Please change the word thunder

Thunder damage should be Sonic damage IMHO. I feel the wording Thunder is an odd fit in the roleplay discription side of the game. I will digress if I am alone with this thought.
I support it, Thunder is stupid word to describe it and thematically narrows the effects that could cause it

No, you´re not alone, i have been calling it sonic damage for years. I´ll add that it makes much more sense when your bard character deals sonic instead of thunder damage, it´s much more...intuitive.
From an other thread. Here, Thunder and possibly Sonic can merge into Force.

Force is actually confusing. There are two different kinds of "force".

Force = gravity, acceleration, structural stress, atmospheric pressure, detonation, explosion, global kinetic damage, telekinesis.

Force = an object made out of force.

In the first definition, “force” should probably include “thunder” damage, in the sense of detonation. Maybe “sonic” vibration too, in the sense of structural stress.

The second definition should probably deal whatever damage the virtual object deals, in other words, pierce, slash, or bludgeon.



I alway envisioned "force" damage as pure magic.  It's magical force.  That's why magic missiles inflict force damage.  So have no trouble envisioning that magic transcends the dimensional barrier between here and the ether.



As noted, spell descriptions and items like Force Beads, generally describe “force” as a detonation, and explosive energy.

In the Playtest, the Magic Missile description specifically mentions “magical force” and then continues to describe an explosive detonation:


Those who have been struck by this spell and survived describe a piercing pain that seems to pass through the body and out the other side. This spell leaves its victims bruised and can even break bones.






I like "thunder" to describe that sort of damaging pressure wave. To me, "sonic" is much more vague of a term, and doesn't realy describe how it's doing damage. For a fantasy game, I think "thunder" and "lightning" is more thematically appropriate than "sonic" and "electric".

In my sci-fi setting, I translate them as "blast" and "shock" damage. 

The metagame is not the game.

I support the use of Thunder only because it is more setting appropriate for most DnD games (medieval fantasy). I would suggest that when they write up their descriptor of Energy types, that they clarify that Thunder includes all sound based attacks.

If you prefer to word Sonic, you can use it with your group and they will understand. You could even use it on the forums and most would understand what you meant.
Thunder damage should be Sonic damage IMHO. I feel the wording Thunder is an odd fit in the roleplay discription side of the game. I will digress if I am alone with this thought.



As far a am RP fit - thunder is far better.


Sonic is more 'scientific' and more accurate.  But as I see it, if you were to ask someone from that setting to describe the effect, I don't see them calling it a 'sonic effect' - I suspect they would say "It sounded like Thunder!"

So, although I understand not liking sonic from a precision point of view - I don't understand why you think it to be an 'odd fit in the roleplay descriptions side of the game'.  At all.


(Ditto for "Electical' versus "Lightning" or "Heat" versus "Fire")

Carl
Much prefer thunder - it fits the medieval theme much better than sonic.
If thunder covers explosions, detonations, atmospheric pressure extremes, global kinetic damage, and so on ...

Then Magic Missile and Beads of Force deal thunder damage.

Even Telekinesis seems to deal thunder damage, since there is little difference between the global damage being caused in a high force of gravity, high accelerating thrust, and being in an extreme pressure shift.
It's all kinetic energy one way or another.

But I'm not sure that's a useful way of looking at it.

Carl
I guess I always looked at it from a wizard's point of veiw. Sonic, to me makes them smarter than the common folk, let the unknowing NPCs commoners of the world call it whatever fits their belief systems.
  Still after all these good points, I have to say calling it Thunder in the rules does not seem to bother me as much as it did last night. 
I vote for sonic, because not all sound-damage effects are "thunder". There's ear piercing scream, among other things, that don't remotely fit the thundering descriptor.

It should not be merged with force, though. Force damage is magical force that doesn't need a medium to travel (and travels through matter without hindrance). You could use magic missile in a vacuum, but I don't think you could use ear piercing scream. Although if your party is in a vacuum you have bigger problems.
It's all kinetic energy one way or another.

But I'm not sure that's a useful way of looking at it.

Carl


The useful way to look at it is, what kind of injury it causes.

A detonation is a different kind of injury, than a bludgeoning by a blunt instrument or by falling damage.

I don't think either force or thunder/sonic should be damage types. Sound effects could just deal bludgeoning damage, and force effects could deal bludgeoning, piercing or slashing, depending on the effect (i.e. magic missile would be piercing). Force and sonic effects are traditionally very rare, and I don't see much justification in making them their own damage types, especially not when they make just as much sense as physical damage.
I vote for sonic, because not all sound-damage effects are "thunder". There's ear piercing scream, among other things, that don't remotely fit the thundering descriptor.

It should not be merged with force, though. Force damage is magical force that doesn't need a medium to travel (and travels through matter without hindrance). You could use magic missile in a vacuum, but I don't think you could use ear piercing scream. Although if your party is in a vacuum you have bigger problems.



I agree.  I would say the destrachan makes a sonic attack, not a thunder attack.
I vote for sonic, because not all sound-damage effects are "thunder". There's ear piercing scream, among other things, that don't remotely fit the thundering descriptor.

Then question, then, is how a sonic scream actually damages you, if it's not a concussive blast. Is it a psychic effect? Just generic "magic"? If you apply the sonic tag to both a blast wave and a high-pitched scream, then it stops becoming a damage type.

The metagame is not the game.

Well - I woudn't care if it were eliminated as a damage type.  What do we lose - a couple of spells (Thunderwave and Soundburst - which aren't very similar anyway) and we might need to change a few monsters.

Even when Sonic/ thunder showed up in earlier editions it seemed odd to me - although I quickly got used to it.  Hmmm.  I seem to recall first seeing it as an effect on Bard spells - only later expand into other uses.  Or is that just my faulty memory at work.


Thunderwave can be a concussive force that does bludgeoning damage (with the Thunder as a sound effect but not a damage effect) and Soundburst could easily be a psychic attack.

Carl
In my sci-fi setting, I translate them as "blast" and "shock" damage. 

"Blast" and "Shock" are the far more appropriate descriptors for any setting.

My players keep missunderstanding when I say Thunder damage. They all immidiately assume it has to do with electric shock, had to explain it like 5 times but it won't stick! Undecided
I prefer thunder, it sounds nicer than the bland asceptized "sonic"

Although I think force and thunder/sonic damage should be merged into one.

I could see thunderwave and soundburst doing "force" damage no problem
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I vote for sonic, because not all sound-damage effects are "thunder". There's ear piercing scream, among other things, that don't remotely fit the thundering descriptor.

Then question, then, is how a sonic scream actually damages you, if it's not a concussive blast. Is it a psychic effect? Just generic "magic"? If you apply the sonic tag to both a blast wave and a high-pitched scream, then it stops becoming a damage type.




I always imagined that sonic effects damage the target using something like structural resonance frequencies or sound pressure manipulation, not actual concussive force. There are actual acoustic weapons in use, and one of their main benefits is that they can bypass most defenses by using infrasonic or supersonic frequencies with a wavelengths that can easily bypass metal armor, kind of like how barely anything in D&D is resistant to sonic damage.

I don't want to ever see it removed from the game because I think it is such a cool and unique concept.
I feel kinda bad I even started this thread. It actually is pointless. It wont change the mechanics of the game in any form. A DM can call Thunder Damage whatever he/she wishes for whatever world. I like using the term Sonic whenever a wizard speaks of it, and Thunder whenever a commoner speaks of it.
I would never call a wall of force a wall of sonic or thunder. The former I equate to an invisible solid force, where sound or thunder is not a solid medium. Telekenesis is moving a solid object.
I feel kinda bad I even started this thread. It actually is pointless. It wont change the mechanics of the game in any form. A DM can call Thunder Damage whatever he/she wishes for whatever world. I like using the term Sonic whenever a wizard speaks of it, and Thunder whenever a commoner speaks of it.



LOL

Nothing like a big nerdy argument to make you reevaluate your priorities Laughing
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I would never call a wall of force a wall of sonic or thunder. The former I equate to an invisible solid force, where sound or thunder is not a solid medium. Telekenesis is moving a solid object.


that seems to pin down the otherwise very versatile word FORCE to some very specific effects
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I feel kinda bad I even started this thread. It actually is pointless. It wont change the mechanics of the game in any form. A DM can call Thunder Damage whatever he/she wishes for whatever world. I like using the term Sonic whenever a wizard speaks of it, and Thunder whenever a commoner speaks of it.



Agreed.  But what would we do without pointless things to discuss to take our minds off the wait for the new fighter rules....


Carl
The only thing I don't like about the "Thunder" descriptor is that it implies a quick, loud bang. There is no logical way to have "ongoing thunder damage" in the "normal" sense of the word. I actually prefer the term "sonic damage" to refer to any effect that causes damage as a direct result of sound waves, audible or not. But this is my personal preference also rebranded Fire into Burn(ing), Cold into Freez(e/ing), and so on. Again, just my personal taste.

In any discussion about damage types, I think it's important to distinguish between the source and destination. It sounds trivial, but please read on. Consider a mighty greatsword crashing down on the helmet of a dwarf. The attack should deal Slashing damage, based on the weapon. But if the attack is successful, and does not completely split the helmet into halves, should the damage not be assigned as Bludgeoning? If an attacker comes at you with a spear, and you parry it with your bare hand and deflect the sharp edge, do you not take Slashing (instead of Piercing) damage?

Those examples may be rare and a bit outlandish, but the underlying principle, I think, is that damage types should be assigned based on what effect it has on the recipient of that damage. In context, a large sonic blast that deafens the target and rattles his bones should be Thunder/Sonic. If the "sonic" blast hits the target and throws him back, it might be better assigned as Bludgeoning or possibly Force damage.

I don't have a specific recommendation out of all of this, but thought it would add a more overarching dynamic to the damage-type conversation. Thanks for reading!
The attack should deal Slashing damage, based on the weapon. But if the attack is successful, and does not completely split the helmet into halves, should the damage not be assigned as Bludgeoning?

I think it just doesn't matter enough to be worth modeling. That's one of the benefits of HP, after all - in the end, getting shot in the arm is the same as getting stabbed in the leg or hit over the head with a truncheon.

Personally, I like the idea that slashing/piercing attacks cause bleeding, and the primary effect of armor is to convert that into bludgeoning damage which doesn't cause bleeding. I've seen systems where every attack against an unarmored target was considered a critical hit, and where critical hits from sharp weapons caused bleeding and critical hits from blunt weapons caused stunning (or the equivalent).

The metagame is not the game.

Thunder is clearly the superior term because you get to sing AC-DC songs every time you cast Thunderwave.

Try it, try it.  You will see. 
I vote for sonic, because not all sound-damage effects are "thunder". There's ear piercing scream, among other things, that don't remotely fit the thundering descriptor.

Then question, then, is how a sonic scream actually damages you, if it's not a concussive blast. Is it a psychic effect? Just generic "magic"? If you apply the sonic tag to both a blast wave and a high-pitched scream, then it stops becoming a damage type.




I always imagined that sonic effects damage the target using something like structural resonance frequencies or sound pressure manipulation, not actual concussive force. There are actual acoustic weapons in use, and one of their main benefits is that they can bypass most defenses by using infrasonic or supersonic frequencies with a wavelengths that can easily bypass metal armor, kind of like how barely anything in D&D is resistant to sonic damage.

I don't want to ever see it removed from the game because I think it is such a cool and unique concept.

Right, it is like when an opera singer can hit a note that shatters glass. It isnt the volume but the specific vibration.

I feel kinda bad I even started this thread. It actually is pointless. It wont change the mechanics of the game in any form. A DM can call Thunder Damage whatever he/she wishes for whatever world. I like using the term Sonic whenever a wizard speaks of it, and Thunder whenever a commoner speaks of it.




When the play-test ends and wizards of the coast implements specific wording regarding anything from calling certain folk of mixed race either "Half-elves" or "Eluman" .... the flavor is set.  Flavor wise "Trip" conjures up a somewhat different visual than "Knockdown". Though, the mechanic of making an opponent prone could very well be identical.  I would much rather everyone give wizards their input flavor wise, and therefore think that this thread is not actually pointless.


 


Imagine swimming in a water filled cavern and a trap is sprung on you, by the bad guys. The trap emits continuous sound based damage. Now think about one vs. the other when applied underwater?

Sonic is too sci-fi.

I prefer Thunder.

And "Force" is pure magical energy, I'd prefer not to see it rolled into the Thunder keyword just because people can't let go of real-world physics and a scientific worldview.