The undead trait confers

Immunity to any effect that requires a Fortitude save (unless that effect also works on objects or is harmless). (Monster Manual, p. 317)

The spell Blast of Force has the following effect:

a successful hit forces the subject to make a Fortitude save or be knocked prone (size and stability modifiers apply to the saving throw as if the spell were a bull rush). (Spell Compendium, p. 31)

As being knocked prone is certainly not harmless, the question is whether you can target an object with Blast of Force to achieve a bull rush effect. The spell reads:

You must succeed on a ranged touch attack with the ray to strike a target.

There is no mention on having to target a creature, so you could use it to target an object.

Does that mean you could knock undead prone with Blast of Force?


Yes, undead are immune to the prone effect of blast of force. Even though you could launch the ray at an undead creature (or at an object), because it says “Saving Throw Fortitude partial” instead of “Saving Throw Fortitude partial (object)” means that undead are immune to the part of the effect that allows the Fortitude saving throw.

It’s a reasonable case to take to your DM, but that’s what the rules say.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ That seems… off to me. The spell's effect is a ray, and a caster can fire a ray at any ol' thing, right? But if the caster of the blast zaps a bottle, the bottle won't topple, yet if he zaps a puppy, that puppy may be knocked away? \$\endgroup\$ – Hey I Can Chan Jan 20 '18 at 16:13
  • \$\begingroup\$ @HeyICanChan Hence the statement that it’s a reasonable case to bring to the DM? I’m not aware of anything in the rules that would get around this. I don’t buy that being able to target an object with the ray implicitly gives the saving throw the (object) modifier. \$\endgroup\$ – KRyan Jan 20 '18 at 16:44
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    \$\begingroup\$ Huh. So if blast of force had no saving throw entry, you'd likewise rule that spell can't affect objects because it doesn't specifically say anywhere that the spell can affect objects even if the ray can be used to attack objects? (I'm thinking scorching ray here, for example.) \$\endgroup\$ – Hey I Can Chan Jan 20 '18 at 19:29
  • \$\begingroup\$ @HeyICanChan Hmm, a good point. I’ll think on it more. \$\endgroup\$ – KRyan Jan 20 '18 at 20:21
  • \$\begingroup\$ @HeyICanChan I believe that this is one of those cases when a developer did not consider one specific scenario amongst many others. I agree with you, imagine a Bigby's Crushing Hand that can crush an orc, but not an orc zombie because doesn't have a saving throw thus don't have the (object) modifier. \$\endgroup\$ – Aguinaldo Silvestre Jan 27 '18 at 4:59

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