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  1. - Top - End - #61
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    Thurbane's Avatar

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    Default Re: Energy Substitution rules question

    Quote Originally Posted by JNAProductions View Post
    By the reading that allows Sonic, wouldn't it also allow Positive and Negative energy to be selected? They are, indisputably, energy damage (it's in the name!) but I don't think letting you turn Fireball into Healball would fly at any table.
    Fortunately the glossary saves us from this kind of silliness: http://archive.wizards.com/default.a...damage&alpha=E

    energy damage
    Damage caused by one of five types of energy (not counting positive and negative energy): acid, cold, electricity, fire, and sonic.
    Source: PHB
    Rules Compendium re-iterates this as well:

    Energy
    Some effects use or create energy, dealing damage according to the type of energy used. Energy comes in five types: acid, cold, electricity, fire, and sonic. The types of energy help to determine whether certain creatures are more resistant or more vulnerable to the attack that uses the energy.
    NEGATIVE AND POSITIVE
    Negative energy and positive energy are damage types, but they are not considered energy types the way that acid, cold, electricity, fire, and sonic are.

  2. - Top - End - #62
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    BardGuy

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    Default Re: Energy Substitution rules question

    If you look at the description of spells like Inflict Light Wounds:
    When laying your hand upon a creature, you channel negative energy that deals 1d8 points of damage +1 point per caster level.
    ...it looks a lot like the negative energy being channeled is merely a weapon or a power source for the spell, and the damage it's dealing is actually untyped. It is a type of energy, but not an energy type.
    They also don't have descriptors associated with them as the five main energy types do, which makes that portion of energy substitution difficult to work with...
    "Technically correct" is the best kind of correct.

  3. - Top - End - #63
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    Default Re: Energy Substitution rules question

    If a sonic fireball goes off inside the area of a silence, does it make a noise?

    More fundamentally, does it do damage to those inside the silence? I believe there is a spell with the sonic descriptor that specifically spells out that it does not.

    The quotes allowing sonic energy to be substituted appear to be correct. However, given that it can be defeated by a single low level spell is an excellent reason not to choose sonic energy for subsitution.
    Last edited by Feldar; Yesterday at 06:13 PM.

  4. - Top - End - #64
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    Default Re: Energy Substitution rules question

    Quote Originally Posted by JNAProductions View Post
    By the reading that allows Sonic, wouldn't it also allow Positive and Negative energy to be selected? They are, indisputably, energy damage (it's in the name!) but I don't think letting you turn Fireball into Healball would fly at any table.
    Note that even if you convinced somebody to let you Substitute to Positive Energy, this would not make it heal. It would just be Positive Energy damage. Living creatures are not necessarily healed by positive energy, just as undead are not necessarily damaged by it - spells like Cure Light Wounds heal living creatures and damage undead because they say they do, not simply by virtue of being positive energy effects.

  5. - Top - End - #65
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    Default Re: Energy Substitution rules question

    Common sense dictates that you are dealing with spell effects that were probably written by two different people that really thoroughly thought things through but didn't bother to consult with each other in the process.

    Person A: "Classic wizards* are throwing around explosions. Fireball should be an explosion. But, hm, I should specify that it creates no blast pressure to avoid unintended consequences."
    Skip Williams: "Mm, good catch."

    Person B: "Fire and heat sources should burn away the mist, just like they do in real life. And it makes sense that you can push it out with increases in air pressure too. I'll say, explosions and fire. Hey Skip! A fireball explodes, right?"
    "Right."
    turns back to desk, "Awesome. Perfect example spell to add then."


    *(Monty Python and the Holy Grail was an obvious inspiration)

    It's frankly anyone's guess in my opinion what the "correct" answer is. If you think fireball creates enough air pressure, in spite of the fact that the spell says it doesn't, to push out a mist, then that's what happens. Otherwise it's the fire that burns the mist away, and changing the fire stops this from happening.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Troacctid View Post
    But that's one of the things about interpreting RAW—when you pick a reading that goes against RAI, it often has a ripple effect that results in dysfunctions in other places.

  6. - Top - End - #66
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    MonkGuy

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    Default Re: Energy Substitution rules question

    Quote Originally Posted by Doctor Awkward View Post
    Common sense dictates that you are dealing with spell effects that were probably written by two different people that really thoroughly thought things through but didn't bother to consult with each other in the process.

    Person A: "Classic wizards* are throwing around explosions. Fireball should be an explosion. But, hm, I should specify that it creates no blast pressure to avoid unintended consequences."
    Skip Williams: "Mm, good catch."

    Person B: "Fire and heat sources should burn away the mist, just like they do in real life. And it makes sense that you can push it out with increases in air pressure too. I'll say, explosions and fire. Hey Skip! A fireball explodes, right?"
    "Right."
    turns back to desk, "Awesome. Perfect example spell to add then."


    *(Monty Python and the Holy Grail was an obvious inspiration)

    It's frankly anyone's guess in my opinion what the "correct" answer is. If you think fireball creates enough air pressure, in spite of the fact that the spell says it doesn't, to push out a mist, then that's what happens. Otherwise it's the fire that burns the mist away, and changing the fire stops this from happening.
    ?
    Quote Originally Posted by Obscuring Mist
    A fireball, flame strike, or similar spell burns away the fog in the explosive or fiery spell’s area.
    Fire spells don't need any pressure to burn the mist. Am I missing the point here?
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  7. - Top - End - #67
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    Default Re: Energy Substitution rules question

    Quote Originally Posted by Gruftzwerg View Post
    ?
    Fire spells don't need any pressure to burn the mist. Am I missing the point here?
    We have no way of knowing if the author intended the explosion of fireball to push away the mist or the fire of fireball to burn away the mist. It's patently ridiculous to include fireball on a list that includes "explosions" unless they were unaware that fireball explicitly does not create overpressure with its explosion.

    If you believe that fireball was put there because its the fire that burns away the mist and not the "explosion" then this whole argument is academic because Energy Substitution explicitly says that additional spell effects that are present due to the element no long apply if you change that element, and the OP's friend's DM made the right call.
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    Kitchen Crashers Protocol for Peace

    Quote Originally Posted by Troacctid View Post
    But that's one of the things about interpreting RAW—when you pick a reading that goes against RAI, it often has a ripple effect that results in dysfunctions in other places.

  8. - Top - End - #68
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    MonkGuy

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    Default Re: Energy Substitution rules question

    Quote Originally Posted by Doctor Awkward View Post
    We have no way of knowing if the author intended the explosion of fireball to push away the mist or the fire of fireball to burn away the mist. It's patently ridiculous to include fireball on a list that includes "explosions" unless they were unaware that fireball explicitly does not create overpressure with its explosion.

    If you believe that fireball was put there because its the fire that burns away the mist and not the "explosion" then this whole argument is academic because Energy Substitution explicitly says that additional spell effects that are present due to the element no long apply if you change that element, and the OP's friend's DM made the right call.
    Notice that the latest version of Energy Substitution (Complete Arcane) doesn't have the part about secondary effect anymore. It gives permission to change the energy type and point. That's it.

    A strict RAW reading wouldn't change any spell text part besides from the elemental damage change. As such, (beware of 3.5 nonsense..) even a Fireball [cold] could still set things on fire ...

    ___

    RAI should be clear, since the Obscuring mist gives 2 options to clear it:

    1.) Wind
    Not pressure, "wind" will disperse the mist. Even if only hit partially, the entire mist is affected.

    2.) Fire
    Any kind of fire spell burns the mist in its overlapping area.

    Conclusion: A Fireball [electricity] spell won't help much here.
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  9. - Top - End - #69
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    Default Re: Energy Substitution rules question

    Quote Originally Posted by Gruftzwerg View Post
    RAI should be clear, since the Obscuring mist gives 2 options to clear it:

    1.) Wind
    Not pressure, "wind" will disperse the mist. Even if only hit partially, the entire mist is affected.

    2.) Fire
    Any kind of fire spell burns the mist in its overlapping area.

    Conclusion: A Fireball [electricity] spell won't help much here.
    Fire or explosive.

    Regarding RAI, a case can be made that if they didn't want "non-fiery explosions" such as the Energy Ball psionic power or Energy Substituted fireballs, to dissipate Obscuring Mist, then the would have phrased it as "or similar fiery spell" instead of "or similar fiery or explosive spell".

    But RAW isn't particularly ambiguous here. Anything characterised as "explosive" or "explosion" dissipates it.
    Last edited by hamishspence; Today at 01:45 AM.
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