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Vicious: When a vicious weapon strikes an opponent, it creates a flash of disruptive energy that resonates between the opponent and the wielder. This energy deals an extra 2d6 points of damage to the opponent and 1d6 points of damage to the wielder. Only melee weapons can be vicious.

If a demon with DR 10/good wields a vicious weapon (considered evil alignment), does that mean this demon can enjoy the 2d6 extra damage without any drawbacks?

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Untyped energy damage

First, it is not the damage type of the weapon, because the energy is dealing the damage, not the weapon.

Second, no damage type is given for the energy (such as positive or negative energy). So from a mechanics perspective, it is untyped damage.

This is likely to make any kind of shenanigans hard: the downside of the weapon that is balancing the extra damage is that it also deals damage to the wielder. If that damage was typed, it would be easier to get around it with protection from energy, or by abusing the weapon dealing negative energy as an undead that would be healed by it.

Furthermore, Damage Reduction only applies to “physical” damage, not energy damage like cold or fire, or here an unnamed energy. So, the demon will not have a free ride with it, either.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ So this is an on-hit "true" damage that can bypass any kind of DR or resistance or immunity for both the wielder and the opponent? \$\endgroup\$ Jul 5, 2023 at 22:35
  • \$\begingroup\$ Pretty much, yes. There may be some immunity somewhere, like to all magical damage, but its pretty encompassing. \$\endgroup\$ Jul 5, 2023 at 22:37
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    \$\begingroup\$ This answer could possibly be improved by drawing on connections to other sources of untyped magic damage, like a warlock's eldritch blast or the disintegrate spell. \$\endgroup\$
    – Firebreak
    Jul 6, 2023 at 2:57
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    \$\begingroup\$ @PD-whee-whim-wish disintegrate might not be a good example, though. It is frequently referred to as the "disintegrate effect" in various monsters' immunity. Those monsters immune to "disintegrate" would also be immune to the "disintegrate damage". Archmage's Arcane Fire might be a better example. \$\endgroup\$ Jul 6, 2023 at 20:21

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