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I am building an oracle with the Wrecker curse, which states:

Held objects gain the broken condition when you use or equip them but regain their actual condition if employed by anyone else. If a held item is restored to unbroken condition, it becomes broken again the following round.

I would like to take the Shadow mystery, and the Shadow Armament revelation, which states:

You can create a quasi-real simple or martial masterwork weapon appropriate for your current size. You are considered proficient with this weapon. The first time you hit a creature with this weapon, that creature can attempt a Will save to disbelieve; failure means the weapon deals damage normally, while success means the creature takes only 1 point of damage from the weapon’s attacks. The weapon deals only 1 point of damage to objects.

This matches the description of a quasi-real weapon in the description of the spell Shadow Weapon:

Drawing upon the Plane of Shadow, you shape a quasi-real masterwork melee weapon of a type you are proficient with. You may use this weapon to make attacks as if it were a real weapon, dealing normal damage for a weapon of its type. The first time you hit a creature with the weapon, it may make a Will save to disbelieve; failure means the weapon deals damage normally, success means it only takes 1 point of damage from the weapon’s attacks. The weapon only deals 1 point of damage to objects.

The description of the broken condition states:

Items that have taken damage in excess of half their total hit points gain the broken condition, meaning they are less effective at their designated task. The broken condition has the following effects, depending upon the item.

  • If the item is a weapon, any attacks made with the item suffer a –2 penalty on attack and damage rolls. Such weapons only score a critical hit on a natural 20 and only deal ×2 damage on a confirmed critical hit.
  • If the item does not fit into any of these categories, the broken condition has no effect on its use.

It is clear that the quasi-real shadow weapon is a weapon. However, the wording of Shadow Weapon is careful to distinguish it from a "real weapon", stating only that it may "make attacks as if it were a real weapon", implying that it does not normally count as a real weapon.

So based on interpretation, one of the following scenarios must occur:

  1. My Shadow Armament is a weapon, therefore it is broken by my Wrecker curse as soon as I summon it, meaning my curse is ruining my revelation.
  2. My Shadow Armament is not a real weapon, therefore it is not broken by my Wrecker curse, as a real weapon would be, and is therefore a weapon I can safely use.

I really like the idea of the latter thematically, and that's the one I personally interpret as being correct, but I wanted to know if there's any additional information I might have missed somewhere that could explicitly state if one or the other should be the case.

Can a quasi-real shadow weapon be broken?

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  • \$\begingroup\$ HeyICanChan's answer is correct, but you may be interested in choosing Inubrix weapons for your Shadow Armament, in which case their being broken won't matter. \$\endgroup\$ – Please stop being evil Jun 26 at 4:11
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Real and quasi-real weapons are identical unless the description says they're different

The differences between a quasi-real weapon created through the use of the the shadow mystery revelation shadow armament and a normal real weapon are A) how the quasi-real weapon was created (magic!) and B) the damage that the quasi-real weapon may deal (less if a struck victim succeeds on a save and less damage to objects). Everything else about a quasi-real weapon created by the shadow armament revelation is just like a real weapon.

For instance, nothing about the shadow armament revelation—or, for that matter, the shadow weapon spell—indicates that a quasi-real weapon is somehow indestructible or immune to gaining the condition broken. Were such a weapon indestructible, the text would say so as that's important for objects, both in combat (q.v. the combat maneuver sunder) and for telling stories ("I secure the Gates of Nevaeh with my indestructible quarterstaff!"). Likewise, this means that an appropriate quasi-real weapon created by the shadow armament revelation can be the subject of spells that affect weapons (e.g. keen edge, magic weapon, even shillelagh, although this last is not normally an oracle spell).

Further, the oracle curse wrecker doesn't care that an object's quasi-real or real, magical or mundane. Any object such an oracle holds just straight-up gains the broken condition: "Held objects gain the broken condition when you [i.e. the oracle] use or equip them but regain their actual condition if employed by anyone else." Is the oracle holding the object? If yes, then the object has the broken condition. Sure, this sucks, but it's kind of supposed to suck. It's a character-defining curse.

Just to be clear, because the quasi-real weapon is created by magic, the quasi-real weapon would normally be subject to dispel magic effects. However, the shadow armament revelation is a supernatural ability, so a quasi-real weapon created using that ability is not vulnerable to dispel magic effects like a quasi-real weapon created by the spell shadow weapon is.


Note: What constitutes an object in Pathfinder is discussed here.

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    \$\begingroup\$ While this is correct, note that leads directly into "What is the shadow weapon's hardness/hp?"-->"What is the shadow weapon made of?"->"It's made of whatever eligible material you want, just like any object you choose with those sorts of specifications"-->Everybody's shadow weapon's made of skymetal. Which some people don't like, so expect possible houserulings somewhere in this line (e.g. the shadow weapon is made of formless "shadow stuff" and thus maybe can't be broken). \$\endgroup\$ – Please stop being evil Jun 26 at 4:08
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    \$\begingroup\$ @Pleasestopbeingevil The shadow armament ability just says that it creates a "simple or martial masterwork weapon." It's kind of up to the GM if that includes special materials. I'd suspect that if special materials were intended, the game would mention that as the game thinks that alchemical silver and cold iron, at least, are important. \$\endgroup\$ – Hey I Can Chan Jun 26 at 4:25
  • \$\begingroup\$ Well, I'm certainly interested in a different perspective on that! I shall ask/answer a question: rpg.stackexchange.com/questions/171056/… \$\endgroup\$ – Please stop being evil Jun 26 at 5:05
  • \$\begingroup\$ It's true that Wrecker causes any object to gain the broken condition, but the broken condition itself says it has no effect on objects which don't fall within its strict categories. Given a shadow weapon isn't a real weapon, and also common-sense-wise, it doesn't make any sense to me to only be capable of conjuring "broken" illusions just because you always break real objects. An illusion is incapable of being broken because it's a spell, and a shadow weapon is just a slightly-more-real illusion, so I'm not convinced this answer offers sufficient support for its conclusion. \$\endgroup\$ – Makst Jun 28 at 1:38
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Makst The weapon is different from a real weapon only in the ways that the spell describes. Making the weapon somehow superior because it's created by magic—rather than because the spell or effect actually says the weapon is better—circumvents its description and makes casters even more powerful in a game that already favors them. An indestructible weapon at level 1—that can't be sundered, that can stop the unstoppable—is both overpowered and unmentioned by the description. Further, why shouldn't a magic curse affect such a magic weapon? It already affects even magic items. \$\endgroup\$ – Hey I Can Chan Jun 28 at 4:30
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Given that it isn't so much a weapon or object as it is an illusion spell (as stated in the description), I would say it would not be effected by the curse. You can't break something that doesn't technically exist and you wouldn't do that for other spell attacks.

That being said, if the DM interprets it as a magical weapon, then they would be within their right to say the curse adds the condition through "magical means"

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