1 Add +2 for each +1 enhancement bonus of magic items.
* If both apply, use the larger number.
* In order of most likely to least likely to be affected.
When attempting to break an object, you have two choices: smash it with a weapon or break it with sheer strength.
Smashing a weapon or shield with a slashing or bludgeoning weapon is accomplished with the sunder combat maneuver. Smashing an object is like sundering a weapon or shield, except that your combat maneuver check is opposed by the object’s AC. Generally, you can smash an object only with a bludgeoning or slashing weapon.
Objects are easier to hit than creatures because they don’t usually move, but many are tough enough to shrug off some damage from each blow. An object’s Armor Class is equal to 10 + its size modifier (see Table: Size and Armor Class of Objects) + its Dexterity modifier. An inanimate object has not only a Dexterity of 0 (–5 penalty to AC), but also an additional –2 penalty to its AC. Furthermore, if you take a full-round action to line up a shot, you get an automatic hit with a melee weapon and a +5 bonus on attack rolls with a ranged weapon.
Each object has hardness—a number that represents how well it resists damage. When an object is damaged, subtract its hardness from the damage. Only damage in excess of its hardness is deducted from the object’s hit points (see Table: Common Armor, Weapon, and Shield Hardness and Hit Points, Table: Substance Hardness and Hit Points, and Table: Object Hardness and Hit Points).
Hit Points: An object’s hit point total depends on what it is made of and how big it is (see Table: Common Armor, Weapon, and Shield Hardness and Hit Points, Table: Substance Hardness and Hit Points, and Table: Object Hardness and Hit Points). Objects that take damage equal to or greater than half their total hit points gain the broken condition (see Conditions). When an object’s hit points reach 0, it’s ruined.
Very large objects have separate hit point totals for different sections.
Energy attacks deal half damage to most objects. Divide the damage by 2 before applying the object’s hardness. Some energy types might be particularly effective against certain objects, subject to GM discretion. For example, fire might do full damage against parchment, cloth, and other objects that burn easily. Sonic might do full damage against glass and crystal objects.
Objects take half damage from ranged weapons (unless the weapon is a siege engine or something similar). Divide the damage dealt by 2 before applying the object’s hardness.
Certain weapons just can’t effectively deal damage to certain objects. For example, a bludgeoning weapon cannot be used to damage a rope. Likewise, most melee weapons have little effect on stone walls and doors, unless they are designed for breaking up stone, such as a pick or hammer.
Objects are immune to nonlethal damage and to critical hits.
Each +1 of enhancement bonus adds 2 to the hardness of armor, a weapon, or a shield, and +10 to the item’s hit points.
Certain attacks are especially successful against some objects. In such cases, attacks deal double their normal damage and may ignore the object’s hardness.
A damaged object remains functional with the broken condition until the item’s hit points are reduced to 0, at which point it is destroyed.
Magical Items: Magic items always get saving throws. A magic item’s Fortitude, Reflex, and Will save bonuses are equal to 2 + half its caster level. An attended magic item either makes saving throws as its owner or uses its own saving throw bonus, whichever is better.
Unattended Non-Magical Items: Non-magical, unattended items never make saving throws. They are considered to have failed their saving throws, so they are always fully affected by spells and other attacks that allow saving throws to resist or negate. An item attended by a character (being grasped, touched, or worn) makes saving throws as the character (that is, using the character’s saving throw bonus).
Attended (Held/Wielded etc.) Items: Unless the descriptive text for a spell (or attack) specifies otherwise, all items carried or worn by a creature are assumed to survive a magical attack. If a creature rolls a natural 1 on its saving throw against the effect, however, an exposed item is harmed (if the attack can harm objects). Refer to Table: Items Affected by Magical Attacks to determine order in which items are affected. Determine which four objects carried or worn by the creature are most likely to be affected and roll randomly among them. The randomly determined item must make a saving throw against the attack form and take whatever damage the attack dealt. If the selected item is not carried or worn and is not magical, it does not get a saving throw. It simply is dealt the appropriate damage.
When a character tries to break or burst something with sudden force rather than by dealing damage, use a Strength check (rather than an attack roll and damage roll, as with the sunder special attack) to determine whether he succeeds. Since hardness doesn’t affect an object’s Break DC, this value depends more on the construction of the item than on the material the item is made of. Consult Table: DCs to Break or Burst Items for a list of common Break DCs.
Larger and smaller creatures get size bonuses and size penalties on Strength checks to break open doors as follows:
Fine –16, Diminutive –12, Tiny –8, Small –4, Large +4, Huge +8, Gargantuan +12, Colossal +16.
A crowbar or portable ram improves a character’s chance of breaking open a door (see Equipment).