizzling from your chest and notice the leather on your chest piece is bubbling and melting slightly..."

So, as you can see, a creature may fail its attack roll, but that does not mean it doesn't strike the player's armor. At least that is my take on it. Rules are nice, just remember, it is always the DMs call.

  • 4
    \$\begingroup\$ Do you have any rules text that would support this interpretation? \$\endgroup\$
    – minnmass
    Mar 12, 2018 at 19:30

You must log in to answer this question.

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