Fantasy Grounds FRIDAYS NOON
  1. #1

    Golem Antimagic versus "magical" weapons and runes

    Instead of starting a discussion in the ruleset development thread or old generically named "resistance issues" thread, I prefer to start a new discussion on how Golem immunities and weapon runes are to be handled. Here is my take:

    "Fundamental" weapon runes do not cause "magic" damage, they are "magical" runes that turn a weapon into a "magical" weapon, but still cause physical damage (or rather the original weapon type) without adding a special "magical" damage trait. These runes enhance/affect the weapon itself. So golems' resistance against physical attacks affect mundane and magical weapons the same.

    There are some rare creatures that have "Resistance: physical X (except magical)". These creatures' resistances are negated by the fact that the weapon/damage source is magical, but the damage is still physical with no extra "magical" trait. And there are "incorporeal" creatures whose resistances are doubled against "non-magical damage", but there still is no "magical" damage trait. The latter is unfortunately somewhat badly worded by Paizo, but I understand why they did not want to add a special "magical" damage trait to the game just for these very few exceptions on how to handle physical damage.

    Furthermore golems do not have "immunity: magic", they have "immunity: magic (see below)", with "see below" pointing to their "Golem Antimagic" abilities. This "Golem Antimagic" usually pertains to creatures using "spells and innate magical abilities other than its own" (its own = the golem's). Unfortunately Paizo botched to deliver concise wording again, so the "creatures'" part is less than clear and can be disputed.

    Said possible dispute is about "Property runes", because these runes are worded as adding "special abilities" to weapons, which of course are "magical". Damn you Paizo editor. Since there still is no "magical" damage trait you have a situation where a "flaming" property rune adds extra "fire" damage to a weapon. You can still perfectly well argue that the rune affects/enhanced the weapon, not the target. And frankly, this would be the easiest and most sane way of handling things in FG. Of course you would also have to argue that property runes to not trigger the "Harmed by" vulnerability then. It's all or nothing.

    On the other hand, if you count property runes as "magical abilities" that Golems are immune against, then the "Harmed by" part is also triggered (like a flaming rune against a flesh golem). This is considerably more complex to automate in FG, though, because again: there is no "magical" damage trait.

    Wands, scrolls and staves are clearly a form of spell-casting, so I see no conflicts there. These work the same as otherwise casted spells do.

    Last but not least, alchemical bombs are not magical and thus trigger neither the "Golem antimagic" immunities nor the "Harmed by" weaknesses. So no, your 1 point acid "splash" damage does not crumble the iron golem to dust. :P
    Last edited by Weissrolf; October 22nd, 2021 at 01:38.

  2. #2
    I was just made aware that the "Harmed by" part says "any magic", so it's not necessarily all or nothing for property runes.

  3. #3
    The golem antimagic rules are problematic in so many ways that it's not even funny. I agree with you about spells and wands and alchemical stuff.

    However, to me it seems like Golems should also be immune to magic in weapons and by that I mean both fundamental and property runes. I would treat any magical weapon used to smack a golem as a non-magical version of the same weapon, because it's still (typically) a sharp or heavy piece of metal.

    I don't think there's any convenient way to do this with FG automation though, so it would have to be handled manually.

  4. #4
    For easiest gameplay and likely being RAI: Only count spells and creature based magical abilities (listed in the Bestiary entries) as relevant for Golem Antimagic.

    Handle all magical runes for Golems just as always. Fundamental runes enhance weapons' physical damage and Property runes magical "abilities" are not creature based and easier to just handle as extra energy/alignment damage.

    So a flaming weapon deals physical damage that is resisted by a golem plus fire (energy) damage that is not resisted.

    Let's look at spells then: The magical energy of any spell targeting a Golem is transformed into pure damage, a level 1 spell does the same damage as a level 10 spell. Ongoing magical area effects that a Golem begins its round in also transform into pure damage, albeit to a lesser degree. So a Ray of Frost does not deal cold damage to a Clay Golem, it's magical "cold" patterns directly disrupt the essence of the construct. It just needs to hit:

    Pathfinder 2E only lists a single AC entry for creatures, there is no more "touch AC". So you have to decide if an "Attack" spell never misses (auto-hits) despite the Golem moving dexterous or if it still has to penetrate a Golem's armor/shell even when its a "Harmed by" spell. The latter makes sense, because you try to funnel the magical energies into the Golems core. As a middle ground solution: GMs are free to choose a different DC than AC, so something like a Dexterity DC (10 + Dex modifier) might be proper to determine if an attack spell completely misses the Golem (no damage modification).

    Golems have saving throw values listed, which seems to suggest that they are granted saving throws. But in practice these only seem to be there for the sake of being a complete Bestiary entry. E.g. Golems have Will saves, despite being mindless and immune to necromantic effects. And again, the original spell is transformed into pure unmodified damage, except for those "Vulnerable to" spells that either "affect...normally" (aka saving throw and effects apply) or when the Golem Antimagic is completely negated (like Stone to Flesh on a Stone Golem). Personally I also don't see an Ice or Wood Golem even trying to dodge a Fireball to completely evade it (critical success) and any other result would just use the same static damage without being modified.

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