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Chapter 11: Game Mastering / Environment

Breaking Objects

Source Starfinder Core Rulebook pg. 409
When attempting to break an object, you have two choices: smashing it with a weapon or destroying it with sheer strength.

Smashing An Object

Using a weapon to smash a foe’s weapon or an object accessible on the foe’s body is accomplished with the sunder combat maneuver (see page 246). Smashing an unattended object is similar, except this attack roll is opposed by the object’s Armor Class.
  • Armor Class: Unattended 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 + a modifier due to its size (see Table 11–12: Size and Armor Class of Objects) + its Dexterity modifier. An inanimate object has not only a Dexterity of 0 (–5 modifier) but also an additional –2 penalty to its AC. Furthermore, if a creature takes a full action to line up a shot, it automatically hits with a melee weapon and gains a +5 bonus to an attack roll with a ranged weapon.
  • Hardness: Each object has hardness—a number that represents how well it resists damage. Each time an object is damaged, its hardness is subtracted from the damage. Only damage in excess of its hardness is deducted from the object’s Hit Points. On average, a sturdy piece of equipment (such as a weapon or a suit of armor) has a hardness equal to 5 + 2 × its item level. Any other piece of equipment has a hardness equal to 5 + its item level.
  • Hit Points: An object’s Hit Point total depends on its item level and is modified by additional criteria. On average, a sturdy piece of equipment (such as a weapon or a suit of armor) has a number of Hit Points equal to 15 + 3 × its item level. Any other piece of equipment has a number of Hit Points equal to 5 + its item level. Any item of level 15th or higher receives an extra 30 Hit Points. Very large objects may have separate Hit Point totals for different sections. Objects do not have Stamina Points.

    Damaged Objects: A damaged object remains functional (though it has the broken condition; see page 273) 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 Engineering skill or a number of spells.

    Ineffective Weapons: Certain weapons can’t effectively deal damage to certain objects. Most low-level melee weapons have little effect on metal walls and doors. Certain pieces of equipment are designed to cut through metal, however.

    Immunities: Objects are immune to nonlethal damage and to critical hits.

    Vulnerability to Certain Attacks: Certain attacks are especially strong against some objects. In such cases, attacks deal double their normal damage and might ignore the object’s hardness.
  • Saving Throws: Effects that deal damage generally damage unattended objects normally but don’t damage held or attended objects unless the effect specifically says otherwise. Effects that do something other than deal damage affect only objects if their descriptions specifically say so (only common with spells) or note “(object)” in the description of the effect’s saving throw. An object’s total saving throw bonus for Fortitude, Reflex, and Will saves is equal to the object’s caster level or item level. An object that is held or worn uses the saving throw bonus of the creature carrying it if that bonus is better than its own saving throw bonus. Items with a caster level or item level of 0 don’t receive saving throws when unattended.

Destroying Objects Using Strength

When a character tries to destroy a certain object by using sudden force rather than by dealing damage, he attempts a Strength check (rather than making attack and damage rolls, as with the sunder combat maneuver) to determine whether he succeeds. Since hardness does not affect an object’s break DC, this value depends more on the construction of the item in question than on the material the object is made of. Consult Table 11–13: DCs to Break Objects for a list of common break DCs.

If an object has lost half or more of its Hit Points, the object gains the broken condition (see page 273) and the DC to break it is reduced by 2.

Larger and smaller creatures get bonuses and penalties to Strength checks to break objects as follows: Fine –16, Diminutive –12, Tiny –8, Small –4, Large +4, Huge +8, Gargantuan +12, Colossal +16.

Table 11-12: Size and Armor Class of Objects

SizeAC Modifier

Table 11-13: DCs to Break Objects

TaskStrength DC
Break down wooden door16
Burst rope bonds20
Burst steel restraints25
Break down steel door28
Bend nanocarbon bars35