View Full Version : Undead vs Antimagic

2010-03-26, 07:11 PM
I thought that undead required magic to function. For example, skeletons don't have any muscles or alternative physical forces powering their movement. But you can't dispel, disjoin, or use antimagic field on them. You could counterspell a spell that creates or summons undead, but after creation, you'd have to resort to Turn or Rebuke Undead.

I guess maybe positive and negative energy aren't just some flavors of divine magic?

2010-03-26, 07:13 PM
"The spell has no effect on golems and other constructs that are imbued with magic during their creation process and are thereafter self-supporting (unless they have been summoned, in which case they are treated like any other summoned creatures). Elementals, corporeal undead, and outsiders are likewise unaffected unless summoned." This seems to suggest that, like constructs, undead creatures are self-supporting after their original bit of magic.

Yuki Akuma
2010-03-26, 07:20 PM
Positive and negative energy are not magic. Undead are powered by reverse-souls.

2010-03-26, 07:21 PM
You have lots of creatures in D&D that violate the laws of physics as we know them just by existing. Giant-sized most things, for example. It's much, much easier if you just don't think about it.

Besides, you already have spells that are immune to Dispel Magic and even Antimagic Field. If you need to for your own peace of mind, assume that spells like Animate Dead include the text "the undead animated by this spell are unaffected by Anitmagic Field". Should be simple enough.

2010-03-26, 07:58 PM
animate dead and the various create undead spells simply establish the link between the corps & the negative energy plane.

to think of it in another way, wizard1 casts wall of iron, wizard2 casts antimagic aura. the wall of iron doesn't disappear since the magic only causes it to be created... the iron itself is very real and non-magical.

undead are the same way: the animate spell just creates the link but doesn't sustain it... it sustains itself until the undead is destroyed by sword, mace or magic.

2010-03-26, 08:02 PM
Claiming an AMF should disable undead because their souls are linked to the NEP, is like claiming it should disable an elf because their souls are linked to the PEP.

As others have said, the link is a one-time thing. Done deal. Fait accompli.

Note: this is why it does shut down incorporeal undead/deathless - the link there is active, because there's nothing but a soul, which needs an active link to exist on the material.

2010-03-26, 08:10 PM
Wait, incorporeal undead are auto-killed by AMF? What about incorporeal living? What about those who are on the ethereal plane, are they snuffed out of existence or thrusted back? Or just unaffected?

What if you cast etheralness, and then a antimagic field on you in the etheral plane? Would that make do the above or would it make the primal plane seize to exist?

Oh ok. Nevermind.

Yuki Akuma
2010-03-26, 08:11 PM
No, they just can't enter it, and if one pops up on top of them they wink out of existence until it goes away.

2010-03-26, 08:55 PM
Which, incidentally, means that it's impossible to use an antimagic field to stop a ghost from returning.

2010-03-26, 09:44 PM
Which, incidentally, means that it's impossible to use an antimagic field to stop a ghost from returning.

Assuming one could, could one not just go to the ethereal plane and beat up the ghost there.

Lord Vukodlak
2010-03-26, 09:47 PM
Funny thing about ghosts is they are ethereal creatures that manifest an incorporeal body onto the material plane. On the ethereal plane they are solid creatures with a strength score and everything.
One could planeshift them so they are entirely in the material plane, making them corporeal creatures. From there you can simply lock them up.

2010-03-26, 09:57 PM
So, animated skeletons are able to move around because the "backwards soul" has special properties that mimic living things? It still sounds like that only explains the twisted sentience, not mobility, but okay.

Positive and negative energy stuff is pretty quirky. :smallyuk:

Yuki Akuma
2010-03-26, 09:59 PM
Souls are what animate living things. Why wouldn't a soul made of negative energy do the same?

2010-03-26, 10:05 PM
Souls are what animate living things. Why wouldn't a soul made of negative energy do the same?

So in D&D, muscles are purely decorative?

2010-03-26, 10:07 PM
So in D&D, muscles are purely decorative?

You can play a sentient ham sandwich in an AMF that can flop around. So yes, I'd assume so.

2010-03-27, 02:23 AM
So in D&D, muscles are purely decorative?

No, those just determine your STR score.

Irreverent Fool
2010-03-27, 03:25 AM
So in D&D, muscles are purely decorative?

Considering that until your HP reach -1, you can still move around in spite of massive tissue damage from a sword large enough to crush you if dropped, I'd say yes.

Don't think about it too hard.

If you want, view it strictly as a balancing factor.


2010-03-27, 04:59 AM
So in D&D, muscles are purely decorative?
I always thought of it as more as an elan vital, a life force. Extrapolating from the D&D laws of physics, there is something that separates the living from non-living objects, a form of energy. In most life, this is called 'positive energy'. In undead, it is an alternate, mutually exclusive, and alien form called 'negative energy'. Wounding someone disrupts this energy, and pumping the respective energy in the proper form will enact healing.