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I'm pretty sure I've read that magic weapons never lose their edge (sharpness). I also thought I'd read somewhere that they don't rust either and that the same applies to armor.

But what about environmental effects that would damage normal equipment? Would the same apply to magic items and equipment? For example, if I have spent a significant amount of time in a hot & humid jungle, does my +1 leather armor eventually rot away?

If anyone can provide D&D 3.5 citation it would be more helpful as I do not currently have access to supplements such as 'Sandstorm' & 'Frostburn'.

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Yes, magical items are subject to the same environmental hazards as any other non magical item of the same nature.

From the DM Guide, page 215:

Magic items, unless otherwise noted, take damage as nonmagical items of the same sort. A damaged magical item continues to function, but if it is destroyed, all magical power is lost.

Repairing Magic Items

Some magic items (especially magic weapons and shields) take damage over the course of an adventure. It costs no more to repair a magic item with the Craft skill than it does to repair its nonmagical counterpart. The make whole spell also repairs a damaged - but not completely broken - magical item.

So, unless you have a magical item that has specific resistances, it will be subject to the same wear/tear/environmental dangers as anything else. Many GM's elect to not use the damage rules as it can be very cumbersome to keep track of, but that is your own discretion.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ Does this mean that magic swords for instance actually can rust, or is that an exception of some sorts? \$\endgroup\$ – Joninean May 27 '15 at 17:22
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Joninean I think it will rust. But it will still have its magic properties, even while rusted. Unless it brokes. \$\endgroup\$ – Forien May 27 '15 at 22:07
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    \$\begingroup\$ @Joninean It certainly can rust, but rusting is only accomplished by magic, as far as I am aware. The DMG rules for underwater combat certainly don't say anything about rust being in any way related to water exposure. Some examples of rusting rules can be found here and here. Note that magic items are immune to the latter part. \$\endgroup\$ – the dark wanderer May 27 '15 at 23:46
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Magic items have slightly higher saving throws, and so last slightly longer against item-destroying effects, which typically allow a saving throw. They are hardly immune to such effects, however, and their durability mostly comes from a lack of item damaging environmental effects in 3.5 in general. For example, regular steel weapons don't rust underwater either, without the GM house-ruling that they do.

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