10
\$\begingroup\$

When Eberron: Rising from the Last War was published in November 2019, the version of the Artillerist artificer published in it originally contained this line (p. 59):

It is immune to poison damage, psychic damage, and all conditions.

However, the artificer class (including this subclass) was updated and republished in Tasha's Cauldron of Everything, and E:RftLW received errata to match the TCoE version.
The November 2020 errata document for E:RftLW modified this line of the Artillerist artificer's Eldritch Cannon feature to remove the last part of the quoted sentence, so it now reads:

It is immune to poison damage and psychic damage.

I feel like I may be missing something here.

Is an Eldritch Cannon now eligible to be subject to some or all conditions? Or was the errata just removing a redundant statement, because the cannon already immune to all conditions by virtue of being an object (rather than a creature)?

To ask another way:
Are there any rules interactions that are changed because of the removal of the text that explicitly afforded condition immunity to the cannon?

\$\endgroup\$

2 Answers 2

14
\$\begingroup\$

I don't think this change affected anything, since conditions only affect creatures.

The intro to "Appendix A: Conditions" in the PHB/basic rules begins with this sentence (emphasis mine):

Conditions alter a creature’s capabilities in a variety of ways and can arise as a result of a spell, a class feature, a monster’s attack, or other effect.

The description of the Artillerist artificer's Eldritch Cannon feature states, in part (Eberron: Rising from the Last War, p. 59):

The cannon is a magical object.

Conditions can only affect creatures, not objects. Hence, the cannon could not be affected by conditions even before the erratum, and the clause "and all conditions" was at least superfluous, if not problematic (as people could misconstrue it's existence to imply that other objects could be affected by conditions -- thanks to @DarthPseudonym for pointing this out).

\$\endgroup\$
4
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ I generally try to use a header that describes the answer, rather than responds directly to the title or body question, unless the title and body question match and it is unambiguous what the header addresses. In this case, I've asked the same question four different ways (one title, three body), so an answer-descriptive header would be better, I think. Maybe something simple like "Conditions only apply to creatures". Other than that, in the absence of a compelling dissenting answer, I grant you full marks for this assignment :P \$\endgroup\$ Feb 9, 2022 at 20:52
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ I agree with this answer -- giving the cannon immunity to conditions is just confusing because it's not eligible for conditions anyway. Saying it's immune makes it sound like an exception that proves the rule: "If objects can't get conditions normally, why does the cannon say it can't? It must mean I can paralyze a door!" \$\endgroup\$ Feb 9, 2022 at 21:00
  • \$\begingroup\$ @GroodytheHobgoblin By the way I think you meant "Hence, the cannon cannot be affected by conditions even after the erratum." \$\endgroup\$ Feb 9, 2022 at 21:15
  • \$\begingroup\$ @DarthPseudonym I think that sentence is meant to be about how before the errata, "cannot be affected..." was useless and confusing. If I had to, I'd cut the 1st sentence in the last para (since the heading says the same thing) and move the 2nd "it was removed for clarity" sentence to the top. But many SE answers suffer like this from so many quotes that you can't follow the logic of the answer as well. \$\endgroup\$ Feb 10, 2022 at 4:56
3
\$\begingroup\$

It is an object, hence it can't suffer by any condition: but the new errata makes it less effective in some circumstances.

As Groody the Hobgoblin noted in their answer, only creatures can be affected by conditions: the Eldritch Cannon is an object, hence the erratum does not change anything in the application of the rules about conditions.

But look carefully at the description of the Cannon (emphasis mine).

The cannon is a magical object. Regardless of size, the cannon has an AC of 18 and a number of hit points equal to five times your artificer level. It is immune to poison damage and psychic damage. If it is forced to make an ability check or a saving throw, treat all its ability scores as 10 (+0). If the mending spell is cast on it, it regains 2d6 hit points. It disappears if it is reduced to 0 hit points or after 1 hour. You can dismiss it early as an action.

Moreover, depending on its creator, it can move (emphasis mine):

When you create the cannon, you determine its appearance and whether it has legs. [...] As part of the same bonus action, you can direct the cannon to walk or climb up to 15 feet to an unoccupied space, provided it has legs.

The pre-errata version stated that the Cannon can't suffer by conditions under any circumstances, for example a Cannon with legs could move through a Web without suffering of the restrained condition, even if it fails the saving throw (which is forced to do by its description, even if it is an object).

The new errata, instead, makes the Cannon less effective in some circumstances, like the one listed above. The DM has to make a call, balancing the discrepancies between the Cannon being a magical object (and not a creature, by description) and all the interactions with effects that impose some conditions to which is not immune anymore.


It is quite reasonable to consider an Eldritch Cannon as a creature: it seems to ease the game.

The Cannon can make ability checks and saving throws, it can be damaged (it has an AC and HPs) and it can move: even if it is a magical object, it is not completely unreasonable to consider it a creature, as the ones created by the Animate Objects spell.

\$\endgroup\$
5
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ The cannon doesn’t make attack rolls, the artificer does, so I don’t think blinded on the cannon would mean anything. \$\endgroup\$ Feb 10, 2022 at 8:28
  • \$\begingroup\$ @ThomasMarkov Right: removed that line. \$\endgroup\$
    – Eddymage
    Feb 10, 2022 at 8:37
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Eddymage, Good additional perspective. In my view, they should just have made the Cannon an artifact creature with Stats of all 10. If it moves like a duck, and it quacks like a duck... \$\endgroup\$ Feb 10, 2022 at 9:16
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ Related: Does a sentient magic item count as a creature \$\endgroup\$ Feb 10, 2022 at 9:21
  • \$\begingroup\$ How is an object still subjected tot he saving throw of web? "Each creature that starts its turn in the webs or that enters them during its turn must make a Dexterity saving throw. On a failed save, the creature is restrained as long as it remains in the webs or until it breaks free." (Emphasis mine). I'd probably agree with your last section that it is reasonable to treat the cannon as a creature for effects like this, but as written it doesn't seem to. \$\endgroup\$
    – smbailey
    Feb 10, 2022 at 17:05

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .