Does changing the energy type of a spell also change the descriptor?


Advice


I wanna say yes, but this wouldn't be the first time paizo had such an oversight.


Versitile Evocation from the Admixture School does indeed change the Descriptor.

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.


TxSam88 wrote:

Versitile Evocation from the Admixture School does indeed change the Descriptor.

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.

So something like elemental spell won't work?


It is going to depend on how you change it. In most cases the method of changing energy type of a spell specifies that it does change the descriptor. The only exception I am aware of is the feat elemental spell. RAW an elemental spell does not change the descriptor.

I would check with your GM on this. I can see a GM house ruling that changing the energy type changes the descriptor. Although if it does not that gives a little more flexibility to some casters. A Draconic sorcerer with fire as his energy type could use elemental spell to change the damage type on a fire ball to electricity and still get the extra damage. Personally, I would do this.


Personally I don't like changing a spell's damage to another energy and keeping it the same descriptor. I don't like it, but reading the wording of elemental spell, it does just say you change the damage. So unless the Advanced Player's Guide (which I don't have) had a preceding magic section that mentioned as a general overview that doing so changed the descriptor (like summoning spells gain the descriptor of creatures you summon), that's about all I can say on it.

As Mysterious Stranger said, it would make it more beneficial for a caster who focuses on one energy type or who receives bonuses to it. Now they are getting bonuses to damage and dealing extra damage with an energy type that wasn't intended by their abilities. However, they are usually paying +1 level for it.

I also note that Elemental Spell doesn't require the spell you alter to have an energy type. You could do it to magic missile or vampiric touch. So while I don't like it in theory (that the spell's descriptor doesn't change), I think it's probably okay.

I would still reserve the right as a GM to say that some effects don't happen. For instance, if you change a fire spell to deal cold damage, and the spell can set its target on fire or something, I'd probably disallow it.


so as a GM you have to do the sensible thing. Read the various metamagics. Edit (change or add) the descriptor as needed by the power/ability that's being used. If you really think it doesn't make sense or creates a power imbalance, use your GM powers to Home Rule it.
Realize Kineticist is in it's own little world and you have to read those rules as they vary from the basic magic rules.

..., but this wouldn't be the first time paizo had such an oversight. LOL... I will say Paizo tries not to make goofs but 3.5 wasn't known for its consistency and PF1 is a spin off of that. Plus the model is rather rough and inconsistencies are bound to happen. Again, it is a Work of Art and not a technical manual or scientific text.


Masalic wrote:
TxSam88 wrote:

Versitile Evocation from the Admixture School does indeed change the Descriptor.

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.

So something like elemental spell won't work?

RAW - no it does not.

Community / Forums / Pathfinder / Pathfinder First Edition / Advice / Does changing the energy type of a spell also change the descriptor? All Messageboards

Want to post a reply? Sign in.