Half-Orc Barbarian Conan has been Enlarged, making him Large. During a fight against some Couatls, he managed to grapple one and beat it to death.

Now, having something (the body of the dead Couatl) already in his hands and being a tad affected by his current rage, Conan decides to strike a second Couatl with the first one. Laughs all around the table as the DM rules that he can indeed wield the corpse as an improvised weapon (bludgeoning), given the situation.

A Couatl is immune to non-magical bludgeoning, among other things. But given the fact that the first Couatl is a magical creature and has the Magic Weapons feature, does the damage count as magical damage?

Magic Weapons: The couatl's weapon attacks are magical.

If yes, would any "magical creatures" work for this purpose or only ones with the Magic Weapons feature?

  • 2
    \$\begingroup\$ Out of curiousity, what did "Conan" use to kill the first couatl? \$\endgroup\$
    – Slagmoth
    Nov 7, 2018 at 13:16
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ @Slagmoth: he used "Gollum", the goblin rogue who has a Dagger +1. \$\endgroup\$ Nov 7, 2018 at 13:39
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Slagmoth Conan could also have just used the cuatl to strangle itself to death in a true barbarian way. \$\endgroup\$
    – Tezra
    Nov 7, 2018 at 18:54

1 Answer 1


Sadly, this wouldn't work RAW

Taking your quote (from the Couatl stat block; MM, pg. 43):

Magic Weapons: The couatl's weapon attacks are magical.

It only says that the weapon attacks made by the couatl are magical, so this wouldn't transfer over to the barbarian using the body of one as an improvised weapon, since the couatl is not the one making the attack.

As for "any magical creature", this isn't really a game term, so it would be difficult to determine how that would work, although given that I've concluded that the above (i.e. with Magic Weapons) wouldn't work RAW, this probably doesn't matter.

That said, any DM can rule otherwise, and if your DM ruled that this would work, that's fine. I don't think it would unbalance anything or cause any real problems.

As a DM, I'd certainly rule that this works, if only for Rules as Fun, although if the barbarian didn't have a magic weapon (hypothetically), using this as his new magic weapon I probably wouldn't allow (I'd say something like how the magical nature of the couatl is an innate property that is lost shortly after it dies or something).

  • 16
    \$\begingroup\$ As for the dissapating effect, could rule that the couatl is unconscious and everytime he was used as a club he failed his/her death save. Once he actually died he is just a normal corpse and ineffectual against his/her comrades. \$\endgroup\$
    – Slagmoth
    Nov 7, 2018 at 13:48
  • \$\begingroup\$ @SeriousBri if it helps consider an Couatl may only be producing a magical effect on its talons as opposed to something like an elemental which is basically made of magic. \$\endgroup\$
    – John
    Nov 7, 2018 at 14:43
  • 8
    \$\begingroup\$ +1 for providing both RAW and practical way to make this fun for players and not unbalanced. \$\endgroup\$
    – Mołot
    Nov 7, 2018 at 14:51
  • \$\begingroup\$ I wanted to ask "What if I ripped off it's arms and beat it to death with those?" But the couatl doesn't really have arms.... and sense constrict is one of it's "bludgeoning weapon" attacks, could I use a couatl as a magic weapon if it is still alive? \$\endgroup\$
    – Tezra
    Nov 7, 2018 at 17:37
  • 2
    \$\begingroup\$ Another point in favor of this not working RAW is the Sage Advice Compendium question/answer explaining what the game deems "magical" from a mechanical perspective. \$\endgroup\$
    – V2Blast
    Nov 8, 2018 at 2:36

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