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We've seen a few powers that make a creature insubstantial now, but we haven't been able to find out what it means. What does it mean and where can we get a clear definition?

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On the off-chance that you were looking for a real-world rather than D&D definition, "insubstantial" means "lacking substance", i.e. without material presence, ethereal. – DJClayworth Aug 23 '11 at 3:00
up vote 17 down vote accepted

Rules for Insubstantial can be found on page 277 of the 4th Edition Player's Handbook.

The short version is that insubstantial creatures take half damage.

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+1: The long version precises that it takes half damage from ongoing damage too. :) – Erik Burigo Aug 31 '11 at 12:38

In 2nd edition you became 'insubstantial' because of a spell like ectoplasmic form, which turned you incorporeal or 'not real' in a way. So the effect in 4e (like Ectoplasmic Armor for example), similiar, in that you take half damage. In earlier editions you couldn't be hurt except by +1 or magical weapons, or by spells, when incorporeal.

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The question is about 4e. While interesting, the info about previous editions is not related to how it works in the given context and should be removed. – Zachiel Feb 15 '13 at 19:58

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