Objects animated by the Animate Objects spell deal piercing or bludgeoning damage depending on the object type.

Is this damage counted as magical against creatures with resistance to non-magical damage?


3 Answers 3


No, the damage is not magical.

From the description of the Animate Objects spell:

Choose up to ten nonmagical objects within range that are not being worn or carried

Let's say the spellcaster animates an ordinary shovel, which can then fly and slam any target. Because this object is nonmagical, there is no reason that the damage should be magical. It is basically as if the caster would throw the shovel to a target.

Also, for example, none of the animated objects from the MM (p. 19) do magical damage. The Animated Armor and the Rug of Smothering do normal bludgeoning damage, and the Flying Sword does normal slashing damage.

  • \$\begingroup\$ Also another question about spell effect types and resistance to those types: Are spells that do piercing, bludgeoning, or slashing damage considered magical damage? \$\endgroup\$
    – Yotus
    Jan 19, 2016 at 10:05
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    \$\begingroup\$ They're non-magical when the caster selects them, but I think the OP is asking whether a previously non-magical shovel starts to count as magical once it's been magically animated with magic to magically move in a way that a non-magical object usually wouldn't. \$\endgroup\$
    – GMJoe
    Jan 20, 2016 at 0:30
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    \$\begingroup\$ And the answerer did answer accordingly. Especially example from other animated objects kinda settles it. Makes it much weaker than I anticipated from a level 5 spell but I guess you can carry around silvered stuff \$\endgroup\$
    – OganM
    Jan 20, 2016 at 21:00
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    \$\begingroup\$ For what it is worth, there is a tweet from Mike Mearls supporting your answer. \$\endgroup\$ Oct 25, 2022 at 13:54
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    \$\begingroup\$ The fact that the target object was nonmagical before being bespelled doesn't tell us whether it's magical afterward. \$\endgroup\$ Oct 25, 2022 at 15:15

An animated object is a creature, not a spell.

The animate objects spell says:

Each target animates and becomes a creature under your control...

The target becomes a creature – at that point, the animated object is not a spell dealing damage, it's a creature that can make a weapon attack roll, which does not deal magical damage unless the creature has a magic weapon or a special ability that specifically says it deals magical damage. Similarly, an animal or elemental summoned by one of the conjure spells is a creature, and its attack rolls come from the creature, not from a spell.

Is there a spell involved in the creature's existence? Yes, obviously. But the spell isn't dealing damage. It's just causing the creature to exist.


The animated objects do magical damage.

The only question here is whether the attack is from a "magical source."

The spell effect is not "instantaneous," hence it is on on-going magical effect (subject to dispel magic.)

a magical attack is an attack delivered by a spell, a magic item, or another magical source.

There is distinction regarding things like Earthquake: the boulders bouncing around are non-magical damage. The boulders also aren't "attacks," (no attack roll). So they would harm the creature.

The descriptions in the MM are for constructs that have a permanent magical effect. For Golems, another construct, "Magic Weapons. The golem's weapon attacks are magical." The Golem is a permanent effect that cannot be dispelled. So it doesn't qualify as a "magical source."

Contrast with Conjure Elemental, which is also concentration:

An elemental of challenge rating 5 or lower appropriate to the area you chose appears in an unoccupied space within 10 feet of it.

An elemental is conjured, but not animated, so you use the stat block from the MM.

The Animated Armor in the MM is technically not a relevant comparison because it is permanent magic, as are other permanent animated magic items.

Mordenkainen's Sword and Spiritual Hammer do force damage and use the wizards attack role, and are not magical weapon attacks, so no comparison there.

Finally, the stat block in the description isn't a proper stat block. It is incomplete, non-standard, and open to misinterpretation. They should have just referenced the Monster Manual entry as does Conjure X.

The objects in question would have no attack or damage associated with them on their own. This is not like the boulders in the Earthquake spell, as these are attacks. Therefore, in this case, the attack or damage must be coming from the ongoing spell effect, a magical source.

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    \$\begingroup\$ However, one could also assert that the text 'Each target animates and becomes a creature under your control until the spell ends or until reduced to 0 hit points.' in the spell description would treat these as creatures, with a stat-block described in the spell, that does not outline the damage counting as magical. \$\endgroup\$
    – Randomorph
    Jan 7, 2017 at 5:50
  • \$\begingroup\$ The accepted answer may be right, but for the wrong reasons. The most RAW answer is yours: just look at the stat block. In particular, it is irrelevant what the Animated Armor is in the MM. \$\endgroup\$ Jan 7, 2017 at 6:32
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    \$\begingroup\$ It is at least somewhat relevant what the Animated Armour creature is. Both it and Animated Objects are creatures of the construct type that deal mundane damage, and are created or animated by magic. \$\endgroup\$
    – Randomorph
    Jan 7, 2017 at 6:37

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