Is it true that supernatural abilities are affected "only" by antimagic field?

if not, what are some examples of spells or conditions that interfere or interact with supernatural abilites except from antimagic field?

  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ What do you mean by "interfere or interact with"? One could argue that wall of stone interacts/interferes with supernatural abilities that augment sight or an SU gaze attack by blocking line-of-sight (and line-of-effect, of course). \$\endgroup\$
    – minnmass
    Commented Mar 3, 2022 at 14:41
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ @minnmass to be fair I dont know either, our party is of the opinion that despite their definition (supernatural abilities are magical), supernatural abilities do not follow the rules for magic. As an instance the perfect wight in our cainpaing would use improved ledgermain in targets inside an otilukes sphere, which Peregrin Took explained to me it is not possible (question "How does the Perfect Wight prestige class's Improved Legerdemain feature work?"). \$\endgroup\$
    – Digius
    Commented Mar 3, 2022 at 15:29
  • \$\begingroup\$ It sounds like there may be a more fundamental question that might be helpful, though it would depend on why your party doesn't think SU abilities follow the normal rules for magic - or how they differ from SP abilities beyond the differences called out in the description (eg., not offering SR, etc.). I'm not sure what that question would be, but the thought process behind "do not follow the rules for magic" would likely be helpful in finding that question. \$\endgroup\$
    – minnmass
    Commented Mar 3, 2022 at 17:46

1 Answer 1


Supernatural abilities are magic. They (generally, unless they explicitly state otherwise) require line-of-effect to do anything. If they’re targeted, they also require line-of-sight. If they involve attack rolls, things like cover or concealment come into play. Etc. etc.—supernatural abilities are first and foremost “abilities,” and they generally follow all the rules that things usually follow.

But interactions specifically related to supernatural abilities?

Very few.

Per the basics of supernatural abilities, they cannot generally be dispelled, counterspelled, or disrupted. They do not require concentration, and they do not require spell components. Anything that talking about “spells” or “spell-like abilities,” including spell resistance, aren’t talking about supernatural abilities.

As far as I know, the following is an exhaustive list of things that specifically affect supernatural abilities:

Various shape changing abilities have their own rules about whether or not the subject keeps their own supernatural abilities, and/or gains those of their new form. This is the biggest block of interactions.

Beyond that...

Along with antimagic field, there are antimagic aura (Magic of Faerûn) and antimagic ray (various, latest printing Spell Compendium). Both are 7th level, both put a target creature in a personal antimagic field, both allow Will save to negate. They are actually, probably, the same spell, and antimagic ray is probably meant to replace antimagic aura. Antimagic aura also fails to explicitly state that the target cannot use its supernatural abilities. This is probably an oversight, but it is an issue RAW since the description doesn't mention antimagic at all, it specifically lists all the magic it blocks—and is specifically introduced as blocking “most” magic.

Dampen magic (Complete Champion) has as one of its several effects, “every spell, spell-like ability, or supernatural ability that affects the subject—whether it is specifically targeted on the subject or merely includes the subject in its area—takes a −1 penalty to caster level and save DC.” So it’s more protective and only applies to things that come at the target after dampen magic has been cast. Worse, very few supernatural abilities have a “caster level” to reduce—the only examples of that I can think of are the (completely broken) supernatural spells of the (should be banned) dweomerkeeper (Complete Divine). Anyway, dampen magic can be discharged by the target to put themselves in a small, but fully functional, antimagic field for a few rounds—that definitely affects supernatural abilities.

Also in the category of things that should be banned, by everyone ever, trait removal and ability rip (Serpent Kingdoms, because if you thought the terrible decisions in that book were limited to just the sarrukh, oh ho ho, no). Trait removal removes one supernatural or extraordinary ability from the target for one hour/level. Ability rip removes a supernatural ability of the caster’s choice from one creature and gives it to another creature for 1 hour/level. The recipient of the chosen ability also loses one of their own supernatural abilities (implied to be their choice of which, but refusing altogether requires a Fortitude save) permanently. Doesn’t work on supernatural abilities gained from class levels.

Involuntary shapeshifting (Races of Eberron) doesn’t interact with supernatural abilities in general, but it can force a target to use one if the target has supernatural shapeshifting abilities. And if those abilities interfere with their other supernatural abilities, or grant them new ones, that’s a sort of indirect interaction.

Chromatic ray (Dragons of Faerûn) makes the target unable to use supernatural racial abilities, among other things, but it can only target good dragon or dragonblood creatures.

Spurn the supernatural and expunge the supernatural (both Tome of Magic) are truenaming spells, which is very unfortunate because truenaming sucks. Both require learning the target’s true name, which is an under-defined process that is rather difficult to achieve, and both remove supernatural abilities from the target. Spurn is temporary (Concentration, up to 1 round/level) and can affects multiple supernatural abilities; expunge is permanent (healed by miracle, wish, or a “Ritual of Renaming”) and only affects one supernatural ability per casting. Expunge also costs 500 XP. Considering these can perform many of the same shenanigans as trait removal, probably ought to ban these too.

And then we get to the big ol’ can of worms.

All magical effects and magic items within the radius of the spell, except for those that you carry or touch, are disjoined.

(Mordenkainen’s disjunction)

Mordenkainen’s disjunction never so much as uses the word “supernatural.” Nothing in the spell describes anything that happens to supernatural abilities. In fact, nowhere in any of the rules is any explanation of what it means for a supernatural ability to be “disjoined.” But “all magical effects” definitely includes supernatural abilities; they are explicitly magical. So they get “disjoined.” And we have no idea what that means.


You must log in to answer this question.

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