Hit points and damage thresholds for defensive structures

The party is deep into my 5e-updated classic Greyhawk Giants series.

The giants are about to attack the outer walls of the Sterish city of Headwater in an attempt to take the city.

Many monsters, such as the Ogre Battering ram, have the Siege Monster property, which says "The [monster] deals double damage to objects and structures."

The DMG (255, 256) has rules for siege equipment, their attacks, and damage.

On hit points for objects, the DMG also says that stone objects have AC17 (246) and that (247):

An object’s hit points measure how much damage it can take before losing structural integrity. Resilient objects have more hit points than fragile ones. Large objects also tend to have more hit points than small ones, unless breaking a small part of the object is just as effective as breaking the whole thing. The Object Hit Points table provides suggested hit points for fragile and resilient objects that are Large or smaller [Large, resilient objects have a suggested 27 hp]…Normal weapons are of little use against many Huge and Gargantuan objects, such as a…towering column of stone…You can track a Huge or Gargantuan object’s hit points if you like, or you can simply decide how long the object can withstand whatever weapon or force is acting against it. If you track hit points for the object, divide it into Large or smaller sections, and track each section’s hit points separately. Destroying one of those sections could ruin the entire object…Damage Threshold. Big objects such as castle walls often have extra resilience represented by a damage threshold. An object with a damage threshold has immunity to all damage unless it takes an amount of damage from a single attack or effect equal to or greater than its damage threshold, in which case it takes damage as normal. Any damage that fails to meet or exceed the object’s damage threshold is considered superficial and doesn’t reduce the object’s hit points.

So it seems like, RAW, I assign hit points to large (10′ x 10′) sections of a gargantuan (20′ x 20’+) stone wall, assign a damage threshold for the wall, and then apply damage as rolled until the wall fails its structural integrity, at which point the attackers move through the rubble as difficult terrain.

I can’t find any guidance in the DMG for what the appropriate damage threshold would be for a stone wall, or, for that matter, how hit points and damage threshold might vary between a stone wall, a tower (round or square), a gatehouse, etc. While I could, of course, just make these up, I wonder if there is any guidance in other official sources, or at least analogies that can be made with, for example, the vehicle rules (in BG:DiA) or the ship rules (in GoS).

Somewhat Related: How do I account for palisades and other similar defenses in an invasion?

Very related, possible duplicate, but all answers there predate publication of GoS and BG:DiA which this question is specifically soliciting: How should damage thresholds be assigned?

Does a golem’s magic immunity bypass its opponent’s defensive spells?

What happens if, for instance, a Golem tries to grapple a foe that had freedom of movement cast on it?

Immunity to Magic (Ex) Golems have immunity to most magical and supernatural effects, except when otherwise noted.

An iron golem is immune to any spell or spell-like ability that allows spell resistance.

Freedom of movement allows spell resistance, therefore the Golem is immune to it. However, the spell isn’t on the golem, even though it is affecting the Golem. Is there a clear rule/precedent for which way this would go?

My gut instinct is to say "yes, the Golem ignores your defensive spells". They may not be being cast on the Golem, but they are still "magical effects", and thus covered by the blanket statement at the start of the Golems entry. Also, I dislike that freedom of movement completely shuts down grappling as a viable strategy for both PCs and enemies at higher levels; SR and magic immunity bypassing it seems like an elegant solution.

Can a character with the Defensive Duelist feat who never makes an attack with the finesse weapon still gain the benefit of the feat?

The description of the Defensive Duelist feat says (PHB, p. 165):

When you are wielding a finesse weapon with which you are proficient and another creature hits you with a melee attack, you can use your reaction to add your proficiency bonus to your AC for that attack, potentially causing the attack to miss you.

Assume a spellcaster who has the Defensive Duelist feat is holding a dagger and an arcane focus. For the duration of combat, they cast spells and never make a melee weapon attack. Do they still gain the benefit of the feat?

[ Politics ] Open Question : European Americans, can you explain why you feel superior or defensive to other ethnic groups?

Why do European Americans get defensive about: 1. Black Lives Matter 2. Taking a knee to the anthem or flag 3. White privilege 4. Affirmative Action 5. Tearing down of historical statues that represent European history  6. Seeing POC succeeding (Don’t try to say don’t get mad because you do) 7. Talk about police brutality  8. Interracial relationships 9. Slavery 10. Jim Crow 11. Liberals 12. Democrats 13. Anything the advances anyone other than those with European ancestry  Why do you European Americans have so much negativity? I really want to understand the need to feel superior or unconsciously be racist. Note: If you are European American that has done good for humanity, this is not for you.    POC means people of color Most of these answers prove my point. White European Americans are unreasonable. Can’t even answer simple questions without acting like 2 yr olds. I find it funny how you speak about what being an American is but when people don;t act like American under your terms, somehow they un-American The answers I am getting proves the existing point about getting defensive Stop posting Anonymously. Show yourself. You’ll spend all of your time looking through people’s profiles 

AC calulation with a Defense Figther + Shield + Defensive duelist [closed]

(sorry for my possible bad english i’m a french canadian haha)

I try to create a lvl 4 character with a lot of AC. I’m not sure if it’s ”légal”

So here it is:

-Dex mod : +3

-Stutted leather armor : +12 AC

-Shield + 2 AC

-Figther Devensive style : +1 Ac

-Feat Defensive Duelist : +2 AC (In reaction with Finnsse weapon)

-Also use Shield spell sometimes if possible? : +5 AC

So what do you think?

Are shields a numerically significant defensive boost?

We have had a number of questions about the function of Shield Block, and some of the answers have me questioning the viability of shields.

Considering the need to purchase shields, use an action to Raise it (or a 12th level Feat to have it as a Stance), use your Reaction to Block (if that’s even viable) and potentially taking further Feats to do so more often or gain other benefits; how do the benefits of shields compare to similar investment in other defensive items and techniques?

Example investments include:

  • Money (including upkeep)
  • Feats
  • Skills (if applicable)
  • Action Economy

Code Coverage and Defensive Programming (in private functions)

Assuming you want to build automated tests for the following (very simple, if odd) class.

// Calculates the distance between neighboring values in a vector // and provides functions to return the distance from one index to the following // or to find the first occurrence of a specified distance class NeighborDistanceFinder {   public:     NeighborDistanceFinder(std::vector<int> inputVector)         : m_neighborVector(inputVector) { };      int getDistanceToNextIndex(int index) const     {         if (index >= 0 && index < m_neighborVector.size() - 1)             return calculateDistance(index, index + 1);         throw "Provided index is invalid";     }      int getIndexOfFirstOccurenceOfDistance(int distance) const     {         for (int index = 0; index < m_neighborVector.size() - 1; i++)         {             if (calculateDistance(index, index + 1) == distance)                 return index;         }         throw "Distance not found";     }    private:     std::vector<int> m_neighborVector;      int calculateDistance(int index, int otherIndex) const     {         const int lastIndex = m_neighborVector.size() - 1;         if (index < 0 || otherIndex < 0 || index > lastIndex  || otherIndex > lastIndex)             throw "Index of of bounds"; //This should never happen         return m_neighborVector.at(index) - m_neighborVector.at(otherIndex);     } } 

In such a simple class the bounds check for calculateDistance() is probably overkill, but imagine the condition to check being more complex than a simple bounds check and more functions calling calculateDistance(), functions mucking around with m_neighborVector and soon it looks more and more appealing…

In any case, with this masterwork at hand we suddendly realize we did not do TDD and don’t have any unit tests. Well, no fear, they are simple enough to add (… a few hours later …). Done.

But there is a gap in in our code coverage: we cannot reach throw "Index of of bounds"; (unless I made a mistake in writing this example…). Well, of course, we catch the out-of-bounds cases in the two public functions invoking it, and the function is private so we cannot invoke it directly (as we lack reflection in C++). I know, static code analysis should be able to tell us that this is essentially dead code, but again: Imagine the condition being more complex.

So what should be done concerning this very-defensive private function at this point?

  1. The gap is fine – you don’t need (and will never get) 100% coverage – just move on.
  2. This is overkill defensive programming in a private function – get rid of the check, FFS.
  3. You need to cover this – move the function to protected or make your test a friend class etc.
  4. And now for something completely different?

What is the range of Defensive Throw?

Defensive Throw (Complete Warrior p97):

If the opponent you have chosen to use your Dodge feat against attacks you and misses, you can make an immediate trip attack against that opponent. This attempt counts against your allowed attacks of opportunity in the round.

This does not mention any range, but the name and the prerequisite (IUS) implies unarmed reach.

Can I use my Guisarme against an enemy further away?

How do I assemble this Perception-based Defensive power into Mutants and Masterminds?

My Tabletop group has been discussing running a game of Mutants and Masterminds in the future, so I thought I should get a head start and attempt to build a character. The character i have in mind is a fairly Strong, Fast and Tough guy with a selective High-Cognition vision. The way that I had imagined this working is that whenever someone makes an attack at my character that they’re aware of, they can take a reaction to increase their visual perception range to -1/1000ft, increase their processing time by x1000, gain analytical levels of sight and be able to accurately judge distances for however long they wish. Using the information they gather from this, my character would gain advantage on avoiding attacks from the attacker(s) depending on how well I rolled and/or how many ranks they have. The drawbacks for this are fairly steep; firstly, they would loose all other senses until their next turn (where the power would wear off). Secondly, and this is the most important one, the character would get tunnel vision regarding the attackers, something as small as the guy immediately in front of them in melee range and a maximum of 5 guys relatively close together at long range. As a result, his Parry and Dodge potentially skyrocket verses a select few opponents, but absolutely diminish verses opponents outside their limited field of vision.

I’ve been referencing the Powers section in the Mutants and Masterminds 3e Book (starting on page 91), and the things I found in there sort of fit the ideas that I’ve been working with. While there are the Analytical, Danger Sense, Increased Range and Fast Reaction additions to senses AND I could squeeze my tunnel vision idea under Limited and Unreliable, all of these modifiers are permanent and not reactionary. Moreover, the Deflect power is the closest thing I could find to the defensive buff I was looking for, but it only counts as a subsitute for Parry and Dodge, not an additive.

So here is what I am SPECIFICALLY asking people familiar with this system:

Can I make my concept happen through Powers exclusively?

Can I make my concept happen through mixing Powers and Advantages?


Is my concept impossible in this ruleset?