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3.5e D&D
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You are currently reading a thread in /tg/ - Traditional Games

Thread replies: 61
Thread images: 1
3.5e D&D

Should a deaf character be immune to Sonic damage?
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Nope.

Inanimate objects aren't, and they sure as shit can't hear.
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>>44788172
No. Why would being unable to hear stop it from breaking your bones?
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>>44788172
Sonic damage is kinetic energy, like fire and force damage, so no.
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OP here

The reason I ask is because one of the PCs in my group is deaf, and the last session got derailed into a huge argument about how he should be immune to sonic damage "because he can't hear it." Two of the other players agreed that "makes sense" but me and the DM tried to explain about a million different ways why you don't have to fucking hear it for it to hurt. In the end I don't think any of them were really convinced and I left the game frustrated and kinda pissed off. The example I brought up was how a blind character wouldn't be immune to lasers but they didn't accept that for some reason. Was hoping for some help in trying to explain why sonic damage would still hurt a deaf character.
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>>44788229
Do these guys know what a sonic boom is? Shit can shatter glass.
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>>44788229
Because lacking a sense of temperature doesn't make you immune to fire, lacking a sense of touch doesn't make you immune to being stabbed, and lacking a sense of acceleration doesn't make you immune to being centrifuged to death.

Now if something that does sonic damage is fluffed to actually depend on being heard, sure. In general, no.
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>>44788229
Tell them that they don't need hear the song to feel the bass of loud dubstep.
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>>44788229
Sounds like your PC was trying to minmax for immunity to the most hard to resist element, which is super tacky if it was intentional.

But yeah, point out that sonic effects do extra damage to objects, which don't have ears.
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>>44788229
Ever been to a rock concert or somewhere else where they have huge speakers that play music so loud you don't just hear it but feel it with your body? Sound is simply vibrations in the air picked up and translated to sound in our ears. More powerful vibrations means louder sound, and if the vibrations are strong enough they can be physically felt, and even cause physical harm such as bursting eardrums. Loud enough sounds (like standing next to a jet engine running at full power) will actually be enough to pulp your internal organs from the sheer force of the vibrations.

Being deaf merely means your ears lack the means to process the vibrations in the air into sounds, not remove the vibrations. So you still feel the music playing in a rock concert and powerful enough sounds will still kill you. Just like being blind still means you can feel the warmth emited by a light source (provided it also emits infrared light in addition to visible spectrum, which most natural light sources do), and will get hurt if shot by a laser (which is simply light amplified and focused into a coherent beam).
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>>44788172
Sounds are waves travelling in the air.
Sonic attacks are such waves that hurt, regardless of wether you hear them or not.
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>>44788172
So your character can't feel temperature?
Okay, well I guess he shouldn't suffer Cold damage.
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If you're not worried about looking autistic, throw some hard facts in their face. Namely these two:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Overpressure
"Overpressure (or blast overpressure) is the pressure caused by a shock wave over and above normal atmospheric pressure. The shock wave may be caused by sonic boom or by explosion..."

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blast_injury
"Primary injuries (by a blast injury) are caused by blast overpressure waves, or shock waves."

And if they're being real stubborn, open up the relevant sources linked at the bottom of those pages.
A sonic boom causes overpressure waves, and those things can fuck up your organs.
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>>44788172
Yes. Just like my blind character is immune to lasers.
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>>44788229
He is immune to the "Language-dependant" descriptor on a number of spells if he is unable to hear. They generally require that the creature be able to hear you and say as much. Some are even more specific in that they require that you share a language.

Not every spell thats spoken word-based falls into that category though, so make sure to check.

As a deaf character he would also suffer a constant failure chance on spellcasting and many, many other checks, by the way.
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>>44788892
Oh also to add: He cannot benefit from any language-dependent effects aswell. Any buff spell that's also language-dependent, any kind of bardsong and anything like a guy in a White Raven stance like Bolstering Voice that says "allies that can hear you."

Some penalties that "long-term" deaf characters can overcome include Spellcasting failure that applies to all spells with Verbal components and includes scrolls aswell, causing mishaps when failed and -4 to all initiative.

There might be additional stuff like circumstantial bonuses that attackers/enemies get when performing specific actions against someone deaf, but they're likely scattered all over the place hidden behind bad formatting.
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>>44789011
And finally:

From the SRD:
Sonic Attacks

Unless otherwise noted, a sonic attack follows the rules for spreads. The range of the spread is measured from the creature using the sonic attack. Once a sonic attack has taken effect, deafening the subject or stopping its ears does not end the effect. Stopping one’s ears ahead of time allows opponents to avoid having to make saving throws against mind-affecting sonic attacks, but not other kinds of sonic attacks (such as those that deal damage). Stopping one’s ears is a full-round action and requires wax or other soundproof material to stuff into the ears.


So there you go, it specifically says a deafened character is subject to sonic attacks.
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>>44788229
>You are hit by the fireball
>I CLOSE MY EYES SO I AM IMMUNE TO THE DAMAGE
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>>44788172
I'd give him ignore charm & shit, but sonic damage is from the sound wave literally shaking you apart.
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>>44788289
The most hard to resist element is actually City. Followed by Force.

Not kidding, City is a damage type.
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>>44789045
What deals city damage?
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>>44789082
Metamagic feat in Cityscape makes it so your energy damage spells deal half their damage as city damage instead.
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>>44788172
>My characteris blind therefore he's immune to all damage because he can't see them
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>>44789101
Any way you can combine it with the Locate City Nuke?

That seems like it'd be hilarious.
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>>44789101
How does that... work? What does a city spell even look like?
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>>44788229
Tell him he can be hurt, but he can't be deafened.
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>>44789154
Hundreds of pigeons, all shitting on your head at once while a bag lady goes through your pockets.
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>>44789154
It says it gathers all kinds of city rubble, detritus, cracked off pavement, bits of metal and garbage and discarded stuff and all just kinda chucks it at them with the rest of the spell.

It only works if you are within a city for that reason.
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>>44789186
That sounds dumb. If I throw a street cobblestone at someone, it's intrinsically different to throwing a stone at someone I picked up from a field?
I mean, I know that belief and thought can shape things in fantasy but there are limits.
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>>44789203
It says thats only sometimes the case. Other times it just changes the color of the spell.

The idea is that it is infused with the "spirit of the City". So it's not just telekinetically throwing rubble at people. There's some supernatural component to it.
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>>44788172
Some damage resistance, sure, but above that set damage resistance they are gonna burst like a hotdog like the best of us.
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>>44789241
I guess it makes no less sense than nature damage and primal energy...
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>>44789256
What deals nature damage?

City's about as sensical as Eldritch Blast being untyped instead of magic or force desu.
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>>44789261
It's not a D&D thing AFAIK. Was thinking of Warcraft at the time and it's druids who can deal Nature damage.
Never questioned it before, so I can't really argue with City damage, plus some of my favorite deities are ones of cities and craft.
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>>44789284
Warcraft nature damage is a catch-all damage type for natural things done by magic. So lightning bolts, earth tremors, natural poisons and diseases, that sort of thing
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>>44789135
Actually, it would work with psyonics on some settings.
>active psy shield
>can't see attacks, so can't gauge them
>no limiter

>>44789038
I don't think charm is language dependant in any system that I know of.
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>>44788229
Ask if they think he should be immune to explosions too, since those would largely be force damage.

Sonic damage is more of a shockwave.

4e calls sonic "thunder damage" for example.
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>>44789409
Limiter removal shit is much easier done using Autohypnosis.

>>44789429
No one should set precedents for giving a shit about what 4e has to say about anything in their campaign.
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>>44789438
Touch a nerve there m8?
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>>44789409
Being immune to illusions would definitely be an upside to a blind character. Well, visual illusions, they could still be fooled by sound and scent.
Psionics work more as mental attacks than fooling the eyes though most of the time.
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>>44789438
Did 4E kill your cat or something?
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>>44789438
It's Thunder in 5e as well.

Probably to make it feel more fantasy. Sonic is a sci-fi word.
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>>44789453
There's very few illusions that are only vision based. Silent Image, mostly, and equally low-tier stuff.

You wouldn't get out of a Phantasmal Killer with that shit or anything.

Really most actually targetted illusion stuff would just work either way.

It's when you're disguising the environment in a more freeform manner and start blending what's real and what's fake that blindness would matter. Mostly in a detrimental fashion though. Less senses to fool. Ghost Sound would go a long way.

>>44789463
Yes. My cats name was Greyhawk.
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>>44788229
Because that's a terrible analogy. If you want to make an argument by analogy, come up with something that shares better similarities. Of course you won't convince anyone that doesn't already agree with you because your argument falls apart. It's utter shit.

The other players are wrong and in this case fucking stupid. And DM fiat applied fairly should have ended it
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>>44788229

DnD players are the dumbest creatures on earth.
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>>44789567
3.PF gives people literal brain damage.

Since the rules don't clearly state sonic damage can be harmful to deaf creatures, they must be immune whether the rules actually do say so or not is irrelevant.
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>>44788229
>The example I brought up was how a blind character wouldn't be immune to lasers but they didn't accept that for some reason.

>>44788807
>Yes. Just like my blind character is immune to lasers.

Apparently this wasn't as clever as I thought, as you used my exact example before I did. Maybe next time I should actually read the thread before quipping.
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>>44788807
Just like my character with no sense of taste can easily swim in the world's strongest acid!
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>>44788229
You're the DM, whether or not he agrees with you doesn't matter.

You say he's affected by Sonic damage, so he is.

If he disagrees?
>I'm the DM, so suck a diiiick
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>>44789637
I pop really strong painkillers before battle to make me immune to gunshots.
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>>44789640
You're the DM, it's your job to provide him with meaningful dick sucking choices to help empower his pretty lips.
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>>44788280
This all the explaination you need. Seriously, there's no counterpoint to this.
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>>44789640
OP here

I'm actually another player at the table, not the DM. He and I both essentially said "That's fucking stupid" when the player of the deaf PC brought it up, but he and the other two players don't agree (or maybe they genuinely don't understand that sonic damage isn't just an annoying noise) so I was hoping for a better way to explain it.
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>>44789699
Well, as said upthread, just explain that sonic damage is from the shockwave and will fuck you up whether you can hear it or not. Sound is just a pattern of pressure waves, and the inner ear is just a collection of very small, fine hairs which react to low amplitudes of specific frequencies, along with the mechanism to convert pressure waves in the air into pressure waves in a fluid medium (the eardrum and so forth).
Small amplitudes vibrate the tiny bones and membranes noticeably. Large amplitudes tear the tiny bones and membranes apart, and vibrate the large bones and membranes in the body (such as the lungs) noticeably. VERY large amplitudes tear ALL those membranes apart and shake your bones to powder against each other. Amplitudes still greater make your body behave like a fluid, and splash across the wall.

I mean, just look at almost any depiction of sonic attacks. What's the first thing to go? Hearing, usually demonstrated by blood pouring from the ears. Why would deafness make you immune to Sonic damage if that damage CAUSES deafness by itself?

Look at the classic trope of high-pitched singing shattering a wine glass. Does a wine glass have ears?
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>>44789699
"Sonic isn't sound, it's shockwave. Illusion is sound. You're immune to auditory illusions like Siren songs, not sonic magic."
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>>44789699
Opera singer shatters wine glass. Sonic boom rips stuff off buildings. It's a function of resonant frequencies and immense pressure spikes breaking shit apart, not hearing something ugly.

I'd say he's immune to verbal mind affecting compulsions; stuff like Sirens ala Odysseus.
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>>44788172
The DM should employ case by case logic.

Is the damage coming from a deafening shriek that grinds at the minds of whoever hears it? Then yes, deafness should be immunity.

Is the damage coming from a sonic shock wave? Then no, deaf people are not immune to kinetic energy.
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>>44788260

No it can't. Glass can't hear.
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>>44788172
Sound is vibrating pressure waves traveling through a medium such as air, if those sound waves are strong enough to injure or kill someone, it doesn't fucking matter whether or not you're capable of hearing.
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>>44789915
You mean he should do what the text in the SRD literally has to say about Sonic Attacks?

If his DM would check the rules this thread wouldn't exist in the first place.
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>>44789699
Nigga I already quoted the fucking SRD for you earlier. I'll do it again.

"Sonic Attacks

Unless otherwise noted, a sonic attack follows the rules for spreads. The range of the spread is measured from the creature using the sonic attack. Once a sonic attack has taken effect, deafening the subject or stopping its ears does not end the effect. Stopping one’s ears ahead of time allows opponents to avoid having to make saving throws against mind-affecting sonic attacks, but not other kinds of sonic attacks (such as those that deal damage). Stopping one’s ears is a full-round action and requires wax or other soundproof material to stuff into the ears. "

From http://www.d20srd.org/srd/specialAbilities.htm

That's it. He's also immune to anything with the "Language-dependent" descriptor, but every spell that has it generally does repeat in its description text that the subject has to be able to hear you for it to work aswell.
Thread replies: 61
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