Author Topic: Magic Items Optional? Nonmagic resistance and immunity , by Libertad  (Read 205 times)

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The rhetorical question, is jeopardy answered ... what is Magic Items are Not Optional.



Author Topic: Magic Items Optional? Nonmagic resistance and immunity  (Read 967 times)
Offline Libertad

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Magic Items Optional? Nonmagic resistance and immunity
« Topic Start: June 09, 2016, 11:54:01 PM »
So the "optional nature" of magic items is a thing I hear repeated about 5E. Out of curiosity's sake I decided to compile a list of monsters who have resistances and immunity to bludgeoning, piercing, and slashing damage to nonmagical weapons. This does not include monsters whose damage resistance/immunity can be overcome by nonmagical materials such as silver, adamantine, etc. Nor does it include monsters from non-core sources such as adventures.

While I realize that weapons are but one small fraction of overall utility, it is a useful starting point due to the fact that the Fighter and martial classes are highly reliant upon weapons. And since just about every D&D group uses the Monster Manual, even more so.

Monster Resistances/Immunities

Resistance to non-magical weapons

Angel, Deva

Angel, Planetar

Angel, Solar

Banshee

Cambion

Demon, Balor

Demon, Glabrezu

Demon, Goristro

Demon, Hezrou

Demon, Marilith

Demon, Nalfeshnee

Demon, Quasit

Demon, Shadow Demon

Demon, Vrock

Demon, Yochlol

Elemental, Air

Elemental, Earth

Elemental, Fire

Elemental, Water

Galeb Duhr

Ghost

Grick

Grick Alpha

Intellect Devourer

Invisible Stalker

Magmin

Mummy

Peryton

Salamander, Fire Snake

Salamander

Scarecrow

Shadow

Spectre

Sphynx, Gynosphynx

Succubus/Incubus

Vampire

Vampire Spawn

Water Weird

Will-O-Wisp

Yugoloth, Arcanaloth

Yugoloth, Mezzoloth

Yugoloth, Nycaloth

Yugoloth, Ultroloth

Immunity to non-magical weapons

Couatl

Demilich

Empyrean

Kraken

Lich

Mummy Lord

Rakshasa

Sphynx, Androsphynx

Tarrasque


Summary

A huge amount of resistant/immune monsters have a lot of features in common. A fair bit are entities from other planes and undead. A few of the immune ones are legendary, high-CR creatures such as the Empyrean, Kraken, Lich, and Tarrasque. They made thematic sense; undead are resilient and in folkore are known to be hardy save for a few weaknesses. The only ones which threw me for a loop where the Sphinxes.
« Last Edit: June 09, 2016, 11:57:46 PM by Libertad »
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Offline linklord231

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Re: Magic Items Optional? Nonmagic resistance and immunity
« Reply #1: June 10, 2016, 12:28:25 AM »
When I read the section on Silvered weapons in the PHB, before the Monster Manual came out, I assumed that silvering your weapon was the solution for this.  But apparently it's not, and that disappoints me.

Do you know what percentage of the MM this represents?  Is there a level band where 100% of monsters of that CR are resistant to non-magic weapons?
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Offline TenaciousJ

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Re: Magic Items Optional? Nonmagic resistance and immunity
« Reply #2: June 10, 2016, 08:17:25 AM »
Let's break down one example from the list.  The Deva is CR 10.  The DMG says the HP range for a CR 10 creature should be 206 to 220.  The Deva has about 35-39% less HP than its CR would indicate.  Its 17 AC is on point for its CR, and the DMG recommends that all its resistances are effectively worth a 1.5x multiplier on HP.  That multiplier would make its effective HP 204, fairly close to the suggested range.  It should actually warrant being higher than CR 10 based on having magic resistance and flight, but the creature's damage per round falls below the CR 10 range into CR 7, which should balance it out decently.

Let's look at other CR 10 creatures that aren't on the list.

Aboleth: 135 HP
Dragon, Young Red: 178 HP
Dragon, Young Gold: 178 HP
Golem, Stone: 178 HP
Naga, Guardian: 127 HP
Slaad, Death: 170 HP

All are below the suggested HP range for the CR.  Each one has something that contributes defensively that warrants a decrease in HP compared to what is suggested for CR 10, though the aboleth is a weak outlier based on personal experience.

Also worth noting for the Death Slaad is that it has a bunch of elemental resistances but none against weapons, and the Guardian Naga has 5 good saving throws but again no special defenses against weapons.

5e's CR system would seem to be based around the idea that parties have magical and non-magical damage capabilities and that some monsters play to strengths and weaknesses of different classes.  The argument that some creatures are strong against the skill sets of certain classes applies to more than just the martial classes.

How many creatures on the list of creatures with weapon resistance/immunity have multiple elemental resistances, more then two good saving throws, and/or advantage on magical saving throws?  A lot of what is listed are just supposed to be exceptionally tough creatures for their CR without specifically screwing over martials.  The rakshasa for example is immune to spells 6th level or under unless it chooses not to be.  Any party composition is going to find a rakshasa relatively tough.

We have a great argument for why every party in a no-magic-items game should have a member or 2 who can cast Magic Weapon/Elemental Weapon on the martials.
« Last Edit: June 10, 2016, 08:22:31 AM by TenaciousJ »
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Offline awaken_D_M_golem

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Re: Magic Items Optional? Nonmagic resistance and immunity
« Reply #3: June 10, 2016, 04:04:03 PM »
... Blade'Lock 3 , or less effective things
like the Green Flame Blade cantrip.
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Offline Nunkuruji

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Re: Magic Items Optional? Nonmagic resistance and immunity
« Reply #4: June 10, 2016, 09:21:01 PM »
Without magic weapons, most of the classes can still access magic weapons or consistent magic damage via essentially forced archetype.

However, I think Barbarian, Ranger and Rogue are entirely screwed. While the latter may option spells, I don't think any of them can option consistent round to round enchanted weaponry.

Furthermore, only Fighter is going to have the built in Constitution saving throw proficiency to most consistently maintain magic weapon concentration.

TJ illustrates the CR problem in that the resistance effective HP either means a lot in no magic items, or next to nothing in a magic item campaign.
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Offline TenaciousJ

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Re: Magic Items Optional? Nonmagic resistance and immunity
« Reply #5: June 11, 2016, 01:34:05 AM »
I see it as more of a system issue than a class-specific issue.  The Magic Weapon spell is not self-only, so in a no-magic-item campaign it's perfectly viable to have someone else cast it.  A lot of the enemies that require it also have various high defenses against magic, so it's not like it's a cake-walk for casters.  "Casters buff frontliners" isn't a new strategy that came about in 5e.

The Monster Manual has big problems with the highest CR creatures being the average of below CR damage combined with above CR defenses to make an "epic" encounter.  Hopefully the next monster book will go the other direction.  I'm fine homebrewing my own high offense/low-average defense creatures, but I'd appreciate the help from WotC.
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Offline awaken_D_M_golem

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Re: Magic Items Optional? Nonmagic resistance and immunity
« Reply #6: June 11, 2016, 03:11:38 PM »
Magic Elemental Adept feat houserule / adaptation.


So the flow chart goes something like:
A) ... % chance of randomly getting those monsters = gateway
B) ... specific tactics list that work against it
C) ... whether those tactics are any good or taxes or cheap or expensive
D) ... what's a DM to do / how this changes the game?

Because it absolutely changes the game !!


And the obligatory nobody plays Perma Forced Vow Of Poverty.
Except for a couple of internet loudmouths.
(on the off chance they care about >> 99% of the market)

Probably needs a fix, sorta like the 4e PHB2 auto bonuses + the 4e oops feat taxes.
Preferably better than both for 5e.
« Last Edit: June 11, 2016, 03:13:18 PM by awaken_D_M_golem »
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