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On page 397-398 immunities are mentioned. Now the question is how to handle normal weapons immunities.

The first paragraph of the power mentions it working as hardened armor:

Effectively, the critter has a Hardened Armor rating equal to twice its Essence against that particular kind of damage (see Hardened Armor, p. 397).

Then though the 2nd paragraph mentions immunity to normal weapons and immunity to age and the following excerpt:

Some Immunities function slightly differently, because the attack they protect against doesn’t do damage, per se

Now the question though is what is it about weapons?

For age it is clear that there is no damage at all, and no effect at all. But weapons is the question. Especially as as far as I remember they are one of the only "Immunities" that critters have that comes into effect where damage is directly involved. Aside from acid, fire,... weapons are one of the few things that could do damage to a critter and where imunities come into effect.

So the question is: How is that rules part now really meant?

If that works as complete immunity for weapons I have to say that is one of the most drastic changes to SR4.......as there you had normal weapons vs. hardened armor AND even mind fighting rules that allowed non mages to fight spirits.

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The second part refers to attacks that don't do damage - attacks that apply penalties, for example, like many toxins do. Having Immunity work as Hardened Armor won't work there, since they don't have a damage reduction roll to increase. So for those, the rules are different.

Normal attacks, though, do damage, normally. So they use the "normal" rules for Immunity, which treats it as Hardened Armor. The second quote only applies to attacks that wouldn't, against normal targets, do damage.

Consider, if Immunity would work as a blanket immunity for Immunity to Natural Weapons, there is no situation where the Hardened Armor part would come into effect, as the argument that they "don't do damage, per se" would then apply to all of them.

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The general rule for immunities it that it gives hardened armor. A hellhound, with his Immunity to Fire, has basically a hardened armor rating of 6 against fire damage.

But not all immunities deal damage (Toxins, Paralyzing Howl / Touch, ...), so for those the hardened armor makes no sense.

Which leaves us with the following two special flakes:

  • Immunity to Age: pretty straightforward as you said yourself.
  • Immunity to Normal Weapons: either you have a magical weapon or you bring serious firepower (double checked with SR5 forums). If you have a Force 6 Spirit, each attack you make against it needs to pass at least DV 12 to even trigger the Damage Resistance rules (on which the Spirit gets 3 automatic successes). Assuming that it just doesn't dodge the attack.
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  • \$\begingroup\$ The 2nd part is a bit hard formulated (hard to read for me). So in essence against normal weapons: "Just" the hardened armor rules correct? \$\endgroup\$ – Thomas E. Jan 21 '16 at 18:21

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