Golem Immunity - a strict look at the rules


Rules Discussion


Following on from the Golem harmed by thread I realised I still wasn't playing everything strictly by the rules. So I just want to lay out the strict rules for Golems using the Wood Golem as my example.

Please critique my rules arguments. Lets worry about balance and what you should actually use till after we have the rules technically correct. This is a technical discussion if that bothers you, look elsewhere.

This first post is just definitions, skip to the next if you know all this:

CRB page 628 defines ability as basically anything specific described in the rules that is not a general rule. So it includes feats, skills and spells, and is very broad.

Effect being defined as the result of an ability, CRB page 631. Further, anything you do in the game has an effect.

So both are very broad game terms. To clarify the difference between an ability and an effect, note that the result of an ability is an effect.

Damage is just one type of effect, there are other effects like a condition can be imposed.

Traits and damage types are enumerated in the rules.

Targets. Spells that affect multiple creatures in an area can have both an Area entry and a Targets entry. A spell that has an area but no targets listed usually affects all creatures in the area indiscriminately.

Line of Effect. When creating an effect, you usually need an unblocked path to the target of a spell, the origin point of an effect’s area, or the place where you create something with a spell or other ability.
And
In an area effect, creatures or targets must have line of effect to the point of origin to be affected. If there’s no line of effect between the origin of the area and the target, the effect doesn’t apply to that target.

I’d like to note that there are some gaps here. Area of effects do not necessarily target. There are area of effect spells with no targets and no saving throws e.g. Darkness and MudPit. Fireball has a saving throw and an effect but not targets - which is important as you don’t have to know exactly where your enemy is hiding to use it.

Here's the immunity rules
When you have immunity to a specific type of damage, you ignore all damage of that type. If you have immunity to a specific condition or type of effect, you can't be affected by that condition or any effect of that type. You can still be targeted by an ability that includes an effect or condition you are immune to; you just don't apply that particular effect or condition.
If you have immunity to effects with a certain trait (such as death effects, poison, or disease), you are unaffected by effects with that trait. Often, an effect has a trait and deals that type of damage (this is especially true in the case of energy damage types). In these cases, the immunity applies to the effect corresponding to the trait, not just the damage. However, some complex effects might have parts that affect you even if you're immune to one of the effect's traits; for instance, a spell that deals both fire and acid damage can still deal acid damage to you even if you're immune to fire.

Also check the rules for subordinate actions The subordinate action doesn’t gain any of the traits of the larger action unless specified. Similarly note that Any ongoing effect that isn’t part of the spell’s duration entry isn’t considered magical. Basically what the rules say is that traits aren’t inherited.

So this means that a Strike with a magical weapon is not a magical ability, but the damage and the effect is still magical because of the fundamental rune on the weapon.


Now lets look at the Golem Antimagic of the Wood Golem

A golem is immune to spells and magical abilities other than its own, but each type of golem is affected by a few types of magic in special ways. These exceptions are listed in shortened form in the golem's stat block, with the full rules appearing here. If an entry lists multiple types (such as “cold and water”), either type of spell can affect the golem. For the wood golem its vulnerability is of course fire.

Note that this is all spells and magical abilities. So strikes with a magical weapon are not magical. The effect of the strikes is magical damage, but golems aren't immune to effects so they take that damage. All this damage, as the ability used was the strike. But to provide more detail I'll go on. The runes on weapons are magical. A flaming rune is magical. The damage is also magical because of the fundamental rune. So the extra fire damage from a flaming rune is magical fire damage. But the persistent damage from a critical is fire damage, but not magical fire damage.

Harmed By Any magic of this type that targets the golem causes it to take the listed amount of damage (this damage has no type) instead of the usual effect. If the golem starts its turn in an area of magic of this type or is affected by a persistent effect of the appropriate type, it takes the damage listed in the parenthetical.

The problem with this is that the main rules here says targets. Which means you don't need to make an attack roll here with produce flame it just does the alternate listed damage. No chance for a critical, no chance for a miss. You just have to target, the roll is replaced by the golems special antimagic. You don't roll a saving throw for Searing Light it does the alternate damage. The good damage from Searing Light would just be ignored by normal golem immunity. Worse most fire effects are actually area effects that don't target at all so Fireball does no damage to a wood golem at all. The golem is never targeted by a Fireball and it is immune to spells.

On going area and persistent effects would be fine. So the persistent damage from a fire spell or any fire effect would use the alternative damage listed for the wood golem.


What about ongoing magical effects, do they affect a golem.

Example Wall of Stone is a spell but it is not a magical effect or a spell after it is created, it just is.

Whereas Wall of Force has a duration and is magical. Something immune to magical effects and not otherwise stopped by Force could move through a Wall of Force. Golems are immune to spells and any magical ability. The immunity rules extend this to effects of spells. So a golem can walk through a wall of force.

I'm less clear if permanent effects still count as effects. They probably shouldn't. So I think its arguable if a golem can or cannot walk through a Wall of Stone. I leaning towards can not.


Durations wrote:
Some spells have effects that remain even after the spell’s magic is gone. Any ongoing effect that isn’t part of the spell’s duration entry isn’t considered magical. For instance, a spell that creates a loud sound and has no duration might deafen someone for a time, even permanently. This deafness couldn’t be counteracted because it is not itself magical (though it might be cured by other magic, such as restore senses).

Durations

As there's no duration entry, Wall of Stone definitely falls under being instantaneous and thus since the effect lasts longer than the duration it's not magical as soon as it's done being cast.


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Just checking. The point of this thread is to showcase how messed up and inconsistent the rules for Golem Antimagic actually are when you try to run the rules text exactly literally. Yes?


breithauptclan wrote:
Just checking. The point of this thread is to showcase how messed up and inconsistent the rules for Golem Antimagic actually are when you try to run the rules text exactly literally. Yes?

Yes. If there is broad agreement then I think we can start discussing if this is how it should be played.


Guntermench wrote:
Durations wrote:
Some spells have effects that remain even after the spell’s magic is gone. Any ongoing effect that isn’t part of the spell’s duration entry isn’t considered magical. For instance, a spell that creates a loud sound and has no duration might deafen someone for a time, even permanently. This deafness couldn’t be counteracted because it is not itself magical (though it might be cured by other magic, such as restore senses).

Durations

As there's no duration entry, Wall of Stone definitely falls under being instantaneous and thus since the effect lasts longer than the duration it's not magical as soon as it's done being cast.

I agree is it not magical. The rules are clear magical falls off it. But is it still a spell effect? That is not explicit in the rules, but to me that seems like a resonable assumption. If it is still a spell effect it counts.(Golem's are immune to spells and therefore the effect of spells)


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I don't think it's a spell effect. Creating the wall is the effect of the spell, the wall itself is just a wall.


Gortle wrote:
breithauptclan wrote:
Just checking. The point of this thread is to showcase how messed up and inconsistent the rules for Golem Antimagic actually are when you try to run the rules text exactly literally. Yes?
Yes. If there is broad agreement then I think we can start discussing if this is how it should be played.

OK. It is just good to be clear about that up-front. Otherwise there will be a lot of people who are trying to argue RAI on the same thread and that will cause a lot of conflict and contention.


Enumerating the Strike from the flaming sword.
The golem is immune to magical abilities.
But a Strike is not a magical ability.

So the weapon hits and does damage, magical damage that the golem takes.

The weapon does additional fire damage. That is an effect not an ability or a spell. So the golem antimagic does not trigger and it just takes that damage.

If the Strike was a critical hit. The golem take persistent fire damage from the flaming rune. That is an effect not an ability (maybe??) so the golem gets that effect.

But the Harmed By rule now comes into play. Whenever that persistent fire damage triggers, the golem would take the listed damage instead.

Is this technically right?

Sovereign Court

I thought it was already broadly accepted that the RAW rules for golem immunity were inconsistent and likely to result in food poisoning.

But if we're piling on, then I think also doubts have been raised in the past about things like activated abilities from magic weapons (which are not spells)

And also about crit effects like from Flaming runes which just happen, but are they abilities? Can effects only result from abilities or also from other things? If a regular Strike is not an ability because it's bog standard, isn't taking damage still an effect?

With golems in particular it seems like they invite to try to redefine "ability" to something that's quite far from a common English understanding of the word. Which kinda goes against the way PF2 tries to be readable. Like if we worry if something that happens automatically from an item is an ability.

---

I think it's really better use of time to try to get to an understanding of golem antimagic that passses all the "to be true" tests:

* Not too good to be true, like how PF1 alchemists basically bypassed golem immunities entirely because those bombs were supernatural and not spells and went against touch AC.

* Not too bad to be true, makes the game unplayable, like magic weapons not damaging golems while they have AC, HP in line with other enemies that you're expected to take on with magic weapons too.

* Not too weird to be true, like being vulnerable to fire but 90% of fire spells failing some oblique targeting requirement that comes as a total surprise to players trying to do the normal thing. PF2 prides itself on being a deep game with tactical choices, but strives not to be obscure in its rules. All rules should be readable at face value, and most succeed.


Ascalaphus wrote:

I thought it was already broadly accepted that the RAW rules for golem immunity were inconsistent and likely to result in food poisoning.

But if we're piling on, then I think also doubts have been raised in the past about things like activated abilities from magic weapons (which are not spells)

And also about crit effects like from Flaming runes which just happen, but are they abilities? Can effects only result from abilities or also from other things? If a regular Strike is not an ability because it's bog standard, isn't taking damage still an effect?

With golems in particular it seems like they invite to try to redefine "ability" to something that's quite far from a common English understanding of the word. Which kinda goes against the way PF2 tries to be readable. Like if we worry if something that happens automatically from an item is an ability.

They put the words ability and effect into the glossary. That has to mean something. They have a specific in game meaning at least.

The problem being that ability is defined as an exception to the general rule, but could be from a feat, or from a spell or open ended... which is a bit loose to be really sure around the edges.

A permanent effect of a weapon is probably not an ability
An activated effect of a weapon probably is.
I have this natural langauge though that an ability has to be something that is done rather than something that just is. I hesistate to use the word action as it has game meaning.

Ascalaphus wrote:

I think it's really better use of time to try to get to an understanding of golem antimagic that passses all the "to be true" tests:

Will definitely get there.


Gortle wrote:


Whereas Wall of Force has a duration and is magical. Something immune to magical effects and not otherwise stopped by Force could move through a Wall of Force. Golems are immune to spells and any magical ability. The immunity rules extend this to effects of spells. So a golem can walk through a wall of force.

Do the immunity rules extend this to effects of spells, though? Those rules only talk about effects, not abilities. Of course, if they don't, everything mostly stops working.

It's just the problem is summons, for example (if things like Wall of Force is obvious for you). Their presense is the effect of the spell. Their Strikes are magical (though I lost the part of the book which says it, where's it? not in the summoned trait for some reason). So Golems are immune to Strikes from summons?
What about buffs on you and allies then? So Blur, Invisibility and other such things also don't work?


Errenor wrote:
Gortle wrote:


Whereas Wall of Force has a duration and is magical. Something immune to magical effects and not otherwise stopped by Force could move through a Wall of Force. Golems are immune to spells and any magical ability. The immunity rules extend this to effects of spells. So a golem can walk through a wall of force.
Do the immunity rules extend this to effects of spells, though? Those rules only talk about effects, not abilities. Of course, if they don't, everything mostly stops working.

Good questions.

I think you are right the immunity rules talk about immunity to damage, and immunity to effects of a particular trait, from which I think we can make conclusions about immunity to effects.

Immunity to magic is defined because that is a trait.

But not actually immunity to spells.

But spells can have a duration. I think it is reasonable to assume that immunity to spells applies for the duration of a spell, and at least to the direct effects of spells.

Errenor wrote:
It's just the problem is summons, for example (if things like Wall of Force is obvious for you). Their presense is the effect of the spell. Their Strikes are magical (though I lost the part of the book which says it, where's it? not in the summoned trait for some reason). So Golems are immune to Strikes from summons?

Well we know from subordinate actions that summons aren't necessarily magical even though all spells are. So immunity to magic would not necessarily provide immunity to whatever summoned creatures do. But would immunity to spells? I'm still thinking no because summons use their own abilities and create their own effects. But again this is using the example of subordinate actions and ongoing effects, and not an explicit rule.

Errenor wrote:
What about buffs on you and allies then? So Blur, Invisibility and other such things also don't work?

They affect you and your allies, not the golem. Even though it has consequences for the golem they aren't really affecting the golem directly.

Tying to fit the answers into the rules framework that PF2 is, is getting a bit speculative.


Gortle wrote:


Well we know from subordinate actions that summons aren't necessarily magical even though all spells are. So immunity to magic would not necessarily provide immunity to whatever summoned creatures do. But would immunity to spells? I'm still thinking no because summons use their own abilities and create their own effects. But again this is using the example of subordinate actions and ongoing effects, and not an explicit rule.

I can't find where it said that summon's Strikes are magical at all. I guess I imagined that. If so, yes, summons have no reason to be affected by immunity to spells.

Gortle wrote:
Errenor wrote:
What about buffs on you and allies then? So Blur, Invisibility and other such things also don't work?

They affect you and your allies, not the golem. Even though it has consequences for the golem they aren't really affecting the golem directly.

Tying to fit the answers into the rules framework that PF2 is, is getting a bit speculative.

Well, Wall of Force is not cast on the golem. Darkness too. What is the difference between Darkness and Invisibility or Blur?

What is the difference between the Stoneskin effect and Wall of Force? Both come in contact with a golem. Why does it go through a Wall of Force but can't punch through Stoneskin?
Maybe there are even better examples.
I guess sometimes it's really hard to say whom an effect affects.


Errenor wrote:

Well, Wall of Force is not cast on the golem. Darkness too. What is the difference between Darkness and Invisibility or Blur?

What is the difference between the Stoneskin effect and Wall of Force? Both come in contact with a golem. Why does it go through a Wall of Force but can't punch through Stoneskin?
Maybe there are even better examples.
I guess sometimes it's really hard to say whom an effect affects.

Perhaps part of it is tradition. But I think it is largely possible to determine.

Darkness like MudPit affect the environment. Which obvious will cause difficulties, but its not really affetcing the golem.

Wall of Force is a ongoing spell effect, which impacts the golem when he chooses to move because its an active barrier, not an environmental effect.

Wall of Stone create an effect and then its done. Leaving behind an environmental change.

Stone skin toughens up someone else. It acts on someone else, not the golem.

Yes in each case the golem comes into contact with the result of the spell. But I think its clear which of these is directly affecting the golem, and which affects something else and only indirectly affects the golem.

The lines between these seem clear to me. They are also traditional to d20.


Gortle wrote:
Errenor wrote:

Well, Wall of Force is not cast on the golem. Darkness too. What is the difference between Darkness and Invisibility or Blur?

What is the difference between the Stoneskin effect and Wall of Force? Both come in contact with a golem. Why does it go through a Wall of Force but can't punch through Stoneskin?
Maybe there are even better examples.
I guess sometimes it's really hard to say whom an effect affects.

Perhaps part of it is tradition. But I think it is largely possible to determine.

...
The lines between these seem clear to me. They are also traditional to d20.

I think I more or less understand the principle for distinguishing. But for the 'strict rules' approach it may be a bit too weak.

And while Stone skin could be not the best example, I genuinely see little difference between Wall of Force and Darkness for example. Or even better, Wall of Force and Grease, or Entangle, or Rime Slick, or Web.
Do other free-space illusions (like Illusory object, Warped Terrain and the like) work?


Errenor wrote:

I think I more or less understand the principle for distinguishing. But for the 'strict rules' approach it may be a bit too weak.

And while Stone skin could be not the best example, I genuinely see little difference between Wall of Force and Darkness for example. Or even better, Wall of Force and Grease, or Entangle, or Rime Slick, or Web.
Do other free-space illusions (like Illusory object, Warped Terrain and the like) work?

Darkness surpresses light in the area. There is nothing for the golem to be immune to. Mudpit makes mud, normal mud.

The spell effects of Wall of Force and Grease, or Entangle, or Rime Slick, or Web - are active things that interect with the Golem. The difference is clear to me.

Illusions don't intereact with of magic immunity. If you see and believe the illusion that ís it. Maybe a GM might have it apply if you touched the illusion.

Sovereign Court

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Gortle wrote:
Perhaps part of it is tradition. (...) They are also traditional to d20.

I dunno. Tradition sounds a lot like PF1, which had entirely different ways for distinguishing what a golem would be immune to. A golem wouldn't be able to walk through a wall of force in PF1 because wall of force didn't allow Spell Resistance.

Generally, PF1 allowed spell resistance for more invasive effects, that would directly affect a creature. Stuff that just fell on it (glitterdust) or that the creature could fall into (create pit) or walk up against (wall of force) didn't allow spell resistance and so magic immunity didn't help against it.

Is not being able to walk wherever you please being "affected" by walls? That feels like a bit esoteric postmodern discussion.

But a golem walking straight through wall of force is rather surprising, given that wall of force still (and traditionally) made such a fuss about specifying which very few things can get through it or destroy it, much fewer than other effects. I'd like something more explicit than inferring it from a notoriously unclear ability.


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The thing is that the given rules do not distinguish in between at least 3 separate cases when taking about spell and magical ability immunity.

1) Spells and magical abilities that directly interact with the Golem.
2) Spells and magical abilities that indirectly interact with the Golem.
3) Spells and magical abilities that interact with the environment and which may possibly interact with the Golem at a later time.

Fireball or Produce Flame clearly fall into the first category. Darkness, Wall of Force or even Stoneskin imho all fall into the second category. Wall of Stone falls into the third category. My best guess for Golem Antimagic has always been that RAI it applies only to category one, however without further distinguishing in the given RAW it could easily also be category one *and* two, or even all three of them.


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Ubertron_X wrote:

The thing is that the given rules do not distinguish in between at least 3 separate cases when taking about spell and magical ability immunity.

1) Spells and magical abilities that directly interact with the Golem.
2) Spells and magical abilities that indirectly interact with the Golem.
3) Spells and magical abilities that interact with the environment and which may possibly interact with the Golem at a later time.

Fireball or Produce Flame clearly fall into the first category. Darkness, Wall of Force or even Stoneskin imho all fall into the second category. Wall of Stone falls into the third category. My best guess for Golem Antimagic has always been that RAI it applies only to category one, however without further distinguishing in the given RAW it could easily also be category one *and* two, or even all three of them.

I prefer

1) Magic that directly interacts with the Golem.
eg Produce Flame, Slow

2) Magic that affects a third party.
eg Haste, Bless, Stoneskin, Shield

3) Magic that is created and the Golem interacts with the magic directly.
eg Wall of Force, Grease, Web

4) Magic that interact with the environment which the Golem exists in.
Mud Pit, Wall of Stone, Darkness, Sensory (not mental) Illusions.

I see that magic resistance/imunity such as the Golem has should protect against 1) and 3). Maybe there is an argument that things like Shield and StoneSkin could be effecting the Golem, but the mechanics of the game have these things protect and affect a third party so its easiest to treat these things the same as buffs like Bless and not worry about immunity here. 4) I see nothing directly to do with the immunity of the Golem, they are just changing the world the Golem is in.


Gortle wrote:


Darkness surpresses light in the area. There is nothing for the golem to be immune to. Mudpit makes mud, normal mud.

The spell effects of Wall of Force and Grease, or Entangle, or Rime Slick, or Web - are active things that interect with the Golem. The difference is clear to me.

Illusions don't intereact with of magic immunity. If you see and believe the illusion that ís it. Maybe a GM might have it apply if you touched the illusion.

Wall of Force supresses presence of physical objects in the area. Also it's basically an object so doesn't demand saves.

Yes, I guess Darkness is an evocation and it's hard to reformulate it affecting golem.
But all illusions do directly affect senses of everyone around, they make you see|feel|sense what isn't there or not see|feel|sense what is there or see|feel|sense something differently. They are quite direct, you also make a kind of saves against them.


Errenor wrote:
Gortle wrote:


Darkness surpresses light in the area. There is nothing for the golem to be immune to. Mudpit makes mud, normal mud.

The spell effects of Wall of Force and Grease, or Entangle, or Rime Slick, or Web - are active things that interect with the Golem. The difference is clear to me.

Illusions don't intereact with of magic immunity. If you see and believe the illusion that ís it. Maybe a GM might have it apply if you touched the illusion.

Wall of Force supresses presence of physical objects in the area. Also it's basically an object so doesn't demand saves.

Yes, I guess Darkness is an evocation and it's hard to reformulate it affecting golem.
But all illusions do directly affect senses of everyone around, they make you see|feel|sense what isn't there or not see|feel|sense what is there or see|feel|sense something differently. They are quite direct, you also make a kind of saves against them.

You are imagining your world in a different way to me.

Wall of Force is a magical barrier - it stops movement through it. That there is no save is not the main point. The magic is an active effect directly blocking the golem. The golem directly impacts the magic.

Sensory Illusions create sensory inputs which are then interpreted by the viewer. They are just part of the environment.
Mental Illusions act directly on the target.


Gortle wrote:
Better spells and effects subcategories

Though you have defined the subcategories much better than I did, I do not agree to put spells like Mud Pit, Obscuring Mist or Darkness in the same category as Wall of Stone.

The former three all have a duration and conditions will return to normal once the duration of the spell has run out. More more mud on the ground, no more mist in the air, no more darkness (though I am open to debate what "the effect ends" means for those kind of spells). As such I still consider them magical mud, magical mist and magical darkness throughout the running time of their respective spell, which means that the Golem might be immune against those effects (debatable of course).

On the other hand Wall of Stone is permanent, it simply is after casting.

Consider it like looking at the spell or effect one round after casting using Detec Magic. Which ones will still register as being (active) magic?


Ubertron_X wrote:
Gortle wrote:
Better spells and effects subcategories

Though you have defined the subcategories much better than I did, I do not agree to put spells like Mud Pit, Obscuring Mist or Darkness in the same category as Wall of Stone.

The former three all have a duration and conditions will return to normal once the duration of the spell has run out. More more mud on the ground, no more mist in the air, no more darkness (though I am open to debate what "the effect ends" means for those kind of spells). As such I still consider them magical mud, magical mist and magical darkness throughout the running time of their respective spell, which means that the Golem might be immune against those effects (debatable of course).

Yeah I see the difference. I see it an an enviromental change, not a direct thing. Mud is summoned and it does what mud does. But they have a duration. So your way makes sense too.

Summon Animal would be the same. It fair to say its just a normal animal after it arrives, but its also fair to see it a being magically sustained and therefore resistable.
As consumers of PF2 we shouldn't make this call, the game should tell us but it doesn't.


Gortle wrote:


You are imagining your world in a different way to me.

Not exactly that, I just reformulated Darkness to make it similar to Wall of Force to show that they could rather easily be considered close in the way they work.

And I still think that free-space illusions really do work the same (or even more direct than) as Wall of Force.
Anyway now we have some things which could be contested in interpretation.


Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
Gortle wrote:
Note that this is all spells and magical abilities. So strikes with a magical weapon are not magical. The effect of the strikes is magical damage, but golems aren't immune to effects so they take that damage. All this damage, as the ability used was the strike. But to provide more detail I'll go on. The runes on weapons are magical. A flaming rune is magical. The damage is also magical because of the fundamental rune. So the extra fire damage from a flaming rune is magical fire damage. But the persistent damage from a critical is fire damage, but not magical fire damage.

Not sure why the persistent fire from a flaming weapon's critical hit wouldn't also be magical? It's still damage caused by the weapon, which a fundamental rune makes into magical damage.

It's worth noting that the 'Harmed By' section about persistent damage being replaced is underneath the broader 'Golem Immunities' ability, as a specific exception to the broad immunity to magical abilities and spells. So only the persistent damage from one of those would be replaced with the other damage, not any mundane source of persistent damage.

Moving onto persistent effects, those that go beyond a spell's duration are no longer magical but are also really no longer part of the spell. The wall of stone created by wall of stone is a completely mundane wall of stone and not part of the spell after its creation, just like how the deafness of a sound burst isn't a part of the spell after it has completed. So a golem's immunity to spells wouldn't apply to either of these persistent effects after the spell was cast.

What's really interesting is that casting wall of stone and trying to include a golem in the area would trigger the immunity to spells. As the limitation on putting creatures within the wall is part of the spell's effect, the golem might similarly be exempt from that.


thewastedwalrus wrote:
Gortle wrote:
Note that this is all spells and magical abilities. So strikes with a magical weapon are not magical. The effect of the strikes is magical damage, but golems aren't immune to effects so they take that damage. All this damage, as the ability used was the strike. But to provide more detail I'll go on. The runes on weapons are magical. A flaming rune is magical. The damage is also magical because of the fundamental rune. So the extra fire damage from a flaming rune is magical fire damage. But the persistent damage from a critical is fire damage, but not magical fire damage.

Not sure why the persistent fire from a flaming weapon's critical hit wouldn't also be magical? It's still damage caused by the weapon, which a fundamental rune makes into magical damage.

Is it actually magical that matters? The immunity is to spells and magical abilities, and I'm not totally sure a rune is an ability. The harmed by section does talk about magic. But that is not totally equvalent.

But the rule for durations linked previously is:
Some spells have effects that remain even after the spell’s magic is gone. Any ongoing effect that isn’t part of the spell’s duration entry isn’t considered magical. For instance, a spell that creates a loud sound and has no duration might deafen someone for a time, even permanently. This deafness couldn’t be counteracted because it is not itself magical (though it might be cured by other magic, such as restore senses).

Persistent damage technically can be ongoing but desn't have a duration. A natural language reading might call that a duration.

thewastedwalrus wrote:


It's worth noting that the 'Harmed By' section about persistent damage being replaced is underneath the broader 'Golem Immunities' ability, as a specific exception to the broad immunity to magical abilities and spells. So only the persistent damage from one of those would be replaced with the other damage, not any mundane source of persistent damage.

I can easily read the Harmed By section for a Wood Golem as as Harmed By all fire even non magical fire.

thewastedwalrus wrote:


Moving onto persistent effects, those that go beyond a spell's duration are no longer magical but are also really no longer part of the spell. The wall of stone created by wall of stone is a completely mundane wall of stone and not part of the spell after its creation, just like how the deafness of a sound burst isn't a part of the spell after it has completed. So a golem's immunity to spells wouldn't apply to either of these persistent effects after the spell was cast.

What's really interesting is that casting wall of stone and trying to include a golem in the area would trigger the immunity to spells. As the limitation on putting creatures within the wall is part of the spell's effect, the golem might similarly be exempt from that.

Wall of Stone covers that already, it fails.


Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
Gortle wrote:
thewastedwalrus wrote:
Gortle wrote:
Note that this is all spells and magical abilities. So strikes with a magical weapon are not magical. The effect of the strikes is magical damage, but golems aren't immune to effects so they take that damage. All this damage, as the ability used was the strike. But to provide more detail I'll go on. The runes on weapons are magical. A flaming rune is magical. The damage is also magical because of the fundamental rune. So the extra fire damage from a flaming rune is magical fire damage. But the persistent damage from a critical is fire damage, but not magical fire damage.

Not sure why the persistent fire from a flaming weapon's critical hit wouldn't also be magical? It's still damage caused by the weapon, which a fundamental rune makes into magical damage.

Is it actually magical that matters? The immunity is to spells and magical abilities, and I'm not totally sure a rune is an ability. The harmed by section does talk about magic. But that is not totally equvalent.

This is only in response to you calling the persistent damage "not magical fire damage". Either way for Golem Immunities it's irrelevant.

Gortle wrote:

But the rule for durations linked previously is:

Some spells have effects that remain even after the spell’s magic is gone. Any ongoing effect that isn’t part of the spell’s duration entry isn’t considered magical. For instance, a spell that creates a loud sound and has no duration might deafen someone for a time, even permanently. This deafness couldn’t be counteracted because it is not itself magical (though it might be cured by other magic, such as restore senses).

Persistent damage technically can be ongoing but desn't have a duration. A natural language reading might call that a duration.

That rule is under the section about spells, and only refers to spells, no reason it would apply to the persistent damage from a flaming weapon.

Gortle wrote:
I can easily read the Harmed By section for a Wood Golem as as Harmed By all fire even non magical fire.

You definitely can if you ignore the rest of the ability, but consider reading the text above the Harmed/Healed/Slowed By and Vulnerable entries:

Golem Immunities wrote:

A golem is immune to spells and magical abilities other than its own, but each type of golem is affected by a few types of magic in special ways. These exceptions are listed in shortened form in the golem's stat block, with the full rules appearing here. If an entry lists multiple types (such as “cold and water”), either type of spell can affect the golem.

Golems taking extra damage from mundane persistent damage doesn't seem like an exception to their immunity to magic.

Gortle wrote:
Wall of Stone covers that already, it fails.

The idea is that normally wall of stone would just be lost because of the line under its effect, but casting an earth spell with a golem in the area where the wall would be might trigger something like "Harmed By: earth" which causes the spell to have no effect to the golem beyond damaging it. The Golem Immunities might negate the effect that causes the spell to entirely fail.

Definitely more of a stretch, especially as it's not technically an area spell and instead just creates something that has an area.


Gortle wrote:


Darkness surpresses light in the area. There is nothing for the golem to be immune to. Mudpit makes mud, normal mud.

The spell effects of Wall of Force and Grease, or Entangle, or Rime Slick, or Web - are active things that interect with the Golem. The difference is clear to me.

Grease makes grease. Mud Pit makes mud. Why are these things different in your mind?


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For the sole purpose of irritating thread necromancers such as yourself.


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Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber

Y'all. Golem antimagic is being thrown out of the game. Please stop arguing about it.


Cunningallusionment wrote:
Gortle wrote:


Darkness surpresses light in the area. There is nothing for the golem to be immune to. Mudpit makes mud, normal mud.

The spell effects of Wall of Force and Grease, or Entangle, or Rime Slick, or Web - are active things that interect with the Golem. The difference is clear to me.

Grease makes grease. Mud Pit makes mud. Why are these things different in your mind?

A fair point. I guess it comes down to light having defined mechanics in the game, but Grease only has the effects listed in the spell.

So the game does

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