The text of the Oath of the Ancients paladin's Aura of Warding feature states (PHB, p. 87):

You and friendly creatures within 10 feet of you have resistance to damage from spells.

Does this resistance to damage from spells also apply to physical damage that explicitly occurs as a result of the spell?

For example, the bones of the earth spell deals 6d6 bludgeoning damage if a character is pinned by the pillars. This damage is purely physical, but comes about as a result of the spell.
Does an Oath of the Ancients paladin have resistance to that damage?

This question is distinct from damage that may result incidentally from the spell being cast, such as using telekinesis to drop something on an enemy. I'm asking specifically about damage that is listed in the text of the spell, but seems to be non-magical in nature.

I'm aware that this can be up to DM interpretation; I'm mostly looking for some RAW basis, if there is any.


1 Answer 1


There is no such thing in D&D 5e as "physical" damage. Damage reduces your hit points and comes in a variety of types but there is no mechanical difference between say bludgeoning and psychic damage - both cause loss of hit points.

"damage from spells" needs to be given a simple reading. Damage from a spell is the damage that is listed in the spell's description- that is the damage from the spell. Specifically, the damage from Bones of the Earth is damage from spells.

Examples of things that are not damage from spells is the damage done by summoned creatures, the damage done by a polymorphed creature or the damage done by teleporting someone 3 miles above the earth and letting them fall. This is because none of these sources of damage come from the spell description.

  • \$\begingroup\$ Does ongoing damage (Searing Smite) still count as magical since it is listed in the text? Id include a line about similar spells. \$\endgroup\$
    – Airatome
    Nov 12, 2016 at 23:10
  • 3
    \$\begingroup\$ Ongoing damage is magical if it is in the spell's description, unless specifically stated otherwise (I can't think of an example where this occurs). If it results from a consequence of the spell it is not magical. For instance Fire Bolt (PHB p242) states that the spell ignites flammable objects if not worn or carried. The damage done by the spell is magical. Any damage done by flaming oil that was ignited by the spell is not. However all the damage done by Melf's Acid Arrow (PHB p259) is magical. All the damage done by Searing Smite is caused by the spell and is therefore magical. \$\endgroup\$
    – Protonflux
    Nov 14, 2016 at 14:49
  • \$\begingroup\$ Another example is Moon Beam \$\endgroup\$ May 24, 2023 at 1:31

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