D&D 5E Let’s Read Mordenkainen Presents: Monsters of the Multiverse.

"Spell Attacks" are just as poorly named as "Weapon Attacks", in that you can perform either without casting a spell or using a weapon respectively.

There is nowhere in this book where it differentiates between spells and non-spell magic. Heck, the only place that covers what a spell is (and by exclusion, what a spell is not) is Chapter 10 of the PHB.
Well your fist is considered a weapon.
 

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FitzTheRuke

Legend
You can use your fist to make a weapon attack via unarmed strike, but your fist itself does not count as a weapon.

Yes, it's a very headache-inducing distinction and I wish they just changed the name of "weapon attack" for the new edition.

What IS the effective difference between a "spell attack" and a "weapon attack"?
 


Leatherhead

Possibly a Idiot.

Hellfire Engine (MToF)​


The Hellfire Engine is a devilish construct, designed to mow down the hordes of any invading army wanting to take on the Nine Hells. They are a huge construct (making them immune to any anti-devil magics such armies tend to have), and apparently have some semblance of desire, seeing as how they occasionally get loose and go on a destructive rampage.

Hellfire Engines aren’t exactly capable of the subtlety or trickery employed by most devils, but archdevils keep them around specifically because they are so un-devil-like, and they are really good at dealing with armies. As an added bonus, any mortal creature killed by the Hellfire Engine becomes a new member of a Devil’s legion in a few hours. With this level of efficiency, you have to wonder why they don’t just take these out and invade the Material Plane on the regular.

In combat, the Hellfire Engine has a few options. It can either use its Flesh-Crushing Stride to pierce and break formations, or use one of its Hellfire Weapons to launch AoE Attacks on the enemy. A Hellfire Weapon comes equipped with a burning acid flamethrower (for damage over time and a cone attack), a lighting flail as a weapon attack to hurt targets with high saving throws, and a thunder cannon for ranged AoE coverage. All of its attacks have some kind of elemental damage, but none of the attacks share the same element, making it hard to shut down by simply using a damage resistance. Realistically, the Hellfire Engine has no true weakness, aside from flying enemies at extreme range (which is a weakness of nearly everyone). And it is very good at its combat role against hordes of lower CR creatures.

In the changeover, the Hellfire Engine went from +11 to hit, to +10 to hit on its Lighting flail (which was presumably a typo in the previous book, because the math didn’t add up to +11 either way). It also gained the Unusual Nature ability as befitting a construct.
 


Then just wing it. You’re an experienced DM. You can call a spell school and spell level for them, and let them be effected by the 5 abilities/spells in the game that care about them being spells.
Oh sure. For me, its one more reason why I'm not buying these books or using these changes.
 

Is it primarily for purposes of counterspelling/dispelling, in which case I agree, or is there another reason?
It is mostly for that reason. I also really don't like the philosophy behind making that change. I want things in my fantasy game to be as consistent as possible (I'm a big fan of process sim) and this very gamist "update" flies in the face of that.
 

Azuresun

Adventurer

Hellfire Engine (MToF)​


Hellfire Engines aren’t exactly capable of the subtlety or trickery employed by most devils, but archdevils keep them around specifically because they are so un-devil-like, and they are really good at dealing with armies. As an added bonus, any mortal creature killed by the Hellfire Engine becomes a new member of a Devil’s legion in a few hours.

Hellfire weapons bugged me. Why do devils bargain and grant favours to gain souls, when they could just roll a Hellfire Engine through some random village?
 

Hellfire weapons bugged me. Why do devils bargain and grant favours to gain souls, when they could just roll a Hellfire Engine through some random village?
If I had to guess, because they're big, expensive war machines intended for the Blood War and/or other military ventures where things like "subtlety" are no longer a concern. Also, it's a matter of short-term gain vs. long-term gain.

Burn down a village with a Hellfire Engine and you get that village, once, plus the immediate attention of your enemies and anyone/everyone in the region not particularly keen on being rolled over by your Hellfire Engine.

Quietly corrupt a few key nobles and start a few cults in a kingdom, and over the course of generations you could gain a significant percentage of that kingdom without actually destroying it in the process, meaning it will continue to pay off many times over into the future, and can serve as a staging ground for similar operations in neighboring regions.
 

the Jester

Legend
Hellfire weapons bugged me. Why do devils bargain and grant favours to gain souls, when they could just roll a Hellfire Engine through some random village?
Destroying a village doesn't actually get them any souls that they wouldn't have when the people died anyhow. Bargains and favors do.
 

Destroying a village doesn't actually get them any souls that they wouldn't have when the people died anyhow. Bargains and favors do.
True, but from Hell's perspective, sometimes a community just has to go to make way for the larger plan.

I imagine it like the Shadows' plan from Babylon 5. They would make deals with the Centauri to use their superior ships to annihilate the Centauri's enemies, all with an eye towards manipulating their pawns for their own purposes.
 


Faolyn

(she/her)
It is mostly for that reason. I also really don't like the philosophy behind making that change. I want things in my fantasy game to be as consistent as possible (I'm a big fan of process sim) and this very gamist "update" flies in the face of that.
I view it more as over-simlification (so you don't have to have multiple books/tabs open or... I guess, prep beforehand?) rather than gamist, but yeah, I agree.
 

Faolyn

(she/her)
Hellfire weapons bugged me. Why do devils bargain and grant favours to gain souls, when they could just roll a Hellfire Engine through some random village?
I imagine most of these weapons are used in wars against other archfiends or against celestials, rather than on the Prime.
 

FitzTheRuke

Legend
I view it more as over-simlification (so you don't have to have multiple books/tabs open or... I guess, prep beforehand?) rather than gamist, but yeah, I agree.
YMMV but I like stuff that makes my DM job easier, whether "gamist" or not. I can come up with fiction for anything. The real world is a crazy complex place. I can only imagine a fantasy world would be moreso.
 





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