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My party fought a wood golem and encountered anti-magic for the first time (to hilarious effect) however the rules are ambiguous and I came up against some conflicts.

Specifically:

Anti-magic: A golem is immune to spells and magical abilities other than its own, but each type of golem is affected by a few types of magic in special ways. These exceptions are listed in shortened form in the golem’s stat block, with the full rules clicking on the links. If an entry lists multiple types (such as “cold and water”), either type of spell can affect the golem. harmed by fire (4d8, 2d6 from areas or persistent damage); healed by plant (area 2d6 HP); slowed by earth

One of my players has a smoking sword, which has the traits fire, evocation and magic. It does fire damage on hit:

Any hit with this sword deals 1 extra fire damage.

I know the magical weapon allows normal hits to work but does it trigger the "harmed by fire" effect?

One of my players has spiritual weapon, which has the following text:

The weapon’s Strikes are melee spell attacks. Regardless of its appearance, the weapon deals force damage equal to 1d8 plus your spellcasting ability modifier. You can deal damage of the type normally dealt by the weapon instead of force damage (or any of the available damage types for a versatile weapon). No other statistics or traits of the weapon apply, and even a ranged weapon attacks adjacent creatures only. Despite making a spell attack, the spiritual weapon is a weapon for purposes of triggers, resistances, and so forth.

Looking specifically at these parts of the spiritual weapon text, it would appear to be contradictory:

The weapon’s Strikes are melee spell attacks.

Despite making a spell attack, the spiritual weapon is a weapon for purposes of triggers, resistances, and so forth.

That being the case - does it have an effect?

Thanks!

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1 Answer 1

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Golem Anti-Magic

A golem is immune to spells and magical abilities other than its own, but each type of golem is affected by a few types of magic in special ways. These exceptions are listed in shortened form in the golem's stat block, with the full rules appearing here. If an entry lists multiple types (such as “cold and water”), either type of spell can affect the golem.

Underneath this general description, each of the Harmed By/Healed By/Slowed By entries begin with the same phrase, "Any magic of this type that targets the golem..."

Smoking Sword

This specific magic weapon isn't a spell or magical ability that targets the golem, it's an item that can be used to Strike the creature and would be unaffected by the golem's Anti-magic. Effectively, the wielder is targeting the golem with a Strike rather than the weapon targeting the golem.

This is a two-way street however, so this weapon would also not trigger the Harmed By fire 4d8 damage on each swing and would only take the normal 1 point of fire damage.

If the weapon had an Activation that targeted the golem, such as with a sparkblade shooting an arc of lightning at a creature, that would be affected by the golem's Anti-magic. But it would still function as a +1 cold iron shortsword when Striking the golem.

Spiritual Weapon

This is a spell and golem Anti-magic explicitly has them immune to spells other than their own, so this would have no effect on the golem. Even though the spell is treated as a weapon for the purposes of golem Anti-magic, it's still also treated as a spell which would run against the immunity to spells.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ The players don't like it - but this seems to be the answer based on what I've researched on other threads and from what you've written. the main sticking point seems to be this part of the description of spiritual weapon - Despite making a spell attack, the spiritual weapon is a weapon for purposes of triggers, resistances, and so forth. - But I've pointed out to them that you still have to target and cast the spell. The golem has immunity at that point. \$\endgroup\$ Jul 3, 2022 at 0:54

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