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I'm playing a sorceress with the Elemental Bloodline, and she's got this class feature as a part of the package:

Bloodline Arcana: Whenever you cast a spell that deals energy damage, you can change the type of damage to match the type of your bloodline. This also changes the spell's type to match the type of your bloodline

She's got the Air element meaning that all the spells that deal one of the four energy types can be converted to Electricity. (Plus, she'll get to fly for free which is awesome.)

Anyway, according to the description of the spell Fire Shield that concerns us today, you can choose when casting if you get a Chill Shield which protect you from fire-based attacks and deals cold damage to your attackers, or you get a Warm Shield which does the opposite and protects from cold-based attacks and deals fire damage to your aggressors.

This protection is like having Improved Evasion for such effects, but according to the description it is tied to the type of damage that the energy of the spell around you deals.

Now, since any spell that she casts with one of the four common energy descriptors, either [Fire] or [Cold] could be changed to [Electricity], which is cool and totally a part of her role, but here's the question:

What happens to the protection offered by the spell Fire Shield when the energy is neither Cold nor Fire?

As far as I know [Acid] is not the opposite of [Electricity] like [Fire] and [Cold] are, so, what happens? Does it works like intended when choosing a Chill or Warm shield? Does she lose this protection?

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I have taken the liberty of correcting a rules-error in your question: The Bloodline Arcana states "you can change", meaning it's your choice when casting the spell. This makes this ability so much more versatile (Fire Restistance in play? -> Electric Fireball, Electricity resistant enemies? -> Fiery Fireball!), and versatility equals power in this game (just ask your wizard friend). Note that this does not apply to the spells you gain through your bloodline, as they are explicitly electricity only. –  MrLemon Aug 5 at 8:04
    
O_o ... Thanks a lot, I'm taking this directly to my GM! Of course, shooting lightning for everything is part of the her role, but just the possibility of using other elements again will help a whole lot nowadays. Thanks again!... can't believe I hadn't seen that before –  Cryptangel Aug 5 at 14:43

2 Answers 2

up vote 14 down vote accepted

My answer is RAW-based. Nowhere does the spell actually link the damage type resisted to the damage type done - instead, the damage done and damage resisted are determined by the type of shield. The caster chooses either a warm shield or chill shield when casting. The warm shield does fire damage, and resists cold damage, and the chill shield vice versa. Bloodline Arcana only changes the damage done by a spell - it never adjusts any other effect of the spell. So, an Air elementalist casting Fire Shield still needs to choose warm or chill, and the warm version still blocks cold damage and the chill version fire damage. The only change is that both warm and chill versions deal electricity damage.

In the same way, if the Air Elementalist cast Protection from Energy, her bloodline does not suddenly change her protection to electricity regardless of what she picks.

This is also similar to the Shocking Grasp spell, which gives a bonus to hit against metal-wielding opponents. Changing the damage type from electricity to something else does not change this bonus. While we might assume the bonus to hit comes from the idea of metal conducting electricity, perhaps it is actually that metal makes it easier for the magic to take effect.

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Logically, i can following the OP reasoning behind the questions, assuming its intention is to be opposites, however I would agree with this answer if you want to follow the RAW. I dont see an issue with a GM doing it based on element opposites, but it would be a houserule at that point. –  MikeR Aug 5 at 12:32
    
Indeed, anything that is not RAW, I'd have to go and try to convince my DM. A large part of arguing my case is to know the rules as they should be, before trying to slap any houseruling over it, so thanks for the clarification! –  Cryptangel Aug 5 at 14:46

I would suggest that the most creative way of working through this issue would be to give the spell a new effect based on the elemental descriptor she's going to be using, in this case [Electricity] doesn't really have an opposite.

Since the spell itself reads:

Warm Shield: The flames are warm to the touch. You take only half damage from cold-based attacks. If such an attack allows a Reflex save for half damage, you take no damage on a successful saving throw.

You can assume that Electricity, since it doesn't have an opposite, wouldn't give you half damage from any element, however, the air around her is still charged with electricity, which is typically used for transmitting impulses through your nervous system.

You could give her the effects of Improved Initiative ( +4 to Initiative rolls ) when the spell is active or since the spell already emulates Evasion with other elemental effects on its Fire and Cold versions, you could give the character Evasion and a bonus to her reflex save.

Another option taken from the Psionics handbook is giving her own spells with the Electricity descriptor a bonus to spell penetration ( +2 to caster level checks to overcome SR ) and a +2 DC on her spells to enemies wearing metal armor while the shield is active. ( Doesn't modify damage )

You could even cause the shield to do double damage to targets wearing metal armor. It's just dependent on what you feel is appropriate compensation for the changed spell description.

Or you could even go so far as to say that the nature of electricity and its effects on water or liquids might actually affect acid, as due to the effects of an electric field acid could possibly be repelled away from the source of the electricity.

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Hmmm... those are pretty nice ideas you got there, I'm definitely taking this to my DM for approval. While I was looking for the RAW definition of the effect, and thus accepted the answer that provided it, let me tell you that I like this ideas a lot, especially the one about boosting [Electricity] spells. While the Improved Initiative effect would be nice, most times I'd be already in combat when I get it, so it wouldn't be much use, but extra Spell Penetration and extra DC on saves? Yes please! –  Cryptangel Aug 5 at 14:50

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