Can a black blade be sundered?

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Silver Crusade

Diego Rossi wrote:
Captain Emberwrath wrote:

seebs, I really don't want to belabor this point but I feel I need to emphasize my point about language and words. Immune to the broken condition means (to me, based on my understanding of how words work together) that a thing cannot be brought to the broken condition because it cannot be broken. Hence it is IMMUNE. The Black Blade takes no penalties from the broken condition, and it may not acquire the broken condition as a result of a sunder attempt (though it does still take the damage) but it is NOT immune.

This is why I try to be very specific when I write something or put a thought to paper. I don't want to be misunderstood, or to accidentally offend someone.

Then stay clear of old style boardgames, they are full of that kind of text. They would be a painful experience for you.

"Curiously" if you were willing to accept and remember the game definitions they were very clear on how the rules worked.

I know it sounds like I'm being hard headed, and maybe I am, this is just a sticking point for me.

I have tried to remember game terms and I have a hard time doing so. I have a hard time remembering lots of things. Which is why when I come up with something homebrew I tend to have people who know things better take a look at it and help me fix what's wrong.

The use of the word immune is my main issue. That's it really. Nothing more, I just wish that they had chosen a different phrasing to describe what they meant. I take a look at an ability and I take it at face value because it seems relatively clear to me what it means. If I'm confused about it I'll ask a friend to help me clarify.

Personally I don't even know where this FAQ everyone keeps talking about is. This is the first I've heard of it.

Captain Emberwrath wrote:

"it cannot acquire the broken condition" and "it takes no effects from the broken condition"

These two phrases mean two totally different things and it's because of what words are chosen, and yes this is something I actually get ticked about with other books too.

They mean different things, but not the different thing you're talking about.


Look at it this way. Say a class got the ability "cannot acquire diseases" and then it was later clarified to "takes no effects from diseases". These mean two very, very different things. Not taking the effects of a disease means that you're still a carrier and can infect other people.

Immunity means you cannot get the disease.


If you cannot acquire the broken condition then it stands to reason that the blade, while it has that one arcane pool point, cannot be sundered.

No, it doesn't. Not in even the tiniest little way.

It has to be able to acquire the condition

No, it does not.

"Be sundered" doesn't really have any meaning. Sunder is the name of the combat maneuver. There is no such thing as "be sundered" as a term. Sunder attacks damage an object. If it is reduced to less than half hit points, it (usually) acquires the broken conditions. If it is reduced to zero or fewer hit points, you can destroy it.

Pathfinder wrote:
If your attack is successful, you deal damage to the item normally. Damage that exceeds the object's Hardness is subtracted from its hit points. If an object has equal to or less than half its total hit points remaining, it gains the broken condition. If the damage you deal would reduce the object to less than 0 hit points, you can choose to destroy it. If you do not choose to destroy it, the object is left with only 1 hit point and the broken condition.

Nothing here talks about whether or not the item "is sundered", because that's not a meaningful concept.

The only things we care about are:

1. Can the blade take damage?
2. Can it acquire the broken condition (at under half hit points)?
3. Can it be destroyed (reduced to 0 hit points or less)?

And the answers:

1. Can the blade take damage? Yes.
2. Can it acquire the broken condition (at under half hit points)? No.
3. Can it be destroyed (reduced to 0 hit points or less)? Yes.

Now, you could read the design team's answer to #2 as "Yes, but it takes no effects from that condition." But that doesn't change anything we care about. Because the thing we care about is not whether it can acquire a -2 penalty to attack and damage rolls (it can't), but whether it can be destroyed.

You appear to be confused because Pathfinder uses the phrase "the broken condition" to refer, not to the state of being completely destroyed (as by enough sundering attacks to reduce hit points to zero), but to the state of being slightly impaired in function (as by enough sundering attacks to reduce hit points to less than half, but still more than zero).

The question here is whether sundering attacks can reduce the weapon to zero hit points, thus "destroying" it. Unfortunately, in plain English (but not in rules language), we'd call that "breaking" the weapon. But "breaking" and "giving the broken condition" aren't the same thing.

So again:

The problem here has nothing at all to do with the word "immune", and everything to do with the word "broken" and the word "condition".

You can destroy a weapon (reduce it to 0 hit points so it cannot be used at all) without ever giving it the "broken" condition. The weapon can be entirely immune to the "broken" condition, and we don't care, because you can still smash it to pieces. Which is what would make someone need to wait a week and then spend 200gp/level to reforge the weapon.

Captain Emberwrath wrote:
The use of the word immune is my main issue.

Really, it's not. The problem is that you're not recognizing that the word "broken" doesn't mean what you think it means.

"Cannot be broken" and "cannot be given the broken condition" do not mean the same thing.

Personally I don't even know where this FAQ everyone keeps talking about is. This is the first I've heard of it.

Earlier in this thread, post #162:

This post, if the link works.

Diego Rossi wrote:

After some thought, I don't think that "make whole" will do anything for a destroyed black blade.

PRD wrote:
Unbreakable (Ex): As long as it has at least 1 point in its arcane pool, a black blade is immune to the broken condition. If broken, the black blade is unconscious and powerless until repaired. If destroyed, the black blade can be reforged 1 week later through a special ritual that costs 200 gp per magus level. The ritual takes 24 hours to complete.

Reforging the black blade require a specific ritual, not the casting of a spell.

Agreed. However, I think "make whole" would do something for a damaged but not yet destroyed black blade. Even one that, say, ran out of arcane pool points and became "broken" (thus unconscious and powerless).

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