Rules Question about Damage Reduction Spells that Absorb Damage

I have a basic rules question that I have never figured out after 15+ years of playing NWN.

There are spells that grant damage reduction, and are dispelled after absorbing x amount of damage. (E.g. Energy Buffer, Greater Stonekin, Epic Warding, etc.) I have never understood the game mechanic of “absorbing” damage.

Does the spell absorb the total damage of any attack protected against, or the total damage of any attack exceeding the damage reduction, or only the portion of the damage that may exceed the damage reduction?

So with Energy Buffer, if I am hit with 39 points of elemental damage, do I still have a full 60 points of Energy Buffer, or only 21 points left? If I am hit with 41 points of elemental damage, do I have 59 points of Energy Buffer left, or 19 points?

With a spell like Greater Stoneskin, a +6 weapon will completely bypass the protection. Does the damage done by a +6 weapon reduce the amount of points left on the Greater Stoneskin?

The short answer is no.

Only the damage that is actually mitigated subtracts from the total damage you are protected against.
It only makes sense after all, if it’s not being mitigated, why should it be subracted?

In your example. Energy buffer grants 40/- Damage resistance against all elements. If you are hit by a 39 damage, you will take 0 damage (39 - 39) and will be left with 21 (60-39) points of energy buffer, if you are hit by 41, you will take 1 damage (41 - 40) and will be left with 20 (60-40) points of energy buffer.

Unless the damage is flagged to bypass elemental resistance, in that case, you will take the full damage regardless of the spell (39 or 41) and will still be left with the 60 points of the Energy Buffer.

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