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A Rakshasa has the following trait:

Limited Magic Immunity. The rakshasa is immune to spells of 6th level or lower unless it wishes to be affected. It has advantage on saving throws against all other spells and magical effects.

An answer given by Legendary Dude in this question says that Animate Objects can affect it (although as correctly pointed out by NautArch, it's a moot point as it also has immunity to nonmagical weapon damage anyway). The gist of this answer is, Animate Objects does not directly affect it but instead gives life to objects, which then target it.

As a follow up to the linked question, can spells like Maximilian's Earthen Grasp or Bigby's Hand affect the Rakshasa? Both of these spells create things which targets other things (in these specific cases, hands which can target creatures). This is similar to Animate Objects in that sense.

As a clarification, by "affect" I mean the normal stated effects of those spells. MEG forces a Strength save or be restrained and take damage due to the summoned hand crushing the target. BH does an attack, push, or grapple due to the summoned hand attacking, pushing, or grappling the target.

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The specific Limited Immunity was updated in the Monster Manual Errata to read:

The rakshasa can’t be affected or detected by spells of 6th level or lower unless it wishes to be.

Spells such as Bigby's Hand/Maximilian's Earthen Grasp are magical effects that have a direct affect on the target and would therefore fall under their Limited Immunity.

However, if you were to upcast the spell to 7th level, they would have to make their saving throws (with advantage) or be subject to a regular spell attack roll against it's AC because it is no longer a 6th level spell or lower and would not trigger the Limited Immunity.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ Why would the Rakshasa make a save with Advantage, if Bigby's doesn't call for saves (all the effects are either spell attacks or ability checks)? \$\endgroup\$ – Khashir Jan 9 at 3:55
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Khashir Just in case they do make a change/addition and to provide clarification for spells other than Bigby. I also stated that they'd be subject to the standard effects (regular spell attack roll) that Bigby's hand does perform. \$\endgroup\$ – NautArch Jan 9 at 16:41
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In case of Animate Object, the spell doesn't create magical objects; it simply moves non-magical objects around. When such an object hits the rakshasa, the monster doesn't get hit by magic — it gets hit by a normal item.

The hand created by Bigby's Hand is magical (“hand of shimmering, translucent force”) so the entire hand and its effects are magical and the rakshasa can avoid it. I'd rule that this spell has no effect (even when cast in a higher-level slot).

Maximilian's Earthen Grasp is somewhat trickier — it's similar to Animate Object in that it moves a non-magical object (dirt) but the net effect of it comes from shaping all those bits of dirt into the shape of a hand that can grasp. The crushing force comes from the dirt but magic is enveloping all of it so the rakshasa is in contact with the magic itself. Personally, I'd rule that a rakshasa has immunity against this spell but I can totally see arguments both ways for this spell so a DM might allow it.

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    \$\begingroup\$ Catapult also moves non-magical objects around, but Catapult (and Earthen Grasp) does magical damage because damage dealt directly by a spell is magical. The real reason is that Animate Objects creates creatures. A monster's stat block tells you if its weapon attacks are magical and the stat blocks in Animate Objects don't say so. This is also confirmed in Sage Advice ("Is the damage dealt by a beast from conjure animals considered magical?"). \$\endgroup\$ – Doval Jan 31 '17 at 1:43
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Doval Thank you for the extra detail - I'm getting back into D&D after a long gap so I didn't know that. \$\endgroup\$ – xxbbcc Jan 31 '17 at 19:23

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