Incorporeal enemies have double resistances against non-magical damage. Many other creatures also have resistances against some non-magical damage but incorporeal creatures are the biggest offenders.

Are alchemist's bombs considered magical? If not how can I make them count as magical other than with Celestial Strikes or Fiendish Strikes which are both very high level and would lock me into either Aasimar or Tiefling?

It feels like someone completely forgot about Alchemist with these resistances because unless I'm wrong all other classes deal magical damage because of spells or magical weapons.

EDIT: Another option I found is the Sprite ancestry which has Magical Strikes as a built-in ability.

  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ Not what you're looking for, but Spirit Strikes from Duskwalker and Enforced Order from Aasimar are similar feats to the two you mentioned. \$\endgroup\$
    – ESCE
    Mar 16 at 21:53

2 Answers 2


Bombs are not magical, but you do not really need that

If you do not have a Ghost Charge or other special bomb, the incorporeal creature indeed has double resistance.

If you play the Wraith apocalypse in a CRB only game, do not bring an Alchemist.

Ghost Charge against undead

Most incorporeal creatures are undead, usually easy to recognize. Positive damage works fine against them.

Other incorporeal creatures

There are a few non-undead, but all of them have things they are not resistant to beside force. Alchemists have high Int, so can have many skills at least trained. A Recall Knowledge check can help you identify these.

  • \$\begingroup\$ They also have Lodestone Bombs at higher levels. Ghost Charge is still almost certainly better (as incorporeal and using metal weapons has very little overlap) but this will help against the 3 creatures that are incorporeal and don't have their resistance bypassed by positive (so far as I can find). \$\endgroup\$
    – ESCE
    Mar 16 at 21:50
  • \$\begingroup\$ I feel like this answer is for a different question, rather than directly addressing the problem raised. What if the Alchemist doesn't have Ghost Charges (or the formula), and so HAS to use another type of bomb? \$\endgroup\$
    – YogoZuno
    Mar 20 at 20:28
  • \$\begingroup\$ @YogoZuno, you are right, edited \$\endgroup\$
    – András
    Mar 21 at 7:51

Bombs are items with the Alchemical trait, which says, in part

Alchemical items aren’t magical and don’t radiate a magical aura.

Therefore, against an incorporeal foe, most bombs will be resisted by double the normal resist all damage. Exceptions would be any bombs dealing Force or Positive damage, or that otherwise specify they damage incorporeal enemies, like the Ghost Charge.


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