[RPG] Does a petrified creature count as an object


I'm curious whether the Siege Monster special ability that allows a creature to deal double damage to objects would allow them to deal double damage to a petrified character.

It seems like this ought to be the case, but I notice that the description for the petrified condition doesn't explicitly say that the character becomes an object. It seems obvious, but the rules spell out quite a few seemingly-obvious things.

Is there a RAW answer to this anywhere?

Best Answer

RAW a petrified creature is still a creature because petrified doesn't say otherwise

The Petrified condition (PHB p. 291) lists the effects of being petrified. All of the effects talk about "A petrified creature..." or "...the creature..." and none of them list the creature becoming an object. From this we know that a petrified creature is a creature not an object.

Alternatively a petrified creature is still a creature because it still acts like a creature

Another way of looking at this is noting that the Petrified condition doesn't actually change all that much.

Attacks against a petrified creature have advantage but still have to be beat the creature's AC to hit. This is a bit bizarre considering that the Paralyzed condition is more restrictive but... well it's RAW. The creature's AC calculation doesn't change as none of the bonuses actually require the creature to be able to move or take actions. Strange, yes, but it's what's in the book.

You can't take actions, reactions, or move, or speak, and you aren't aware of your surroundings. It sounds limiting but then you think about all the things you can do without those like intelligence checks (probably if you already saw what you needed), maintain concentration on a spell, and make successful saves of all types except strength and dexterity (statues are well known for their excellent charisma).

5e petrification is really more paralysis-lite with some added defense from your makeshift-stoneskin spell. Made of rock but alive inside and certainly not an object.

RAW can be strange

Honestly the RAW interpretation strikes me as pretty lame. Petrification in fiction tends to depict the afflicted becoming a completely inanimate statue and it's equivalent to death unless big mojo is brought in. I think the problem is that while earlier versions of D&D followed this sort of logic 5e petrification is more of a polite timeout where you get the stony exterior for your own protection. Bit of a let down really but easily house-ruled if you prefer a grimmer sort of petrification in your fantasy.

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