The rules for a Vorpal Sword include

When you attack a creature that has at least one head with this weapon and roll a 20 on the attack roll, you cut off one of the creature’s heads. The creature dies if it can’t survive without the lost head. A creature is immune to this effect if it is immune to slashing damage, doesn’t have or need a head, has legendary actions, or the DM decides that the creature is too big for its head to be cut off with this weapon. Such a creature instead takes an extra 6d8 slashing damage from the hit.

The rules for Armor of Invulnerability includes an effect to render the wearer immune to nonmagical slashing damage:

...you can use an action to make yourself immune to nonmagical damage for 10 minutes...

The rule for the Vorpal Sword's decapitation effect does not specify immunity must be to magical slashing damage, But the rule for Armor of Invulnerability does specify immunity to nonmagical damage. So does this mean that a creature wearing Armor of Invulnerability is immune to the decapitation effect of a Vorpal Sword, but does take the extra 6d8 slashing during those 10 minutes?

  • \$\begingroup\$ But would a creature be immune to it if Armor of Invuln gave immunity only to magical bps? I think technically it would not, but I'm not sure. \$\endgroup\$
    – Phoenices
    Nov 12, 2021 at 16:39

2 Answers 2


Armor of Invulnerability specifically only gives resistance/immunity to damage form non-magical weapons. A vorpal sword is a magic weapon. Therefore any damage it does, including that from the vorpal effect, is from a magic weapon and thus from a magical attack.
As such the resistance/immunity from the armor does not apply.

  • \$\begingroup\$ I get your point, but if this is correct, then a create which is immune to magical slashing would also be immune to the vorpal effect but not immune to the extra 6d8 magical slashing. That seems inconsistent to me. \$\endgroup\$
    – gogators
    Nov 25, 2021 at 15:11
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ immune to magical slashing would be immune to the weapon completely, its a magical weapon. Very few creatures are immune to magical weapons so that likely wouldn't come up anyway. In fact it is very annoying when it does, especially after level 10 or so when the PCs all have magic weapons because if they don't have a non-magical backup they are just screwed. I used such a creature once. Never will again. \$\endgroup\$ Nov 25, 2021 at 18:09

Vorpal weapons are magical weapons, and their damage therefore bypasses nonmagical immunity.

The Vorpal Sword is a magic item (note that the description calls it a "magic weapon"), so its attacks are magical. It bypasses nonmagical resistance to slashing damage per this Q&A.

  • 2
    \$\begingroup\$ Referencing DDB's indexing schema doesn't mean much, so I change your parenthetical to reference the magic item description (and to remove unnecessary code formatting). \$\endgroup\$ Nov 12, 2021 at 14:17
  • \$\begingroup\$ Force of habit with the code formatting, apologies! \$\endgroup\$
    – order
    Nov 12, 2021 at 15:45
  • \$\begingroup\$ No worries, we just try to avoid code formatting here for things that aren't code because it doesn't always play well with things like screen readers. If you do happen to write a question or answer that uses actual code, such as for our numerous AnyDice questions, feel free to use the code blocks as one does for code stuff. \$\endgroup\$ Nov 12, 2021 at 15:47
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    \$\begingroup\$ Citing the rules directly would be better than citing a Q&A about enchanted maces. immunity in monster section immunity in combat section \$\endgroup\$
    – GcL
    Nov 12, 2021 at 18:31

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