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I am playing a sorcerer in Pathfinder and using the 1st level spell Windy Escape. The DM approved it. The problem I am having is how the spell works exactly.

As I understand it, all attacks from normal non-magical weapons or natural attacks will pass through the caster causing no damage. And, the caster ignores the first 10 points of damage from a magical weapon.

My DM recently read it again and is now reading it as DR 10/magic means that for all attacks I only ignore the first 10 points but take the rest of the damage. It does not matter if the attack comes from a magical weapon or not

So, my question is: Does the spell Windy Escape provide complete immunity to nonmagical damage and 10 points resistance to attacks from magic weapons? Or, does the spell provide 10 point resistance to all attacks from magic weapons and non-magical weapons?

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According to d20pfsrd, Windy Escape gives you the following:

You gain DR 10/magic against this attack and are immune to any poison, sneak attacks, or critical hit effect from that attack.

Also according to d20pfsrd, the Damage Reduction entry,

The entry indicates the amount of damage ignored (usually 5 to 15 points) and the type of weapon that negates the ability.

It also says that:

The creature takes normal damage from energy attacks (even nonmagical ones), spells, spell-like abilities, and supernatural abilities

So, if you are attacked by:

  • an energy attack (even a nonmagical one)
  • a spell
  • a spell-like ability (Sp)
  • a supernatural ability (Su)
  • any attack with an entry matching your damage reduction entry (magical weapon in your case)

...then you are in trouble; your DR doesn't work. Otherwise (if not attacked by any of the aforementioned entities) it does work, and you subtract 10 from damage that would normally be applied against you.

Note that Windy Escape protects against one attack. If it deals only 6 points of damage, you don't save the rest 4 points of DR for future use, they are lost, you have to cast the spell again to be protected against the attack.

Pathfinder wording may be a bit tricky sometimes, or more than a bit. When in doubt, the best option is usually rereading all of the related rules on SRD. Just read carefully a couple of times, and you will be good. I have also fallen in your trap once, so don't worry.

Be careful, and good luck on your journey.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ I edited your answer to have the important bits stand out a little bit. If you don't like how it looks now, feel free to roll it back. \$\endgroup\$ – Ifusaso Jul 31 '17 at 12:22
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Ifusaso Thank for your edit, it is very good! I am not rolling it back! :) \$\endgroup\$ – Baskakov_Dmitriy Jul 31 '17 at 13:39
  • \$\begingroup\$ Thank you so much @Baskakov_Dmitriy and Ifusaso. This is exactly what I needed to understand. I was confused about the amount of damage taken. Thanks for taking the time to break this down for me. Its a new spell to both myself and my DM so I just needed clarification. \$\endgroup\$ – jiggles caliente Jul 31 '17 at 15:10
  • \$\begingroup\$ @jigglescaliente Please don't write "thank you" comments. Invest some time in the site and you will gain sufficient privileges to upvote answers you like, which is the Role-playing Games way of saying thank you. \$\endgroup\$ – Baskakov_Dmitriy Jul 31 '17 at 15:12
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    \$\begingroup\$ Yeah. DR/typed is weird because its a little counter-intuitive how its written and players usually don't get it. It makes a bit more sense when you get used to looking at commonly known creatures like werewolves (etc) with DR/silver or some fey who have DR/cold iron. You can find it in the Defensive portion of the statblock. \$\endgroup\$ – Ifusaso Jul 31 '17 at 20:21
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The game expects the reader to intuit that the spell windy escape neither actually makes the caster briefly insubstantial nor provides DR 10/magic forevermore for the price of a 1st-level spell, but, instead, that the spell windy escape grants its caster DR 10/magic only against the one incoming attack that's being made against the caster right now. Future attacks are unaffected. (There's no reason, for instance, for a spell to have Casting Time: 1 immediate action if the spell's effect grants the caster a super power that lasts the rest of the caster's life! I mean, why not just cast such a spell when it was first learned?)

A Duration entry of Duration: 1 enemy's attack perhaps would've been clearer—or, at least, more accurate—than the windy escape spell's Duration: Instantaneous. Most of the time when a spell has a duration of instantaneous, after the spell's cast, the spell's effect persists forevermore. For example, casting the spell fabricate turns raw materials into finished goods forevermore, and the spell wall of iron conjures forth an iron wall that remains forevermore.

By the same token, casting the windy escape spell should forevermore grant the caster the ability to "respond to an attack by briefly becoming vaporous and insubstantial, allowing the attack to pass harmlessly through" the caster. Unfortunately, the actual effect of the windy escape spell isn't clear from the spell's description, the description combining fluff and crunch into a confusing whole. When the spell's description says, "You respond to an attack by briefly becoming vaporous and insubstantial, allowing the attack to pass harmlessly through you" (emphasis mine), the spell's describing the circumstances in which the spell can be cast, not the spell's effect. The spell's actual effect is described in the next sentence: "You gain DR 10/magic against this attack and are immune to any poison, sneak attacks, or critical hit effect from that attack" (emphasis mine).

The DR granted by the windy escape spell functions normally with some exceptions. The DR reduces the damage dealt by that lone attack by 10 points if the attack is made with a mundane weapon (like a typical longsword) or a typical natural weapon attack (like a giraffe's slam) but does not reduce the damage dealt if the attack deals energy damage or if the attack is magical in nature or if the weapon used is a magical weapon (like a +1 longsword or a giraffe's slam affected by the spell magic fang).

However, even if the spell's DR is bypassed, the windy escape spell's caster remains immune to "any poison, sneak attacks, or critical hit effect from that attack," making the spell useful even if the the enemy rogue attacks the caster with her magical rapier, her sneak attack damage negated for that attack, the poison dripping from the blade briefly not a concern, and the possibility of that attack becoming a critical hit absent.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ Are you not confusing permament with instantaneous? Yes, there are instantaneous effects that permanently do something (like cure spells), but a lot of instantaneous effects do something once and are done about it. The spell, being cast using an immediate action, can be used against an attack while it is not your turn, then the spell effect says that it works against that attack and that is the duration of the spell, one attack. If the character is attacked more than once, the next attack will not be reduced by the spell effect. \$\endgroup\$ – ShadowKras Jul 31 '17 at 11:49
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    \$\begingroup\$ I am not saying that this answer is wrong, but the first two paragraphs seem unnecessarily complicated to follow and the reader might be even more confused if he isn't that familiar with the system. \$\endgroup\$ – ShadowKras Jul 31 '17 at 11:51
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    \$\begingroup\$ @ShadowKras You know that I know the difference between instantaneous and permanent. The problem I think that the asker may be having is reading the spell's instantaneous duration as granting the caster forevermore (not permanently!) the ability to "respond to an attack by briefly becoming vaporous and insubstantial, allowing the attack to pass harmlessly through you," when we know—intuitively—that the spell's effect is only good for one attack. If you've a mo, reread the question with that concept in mind and reread my answer and see if it's still a mess. ;-) \$\endgroup\$ – Hey I Can Chan Jul 31 '17 at 11:58
  • \$\begingroup\$ @HeyICanChan As a beginner who is also confused about that "instantaneous permanent" stuff, I understood how it works (intuitively) the same moment I have read the description, and "instantaneous" I have understood as "cast when attacked, no time needed for it". But your answer is the thing that made me a bit confused. \$\endgroup\$ – Baskakov_Dmitriy Jul 31 '17 at 13:21
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Baskakov_Dmitriy I've reorganized this, and I hope that helps. Instantaneous isn't a casting time but a duration, and I'm guessing that— from the asker's boldfaced question—the instantaneous duration of windy escape has been misunderstood to be closer to that of a spell like wall of iron than a there-and-gone effect (like it should be) like the spell scorching ray or cure light wounds. (Previous comment's terrible typo corrected.) \$\endgroup\$ – Hey I Can Chan Jul 31 '17 at 14:53

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