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.
>>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.
>>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).
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.
>>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.
>>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.
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.
>>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.
>>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.
>>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.
>>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.
>>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
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.
>>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?
>>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.
>>44789699 Nigga I already quoted the fucking SRD for you earlier. I'll do it again.
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. "
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.
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