Iron Golem:

A magical attack that deals electricity damage slows an iron golem (as the slow spell) for 3 rounds, with no saving throw.

If the golem had resistance to lightning to negate the spell damage, would it be slowed the same?


2 Answers 2


I know it's not the same thing, but the Dungeon Master's Guide on Damage Reduction, in part, says that

Whenever damage reduction completely negates the damage from an attack, it also negates most special effects that accompany the attack, such as injury type poison, a monk’s stunning, and injury type disease. (292)

So, based on this, the DM has a choice: either resistance to electricity functions similarly enough to damage reduction that negating the electricity damage completely—so that the electricity damage is not dealt to the creature—likewise means the creature remains unaffected by any of the electricity effect's ancillary effects or because ignoring ancillary effects is unmentioned by Resistance to Energy (298) the creature does, in fact, still suffer the electricity effect's ancillary effects.

A strict DM would likely rule the latter, but a persuasive player may sway a less strict DM toward the former.

In other words, the rules are silent on this specific case, probably not anticipating, for example, a wizard equipping her iron golem (Monster Manual 136–7) with a ring of greater electricity resistance (DMG 232) (44,000 gp; 0 lbs.).


The iron golem is slowed even with resistance/immunity to electricity damage.

Iron Golems have Magic Immunity:

Immunity to Magic (Ex): An iron golem is immune to any spell or spell-like ability that allows spell resistance. In addition, certain spells and effects function differently against the creature, as noted below.

A magical attack that deals electricity damage slows an iron golem (as the slow spell) for 3 rounds, with no saving throw.


Energy Resistance is defined as:

A creature with resistance to energy has the ability (usually extraordinary) to ignore some damage of a certain type each round, but it does not have total immunity.

Each resistance ability is defined by what energy type it resists and how many points of damage are resisted. It doesn’t matter whether the damage has a mundane or magical source.

When resistance completely negates the damage from an energy attack, the attack does not disrupt a spell. This resistance does not stack with the resistance that a spell might provide.

Generic Energy Immunity isn't defined, but Cold and Fire are; the relevant bit in both is:

A creature with fire immunity never takes fire damage. (etc; fire immunity inherently includes cold vulnerability)

Neither Resistance nor Immunity say anything about damage being reduced to 0 categorically negating additional effects of the source of the damage the way that DR does.

Iron golems don't actually have Spell Resistance, so Shocking Grasp still deals electricity damage, it's just that the golem is immune to it since it's from a spell that offers SR. Thus, the spell deals damage (that is ignored), thus it slows the golem.

Energy resistance and immunity both appear to work in much the same way: the damage is dealt but ignored, so Shocking Grasp still deals damage, so the golem is still slowed.


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