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View Full Version : Evard's Black Tentacles and DR.



Tyger
2007-04-30, 10:47 AM
Does DR effect the crushing damage done by the tentacles? The description of DR states that spells are not effected, but the damage done by Evard's is listed as bludgeoning.

Thoughts? Interpretations?

Lord Iames Osari
2007-04-30, 10:49 AM
I'm pretty sure that spells and powers that do bludgeoning, slashing, or piercing damage are subject to DR.

Saph
2007-04-30, 10:50 AM
It's a Conjuration (creation) spell, so the tentacles aren't actually a magic attack - the magic just creates them and animates them. That's why the spell doesn't allow Spell Resistance.

So yes, Damage Reduction should work against it, just like normal for bludgeoning damage.

- Saph

Tyger
2007-04-30, 10:52 AM
Even though Damage Reduction is described as:


From the SRD
A creature with this special quality ignores damage from most weapons and natural attacks. Wounds heal immediately, or the weapon bounces off harmlessly (in either case, the opponent knows the attack was ineffective). The creature takes normal damage from energy attacks (even nonmagical ones), spells, spell-like abilities, and supernatural abilities. A certain kind of weapon can sometimes damage the creature normally, as noted below....

?

After all, it is a spell...

Hmmm... I can see this going both ways.

Saph
2007-04-30, 10:58 AM
Hmmm... I can see this going both ways.

I don't think so. Conjuration (Creation) spells are exceptions - they're magic spells that create a nonmagical effect. That's why spell resistance doesn't work against them.

Major Creation is a spell, too, but if you use it to make a weapon, the weapon doesn't bypass DR.

- Saph

Tyger
2007-04-30, 11:03 AM
I guess my counter to that is that its not a Conjuration (Summoning) spell. While it can certainly be argued that the tentacles are non-magical in nature, I would counter by asking "then what are they?" They are not naturally occuring creatures that have been summoned, nor are they non-magical items which have been animated. They are a spell effect that has a duration.

The example of Major Creation is different, as the DR description clearly specifies weapons are included in DR calculations. Even a Major Creation boulder is really just an improvised weapon.

Think this is going to come down to a discussion with the DM really.

Mewtarthio
2007-04-30, 11:34 AM
Ah, but if something does not allow Spell Resistance, it is not considered magical. It may have been initially created by a spell, and it may cease to exist fairly quickly, but it still isn't magical. That particular spell creates a field of very real tentacles. They are powered by magic, but so's a hasted Fighter.

Ulzgoroth
2007-04-30, 11:39 AM
Orb Spells...

I agree that DR at least ought to apply to Black Tentacles, but I had to poke the logic.

Saph
2007-04-30, 11:54 AM
I guess my counter to that is that its not a Conjuration (Summoning) spell. While it can certainly be argued that the tentacles are non-magical in nature, I would counter by asking "then what are they?" They are not naturally occuring creatures that have been summoned, nor are they non-magical items which have been animated. They are a spell effect that has a duration.

Sounds like you know that DR should apply, but you want it not to. :)

Well, you've got your answer.

- Saph

Zherog
2007-04-30, 11:57 AM
Not necessarily saying I agree with it, but from the FAQ:



How do spells like Evardís black tentacles and ice storm affect a creature with damage reduction overcome by magic and bludgeoning? Do the tentacles and hailstones deal magical bludgeoning damage?

Any damage dealt by a spell or other magical effect is unaffected by damage reduction.

Aquillion
2007-04-30, 12:03 PM
Sounds like you know that DR should apply, but you want it not to. :)

Well, you've got your answer.

- SaphFundimentally, I think it's the other way around. You know that DR shouldn't apply, but that doesn't really have anything to do with whether it actually does or not in the rules as written. Per RAW, spells are unaffected by DR; your arguments about SR are interesting ways to make your case for a houserule to the DM, but they aren't RAW. Whether or not a spell bypasses SR, per RAW, has nothing to do with whether or not it bypasses DR.

It would be a very logical house rule, but I think the FAQ got this one right as far as the written rules go.

Mewtarthio
2007-04-30, 12:12 PM
Not necessarily saying I agree with it, but from the FAQ:

The FAQ is a dirty, rotten liar. It exists only to corrupt young minds and get mud over all the nice upholstery.

Seriously, if something has, say, DR/slashing (ie the Zombie), that's because it's resistant to other kinds of damage. In the Zombie's case, slashing weapons are more effective because it doesn't really care about it's internal organs being damaged, but cleaving large pieces of it away tends to be effective. What's the difference between being bludgeoned by a club and being bludgeoned by a tentacle, even a magic one? Or, as a counterexample, if I invented a new spell "T-1000 Claw" that pierced by opponents with a large chunk of metal, why would it be as effective against a skeleton as a hammer?

Zherog
2007-04-30, 12:14 PM
Because that's what the rules say, and the rules aren't necessarily designed to be realistic? I dunno - that's just a stab in the dark... :smallwink:

Tyger
2007-04-30, 12:40 PM
Ahhh... the FAQ hath spoken, so there's the official answer.

Whether or not its right or fair or realistic isn't the question, its what the rules are.

Thanks!

Indon
2007-04-30, 01:09 PM
Not necessarily saying I agree with it, but from the FAQ:

That's pretty ridiculous, since wouldn't that mean that summoned creatures and _all_ undead (since Undead are created by the likes of Animate Dead) penetrate all DR?

"I'm sorry, Mr. Wizard, but your stone skin is nothing before the magical powers of this 1 HD zombie!"

Wolf53226
2007-04-30, 01:35 PM
And not just for undead....but rather dangerous monster like those brought to you by Monster Summoning I...that celestial badger just got a power boost.

This is silly, as a DM I would have to overrule that...but this is a RAW debate, and silly as it is, thems the rules.

Saph
2007-04-30, 01:38 PM
Not necessarily saying I agree with it, but from the FAQ:

Huh. I missed that one on last reading.

Very confusing, though. If that's the case, then the spell really ought to allow SR.

- Saph

Zherog
2007-04-30, 01:57 PM
As I said, I don't agree with what it says; I think that ruling opens up all sorts of crazy talk, such summon monster 1 for example.

I don't think animate dead is an issue, though. That spell (and its more powerful cousins) has an instantaneous effect, meaning the magic is only there for a very brief instant, and then you have a zombie (or skeleton or whatever), and for those, we have specific creature rules to look at.

But yeah... this is one of those rulings that's completely "by the book" but produces potential crazy-town stuff when applied elsewhere.

Tyger
2007-04-30, 02:28 PM
Yup, as always, RAW can produce some crazy stuff. I think that in this case, for this spell, as an argument can be made both ways prior to the reading of the FAQ, I'm comfortable with it applying.

Par for course, DM interpretation is going to be the deciding factor.

daggaz
2007-04-30, 02:29 PM
Wow.. you guys are really going to base this off the FAQ? That thing is famous for being completely unreliable, with countless examples of blatant contradictions with RAW. I would definitely go with Saph's first ruling on this one, tho I would say they act as magical weapons as well.

Tyger
2007-04-30, 02:34 PM
Well, for all its inconsistencies and innaccuracies, the FAQ is the official word from WotC. Is it right? Don't know. But its an official answer to the question. And, as always, it'll be up to the DM at the end of the day anyway.

Jasdoif
2007-04-30, 02:52 PM
As I said, I don't agree with what it says; I think that ruling opens up all sorts of crazy talk, such summon monster 1 for example.

I don't think animate dead is an issue, though. That spell (and its more powerful cousins) has an instantaneous effect, meaning the magic is only there for a very brief instant, and then you have a zombie (or skeleton or whatever), and for those, we have specific creature rules to look at.Summon monster isn't an issue either, really. The spell itself doesn't directly cause the damage, the creature it brings does. That's why summoning monsters is mentioned as an activity that doesn't break invisibility on invisibility's (http://www.d20srd.org/srd/spells/invisibility.htm) text. Animate dead is the same way.


The bigger question, though, is why a physical damage type (bludgeoning, slashing, etc.) is even specified for certain spells/powers if they don't do physical damage in the first place. There are a few scattered monsters that have immunity to certain types of damage (a number of oozes come to mind), but if that works as expected, shouldn't DR work as well?

Zherog
2007-04-30, 03:07 PM
Summon monster isn't an issue either, really. The spell itself doesn't directly cause the damage, the creature it brings does.

The same argument, of course, could be made for Evard's black tentacles. The spell creates the tentacles, which last a certain amount of time; the tentacles themselves do the damage, not the spell.


The bigger question, though, is why a physical damage type (bludgeoning, slashing, etc.) is even specified for certain spells/powers if they don't do physical damage in the first place. There are a few scattered monsters that have immunity to certain types of damage (a number of oozes come to mind), but if that works as expected, shouldn't DR work as well?

One reason would be to assign flavor to the spell - though I doubt that's why it was done.

My suspicion? The spell should be subject to DR, but it's one of those issues that fell between the cracks as one person designed the spell and another designed the DR system.