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We were fighting a magic creature, and it was immune to all magic attacks. I have a +1 shortsword, but the DM said that it had no effect on the creature since it's a magic weapon.

Is this correct? Does a creature immune to all magic have immunity to +1 weapons?

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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. Do you know what specific kind of monster you were fighting, or can you provide any other details about it that would help us narrow it down? (Different monsters' immunities may work differently.) \$\endgroup\$
    – V2Blast
    Mar 23, 2022 at 2:22
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    \$\begingroup\$ Do you have any more details on what the monster was? It's possible it was either a misread or an appropriate application of an existing monster's ability, but if the monster or ability was homebrewed the DM has the freedom to make something work however they want it to. \$\endgroup\$
    – CTWind
    Mar 23, 2022 at 2:22

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A homebrew creature, maybe

If the creature's stat block says "this creature is immune to damage from magical attacks" then yes, your +1 weapon is a magical attack and it won't hurt the creature.

I don't believe there are any official creatures in 5e that have this ability. Normally, when a creature is immune to magic, its stat block will say something like "immune to spells."

If the DM told you what monster this is, you could look it up and see what its stat block says. If it's homebrew, then the DM's ruling is authoritative.

And this is a bit weird, but probably fine

In D&D 5e, magical attacks beat basically anything, so it's weird to see a monster that violates that rule.

On the other hand, it's not hard to deal with now that you know it can happen. You'll just have to carry a backup shortsword that isn't magical. Luckily, nonmagical shortswords are cheap.

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    \$\begingroup\$ There is one creature that is immune to any bludgeoning/piercing/slashing from metal weapons; the lava child. It's unlikely, but possible, that they were fighting this. \$\endgroup\$
    – NotArch
    Mar 23, 2022 at 2:42
  • \$\begingroup\$ When you say "metal" do you mean "magic"? OP's monster was specifically immune to damage from magic attacks. \$\endgroup\$
    – Dan B
    Mar 23, 2022 at 3:11
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    \$\begingroup\$ True, but that's what OP says and not necessarily what their DM said. This is just the only monster that is immune to (metal) weapon damage and I thought you'd be interested. \$\endgroup\$
    – NotArch
    Mar 23, 2022 at 3:16
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There's two points of confusion here;

Firstly, there's no such thing as "magic damage". The source can be magical, but damage types are things like bludgeoning, fire, etc. So when you attack with a +1 weapon you are making a "magical attack" but you are dealing "slashing damage".

Secondly, when 5e says "magic immunity" it is usually accompanied by text explaining that it makes it so the creature "can't be affected or detected by spells unless it wishes to be." - it doesn't extend to damage from attacks. Although no creature in 5e has complete magic immunity, it always has some limits.

Immunity from magic attacks is something else which does not exist in 5e. The DM likely either misunderstood either of these two points or homebrewed something which is immune to magical attacks.

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