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The Starmantle spell (Book of Exalted Deeds, p. 108) states:

Contact with the starmantle does not destroy magic weapons or missiles, but the starmantle's wearer is entitled to a Reflex saving throw (DC 15) each time he is struck by such a weapon; success indicates that the wearer takes only half damage from the weapon (rounded down).

And Evasion (SRD) states:

At 2nd level and higher, a rogue can avoid even magical and unusual attacks with great agility. If she makes a successful Reflex saving throw against an attack that normally deals half damage on a successful save, she instead takes no damage. Evasion can be used only if the rogue is wearing light armor or no armor. A helpless rogue does not gain the benefit of evasion.

Does this mean that on a successful Reflex saving throw (vs DC 15), a character with Evasion would take no damage from an attack by a magical weapon or missile while under the effect of Starmantle?

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  • \$\begingroup\$ Has the DM provided a definition of normally? \$\endgroup\$ – Hey I Can Chan May 26 '16 at 18:45
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    \$\begingroup\$ @HeyICanChan: Purely theoretical question, in a vacuum. For real play, I am not sure I would allow Starmantle altogether, I am not a fan of extremes (be they immunity or no-save). \$\endgroup\$ – Matthieu M. May 26 '16 at 19:05
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As written, yes.

entitled to a Reflex saving throw (DC 15) each time he is struck by such a weapon [...] success indicates that the wearer takes only half damage

vs.

If she makes a successful Reflex saving throw against an attack that normally deals half damage on a successful save, she instead takes no damage

You could argue that "normally" is not covered by "wearing a special magical armor", but then again, it is normal to have a Reflex save against those attacks when you wear that armor.

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I would say that no, you do not based on this line (emphasis mine):

If she makes a successful Reflex saving throw against an attack that normally deals half damage on a successful save, she instead takes no damage.

Since normal magic weapons or missiles do not normally deal half damage on a successful save (in fact, normally they do not allow you to save at all!), they fail this condition and Evasion would not trigger.

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    \$\begingroup\$ “Normal” is consistently used to mean “barring this effect currently under discussion,” not some baseline defined as “normal.” Attempting to use this logic consistently will cause serious problems in the game. \$\endgroup\$ – KRyan May 26 '16 at 14:45
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    \$\begingroup\$ @KRyan That's an extremely useful game-specific definition of normally, but—hey, it's a rules-as-written question, so, really, I'm sorry—citation needed. \$\endgroup\$ – Hey I Can Chan May 26 '16 at 15:23
  • \$\begingroup\$ Would nearly every feat description meet the citation requirement? It's in context, but I think after the first few you start to get the idea... \$\endgroup\$ – Wyrmwood May 26 '16 at 22:40
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Wyrmwood You mean the normal entry of many feats that explains how the creature functions when it doesn't possess that feat? Maybe, but since that, too, ignores ignores for the most part any interaction between the feat and anything else, those seem to support firedraco's hard-edged noninteractive reading rather than KRyan's more nuanced reading. (I was really just wanting a game definition of normally and was hoping KRyan would source the one he's using.) \$\endgroup\$ – Hey I Can Chan May 26 '16 at 23:12
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    \$\begingroup\$ @Wyrmwood Yeah, without this feat and without anything else, too, unless the normal entry should likewise list all the game's possible options for achieving a result that mirrors (or doesn't mirror) the feat's benefit. \$\endgroup\$ – Hey I Can Chan May 27 '16 at 0:56
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Customer Service from wizards has (allegedly) previously stated that it is not intended to function this way. http://www.giantitp.com/forums/archive/index.php/t-179234.html

Relevent Excerpt

CustServ has previously told players that Evasion does NOT work the Starmantle cloak. Specifically, Evasion work against ATTACKS that allow for a Reflex save for half damage. In the case of the Starmantle cloak, it's not the attack that's allowing for the save, but the item.

Rules as Written, by the powers of obfuscation, it would probably be allowed.

Starmantle

missiles, but the starmantle’s wearer is entitled to a DC 15 Reflex save each time he is struck by such a weapon; success indicates that the wearer takes only half damage from the attack.Contact with the starmantle does not destroy magic weapons or

Evasion

If she makes a successful Reflex saving throw against an attack that normally deals half damage on a successful save, she instead takes no damage.

BUT... It also depends on how we are using "normally" here. Are we saying any attack that normally offers a save? or are we saying any attack that a save normally halves the damage (as opposed to partial saves), which I think is a totally acceptable interpretation.

Also, important note, it does not mention natural weapons in Starmantle, and as such, you are totally vulnerable to things with teeth.

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    \$\begingroup\$ I actually read this thread, however Customer Service is not RAW (it's not an errata). Whether Starmantle prevents natural weapons or not is actually another question; one could argue that natural weapons are still weapons, for example. I would certainly rule it this way (if I were to allow Starmantle), but I seem to remember than RAW can be somewhat inconsistent in how it treats natural weapons and unarmed attacks. \$\endgroup\$ – Matthieu M. May 27 '16 at 6:39
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    \$\begingroup\$ Yes, I specified "Not intended" hopefully to indicate that Customer Service would be an RAI ruling rather than a RAW one. you actually raise a good point. I'm very used to reading "natural attack" since 9/10 times that's what they call "bite" But SRD does have a section on Natural Weapons being anything that's part of the body that they attack with. that being said, by Raw this maybe affects natural attacks which normally function differently from weapons, but it absolutely affects Unarmed Strike (which is always considered a light weapon), disintegrating any hand that dare punch you. \$\endgroup\$ – Drew Major May 27 '16 at 13:03
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    \$\begingroup\$ Natural Weapons and Unarmed Attacks may sometimes be considered magical... but to what extent. For example, a creature with DR/magic sees its natural weapons being considered as magic for the purpose of bypassing Damage Reduction and the "Ki" feature of a number of classes (Monk, notably) has a similar property... and of course, there's the whole Necklace of Natural Weapons to enhance said natural weapons... yet another can of worms :x \$\endgroup\$ – Matthieu M. May 27 '16 at 13:28
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I would say no:

If she makes a successful Reflex saving throw against an attack that normally deals half damage on a successful save, she instead takes no damage.

In this instance the attack does not do half damage on a saving trow, but instead the mantle is preventing half the damage on a saving throw.

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    \$\begingroup\$ This seems to rely on the assumption that "normally" can only refer to "without any other item, spell, class feature, or racial ability interactions", as opposed to "without considering Evasion's benefits". I'm not convinced that's reasonable. \$\endgroup\$ – user17995 May 26 '16 at 18:36
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I would have to say that yes, it would allow a rogue to make a save for the remaining half. I don't have any of the documentation in front of me so I have to go off the previous posts, but I liken it to the idea of a monk using a ring of protection. You get a bonus to AC from the item and still get to keep the class bonus. I don't see why evasion with a magical item would be any different.

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