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D&D 5E "....as if you were concentrating on a spell"

Lets have a look at a Vampire in an AMF.

It cant use Shapechange (as while it doesn't use the words 'magical' in the description, it mirrors the Polymorph spell) nor can it use Misty escape if reduced to 0 Hit points (same reason).

It can Regenerate just fine. And it can also Spider Climb just fine.

Charm also works (despite the prohibition on magical Charming in an AMF, because the Vampires Charm effect is not magical.

It cant summon Creatures of the Night, because that's expressly a 'magical' ability (and it had already summoned them they would wink out of existence anyway due to the AMF nullifying any summoned creatures in its radius.
 

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Charlaquin

Goblin Queen
Lets have a look at a Vampire in an AMF.

It cant use Shapechange (as while it doesn't use the words 'magical' in the description, it mirrors the Polymorph spell) nor can it use Misty escape if reduced to 0 Hit points (same reason).

It can Regenerate just fine. And it can also Spider Climb just fine.

Charm also works (despite the prohibition on magical Charming in an AMF, because the Vampires Charm effect is not magical.

It cant summon Creatures of the Night, because that's expressly a 'magical' ability (and it had already summoned them they would wink out of existence anyway due to the AMF nullifying any summoned creatures in its radius.
Ok. Your interpretations are overly literalistic and we are never going to agree on them. That’s fine, enjoy playing your way.
 

Ok. Your interpretations are overly literalistic and we are never going to agree on them. That’s fine, enjoy playing your way.

My interpretations are the RAW, backed up (expressly and unambiguously) by Sage advice telling me my interpretation is correct, by the guys that wrote the rules.

You dont have to agree on them. You can interpret apple to mean orange if you want. Postmodernism and all that.

The writers of the game expressly use (or choose not to use) the words 'magic, magical or magically' in the text of all abilities to tell you if they are (in fact) magical. They have expressly said that they do this (include or omit those words) deliberately.

If they omit those words (magical, magic or magically), it is because the ability is deliberately not designed to be magical (unless it otherwise mirrors a spell, is spellcasting or uses a spell slot).

Hurl through Hell is not magical in nature. Neither is Pact Weapon. Nor is a Dragons Fire breath, nor is a Ghosts ability to travel to the Ethereal plane and back via Etherealness, nor is a Clerics Divine Strike class feature magical, nor is a DemiLich's Howl or Lifedrain abilities.

None of them are magical. All of them are simply part of the supernatural background physics of the game world, and not subject to detect magic or similar effects that work on 'magic'.
 

I'm now convinced that this is the case.

And that's a problem.
No, it's the intent.

It is designed to be used instead of Hunters Mark, not as well as. This has the consequence that the ranger does not burn all their spell slots casting Hunters Mark (our favoured foe ranger does not know the spell), so they can use them for a much wider range of things, such as out of combat utility. It also frees up bonus actions, which means the ranger can use them to duel wield or command a primal beast.

Favoured Foe very cleverly makes the ranger more flexible, not more powerful. This means the original Favoured Enemy remains a valid choice, rather than a trap, for those who think it fits their character better.
 
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Charlaquin

Goblin Queen
The writers of the game expressly use (or choose not to use) the words 'magic, magical or magically' in the text of all abilities to tell you if they are (in fact) magical. They have expressly said that they do this (include or omit those words) deliberately.

If they omit those words (magical, magic or magically), it is because the ability is deliberately not designed to be magical (unless it otherwise mirrors a spell, is spellcasting or uses a spell slot).
This right here is our fundamental point of disagreement. I don’t believe for a second that this is a rule the writers consistently abide by.
 

This right here is our fundamental point of disagreement. I don’t believe for a second that this is a rule the writers consistently abide by.

Your 'belief' is not mirrored by their express language on Sage Advice.

See also: 'Melee weapon attack' as opposed to an 'attack with a melee weapon' having very different meanings when they appear in rules text (and that terminology being deliberately chosen).

Same deal with the terminology of 'a target you can see' (and its effects) or the terminology of 'attack' and their meanings, or 'creature' or 'unattended object' instead of simply 'target' or whatever in the text. It has definite (and intended) game meanings.

I cant rule out that the Devs slipped in a 'melee weapon attack' instead of 'attack with a melee weapon' by mistake somewhere, or screwed up and unintentionally omitted the words 'magical' from an abilities text somewhere, but the reality is THAT is what they do, THAT is what it means when you see it (or dont see it) in the text, and THAT is how it is supposed to work.

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Assume I am writing a class feature for a new Paladin archetype (Oath of the Hospitalier). The Class feature im working on is called 'Sacred Vitality'

Version 1: As an action you can call out to your allies seeking to magically bolster them against harm. When you do so you may restore hit points to any number of creatures of your choice you can see within 30' of you that can hear you. Affected creatures regain a number of Hit Points equal to your proficiency modifier x 5 up to their maximum number of hit points.

After you use this ability, you cant use it again until you finish a long rest.

Version 2: As an action you can call out to your allies seeking to bolster them against harm. When you do so you may restore hit points to any number of creatures of your choice you can see within 30' of you that can hear you. Affected creatures regain a number of Hit Points equal to your proficiency modifier x 5 up to their maximum number of hit points.

After you use this ability, you cant use it again until you finish a long rest.

Version 1 is 'magical' (by virtue of the inclusion of the word 'magical' in the rules text). Version 2 is not magical (by virtue of the omission of the word magical in the rules text) and thus can be used in an AMF.
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That is what the Devs have said they have done. If they intended something to be magical they will tell you the thing is magical in its rules text. If the words 'magical, magic or magically' is not in the text, it is not magical (unless it is a spell, mirrors a spell, or is powered by spell slots).

Pick up your copy of Tashas or the Monster Manual and read through the Archetypes and Monsters and the various class features and monster abilities as written; you'll see the words 'magic, magical or magically' literally contained in many special abilities. The inclusion (or omission) of the word 'magic, magical or magically' was not put in the text of those abilities by mere chance or artistic licence of the writer. It was deliberate choice and has an intentional rules impact.
 

Your 'belief' is not mirrored by their express language on Sage Advice.
RAW is for idiots, and a lot of the Sage Advice is wildly inconsistent. See: you can't Smite with natural weapons, even though the wording of the Smite ability is "Melee Weapon Attack", not "attack with a melee weapon".
Pick up your copy of Tashas or the Monster Manual and read through the Archetypes and Monsters and the various class features and monster abilities as written; you'll see the words 'magic, magical or magically' literally contained in many special abilities. The inclusion (or omission) of the word 'magic, magical or magically' was not put in the text of those abilities by mere chance or artistic licence of the writer. It was deliberate choice and has an intentional rules impact.
That may be the intent, but the writers frequently forget the rules and are inconsistent with language. There is no logical reason why vampires should be able to charm in an antimagic field but not command perfectly natural bats. It's just the writer using natural language rather than rules-lawyer language, and random chance that they chose one wording in one place and different wording in another. And WotC, like all corps, doesn't want to admit that they screwed up.
 

RAW is for idiots, and a lot of the Sage Advice is wildly inconsistent. See: you can't Smite with natural weapons, even though the wording of the Smite ability is "Melee Weapon Attack", not "attack with a melee weapon".
I agree with that ruling now because the rest of the text discusses 'weapon damage', which damage from an unarmed strike, is not.

They should simply change the wording of Smite though to apply only to attacks using melee weapons instead of melee weapon attacks. That would clear up the confusion there.
That may be the intent, but the writers frequently forget the rules and are inconsistent with language. There is no logical reason why vampires should be able to charm in an antimagic field but not command perfectly natural bats. It's just the writer using natural language rather than rules-lawyer language, and random chance that they chose one wording in one place and different wording in another. And WotC, like all corps, doesn't want to admit that they screwed up.

Actually you're correct. But not for reasons you thought, it was because I didn't read the Vampire ability closely enough:

A Dryads charm (note the express wording):

Fey Charm: The dryad Targets one Humanoid or beast that she can see within 30 feet of her. If the target can see the dryad, it must succeed on a DC 14 Wisdom saving throw or be magically Charmed.

Or a Succubi (again, important word in red):

Charm: One Humanoid The Fiend can see within 30 feet of it must succeed on a DC 15 Wisdom saving throw or be magically Charmed for 1 day.
Or a Harpy (same):

Luring Song: The harpy sings a magical melody. Every Humanoid and giant within 300 ft. of the harpy that can hear the song must succeed on a DC 11 Wisdom saving throw or be Charmed until the song ends.

Ditto the Aboleth:

Enslave (3/day): The aboleth Targets one creature it can see within 30 ft. of it. The target must succeed on a DC 14 Wisdom saving throw or be magically Charmed by the aboleth until the aboleth dies or until it is on a different plane of existence from the target.

Now the Vampire:

Charm: The vampire Targets one Humanoid it can see within 30 ft. of it. If the target can see the vampire, the target must succeed on a DC 17 Wisdom saving throw against this magic or be Charmed by the vampire.

They're all magical abilities because they say they are. If the words 'magic, magical or magically' did not appear, they would not be magical.
 
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See how all those abilities contain the words 'magic' or 'magical' or magically'?

That was deliberate. Now you know that they detect as magic, and do not function in an AMF etc.

If none of those words appear, and the ability did not involve a spell, or spell slots, then they wouldn't be magical in nature.

You used to look for keywords like (Su) and (Sp) in earlier editions to see what the ability was with relation to those effects like an AMF. Now you're looking for the words 'magic, magical or magically' in the text to determine if the ability counts as magical or doesnt.
 

I agree with that ruling now because the rest of the text discusses 'weapon damage', which damage from an unarmed strike, is not.

They should simply change the wording of Smite though to apply only to attacks using melee weapons instead of melee weapon attacks. That would clear up the confusion there.
I.e. The intent was always that Smite required a weapon, and WotC screwed up in their wording. Which proves my thesis: WotC does not apply their own rules consistently, and RAW is for idiots.
 

I.e. The intent was always that Smite required a weapon, and WotC screwed up in their wording.
Smite damage (according to the ability) only apples to weapon damage.

Curiously, seeing as unarmed strikes aren't weapon damage, Heavy Armor Mastery provides no protection against unarmed strikes or even from natural attacks.
Which proves my thesis: WotC does not apply their own rules consistently, and RAW is for idiots.
Thats why I was referring to the RAW in light of the RAI (as posted above).

As a Lawyer IRL, when legislation is not clear, I turn to Hansard and Parliamentary debates to determine what legislation was intended to mean.

Im doing the same here. The authors of the the text have clearly stated that if they intend for an ability to be magical, they'll expressly use that term in the text of the ability itself. Otherwise it's an extraordinary or even supernatural ability, but not 'magical' for game purposes.
 

Smite damage (according to the ability) only apples to weapon damage.
But what does weapon damage mean? Is there a specific ruling that an attack with a natural weapon does not do weapon damage? What about natural weapons that are weapons, and not unarmed strikes, such as the Path of the Beast?
Curiously, seeing as unarmed strikes aren't weapon damage, Heavy Armor Mastery provides no protection against unarmed strikes or even from natural attacks.
Which is patently ridiculous.
As a Lawyer IRL,
That explains a lot.
 

But what does weapon damage mean? Is there a specific ruling that an attack with a natural weapon does not do weapon damage? What about natural weapons that are weapons, and not unarmed strikes>
Actually you're right; natural weapons deal weapon damage (as per the MM).

Pretty sure unarmed strikes are not weapons, as they are not natural weapons. And when the game references 'weapon damage' it specifically refers to the damage of manufactured weapons.

That explains a lot.
No need to be a snark.
 

Lawyer: someone whose job it is to make sure the letter of the law interferes with the spirit of the law.

Pretty sure unarmed strikes are not weapons, as they are not natural weapons.
Cat's Claws. Because of your claws, you have a climbing speed of 20 feet. In addition, your claws are natural weapons, which you can use to make unarmed strikes.
-VGTM

The Law is an ass.
 
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Lawyer: someone whose job it is to make sure the letter of the law interferes with the spirit of the law.

Utter bull dust. Quit the personal attacks or I'll bite back.

And the claws of the Tabaxi are an exception to the general rule that natural weapons and unarmed strikes are not the same thing (which is why the cats claws rule exists in the first place).
 

Utter bull dust. Quit the personal attacks or I'll bite back.
It's nothing personal, it applies to the whole profession.
"The first thing we do, let's kill all the lawyers".
-William Shakespeare
And the claws of the Tabaxi are an exception to the general rule that natural weapons and unarmed strikes are not the same thing (which is why the cats claws rule exists in the first place).
No, it's so Tabaxi monks can do slashing damage.

Unarmed Strikes are not "attacks with a weapon" but they are "weapon attacks" and do "weapon damage". There is no separate "unarmed strike damage" category.
 
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doctorbadwolf

Heretic of The Seventh Circle
I don't think Sage Advice counts as "the rules". It is sometimes useful rules apocrypha.

What they write there seems pretty reasonable. But if I pick up the actual rulebooks, I find the word "supernatural" used all over the place, including within spell descriptions.

I agree that the game has some vague distinction between the magic a wizard uses and other abilities, within the rulebooks it is not clear cut. I think there's a judgement call involved, so that two reasonable GMs may see it quite differently.
In the rules, though, most stuff that is magic is either called magic, as such, is a spell, or is very obvious. Stuff like dragons breath and unicorns are magical in an in-world sense, but aren’t affected by anti-magic, and thus aren’t magical on a game mechanics level.

All sage advice is doing is clarifying that, because the rules aren’t straight forward enough about it to explicitly spell it out, and people had questions as a result.
 

Umbran

Mod Squad
Staff member
All sage advice is doing is clarifying that, because the rules aren’t straight forward enough about it to explicitly spell it out, and people had questions as a result.

I don't argue that the Sage Advice version of it isn't a decent take. It is fine.

But, I also think a GM with the PHB and DMG in hands would be entirely okay to say, "No, you can't summon that thing in an anti-magic field, because it is magic." And not be outside the rules in so doing.

It is a "rulings, not rules" thing.
 

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