This can be better explained by considering the following:
For every attack, there are two stages.
- Stage 1: Roll the attacker's offensive bonuses against the target's defensive bonuses. If true, proceed to stage 2. If false, produce a 0 (splash for player Magic attacks). This is not a successful hit.
- Stage 2: Roll a hit ranging from 0 to the attacker's maximum hit. This is a successful hit, even if a 0 is rolled.
A damaging spell cast by a player that hits a 0 which does not visibly splash is always a successful hit, and if it has additional effects (such as freezing for ice spells or chance to lower the target's Strength if Ahrim's equipment is worn) they will occur as usual.
The Saradomin godsword's special attack will only replenish the user's Hitpoints and Prayer points on a successful hit; likewise, the Zamorak godsword's special attack will only freeze a target on a successful hit. However, the dragon warhammer's special attack has to deal damage in order to lower the target's Defence level even if a successful hit of 0 is rolled.
- ↑ Jagex. Mod Ash's Twitter account. 23 April 2015. Mod Ash: "Damage is a random number between 0 and your max hit, inclusive. Each possible value has an equal chance of being rolled."
- ↑ Jagex. Mod Ash's Twitter account. 29 May 2017. Mod Ash: "While special attacks usually do trigger on a successful roll even if the damage comes out as 0, the DWH blog said this one wouldn't."
- ↑ Mod Ash. "Kalphite Queen accuracy." 2 June 2015. Twitter Forums.