So, the Githyanki Silver Blade turns all damage dealt by it to Psychic, and Primordial Blade (16th level Malec-Keth Janissary) adds +1d4 of one of (Fire, Lightning, Thunder, Cold) to the damage. If I use it to add +1d4 Thunder, would these two things make an attack Thunder and Psychic, or just Psychic (with the +1d4 damage getting turned to Psychic too)?

This was a combination that I read about in the Swordmage's Handbook to be used with Sword Burst/Psychic Lock/Resounding Thunder that seemed to suggest I could get Thunder+Psychic on it, but I read something saying the opposite somewhere else, which is why I wanted to ask.


1 Answer 1


It's debatable.

From the Manual of the Planes, p153:

Githyanki Silver Weapon
Power (At-Will - Psychic): Free Action. All damage dealt by this weapon is psychic damage...

That seems pretty straightforward.

From the Manual of the Planes, p144:

Primordial Blade (16th level): ... At the end of each short rest or extended rest, select one of the following damage types... Your attacks deal 1d4 extra damage of the selected damage type until the end of your next rest.

The key here is the use of the phrase "extra damage", which has a very specific meaning.

From the Rules Compendium, p223 (emphasis mine):

Extra Damage
Many powers and other effects grant the ability to deal extra damage. Extra damage is always in addition to other damage and is of the same type or types as that damage, unless otherwise noted...

So extra damage isn't the same type as the damage it's added to if a type is specified for the extra damage (which it is, in this case).

This really comes down to whether you think the rule for extra damage trumps the silver sword's conversion of all damage to psychic or vice versa. Specific beats general, so powers beat general rules if they say they do; the question is whether the silver weapon's rather vague "all damage dealt by this weapon" is meant to include extra damage. Is Primordial Blade's damage even being dealt by the weapon?

Neither game element received any errata while 4e was being actively supported, and there don't seem to be any other rules that would clarify this case, so ultimately you'll probably have to ask your DM to rule on the matter.

  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ The extra damage from primordial blade isn't really damage from the blade, either. I'd rule Psi+ Fire/whatever, personally. \$\endgroup\$
    – The Nate
    Commented Sep 18, 2016 at 3:50
  • 2
    \$\begingroup\$ @TheNate I would rule that way as well, but the game elements involved are ambiguous enough that it's a judgement call rather than an obvious reading of the rules text. \$\endgroup\$
    – Oblivious Sage
    Commented Sep 18, 2016 at 4:28

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