Damaging Objects

The amount of damage that an object can withstand depends on what it is made out of and how big it is. Weapon damage is rolled normally against objects.

Table: Substance Hardness and Hit Points
Substance Hardness Hitpoints
Paper 0 2/inch of thickness
Rope 0 2/inch of thickness
Glass 1 1/inch of thickness
Ice 0 3/inch of thickness
Wood 5 10/inch of thickness
Stone 8 15/inch of thickness
Iron 10 30/inch of thickness
Mithril 15 30/inch of thickness
Adamantite 20 40/inch of thickness

Table: Common Weapon and Shield Hardness and Hit Points
Weapon Hardness Hitpoints
Tiny blade 10 1
Small blade 10 2
Medium-size blade 10 5
Large blade 10 10
Small metal-hafted weapon 10 10
Medium-size metal-hafted weapon 10 25
Small hafted weapon 5 2
Medium-size hafted weapon 5 5
Large hafted weapon 5 10
Huge club 5 60
Buckler 10 5
Small wooden shield 5 10
Large wooden shield 5 15
Small steel shield 10 10
Large steel shield 10 20
Tower shield 5 20

A common use of Strength is to break open doors and burst bonds. Larger and smaller creatures get size bonuses and size penalties on these Strength checks: Fine –16, Diminutive –12, Tiny –8, Small –4, Large +4, Huge +8, Gargantuan +12, Colossal +16.

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

Table: Object Hardness and Hit Points
Object Hardness Hitpoints Break DC*
Rope (1 inch diam.) 0 2 23
Simple wooden door 5 10 13
Spear 5 2 14
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
* Break DC: The DC for a Strength check needed to destroy the item in one action, rather than reducing it to zero hit points through a series of attacks.


Inanimate objects are immune to critical hits. Objects are immune to subdual damage. Animated objects are immune to critical hits because they are constructs.

Ranged Weapon Damage

Objects take half damage from ranged weapons (except for damage from siege engines and the like). Divide the damage by 2 before applying the object's hardness.

Energy Attacks

Objects take half damage from acid, fire, and lightning attacks. Divide the damage by 2 before applying the hardness. Cold attacks deal one- quarter damage to objects. Sonic attacks deal full damage to objects.

Ineffective Weapons

The DM may determine that certain weapons just can't deal damage effectively to certain objects. For example, a combatant will have a hard time chopping down a door by shooting arrows at it or cutting a rope with a club.

Vulnerability to Certain Attacks

The DM may rule that certain attacks are especially successful against some objects. For example, it's easy to light a curtain on fire or rip up a scroll.


Each object has hardness-a number that represents how well it resists damage. Whenever an object takes damage, subtract its hardness from the damage. Only damage in excess of its hardness is deducted from the object's hit points.

Hit Points

An object's hit point total depends on what it is made of and how big it is. When an object's hit points reach 0, it's ruined. Very large objects have separate hit point totals for different sections.

Saving Throws

Unattended nonmagical items never make saving throws. They are considered to have failed their saving throws, so they always are affected by (for instance) a disintegrate spell. An item attended by a combatant (being grasped, touched, or worn) receives a saving throw just as if the combatant herself were making the saving throw.

Magic items always get saving throws. A magic item's Fortitude, Reflex, and Will save bonuses are equal to 2 + one-half its caster level. Attended magic items either make saving throws as their owner or use their own saving throws, whichever are better.

Magic Weapons and Shields

The attacker cannot damage a magic weapon or shield that has an enhancement bonus unless his own weapon has at least as high an enhancement bonus as the weapon or shield struck. Each +1 of enhancement bonus also adds 1 to the weapon's or shield's hardness and hit points. If a combatant's shield has a +2 enhancement bonus, a combatant add 2 to its hardness and to its hit points.

Breaking Items

When a combatant tries to break something with sudden force rather than by dealing regular damage, use a Strength check to see whether the combatant succeeds. The DC depends more on the construction of the item than on the material.
If an item has lost half or more of its hit points, the DC to break it drops by 2.