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So, having read the DMG text over the immovable rod, I know it is capable of handling 8000 pounds of force. However, my players are planning to try to destabilize a structure held by immovable rods using explosives.

Would this actually work? Obviously, the explosives would damage the structure itself, but would the pressure generated by said explosives actually be enough to dislodge an immovable rod?

EDIT: Thanks everyone for the quick input! I am attempting to use DMG rules where possible but my table is open to anything UA or from other books.

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    \$\begingroup\$ What explosives rules are you using? \$\endgroup\$ – NautArch Feb 12 at 15:12
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    \$\begingroup\$ And welcome to the stack! Please take our tour to learn more about how we operate and you can also visit our help center for more information. \$\endgroup\$ – NautArch Feb 12 at 15:13
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    \$\begingroup\$ As the others have said, we need more info on which explosives rules you're using. The ones in the DMG? (Aside: D&D is a hilariously bad physics simulator--trying to apply real-world physical effects to D&D's rules often turns into chaos) \$\endgroup\$ – guildsbounty Feb 12 at 15:33
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    \$\begingroup\$ Related: Can the Immovable Rod be broken? \$\endgroup\$ – MikeQ Feb 12 at 16:10
  • \$\begingroup\$ It may also help to understand how you treat damage to objects and items at your table (or if you do.) \$\endgroup\$ – NautArch Feb 12 at 16:10
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First off, that isn't what the rules say.

The rod can hold up to 8,000 pounds of weight. More weight causes the rod to deactivate and fall. A creature can use an action to make a DC 30 Strength check, moving the fixed rod up to 10 feet on a success.

It says 'weight', not 'force'. You can make some physics argument about how those are two ways to interpret the same thing, but reading the rules strictly, there are only two ways to move the immovable*, and those are overloading its weight capacity or having a creature succeed on a check.

Now, if you want to be a little more flexible with the rules and think about how much force is required to move the Rod, that DC 30 Strength check is probably the right place to start. As the DM, you could give your explosives a fixed strength check bonus, adding the bonus again for each time you double the amount of explosives used, and then roll against that DC 30, and on success, the rod is shoved 10 feet away from the origin of the blast.

But if it were me, I'd just handle it narratively. I'd simply declare that if they use the correct amount of explosives and place it correctly, it'll push the rod ten feet when detonated. The challenge is then in acquiring, moving, and planting the explosive, not in rolling the right number to see whether it works or not when it's detonated.

How much explosive would they need? That just depends on what I want them to struggle with. A massive barrel of gunpowder seems appropriate if I want them trying to shift heavy barrels around and figure out how to get them in place without the guards spotting what they're doing, Guy Fawkes style. But if I want them to deal with making deals with criminals or stealing explosives before they even get to the point of planting them, maybe I'll talk about some fancy dwarven blasting clay that the clans use for mining purposes, which is difficult for outsiders to get. The story takes precedence over the mechanics, and the "right" answers to those questions are the ones that make a story I want to tell.

*row, row, fight the power

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    \$\begingroup\$ Big +1 for the last paragraph. Emphasizing the story importance of the challenge is a great way to keep players engaged and not get too bogged down on the RAW. \$\endgroup\$ – David Coffron Feb 12 at 15:44
  • \$\begingroup\$ This was very helpful! I was getting hung up equating the weight limit with a specific force, but it makes much more sense to equate an explosion with the DC30 strength check. The situation was meant to be solved in any number of ways, so I was trying to evaluate if their first idea was even a viable option. \$\endgroup\$ – Shingi025 Feb 12 at 21:23

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