what is soak damage?

Archived from groups: alt.games.neverwinter-nights (More info?)

Can someone tell me what this means: Damage Reduction +1 Soak 5 Damage
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More about what soak damage
  1. Archived from groups: alt.games.neverwinter-nights (More info?)

    John Salerno wrote:

    > Can someone tell me what this means: Damage Reduction +1 Soak 5 Damage

    When you are hit by a weapon (not by a spell), the Soak 5 damage means
    you subtract 5 points from every hit you take. The +1 refers to the
    weapon hitting you, if it is +1 to hit or better, then it ignores your
    damage reduction.

    A +6 soak 3 effect will reduce each hit by 3 as long as the thing
    hitting you is no better than +5.

    A +2 soak 20 effect will reduce each hit by 20 as long as the thing
    hitting you is no better than +1.

    Funny thing is, if there is no + listed, this doesn't mean (as you might
    think) that any weapon whatsoever will ignore the soak, but rather that
    no weapon will ignore the soak.

    so a Damage Reduction - soak 10 effect will stop the first 10 points of
    damage from all hits regardless of how powerful the weapon hitting you
    might be.

    This whole phenomenum is interesting for your own defense, but its even
    more important to consider when thinking about your offensive output.

    One plan that occurs to a lot of players is to concentrate on light fast
    weapons, to get a lot of quick, if relatively small, blows in, doing
    more damage on average than someone with large slow weapons. But if
    your target shrugs off the first five points of damage and you are doing
    at most 6 each blow, then you aren't doing much damage at all (assuming
    its 1-6, you do on average two points every 12 blows)

    Meanwhile, someone who's weapon does 1-12 points each blow does 28
    points every 12 blows. Even assuming the light weapon hits twice as
    often as the big one, thats still 4 points damage against 28, 7 times as
    much.

    Besides the "light fast" approach, another consideration is the "power
    attack" feat, and things like it. Power attack causes you to hit
    harder, but reduces your chance to hit. The same thing happens here as
    with the "light fast" approach; lets say you hit 1 less time in every 20
    tries, but do one more point of damage each time you do hit. That d6
    weapon versus a 5 soak hitting 20 times does an average of 3 and a third
    damage. Meanwhile, a d6+1 hits 19 times but does an average of 9.5
    points of damage.

    Also, consider the first part of the description. When considering
    which weapon to use, this makes the + to hit, or + enhancement bonus,
    more important than it already was; lets look at a +1 weapon which just
    does d6 damage, versus a no bonus weapon which does d10 damage.

    With no soak, in 100 swings the D6 +1 weapon hits our example opponent
    20 times for an average of 4.5 per hit, 90 total damage. Meanwhile, the
    no bonus d10 weapon hits 19 times for an average of 5.5 per hit, 104.5
    total damage.

    But with the +1/5 soak in place, the D6+1 weapon ignores the soak and
    still delivers its 90 damage, meanwhile the d10 weapon gets soaked, and
    thus averages 1.5 per hit, for 28.5 total damage.

    Depending on the module you are running, there may be quite a lot of bad
    guys running around with some form of soak in place, or there may not.
    Even if there aren't, there are often things like chests and doors with
    soak; so if you aren't able to pick locks, its a good idea to carry
    something really big along with you to help break them down.

    I recall one module I played in, where I had a rogue with a very low
    strength who only carried a rapier to fight with; this worked pretty
    well in general, as it was module written for rogues, until I fell into
    a pit with a couple tricky fights down in the bottom. I saved over one
    game when I realized I was in trouble, and ended up dying a couple times
    before finally beating the fights down there. Then I saved over my
    other game with the success. Then I tried to get out, only to discover
    that the lock down there couldn't be picked at my skill and equipment
    (which is pretty amazing because I had a really high skill plus bonuses
    from stat and gear). It could be broken down, but it soaked more than
    the maximum damage I could do with my rapier, even on a critical hit.

    Of course this is an extreme example, and serves more to point out the
    fallacy of saving over all your existing saves after falling into a pit
    than it does those of ignoring the possibility of soak, but if I'd had a
    big two handed axe or something strapped to my back, I could have
    chopped my way out of there instead of being stuck for life!

    Lance
  2. Archived from groups: alt.games.neverwinter-nights (More info?)

    Lance Berg wrote:
    >
    > John Salerno wrote:
    >
    >
    >>Can someone tell me what this means: Damage Reduction +1 Soak 5 Damage
    >
    >
    > When you are hit by a weapon (not by a spell), the Soak 5 damage means
    > you subtract 5 points from every hit you take. The +1 refers to the
    > weapon hitting you, if it is +1 to hit or better, then it ignores your
    > damage reduction.

    So it's just a convoluted way of saying Damage Reduction 5/+1? I was so
    confused by the word 'soak' because it isn't even in the manual. I
    thought maybe this was something different. I found a cloak with that
    description, so I guess it's a pretty darn good thing to wear.

    By the way, thanks for the long explanations in your last two posts.
    Interesting and informative to read.
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