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Resistance to a keyword

James McMurray

First Post
Yep, angels are immune to those. It doesn't make a lot of sense, but it's what the rules say. Creatures that are immune to a keyword take no damage or suffer other ill effects from attacks with that keyword. It's an excellent house rule to make those sorts of oddities not occur, but it's a house rule nonetheless.
 

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tiornys

Explorer
Yep, angels are immune to those. It doesn't make a lot of sense, but it's what the rules say. Creatures that are immune to a keyword take no damage or suffer other ill effects from attacks with that keyword. It's an excellent house rule to make those sorts of oddities not occur, but it's a house rule nonetheless.
I think we've reached the point where we can agree to disagree. I'll leave it to the reader to decide whether they want to interpret an ambiguous MM rules listing as contradicting the PHB, or whether they want to interpret it as I have. For reference:

MM said:
Immune: The monster has immunity to the stated kind of damage or effect. For example, a monster with "immune poison" never takes poison damage and can't suffer any other ill effect from a poison attack.

PHB said:
Keywords help to determine how, or if, a power works when the target has resistance, vulnerability, or immunity to a damage type or an effect type, or if the power interacts with existing effects. For example, a ritual that forbids teleportation could block a power that has the teleportation keyword.

Resistance or immunity to one keyword of a power does not protect a target from the power's other effects.
Damage Type Keywords from p. 55, PHB: Acid, Cold, Fire, Force, Lightning, Necrotic, Poison, Psychic, Radiant, Thunder.

Effect Type Keywords from p. 55, PHB: Charm, Conjuration, Fear, Healing, Illusion, Poison, Polymorph, Reliable, Sleep, Stance, Teleportation, Zone.

t~ (who is now amused at the idea of a monster being immune to Reliable)
 

DracoSuave

First Post
That's wonderful.

Exactly which part of a power is the Reliable part? Or the Poison part? These parts are pretty easy to determine.

Or the Fear part? Every Fear power works differently.

Or the Stance? Is it the persistant effect or just the duration?

Or the Rage? The keyword interacts with other rules, but the Rage keyword and the rage mechanic are two different (tho related) items

For example, which part of Dire Radiance has the 'Fear' keyword, when the rest does not? It's easy to look at damage-types and say those, but for other keywords it isn't so cut and dry.

Nor is there any rule in place to differentiate between different aspects of a power.

Not to mention, if parts of a power can be segregated out to not have a keyword, then Wintertouched/Lasting Frost/Frost Weapon is no longer a combo, or how it works as one can be ambiguous with certain powers.

If a power has a keyword, all of it has the keyword. Which means immunity protects one from all of its effects.

Also, there are six kinds of keywords, any of which can potentially be refered to with immunity/resistance, three of which have existing examples

Damage-type keywords (The most common)
Effect-type keywords (Fear, etc. Some rules baggage here.)
Power Source (usually this is interacted with rules about how powers themselves are used, no i/r/v exists off the top of my head)
Accessory (Weapon, Implement, used mainly to determine its interaction with items, rules baggage mainly)
At-will/Encounter/Daily (no resistance/immunity exists for this class, but some features/items/powers interact with them, and these exist for rules baggage)
Attack-type keyword (Personal, Melee, Ranged, Area, Close; not many immunities/resistances/vulnerabilities exist to this, but swarms have them, but lots of powers interact with this keyword class. Rules baggage.)
 
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tiornys

Explorer
That's wonderful.

Exactly which part of a power is the Reliable part? Or the Poison part? These parts are pretty easy to determine.
Reliable is easy, I agree. Poison will be covered in later comments.

Or the Fear part? Every Fear power works differently.
Fear's an effect type, so it covers whatever effect the power is having. Sometimes this is easy to determine, such as Dreadful Word, where immune fear prevents the penalty to will defense, or Cause Fear, where it prevents the power from working at all. Sometimes it's tricky, such as Dire Radiance, where I've ruled that it prevents the followup damage, or Doom of Delban, where I've ruled it effectively cancels the sustain ability.

Or the Stance? Is it the persistant effect or just the duration?

Or the Rage? The keyword interacts with other rules, but the Rage keyword and the rage mechanic are two different (tho related) items
In seriousness, they're not going to print creatures with immunity to effects like these that are there to define character interactions.

For example, which part of Dire Radiance has the 'Fear' keyword, when the rest does not? It's easy to look at damage-types and say those, but for other keywords it isn't so cut and dry.
Agreed. My interpretation is covered above.

Nor is there any rule in place to differentiate between different aspects of a power.
Also agreed, and I find it annoying. For damage it's not too bad. For a power like Avenging Flame, the 2[W] + Strength damage is untyped, and the ongoing damage is fire damage. I wish this kind of interpretation were explicit somewhere, but it's at least implicit and allowed. Effect types are much fuzzier. For Prismatic Spray, I'd rule that immune Poison prevented the entirety of the Hit (Fortitude) entry, immune Fire prevented the entirety of the Hit (Reflex) entry, and immune Fear prevented the entirety of the Hit (Will) entry, but RAW arguments exist for immune Poison or Fear preventing the slowing, ongoing fire damage, and the stunning. Thank god powers with multiple effect types are rare.

Not to mention, if parts of a power can be segregated out to not have a keyword, then Wintertouched/Lasting Frost/Frost Weapon is no longer a combo, or how it works as one can be ambiguous with certain powers.
It might be ambiguous with certain powers, but by and large it works fine, since the rules are pretty clear about the Cold keyword from the frost weapon applying to other powers used through it (assuming you've activated the at-will power).

If a power has a keyword, all of it has the keyword. Which means immunity protects one from all of its effects.
I can't agree with this. Being immune to fire clearly doesn't protect you from the poison damage caused by Prismatic Beams/Spray, and I maintain that it also doesn't protect you from any effects caused by a fire power, since fire is a damage type only.

t~

edit: nice summary of the different kinds of keywords. Another rules interaction with Attack types: close and area attacks ignore concealment.
 
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pemerton

Legend
For what it's worth, I agree with Tiornys - "immune to fear" means immune to fear effects, which does not include the damage delivered by a power like Fearsome Smite.

I also agree that an inevitable consequence will be borderline and ambiguous and arguable cases. That's inevitable. Legilsative drafters haven't eliminated it from the law, despite the signficance of what's at stake in legal determinations. It's unreaslistic to expect game designers, who are not drafting experts, to eliminate from game rules, in which really very little is at stake.
 

DracoSuave

First Post
Reliable is easy, I agree. Poison will be covered in later comments.

Fear's an effect type, so it covers whatever effect the power is having. Sometimes this is easy to determine, such as Dreadful Word, where immune fear prevents the penalty to will defense, or Cause Fear, where it prevents the power from working at all. Sometimes it's tricky, such as Dire Radiance, where I've ruled that it prevents the followup damage, or Doom of Delban, where I've ruled it effectively cancels the sustain ability.

In seriousness, they're not going to print creatures with immunity to effects like these that are there to define character interactions.

Agreed. My interpretation is covered above.

Also agreed, and I find it annoying. For damage it's not too bad. For a power like Avenging Flame, the 2[W] + Strength damage is untyped, and the ongoing damage is fire damage. I wish this kind of interpretation were explicit somewhere, but it's at least implicit and allowed. Effect types are much fuzzier. For Prismatic Spray, I'd rule that immune Poison prevented the entirety of the Hit (Fortitude) entry, immune Fire prevented the entirety of the Hit (Reflex) entry, and immune Fear prevented the entirety of the Hit (Will) entry, but RAW arguments exist for immune Poison or Fear preventing the slowing, ongoing fire damage, and the stunning. Thank god powers with multiple effect types are rare.

It might be ambiguous with certain powers, but by and large it works fine, since the rules are pretty clear about the Cold keyword from the frost weapon applying to other powers used through it (assuming you've activated the at-will power).

I can't agree with this. Being immune to fire clearly doesn't protect you from the poison damage caused by Prismatic Beams/Spray, and I maintain that it also doesn't protect you from any effects caused by a fire power, since fire is a damage type only.

t~

edit: nice summary of the different kinds of keywords. Another rules interaction with Attack types: close and area attacks ignore concealment.

And what about pluses to defenses against specific powers? Pluses to saving throws? Plusses to attack rolles with specific powers?

Does Hellfire Blood only affect the dieroll of a Prismatic Beam when it's compared to Reflex?

Does Mythal Splinter power of the Spellguard Wizard stop only the hitpoint gain from Healing Strike?

Separating powers into individual effects carries a lot more rules baggage than simply deciding how immunities work, it even nerfs powers that are able to prevent even the use of such abilities.

Also, 3rd edition worked the same way--If you had an enemy immune to fire, it could not be effected by affects with the (Fire) descriptor regardless of what the power did.
 

tiornys

Explorer
And what about pluses to defenses against specific powers? Pluses to saving throws? Plusses to attack rolles with specific powers?

Does Hellfire Blood only affect the dieroll of a Prismatic Beam when it's compared to Reflex?
Arguably, yes.

Does Mythal Splinter power of the Spellguard Wizard stop only the hitpoint gain from Healing Strike?
Don't have access to these rules, so can't answer this.

Separating powers into individual effects carries a lot more rules baggage than simply deciding how immunities work, it even nerfs powers that are able to prevent even the use of such abilities.
True. Not separating them carries different baggage, and nerfs different powers in different ways. Pick your poison on which direction you want the nerfs to go.

Also, 3rd edition worked the same way--If you had an enemy immune to fire, it could not be effected by affects with the (Fire) descriptor regardless of what the power did.
Unfortunately, 4E deliberately changed a ton of things from how they worked in 3rd edition, so I don't really find it useful to reference back to the old edition. Given the general focus of 4E on keeping everyone useful in battle, it's entirely possible that the designers intended it to be much harder to become absolutely immune to various powers, so that characters built around those powers wouldn't be useless in encounters against resistant enemies.

t~
 

DracoSuave

First Post
Mythal Splinter is a Utility of that paragon path that prevents the use of powers with the healing and teleportation keywords.

True. Not separating them carries different baggage, and nerfs different powers in different ways. Pick your poison on which direction you want the nerfs to go.

Well obviously there's going to be advantages to some powers depending on how the rules go. However, the rules support and 'interpretation' is reduced to utter simplicity if you take the stance that 'The power's keyword describes the entire power' rather than 'The power's keyword describes only parts of the power.' The former works with all the rules of the game as they are now, whereas the latter requires more individual interpretation and houseruling, and requires inconsistancies in interpretations.

Unfortunately, 4E deliberately changed a ton of things from how they worked in 3rd edition, so I don't really find it useful to reference back to the old edition. Given the general focus of 4E on keeping everyone useful in battle, it's entirely possible that the designers intended it to be much harder to become absolutely immune to various powers, so that characters built around those powers wouldn't be useless in encounters against resistant enemies.

If they had intended for powers to have distinct keywords for distinct effects, they likely would have taken a cue from 3.x (how they denoted supernatural, spell-like, and extraordinary qualities and abilities) and included a reminder with each distinct aspect of a power as to what keywords apply to it. For example, Booming Blade would look something like this:

Booming Blade Swordmage Attack 1
A field of sound punishes your enemy if he tries to escape.
At-Will Arcane
Standard Action
Melee 1
Target: One creature
Attack: Intelligence vs. AC (Weapon)
Hit: 1[W] + Str modifier damage. (Weapon) If the target is adjacent to you at the start of its turn and moves away, it takes 1d6+Str modifier thunder damage. (Thunder)

It wouldn't have even extended the description much. However, they've chosen to instead, use unified keywords at the beginning of the power, and then uniformly refer to 'powers with the ______ keyword' throughout such keyword affected abilities.

Resistance and vulnerability don't, because both are related to damage types, and they aren't restricted to powers.

"For instance, a power that deals acid damage is an acid effect and thus has the acid keyword. A power that has the poison keyword might deal poison damage, or it might slow the target, immobilize the target, or
stun the target. But the poison keyword indicates that it’s a poison effect, and other rules in the game relate to that fact in different ways. Dwarves have a bonus to saving throws against poison effects, for example."

So, the keyword of a power, by definition, makes that power a _____ effect.

But then we come to "Resistance or Immunity to one keyword of a power does not protect against the power's other effects".

This is where we come to a strange crossroads. We have a paragraph that says, flat out, the effects of a power with Foo keyword are Foo effects, and then the paragraph two after states that 'other effects of the power are not Foo effects.'

That presents this logical construct:

All A are B. (all effects of a Foo Power are Foo effects)
All A that are not B are not B. (all other effects of a Foo Power are not Foo effects)

The only way for this to logically be true is if the carnality of the set "All A that are not B" is zero.


Also, damage-type keywords can, and -do- appear on some non-damaging powers. Ottiluke's Resilient Sphere (Wizard 15), One Way Barrier (War Wizard of Cormyr 12), Silversteel Veil (Swordmage 6) are examples of powers with the Force keyword that deal no damage. Force, however, is a damage-type keyword, therefore damage-type keywords are not restricted to damage effects -only-.
 

tiornys

Explorer
Mythal Splinter is a Utility of that paragon path that prevents the use of powers with the healing and teleportation keywords.
If that's its exact wording, it would prevent you from using Healing Strike at all.

Well obviously there's going to be advantages to some powers depending on how the rules go. However, the rules support and 'interpretation' is reduced to utter simplicity if you take the stance that 'The power's keyword describes the entire power' rather than 'The power's keyword describes only parts of the power.' The former works with all the rules of the game as they are now, whereas the latter requires more individual interpretation and houseruling, and requires inconsistancies in interpretations.
You're right that it's simpler to treat each keyword as describing the whole power. However, even if you do so, you still have a split between damage keywords and effect keywords, and it's very easy to differentiate between the damage a power does, and the effects it causes.

If they had intended for powers to have distinct keywords for distinct effects, they likely would have taken a cue from 3.x (how they denoted supernatural, spell-like, and extraordinary qualities and abilities) and included a reminder with each distinct aspect of a power as to what keywords apply to it. For example, Booming Blade would look something like this:

Booming Blade Swordmage Attack 1
A field of sound punishes your enemy if he tries to escape.
At-Will Arcane
Standard Action
Melee 1
Target: One creature
Attack: Intelligence vs. AC (Weapon)
Hit: 1[W] + Str modifier damage. (Weapon) If the target is adjacent to you at the start of its turn and moves away, it takes 1d6+Str modifier thunder damage. (Thunder)

It wouldn't have even extended the description much. However, they've chosen to instead, use unified keywords at the beginning of the power, and then uniformly refer to 'powers with the ______ keyword' throughout such keyword affected abilities.
Thing is, they mostly do do this. Typed damage is almost always explicitly noted as such, to the point where it's reasonable to assume that a Fire power that deals "2[W] + Strength damage and 5 ongoing fire damage" deals untyped damage + typed ongoing damage. Effects aren't as clear, but the only powers I'm aware of that have multiple effect keywords are the prismatic powers, which are wonky in any case.

"For instance, a power that deals acid damage is an acid effect and thus has the acid keyword. A power that has the poison keyword might deal poison damage, or it might slow the target, immobilize the target, or
stun the target. But the poison keyword indicates that it’s a poison effect, and other rules in the game relate to that fact in different ways. Dwarves have a bonus to saving throws against poison effects, for example."

So, the keyword of a power, by definition, makes that power a _____ effect.
Faulty logic. Saying "if a power deals Foo damage it has the Foo keyword" is NOT equivalent to saying "if a power has the Foo keyword it deals Foo damage". A statement does not imply its logical converse.

But then we come to "Resistance or Immunity to one keyword of a power does not protect against the power's other effects".

This is where we come to a strange crossroads. We have a paragraph that says, flat out, the effects of a power with Foo keyword are Foo effects, and then the paragraph two after states that 'other effects of the power are not Foo effects.'

That presents this logical construct:

All A are B. (all effects of a Foo Power are Foo effects)
All A that are not B are not B. (all other effects of a Foo Power are not Foo effects)

The only way for this to logically be true is if the carnality of the set "All A that are not B" is zero.
Your logical progression here is sound, but your first premise is flawed, as demonstrated above. Therefore this argument is invalid.

t~
 

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