How would the Magic Resistance trait interact with effects that impose disadvantage on saving throws (e.g. the sorcerer’s Heightened Spell Metamagic option, the first bullet point from the bestow curse spell description, several of the diseases caused by the contagion spell, etc.)?

Would such effects remove the advantage on such saving throws granted by a creature's Magic Resistance trait? Or would they all be useless against it?

  • \$\begingroup\$ Possibly a duplicate of my question: Is there any way to give proper disadvantage on saving throws against spell effects to a creature with Magic Resistance? I'm not sure if it is a duplicate, so I've started a meta discussion here: Should this question be closed as a duplicate if it is answered in the body of another question? \$\endgroup\$ – Thomas Markov Nov 5 '20 at 21:52
  • \$\begingroup\$ It should be closed then yes, thank you so much! \$\endgroup\$ – Somebody The Stranger Nov 5 '20 at 22:03
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    \$\begingroup\$ Welcome to RPG.SE! Take the tour if you haven't already, and check out the help center for more guidance. While the information in ThomasMarkov's linked question itself does address what you're asking about, that question is actually asking something different from yours, and simply treats a fact that happens to address your issue as a premise of the linked question. As such, your question has been reopened, since the linked question is related but not a duplicate. (That said, I think both Q&As' titles could be edited to clarify what they're asking in order to make that difference clear.) \$\endgroup\$ – V2Blast Nov 6 '20 at 2:06
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    \$\begingroup\$ That said, just to make sure I'm understanding your question correctly: Are you asking, "Does imposing disadvantage on saving throw cancel out the advantage from the Magic Resistance monster trait?" (The linked question is instead asking, "Is there a way to not just cancel out the advantage, but actually impose disadvantage that's not canceled out?") \$\endgroup\$ – V2Blast Nov 6 '20 at 2:09
  • \$\begingroup\$ Well funny thing is my question was asking if there was any way I could remove the advantage from magic resistance, I wasn’t aware of the rule that advantage + disadvantage = straight roll \$\endgroup\$ – Somebody The Stranger Nov 7 '20 at 5:49

Aside from polymorphing the target, the best you can do is a straight roll.

From the rules for advantage and disadvantage:

If circumstances cause a roll to have both advantage and disadvantage, you are considered to have neither of them, and you roll one d20. This is true even if multiple circumstances impose disadvantage and only one grants advantage or vice versa. In such a situation, you have neither advantage nor disadvantage.

If they have advantage from spell resistance, and you can somehow impose disadvantage, then the result is that they roll a single d20 for the saving throw.

I asked a similar question, if there was any way to give true disadvantage to creatures with spell resistance: Is there any way to give proper disadvantage on saving throws against spell effects to a creature with Magic Resistance? The only solution was polymorphing the target into something without spell resistance, and this isn't a great solution. In their answer to my question, Szega writes:

You might have a bit of trouble targeting them with other effects as they are now a beast and not what they were before, but effects that could affect both will persist even when polymorph wears off.

You also cannot damage them properly, but in exchange they are helpless as well.

  • \$\begingroup\$ Would the roll have modifiers apply? Like does straight roll mean like a passive thing or with modifiers too? \$\endgroup\$ – Somebody The Stranger Nov 5 '20 at 22:04
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    \$\begingroup\$ "straight roll" just means you roll 1 d20 as opposed to the 2 you roll when you have disadvantage or advantage. Any modifier still apply. \$\endgroup\$ – Thomas Markov Nov 5 '20 at 22:05
  • \$\begingroup\$ Ok, thanks again man :) \$\endgroup\$ – Somebody The Stranger Nov 5 '20 at 22:05
  • \$\begingroup\$ @SomebodyTheStranger For reference, I don't think "straight roll" is formal game terminology anywhere in D&D 5e, but it's at least very commonly used in the community to refer to a situation where advantage and disadvantage cancel out and so only a single d20 is rolled for the attack roll, ability check, or saving throw. :) \$\endgroup\$ – V2Blast Nov 6 '20 at 2:10
  • \$\begingroup\$ Ahhhh ok. Good to know then. Thank youuuuu \$\endgroup\$ – Somebody The Stranger Nov 7 '20 at 5:50

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