In my previous question it was confirmed that bracers of armor can be used by incorporeal.

Does the "tangible field" of force of the bracers impact the incorporeal creature's ability to move through walls? And what about other material objects?


1 Answer 1


To quote Chemus' answer to your other question:

[The] Monster Manual III (214-5), Libris Mortis (140-3), the Rules Compendium (64-5), and the (now archived) glossary all have updated rules regarding the incorporeal subtype, which change nothing regarding whether an incorporeal creature has an armor bonus. The pertinent part of these updated rules says:

[...] Any equipment worn or carried by an incorporeal creature is also incorporeal as long as it remains in the creature’s possession[.] [...]

So no, bracers (or any other equipment worn or carried) does not impact the incorporeal property of an incorporeal creature, which among other things allows it to move through walls.

However, the effect of those specific bracers - namely the explicitly tangible field of force, may prevent the incorporeal creature from moving into a wall in the first place, seeing as how (second half of same quote from above):

[...] Magic items possessed by an incorporeal creature work normally with respect to their effects on the creature or on another target.

This is arguable, though, seeing as how the key word ("tangible") is already present in the description of an incorporeal creature:

However, incorporeal beings have a tangible presence that sometimes seems like a physical attack against a corporeal creature.

So, is the field of force more tangible than the tangible presence of an incorporeal creature? This seems to be unclear enough to require a DM ruling.

My personal ruling would be that once worn by an incorporeal creature, as the item also becomes incorporeal, its tangible field of force becomes tangible in the same manner an incorporeal creature is.

In regards to Ghost Touch, the primary difference between any other item used by an incorporeal creature is not that it can be moved, but that it can be picked up by said creature.

  • \$\begingroup\$ Thank you From, I guess the two points I am stuck are 1-why does the force field apply to stop material attacks but would not apply to other material objects (force effect is not incorporeal) 2 how is it that the Ghost touch property explicitly states that it does not affect the incorporeal movements and the same rule would apply for the bracers where it is not written. \$\endgroup\$
    – Digius
    Commented Dec 15, 2022 at 11:53
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ @Digius I think the difference is that the ghost touch items do not need to be incorporeal themselves to be moved through walls. An incorporeal creature can pick them up and wear them, even though the items themselves are not incorporeal, and a corporeal creature could do so too. Here the bracers are either incorporeal (can pass through), or they are not in which case the incorporeal creature woudl not even be able to wear them or pick them up (and they cannot pass). As they do only reinforce the AC, not create a "wall of force" they do not create an effect that could not pass. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Dec 15, 2022 at 13:14
  • \$\begingroup\$ IMO a force field is a force field. The bracers are intangible, but the field is physical -- it's the very nature of the thing. If the force field is not tangible, there's no force, thus no field. Which is to say the thing is not actually working. \$\endgroup\$
    – Stephen R
    Commented Dec 15, 2022 at 22:03

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