A Monster for Every Season: Summer 2
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  1. - Top - End - #91
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    Default Re: Abilities: Special, Extraordinary, Spell Like, Supernatural, Natural, get 'em her

    Quote Originally Posted by JaronK View Post
    No, the reason so many abilities are unlabeled is that the designers were lazy.
    Ah. Okay. The way it was worded it seemed like that was the answer to why everything we're talking about is extraordinary by default. Got it.

    Quick, what sort of ability is White Raven Tactics? There's no label on it. There's a general rule that Maneuvers are Ex (except in certain situations) but WRT isn't labeled.

    So... is it a Natural Ability, or an Extraordinary one?

    The point is, things default to Natural only if there's no other way to determine what they are. If there are other rules out there that tell you what they are, that's not the same as a completely unlabeled ability.
    It's a maneuver, so it's extraordinary. I meant things like bonus feats, which are completely unlabeled. While the feats themselves are extraordinary, the "bonus feats" class feature is unlabeled everywhere, as far as I know. Wouldn't that just leave it as an unlabeled ability, rather than any of the Na, Ex, Su, or Sp categories, considering it's not a special ability?

    I didn't make an argument either way for extraordinary or natural for unlabeled abilities. I'm just wondering.
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  2. - Top - End - #92
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    Default Re: Abilities: Special, Extraordinary, Spell Like, Supernatural, Natural, get 'em her

    Quote Originally Posted by Temotei View Post
    It's a maneuver, so it's extraordinary. I meant things like bonus feats, which are completely unlabeled. While the feats themselves are extraordinary, the "bonus feats" class feature is unlabeled everywhere, as far as I know. Wouldn't that just leave it as an unlabeled ability, rather than any of the Na, Ex, Su, or Sp categories, considering it's not a special ability?
    Sneak Attack is unlabeled too, but we've just seen designer commentary that assumes it's Ex (plus it's listed as Ex in numerous places outside the PHB as Ex). Other abilities like some of the Ranger ones aren't labeled but pop up on things like the Troll Hunter clearly labeled as Special Abilities.

    Bonus feats are a bit of a special case, because unlike every other class ability in existence they're never listed as Special Abilities, but are rather just jammed into the standard feat list with a little B over them. Still, they are "an unmarked ability [that] lacks a clear supernatural element" which according to the FAQ makes them Extraordinary.

    JaronK

  3. - Top - End - #93
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    Default Re: Abilities: Special, Extraordinary, Spell Like, Supernatural, Natural, get 'em her

    Quote Originally Posted by JaronK View Post
    Ah, so if there's a general rule that covers it, then we don't randomly default to Na? That's actually what I was getting at.
    Er, no, if there's a thing that says if it's Ex, then it's Ex. If there's no such thing saying it's Ex, then it's not Ex. It would be reasonable to say that something that is entirely unlabeled is Na, because Na is not Ex, Su, or Sp, but frankly, I think it's fairer to say that it's just not any of those. Find me the general rule that states, nearly word for word but perhaps with synonyms if need be, "Unless otherwise stated, the ability to cast spells (as used by several spellcasting monsters) is treated as an Extraordinary ability." Until you find me that phrase, then RAW is treating them as unlabeled.



    Quote Originally Posted by JaronK View Post
    Fighter Bonus Feats is a class ability (you can even trade them for other class features via ACFs). But you think it's a "nothing"? Do you have any support for the existence of a "nothing" option? And you think Sneak Attack is technically not Ex because it has no direct label? I'm just clarifying here.

    If there were a general rule that suggests Sneak Attack was Ex, would you still think it's not Ex because it's unlabeled, or would that solve things?
    I support it as a "nothing" because "Bonus Feats" isn't an ability. The feats grant you an ability, but you don't use "Bonus Feats" as a power in battle. "I activate my Bonus Feats!" "Oh, you can't do that in an AMF." "Sure I can, Bonus Feats is an Ex ability!" No. Don't be silly.

    And your question is moot, because there is no rule in the PHB stating all Sneak Attack to be Ex. I think Sneak Attack as used by a Rogue with Rogue levels is technically not Ex because it is not labeled as Ex. I think Sneak Attack as used by a Babau who gets it racially to be Ex, because it is labeled as such. Really, it's not that hard to understand.

  4. - Top - End - #94
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    Default Re: Abilities: Special, Extraordinary, Spell Like, Supernatural, Natural, get 'em her

    Quote Originally Posted by Temotei View Post
    Wouldn't that just leave it as an unlabeled ability, rather than any of the Na, Ex, Su, or Sp categories, considering it's not a special ability?
    This is my boat. Some class features have their own special rules that defy those set out by Special Abilities. Such class features shouldn't be lumped in with Special Abilities when Ex is clearly called out sometimes in PHB, other times is not, and where MM also often follows this pattern (until the later manuals).

    Anyway, did we ever get to the broader implication or conclusion that JaronK was hinting at?
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    Default Re: Abilities: Special, Extraordinary, Spell Like, Supernatural, Natural, get 'em her

    Quote Originally Posted by JaronK View Post
    But check out the FAQ on page 17, which states that
    So now you're claiming that spellcasting "lacks a clear, supernatural element?" Being supernatural is literally the only point of magic.
    Quote Originally Posted by The Giant View Post
    But really, the important lesson here is this: Rather than making assumptions that don't fit with the text and then complaining about the text being wrong, why not just choose different assumptions that DO fit with the text?
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    Default Re: Abilities: Special, Extraordinary, Spell Like, Supernatural, Natural, get 'em her

    Quote Originally Posted by Psyren View Post
    So now you're claiming that spellcasting "lacks a clear, supernatural element?" Being supernatural is literally the only point of magic.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Psyren View Post
    So now you're claiming that spellcasting "lacks a clear, supernatural element?" Being supernatural is literally the only point of magic.

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    Default Re: Abilities: Special, Extraordinary, Spell Like, Supernatural, Natural, get 'em her

    Quote Originally Posted by Nettlekid View Post
    Er, no, if there's a thing that says if it's Ex, then it's Ex. If there's no such thing saying it's Ex, then it's not Ex. It would be reasonable to say that something that is entirely unlabeled is Na, because Na is not Ex, Su, or Sp, but frankly, I think it's fairer to say that it's just not any of those. Find me the general rule that states, nearly word for word but perhaps with synonyms if need be, "Unless otherwise stated, the ability to cast spells (as used by several spellcasting monsters) is treated as an Extraordinary ability." Until you find me that phrase, then RAW is treating them as unlabeled.
    So the fact that the FAQ completely contradicts you on your "something that is entirely unlabeled is Na" statement doesn't bother you? I mean, I just showed a clear statement that says that the default for unlabeled class abilities is Ex.

    Also, I thought we were assuming that Spells are a Special Attack, and Special Attacks are always Ex, Sp, or Su. Why have we suddenly gone back to the beginning yet again?

    I support it as a "nothing" because "Bonus Feats" isn't an ability. The feats grant you an ability, but you don't use "Bonus Feats" as a power in battle. "I activate my Bonus Feats!" "Oh, you can't do that in an AMF." "Sure I can, Bonus Feats is an Ex ability!" No. Don't be silly.
    And yet DR 5/- is explicitly an Ex ability, but you don't activate your DR as a power either. DR 5/Magic is explicitly supernatural, so that actually does go away in an AMF. So... you're now nowhere near RAW. You might want to go back and reread the Monster Manual section on Special Attacks and Special Qualities (it starts on page 299). You'll find that most Special Qualities do not get activated, and many do go away in an AMF.

    And your question is moot, because there is no rule in the PHB stating all Sneak Attack to be Ex. I think Sneak Attack as used by a Rogue with Rogue levels is technically not Ex because it is not labeled as Ex.
    FAQ directly contradicts this, saying "It's reasonable to assume that sneak attack is an extraordinary ability."

    I think Sneak Attack as used by a Babau who gets it racially to be Ex, because it is labeled as such. Really, it's not that hard to understand.
    It's hard to understand when I just quoted you the designer telling you you're wrong, and you're directly contradicting this.

    JaronK

  8. - Top - End - #98
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    Default Re: Abilities: Special, Extraordinary, Spell Like, Supernatural, Natural, get 'em her

    Quote Originally Posted by Psyren View Post
    So now you're claiming that spellcasting "lacks a clear, supernatural element?" Being supernatural is literally the only point of magic.
    We'll get there, but we have to accept the ground level stuff first. Notice how we've already got a poster jumping back to "Special Abilities can be Na!" which is exactly what I was talking about before.

    If we can get through the "Special Attacks can be Na!" bit AND get through the "unlabeled stuff doesn't' default to Ex!" stuff, THEN we can get to the next part (which answers your question).

    Don't get ahead of yourself... we're already losing Nettlekid. Turns out I have to go REALLY SLOW with this or we keep having to retread the same ground over and over again.

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    Default Re: Abilities: Special, Extraordinary, Spell Like, Supernatural, Natural, get 'em her

    Quote Originally Posted by JaronK View Post
    If we can get through the "Special Attacks can be Na!" bit AND get through the "unlabeled stuff doesn't' default to Ex!" stuff, THEN we can get to the next part (which answers your question).
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    But really, the important lesson here is this: Rather than making assumptions that don't fit with the text and then complaining about the text being wrong, why not just choose different assumptions that DO fit with the text?
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    Default Re: Abilities: Special, Extraordinary, Spell Like, Supernatural, Natural, get 'em her

    Quote Originally Posted by JaronK View Post
    We'll get there, but we have to accept the ground level stuff first. Notice how we've already got a poster jumping back to "Special Abilities can be Na!" which is exactly what I was talking about before.

    If we can get through the "Special Attacks can be Na!" bit AND get through the "unlabeled stuff doesn't' default to Ex!" stuff, THEN we can get to the next part (which answers your question).

    Don't get ahead of yourself... we're already losing Nettlekid. Turns out I have to go REALLY SLOW with this or we keep having to retread the same ground over and over again.

    JaronK
    Umm, you lost me already. We are talking about the FAQ entry, correct? This one?

    2. Can a factotum of 19th level use cunning brilliance to emulate a rogueís sneak attack ability?

    2. Itís reasonable to assume that sneak attack is an extraordinary ability. When in doubt, the DM should decide if an unmarked ability qualifies. Anything that lacks a clear, supernatural element should be fair play.
    The one that tosses its hands in the air and gives up? The one that says "Help me DM, you're my only hope?" That one? The one that basically says, "When in doubt, it is reasonable to assume in cases of abilities that are unmarked special abilities without supernatural elements, the DM should decide if it is fair play to consider them extraordinary?"

    How much more indecisive could it possibly get???
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    Quote Originally Posted by Psyren View Post
    So now you're claiming that spellcasting "lacks a clear, supernatural element?" Being supernatural is literally the only point of magic.

  11. - Top - End - #101
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    Default Re: Abilities: Special, Extraordinary, Spell Like, Supernatural, Natural, get 'em her

    Quote Originally Posted by JaronK View Post
    So the fact that the FAQ completely contradicts you on your "something that is entirely unlabeled is Na" statement doesn't bother you? I mean, I just showed a clear statement that says that the default for unlabeled class abilities is Ex.
    If the FAQ contradicts you, you should look for a reason why. If no reason is found, ask someone else. If no one can find a reason, it could be a good RAI interpretation. If evidence is found that contradicts the FAQ, ignore the FAQ. The FAQ is just a horrible collection of people trying to sort out what the rules mean and they often ignore or contradict clearly written rules.

    Edit: all i'm saying here is the FAQ is a bad source of information.
    Last edited by NeoPhoenix0; 2013-07-10 at 07:18 PM.

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    Default Re: Abilities: Special, Extraordinary, Spell Like, Supernatural, Natural, get 'em her

    Quote Originally Posted by mattie_p View Post
    Umm, you lost me already. We are talking about the FAQ entry, correct? This one?

    The one that tosses its hands in the air and gives up? The one that says "Help me DM, you're my only hope?" That one? The one that basically says, "When in doubt, it is reasonable to assume in cases of abilities that are unmarked special abilities without supernatural elements, the DM should decide if it is fair play to consider them extraordinary?"

    How much more indecisive could it possibly get???
    But here's the thing: It would only be reasonable to assume that if that were the most common case. So that tells us right there that by default unlabeled non supernatural (here meaning not magical, as opposed to Su) abilities are Ex.

    So actually, it's very helpful. This allows us to drop the whole "all abilities default to Na when there's not a specific label on that ability" argument that people keep making. It also makes perfect sense... class abilities are special abilities (as defined by countless stat blocks), and since Special Abilities must be Su, Sp, or Ex, it makes perfect sense to assume that any class ability that's not extra magicky is in fact Ex. It's a very reasonable answer that actually agrees with all other designer commentary on the topic (and furthers my earlier point that lack of labeling on a specific ability is laziness, not an indication that it's Na, and that furthermore you're supposed to use the guidelines set out elsewhere to determine the ability type of a given ability).

    @Neo Pheonix: It's the Official Game Rules FAQ. Whether we like it or not, they're official game rules. So that's it... no need to run off consulting other things. In fact, clarifying something like this is EXACTLY the point of such a document.

    JaronK

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    Default Re: Abilities: Special, Extraordinary, Spell Like, Supernatural, Natural, get 'em her

    Quote Originally Posted by JaronK View Post
    We'll get there, but we have to accept the ground level stuff first. Notice how we've already got a poster jumping back to "Special Abilities can be Na!" which is exactly what I was talking about before.

    If we can get through the "Special Attacks can be Na!" bit AND get through the "unlabeled stuff doesn't' default to Ex!" stuff, THEN we can get to the next part (which answers your question).

    Don't get ahead of yourself... we're already losing Nettlekid. Turns out I have to go REALLY SLOW with this or we keep having to retread the same ground over and over again.

    JaronK
    Considering you're fighting a losing battle against reason, I don't think I'm the one you're losing. For one, you don't seem to know what you're arguing. What do you think the ability cast spells is? Because you're saying it's not Na even though it seems unlabeled things default to Na, and you're saying it's Ex even though it doesn't say Ex.

    I don't think you need to go slow, I think we've lapped you and you've yet to realize.

    EDIT: By the way, three words that blow up your "Spellcasting is Ex" argument. Attack of Opportunity. Extraordinary abilities don't provoke. Spellcasting does.
    Last edited by Nettlekid; 2013-07-10 at 07:29 PM.

  14. - Top - End - #104
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    Default Re: Abilities: Special, Extraordinary, Spell Like, Supernatural, Natural, get 'em her

    I'm reading this with great interest. Good job keeping this civil and interesting. What I can't follow is why FAQ and RotG articles are being used as definitive rules sources?
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  15. - Top - End - #105
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    Default Re: Abilities: Special, Extraordinary, Spell Like, Supernatural, Natural, get 'em her

    Quote Originally Posted by JaronK View Post
    Sneak Attack is unlabeled too, but we've just seen designer commentary that assumes it's Ex (plus it's listed as Ex in numerous places outside the PHB as Ex). Other abilities like some of the Ranger ones aren't labeled but pop up on things like the Troll Hunter clearly labeled as Special Abilities.
    Labeled somewhere probably puts them out of the unlabeled category. Good points, though.

    Bonus feats are a bit of a special case, because unlike every other class ability in existence they're never listed as Special Abilities, but are rather just jammed into the standard feat list with a little B over them. Still, they are "an unmarked ability [that] lacks a clear supernatural element" which according to the FAQ makes them Extraordinary.
    Interesting, though the statement they make there in the FAQ is...really vague. Assumptions and DM decisions don't really feel like RAW to me. Is the FAQ a legitimate source? I think if that's answered with logic/inferences, we could move in a good direction.

    Quote Originally Posted by FAQ
    It is reasonable to assume that sneak attack is an extraordinary ability. When in doubt, the DM should decide if an unmarked ability qualifies. Anything that lacks a clear supernatural element should be fair play.
    Still, though, saying something should be fair play isn't saying it is fair play. They're still leaving it up to the DM. That doesn't seem like RAW to me, regardless of whether the FAQ is a legitimate source.

    Quote Originally Posted by Nettlekid View Post
    Considering you're fighting a losing battle against reason, I don't think I'm the one you're losing. For one, you don't seem to know what you're arguing.
    He's arguing that spellcasting is an extraordinary special ability, as noted here:

    Quote Originally Posted by JaronK
    No, I'm making the argument that Spells are a Special Attack that are Extraordinary.
    Quote Originally Posted by Nettlekid
    I don't think you need to go slow, I think we've lapped you and you've yet to realize.
    This is just unnecessary. This isn't about winning an argument. It's about discussing whether spellcasting is a natural ability, a special ability, or unlabeled (and only unlabeled). There's no winner here.

    On the other hand, saying "we're...losing Nettlekid" is unnecessary, too.
    Last edited by Temotei; 2013-07-10 at 07:39 PM.
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    Default Re: Abilities: Special, Extraordinary, Spell Like, Supernatural, Natural, get 'em her

    Quote Originally Posted by nyjastul69 View Post
    I'm reading this with great interest. Good job keeping this civil and interesting. What I can't follow is why FAQ and RotG articles are being used as definitive rules sources?
    For the record, I have no problem with FAQ as a rules source. But the FAQ clearly states that only non-magical unlabeled special abilities should be Ex. Whatever else you think spellcasting is, attempting to argue that it's non-magical is a dead end.
    Last edited by Psyren; 2013-07-10 at 07:41 PM.
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    But really, the important lesson here is this: Rather than making assumptions that don't fit with the text and then complaining about the text being wrong, why not just choose different assumptions that DO fit with the text?
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    Default Re: Abilities: Special, Extraordinary, Spell Like, Supernatural, Natural, get 'em her

    Is Bardic Music is an Extraordinary ability? It neither provokes an attack of opportunity and is unlabeled so where does it default? Is it a Natural ability?

    Better yet, how about Bardic Knowledge? Same circumstances? A Commoner taking their next level as a Bard spontaneously suffers a physical mutation that lets them sing and "knows some relevant information about local notable people, legendary items, or noteworthy places"? This is starting to sound like the plot for Heroes where everyone just spontaneously starts to develop super powers

    Quote Originally Posted by Psyren View Post
    For the record, I have no problem with FAQ as a rules source. But the FAQ clearly states that only non-magical unlabeled special abilities should be Ex. Whatever else you think spellcasting is, attempting to argue that it's non-magical is a dead end.
    If Spellcasting should be considered a "magical unlabeled" special ability (A Supernatural ability I suppose?), than Anti-magic field blocks the "Spells" class feature instead of the actual spells. Invoke Magic and Initiate of Mystra stop being things...
    Last edited by Arcanist; 2013-07-10 at 07:58 PM.
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    Default Re: Abilities: Special, Extraordinary, Spell Like, Supernatural, Natural, get 'em her

    Quote Originally Posted by Arcanist View Post
    Is Bardic Music is an Extraordinary ability? It neither provokes an attack of opportunity and is unlabeled so where does it default? Is it a Natural ability?

    Better yet, how about Bardic Knowledge? Same circumstances? A Commoner taking their next level as a Bard spontaneously suffers a physical mutation that lets them sing and "knows some relevant information about local notable people, legendary items, or noteworthy places"? This is starting to sound like the plot for Heroes where everyone just spontaneously starts to develop super powers
    Bardic Music is yet another of those unlabeled abilities like Sneak Attack and Spells, but unlike those, each application has a tag fitting in Ex, Su, or Sp (I don't think there are any Ex Bardic Musics, but I may be wrong). And it does indeed look like Bardic Knowledge is either a Natural Ability, if we agree that not being listed as Ex, Su, or Sp means Natural, or simply unlabeled, if we're going by RAW.

    Quote Originally Posted by Temotei View Post
    This is just unnecessary. This isn't about winning an argument. It's about discussing whether spellcasting is a natural ability, a special ability, or unlabeled (and only unlabeled). There's no winner here.
    No it's not unnecessary, his posts have become increasingly critical and reliant on belittling the opinions of the other people in the conversation rather than substantiating his own claims. I was directly insulted, and I am not about to let that pass without remark.

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    Default Re: Abilities: Special, Extraordinary, Spell Like, Supernatural, Natural, get 'em her

    Quote Originally Posted by Arcanist View Post
    Is Bardic Music is an Extraordinary ability? It neither provokes an attack of opportunity and is unlabeled so where does it default? Is it a Natural ability?

    Better yet, how about Bardic Knowledge? Same circumstances? A Commoner taking their next level as a Bard spontaneously suffers a physical mutation that lets them sing and "knows some relevant information about local notable people, legendary items, or noteworthy places"? This is starting to sound like the plot for Heroes where everyone just spontaneously starts to develop super powers

    I would say it's a natural ability with either Su or Sp effects.
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    Default Re: Abilities: Special, Extraordinary, Spell Like, Supernatural, Natural, get 'em her

    Quote Originally Posted by Psyren View Post
    For the record, I have no problem with FAQ as a rules source. But the FAQ clearly states that only non-magical unlabeled special abilities should be Ex. Whatever else you think spellcasting is, attempting to argue that it's non-magical is a dead end.
    Interestingly enough, it's not nearly the dead end you'd think it is. Here's why.

    A Druid's ability to Wild Shape is Su (explicitly so). However, this ability gives you Na abilities (such as claw attacks). So there exists a precedent for the idea that an ability of one type can give you abilities of another type... in this case a Supernatural Ability that gives you non magical natural attacks. If a creature were immune to all Supernatural Abilities, a Wild Shaped Druid could still claw that creature, correct? Likewise, a creature that was immune to magic could still be harmed by, let's say, a Rogue that was polymorphed into a Hydra. The Hydra transformation was magical, but the bite attacks gained from it are not. In both of these cases, a magical ability allowed for a non magic result. And we can go the other way too... a Rogue's UMD isn't a magical ability. Yet if they use UMD on a wand, they get a spell, which is magical.

    So, while spells themselves are obviously magical in nature, is the ability to cast spells itself magical? Interestingly enough, it's conclusively not. Here's why.

    First and foremost, let's look at the Antimagic Field spell:

    "An invisible barrier surrounds you and moves with you. The space within this barrier is impervious to most magical effects, including spells, spell-like abilities, and supernatural abilities. Likewise, it prevents the functioning of any magic items or spells within its confines.

    An antimagic field suppresses any spell or magical effect used within, brought into, or cast into the area, but does not dispel it. Time spent within an antimagic field counts against the suppressed spellís duration."

    Okay, so any Sp or Su ability disappears (is suppressed and won't function) as long as you're in the field. This means that, for example, Factotums can't cast anything in such a field... their casting is Sp. But what about the ability to cast spells that a Wizard has? If the ability to cast spells is magical, a Wizard can't cast spells in an Antimagic Field (like a Factotum). However, if the ability to cast spells is in fact non magical, then he can still cast the spells... they're just suppressed, because the spells themselves are magical.

    And this brings us to something I referenced in the beginning: http://www.wizards.com/default.asp?x=dnd/rg/20050503a

    Here we see this section: "When a spellcaster is inside an antimagic area, any spells she casts are suppressed. Such spells don't actually fail unless their durations are instantaneous. Spells with longer durations are suppressed until the caster somehow leaves the antimagic area (though time spent within the antimagic area counts against the spell's duration). If the caster isn't aware she's in an antimagic area, handle the situation in the same way you'd handle it if the caster has aimed a spell into the antimagic area from outside."

    Notice that a spell caster does not lose their ability to cast spells in an anti magic field. If the ability to cast a spell was magical, they would (like a Factotum). But they don't. This means the ability to cast spells is in fact not magical, even though the spells themselves are magical. Just as Druids can Wild Shape into something (magical) to get claw attacks (non magical), or a Rogue can use UMD (a non magic ability) to cast a spell from a wand (magical).

    This is also how the Invoke Magic spell works... you still have the ability to cast spells (complete with spell slots, your spell DCs, and everything else) while you're in the field. If you didn't, you wouldn't even have access to Invoke Magic so you couldn't do anything with it. Note that if a Factotum somehow ended up with Invoke Magic, they couldn't use it, because the very ability to cast anything at all for a Factotum is Sp.

    And thus we get to the conclusion: if the ability to cast spells were Su or Sp, spell casters couldn't cast in an anti magic field... but they can, so it's not. Since spells are a Special Ability, they must be Su, Sp, or Ex. The only possible result then is that spells are Ex. Any other conclusion leads to impossibilities... use of Su or Sp abilities in an Antimagic Field, or a Special Ability that's Natural. Neither of those can happen. And since the bit on Antimagic does make it clear that the ability to cast spells is non magical (even though the spells are magical), the FAQ applies completely here.

    Spells are an Ex Special Attack. QED.

    JaronK

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    Default Re: Abilities: Special, Extraordinary, Spell Like, Supernatural, Natural, get 'em her

    For the record, the 3.0-3.5 gray space BoED has the tulani's "Bardic Music" ability untagged and listed under Special Qualities.

    The plot thickens!

    And let's keep it civil. If we disagree, that's not the end of the world, and if someone is rocking the boat, it's very sensible to not also rock the boat.

    Otherwise, high marks. This has been a good discussion.

    @JaronK: I think the part I am having trouble with is the assertion the Spells are a Special Ability. I don't see that this is necessarily the case.
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    Default Re: Abilities: Special, Extraordinary, Spell Like, Supernatural, Natural, get 'em her

    Quote Originally Posted by JaronK View Post
    Spells are an Ex Special Attack. QED.
    Maybe if you said "Spellcasting," or "the ability to cast spells" I could get behind you, but the spells themselves are, as Psyren pointed out, inherently magical.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Psyren View Post
    So now you're claiming that spellcasting "lacks a clear, supernatural element?" Being supernatural is literally the only point of magic.

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    Default Re: Abilities: Special, Extraordinary, Spell Like, Supernatural, Natural, get 'em her

    Quote Originally Posted by Nettlekid View Post
    Bardic Music is yet another of those unlabeled abilities like Sneak Attack and Spells, but unlike those, each application has a tag fitting in Ex, Su, or Sp (I don't think there are any Ex Bardic Musics, but I may be wrong). And it does indeed look like Bardic Knowledge is either a Natural Ability, if we agree that not being listed as Ex, Su, or Sp means Natural, or simply unlabeled, if we're going by RAW.
    Well this also applies to the Monk's Unarmed Strike and Perfect Self. I can understand the argument for the Monk's Unarmed Strike being an Ex (no support for such an argument), and Perfect Self being Su (again, no support for such an argument), but what specifically defaults them as such? Is it just our interpretation of how we believe it should be or is their any RAW basis for these cases? I sincerely doubt there is any WoTC created stat-block of a Monk 20 so we won't really know. Ultimately this falls down to the point where if the unlabeled Spells class feature is a Natural Ability then every other unlabeled class feature are also a Natural Ability (or default to their nearest RAI state)... Or would this be an improper assumption?

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    I suppose I should state why I'm asking. I want to do a Heroes game and if all of these class features are Natural abilities I can totally just call it off as that
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    Default Re: Abilities: Special, Extraordinary, Spell Like, Supernatural, Natural, get 'em her

    Quote Originally Posted by JaronK View Post
    *snip*
    That makes your argument so much cleaner and clearer that I wonder why it wasn't brought up first.

    This seems sound to me. I'm not a huge rules buff, though, so.

    Quote Originally Posted by Phelix-Mu View Post
    I think the part I am having trouble with is the assertion the Spells are a Special Ability. I don't see that this is necessarily the case.
    I believe the evidence given is here. Far right column, about three-quarters of the way down the list. The specific entry is here. Of course, this refers to creatures who cast spells, not the class feature, so it's kind of blurry.
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    Default Re: Abilities: Special, Extraordinary, Spell Like, Supernatural, Natural, get 'em her

    Quote Originally Posted by Temotei View Post
    That makes your argument so much cleaner and clearer that I wonder why it wasn't brought up first.

    This seems sound to me. I'm not a huge rules buff, though, so.



    I believe the evidence given is here. Far right column, about three-quarters of the way down the list. The specific entry is here. Of course, this refers to creatures who cast spells, not the class feature, so it's kind of blurry.
    The problem I see here is that it speaks specifically to a creature's ability as separate from a classed ability to cast spells. I don't think that passage proves the spellcasting class ability is a special attack. It does define it for non-classed casters though.

    Edited to change character's to classed casters. The former was inaccurate.
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    Default Re: Abilities: Special, Extraordinary, Spell Like, Supernatural, Natural, get 'em her

    Quote Originally Posted by nyjastul69 View Post
    The problem I see here is that it speaks specifically to a creature's ability as separate from a character's ability. I don't think that passage proves the spell casting class ability is a special attack. It does define it for non-classed casters though.
    Indeed. Now the question is whether spellcasting is the same across the board (in a casting class as opposed to not in a casting class). I don't think I've seen anything to prove it either way, which suggests it's not, but others will likely know more.
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    Default Re: Abilities: Special, Extraordinary, Spell Like, Supernatural, Natural, get 'em her

    Quote Originally Posted by Temotei View Post
    Indeed. Now the question is whether spellcasting is the same across the board (in a casting class as opposed to not in a casting class). I don't think I've seen anything to prove it either way, which suggests it's not, but others will likely know more.
    I agree, which is why I was trying to stay out of the argument. Ummm... I failed. :)
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    Default Re: Abilities: Special, Extraordinary, Spell Like, Supernatural, Natural, get 'em her

    The problem with the "Spells" entry in the MM Glossary (which is where the bit in the SRD appears to come from), is that it pretty much says "Check out the PHB for how this works." And the PHB says nothing sensible about everything being either Ex/Su/Sp/Na/w/e.

    In the organization in the Monster Manual, it seemed totally unclear that "Spells" is actually a special ability, though the SRD organization seems to make this clear. I guess we can figure it out from the definitions given for Special Attacks and such, but I find this kind of connect-the-dots RAW to be poorly conceived at best.

    But generally I agree that just because we can determine x or y about "Spells" in the MM doesn't mean we can determine that the "Spells" in PHB works the same way, nor that the systems set up in the MM and later versions of it are retroactively applicable to the class features in the PHB.

    Moreover, if they felt strongly that it was an oversight, then they could have errata'd it. They didn't, so I'm left feeling that they thought the PHB's class features were fine as printed.
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    Default Re: Abilities: Special, Extraordinary, Spell Like, Supernatural, Natural, get 'em her

    Quote Originally Posted by nyjastul69 View Post
    The problem I see here is that it speaks specifically to a creature's ability as separate from a classed ability to cast spells. I don't think that passage proves the spellcasting class ability is a special attack. It does define it for non-classed casters though.

    Edited to change character's to classed casters. The former was inaccurate.
    Please note the Mummy Lord in MM1. It's just a Mummy with 10 Cleric levels. Its spells are a Special Attack, just like everyone else's. See also the Troll Hunter, a Troll with Ranger levels. Again, Special Attack.

    So even for spells gained only by class levels, the ability to cast spells is a Special Attack.

    Note that there is one funny exception to this... some later books place spells as a Special Quality. That's a bit strange, but irrelevant for our purposes, because Special Qualities and Special Attacks are just subcategories of Special Abilities. So the same necessary rules apply.

    JaronK

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    Default Re: Abilities: Special, Extraordinary, Spell Like, Supernatural, Natural, get 'em her

    Quote Originally Posted by JaronK View Post
    Please note the Mummy Lord in MM1. It's just a Mummy with 10 Cleric levels. Its spells are a Special Attack, just like everyone else's. See also the Troll Hunter, a Troll with Ranger levels. Again, Special Attack.

    So even for spells gained only by class levels, the ability to cast spells is a Special Attack.

    Note that there is one funny exception to this... some later books place spells as a Special Quality. That's a bit strange, but irrelevant for our purposes, because Special Qualities and Special Attacks are just subcategories of Special Abilities. So the same necessary rules apply.

    JaronK
    I understand your point here. I just don't think it's a definitive statement about class abilities. The PH is the primary source for class abilities, not the MM. It seems to me spellcasting was put in that section because it didn't fit anywhere else. But that's only an opinion of course. I honestly have read the arguments. I just don't agree with your conclusion.
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