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I'm playing a tiefling path of the totem warrior barbarian (my totem is bear) in D&D 5E and due to backstory reasons I have been given a feat called Skin of the Myrmidon.

Skin of the Myrmidon

  • You have resistance towards weapon attacks from nonmagical weapons. If you already have resistance towards this it becomes immunity.

  • You gain 1 extra HP for each level.

The main part is that when I activate my rage (which gives me a resistance to nonmagical weapon attacks except for psychic damage, due to the totem warrior's bear option) I become immune to nonmagical weapon attacks. So to make it easier to hit me logically every enemy would now have a magic weapon. For the purposes of the feat, a weapon is magical if it has any magical enchantment, no matter how insignificant. A weapon which can do a backflip by itself will still hit me.

The problem I have with this is that the rest of my team who are not as tanky as my character are kind of getting screwed over by this because they will have to take that extra damage or +(insert number here) on the chin.

I haven't asked my teammates about this yet (edit: so far they don't have a problem with it yet but once it becomes a problem they will tell me so we can work together to fix it) but it feels kind of unfair because now that every enemy has a magic weapon they are getting hit more often than I do because they take more damage since they don't have the amount of health that I do.

Is there any way I could try to fix this without having to confront the DM about it? He can get quite pissed off at criticism if I don't come up with a solution first.

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    \$\begingroup\$ Welcome to RPG.SE! Take the tour if you haven't already and see the help center or ask us here in the comments (use @ to ping someone) if you need more guidance. Good Luck and Happy Gaming! \$\endgroup\$
    – Someone_Evil
    Jul 9, 2022 at 20:51
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    \$\begingroup\$ If your character is basically invulnerable, why would intelligent enemies focus on him? After the first attack uselessly glances of the Skin of the Myrmidon they should focus all their attention on your allies while trying to hold you in place (Grapple, Hold Person etc.). \$\endgroup\$
    – Michael
    Jul 10, 2022 at 5:47
  • \$\begingroup\$ Are these just +1 weapons? That is slightly increased damage and chance to hit, but not massively game changing because the DM still gets to pick the creatures and 'should' balance around it when counting the encounter CR. Are they doing this, or are they just picking an appropriate CR creature and then buffing it? If so I think the CR is the problem, not the magic weapon. \$\endgroup\$
    – SeriousBri
    Jul 10, 2022 at 8:12
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    \$\begingroup\$ As worded, it doesn't sound to me like Skin of Myrmidon + rage gives immunity. Myrmidon gives immunity if "you already have resistance towards [weapon attacks from nonmagical weapons]". Rage doesn't give resistance towards weapon attacks from nonmagical weapons. It gives resistance to piercing, slashing, and bludgeoning (magical or non magical). Since they're similar-but-not-identical resistances, I'd say the replacement never takes effect and you just have flat resistance until some other features gives you explicitly resistance against nonmagical weapons. \$\endgroup\$ Jul 10, 2022 at 15:16
  • \$\begingroup\$ @JohnFilleau: I think the design intent of this feat in this "not serious" game is how they've been interpreting it; the GM homebrewed it for this character presumably with full awareness of this implication. I think you're technically correct, though, and reinterpreting the wording that way could nerf it to just have permanent resistance against those things even when not raging. (Good against ambushes or high-initiative enemies.) OTOH, if you re-evaluate the wording on a per-attack basis as "if you already have resistance to the damage from this attack", then it does stack with rage. \$\endgroup\$ Jul 10, 2022 at 21:01

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Only your DM can fix the problems they caused by handing out a broken homebrew feat

OK, I'm sorry to say it so starkly, but this feat of yours is unbalanced, and your DM should know better than to give it to you.

5e as a game is designed to not require magical items, and that does include magical weapons. Most monsters will not be able to hurt you at all, when you are in "invulnerable to normal damage" rage.

Their solution also cannot be to now give magical weapons to all your opponents:

  • Firstly, many creatures like beasts or monstrosities do not wield any weapons to begin with

  • Second, this would lead to a massive inflation of magic weapons in your game. As per the guidance of the DMG, you could expect to have maybe one uncommon magic item like a +1 weapon per character by tier two. Giving +1 weapons to every mook in the game is not a feasible solution.

Has this actually happened? Maybe your DM is just fine with you essentially being invulnerable until you run out of rage.

So I think you have relatively little to worry about, but your DM should think hard of what they are doing to keep the game balanced and fun for all involved.

You also mentioned you are playing rather easy going, “it’s not a serious game”, so maybe a simple first step might be to just talk to the other players if it actually is an issue for them. It may not be, and you may be worrying about it without need. If it turns out you all feel the situation could be improved, you maybe can bring it up with the DM together - that way, no single one of you is criticizing them.

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    \$\begingroup\$ yes this has happened (and i have been playing with it for a couple months now) how ever so far we have not encountered many beasts or monstrosities that dont have at least one magic spell so im still able to be attacked and at first i liked it because i cant die as fast but now it seems kind of unfair to the rest that dont have this "feat" however it does i do have to mention that every player in this campaign has been given a feat that works best for them so it seems the DM is creating a godlike team. \$\endgroup\$
    – Jows
    Jul 9, 2022 at 21:10
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    \$\begingroup\$ So, what do you do with all the magic weapons you pick up? Sell them? Hand them out to henchmen? Stockpile them? \$\endgroup\$ Jul 9, 2022 at 21:15
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    \$\begingroup\$ Also, worrying about your fellow PCs being "screwed over" by the odd +1 or whatever (even in 5e, where +1 is non-trivial!) here and there seems like small fry compared to the need to undo/make obsolete an overpowered (and arguably completely unnecessary) feat. \$\endgroup\$ Jul 9, 2022 at 21:17
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    \$\begingroup\$ @DanO'Shea i understand what you mean any ideas on how to fix this without telling the DM he is a dumbass for giving me this in first place? like i said he gets kinda prickly about it if i cant help think of a solution, reason being he has according to himself 5 (not including mine) characters to worry about \$\endgroup\$
    – Jows
    Jul 9, 2022 at 21:23
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    \$\begingroup\$ I recall something dumb awhile back about using a crossbow as a spell focus. It didn't grant +anything to the crossbow but it caused it to count as a magic weapon. So maybe the solution is something like that. +0 magic weapons should be used. \$\endgroup\$
    – Joshua
    Jul 9, 2022 at 22:20
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Give up your immunity.

You have an overpowered defensive ability, and the DM is countering it with by giving enemies magic weapons. This is the scenario where one PC is too powerful compared to the rest of the party, so an encounter which challenges that PC is deadly to the party, and an encounter which challenges the party can't scratch the one PC.

The source of the problem is this overpowered feat. Homebrew content often has this specific trait where if you already have the feat or item's ability, it gives you an even more powerful ability. You practically never see this in official content. Feats have to be balanced assuming players will use them optimally.

Nonmagical weapon resistance is also rare and highly powerful. The oathbreaker paladin (DMG p.97) gets it at level 15. The epic Boon of Resilience grants it at level 20. DMG p.277 notes that when a monster has this trait, it's enough to effectively multiply their hit points by as much as 2x for challenge rating calculation, so it's a big deal. Damage resistance in a feat is an enormous power.

Nonmagical weapon immunity from a feat is unheard of. The Armor of Invulnerability (DMG p.152) is a legendary item, and it grants resistance to nonmagical damage, with immunity to nonmagical damage for 10 minutes, once per day. Your feat is effectively as good as this item, except you can use it for multiple fights as often as you rage, which increases with level.

The balanced solution is mutual disarmament. The player gives up their immunity, and in exchange, the DM gives up their NPCs' magical weapons.

A compromise might be reached, such as the immunity only working on one rage per day. The DM could also have more enemies which don't use weapons, or limit the number of enemies with magic weapons to only one per encounter.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ Good answer, and +1'd - I was toying with the idea of "make it limited to an x times a long rest power" in my aborted answer. \$\endgroup\$ Jul 12, 2022 at 14:14
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Not all magical weapons need to involve + to hit or + damage, sometimes a sword can have some super minor benefit or nothing but still count as magical. There are also other ways you can be damaged, like lighting, fire, or exhaustion.

Good luck with the game, sounds fun👍🏻

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    \$\begingroup\$ Agree that the solution can be having something deal magical damage without being any stronger than some normal weapon. Sure, the DM would not want that to be everyone, since they'd want your feat to matter, but it would make sense to keep from unbalancing the game. You could also throw in magical weapons with drawbacks where the NPCs would be more likely to only use them against the guy who can't take damage any other way. \$\endgroup\$
    – trlkly
    Jul 10, 2022 at 22:25
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Having most random low-level enemies running around with +1 magic weapons is implausible in most campaign settings. There are magic weapons with a rarity of "common", such as the "moon-touched sword" from XGE, which can be any type of sword.

Generic variant, common. Minor tier
In darkness, the unsheathed blade of this sword sheds moonlight, creating bright light in a 15-foot radius and dim light for an additional 15 feet.

Perhaps some group has been churning these out for [story reasons], and they're a lot cheaper to make than +1 items.

But still, not everyone in most groups of enemies should have them, unless there's been a recent lycanthrope problem this group was dealing with. The leader of a group of mooks might have a "common" rarity magic item in a high-magic setting where magic items in general are plentiful and cheap.


Or maybe balancing combats becomes different when there's a PC that some of the enemies can't damage

You can still be grappled (or taken out of the fight by magic), and they can still kill your allies.

If you want to have a PC that can be invulnerable to weapons, I'd suggest leaning in to that and having the DM balance combats around it. This means you might be up against more or tougher enemies, and it's up to you to use your body to protect your allies.

Enemies that don't already know your invulnerable to non-magic weapons (while raging) will waste at least one attack on you if you get yourself in the mix, but clever enemies that know of your powers may have a plan to deal with you, and won't be wasting their actions on your big pile of HP until your allies are dead. (At which point they may grapple / restrain you, and maybe suffocate you, since that's lethal in a way other than doing weapon-attack damage.)

This could lead to interesting and different tactics than the usual, and you might find you need to be grappling to stop them getting past you. Or taking the Sentinel feat to make your opportunity attacks reduce their speed to 0. Otherwise focus more on protecting your allies than you would in a normal game where defence is very difficult.

Giving a feat like this, and then negating it by giving most enemies magic weapons (especially +1 magic weapons), seems to me like it defeats the purpose of what could be an interesting way to switch up how combat feels. If you and everyone else at the table is ok with you having this special role in fights against mostly martial enemies, at least.

If the DM feels the feat is a problem for how they want gameplay to run, it's probably best to talk about that meta problem and re-design the feat. (If you don't want to try leaning in to the different challenges you can deal with as someone invulnerable to weapons for a couple minutes.)

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  • \$\begingroup\$ Funny you mention the sentinal feat since i was planning in getting that anyway haha. But if i understand correctly you suggest a alternate way of combat for my character that takes him out of the dps role and even more into the tank role? I dont mind this change if it comes to it but since im still kind of a new player i still like rolling high damage numbers wich my barbarian is quite good at, but i will take your suggestion and talk with the other players and see what they think about it! Thanks! \$\endgroup\$
    – Jows
    Jul 10, 2022 at 23:42
  • \$\begingroup\$ Since you mentioned the moon-touched sword i just rememberd that that is how we have been running this feat so its not specifically a +1 weapon, but its a weapon with any type of magical enchantment on it can still damage me but the reason why they random mooks have them has never been fully explained and since i barely ask the DM if said random mook has a magical weapon because that would be meta gaming according to him if i ask beforehand, i just assume they have one because the can still hit me even if they would never have the funds to buy such an item \$\endgroup\$
    – Jows
    Jul 10, 2022 at 23:49
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Jows: Yes, I'm suggesting the DM should stop giving most random mooks magic weapons at all. Like maybe the leader of a small group might have a "common" magic weapon, depending on how common other (non-weapon) magic items are in general, or if there's been a werewolf problem... But anyway, the interesting point in this answer is to create combats that are still a challenge for the party even though martial enemies can't effectively damage you. If that turns out to be a fun tactical change for your group, great. If not, rework the feat instead of creating narrative implausibility. \$\endgroup\$ Jul 11, 2022 at 0:27
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This may be a controversial take but as a DM I would not rule your character to be immune.

I apply all effects in the order they come up in. That means permanent abilities first, and any powers/effects that need to be applied or "switched on" come after that.

By this logic, Skin of the Myrmidon would just make you resistant since you don't already have resistance. When your character rages, they WOULD gain resistance if they didn't already have it. Just like Darkvision doesn't stack.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ Your answer could be improved with additional supporting information. Please edit to add further details, such as citations or documentation, so that others can confirm that your answer is correct. You can find more information on how to write good answers in the help center. \$\endgroup\$
    – Community Bot
    Jul 26, 2022 at 12:57
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Don't rage unless it's critical.

If your allies are unfairly taking blows because of your immunity to damage, stop raging. Then you can take the brunt of the damage with your huge health pool. Once your health gets low, then you can rage.

This nerfs your character somewhat, and requires no DM action. You can give some roleplay reason, like your character has seen how enemies unfairly target your fellows and you want to bleed just like them.

In the long run, push for your allies to get op feats and powers.

In lots of games DMs like absurd power swings from absurd feats. Support your allies in getting absurdly op feats as well, so they can join you in the crazy hijinks.

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There is no problem

Seriously.

You're ultimately concerned that the DM may take steps to mitigate the effectiveness of a Feat they created for you. But that is precisely what a DM does; it is their job to ensure that Characters and Players are challenged. It would be absolutely absurd for any Player to expect that they become god-like merely because they are powerful. As Characters grow in power, so too do the threats they face.

Tanks aren't just HP Pools

Additionally, it sounds like you (along with most 5e D&D Players) have a vast misconception of what a Tank is. Having high Hit Points makes you durable; that's it. Unless your fights take place within 5-Ft wide corridors, you're just a durable warrior.

A Tank must be able to control their opponents' movement or actions, or be able to incite their enemies to focus on them. If you have crazy HP, why would they keep attacking you? Any intelligent enemy is going to focus on the enemies doing high Damage; not even a buffoon is going to attack the highly durable melee combatant when they can reach the squishy backline no problem. Enemies aren't automatons who must attack the closest thing; that's what the Confusion Spell does.

If you aren't Grappling your opponents, using Sentinel Feat with a Reach Weapon to keep them from moving past you, or dealing immense amounts of damage compared to your allies...you're just a durable DPS. Enemies are not obliged to let a Character maximize their potential (in fact, that's literally opposite of how they should behave), and a good DM shouldn't let you effectively Tank just because you want to be one.

An IRL Tank is focused on in combat because their offensive power is too great to ignore, not because they are hard to kill. If one doesn't have the firepower to deal with that...they ignore it and go for the squishy infantry units. They don't continue engaging something they can't effectively destroy.

HP is not blood

Importantly, HP is not literal blows. It is an abstract concept, representing such things as Will To Live. Does your Will To Live reduce when someone punches you? Taking Damage means you get closer to death; that's it. A Hit doesn't have to draw blood, and in fact plenty shouldn't. Someone with 100 HP can't literally take a dozen arrows to their face. It's just that they can mitigate blows, ignore the impact of morale, and literally fight on where another would have given in to mortality.

Take the Werewolf, also immune to non-Magic Attacks. This doesn't mean you can't stab them; it is just that they just won't die. They may get mangled and bloodied, with bones exposed, but because they haven't taken Magical Damage, they keep coming like nothing is wrong. It would be quite a silly idea that arrows and blades just bounce off their fur.

So by the same token, Enemies shouldn't necessarily notice they're not dealing Damage immediately. That should only become apparent as you continue fighting, and they are confident you should be dead by now.

Magic is as Rare or Common as a DM likes

And lastly, an obligatory: all these posts about how it is unfeasible to give Magic Items so easily have clearly never played anything besides 5e D&D. Previous editions had every item slot filled before you hit 5th Level. Saying it is unfeasible or unrealistic for most Settings to do such is absolutely facetious; most Settings do have that ability, and only 5e neutered it. The poster-child for 5e, Forgotten Realms, has powerful Casters in most towns, and literally dozens of top-tier Casters (Szass Tam, Khelben Blackstaff, Elminster, Mystra's Chosen, Manshoon, etc.)

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  • \$\begingroup\$ The section about enemies not realising they're not doing damage immediately is a stark contrast to the rest of the parts about tanking, burning 3-4 turns of enemy attacks is massive for a lot of combats in 5e \$\endgroup\$
    – Cassie
    Jul 12, 2022 at 13:46
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    \$\begingroup\$ Also your comment at the end about how common magic items should be rethought due to balance differences between versions and the fact that this is a question specifically about D&D5e, what could be a minor thing in AD&D would not be in 5e. This is especially true as 5e was designed around not having to have any per the discussion in this question \$\endgroup\$
    – Cassie
    Jul 12, 2022 at 13:55
  • \$\begingroup\$ That is inaccurate to suggest 5e is designed to not need Magic Items, as almost all top-tier enemies are Immune to non-Magical Damage. Low-level D&D, sure, but in the upper tiers, Magic Damage is absolutely necessary to hurt anything. And it would be ignorant to suggest D&D cannot or should not be played to the highest levels D&D fleshed out for play. \$\endgroup\$ Jul 12, 2022 at 14:12
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Shameless_James I'd highly recommend checking out the first answer on the question linked by Cassie. It should pretty much answer your last comment. \$\endgroup\$
    – Matthieu
    Jul 12, 2022 at 14:26

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