Magical Weapons vs Magical Armour


Rules Questions


Hi there folks,

A buddy of mine and I are having a conversation about whether the magical bonus on a weapon cancels out the hardness aspect of armour (or magical armour). I can't find a relevant passage in the SRD which states yes or no.

Anyone care to clarify?

HH


Normally each +1 of enhancement bonus adds 2 to the hardness of armor, a weapon, or a shield, and +10 to the item’s hit points.

As far as bypassing this hardness is concerned, the enchantment of the weapon doesn't matter. The only thing that bypasses hardness is adamantine, and only if it's below harness 20.

In my games, i rule that if an item has hardness 10; and is used to sunder an item with hardness 5, it automatically bypasses hardness. But by RAW, the weapons enhancement bonus does not bypass hardness.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion, Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

I do believe you need a magical '+' equal to or greater then the item being struck in order to damage it however. So a +1 greataxe can't break +2 shield.


Where's it say that? Are you sure you're not thinking about DR and enhancement bonuses counting as adamantine/cold iron?


Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Companion, Lost Omens, Maps, Rulebook Subscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber

Rathendar is correct.

Core book, magic weapon description section, page 468

Damaging Magic Weapons: An attacker cannot damage a magic weapon that has an enhancement bonus unless his weapon has at least as high an enhancement bonus as the weapon struck.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion, Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber
Mistwalker wrote:

Rathendar is correct.

Core book, magic weapon description section, page 468

Damaging Magic Weapons: An attacker cannot damage a magic weapon that has an enhancement bonus unless his weapon has at least as high an enhancement bonus as the weapon struck.

Technically with that quoted text..(thank for you it btw)..i note that it specifically says a weapon used to damage other weapons. I am unsure if it would be generalized to weapon vs. armor as well, but personally (and this is just my opinion now) i would do it that way.


Mistwalker wrote:

Rathendar is correct.

Core book, magic weapon description section, page 468

Damaging Magic Weapons: An attacker cannot damage a magic weapon that has an enhancement bonus unless his weapon has at least as high an enhancement bonus as the weapon struck.

note the italics, a weapon; not a shield.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion, Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber
Tanis wrote:
Mistwalker wrote:

Rathendar is correct.

Core book, magic weapon description section, page 468

Damaging Magic Weapons: An attacker cannot damage a magic weapon that has an enhancement bonus unless his weapon has at least as high an enhancement bonus as the weapon struck.

note the italics, a weapon; not a shield.

Yes, i am quite capable of reading printed text before my eyes. However, i , as said once i pointed out "my opinion" above is that i have a bit of a mental disconnect when a +1 Greatsword is unable to break a +2 Dagger yet can reduce to scrap metal a suit of +5 Full Plate of Greater Fortification.

This would have me wonder if its nitpicking the word weapon just a hair to much and trods into that grey area that rules lawyers argue about, with endless repeated quotes of the above text and throwing around phrases like RAW and RAI.

Now as this is in the PFRPG section and not the PFS area it comes down to a call for the individual group to decide on i think. I know that at my table it is a '+' vs '+' rule and the group agrees that's how it should be. If someone thinks that the above example is 'how it should be in reality' then more power to them and i am sure their game will work fine that way also.


Core book, magic weapon description section, page 468:
Damaging Magic Weapons: An attacker cannot damage a magic weapon that has an enhancement bonus unless his weapon has at least as high an enhancement bonus as the weapon struck.

Does this mean that it is impossible to damage a magic weapon with a normal weapon regardless the wielder's strength or the normal weapon's material?


Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Companion, Lost Omens, Maps, Rulebook Subscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber
Nemesis_Rex wrote:
Does this mean that it is impossible to damage a magic weapon with a normal weapon regardless the wielder's strength or the normal weapon's material?

That is exactly what it means.

Liberty's Edge

Nemesis_Rex wrote:

Core book, magic weapon description section, page 468:

Damaging Magic Weapons: An attacker cannot damage a magic weapon that has an enhancement bonus unless his weapon has at least as high an enhancement bonus as the weapon struck.

Does this mean that it is impossible to damage a magic weapon with a normal weapon regardless the wielder's strength or the normal weapon's material?

Apparently.


Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Companion, Lost Omens, Maps, Rulebook Subscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber
Rathendar wrote:
I note that it specifically says a weapon used to damage other weapons. I am unsure if it would be generalized to weapon vs. armor as well, but personally (and this is just my opinion now) i would do it that way.

I agree with you, that magical armor should be treated the same way when considering sundering it. While it is not directly stated in the rules, it does seem to be a logical conclusion to apply to armor and shields.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Hockey_Hippie wrote:

Hi there folks,

A buddy of mine and I are having a conversation about whether the magical bonus on a weapon cancels out the hardness aspect of armour (or magical armour). I can't find a relevant passage in the SRD which states yes or no.

Anyone care to clarify?

HH

Unless something specifically states that it bypasses hardness like Sonic spells the default answer is no. Magical enhancements however do add to hardness. So tell your friend go sunder away.

Grand Lodge

On a side note...shield ARE weapons by RAW. They are listed under the weapons chart.


This problem, sadly, originates from a SRD rule which was NOT subjected to an errata like its D&D 3.5 counterpart.

Official D&D 3.5 DMG Errata:
"Hardness and Hit Points
Dungeon Master’s Guide, page 222
Problem: The first paragraph is not consistent with similar information for shields on page 217.
(The paragraph in question was 'An attacker cannot damage a magic weapon that has an enhancement bonus unless his own weapon has at least as high an enhancement bonus as the weapon or shield struck. Each +1 of enhancement bonus adds 1 to the weapon's or shield's hardness and hit points.')
Solution: Delete the first sentence after the boldface header. Change the next sentence to read as follows:
Each +1 of enhancement bonus adds 2 to a weapon’s or shield’s hardness and +10 to its hit points.

So basically, after the errata, the official D&D 3.5 rule became:
"Each +1 of enhancement bonus adds 2 to a weapon’s or shield’s hardness and +10 to its hit points.", without the need to have a magic weapon with a bonus at least equal to that of the weapon (or shield) that you wanted to damage.

Sadly, the SRD was NOT subjected to the same errata, and so I strongly suspect that the rule was unwillingly brought in Pathfinder as well...


It's been a long while since I've looked but wasn't the rule you cannot actually sunder armor in 3.5? PFRPG brought in the "broken" status for items and it is probably just an oversight on the Paizo team when doing the conversion. But if you are going by strict RAW in PFRPG, you run into your "disconnect" as they removed the "you can't sunder armor" that existed and protected such items.


Cold Napalm wrote:
On a side note...shield ARE weapons by RAW. They are listed under the weapons chart.

Any item in the game is technically a weapon as per the "improvised weapon" rules...


Rathendar wrote:
Tanis wrote:
Mistwalker wrote:

Rathendar is correct.

Core book, magic weapon description section, page 468

Damaging Magic Weapons: An attacker cannot damage a magic weapon that has an enhancement bonus unless his weapon has at least as high an enhancement bonus as the weapon struck.

note the italics, a weapon; not a shield.

Yes, i am quite capable of reading printed text before my eyes. However, i , as said once i pointed out "my opinion" above is that i have a bit of a mental disconnect when a +1 Greatsword is unable to break a +2 Dagger yet can reduce to scrap metal a suit of +5 Full Plate of Greater Fortification.

This would have me wonder if its nitpicking the word weapon just a hair to much and trods into that grey area that rules lawyers argue about, with endless repeated quotes of the above text and throwing around phrases like RAW and RAI.

Now as this is in the PFRPG section and not the PFS area it comes down to a call for the individual group to decide on i think. I know that at my table it is a '+' vs '+' rule and the group agrees that's how it should be. If someone thinks that the above example is 'how it should be in reality' then more power to them and i am sure their game will work fine that way also.

As this is the Rules Questions forum, we can only argue by RAW, not house-rules. If your ruling works for your group, then that's good, but i'm arguing what it actually says.

@Cold Napalm - You're right, partly. There is an entry for shields in the weapons section. And under armour. But the table for armour does say Armour and shields, so it could be argued that they are a seperate entity - neither/both weapons or armour.

So all i'm saying is that it doesn't specifically say 'shields'. It says weapons (which shields can be) which would exclude armour. Whether it includes shields or not is really down to the DM, but by RAW, it doesn't actually say that it does.


Skylancer4 wrote:
It's been a long while since I've looked but wasn't the rule you cannot actually sunder armor in 3.5? PFRPG brought in the "broken" status for items and it is probably just an oversight on the Paizo team when doing the conversion. But if you are going by strict RAW in PFRPG, you run into your "disconnect" as they removed the "you can't sunder armor" that existed and protected such items.

Pathfinder changed the rules for Sundering items. Now you CAN try to Sunder even Armors.

PRD -> Combat -> Special Attacks -> Combat Maneuvers:
"You can attempt to sunder an item held or worn by your opponent as part of an attack action in place of a melee attack."

PRD -> Feats:
"Improved Sunder (Combat)
You are skilled at damaging your foes' weapons and armor.
Prerequisite: Str 13, Power Attack, base attack bonus +1.
Benefit: You do not provoke an attack of opportunity when performing a sunder combat maneuver. In addition, you receive a +2 bonus on checks made to sunder an item. You also receive a +2 bonus to your Combat Maneuver Defense whenever an opponent tries to sunder your gear.
Normal: You provoke an attack of opportunity when performing a sunder combat maneuver."

"Greater Sunder (Combat)
Your devastating strikes cleave through weapons and armor and into their wielders, damaging both item and wielder alike in a single terrific strike.
Prerequisites: Improved Sunder, Power Attack, base attack bonus +6, Str 13.
Benefit: You receive a +2 bonus on checks made to sunder an item. This bonus stacks with the bonus granted by Improved Sunder. Whenever you sunder to destroy a weapon, shield, or suit of armor, any excess damage is applied to the item's wielder. No damage is transferred if you decide to leave the item with 1 hit point."


The Wraith wrote:

Pathfinder changed the rules for Sundering items. Now you CAN try to Sunder even Armors.

I understand that, I was mentioning it as it was probably just a copy/paste on Paizo's end. "Oops, forgot to add the word armor to that line now that it can be sundered." RAI vs RAW. Basically they changed a premise but not all the tangent rules regarding it.

Community / Forums / Pathfinder / Pathfinder First Edition / Rules Questions / Magical Weapons vs Magical Armour All Messageboards

Want to post a reply? Sign in.