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Guest DominusCaveaVulpes

Magic Weapons and Magical/Physical Immunity

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Hi, Folks.

 

I'm looking to clear up a rather acrimonious argument that happened last night over the use of a magic weapon against a flying polyp (I think it was a polyp . . .).

 

Plainly put, does a magical weapon eg the magic sword in last night's case affect a creature that's immune to physical attacks? The description of the monster's ability was a bit too ambiguous about the point: the sword might be magical, but it's a physical item.

 

Conversely, what about a creature that's immune to magic?  Would it be affected by a magical sword?

 

Appreciate the assist . . . .

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Forget everything you're associating with the words "physical" and "magical." Just forget them.

 

"Physical resistance/immunity" only affects combat bonuses granted from physical weapons.

"Magical resistance/immunity" only affects combat bonuses granted from magical weapons and combat spells.

 

It has no effect on your natural Fight score, or something that adds to combat bonuses without having the word "physical" or "magical" attached to it; nor does it affect things that aren't combat bonuses.

 

Thus, a magical sword is not physical. Physical resistance can't affect this sword, and magical immunity blocks it completely.

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Thanks, Tibs.  However, if you don't mind my asking, is this information something you're passing me from official sources, or is it just your take on my question?  The reason I ask is that you just repeated the same "plain language" argument that the other player last night made, and, while I tend to listen to that type of argument, plain language isn't always as plain as we'd like it to be.  Authority would help more in this case.

Edited by DominusCaveaVulpes

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Core rules, pag 24, leftmost column, near the bottom:

 

Physical / Magical Resistance: A Weapon or Spell that adds a bonus of the resisted type can only provide half its normal bonus (rounded up).

 

Physical / Magical Immunity: A Weapon or Spell that adds a bonus of the resisted type provides none of its normal bonus.

Edited by Julia
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Thank you, Julia, but we had that page right in front of us while we were arguing the point, so I'm afraid it doesn't really advance me towards answering my question.

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Yes, a magical weapon works against creatures with physical immunity. That's the right answer. If you are looking for confirmation from the game designers on this, you are going to wait a long time.

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Sorry Dominicus,

but I don't get the point of your arguing then. Physical Immunity reads that a weapon adding a physical bonus provides no bonus against physical immune monsters. So, you look at the back of the monster chit and read whether there's written "physical immunity" or not. If the answer is yes, you check your weapon type. All weapons have written "physical" or "magical" under the card's name. If you have a monster with physical immunity and the weapon you're using is a physical weapon, then you cannot add its bonus dice to the your dice pool (but specific abilities are nonetheless triggered, id est attacking a physical immune monster with a shotgun will result in no extra dice, but all the 6 you roll are worth 2 successes). If the weapon lists "magical weapon" then you can add all the granted dice to the pool. And so on for all the types of resistences / immunities.

 

Finally, allow me to disgress: this is the exact wording it has always been used in most of the fantasy settings: in D&D you needed magical weapons to hit undead. I never heard anyone saying "hey, your +5 warhammer is not magical because it's made of physical components". Magical vs physical refers to the fact that a weapon (or whatelse) can be enchanted (thus, have magic in it) or not.

 

I guess your friends could argue about that for eons, but I really don't think *anyone* in the Arkham community (which is rather huge, having the game sold thousands and thousands of copies) will ever give you an answer different from what Tibs, Wolfgar or myself have given you.

 

Not so sure if this really helps, but I hope so ;)

 

JULIA

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Wolfgar, thanks, but I'm not so much looking for official confirmation directly from one of the game's designers (granted that'd be lovely if it happened), nor am I looking at all for another player's personal take on the rule.  I asked in case other people had had the same question as I gave above because I and another player certainly found the rule just ambiguous enough to make us question it (another player was giving the "plain language" argument as I mentioned above), and if we found it that way, minority though we might be, others might also be or have been in the same boat and could tell me how they resolved the issue.

 

Julia, my thinking runs like this wrt the "plain language" in the game itself (bear with me as I don't know if the copy of the rules that I can get online is the same as the one in my friends' game, and I don't have access to the game itself at the moment, so I can't look at the monster and equipment chits):

 

Page 24 states under Physical/Magical Immunity that it's "A Weapon or Spell that adds a bonus of the resisted type provides none of its normal bonus."  I can understand a creature with physical immunity not being able to be damaged with something like a pistol, and I can see a creature with magical immunity being immune to the spell "Dread Curse of Azathoth"; both circumstances are quite clear cut.  However, what about a weapon that combines magic and the force that causes physical weapons ie kinetic energy to hurt others?  If I attack a flying polyp with the magical sword, it's a physical attack (enhanced though it might be with magic) and therefore should have no effect; if I attack something that's immune to magical damage with the magic sword, it's a magical attack also and therefore should have no effect.  See the confusion on my part?  I don't remember if the copy of the game we were playing with actually stated "magical" anywhere as more than "fluff text" eg "Magic Sword" on the sword's chit (in the same manner it does in my copy of the first edition of the game when Chaosium published it; in that particular case, it's pretty unambiguous to my understanding) as you describe it as a conceit of the game that you're just supposed to follow, but I don't think it did.

 

As for your digression, I've been playing only first edition AD&D (and was introduced to it by the Moldvay "blue book" edition of basic) for most of my gaming life, so I don't know what's written in later editions.  IIRC at the moment, the official wording I'm used to quite unambiguously points out that "X creature can only be hit by +Y magical weapons or higher", not simply that "magical weapons are required to hit X creature" (which is usually a paraphrase of the rule that usually does a good enough job [albeit see below]).  I don't remember where exactly at the moment, but I have read rules (perhaps unofficial ones) wherein magical weapons could have their pluses reduced due to physical damage.  If that were to happen, and it was taken as official that "only magical weapons are required to hit X monster", a player could have a +0 "magical" weapon (or even a -1 cursed magical weapon) and confidently expect to hit a Type VI demon with a good enough roll.  Do you see how the wording of a particular rule can foster at least some ambiguity?

 

So if the majority of people just accept the rule as a conceit of the game as you, Tibs, and Wolfgar are doing, that's fine and an answer in itself.  It's not exactly the answer I'm looking for (since it doesn't match my question quite right), however, so I also ask if there's official endorsement of that ruling.

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Now tell him how the Shotgun still rolls double-success sixes against a Physically Immune Monster, and watch his head explode. :wacko:  :blink:  :wacko:

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Chronicles, I'm not "deliberately" making the rule more complicated any more than I'm sure you're "deliberately" insulting me by simply parroting what everyone else has said, telling me the answer is obvious, and adding nothing new to the thread with the blithe assumption that I can't read what anyone else has written before you.

 

jgt7771, what you're describing is a pretty obvious game-conceit; from what I can see, the language makes it pretty clear.  Not so wrt the point in question.

 

Folks, I'm genuinely confused by the wording for the reasons I've outlined above.  If nobody can answer my question beyond what's been written, that's fine; there's no need to add anything else to the thread and affect FFG's rep as hosting a place where questions can be asked about their games without catching flack.

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Dominus,

 

     I think that those of us who have played the game for five or more years are generally befuddled by your question.  I'm a 30-year player of D&D and run a weekly campaign to this day using 4.0.  As others have stated, much more eloquently than me, I believe you're reading far too much into this one.  While the game certainly has genuine rule-questioning scenarios, this one is not, but anyone's estimation, a thorny issue.  Physical Weapons do limited or no damage to those creatures with Physical Resistance or Immunity and the same principle applies to Magical Weapons and those monsters possessing Magical Resistance or Immunity.

 

     Sadly, you will wait a long time for an official answer on this one...first, because the designers have all left and second, they do not spend time answering questions of this nature.  For you and your players' sake, I do hope you'll re-read Tibs' and Julia's response as they're both clear, cogent, and complete in their wording.

 

Cheers,

Joe

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Page 24 states under Physical/Magical Immunity that it's "A Weapon or Spell that adds a bonus of the resisted type provides none of its normal bonus."  I can understand a creature with physical immunity not being able to be damaged with something like a pistol, and I can see a creature with magical immunity being immune to the spell "Dread Curse of Azathoth"; both circumstances are quite clear cut.  However, what about a weapon that combines magic and the force that causes physical weapons ie kinetic energy to hurt others?  If I attack a flying polyp with the magical sword, it's a physical attack (enhanced though it might be with magic) and therefore should have no effect; if I attack something that's immune to magical damage with the magic sword, it's a magical attack also and therefore should have no effect.  See the confusion on my part?  I don't remember if the copy of the game we were playing with actually stated "magical" anywhere as more than "fluff text" eg "Magic Sword" on the sword's chit (in the same manner it does in my copy of the first edition of the game when Chaosium published it; in that particular case, it's pretty unambiguous to my understanding) as you describe it as a conceit of the game that you're just supposed to follow, but I don't think it did.

 

 

I would note expansions include monsters that have "Weapon Immunity", which is called out as it's own special ability.

 

 

A new monster ability, Weapon Immunity, appears on

several monsters in Innsmouth Horror. A monster with this

ability reduces any combat bonus from Magical or Physical

Weapons to 0. Spells are not affected.

 

So if all weapons were counted as physical attacks and being magic were just a matter of fluff, then this would make this ability kind of pointless.

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Ah!  Wolfgar, thanks for being the one, finally, to bring something new to my attention. (Instead of just telling me in so many words that everyone else who plays the game is just smarter than I am and what's wrong with me?)

 

The point you bring up about the weapon immunity ability and its wording helps much more than anything else anyone has written so far.  Thanks again.

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