Moonbeam and Resistance / Immunity


Rules Discussion


Fire resistance is fairly common, but Moonbeam has this clause:

Quote:
Moonbeam deals silver damage for the purposes of weaknesses, resistances, and the like.

Do you read this as "in addition to" or "instead of" fire?

Do you count immunity as part of this clause?

Alternatively:
Moonbeam hits for 10 damage.
How much damage does an enemy with fire resistance 5 take?
Fire immunity?
Fire immunity and weakness to silver 5?


if it were meant to be "instead of", why would they even list a damage type other than to say the damage dealt counts as silver?

So it's definitely both fire and silver because it says both those things.

And yes, immunity is the "and the like" part - though that phrasing is obnoxious to me, it is clear.

To answer your specific damage example questions: 5, 0, and 15 because page 451 says "a spell that deals both fire and acid damage can still deal acid damage to you even if you're immune to fire."

Edit to add further explanation: silver not being a damage type by itself, just for purposes of overcoming special resistances or triggering weakness, is why I was ignoring it for the examples where the target doesn't have a particular vulnerability.

Just like you don't bypass the slashing resistance of a swarm by using a silver axe.


Page 451's example would be something like Cataclysm that does multiple types of damage at once in distinct clumps though, wouldn't it?


True, but no reason it shouldn't apply to the case of moonbeam as well.


thenobledrake wrote:
To answer your specific damage example questions: 5, 0, and 15 because page 451 says "a spell that deals both fire and acid damage can still deal acid damage to you even if you're immune to fire."

So if you take acid damage even if you're immune to fire, then why do you take 0 damage from a fire/silver spell?

(i.e. your numerical values make no sense)


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Moonbeam's issue is that the damage types are blended. With most other spells (et al), you have different types with different pools of damage. That makes it easy to differentiate how much each gets effected by what.

But looking at the phrasing of Moonbeam it becomes clear, at least to me:
"The beam of light deals 1d6 fire damage. Moonbeam deals silver damage for the purposes of weaknesses, resistances, and the like."

The damage is fire damage. It is all fire damage. Also, for specific purposes, it counts as silver damage too. But it's still all fire damage, not half & half. So fire immunity makes you immune. And weakness to silver increases that fire damage, since it's still both at all times. There is no portion that is silver damage only. There is no portion that is fire damage only either should the target have immunity to silver, as bizarre as that would be.

If somebody had resistance to fire & acid, they'd be able to apply both vs. an attack that did some fire & some acid. I think in Moonbeam's instance, somebody with resistance to silver & fire would only apply the better one since it's one pool of damage.

Conceptually, it might be easiest to consider a slashing silver weapon. Resistance 10 to slashing would always resist up to 10, no matter that it's silver too, just as immunity to slashing would nullify it all. And ditto w/ resistance silver, etc.


Draco18s wrote:
thenobledrake wrote:
To answer your specific damage example questions: 5, 0, and 15 because page 451 says "a spell that deals both fire and acid damage can still deal acid damage to you even if you're immune to fire."

So if you take acid damage even if you're immune to fire, then why do you take 0 damage from a fire/silver spell?

(i.e. your numerical values make no sense)

My reasoning follows the same logic as the following:

You attack a swarm and deal 4 slashing damage with a silver weapon. It has resistance slashing 5. It takes zero damage.

Why? because silver is not actually a type of damage, and the creature in question doesn't have a specific interaction with silver mentioned (such as a weakness that specifies silver in some way, or an "(except silver)" tacked on to the listed resistance).

Applying that same logic to a creature that is immune to fire and has no specific interaction with silver mentioned is that it is as irrelevant whether it is normal fire or silver fire as it would be whether it was a normal weapon or a silver weapon.


Pathfinder Rulebook, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
thenobledrake wrote:

if it were meant to be "instead of", why would they even list a damage type other than to say the damage dealt counts as silver?

So it's definitely both fire and silver because it says both those things.

And yes, immunity is the "and the like" part - though that phrasing is obnoxious to me, it is clear.

To answer your specific damage example questions: 5, 0, and 15 because page 451 says "a spell that deals both fire and acid damage can still deal acid damage to you even if you're immune to fire."

Edit to add further explanation: silver not being a damage type by itself, just for purposes of overcoming special resistances or triggering weakness, is why I was ignoring it for the examples where the target doesn't have a particular vulnerability.

Just like you don't bypass the slashing resistance of a swarm by using a silver axe.

Wait wouldn't the immunity reduce the fire damage completely, but then the weakness still activate, thus three should be 5 instead of 15? The silver descriptor doesn't negate the immunity, so thus the fire portion would still be negated (as you keep saying with the swarm examples) but it still deals 'silver' damage (as you quoted above and assuming that 'silver' counts as a damage type).

I'd say this needs some clarification. It could be 15, 5, or 0. If silver was a specific damage type (for spells at least) then it should be just fine (or they just never make a fire immune, silver weak creature or another spell with janky damage types like moonbeam.)


Castilliano wrote:
Stuff
thenobledrake wrote:
Other stuff

Cool.

Now explain the 15 damage for fire immunity and silver weakness 5.


I'm actually going to amend my statements at this point because I just found a bit of rules text I was looking for previously but didn't find: the order of application, which is immunity first, then weakness, then resistance (p. 451 under the Step 3 heading, not in the following paragraphs where I'd been searching for it).

That does, however, make it look like having an immunity and a weakness to the same damage type (which doesn't happen naturally, but I guess something like a werewolf with a magic item providing fire immunity could cause) results in not taking any damage.

Because if you first "ignore all damage of that type" you aren't in the "whenever you would take that type of damage" circumstance for weakness to increase the value.

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