5
\$\begingroup\$

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.

For which moment the target must be "below its hit point maximum"? Should I consider its HP before the hit that actually triggers the Colossus Slayer feature? Or can it be the same hit that lowers the target's HP and triggers the feature?

\$\endgroup\$
28
\$\begingroup\$

It depends on HP before the hit.

Essentially, an attack can be broken down into a couple phases. First, you select a target. Then you make an attack roll, and determine whether the attack hits or misses (or crits). Then you resolve damage and any other effects (mostly these only happen on a hit).

The damage effectively happens all at once (unless a particular effect explicitly says its damage happens later), so when you're checking whether to add the extra damage for Colossus Slayer, the damage from your hit hasn't been applied yet; Colossus Slayer damage happens at the same time as the rest of the damage for the hit.

The other way of thinking about this is that if Colossus Slayer depended on HP after the hit, it would pretty much always deal its extra damage, unless your hit managed to do zero damage. At which point, they might as well change the feature to read, "You deal an extra 1d8 damage when you hit with an attack." Since the feature isn't phrased that way, it seems unlikely that that's how it's intended to work.

\$\endgroup\$
  • 3
    \$\begingroup\$ You could also point out that the wording states, "When you hit a creature with a weapon attack," not "When you deal damage to a creature with a weapon attack.". The feature has no requirement that you deal any initial damage with your hit at all. \$\endgroup\$ – keithcurtis Jan 6 '17 at 23:33
  • \$\begingroup\$ @keithcurtis extra damage depends on the initial damage \$\endgroup\$ – András Jan 7 '17 at 6:33
  • \$\begingroup\$ @András The conditional is still being hit, not taking damage, else the wording would be different. If you have something that reduces part of your damage (even to zero), the you can still take extra damage. \$\endgroup\$ – keithcurtis Jan 7 '17 at 17:36

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.