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General Beholders and anti magic

DMMike

Guide of Modos
The RAW in 5E is that some abilities and creatures are 'magical' and dont function in an AMF. Some are just weird (but not magical) and do. The RAW is express as to which ones work and which ones dont. . .

But again, you do you. If you want to make rulings in contravention of the rules, it's your game, go nuts. Just please dont tell others those rulings are the RAW or RAI.
Well, I presented the rules as written to you in earlier posts. I can't force you to see/read them. At no point have I professed how the rules were intended. Although, I will here: the rules are intended to guide the PCs and DM toward having a fun D&D experience. If that means golems do or do not function in AMFs, so be it.

So... in your games An Ancient White Dragon falls from the sky in an AMF because its flight is 'magical' despite the RAW that only things expressly called out as magical (or using spell slots) are magical?

What about Monks running along walls and water? Works in an AMF or doesnt work?
Ancient white dragon: if there's an AMF big enough to surround an ancient dragon and its path to the ground, yeah, it would fall. But it might make a decent landing, like those crashing dragons in Skyrim. An AMF of that size, though, is more likely a divine event, so falling isn't the worst of the dragon's problems.

Monks: I don't know, some people consider it godly when someone walks on water. AMFs don't stop gods. You can check out some stunts/parkour videos for normal humans running along walls. I'd limit a monk to a realistic amount of wall-running in an AMF, just because I like my games a bit on the gritty side.

You'll have to show me this RAW about only-things-expressly-called-out are magic. Because I'm reading this:
Basic Rules said:
Magic permeates the worlds of D&D and most often appears in the form of a spell.

Magic accounts for most of the major exceptions to the rules.

Common folk might see evidence of magic on a regular basis, but it's usually minor - a fantastic monster, a visibly answered prayer, a wizard walking through the streets with an animated shield guardian as a bodyguard.
The rules are a bit sloppy on distinguishing between "magic" and "spells." The first passage suggests that spells are a subset of magic, while the second one conflates magic and spells - "major exceptions" refers indirectly to the magic spells chapter/section of the PHB.
That last one is interesting, because I don't see where the shield guardian is expressly called out as magical in its monster entry. But the passage expressly calls it out as "evidence of magic."
 

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Oofta

Title? I don't need no stinkin' title.
Well, I presented the rules as written to you in earlier posts. I can't force you to see/read them. At no point have I professed how the rules were intended. Although, I will here: the rules are intended to guide the PCs and DM toward having a fun D&D experience. If that means golems do or do not function in AMFs, so be it.


Ancient white dragon: if there's an AMF big enough to surround an ancient dragon and its path to the ground, yeah, it would fall. But it might make a decent landing, like those crashing dragons in Skyrim. An AMF of that size, though, is more likely a divine event, so falling isn't the worst of the dragon's problems.

Monks: I don't know, some people consider it godly when someone walks on water. AMFs don't stop gods. You can check out some stunts/parkour videos for normal humans running along walls. I'd limit a monk to a realistic amount of wall-running in an AMF, just because I like my games a bit on the gritty side.

You'll have to show me this RAW about only-things-expressly-called-out are magic. Because I'm reading this:

The rules are a bit sloppy on distinguishing between "magic" and "spells." The first passage suggests that spells are a subset of magic, while the second one conflates magic and spells - "major exceptions" refers indirectly to the magic spells chapter/section of the PHB.
That last one is interesting, because I don't see where the shield guardian is expressly called out as magical in its monster entry. But the passage expressly calls it out as "evidence of magic."
By that logic, giants would collapse under their own weight, beholders could take out enemy beholders just by looking at them, ghosts and undead of all types would crumble. A significant percentage of monsters in the MM would simply die, cease to exist or be non-functional. Anti-magic zone doesn't mean magic ceases to exist. Things that rely on external sources of magic cease to work, things that have internal sources of magic (dragons, golems, beholders) still function like normal.

At a certain point you can't rely on the letter of the rules, you have to apply some reasoning to the intent and logic involved. I find your conclusion illogical. But run it the way you want.
 

Mort

Hero
Supporter
@DMMike I think your being way too broad in your application of antimagic field. The spell lists specific circumstances and how the spell interacts with those circumstances, that's what should be used for rulings (since the beholder ability mentioned in the OP specifically states it mimics the spell we can use the spell for it as well), so:

Targeted Effects. Spells and other magical effects, such as magic missile and charm person, that target a creature or an object in the sphere have no effect on that target.

Areas of Magic. The area of another spell or magical effect, such as fireball, can't extend into the sphere. If the sphere overlaps an area of magic, the part of the area that is covered by the sphere is suppressed. For example, the flames created by a wall of fire are suppressed within the sphere, creating a gap in the wall if the overlap is large enough.

Spells. Any active spell or other magical effect on a creature or an object in the sphere is suppressed while the creature or object is in it.

Magic Items. The properties and powers of magic items are suppressed in the sphere. For example, a longsword, +1 in the sphere functions as a nonmagical longsword.

A magic weapon's properties and powers are suppressed if it is used against a target in the sphere or wielded by an attacker in the sphere. If a magic weapon or a piece of magic ammunition fully leaves the sphere (for example, if you fire a magic arrow or throw a magic spear at a target outside the sphere), the magic of the item ceases to be suppressed as soon as it exits.

Magical Travel. Teleportation and planar travel fail to work in the sphere, whether the sphere is the destination or the departure point for such magical travel. A portal to another location, world, or plane of existence, as well as an opening to an extradimensional space such as that created by the rope trick spell, temporarily closes while in the sphere.

Creatures and Objects. A creature or object summoned or created by magic temporarily winks out of existence in the sphere. Such a creature instantly reappears once the space the creature occupied is no longer within the sphere.

Dispel Magic. Spells and magical effects such as dispel magic have no effect on the sphere. Likewise, the spheres created by different antimagic field spells don't nullify each other.


Ancient white dragon: if there's an AMF big enough to surround an ancient dragon and its path to the ground, yeah, it would fall. But it might make a decent landing, like those crashing dragons in Skyrim. An AMF of that size, though, is more likely a divine event, so falling isn't the worst of the dragon's problems.
No it would not fall, none of the 7 guidelines apply to a flying dragon.

Monks: I don't know, some people consider it godly when someone walks on water. AMFs don't stop gods. You can check out some stunts/parkour videos for normal humans running along walls. I'd limit a monk to a realistic amount of wall-running in an AMF, just because I like my games a bit on the gritty side.
Do any of the above guidelines apply? if not, monk is fine.

The rules are a bit sloppy on distinguishing between "magic" and "spells." The first passage suggests that spells are a subset of magic, while the second one conflates magic and spells - "major exceptions" refers indirectly to the magic spells chapter/section of the PHB.
That last one is interesting, because I don't see where the shield guardian is expressly called out as magical in its monster entry. But the passage expressly calls it out as "evidence of magic."
Fortunately, the spell is pretty specific in stating what it applies to and what it doesn't apply to, there is little need to speculate except in some fringe cases.

Edit: As for the OP, the golem could only possibly fit into the "created by magic" listing. But since the sentence refrences summoned and created creatures, it likely means those that are summoned or created temporarily (as in a spell with a duration) permanent spells don't count. But that is a DM call so can't really be faulted in ruling another way (rulings not rules).
 

DMMike

Guide of Modos
By that logic, giants would collapse under their own weight, beholders could take out enemy beholders just by looking at them, ghosts and undead of all types would crumble. A significant percentage of monsters in the MM would simply die, cease to exist or be non-functional. . .

At a certain point you can't rely on the letter of the rules, you have to apply some reasoning to the intent and logic involved. I find your conclusion illogical. But run it the way you want.
Giants - why? I hear T-rexes were pretty tall. So are elephants.

Beholders - sounds like one hell of a staring contest. I'm pretty sure it's a cultural rule, in beholder circles anyway, not to stare.

Ghosts - wink out. Not cease to exist. Liches: crumble. But oh dear god, when the field ends and that lich is now free from its immortal shell, you do not want to be around!

Thanks for the latter point. It seems I'm not the only contributor to this thread who needs it.

No it would not fall, none of the 7 guidelines apply to a flying dragon.

Fortunately, the spell is pretty specific in stating what it applies to and what it doesn't apply to, there is little need to speculate except in some fringe cases.
If that AMF entry is what you call "specific," have at it.

The 7 guidelines might not specifically reference a flying dragon, but feel free to reference the end of my post, which quotes the Basic Rules (and PHB?) as referring to a "fantastic monster" as a "minor" evidence of magic. I would like to make the extension that a flying, ancient, white dragon is a Major evidence of magic.
 

Mort

Hero
Supporter
Giants - why? I hear T-rexes were pretty tall. So are elephants.

Beholders - sounds like one hell of a staring contest. I'm pretty sure it's a cultural rule, in beholder circles anyway, not to stare.

Ghosts - wink out. Not cease to exist. Liches: crumble. But oh dear god, when the field ends and that lich is now free from its immortal shell, you do not want to be around!

Thanks for the latter point. It seems I'm not the only contributor to this thread who needs it.


If that AMF entry is what you call "specific," have at it.

The 7 guidelines might not specifically reference a flying dragon, but feel free to reference the end of my post, which quotes the Basic Rules (and PHB?) as referring to a "fantastic monster" as a "minor" evidence of magic. I would like to make the extension that a flying, ancient, white dragon is a Major evidence of magic.
That's been clarified by sage advice as "background magic" that blends into the physics of the game world and is not affected by AMF:
 

Well, I presented the rules as written to you in earlier posts. I can't force you to see/read them.
No mate, you havent. Here is the actual rules;

Is the breath weapon of a dragon magical? If you cast antimagic field, don armor of invulnerability, or use another feature of the game that protects against magical or nonmagical effects, you might ask yourself, “Will this protect me against a dragon’s breath?” The breath weapon of a typical dragon isn’t considered magical, so antimagic field won’t help you but armor of invulnerability will. You might be thinking, “Dragons seem pretty magical to me.” And yes, they are extraordinary! Their description even says they’re magical. But our game makes a distinction between two types of magic:

• the background magic that is part of the D&D multiverse’s physics and the physiology of many D&D creatures
• the concentrated magical energy that is contained in a magic item or channeled to create a spell or other focused magical effect

In D&D, the first type of magic is part of nature. It is no more dispellable than the wind. A monster like a dragon exists because of that magic-enhanced nature. The second type of magic is what the rules are concerned about. When a rule refers to something being magical, it’s referring to that second type.

Determining whether a game feature is magical is straightforward. Ask yourself these questions about the feature:

• Is it a magic item?
• Is it a spell? Or does it let you create the effects of a spell that’s mentioned in its description?
• Is it a spell attack?
• Is it fueled by the use of spell slots?
• Does its description say it’s magical?

If your answer to any of those questions is yes, the feature is magical.

Let’s look at a white dragon’s Cold Breath and ask ourselves those questions. First, Cold Breath isn’t a magic item. Second, its description mentions no spell. Third, it’s not a spell attack. Fourth, the word “magical” appears nowhere in its description. Our conclusion: Cold Breath is not considered a magical game effect, even though we know that dragons are amazing, supernatural beings.


https://media.wizards.com/2020/dnd/downloads/SA-Compendium.pdf

Those are the rules (clarified by the RAW).

The game makes a clear distinction between a 'magical' effect (a spell, a magical item, a Stone Golems Slow ability, a Paladins Smite) and a 'supernatural background magic that is part of the physics of the world, but is not magical for the purposes of game effects' such as a monks Ki pool, a Dragons breath weapon or its ability to fly, or a Golem moving around.

Magical things dont work in an AMF. Superntatural things do work in those fields including breath weapons, dragons flying, monks using Ki to walk on walls and across water, Golems moving and so forth.

Lets apply those rules to a Golem:

• Is it a magic item? - No - it's a creature.
• Is it a spell? Or does it let you create the effects of a spell that’s mentioned in its description? Not applicable.
• Is it a spell attack? No - obviously.
• Is it fueled by the use of spell slots? No - Its not a Paladins smite, or a Moon Druids regeneration.
• Does its description say it’s magical? Not applicable - This applies to specific features (like the Stone Golems Slow ability, not to fluff text. Dragons are fluffed as being 'magical' creatures but this fluff text is expressly ignored for rules purposes above.)

A Golem is not 'magical' for the purposes of game effects. It's a supernatural creature created by magic, but it cant be dispelled, or shut down in an AMF.

Now you can feel free to give Golems in your campaign the ''Anti-magic susceptibility trait'' possessed by animated objects (which if you apply YOUR logic, they dont even need at all seeing as YOUR ruling shuts them down anyway regardless of this trait). Go nuts; it's your game. Just dont claim your position to be RAW, when it isnt.

May I ask, why did the Devs give Animated objects (like Animated armor) this 'Anti-magic susceptibility' trait, seeing as the intent is for AMF's to shut them down anyway? Isnt this superfluous? And why did they leave it off Golems if the intent was for them to be shut down?
 

Oofta

Title? I don't need no stinkin' title.
Giants - why? I hear T-rexes were pretty tall. So are elephants.

Beholders - sounds like one hell of a staring contest. I'm pretty sure it's a cultural rule, in beholder circles anyway, not to stare.

Ghosts - wink out. Not cease to exist. Liches: crumble. But oh dear god, when the field ends and that lich is now free from its immortal shell, you do not want to be around!

Thanks for the latter point. It seems I'm not the only contributor to this thread who needs it.


If that AMF entry is what you call "specific," have at it.

The 7 guidelines might not specifically reference a flying dragon, but feel free to reference the end of my post, which quotes the Basic Rules (and PHB?) as referring to a "fantastic monster" as a "minor" evidence of magic. I would like to make the extension that a flying, ancient, white dragon is a Major evidence of magic.
T-Rex's have a different body structure than giants, if anything even remotely supernatural is nonfunctional in an anti-magic zone I think a third of monsters would cease to be effective.

To each their own.
 

Mort

Hero
Supporter
T-Rex's have a different body structure than giants, if anything even remotely supernatural is nonfunctional in an anti-magic zone I think a third of monsters would cease to be effective.

To each their own.
Yeah, I think doing it any way other than as clarified by sage advice is making AMF a world disrupting spell as opposed to an inconvenience!
 

DMMike

Guide of Modos
No mate, you havent. Here is the actual rules. . .

May I ask, why did the Devs give Animated objects (like Animated armor) this 'Anti-magic susceptibility' trait, seeing as the intent is for AMF's to shut them down anyway? Isnt this superfluous? And why did they leave it off Golems if the intent was for them to be shut down?
Odd. I was quoting directly from the rulebook. You and Mort were quoting from Sage Advice. You tell me which is more authoritative. By the way, Sage Advice says, before anything about anti-magic field: "this column doesn't replace a DM's adjudication." And: "there are times when the design intent of a rule isn't clear or when one rule seems to contradict another." So your source admits that adjudication comes first, and that the rules are unclear and/or contradictory. Are you sure I'm still wrong?

How many other monsters have Anti-Magic Susceptibility? Right. So animated objects are the only ones affected by an AMF. Homunculus and shield guardian don't have it. I guess they're not magical. /snark

Yeah, I think doing it any way other than as clarified by sage advice is making AMF a world disrupting spell as opposed to an inconvenience!
AMF is an 8th-level spell, with a radius of 10 feet. On the one hand, an 8th-level spell should be near-world-disrupting. On the other, the 10-foot radius makes it little more than an inconvenience to big opponents. If someone would just bite the bullet and admit that the spell should be called "anti-spell field," we might not need this conversation. But the spell description says "this area is divorced from the magical energy that suffuses the multiverse." That suggests an intent that goes beyond what spells do.
 

Mort

Hero
Supporter
Odd. I was quoting directly from the rulebook. You and Mort were quoting from Sage Advice. You tell me which is more authoritative. By the way, Sage Advice says, before anything about anti-magic field: "this column doesn't replace a DM's adjudication." And: "there are times when the design intent of a rule isn't clear or when one rule seems to contradict another." So your source admits that adjudication comes first, and that the rules are unclear and/or contradictory. Are you sure I'm still wrong?

How many other monsters have Anti-Magic Susceptibility? Right. So animated objects are the only ones affected by an AMF. Homunculus and shield guardian don't have it. I guess they're not magical. /snark
No, I also quoted from the rule book, I just backed it up with sage advice.

The rule is quite clear, the fact that you find it unsatisfactory and want to broaden it doesn't change that.

AMF is an 8th-level spell, with a radius of 10 feet. On the one hand, an 8th-level spell should be near-world-disrupting. On the other, the 10-foot radius makes it little more than an inconvenience to big opponents. If someone would just bite the bullet and admit that the spell should be called "anti-spell field," we might not need this conversation. But the spell description says "this area is divorced from the magical energy that suffuses the multiverse." That suggests an intent that goes beyond what spells do.
So now intent matters? The closest we're going to get to intent is sage advice and it's position is quite clear. You want AMF to be broader, that's fine, but that doesn't make it either RAW or RAI.
 
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Are you sure I'm still wrong?
Yes. I am 100 percent convinced of that fact, and a cursory google search will reveal you're in the absolute minority view.

The Devs explained in plain English how it's supposed to work for you in Sage Advice on their own website and you're obtusely and wilfully ignoring that. It is utterly impossible for someone to read that article on how the rules work, and draw the conclusion you're drawing here.

You're smarter than that. Stop being obtuse and at least admit that clearly, the intent of the rules is that Golems function just fine in an AMF (barring any abilities they have that are expressly noted as being magical like the Stone Golems Slow) and Dragons dont fall out of the sky in one either.

How many other monsters have Anti-Magic Susceptibility? Right. So animated objects are the only ones affected by an AMF. Homunculus and shield guardian don't have it. I guess they're not magical. /snark
No, Homonculi and Shield guardians are 'magical' (use background magic that is explicitly unaffected by an AMF) but not 'magical; for the purpose of game effects.

Just like Dragons and Beholders and Demons and Angels and Monks using Ki to walk on water are 'magical' but not magical for the purpose of game effects.

That suggests an intent that goes beyond what spells do.
It suggests nothing of the sort. You're wrong on this one.

Rule differently in your own game man. Go nuts.

Just dont sit here claiming otherwise is 'RAW'. You're dead wrong on that.
 

werecorpse

Adventurer
first, thanks for the responses and both sides of the argument. It helped. I’m gonna go with the sage advice style interpretation but

Ok I have run stage 1 of my beholder trap.
I ruled that weapons that were magical but were in an AMF would affect a creature that was immune to non magic weapons as if they were resistant to them. They fought some helmed horrors (Who didnt fly because they didn’t need to but I would have ruled couldnt while in the AMF), skeletal creatures and a troll. They managed to defeat the creatures but didnt lay a glove on the beholder and their sorcerer got disintegrated (it got complicated).

couple of questions that came up (and how I ruled)
  • the life cleric hit someone with his staff, would he get his bonus d8 radiant damage? I ruled yes at the time because I was trying to let them know not ALLL magic (Ie non earth reality stuff) was shut down, but I think I should have ruled it didn’t work - still up in the air.
  • If a 0hp unconscious person in an AMF is fed a potion of healing do its effects kick in immediately when they leave the AMF? (This didn’t happen but I would have ruled yes they do - it’s suppressed while in the AMF but the magic liquid is in the body and once the AMF goes away the healing happens).
 

dave2008

Legend
Giants - why? I hear T-rexes were pretty tall. So are elephants.
By the square cube law a Huge giant (of the same proportions as a human) would be approximately 50x heavier, but its bones and muscles would be less 14x as strong. So it is real issue for giants. Elephants and dino's have specific modifications that allow them to function. Heck, if you look at the changes in a T-Rex through its life cycle it is a pretty interesting essay on the problems of increase mass and maintaining mobility. In the end, the full grown T-Rex is much stockier and more plodding than its graceful youth.

Since giants, as depicted in D&D, are just big humans (pretty much the exact same proportions), then the explanation for why they are so similar is typically magic, other wise they would have a hard time moving around. Think an 800lb person with a 160lbs persons bones.

PS there is an official response to this issue and AntiMagic in 5e will not drop a flying dragon or cancel its breathweapon.
 
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dave2008

Legend
The 7 guidelines might not specifically reference a flying dragon, but feel free to reference the end of my post, which quotes the Basic Rules (and PHB?) as referring to a "fantastic monster" as a "minor" evidence of magic. I would like to make the extension that a flying, ancient, white dragon is a Major evidence of magic.
A dragon is not summoned or created by magic - that is the guideline for creatures in the anti-magic spell. Therefore it is not affected by anti-magic. Simple really
 


DMMike

Guide of Modos
The horse is dead, dave.
By the square cube law a Huge giant (of the same proportions as a human) would be approximately 50x heavier, but its bones and muscles would be less 14x as strong. . . Elephants and dino's have specific modifications that allow them to function.
Quoted and filed under "obvious retort."

PS there is an official response to this issue and AntiMagic in 5e will not drop a flying dragon or cancel its breathweapon.
I 99% guarantee this is because dragons are a sacred cow. Although you'll note that I noted (above) some conditions regarding AMFs and dragons.

A dragon is not summoned or created by magic - that is the guideline for creatures in the anti-magic spell. Therefore it is not affected by anti-magic. Simple really
Far out, man.
the-big-lebowski-jeff-bridges-white-russian.jpg
 

werecorpse

Adventurer
Yeah, sorry guys I didn’t mean to necro the thread to revisit those arguments. It’s pretty clear that DMMike and various others have settled in different corners on this particular argument and won’t now change their mind - so be it. I’m in the corner with the people other than DMMike but if that’s how you want to play AMF so be it.
 

dave2008

Legend
The horse is dead, dave.

Quoted and filed under "obvious retort."


I 99% guarantee this is because dragons are a sacred cow. Although you'll note that I noted (above) some conditions regarding AMFs and dragons.


Far out, man.
View attachment 126311
My apologies for responding. I noticed after my post that others hard already covered the same material more clearly and in more detail and you still fail to agree with the RAW or the RAI. Which is fine, I do it for many things, but I own when I do.

I also didn't realize this was a necro'd thread.
 

I’m building the lair of a beholder who is meant to be smart connected and powerful. I see that animated object monsters like flying swords have anti magic susceptibility but golems don’t. Does this mean that such a creature works as normal in an antimagic cone?

So the beholder could say disintegrate a room so it had a covered position 100’ above an entrance then loose a creature immune to non magic weapons (say a golem) and under an anti magic cone let it beat the party up?

how would you interpret anti magic Ray in this circumstance?
You didn't specify 5e in this, you tagged it as general, so I will note that this scenario could work very differently in other editions.

In 3e, for example, creature abilities were explicitly labeled as "Extraordinary", "Supernatural" or "Spell-like", the latter two would be suppressed in an anti-magic field, the former wouldn't. So dragons could fly in anti-magic (for example). Golems or other constructs wouldn't cease to exist though. Removing these clear distinctions I think was a real weakness of 5e, there's a reason these sorts of things were included in monster entries. . . specifically for these questions. I remember plenty of arguments over these points back when playing 2e that I welcomed the clarifications in 3e and realized why they were there.

Also, creatures weren't immune to non-magic weapons in 3.x, they had damage reduction, they might take 5 or 10 or even 15 points less damage unless hit with the right kind of weapon (magic, silver, adamantine, etc), which meant that an anti-magic field might make something stronger by depriving PC's of magic weapons, if it required a silver or adamantine weapon to hit, they didn't stop being those metals just because of an anti-magic field.

Just providing a bit of perspective on how other editions besides the one you're probably thinking of would have handled the situation.
 

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