A series of sinusoidally modulated, plasma deposited, silicon oxy-nitride, narrow band reflectors have been examined with a view to understanding the relative roles of electric field effects, defect type, surface roughness, thickness, and coating absorption on the laser damage threshold. The damage threshold measurements were made at 0.532 micrometers with a range of spot sizes, a pulse length of 15 ns (full width at half maximum intensity), and each site was tested with 100 shots at a 10 Hz repetition rate. The damage threshold was essentially constant at around 2 J/cm2 for all the samples, and was defect dominated. Three types of topological defects were discovered using a WYKO three dimensional surface profiler, and one of the defect types was responsible for a large fraction of the damage events. It is postulated that this 5 micrometers hemispherical defect may behave either as a microlens which enhances the peak fluence that the underlying coating is subjected to, or as a center for enhanced electric field effects.