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  1. - Top - End - #1
    Ogre in the Playground
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    Default Piercing Immunities

    Immunity piercers are useful in adventuring: How do I get through the defenses to land a blow? One of these could be the key to success.
    Immunity piercers are also useful in character design: How do I avoid having my sneak attack dice nerfed?

    Please mention more below if I missed some.

    Not covered here: ways to avoid immunities. These seem too numerous to easily list, although some are mentioned at the bottom.

    Immunity Piercer Type Scope Book
    Cold Piercing Cold Feat Cold spell, 1/2 damage, no Cold subtype Frostburn page 49
    Cold Waves of Cold Spell Cold subtype only Frostburn page 106
    Fire Mantle of the Icy Soul Spell Fire Subtype only Spell Compendium page 138
    Fire Searing Spell Feat Fire Spell, 1/2 damage Sandstorm page 53
    Mind-Affecting Song of the Dead Feat Intelligent Undead Dragon Compendium page 108
    Mind-Affecting Music of the Gods Epic Feat Bardic Music Epic Level Handbook page 63
    Fear Greater Master of Terror Class Ability, Dread Witch 4 HD <= 4+caster level Heroes of Horror page 99
    Skirmish Swift Hunter Feat Favored Enemies Complete Scoundrel page 81
    Sneak Attacks Lightbringer Rogue Alternate Class Feature, Rogue 3 1/2 Damage, flank only Expedition to Castle Ravenloft page 208
    Sneak Attacks Death's Ruin Alternate Class Feature, Rogue 3 Undead, 1/2 Damage Complete Champion page 51
    Sneak Attacks Divine Strike Class Feature, Skullclan Hunter 2 Undead Miniatures Handbook page 20
    Sneak Attacks Golem Strike Spell Construct, 1 round Spell Compendium page 106
    Sneak Attacks Grave Strike Spell Undead, 1 round Spell Compendium page 107
    Sneak Attacks Vine Strike Spell Plant, 1 round Spell Compendium page 230
    Sneak Attacks, Critical Hits Deathstrike Bracers Magic Item Construct, Elemental, Ooze, Plant, Undead for 1 round Magic Item Compendium page 93
    Sneak Attacks, Critical Hits Greater Demolition Crystal Augment Crystal +3 Magic Weapon, Construct Magic Item Compendium page 65
    Sneak Attacks, Critical Hits Greater Truedeath Crystal Augment Crystal +3 Magic weapon, Undead Magic Item Compendium page 66
    Poison, Sneak Attacks, Critical Hits, Nonlethal Damage, Ability Drain, Energy Drain, Fatigue, Exhaustion, Str/Dex Damage, Fort Save, Sleep, Paralysis, Disease, Stun, Death Spark of Life Spell Undead Spell Compendium page 196
    Sneak Attacks, Critical Hits, Nonlethal Damage, Ability Drain, Ability Damage, Necromancy, Stun, Death Humanoid Essence Spell Construct Races of Eberron page 186
    Sneak Attacks, Critical Hits, Nonlethal Damage, Ability Drain, Ability Damage, Necromancy, Stun, Death, Poison, Fatigue, Exhaustion, Energy Drain, Paralysis, Disease, mind-affecting Greater Humanoid Essence Spell Construct Races of Eberron page 186
    Poison Poisoner's Breath Special Ability, Sertrous Elder Evils page 116
    Damage Trollbane Poison 1 attack, Regeneration Dungeonscape page 137
    Damage Graymantle Spell All healing Spell Compendium page 107
    Damage Vile Ki Strike, Vile Martial Strike, Vile Natural Attack, Violate Spell, Violate Spell-like ability Feat Unconsecrated healing, 1/2 or less damage Book of Vile Darkness page 50
    Hit Rolls Surge of Fortune Spell Immediate action, 1 roll Complete Champion page 128
    Hit Rolls Pierce Magical Protection Feat Bonuses from Spells Complete Arcane page 82
    Hit Rolls Pierce Magical Concealment Feat Miss from Spells or Spell-like Abilities Complete Arcane page 81
    Damage Reduction Sword of Light Class Feature, Skullclan Hunter 5 Undead Miniatures Handbook page 20
    Damage Reduction Foehammer Maneuver 1 melee attack The Tome of Battle page 59
    Damage Reduction, Hardness Mountain Hammer, Elder Mountain Hammer, Ancient Mountain Hammer Maneuver 1 melee attack The Tome of Battle page 84, 82, 81
    Damage Reduction, Spell, or Supernatural Anti/Dead Magic Antimagic Torc, Antimagic Shackles (Magic Item), Antimagic Field, Antimagic Ray, Antimagic Aura, Planar Bubble (Spell), Beholder, Hive Mother, Colossus (monsters), Flux Slime (trap), Dead Magic (plane) Chaotic, Evil, Good, Lawful, Epic, Magic, Cold Iron, Silver Underdark page 73, Book of Exalted Deeds page 116, Spell Compendium page 14, 158, Magic of Faerun page 77, Monster Manual page 25, Lords of Madness page 135
    Magic, Spell Resistance Supernatural Spell Class Ability, Dweomerkeeper 4 Spell Complete Divine Web Edition
    Magic, Spell Resistance Supernatural Transformation Feat Spell-like ability Savage Species page 39
    Spell Resistance, Damage Reduction Cunning Breach Class Feature, Factotum 11 1 round Dungeonscape page 17
    Anti/Dead magic Initiate of Mystra Feat Spell Player's Guide to Faerun page 82
    Anti/Dead Magic Invoke Magic Spell Level 5- spell Lords of Madness page 212
    Anti/Dead Magic Epic Spells Spell Epic Level Handbook page 73
    Type/Subtype based immunities Baleful Polymorph, Polymorph Any Object Spell Player's Handbook and SRD
    Ethereal, Shadow, extradimensional Transdimensional Spell Feat Spell Complete Arcane page 84
    Incorporeal Serren Special Material Bow, Arrow, Crossbow Bolt Book of Exalted Deeds 38
    Incorporeal Ghost Touch Special Ability Magic Melee Weapons Dungeon Master's Guide and SRD
    Incorporeal Lesser Truedeath Crystal, Greater Truedeath Crystal Augment Crystal Magic weapon Magic Item Compendium page 66
    Incorporeal Ghost Touch Equipment Magic item enhancement Magic item not armor, shield or weapon Savage Species page 42
    Incorporeal Sword of Darkness Class Feature, Skullclan Hunter 9 Miniatures Handbook page 20
    Planar Trait based Immunities Planar Bubble Spell 10' radius Spell Compendium page 158
    As an example, suppose you:

    Summon Sertrous and keep as a pet for Poisoner's Breath to bypass poison immunity
    Use Circle Magic to Heighten to level 20, bypassing all spell level immunities
    Use Reserves of Strength to add 3 damage dice.
    Use Planar Bubble to bypass all planar trait immunities
    Use Initiate of Mystra to bypass Dead Magic/Antimagic
    Use a persistent spellflower to hold a charge for a melee touch spell
    Use Supernatural Spell(from Dweomerkeeper) to bypass spell resistance/magic immunity
    Cast Raging Flame
    Cast Poison Spell[Trollbane] Combust with metamagic: Searing Energy Admixture[Fire] Maximize Empower Blistering Heighten[L20]

    Later, use Surge of Fortune to autohit dealing an expected 212.75 damage to fire immune and 425.5 to others. This penetrates Static planar traits, Infinite Spell Resistance/magic immunity, Infinite saves with Evasion and Mettle, Infinite AC, Damage Immunity via regeneration + nonlethal immunity, and Fire immunity. Against Antimagic, you'll either need an opponent without poison immunity or need to strip it via Disjunction so Poisoner's Breath can take effect. Against Delay Death/Beastland Ferocity you'll need to dispel as well. Oh: this also threatens a critical hit, so there is a possibility of double damage.

    Although I'm focused on immunity piercing here, there are many immunity avoidance techniques. These can almost always work just as well with sufficient intelligence about a target. The key difference is that if the only way to affect the target is by piercing an immunity, then avoid techniques do not work.
    Immunity Avoider Type Scope Book
    Any Energy Force-charged energy Alternate Class Feature, Sorcerer 5 Energy Spell, 1/2 force damage Planar Handbook page 35
    Any Energy Mastery of Elements Class Feature, Archmage 1 Energy Spell Player's handbook and SRD
    Any Energy Manifest Ethos Class Feature, Paragnostic Apostle Energy Spell, 1/2 damage, opposed alignment Complete Champion page 95
    Any Energy Consecrate Spell, Corrupt Spell Feat Damaging Spell, 1/2 divine damage Complete Divine page 79
    Any Energy Consecrate Spell-like ability, Corrupt Spell-like ability Feat Damaging Spell-like ability, 1/2 divine damage Book of Exalted Deeds page 42, Book of Vile Darkness page 48
    Any one Energy Energy Substitution Feat Energy Spell Complete Arcane page 79
    Any one Energy Energy Admixture Feat Energy Spell Complete Arcane page 78
    Any one Energy Nonlethal Substitution Feat Energy Spell Book of Exalted Deeds page 44
    Sneak Attacks Penetrating Strike Alternate Class Feature, Rogue 3 1/2 untyped damage, flank only Dungeonscape page 13
    Any school but Necromancy Song of the Dead Feat Mind-affecting Dragon Compendium page 108
    Any school but Transmutation Spell Versatility Alternate Class Feature, Transmuter 5 Unearthed Arcana and SRD
    There are many other spells and ways to modify spells with strange damage types.
    Last edited by Anthrowhale; 2015-11-27 at 01:56 PM.
    ExFighter: Immunity to Wizard
    Stutter Caster: Eliminate all spell defenses (SR, Save, AC).
    The Clockwork Wizard: All spells in no time.
    Piercing Immunities: Uncounterable Counters.
    Planar Soldiers of Mystra: Invincibility from planar traits.
    A Core Only Fighter 20 that kills things

  2. - Top - End - #2
    Titan in the Playground
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    Default Re: Piercing Immunities

    Critical hits and sneak attack: Deathstrike Bracers, magic item, applies to constructs, oozes, elementals, plants, and undead, from MIC
    There are also spells for this (Gravestrike, Golemstrike, and Vinestrike), for undead, constructs, and plants respectively, from (IIRC) Spell Compendium.

    And for magic immunity, add Cunning Breach, class ability (Factotum 11), from Dungeonscape. Yes, I know that it's written wrong, but we all know what they meant.
    Time travels in divers paces with divers persons.
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  3. - Top - End - #3
    Ogre in the Playground
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    Default Re: Piercing Immunities

    Added both, thanks.

    Cunning Breach doesn't seem to apply to magic immunity since there is no roll to fail. But it should apply to arbitrarily large spell resistance so I added a spell resistance category.
    ExFighter: Immunity to Wizard
    Stutter Caster: Eliminate all spell defenses (SR, Save, AC).
    The Clockwork Wizard: All spells in no time.
    Piercing Immunities: Uncounterable Counters.
    Planar Soldiers of Mystra: Invincibility from planar traits.
    A Core Only Fighter 20 that kills things

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    Titan in the Playground
     
    Thurbane's Avatar

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    Default Re: Piercing Immunities

    There's also the Rogue ACF Penetrating Strike (Dungeonscape p.13) that allows them to inflict half normal sneak attack dice on immune creatures when they are flanked.

    The Rogue/Swashbuckler (Daring Outlaw) I DM for has this ACF (Trap Sense is a rubbish class feature anyway).

  5. - Top - End - #5
    Ogre in the Playground
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    Default Re: Piercing Immunities

    Updated, thanks.
    ExFighter: Immunity to Wizard
    Stutter Caster: Eliminate all spell defenses (SR, Save, AC).
    The Clockwork Wizard: All spells in no time.
    Piercing Immunities: Uncounterable Counters.
    Planar Soldiers of Mystra: Invincibility from planar traits.
    A Core Only Fighter 20 that kills things

  6. - Top - End - #6
    Titan in the Playground
     
    AssassinGuy

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    Default Re: Piercing Immunities

    Under energy (any type):
    • Force-Charged Energy from Planar Sorcerer substitution level 5 (Planar Handbook, page 35): substitute energy damage of a spell with force damage instead


    Under sneak attack:
    • Death's Ruin ACF (Complete Champion, page 52): sneak attack undead with the normal dice; no flanking required
    • A note for Dungeonscape Penetrating Strike: you get untyped damage rather than sneak attack, so sneak add-ons (Craven, ambush feats) don't work.

  7. - Top - End - #7
    Titan in the Playground
     
    Thurbane's Avatar

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    Default Re: Piercing Immunities

    Quote Originally Posted by Curmudgeon View Post
    Under energy (any type):
    • Force-Charged Energy from Planar Sorcerer substitution level 5 (Planar Handbook, page 35): substitute energy damage of a spell with force damage instead
    Wow, that's pretty good, I was unaware of that. And all it costs you is a 2nd level spell known (which you could pick up with a feat at 6th level, if you really wanted to).

  8. - Top - End - #8
    Ogre in the Playground
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    Default Re: Piercing Immunities

    Updated with Curmudgeon's. There are a bunch of other alternate damage types that I added as well.
    ExFighter: Immunity to Wizard
    Stutter Caster: Eliminate all spell defenses (SR, Save, AC).
    The Clockwork Wizard: All spells in no time.
    Piercing Immunities: Uncounterable Counters.
    Planar Soldiers of Mystra: Invincibility from planar traits.
    A Core Only Fighter 20 that kills things

  9. - Top - End - #9
    Titan in the Playground
     
    AssassinGuy

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    Default Re: Piercing Immunities

    Sneak attack Constructs (for 1 round):
    • Golem Strike spell (Spell Compendium, pages 106-107)


    Sneak attack Undead (for 1 round):
    • Grave Strike spell (Spell Compendium, page 107)


    Sneak attack Plants (for 1 round):
    • Vine Strike spell (Spell Compendium, page 230)


    Apply skirmish damage to any creature immune to critical hits:
    • Swift Hunter feat (Complete Scoundrel, page 81), if the creature is a Favored Enemy
    Last edited by Curmudgeon; 2015-11-01 at 11:31 AM.

  10. - Top - End - #10
    Ogre in the Playground
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    Default Re: Piercing Immunities

    Added, thanks. Also added page numbers and a few others that I thought of. Any more?
    ExFighter: Immunity to Wizard
    Stutter Caster: Eliminate all spell defenses (SR, Save, AC).
    The Clockwork Wizard: All spells in no time.
    Piercing Immunities: Uncounterable Counters.
    Planar Soldiers of Mystra: Invincibility from planar traits.
    A Core Only Fighter 20 that kills things

  11. - Top - End - #11
    Titan in the Playground
     
    AssassinGuy

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    Default Re: Piercing Immunities

    Maybe Flame Strike spell for piercing fire immunity? It's not really piercing; it just always has half the damage as divine power rather than fire. (The fire part could still be altered by Searing Spell metamagic.)

  12. - Top - End - #12
    Ogre in the Playground
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    Default Re: Piercing Immunities

    Quote Originally Posted by Curmudgeon View Post
    Maybe Flame Strike spell for piercing fire immunity? It's not really piercing; it just always has half the damage as divine power rather than fire. (The fire part could still be altered by Searing Spell metamagic.)
    It seems to far afield? The set of spells doing generic damage is fairly large in general.

    I'm most interested in ways to eliminate or penetrate immunities. The set of ways to avoid immunities seems large enough that I don't want to take it on.
    ExFighter: Immunity to Wizard
    Stutter Caster: Eliminate all spell defenses (SR, Save, AC).
    The Clockwork Wizard: All spells in no time.
    Piercing Immunities: Uncounterable Counters.
    Planar Soldiers of Mystra: Invincibility from planar traits.
    A Core Only Fighter 20 that kills things

  13. - Top - End - #13
    Titan in the Playground
     
    AssassinGuy

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    Default Re: Piercing Immunities

    There's a confusing pair of entries: "(Greater) Humanoid Essence" and "Greater Humanoid Essence".

  14. - Top - End - #14
    Ogre in the Playground
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    Default Re: Piercing Immunities

    I separated out the 'avoidance' techniques from the 'piercing' techniques.

    Quote Originally Posted by Curmudgeon View Post
    There's a confusing pair of entries: "(Greater) Humanoid Essence" and "Greater Humanoid Essence".
    I'm trying to be too brief. I'll separate them.
    ExFighter: Immunity to Wizard
    Stutter Caster: Eliminate all spell defenses (SR, Save, AC).
    The Clockwork Wizard: All spells in no time.
    Piercing Immunities: Uncounterable Counters.
    Planar Soldiers of Mystra: Invincibility from planar traits.
    A Core Only Fighter 20 that kills things

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    Ogre in the Playground
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    Default Re: Piercing Immunities

    I added a few more and improved a few details.

    I hadn't realized there were so many ways to sneak attack undead and constructs. The support there is remarkably comprehensive.
    ExFighter: Immunity to Wizard
    Stutter Caster: Eliminate all spell defenses (SR, Save, AC).
    The Clockwork Wizard: All spells in no time.
    Piercing Immunities: Uncounterable Counters.
    Planar Soldiers of Mystra: Invincibility from planar traits.
    A Core Only Fighter 20 that kills things

  16. - Top - End - #16
    Titan in the Playground
     
    AssassinGuy

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    Default Re: Piercing Immunities

    Quote Originally Posted by Anthrowhale View Post
    I hadn't realized there were so many ways to sneak attack undead and constructs. The support there is remarkably comprehensive.
    Speaking of which, "Demolition Crystal" should be "Greater Demolition Crystal"; the other versions won't penetrate immunity to critical hits and sneak attack.

  17. - Top - End - #17
    Ogre in the Playground
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    Default Re: Piercing Immunities

    Quote Originally Posted by Curmudgeon View Post
    Speaking of which, "Demolition Crystal" should be "Greater Demolition Crystal"; the other versions won't penetrate immunity to critical hits and sneak attack.
    Right, fixed.
    ExFighter: Immunity to Wizard
    Stutter Caster: Eliminate all spell defenses (SR, Save, AC).
    The Clockwork Wizard: All spells in no time.
    Piercing Immunities: Uncounterable Counters.
    Planar Soldiers of Mystra: Invincibility from planar traits.
    A Core Only Fighter 20 that kills things

  18. - Top - End - #18
    Titan in the Playground
     
    Thurbane's Avatar

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    Default Re: Piercing Immunities

    Just to add another way to Sneak Attack Undead - Skullclan Hunter PrC (MH p.20): Divine Strike (2nd level Ex ability). The wording is a bit odd, but it does let you apply Sneak Attack damage to Undead.

    The PrC also (slowly) progresses Sneak Attack as well. They get abilities later on to overcome any DR of undead, and have their weapon count as Ghost Touch...

  19. - Top - End - #19
    Ogre in the Playground
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    Default Re: Piercing Immunities

    I'd never read that class before. Added, thanks.
    ExFighter: Immunity to Wizard
    Stutter Caster: Eliminate all spell defenses (SR, Save, AC).
    The Clockwork Wizard: All spells in no time.
    Piercing Immunities: Uncounterable Counters.
    Planar Soldiers of Mystra: Invincibility from planar traits.
    A Core Only Fighter 20 that kills things

  20. - Top - End - #20
    Ogre in the Playground
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    Default Re: Piercing Immunities

    Added use of Antimagic for Damage Reduction.
    ExFighter: Immunity to Wizard
    Stutter Caster: Eliminate all spell defenses (SR, Save, AC).
    The Clockwork Wizard: All spells in no time.
    Piercing Immunities: Uncounterable Counters.
    Planar Soldiers of Mystra: Invincibility from planar traits.
    A Core Only Fighter 20 that kills things

  21. - Top - End - #21
    Ogre in the Playground
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    Default Re: Piercing Immunities

    Added maneuvers penetrating damage reduction and hardness and updated the example.
    ExFighter: Immunity to Wizard
    Stutter Caster: Eliminate all spell defenses (SR, Save, AC).
    The Clockwork Wizard: All spells in no time.
    Piercing Immunities: Uncounterable Counters.
    Planar Soldiers of Mystra: Invincibility from planar traits.
    A Core Only Fighter 20 that kills things

  22. - Top - End - #22
    Ogre in the Playground
     
    GilesTheCleric's Avatar

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    Default Re: Piercing Immunities

    Sorry to dredge this thread up a bit, but I was going through my index of build resources and noticed I had this:
    Spoiler
    Show

    Sorry I don't have the source; I think it's from a thread on BG.


    I know it's not ways to pierce immunities, but it does list some oddly specific immunities that you can obtain as a PC (and thus that might be worthwhile piercing). Immunity to nausea, what? I can't even imagine there's a way to get through immunity to pain effects, either.

    "Gentlemen, you can't fight in here. This is the War Room!" Kubrick, "Dr. Strangelove"
    I do still exist. I'm active on discord. Priestess of Neptune#8648

  23. - Top - End - #23
    Ogre in the Playground
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    Default Re: Piercing Immunities

    Quote Originally Posted by GilesTheCleric View Post
    I know it's not ways to pierce immunities, but it does list some oddly specific immunities that you can obtain as a PC (and thus that might be worthwhile piercing). Immunity to nausea, what? I can't even imagine there's a way to get through immunity to pain effects, either.
    It seems like nearly every effect has some sort of immunity, but immunity piercer's are much less comprehensive. On this list, I think only Critical Hits, Sneak Attack, Poison, Anti/Dead Magic, Fear, and magical defenses have piercers.
    ExFighter: Immunity to Wizard
    Stutter Caster: Eliminate all spell defenses (SR, Save, AC).
    The Clockwork Wizard: All spells in no time.
    Piercing Immunities: Uncounterable Counters.
    Planar Soldiers of Mystra: Invincibility from planar traits.
    A Core Only Fighter 20 that kills things

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