A being or object with this ability can, for whatever reason, interact with intangible beings
as if they were solid. Maybe they're a Physical God
, maybe they're so in tune with the Spirit World
that they effectively exist in both worlds at once, or maybe they're just wrapped in a forcefield
that ghosts can't pass through.
Anti Intangible Attack
is a subtype
for things which can damage or disrupt intangible beings without necessarily being able to, say, shake hands with them. This is a common aspect of a Holy Hand Grenade
or Pure Energy
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Anime and Manga
- In Kingdom Come The Flash is able to use his Super Speed to exist between dimensions since, according to DC Universe physics, dimensions are separated from each other by the frequency of their vibrations.
- The Ghostbusters's "Proton Packs" can be used to damage ghosts or yank them into containment.
- In The Dresden Files, ghost dust is a magical substance which feels "extra-real". It can be thrown at ghosts to disable them, or incorporated into a wall to prevent them from passing through. Harry's recipe includes depleted uranium for weight.
- The Lord of the Rings: In Return of the King, Aragorn can parry an attack from the leader of the Army of the Dead with Anduril, though this has more to do with Aragorn's (and Anduril's) connection to the one who laid their curse than anything else.
- In Dungeons & Dragons, Ghost Touch items (most commonly weapons and armor) have this effect. Magical attacks can harm incorporeal beings, but have only a 50% chance of working each time.
- In Pathfinder the latter clause is changed so that magical attacks always work, but deal 50% damage.
- Force effects (such as forcecage and magic missile) are even better as they extend into the Ethereal Plane, allowing them to affect even ghosts that aren't physically manifesting.
- In earlier editions mixing gorgon's blood into the mortar used to create a building prevents creatures on the Ethereal and Astral planes (who were intangible WRT the Prime Material Plane) from passing through its walls.
- A number of Point Build Systems include this as an option when creating powers:
- In Hero System games it's called "Affects Desolid". This costs 50% of the power's base cost, or 25% if restricted to a single type of incorporeal targets (such as ectoplasm).
- In Mutants & Masterminds this appears as the "Affects Insubstantial" power feat (2e) or flat-value modifier (3e), which grants 50% effectiveness the first time it's taken and 100% effectiveness the second.
- In New World of Darkness, blessed objects allow mortals to harm ghosts (and potentially spirits).
- The powers of the titular vampires in Vampire: The Masquerade are almost completely focused on the material world, so anything from the spirit world or the afterlife is essentially an Outside-Context Villain for them. That said, a rare few bloodlines and Disciplines are capable of allowing communication and combat with ghosts and spirits. The Khaibit bloodline being one such bloodline.
- Shadowrun. Both solid earth and the bodies of living beings (plants and animals) can block the passage of entities in the Astral plane.