I want to disintegrate a powerful enemy's weapons. This enemy has a high spell resistance. I know that attended objects receive their wielder's saving throw bonuses, but what about their spell resistance? I have not found anything which grants objects their wielder's spell resistance, but maybe I have missed something.

(For remarks on using disintegrate on an enemy's weapons, go to the linked question.)


2 Answers 2


It's unclear, I would rule that SR applies

The text we have to go on from Spell Resistance is

If your spell is being resisted by a creature with spell resistance, you must make a caster level check

And from Magic Items is

Saving Throws: Nonmagical, unattended items never make saving throws. They are considered to have failed their saving throws, so they are always fully affected by spells and other attacks that allow saving throws to resist or negate. An item attended by a character (being grasped, touched, or worn) makes saving throws as the character (that is, using the character’s saving throw bonus).

Magic items always get saving throws. A magic item’s Fortitude, Ref lex, and Will save bonuses are equal to 2 + half its caster level. An attended magic item either makes saving throws as its owner or uses its own saving throw bonus, whichever is better.

The confusion comes from the terms "as its" owner. To me, that means that anything targeting the weapon is essentially targeting its wielder, meaning the spell is being resisted by the wielder and consequently is affected by SR and other abilities.

A more strict reading is that the weapon makes a saving throw "as its" owner, but it is absolutely not the wielder that is making the saving throw. This has the repercussion that SR does not apply, as well as any ability that allows you to modify or reroll saving throws.

Because it is unclear, it would be a good idea to bring this up with your GM before attempting it to see where they will rule for their table.


Spell Resistance, in part, says, "The term… 'object'… mean[s] the same thing for spell resistance as… for saving throws." On Saving Throws on (object) says

The spell can be cast on objects, which receive saving throws only if they are magical or if they are attended (held, worn, grasped, or the like) by a creature resisting the spell, in which case the object uses the creature’s saving throw bonus unless its own bonus is greater. This notation does not mean that a spell can be cast only on objects. Some spells of this sort can be cast on creatures or objects. A magic item’s saving throw bonuses are each equal to 2 + 1/2 the item’s caster level.

Although it's a bit of a leap, presumably this means that when a spell has the entry Spell Resistance yes (object), spell resistance applies only if the object 1) possesses spell resistance itself or 2) is attended by a creature that possesses spell resistance greater than the object's own spell resistance.

So, because the disintegrate spell has only the entry Spell Resistance yes, that spell bypasses spell resistance possessed by the object itself and by the attending creature. This is likely because

When used against an object, the ray [from a disintegrate spell] simply disintegrates as much as a 10-foot cube of nonliving matter. Thus, the spell disintegrates only part of any very large object or structure targeted. The ray affects even objects constructed entirely of force, such as forceful hand or a wall of force, but not magical effects such as a globe of invulnerability or an antimagic field.

In other words, a disintegrate spell is supposed to be really, really good at straight-up wiping out objects. Compare this with, for example, the heat metal and shrink item spells that have the entry Spell Resistance yes (object). To be clear, a fair number of spells possess an entry like the latter (see here), but the disintegrate spell appears to be unique in official material possessing an entry like the former.

Note: Yeah, I know. This seems weird to me, too, but Pathfinder can totally blame its parent. All of this jibes with its antecedent D&D 3.5 and that game's disintegrate spell and psionic disintegrate power and its heat metal and shrink item spells.


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