Immune physical damage, high SR, what did we miss?


Pathfinder First Edition General Discussion


Paizo Superscriber; Pathfinder Companion, Pathfinder Accessories Subscriber; Starfinder Superscriber

Was playing in a PFS scenario this weekend and ran up against an opponent that felt impossible and I'm wondering what we missed. The opponent was said to be immune to physical damage, and had a high enough SR that the casters typically needed a 15+ to overcome it. Had channel resistance as well, but most of our divines had had to use up their various spells/channels on his underlings to even get to him (also immune physical, but much, much lower SR). This was at levels 5-6.

We got through it only because it was part of a convention special and other tables succeeded and GM wanted to move things along, probably should have been a tpk. I don't believe we were meant to avoid/run-away.

What other strategies should we have tried, what options did we forget about? (I've looked up the base creature type and it didn't have the immune physical on it... I don't know if the GM misread and combined the underlings traits with the boss's traits, by accident, or if it was a heavily modified version of the base creature.)

Shadow Lodge Contributor, RPG Superstar 2010 Top 8

1 person marked this as a favorite.

What was the monster?


Paizo Superscriber; Pathfinder Companion, Pathfinder Accessories Subscriber; Starfinder Superscriber

Base type: dullahan. (Which should not have physical immunity, but I don't know if it was modified by the scenario)

Sovereign Court RPG Superstar 2011 Top 32

Did you try non-SR energy damage like alchemist fire or bombs, or spells like acid arrow?

Grand Lodge

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure, Rulebook Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber

I have no idea what happened. I see no immunity to physical damage listed in the scenario.


Paizo Superscriber; Pathfinder Companion, Pathfinder Accessories Subscriber; Starfinder Superscriber

@Ryic, I'm not sure. I was playing a magus and all my spells were either cold-based or had SR, so I was completely shutdown. I don't think anyony tried an alc fire, but unless he was extremely nerfed in HP, I don't think that would have been enough.

@TriOmegaZero, yes I left the table feeling pretty sure the GM had messed up. But I asked "wait you said the other enemies had physical immunity, you didn't mention it on the captain when we first identified him, does the captain have it too?" and the GM said yes.

Grand Lodge

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure, Rulebook Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber

It sounds like there was confusion about the minions being incorporeal while the leader did not. Edit: Actually, no. I have no idea where the misconception came from.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
NielsenE wrote:
Base type: dullahan. (Which should not have physical immunity, but I don't know if it was modified by the scenario)

Dullahans are tough enemies, but nowhere near as tough as you had it. They aren't physical immune/incorporeal, and they are usually on a mount wielding an enchanted sword.

They are undead (which shuts off cold damage), have good SR (11 + hit dice), and fast healing. Difficult, but by no means impossible. Incorporeality throws a jury-rig into the mix, but if prepared for it (Ghost Salts, Magic Weapon Oils, or Ghost Touch Weapons), was by no means impossible.

Even if they were incorporeal, Holy Water would work fully on them, compared to half damage flasks, and since you were packing to deal with Undead, that should have been your go-to weapon.

It's possible the GM screwed up (if a base Dullahan, he did), but if it was a special enemy, or the GM wanted to make it extra tough, being incorporeal is a good way to challenge player preparedness, and if properly prepared against, only served as a minor inconvenience.

Grand Lodge

1 person marked this as a favorite.

Darksol it was mentioned to be PFS so the GM cannot change the encounter to make it more challenging.

I'd show the GM this thread and ask him if he just made a mistake. Because that's understandable. But purposely changing things in a way thag screws over the players isn't.

Sovereign Court

1 person marked this as a favorite.

NielsenE, you may want to contact your local Venture Captain. Your GM probably just made an honest mistake, but a conversation with your VC may convince them to be more careful next time.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Paizo Superscriber; Pathfinder Companion, Pathfinder Accessories Subscriber; Starfinder Superscriber

Thanks, I'll just chalk it up to a late night mistake by the GM. (Several lodges away from my home lodge). (Now the later capstone fight of the scenario for us, well that was our fault, no where near enough prep for dealing with the possibility of flying creatures. -- A few web spells, tanglefoot bag, and backup bows, are not sufficient :) )


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Darksol the Painbringer wrote:
NielsenE wrote:
Base type: dullahan. (Which should not have physical immunity, but I don't know if it was modified by the scenario)
They are undead (which shuts off cold damage)

Where do people get the impression that being undead makes you immune to cold damage? Is it a holdover from 3.5? There's nothing under Undead Traits for cold immunity...

Grand Lodge

2 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure, Rulebook Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber

Only some undead are immune to cold, like the skeleton.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
FamiliarMask wrote:
Darksol the Painbringer wrote:
NielsenE wrote:
Base type: dullahan. (Which should not have physical immunity, but I don't know if it was modified by the scenario)
They are undead (which shuts off cold damage)
Where do people get the impression that being undead makes you immune to cold damage? Is it a holdover from 3.5? There's nothing under Undead Traits for cold immunity...

pretty much everything but zombies and normal vampires and ravener get cold immunity some undead even get electrical immunity as well

Silver Crusade

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Lady-J wrote:
FamiliarMask wrote:
Darksol the Painbringer wrote:
NielsenE wrote:
Base type: dullahan. (Which should not have physical immunity, but I don't know if it was modified by the scenario)
They are undead (which shuts off cold damage)
Where do people get the impression that being undead makes you immune to cold damage? Is it a holdover from 3.5? There's nothing under Undead Traits for cold immunity...
pretty much everything but zombies and normal vampires and ravener get cold immunity some undead even get electrical immunity as well

Not sure where you got that. The banshee, bodak, crypt thing, draugr, dullahan, ghost, mohrg, mummy, shadow, spectre, wight (with the exception of the frost wight), wraith, and zombie are all affected by cold (though one or two have resistance). That's most of the classic undead.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Paizo Superscriber; Pathfinder Companion, Pathfinder Accessories Subscriber; Starfinder Superscriber

I've had more than one GM say undead traits include cold immunity, which I know is wrong, but I've stopped fighting it....

Silver Crusade

1 person marked this as a favorite.
NielsenE wrote:
I've had more than one GM say undead traits include cold immunity, which I know is wrong, but I've stopped fighting it....

Maybe they're getting tripped up by the fact that some cold spells have associated effects with fort saves, which undead are immune to (they still take the cold damage, they just don't have to save to avoid being slowed or take dex damage or whatever). That or they just extrapolate from the skeleton that they are all immune.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Isonaroc wrote:
Lady-J wrote:
FamiliarMask wrote:
Darksol the Painbringer wrote:
NielsenE wrote:
Base type: dullahan. (Which should not have physical immunity, but I don't know if it was modified by the scenario)
They are undead (which shuts off cold damage)
Where do people get the impression that being undead makes you immune to cold damage? Is it a holdover from 3.5? There's nothing under Undead Traits for cold immunity...
pretty much everything but zombies and normal vampires and ravener get cold immunity some undead even get electrical immunity as well
Not sure where you got that. The banshee, bodak, crypt thing, draugr, dullahan, ghost, mohrg, mummy, shadow, spectre, wight (with the exception of the frost wight), wraith, and zombie are all affected by cold (though one or two have resistance). That's most of the classic undead.

the majority of that list are just variations of zombie, the rest are incorporeal undead which i'm not sure why incorporeal undead don't have immunity to cold i thought they did how else are we suposta have space ghosts if they don't have immunity to cold....

Silver Crusade

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Lady-J wrote:
Isonaroc wrote:
Lady-J wrote:
FamiliarMask wrote:
Darksol the Painbringer wrote:
NielsenE wrote:
Base type: dullahan. (Which should not have physical immunity, but I don't know if it was modified by the scenario)
They are undead (which shuts off cold damage)
Where do people get the impression that being undead makes you immune to cold damage? Is it a holdover from 3.5? There's nothing under Undead Traits for cold immunity...
pretty much everything but zombies and normal vampires and ravener get cold immunity some undead even get electrical immunity as well
Not sure where you got that. The banshee, bodak, crypt thing, draugr, dullahan, ghost, mohrg, mummy, shadow, spectre, wight (with the exception of the frost wight), wraith, and zombie are all affected by cold (though one or two have resistance). That's most of the classic undead.
the majority of that list are just variations of zombie, the rest are incorporeal undead which i'm not sure why incorporeal undead don't have immunity to cold i thought they did how else are we suposta have space ghosts if they don't have immunity to cold....

Uh, if by "variations of zombie" you mean "dead body that is now moving around," I guess, in the same way that a lich is a wizard zombie or a vampire is a weird shapechanging zombie. But in practical game terms they aren't anything like zombies. All the corporeal undead I listed are intelligent, with various abilities and motivations. After poking around, essentially every corporeal undead is affected by cold, with the exception of the lich, the revenant (because revenge is best served cold, I guess), skeletons (though not every skeleton-like creature), nightshades, Urgathoa's herald, and undead that are specifically cold themed/subtyped.

As for space ghosts, as far as I can tell vacuum would have little to no effect on them.

'Distant Worlds' wrote:
Vacuum uses the same rules as underwater

Underwater deals pressure damage, which is not energy damage nor is it magical, so the ghost ignores it. And cold water, interestingly enough, doesn't deal cold damage, it deals non-lethal damage, which undead are immune to. So space ghosts are still good to go.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Isonaroc wrote:
Lady-J wrote:
Isonaroc wrote:
Lady-J wrote:
FamiliarMask wrote:
Darksol the Painbringer wrote:
NielsenE wrote:
Base type: dullahan. (Which should not have physical immunity, but I don't know if it was modified by the scenario)
They are undead (which shuts off cold damage)
Where do people get the impression that being undead makes you immune to cold damage? Is it a holdover from 3.5? There's nothing under Undead Traits for cold immunity...
pretty much everything but zombies and normal vampires and ravener get cold immunity some undead even get electrical immunity as well
Not sure where you got that. The banshee, bodak, crypt thing, draugr, dullahan, ghost, mohrg, mummy, shadow, spectre, wight (with the exception of the frost wight), wraith, and zombie are all affected by cold (though one or two have resistance). That's most of the classic undead.
the majority of that list are just variations of zombie, the rest are incorporeal undead which i'm not sure why incorporeal undead don't have immunity to cold i thought they did how else are we suposta have space ghosts if they don't have immunity to cold....

Uh, if by "variations of zombie" you mean "dead body that is now moving around," I guess, in the same way that a lich is a wizard zombie or a vampire is a weird shapechanging zombie. But in practical game terms they aren't anything like zombies. All the corporeal undead I listed are intelligent, with various abilities and motivations. After poking around, essentially every corporeal undead is affected by cold, with the exception of the lich, the revenant (because revenge is best served cold, I guess), skeletons (though not every skeleton-like creature), nightshades, Urgathoa's herald, and undead that are specifically cold themed/subtyped.

As for space ghosts, as far as I can tell vacuum would have little to no effect on them.

'Distant Worlds' wrote:
Vacuum uses the same rules as underwater
Underwater deals...

weird coulda sworn space did cold damage and by zombie i mean rotting undead with flesh so most corporal undead except skeletons, some lichs, some graveknights, vampires and only a few others don't fall into that category

Community / Forums / Pathfinder / Pathfinder First Edition / General Discussion / Immune physical damage, high SR, what did we miss? All Messageboards

Want to post a reply? Sign in.