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Does Elemental Spell change the "type" of the spell accordingly

Rules Questions

Dark Archive

1 person marked this as FAQ candidate.

For example, would a meta-magic-elemental-spell-fire Cold of Cone have the "cold" type or "fire" type?


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
richard develyn wrote:

For example, would a meta-magic-elemental-spell-fire Cold of Cone have the "cold" type or "fire" type?


It would have the fire type or both types, depending on how you used the feat.

PRD (Elemental Spell) wrote:
Benefit: Choose one energy type: acid, cold, electricity, or fire. You may replace a spell's normal damage with that energy type or split the spell's damage, so that half is of that energy type and half is of its normal type. An elemental spell uses up a spell slot one level higher than the spell's actual level.

I don't think it gains the descriptor, if that's what you're asking. It ought to say that, like it does here:

PRD (Wizard - Admixture School - Versatile Evocation) wrote:

Versatile Evocation (Su): When you cast an evocation spell that does acid, cold, electricity, or fire damage, you may change the damage dealt to one of the other four energy types. This changes the descriptor of the spell to match the new energy type. Any non-damaging effects remain unchanged unless the new energy type invalidates them (an ice storm that deals fire damage might still provide a penalty on Perception checks due to smoke, but it would not create difficult terrain). Such effects are subject to GM discretion. You can use this ability a number of times per day equal to 3 + your Intelligence modifier.[/spoiler]

(emphasis mine)

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

That's a good point, Vendis. The feat only mentions altering the damage type, not the descriptor. Huh!

Do you think that the RAI is for the descriptor to change, as well?

Liberty's Edge

RAI I'd say change the descriptor, certainly. RAW, probably not.

Elemental Sorc. changes the spell type as well.
I think the decriptor should be changed automatically for any effect that changes the damage type of the spell or effect.
At least I can't think of any reason it should not gain the descriptor, except to not stack with other metamagic feats like Rime Spell, but if two other classes can alredy why not?


I can't argue the RAW. It definitely doesn't change the descriptor. There's plenty of similar abilities that include that line, and without official errata, it doesn't.

RAI, I'm not sure. Seems silly not to include it if RAW=RAI here, but seems like a rookie error if not.

I would rule that it adds the new type's descriptor. My GM agreed.

Dark Archive

Some follow up questions:

1) Does a spell like Resist Energy gain the "fire" type when used to resist fire?

2) Can a spell modified with the thelogian (cleric archetype) domain secret be further enhanced with normal metamagic?

3) And can someone please explain to me RAW and RAI?



I rule it to change the descriptor. I'm hesitant to say that the fact that other abilities are more careful to specify that they do indicates that it probably doesn't, since consistant formatting is not exactly a strong point of RPG sourcebook writing. (Pathfinder isn't really behind the rest of the industry in this regard, but that's not much of a compliment.)

I thought there was a sentence somewhere in the rules that said that a spell that dealt damage of a particular type had the appropriate descriptor, but I can't locate that now, and might be thinking of another edition.

Rules as Writen and Rules as Intended


Edit: added @

Dark Archive

I'm thinking in terms of a Pyromaniac Gnome, whose "fire" spells are all treated as if he was 1 level higher.


Very curious about would seem illogical that a Fireball which no longer deals fire damage, but rather cold or electricity damage, would still maintain the fire descriptor. Though the laws of magic are strange, this would seem to defy even arcane logic.

1 person marked this as a favorite.

RAI it HAS to change the descriptor, otherwise it's baically worthless. PF re-defined energy immunity from 3E to make you immune to ALL effects of a spell if you're immune to that energy type, not just the damage (by extension, I assume the same is true for resistances - the descriptor is what matters). So if elemental spell doesn't change the energy descriptor, you can't even use it to affect things immune to the normal energy type of the spell, which is the main reason to use it in the first place!

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