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In our last session, the party was fighting a Ghost. A ghost has, among other characteristics, damage resistance to "Bludgeoning, Piercing, and Slashing from Nonmagical Attacks". The Druid had previously cast Conjure Animals to create eight Owls.

When the Owl attacks the Ghost with its Talons, does that count as a "magical attack" and thereby that the Ghost's damage resistance won't apply?

The standard reference that I've found for figuring out if an attack is magical is in the Sage Advice Compendium, which has this to say under "Is the breath weapon of a dragon magical?":

Determining whether a game feature is magical is straightforward. Ask yourself these questions about the feature:

  • Is it a magic item?
  • Is it a spell? Or does it let you create the effects of a spell that’s mentioned in its description?
  • Is it a spell attack?
  • Is it fueled by the use of spell slots?
  • Does its description say it’s magical?

If your answer to any of those questions is yes, the feature is magical.

I'm not sure, though, if this qualifies as "is it a spell" or "is it a spell attack", as it isn't quite either, but being a summoned fey creature in the form of a beast sure seems like a magical sort of thing more so than, say, a dragon's breath weapon would be.

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No

Owls (summoned or not) attacking anything do not give a "yes" answer to any of the above questions.

  • Is it a magic item? No, it's a fey in the shape of an owl
  • Is it a spell? Or does it let you create the effects of a spell that’s mentioned in its description? No, it's a fey in the shape on an owl
  • Is it a spell attack? No, it's a fey in the shape on an owl
  • Is it fueled by the use of spell slots? No, it's a fey in the shape on an owl
  • Does its description say it’s magical? No, it's a fey in the shape on an owl

The summoning is the magic, not what the summon does later. Otherwise, characters could summon rats, tie it to a stick and declare it a +1 rat flail.

Beyond that fey as a general rule are not magical in the sense of attacks. Looking at the basic fey creatures in the Monster Manual (Hag, Blink Dog, Satyr, etc) all of their base attacks do not mention being magical in nature.

In contrast, if you look at say the planetar, it specifically says "the planetar's weapon attacks are magical."

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    \$\begingroup\$ The Circle of the Shepherd 6th level feature, Mighty Summoner, provides further corroboration. Half of that feature would be redundant if summons dealt magic damage by default. \$\endgroup\$ – Ruse Aug 7 '18 at 23:25
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    \$\begingroup\$ For reference, the feature @Ruse mentioned: "Starting at 6th level, beasts and fey that you conjure are more resilient than normal. Any beast or fey summoned or created by a spell that you cast gains the following benefits: (1) The creature appears with more hit points than normal: 2 extra hit points per Hit Die it has. (2) The damage from its natural weapons is considered magical for the purpose of overcoming immunity and resistance to nonmagical attacks and damage." \$\endgroup\$ – V2Blast Aug 8 '18 at 0:32

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