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Damaging Objects

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Breaking and Entering
Smashing an Object
Energy Attacks
Ranged Weapon Damage
Ineffective Weapons
Magic Armor, Shields, and Weapons
Vulnerability to Certain Attacks
Damaged Objects
Saving Throws
Animated Objects
Breaking Items

Table: Common Armor, Weapon, and Shield Hardness and Hit Points
Weapon or Shield Hardness1 Hit Points2, 3
Light blade 10 2
One-handed blade 10 5
Two-handed blade 10 10
Light metal-hafted weapon 10 10
One-handed metal-hafted weapon 10 20
Light hafted weapon 5 2
One-handed hafted weapon 5 5
Two-handed hafted weapon 5 10
Projectile weapon 5 5
Armor special4 armor bonus × 5
Buckler 10 5
Light wooden shield 5 7
Heavy wooden shield 5 15
Light steel shield 10 10
Heavy steel shield 10 20
Tower shield 5 20

1 Add +2 for each +1 enhancement bonus of magic items.
2 The hp value given is for Medium armor, weapons, and shields. Divide by 2 for each size category of the item smaller than Medium, or multiply it by 2 for each size category larger than Medium.
3 Add 10 hp for each +1 enhancement bonus of magic items.
4 Varies by material; see Table: Substance Hardness and Hit Points.

Table: Size and Armor Class of Objects
Size AC Modifier
Colossal –8
Gargantuan –4
Huge –2
Large –1
Medium +0
Small +1
Tiny +2
Diminutive +4
Fine +8
Table: Substance Hardness and Hit Points
Substance Hardness Hit Points
Glass 1 1/in. of thickness
Paper or cloth 0 2/in. of thickness
Rope 0 2/in. of thickness
Ice 0 3/in. of thickness
Leather or hide 2 5/in. of thickness
Wood 5 10/in. of thickness
Stone 8 15/in. of thickness
Iron or steel 10 30/in. of thickness
Mithral 15 30/in. of thickness
Adamantine 20 40/in. of thickness
Table: Object Hardness and Hit Points
Object Hardness Hit Points Break DC
Rope (1 in. diameter) 0 2 23
Simple wooden door 5 10 13
Small chest 5 1 17
Good wooden door 5 15 18
Treasure chest 5 15 23
Strong wooden door 5 20 23
Masonry wall (1 ft. thick) 8 90 35
Hewn stone (3 ft. thick) 8 540 50
Chain 10 5 26
Manacles 10 10 26
Masterwork manacles 10 10 28
Iron door (2 in. thick) 10 60 28
Table: DCs to Break or Burst Items
Strength Check to: DC
Break down simple door 13
Break down good door 18
Break down strong door 23
Burst rope bonds 23
Bend iron bars 24
Break down barred door 25
Burst chain bonds 26
Break down iron door 28
Condition DC Adjustment*
Hold portal +5
Arcane lock +10

* If both apply, use the larger number.

Table: Items Affected by Magical Attacks
Order* Item
1st Shield
2nd Armor
3rd Magic helmet, hat, or headband
4th Item in hand (including weapon, wand, or the like)
5th Magic cloak
6th Stowed or sheathed weapon
7th Magic bracers
8th Magic clothing
9th Magic jewelry (including rings)
10th Anything else

* In order of most likely to least likely to be affected.

Breaking and Entering

When attempting to break an object, you have two choices: smash it with a weapon or break it with sheer strength.

Smashing an Object

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.

Armor Class

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

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.

Ranged Weapon Damage

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.

Ineffective Weapons

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.

Magic Armor, Shields, and Weapons

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.

Vulnerability to Certain Attacks

Certain attacks are especially successful against some objects. In such cases, attacks deal double their normal damage and may ignore the object’s hardness.

Damaged Objects

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.

Damaged (but not destroyed) objects can be repaired with the Craft skill and a number of spells. (eg. make whole or mending)

Saving Throws

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.

Animated Objects

Animated objects count as creatures for purposes of determining their Armor Class (do not treat them as inanimate objects).

Breaking Items

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.

If an item has lost half or more of its hit points, the item gains the broken condition (see Conditions) and the DC to break it drops by 2.

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).