Building Damage


You can do damage toa building by simply attacking it. It’s hard to miss a building, but your GM might insist on an attack roll under special circumstances (e.g., you’re falling through the air, you’ve been drugged, etc.).

Buildings have Hardness ratings based on what they’re made of (wood, stone, steel, concrete, etc.), and they take only ¼ damage from piercing or ballistic attacks. Buildings are unaffected by NL and are not vulnerable to critical hits or sneak attacks, but the Demolitions skills and Craft Structural do grant damage multipliers when attacking buildings. If you manage to do sufficient damage to a building, you can trigger its Fortitude save.

GMs should exercise their judgement when it comes to damaging parts of a building that are purely decorative or do not bare any weight. Smashing a building’s windows will not ever bring it down, for example, nor will tearing off all the gargoyles.

If your ranged attacks miss someone who is standing in front of a building, then the attack strikes the building. If you are knocked back into a building, it can take cascading damage. If you and your opponent are both standing adjacent to a building and either of you misses with a mêlée attack, then that attack has a 50% chance of striking the building. Finally, if the reach of your mêlée attacks overlaps with a building and you miss someone who is standing adjacent to or in front of a building, then your attack has a 50% chance of hitting the building. You can avoid hitting buildings for with the feat Precise Strike (see Chapter 4: Feats). Ranged damage, however, is unavoidable. GMs should not calculate building damage unless it’s necessary, unless there’s some chance that the building could actually come down the players, and even then, a little fudged math for the sake of dramatic danger is sometimes part of the GM’s job.

Buildings can take damage two ways: by floor or as a whole. If your GM prefers one of these systems over the other, she can choose to use just one. Both is the most accurate―the building might take a bad hit and topple, but it might also have to be pounded until there’s nothing left―but either one will do the job.


By Floor

Average HPs per floor of various kinds of buildings are indicated on the table below. A two-floor house, for example, has 100 HPs. A building with a larger area can have more HPs, at the GM’s discretion. Buildings can also have Hardness, as indicated by what they’re made of (wood, stone, steel, etc.).

When a single floor’s HPs are reduced to zero, then that floor collapses. If you are inside the building and on a floor that collapses, you take Debris Damage (see Table 8-1). You get a Reflex save for half that damage (DC 15). If you are within a five-foot step of an exit (door, window, etc.) that takes you out of the building entirely, passing the Reflex save indicates that you leapt out of the building, so you take no damage at all.

If you are on a floor other than the top and a higher floor falls on you, then your Reflex save also indicates whether you are pinned in the rubble. If you fail, you’re pinned. For every round that you’re pinned, you take 1d6 NL. If you are rendered unconscious by this NL, you must make a DC 15 Constitution check or start taking 1d6 damage per round. If you die, then at least you’re already buried.

If you have Improved Evasion and save for no damage, then you managed to find a pocket in the debris. If you are under more than one floor of a building, you have enough breathable air for about 4 hours (see suffocation rules).

When a floor collapses, it and all the floors above it, if any, come crashing down on the floor below. Thus the Debris Damage of all the falling floors is applied to the floor below the collapsed floor.


As a Whole

When a building takes damage as a whole, it has several Failure Thresholds. Every time the HPs are reduced by the equivalent of one floor’s worth of HPs, the building has to roll a Fortitude save (DC 5, see Table 8-1 for Fort bonuses). If the building fails this check, the whole building falls. The DC for the Fortitude save increases by +2 every time the building has to make this check.


Building Stats

Building Type

Failure Threshold Fortitude Bonus

Debris Damage (per floor)

Fortified: Bunker, Vault




Sturdy: Bank, Headquarters, Library, Military Structure




Underground: Subway Station, Sewer




Institutional: Government Building, High School, Hospital




Decorative: Temple (any), Museum




Urban: Apartment, Office Tower, High-Rise




Industrial: Factory, Warehouse




Large Residential: Mansion, Dormitory




Small Residential: One- or Two-Story House




Commercial: Hair Salon, Coffee Shop, Boutique, Corner Store




Temporary: Portable, Trailer





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