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    Default Is Animated Water Wet or Not?

    There have been some answers to questions of late that I tend not to agree with. But those answers have had RAW citations associated with them so I havn't contested having no RAW of my own to counter with.

    The purpose of this thread is to find RAW for both sides and determine which is what is which.

    Where does RAW say that Alchemical items are not magic items?
    Where does the RAW say that Special Materials aren't Magic Items?

    Where does the RAW say that creatures cannot be items and the reverse?

    Where does the RAW say that Animated Special Materials and Alchemical items lose their special properties?
    If the above is true then does an animated sword stop being sharp? Stop being magnetic? Stop having a handle?

    I've seen a lot of assumption with regards to the above questions. Assumptions based in good sense and RAI definitely. But some folk prefer RAW backing for their games, and that has me curious.

    The way the RAW is being currently interpreted it gives the impression that Animated Objects become amorphous blobs of statblock with little to none of their previous traits being retained. They cannot be wielded, they lose their special properties, they cannot be used for their alchemical properties... Basically anything that would make them cool isn't apparently supported by RAW.

    My primary beef with this is that if their special properties are mundane, thereby allowing them to be Animated in the first place, then those same properties survive the process. Anything less and when animated wood stops being flammable, metal isn't magnetic, and water isn't wet.

    Which I guess would be fine too, but it definitely sets a different standard than I was led to believe was the case with Animated Objects.

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    Default Re: Is Animated Water Wet or Not?

    Quote Originally Posted by unseenmage View Post
    Where does RAW say that Alchemical items are not magic items?
    It doesn't. However, in EVERY book ever, alchemical items are listed separately from magic items, so I guess there is some sort of fancy rule of non-inclusion you can apply. Also, this thread agrees. Further more, alchemical items do not fall under one of these categories:
    Quote Originally Posted by SRD
    Magic items are divided into categories: armor, weapons, potions, rings, rods, scrolls, staffs, wands, and wondrous items.
    Quote Originally Posted by unseenmage
    Where does the RAW say that Special Materials aren't Magic Items?
    here, under special materials:
    Quote Originally Posted by SRD
    In addition to magic items created with spells, some substances have innate special properties.
    emphasis mine.

    Quote Originally Posted by unseenmage
    Where does the RAW say that creatures cannot be items and the reverse?
    Golems are both items and creatures.

    Quote Originally Posted by unseenmage
    Where does the RAW say that Animated Special Materials and Alchemical items lose their special properties?
    It does not.

    This thread that you commented on may be of interest to you.

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    Default Re: Is Animated Water Wet or Not?

    If warforged take the Adamantine/Mithril Body feats, they are made out of those materials and their natural weapons act as being made out of those materials. Since they are living constructs, about as close to animated creatures as you can get without actually being one, RAW seems to suggest that special materials stay special when animated.

    By RAW, alchemical items can only be created by spellcasters. Therefore, it is reasonable to suppose that some spellcasting/magic goes into their creation, but this does not mean that they will not function in an AMF; just as true creation materials don't wink out of existence in one, the magic might only be in the assembly process, as a substitute for the precision and chemical knowledge that lets modern science duplicate lots of alchemical effects. Probably DM's choice, unless somebody has a better source.

    Creatures explicitly can be items, see intelligent items, animated items, etc. All of these are accomplished through high-level magic, though, and are exceptions to the usual definitions of these words. D&D presupposes the English language and need not define every term.

    Special materials are not magic, since if they were dragons would fall apart in an AMF (dragonhide being a special material). Since this is not true, it can at least be said that not all special materials are magical in nature. Further, adamantine armor's damage reduction is not blocked by an AMF, nor does mithril armor suddenly jump in weight.

    How's that? If what you want to do is have a living sword, an intelligent item or some sort of permanent reverse-backbiter effect might be better than animating it. As I see it that spell was meant more for Disney-style dancing wardrobes than anything else, though you I suppose you could animate a gem and implant it in the hilt of a dancing weapon... Huh, that could be neat. Remind me to use that sometime.
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    Default Re: Is Animated Water Wet or Not?

    Quote Originally Posted by Irk View Post
    ...

    This thread that you commented on may be of interest to you.
    Just goes to show how long it's been itching the thinkey bits of my brain.

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    Default Re: Is Animated Water Wet or Not?

    Quote Originally Posted by unseenmage View Post
    Where does RAW say that Alchemical items are not magic items?
    It's buried in The Basics
    Quote Originally Posted by unseenmage View Post
    Where does the RAW say that Special Materials aren't Magic Items?
    Well, how do you read the section in the Header for special materials that says " In addition to magic items created with spells, some substances have innate special properties." (emphasis added), and if you don't read that as adamantine being mundane... what's the hardness of Adamantine when it's in an AMF, and why that number?
    Quote Originally Posted by unseenmage View Post
    Where does the RAW say that creatures cannot be items and the reverse?
    There's actually some overlap (see Intelligent Magic Items (although those really are constructs... just with no HD...), but the real aspect comes from the nonabilities entry, specifically for Wisdom and Charisma.
    Quote Originally Posted by unseenmage View Post
    Where does the RAW say that Animated Special Materials and Alchemical items lose their special properties?
    Are you referring to Animated objects? If so, then it comes from an inference of the definition of the creature "Animated Object"; they are statted up in a highly particular manner, which gives certain things to the creature (Hardness, specific attacks based on the form) that the original object didn't have. But yes, technically, if you cast Animate Object on a +5 Steel Greatsword, about all it retains from that is the hardness 20 (10 for being Steel, another 10 for being +5) and it's size. As close to RAW as this comes, it doesn't get the bonus to attacks, any fire damage from a pre-existing Flaming quality, et cetera. This includes the hit points - it is much easier to destroy an animated object of a Wall of Iron than it is to actually break the iron wall (which potentially means that an extra spell makes it much easier to get through).
    Quote Originally Posted by unseenmage View Post
    If the above is true then does an animated sword stop being sharp? Stop being magnetic? Stop having a handle?
    Well, that metal sword is still metal (and thus treated as a metallic creature for various things, such as Rusting Grasp), and while it still technically stays sharp and has a handle... it can't attack with the edge unless the DM houserules otherwise (an animated object has a slam attack which, by default, is bludgeoning damage), and trying to hold it by the handle would be grappling it (although given that you're very likely a size category or two larger than it, and likely have many more hit dice than it does at the level you're fighting things that cast Animate Objects at your equipment, you'll probably win), and I'd have to know the specific magnetism effect you're talking about to tell you how it would affect the now-creature, but by and large... yeah, it effectively loses properties while animated. I would strongly encourage the DM in question to house rule sensibly, however.
    Quote Originally Posted by unseenmage View Post
    I've seen a lot of assumption with regards to the above questions. Assumptions based in good sense and RAI definitely. But some folk prefer RAW backing for their games, and that has me curious.

    The way the RAW is being currently interpreted it gives the impression that Animated Objects become amorphous blobs of statblock with little to none of their previous traits being retained. They cannot be wielded, they lose their special properties, they cannot be used for their alchemical properties... Basically anything that would make them cool isn't apparently supported by RAW.

    My primary beef with this is that if their special properties are mundane, thereby allowing them to be Animated in the first place, then those same properties survive the process. Anything less and when animated wood stops being flammable, metal isn't magnetic, and water isn't wet.

    Which I guess would be fine too, but it definitely sets a different standard than I was led to believe was the case with Animated Objects.
    Some of it is stupid, agreed. But then, RAW simply isn't capable of going over every single possible interaction. If they tried to answer the question of "What happens if you cast defined spell Y on defined item X" for every combination of X and Y, it could theoretically be done... but you wouldn't want to need to rent the forklift every time you wanted to move the book. It can be done for a couple of specific instances (and they did - an animated object that's sheetlike can fly or blind, a ropelike one can climb and constrict, a wooden one can swim, a large one that's very hard can Trample, et cetera), but wanting to have all of them? No. Sorry. Not feasible.
    Of course, by the time I finish this post, it will already be obsolete. C'est la vie.

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    Default Re: Is Animated Water Wet or Not?

    Quote Originally Posted by unseenmage View Post
    There have been some answers to questions of late that I tend not to agree with. But those answers have had RAW citations associated with them so I havn't contested having no RAW of my own to counter with.

    The purpose of this thread is to find RAW for both sides and determine which is what is which.
    Animated objects are not magic items, which makes several of your questions irrelevant. They are magical, but they aren't (usually) items, and they aren't objects either for the duration of the spell.

    Where does the RAW say that creatures cannot be items and the reverse?
    It doesn't. In fact it says precisely the reverse with intelligent magic items.

    Creatures cannot be objects, and vice versa, but not all items are objects and not all objects are items. Crazy, I know.

    Where does the RAW say that Animated Special Materials and Alchemical items lose their special properties?
    If the above is true then does an animated sword stop being sharp? Stop being magnetic? Stop having a handle?
    An animated sword is still metal, and can still be held; it may even still be sharp, but it cannot make slashing or piercing attacks on its own, per the statblock, only slams.

    The way the RAW is being currently interpreted it gives the impression that Animated Objects become amorphous blobs of statblock with little to none of their previous traits being retained. They cannot be wielded, they lose their special properties, they cannot be used for their alchemical properties... Basically anything that would make them cool isn't apparently supported by RAW.

    My primary beef with this is that if their special properties are mundane, thereby allowing them to be Animated in the first place, then those same properties survive the process. Anything less and when animated wood stops being flammable, metal isn't magnetic, and water isn't wet.
    I think it would be reasonable to say that passive attributes like composition (metal, wood, water) or of course hardness are preserved, while active attributes like being able to cut things are not, except where indicated. That's what the statblock seems to indicate, and things like repel metal or stone allow animated objects to be affected if they're made of the right stuff.
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    Default Re: Is Animated Water Wet or Not?

    Quote Originally Posted by Jack_Simth View Post
    It's buried in The Basics
    This is very helpful, thank you. Spent part of yesterday trying to find that and couldn't for whatever reason.

    Quote Originally Posted by Jack_Simth View Post
    Well, how do you read the section in the Header for special materials that says " In addition to magic items created with spells, some substances have innate special properties." (emphasis added), and if you don't read that as adamantine being mundane... what's the hardness of Adamantine when it's in an AMF, and why that number?

    Are you referring to Animated objects? If so, then it comes from an inference of the definition of the creature "Animated Object"; they are statted up in a highly particular manner, which gives certain things to the creature (Hardness, specific attacks based on the form) that the original object didn't have. But yes, technically, if you cast Animate Object on a +5 Steel Greatsword, about all it retains from that is the hardness 20 (10 for being Steel, another 10 for being +5) and it's size. As close to RAW as this comes, it doesn't get the bonus to attacks, any fire damage from a pre-existing Flaming quality, et cetera. This includes the hit points - it is much easier to destroy an animated object of a Wall of Iron than it is to actually break the iron wall (which potentially means that an extra spell makes it much easier to get through).
    Not only does Animate Objects not function on Magic Items I was referring to Special Material properties like Adamantine, Livewood, and Riverine. But I see your point.

    Quote Originally Posted by Jack_Simth View Post
    Well, that metal sword is still metal (and thus treated as a metallic creature for various things, such as Rusting Grasp), and while it still technically stays sharp and has a handle... it can't attack with the edge unless the DM houserules otherwise (an animated object has a slam attack which, by default, is bludgeoning damage), and trying to hold it by the handle would be grappling it (although given that you're very likely a size category or two larger than it, and likely have many more hit dice than it does at the level you're fighting things that cast Animate Objects at your equipment, you'll probably win), and I'd have to know the specific magnetism effect you're talking about to tell you how it would affect the now-creature, but by and large... yeah, it effectively loses properties while animated. I would strongly encourage the DM in question to house rule sensibly, however.
    While there is a Magnetism spell (I think it's from a web article) there is also actual magnatism in the game IIRC. I'm pretty sure magnets can be found in the Arms and Equipment Guide, but I could be mistaken.

    I was just using it as an example of a common sense mundane property and trying to draw a cognitive lie between the common sense properties of mundane items and the Special Material/Alchemical properties of mundane items. To my mind the game treats them the same, this is an attempt to see if my mind is dead wrong.


    Quote Originally Posted by Jack_Simth View Post
    Some of it is stupid, agreed. But then, RAW simply isn't capable of going over every single possible interaction. If they tried to answer the question of "What happens if you cast defined spell Y on defined item X" for every combination of X and Y, it could theoretically be done... but you wouldn't want to need to rent the forklift every time you wanted to move the book. It can be done for a couple of specific instances (and they did - an animated object that's sheetlike can fly or blind, a ropelike one can climb and constrict, a wooden one can swim, a large one that's very hard can Trample, et cetera), but wanting to have all of them? No. Sorry. Not feasible.
    I'm less interested in a 'Great Tome of All Things RAW', more just looking for the sorts of rules citation like your first sentence. Thanks again for that.

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    Default Re: Is Animated Water Wet or Not?

    That's not how citations work; unless the animate objects spell says it changes the material, it doesn't. Assuming otherwise is stupid, because it sets the kind of precedent that leads to people claiming that rangers can't see because nothing in their class description says they aren't blind.
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    Default Re: Is Animated Water Wet or Not?

    Quote Originally Posted by TuggyNE View Post
    Animated objects are not magic items, which makes several of your questions irrelevant. They are magical, but they aren't (usually) items, and they aren't objects either for the duration of the spell.
    Irrelevant to my immediate point, yes. But I've seen argument about the quasi-magical (and implied psionic) nature of certain Alchemical items and Special Materials used to say that Animate Objects and friends do not function on them.
    RAW stating that they are not in fact magic/psionic is helpful in that regard. (Shapesand and Riverine especially)

    Quote Originally Posted by TuggyNE View Post
    It doesn't. In fact it says precisely the reverse with intelligent magic items.

    Creatures cannot be objects, and vice versa, but not all items are objects and not all objects are items. Crazy, I know.
    I remember you helping me with this before. Thank you. I apologize for rehashing it now, I'm just trying to find better footing on my position.

    Quote Originally Posted by TuggyNE View Post
    An animated sword is still metal, and can still be held; it may even still be sharp, but it cannot make slashing or piercing attacks on its own, per the statblock, only slams.
    I've no trouble with this as an addition. Said sword could never attack on it's own in the first place so the spell only grants it an additional quality.

    It's when the statblock is used as an excuse to say the sword loses properties that I disagree.

    Quote Originally Posted by TuggyNE View Post
    I think it would be reasonable to say that passive attributes like composition (metal, wood, water) or of course hardness are preserved, while active attributes like being able to cut things are not, except where indicated. That's what the statblock seems to indicate, and things like repel metal or stone allow animated objects to be affected if they're made of the right stuff.
    Here we get into dangerous territory. Who's to say which bits of the object we retain and which bits we discard?

    To my mind it's an all or nothing scinario, unless we dredge up some RAW to say otherwise. Though I understand that this also means that, by strictest RAW, that the statblock for an Animated Object DOESN'T include a given item's mundane properties means that they aren't retained.

    It's a conundrum, because for me, it's more fun to have Alchemical items and Special Materials that are still special after they're animated. But with the strictest reading of the statblock they aren't.

    It's definitely consternating.
    I wonder, are Water Elementals still wet by RAW? Do Treants burn?
    Last edited by unseenmage; 2014-01-28 at 08:05 PM.

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    Default Re: Is Animated Water Wet or Not?

    Quote Originally Posted by unseenmage View Post
    This is very helpful, thank you. Spent part of yesterday trying to find that and couldn't for whatever reason.
    Not a problem. As noted, it's buried.
    Quote Originally Posted by unseenmage View Post
    Not only does Animate Objects not function on Magic Items
    Simple workaround: Cast Dispel Magic on it first. Not that it much matters.
    Quote Originally Posted by unseenmage View Post
    I was referring to Special Material properties like Adamantine, Livewood, and Riverine. But I see your point.
    Hardness is explicitly kept - so most the properties of adamantine (except the hardness penetration) explicitly stick around. Most the properties of Livewood seem... largely irrelevant in most combat situations where you'd see an animated object, but eh.
    Quote Originally Posted by unseenmage View Post



    While there is a Magnetism spell (I think it's from a web article) there is also actual magnatism in the game IIRC. I'm pretty sure magnets can be found in the Arms and Equipment Guide, but I could be mistaken.

    I was just using it as an example of a common sense mundane property and trying to draw a cognitive lie between the common sense properties of mundane items and the Special Material/Alchemical properties of mundane items. To my mind the game treats them the same, this is an attempt to see if my mind is dead wrong.

    I'm less interested in a 'Great Tome of All Things RAW', more just looking for the sorts of rules citation like your first sentence. Thanks again for that.
    When it comes down to it, most of what you're asking about amounts to either demanding a Great Tome (you're effectively asking for very detailed granularity - ), or a line that tells the DM to use good judgement on what does what... which would cause extreme annoyance for anyone wanting to, you know, PLAN HOW TO USE THE SPELL. A fire and it's fuel can be treated as a single object (see Shrink Item). So... how much damage should that bonfire do when it Slams you? Why that number? Suppose I fill a barrel full of Acid, and animate the acid inside: How much damage should that blob do when it hits you? Why that number? You'll get very little consistency across DMs, and it'd drive players batty.

    Yes, there are some consequences for the level of abstraction used, some of which are simply stupid (which seems to be your beef). That's part of why the game requires a DM. So that when a stupid artefact of the rules comes up, the DM can house-rule it to not be so stupid. OK, so they missed some obvious things. If they tried to get everything covered, you'd need the forklift (and they'd still miss stuff) and the game would effectively be unusable. As they didn't try to get everything, the game is usable, but it has some stupid artefacts of the rules.
    Of course, by the time I finish this post, it will already be obsolete. C'est la vie.

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    Default Re: Is Animated Water Wet or Not?

    Quote Originally Posted by Jack_Simth View Post
    ... If they tried to get everything covered, you'd need the forklift (and they'd still miss stuff) and the game would effectively be unusable. As they didn't try to get everything, the game is usable, but it has some stupid artefacts of the rules.
    there is much stupidity that could be fixed while also dropping the weight or not changing the weight.

    Also, I don't think you would ever reach a point where one book would require a forklift. My entire dnd book collection might (only might) be heavy enough to require a forklift (assuming it was all in paper), and most stupid rules occur at least twice in that.
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    Default Re: Is Animated Water Wet or Not?

    Quote Originally Posted by Lightlawbliss View Post
    there is much stupidity that could be fixed while also dropping the weight or not changing the weight.

    Also, I don't think you would ever reach a point where one book would require a forklift. My entire dnd book collection might (only might) be heavy enough to require a forklift (assuming it was all in paper), and most stupid rules occur at least twice in that.
    Oh, sure, much of the stupidity could be fixed relatively easily (of course, as Pazio is finding out, trying that generally introduces different kinds of stupidity).

    However, that aspect, of itself, is not what I'm talking about. To cover all reasonable special abilities for an animated object based on the base object, you'd basically need to go through every defined object in the game, make sure it 'makes sense', and then add a listing of fluffy rules for how to go about animating an object that is less clearly defined but could reasonably be made. You're also going to need to do that for a very large host of other interactions, so as to not make the game seem all about the animated objects. You'll very likely find yourself with an O(N^2) - or maybe even O(2^N) expansion (where N is the number of existing items in the game).
    Of course, by the time I finish this post, it will already be obsolete. C'est la vie.

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    Default Re: Is Animated Water Wet or Not?

    Yeah, Shrink Item was also one of the spells that I was looking into this stuff for.

    It's possibly more relevant to ask if Special Materials and Alchemical items properties are retained after Shrink Item is applied.

    My math-fu being weak, I still don't know how much more Shapesand one gets to carry about after it's shrunken.

    Though admittedly Shrink Item-ed Thinaun Steel or Alchemist's Fire hold more lethal potential.

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    Default Re: Is Animated Water Wet or Not?

    For animated water to be "wet", it would have to be leaving some of the animated water behind every time it touched something. As the water is being held together by magic, I can easily see it not doing this.

    A water elemental is a bit more questionable.
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    Default Re: Is Animated Water Wet or Not?

    Quote Originally Posted by unseenmage View Post
    Yeah, Shrink Item was also one of the spells that I was looking into this stuff for.

    It's possibly more relevant to ask if Special Materials and Alchemical items properties are retained after Shrink Item is applied.
    A shrunken fire does not burn, so I seriously doubt the shrunken form retains much of anything except maybe hardness.
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    Quote Originally Posted by hamishspence View Post
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