Discussions/HeavenlyGuardianDefence

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willows got this monstrous ball rolling with his assertion that 'Heavenly Guardian Defence is a stupid Charm. In my game it, will only perfectly parry an attack from soneone with an Essence no greater than yours'. Now, back to the action.

With your modification to HGD, a one-dot advantage in Essence basically means you can murder your target without any chance of failure; HGD and equivalent defenses exist to provide some measure of protection to PCs against superior foes. For such a modified ruleset, I would recommend providing a defensive Charm that removes perfection from an attack; it may still penetrate, but you now have the opportunity to defend yourself. Unless, of course, I've failed to understand your purpose for changing HGD. - Quendalon thinks he may have brought this up before and been shot down, but memory is unreliable

No, I don't believe that you have brought up that particular argument before, at least not to me. I think that 'stripping away perfection' is a great idea! I'll write up a Charm or two for that. On HGD in particular, though: My problem with it is not that such a capacity exists, but that it's available as a unitary Charm effect at such a low level. It's got all of applicability, automatic effect, and perfection, all rolled up in one tidy little bundle! Those are three distinct effects, and as such, I'd like young Exalts to have to treat them that way, even Solars who are insanely awesome. - willows


I just upped it to Essence 3. That seemed to work. There are ways of getting around it anyway, even without special perfect-disabling effects such as these (which I personally dislike, but I agree yours seem mostly balanced, as far as I can fairly assess something I dislike)
-- Darloth

That doesn't solve the problem at all, really. HGD warps combat around itself, forcing all high-Essence combat strategies to take it into account. Any meleeist without HGD at Essence 4 and above is basically boned because he lacks the capstone of Solar defensive magic, and anyone fighting a non-boned Solar needs to fall back on a very limited set of strategies to deal with one Charm. There isn't any other solitary Charm in the books that performs such a drastic transformation of the combat dynamic, and I don't think its appropriate for a solitary Charm to have that effect. - willows

I don't wish to start an argument, but personally I disagree about the statement that you need to rely on a small set of strategies when faced with a solar with HGD. A scene-long dice adder does the trick nicely... as does a flurry of moderately effective unparriable attacks, especially if they lack dodge or soak. There are lots of charms that can be written to get around it, even without going along the 'this charm can specifically get past perfects' route. We don't -have- any high-essence solar combat strategies, but I do suspect that HGD will be less important than it looks. Even a scene-long damage adder can eventually do the trick, although it does take longer. Is there a page debating the brokenness or not of HGD yet? If not, and you want to reply, I'd suggest making one. No sense cluttering up your charm page, hmm?
-- Darloth

Consider how, when you're thinking of all these strategies, you have to think, "How will I deal with HGD?" You don't stop to think the same thing about Two Swords Technique or Sandstorm-Wind Attack, Charms at equal prereq depth. The quality differential between them is way deeper than one additional Charm prerequisite can justify. There are significant new strategies that "getting around HGD" doesn't allow, including "ultra super Combo attack," which is definitely supported by the source material, but there's no way to pull it off in Celestial combat.

Basically, I've been playing an Essence 5 PC long enough to have seen in person what effect perfects have on combat, and it's neither pretty nor interesting for any of the parties involved. At the rate we are able to produce damage, any being that doesn't have equivalent defences is completely hosed long before it can break through our perfect barriers. - willows

Small interjection: the Ultra-Super-Combo-Attack still works against HGD; it just needs another Charm comboed in. The Blow-Concealing Gesture Technique (or any analogous Charm developed for Solar Melee, Archery, Brawl, or Thrown) can bypass the Heavenly Guardian Defense. Vargo Teras

Actually, the scene-long diceadder strategy was a result of 'how can I get better at melee combat and defeat nearly anyone', it had nothing to do with HGD, which was why I posted it here when I realised that it actually was a fairly good way of getting around it, almost as a by-product. I do admit that essence 5 solars are nearly impossible to defeat without equivalent defences, but then, I think this should be the case. All types of celestial exalt -have- equivalent defences in one way or the other, with the possible exception of lunars that have chosen not to go the soak+regen route. On the other hand, I think lunars need to be improved slightly anyway, although they probably do have something really nice at essence 4 or 5 as well. I concede to your superior play-time based experience of what effect it may have, but I do not think that the problem (if it is a problem) is as bad as you make out. Also, the two charms you've stated as examples noone needs to get around are mostly offensive both of them. Why should anyone need to 'get around' them? Now, getting around Seven Shadow Evasion, a 6m, essence 1 charm with only two prerequisites, is possibly a more useful comparison. Especially if someone comboes it with a 1 or 2 mote charm that lets them dodge the undodgeable, and some weird charm that regenerates essence from being attacked and dodging. I'm going to assume you're happy with this on your userpage, and thus reply here.

If it's that bad, then you could always add a single pre-requisite. A 4m autoparry (non perfect, non applicable) would make a good prerequisite to HGD at skill 5 essence 3, with the same wording and effect as currently, perhaps?
-- Darloth

Dude. Really! Repositioning a bad Charm to make it harder to get is never going to make it a good Charm. - willows

Playing in the same game that willows does, I have to agree with him. The existance of HGD means that the only high essence defences worth getting are defences that provide more copies of it. There would be a certain benefit to charms that provided automatic defences, but really given HGDs cost, why go for the lesser option? It defines the combat game long beyond its appearance at Essence 2. That is willows problem with it.

As to 'getting around' the two charms he mentioned, its more a case of: If my opponent has two-sword technique, or sandstorm wind attack, I do not have to radically reform my combat strategy to deal with them. If they acquire HGD then my whole combat tactics have to change to incorporate its effects. - Kraken


Do you feel that HGD is unnecessary for Solar PC survival in the lethal environment of the Time of Tumult? Or is it that you feel that any guarantee of Solar PC survival is inappropriate or unnecessary? - Quendalon

I think the viability of the other splats makes it clear that Solars, with their generally superior Charms, don't need this singular additional defence, and it's undesirable in that it's paradigm-breaking and makes it much more difficult to make a high-Essence combat game for Solars that is diverse and interesting. - willows



Do characters in this game have an unlimited supply of Willpower? If you are using HGD outside of a combo, you aren't going to be using other Charms those turns, which will cut down on your offensive potential. If you are using it in a combo, you're going to be eating willpower points like candy... or am I missing something? btw, another possible tweak to HGD is to make it Supplemental. Yeah, you can combo it with GEB, but then it becomes significantly more expensive.-szilard

Effectively, yes. Stunting a perfect defence is about as good as you can get, in terms of Willpower generation. - willows

Hmmm... I guess. I tend to think of stunt bonuses as only applying to things that are, you know, rolled. I haven't really considered it much, though. It strikes me as analogous to the Impeding the Flow - Joy in Adversity Stance question, though. -szilard

How so? Stunts don't have any of that wooly wording that bedevils VBoS stylists. - willows

I guess it is mostly a gut feeling. Stunts seem to me to be doing something in a dramatic and improbable way and, if you succeed, you get a sense of affirmation that can regen Essence or Willpower. Using HGD... well, there is no chance of failure so there is no improbability. Where does the sense of affirmation come from there? The stunt dice certainly didn't help. Can you even get stunt dice for a non-die action? I, obviously, haven't thought this through, but I came into this discussion with a general inclination to be very stingy and slightly uncomfortable with giving stunt dice for something like HGD. I'm trying to articulate why. Does this make any sense? -szilard

I don't try to read any game-world implication into the stunt award thing, but I don't think it's inconsistent! You asserted your magical dominance, you get a surge of energy. If the player went to the effort of stunting it, he deserves it. - willows

I happen to agree with this viewpoint, although I would make it take a little more descriptive effort than usual because the stunt cannot 'fail'. However, remember that you can only get 1 stunt bonus per turn, so the most you can get back is 1 willpower... Now, if you're getting back 1 willpower a turn from absolutely -amazing- stuntage (many people can't manage a 2-die stunt every turn, and some have trouble with more than 1 a session) then if you use combos or HGD more than once, you're running out of willpower. If it's not in a combo, your offense isn't great, and if it succeeds, then it's most likely tactical failure on the part of your opponent (not saving a charm for defence or using an all-out attack combo without defense). SSE is almost as effective and doesn't cost willpower. I can also think of several defensive strategies that would be almost as useful as HGD with a much smaller cost. Consider the possible success-adder charm, probably around skill 5 essence 3, costing 3m per +2 successes, up to a limit of (successes already gained) + Essence. This is the format for solar success adders, moved up the tree a lot because it's a combat version... I'd say it should come after Bulwark Stance personally, but maybe it should break straight from DSD or even GEB. Combine this with a persistant defense, and you have something which is almost as perfect, but never costs a willpower. Admittedly, it costs more essence, but most people (especially at high essence) will have enough of that and will be short on will.
-- Darloth


Wow!! Something willows and I agree on 110%!! That being said I believe that HGD is a terrible Charm. It leeches coolness from the game. My fix involves removing its perfect effects. It allows a parry at full die-pool adding the exalts essence in auto successes. It should also allow you to parry arrows, and unique attacks without a stunt. Yes this makes the exalt hard to hit if they really need it, but it doesn't give the inherent cheeziness of the Canon HGD (Gee he just did a Combo.<sigh> Never fear HGD is here). I believe this fix makes it so the charm scaleable with the character (one of my biggest gripes about it). Now I do believe that HGD would be a much nicer charm at the essence 4 or 5 range with more prerequsites, and possibly a higher cost (5 Motes 2Willpower is my suggestion). Also on a semi-related note high Essence Solar combat is all about persistants. At higher (5+) Essence levels you're not using charms on a round-by-round basis but rather a battle-by-battle one. Yes! This does commit a large amount of Motes, but the results are worth it. Now even as they have spent a lot of motes most high Essence Solars keep enough for a few (Motes) for "Surprises". As such you're always going to have that little bit of uncommited Essence to preform your "get-out-of-jail-free" Charms and/or Combos. This is the point I see HGD breaking down at. As these Solars may now in addition to everything else basically say "no" to an attack/danger just by spending a paltry 3 Motes 1 Willpower which are stunted away on the next two rounds. So in the end this seemingly harmless Charm is a roadblock at higher Essence levels making Solar battles just contestes of mote attrition. - Issaru

My problems with Issaru's fixes. ;) Adding the character's Essence in autosuccesses seems awfully weak for a Charm with a Willpower cost. If you changed the cost to, say, 4 or 5 motes flat, I'd think that was fine. As for parrying arrows, everybody can do that anyway, so unless you want to change a rule that I think is exactly right as it is, you shouldn't add the arrow-parrying clause (in fact, that little note was effectively removed from HGD in the first Errata, because it was a silly thing to leave in). Other than that, though, I *gasp* agree with most of what Issaru said. - David.
Actually, I quite -like- the feel of high-essence solars ending up taking ages in combat. Considering most combats in every exalted game I've played in or GMed are over with a single mistake, typically two or three rounds in, I have no problems with it. But all of this sort of thing are dependent on feel. That said, it was heavy armour that slowed one combat down a lot, and that's been fixed with many more ways around it, especially in my house rules, which are not all that close to either the base -or- the power-combat anymore.
-- Darloth

What the heck, I'll chime in.  :-) My main problem with HGD is not the perfection, but the applicability-trumping. It gives the Melee specialist a way to get out of investing in Dodge, and just focus on Melee. Specialization is already a highly advantageous strategy in Exalted; it's a quick way to get to powerful charms. However, IMHO, there should be a risk associated with that kind of focused specialization; the risk that having neglected other types of defenses (like dodge), you're left vulnerable to (in this case) the unblockable attack. Letting HGD block the unblockable is like playing rock-paper-scissors...and then getting a scissors that cuts rocks. --Toram

I do see your point there. Mind you, applicability seems to be expensive (around 7 motes, if you count 1wp as equivalent to 10 motes, ignoring the fact that they're really very different, just for cost comparison) and it is sorely needed if the player isn't going to die from an unblockable, undodgeable, cover-ignoring strike with umpteen successes and a shedload of damage. Which, interestingly enough, Lunars get in their archery tree (well, if you make a combo). Let me check... at Essence 2. Now... weirdly enough, this is an undodgeable attack that is -explicitly- dodged by SSE, so the dodge equivalent is at least semi-applicable (it also dodges attacks which you can't dodge because you can't move fast enough, like the blast-wave from the Godspear, which is certainly 'undodgeable' because... where are you going to go?, but not mechanically impossible to dodge.) There should certainly be some always applicable defences somewhere in the charm-tree, and they should be expensive. I agree that it's slightly easy to get to, but solars are good at that sort of thing. Personally, I agree, I think it should be Melee 5 and Essence 3, and come after another pre-requisite charm (a success adder or an automatic but not perfect or applicable parry, something like that), but if you do that to it, I think it's fine.
-- Darloth

That sounds like it's "Undodgable, except by explicitly Perfect dodges". Even if it was truly undodgable and unblockable, I don't think you need a single always-applicable defense to counter that attack; you just need to have diversified enough so that you've got the right defense. In this case, my response would be the PG version of Iron Skin Concentration (Adamant Skin, if we're limiting to just core book charms). Yes, a little damage gets through, but I've only spent 3m, and I'll bet that combo isn't cheap. By the time the nasty combos start to come out, any moderately combat effective Solar could have at least a couple charms each from Resistance and Dodge, as well as a Parry booster from whatever their main combat Ability is. Rock, paper, and scissors. No lightsabre required.  :-) --Toram

I'm just going to chime in here as a voice representing the "Sees No Problem With HGD And Thinks You Guys Are On Crack" camp. We have a nice camp, you know. We brought marshmallows and everything. ~ G

I disagree with you on the HGD issue....but your comment was a dammit funny, and I just had to say so. - Issaru If you guys have cabins i might join up!! LMAO.<i>

I personally like the concept of Heavenly Guardian Defense. In anime and manga, the hero can somehow usually muster enough power to overpower someone else’s perfect attack and then they get to gloat that it wasn’t so powerful. I believe that is the spirit of Heavenly Guardian Defense. Exalted is all about being heroic and Heavenly Guardian Defense allows us to do that. I think it would be cheesy if someone kept using Heavenly Guardian Defense every time it was his turn. That is not the spirit of the charm. In my games that I run, to use perfect attacks or perfect defenses, I make the players burn a conviction point because a perfect defense should represent that pure outright determination to do overcome his enemy. - Savare

I think I agree. HGD is, to me, the "I am a Solar BADASS, and if you want to kill me THAT badly, you'll have to damn well sap my Willpower first!" Charm. Which is glorious as far as I'm concerned. ~ <i>G
I think that by making it require a Conviction point, you've actually nerfed it more than most of the changes I've heard proposed, since you can't stunt Conviction back. In any case, I prefer a style of play that leads to the characters going through a variety of attack and defense strategies in a given fight, and HGD's blanket utility reduces the need to do so. --Toram
Just to clarify, Savare, does the burning of a Conviction point mean that the Virtue is permanently reduced, or is does it count as one use of the effect of channeling a point of temporary Willpower through a Virtue for additional dice? I do agree with the principle that HGD ought to be reserved for correct moments by players. ~Andrew02
Andrew, two ways of using virtues .. the willpower for dice and the using a point for auto successes .. i make them burn the actual temporary conviction point. It makes them save it for when they really need it. I actually had them lay down their swords during a battle rather than use the conviction point. It makes them really take stock of the situation and if it really is worth it or take the damage and try a different stratagy. Plus I think that stunting a perfect defense is wrong. Your getting out of the way by spending a few motes and a willpower. Be Happy - Savare
Oi, not another reason for conviction to be the trump virtue. :-/
That said, I always figured the answer to HGD/ISS/SSE/DF/Whatever was to attack more than once in a round. If your players can stunt all the way through one at a time without pissing everyone off with their descriptions and instead wowing them, they deserve what they get. -Xeriar
Good point, Xeriar. Lots of tempting reasons already to jack up Conviction.
Anyway, Savare, I cannot find where it states that Virtues may be used to gain automatic successes. As I understand it, it is temporary Willpower that has the capacity to be spend for a single automatic success, or channeled through a Virtue for extra dice. I was aware there was a limit to the number of times one could channel Willpower through a Virtue, but not that Virtues themselves could be used for auto-succeses. ~Andrew02
OMG .. I have been misreading that rule for the last 5 years. I looked it up to prove you wrong and well, you proved me wrong. Now, do I have the courage to tell my players? Now, as for Conviction in regards to Xeriar, the one virtue I have problems with is Valor as far as my players. Conviction usually never gets higher than a three.
One thing I feel I need to add is the assertion that the way to get past HGD and other perfect defenses (same argument is given for Impeding the Flow) is to split your dice pool or use multiple actions. That is really sad advice. Generally by that point they also have a persistent defense available. With solars it is 5 charms in, if admittably Essence 3 Melee 5. Sids can get the performance dodge, or the melee persistent which is admittably fairly restricted. Good though.

Either way, trying to multi attack past it will likely fail as well. Jaelra

Not if you have a scene-long dice adder, or better yet, a scene-long defense reducer, if you're in an abyssal frame of mind. Combining the two is best, of course, but I don't think abyssals should get scene-long dice adders, as I believe they're diverging at that power level and above. But anyway, it all depends on the situation. The temp-conviction (or maybe just any virtue applicable) does seem like a nice solution to it, if rather nerfing the amazing utility it currently possesses. I think I'm happy with it as I percieve there to be several ways for an attacker to -force- a different defensive tactic, or drain willpower rapidly. For example, a multiattack of unparriable attacks will hurt a lot. Heck, if you're a lunar, you can probably drop 3 or 4 unparry+undodge archery attacks and still have a very reasonable diepool, all for only 24 motes or something. Yes, that's a lot, but lunars have a lot, and the 4 willpower it will cost to defend that is going to be needed later.
-- Darloth

And just where are all these unparryable undodgeable attacks that aren't costing you more than 3m/1wp per attack? Even for Lunars that is going to get very expensive, very quickly. And considering that you need to include some sort of defense as well, things are not looking optimal for you. Outside of Lunar ranged charms, where do you get that easy of access to unparryable and undodgeable attacks? I can't think of any. -- Jaelra
There are a ton of strategies in Exalted combat that allow you to make attacks that will break through persistent defenses that are cheaper than HGD. Like Darloth keeps mentioning, such a strategy isn't HGD-able (well, it is, but it isn't wise to do so) because you're burning Willpower against an attack that will just keep coming. DBT allows this, Blade of the Battle Maiden does, the defense-dice-reduced-to-half Charm in Hungry Ghost style forces this and is darn, darn cheap, both Air and Water Dragon Forms boost a dice pool high enough to be a danger to even stacked persistents (18 attack dice versus 23 or so defense dice still ends up with a hit every few attacks). There are a literal ton of Charms in the Essence 3 range that HGD won't adequately defend against, and willows is worried about the Charm's effect on Essence 5? And I don't know what you guys' games are like, but you really can't stunt and recover Willpower if you don't roll the defense. Stunts provide dice bonuses and you get rewards on a success. Dice bonuses aren't applicable to defenses you don't roll. As such, there's no way to stunt a non-rolled action. So you can't go "I HGD in a really cool fashion! Give me back my Willpower!".
Your statement that you can't stunt non-rolled actions is a house rule. Stunts are not dice bonuses. The dice bonus is a side-effect of stunting, just like the Willpower or Essence recovery. - David.
I'm not sure exactly where you can find that 18 attack dice vs 23 defense dice PLUS SOAK really is that threatening. Oh no, I am taking a couple of dice of PING every few turns while I unload my own full attack, either splitting dice pool against soak or persistent defenses, or one large attack against persistent. As for the cost of those charms, if you have dual stacked persistents than you have seven shadows. Which means you are not really losing out that much on essence and their defenses cost more than yours do, and their offenses are lacking. An 18 dice attack is not going to even cause you to spend essence. BOTBM will if they put all of their attack into one big one, in which case you spend 6 motes and they have only their perfects to rely on for defense. At which point you split your dice pool and have your way with their already crippled essence pool. And the defense dice halved in hungry ghost form does not deal with this. 15 dice pool is favorable for their attack. Your defense is around 15 dice. Again they are pinging, with one attack. If you choose to let them. Again they have no real defense against your non charm augmented offense. If you include dual persistence then there is nothing in the game that can win one on one without the same tactic. Now if you remove the reference to dual persistence than you do have a very few options. Some of those above even apply. You can play a Sid MA's, or a Lunar with lots of DBT and a few melee or ranged charms. Wow. What a massive selection. :) Oh and hungry ghost will still lose in a horrible and painful fashion. Not anywhere near enough defense to deal with the offense a Solar Melee character can put out. Jaelra
Don't forget Essence-countering or eating effects. These things are killer at high Essence, and HGD does nothing. While it's strong, it's also completely straightforward. Combat strategies have to account for it... but they also have to account for, say, a dex-focused DBT with a short daiklave, or a character using Accuracy Without Distance and a hopping dodge, or Instant Poisoning whatchamacallit from the Night book... there are dozens of Charms that require consideration for proper combat strategies, and I don't really see HGD as all that different. - FrivYeti

On a completely irrelevant (and possibly irreverant) note, let's suppose a character falls down a well and lands in Malfeas, uncountable yards and several wobbly pieces of geometry later. Does he get to invoke HGD against the falling damage? Does he count as having attacked Malfeas instead? ...DeathBySurfeit, far too late at night

Generally speaking, you can't parry falling damage because you aren't being attacked - you are the attacker. With a nifty enough stunt, therefore, you can parry yourself. - amused Moxiane
I guess this also applies to falling onto a raksha who's employing Assumption of the Land's Heart... - Q

Well. If I want to be technical about it.. if I read the /original/ argument correctly: when posing an attack against a powerful solar, the question isn't, 'Can this get past HGD?' but, 'Can this get past a perfect parry that can parry everything?' (henceforth referred to as true perfect.) Since, as I recall from the charms in the Dawn caste book, that kind of defence is the /minimum/ you require for EVERY attack from a primordial. And.. well, I won't let someone stunt for invoking a charm, no matter how cool they describe it: they aren't succeeding because of something imaginative, they're suceeding through magic. ergo, the cool-gods won't reward them. - Molikai

Not letting your players stunt when they invoke a Charm is skipping out on a lot of really great stunts, IMHO. - David.
As I fix the Typos.. and add a much belated reply: WEll, that depends. Do your players only make cool descriptions when they are promised a reward? Mine don't. So what am I missing out on? You should be getting pretty imagery and cool actions for their own sake, not because you get a pretty at the end of it. so, what, in fact, i'm missing out on: is for an infinite-duration True Perfect defence. Which.. is.. Something I want..? So.. I'm not missing: I'm gaining. - Molikai

How about another house rule that drops the stunt bonus (essence/willpower recovery) by one level when using effects that automatically succeed without a rolled pool? That still gives a bonus, but since it's almost impossible to do a large amount of lev 3 defensive stunts, willpower recovery becomes much rarer. It's a house rule, one I'll probably be implementing, but I thought people might like to hear it as a suggestion, even if it's only tangentially relevant to the discussion.
-- Darloth

Hey what about using Weapon Breaking Defense Technique on someone using a offensive combo against you? Would a solar doing the combo be able to negate the weapon breaking effect with HGD, since it says in the text for the charm doesn't explicitly say whether the weapon is breakable and this defensive charm can break MM weapons. Infact, if you use that charm, it would seem that the Immaculate would just be parrying an attack right? So technically the solar couldn't activate HGD because he isn't aware that the immaculate is using a charm to parry his attack and break his weapon. Please give your thoughts and opinions -- Banquo

I'm going to restart this debate, involving another issue entirely. Does HGD work on immaterial attacks? There are a few of these now, as well as nasty tricks like using melee charms with a spirit-sword. From what I can tell, it does and it doesn't. The errata says "pretty much any physical attack", wheras the player's guide states (pg 199, applicability and perfection) "really can defend against any attack". The flavour only mentions material attacks, but the spirit of the charm is anything. However, does anyone consider the tree-position a bit low, or the costs to cheap, to be able to block immaterial attacks?
-- Darloth

I would say that, as it requires a weapon, HGD requires said weapon to be able to touch the effect, if not survive it. You could only HGD an immaterial attack if your weapon could, or if it was combined with another Charm - FrivYeti
The wiki already has a (divided) opinion, that I didn't find earlier... I think it was UnparriableAttacks (not listed under discussions, oddly, even though it clearly is one.) Basically, every source every has its own opinion. I've decided to allow it to do so, but only because I increased the pre-reqs to Melee 5 Essence 3. It does now seem kinda hard to get past, but I had a few other ideas about that... consequence-based effects are good (if they parry, any parried successes apply instantly as a disarm, for example), as are rolls to see if they get to defend at all or perhaps rolls if they want to use charms against it. Although who exactly would get such screwy mechanics, noone knows.
-- Darloth
Personally, I'd probably say weapons of the five magical materials can parry inmaterial attacks. This is based on the Spirit Sword text, which says it can be parried/blocked by weapons of the five magical materials. -FlowsLikeBits
Well, they can parry spirit-swords, but that interacts specifically with anything magical. Even an enchanted mortal sword will block it. It's not -really really- immaterial. You certainly can't hit an immaterial spirit or ghost with a 5MM weapon, nor can you parry its attacks if it has some weird and overpowered charm that lets it target your soul without materializing or something freaky like that.
-- Darloth
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