As someone who typically GMs, I'm accustomed to seeing resistances specified in monster stat blocks as "resistant to bludgeoning, piercing and slashing damage from non-magical weapons".

However the barbarian class feature Rage states that a benefit of raging is "You have resistance to bludgeoning, piercing, and slashing damage," neglecting any mention of magical weapons.

Though PCs encountering magical weapons may be rare, are there any other rules which stipulate that the basic rage resistances don't apply towards magical weapons?


2 Answers 2


The exclusion of any mention of magical weapons isn't accidental, Barbarians are resistant to bludgeoning, piercing, and slashing damage whether it's magical or otherwise as it's key to their ability to have staying power on the front line. By comparison, the Heavy Armor Mastery feat makes the clear distinction for magic weapons, therefore, it's not unreasonable that the design intent is on purpose.

This is important because otherwise the Barbarian would experience a huge drop off in survivability as the game progressed passed a certain tier when a lot of enemies' weapons are being described as inherently magical.

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    \$\begingroup\$ Off the cuff, I don't have something official besides the language used (and not used) within the PHB and MM; but 5e doesn't make use of 'gotcha' wording by design. The fact that the feature doesn't mention an exception for magical weapons, but does for so many other things leaves it reasonable to infer that the intention was for it to apply to all slashing, piercing, and bludgeoning attacks. \$\endgroup\$ Apr 22, 2018 at 3:04

The barbarian's damage resistance does apply to damage from magical weapons and more. The answer by Pyrotechnical is supported by (then-official-but-no-longer) tweets (1, 2, 3) by Jeremy Crawford, answering specifically this question in April 2016:

JC: Rage gives you resistance to bludgeoning, piercing, and slashing damage—no matter the source of that damage.

Q by user DaryllKinch: ... so even if the damage is from a spell it can be resisted?

JC: Yes.

Note that Crawford's answer covers even more than what is asked in this particularly question: even the bludgeoning, piercing, and slashing damage from spells is resisted.

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    \$\begingroup\$ The answer by @pyrotechnical is very good. I just wanted to post this after finding support from Crawford. \$\endgroup\$
    – ZwiQ
    Apr 24, 2020 at 6:13

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