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I see in Epic Level Handbook there're some preset specific epic weapons that do not have +6 or more enhancement bonus. Like the following one:

Finaldeath

This +5 undead dread ghost touch morningstar also grants its wielder immunity to energy drain attacks. Furthermore, if its wielder is capable of turning undead, he or she gains the Positive Energy Aura feat.

Caster Level: 22nd; Prerequisites: Craft Magic Arms and Armor, Craft Epic Magic Arms and Armor, death ward, plane shift, summon monster IX, creator must be able to turn undead; Market Price: 3,580,308 gp; Cost to Create: 1,790,308 gp + 45,800 XP.

Does that mean that, despite of being an actual Epic Weapon, it cannot bypass the damage reduction that Epic Weapons are supposed to be able to bypass?

A few very powerful monsters are vulnerable only to epic weapons; that is, magic weapons with at least a +6 enhancement bonus. Such creatures’ natural weapons are also treated as epic weapons for the purpose of overcoming damage reduction.

Also, for those who have regenerate abilities that can only be stopped by Epic Weapons (like a Solar), would an Epic Weapon with no more than +5 enhancement bonus be counted as qualified? Or should I count it as "just a merely normal weapon but with an Epic special ability"?

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    \$\begingroup\$ You appear to have fallen in to the trap of expecting any sanity at all from the Epic Level Handbook. I was once the same. I think that every question I've ever asked on that topic has resulted in further proof that this is a bottomless pit. \$\endgroup\$
    – J. Mini
    Jun 21, 2023 at 23:39
  • \$\begingroup\$ @J.Mini OK then, it seems I will have to make a lot of homebrew rules here and there to cover things up. \$\endgroup\$ Jun 22, 2023 at 2:12

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"Epic" damage reduction specifically means +6 or better.

Damage reduction changed between 3.0 (i.e. Epic Level Handbook) and 3.5. In 3.0, DR was usually overcome by a certain "plus", e.g. the tarrasque in 3.0 had DR 25/+5, and the Epic Level Handbook introduced some even higher, such as the very old prismatic dragon with DR 50/+12.

In 3.5, the only plus-based DR types are "magic", defined as requiring a +1 or better weapon, and "epic", defined as requiring a +6 or better. The D&D 3.5 update document for the Epic Level Handbook changed all monsters to follow this; e.g. the very old prismatic dragon now has only DR 25/epic.

The D&D 3.5 SRD clearly defines "epic" damage reduction as overcome by a +6 or better weapon, not just an epic item. For example:

A few very powerful monsters are vulnerable only to epic weapons; that is, magic weapons with at least a +6 enhancement bonus. Such creatures’ natural weapons are also treated as epic weapons for the purpose of overcoming damage reduction.

This makes it very clear that epic damage reduction is overcome only by a +6 or better weapon, not just any epic magic item. In the context of damage reduction, an "epic" weapon only means +6 or better.

Think of it this way: Suppose I have a sword with no enhancement bonus, but I give it the ability to glow blue in the presence of orcs, and no other power. That's certainly a magical item, but it's not capable of overcoming 10/magic damage reduction, because it is not +1 or better.

The D&D 3.5 FAQ also covered this:

For creatures that have damage reduction bypassed by epic weapons, does the weapon have to be a +6 or greater weapon, or can it just have enhancements that push it into the epic category (like a +5 keen showing burst vorpal longsword)?

To be considered an "epic" magic weapon, the weapon's actual enhancement bonus must be +6 or greater. Special properties such as keen are treated as equivalent to enhancement bonuses only for the purpose of pricing and for the maximum power of a weapon (for non-epic gaming).

The meaning of "epic evil-aligned weapon" in the context of solar's regeneration is not defined with certainty, but as a DM, I'd probably interpret it in the same context as damage reduction, i.e. a +6 or better weapon, just like the solar's damage reduction of "15/epic and evil". Otherwise, a solar would be vulnerable to a weapon based on its price, which doesn't make much sense.

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