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This is similar to this question on fire damage underwater but a little broader. How do other energy types work underwater? I'm plumbing through the underwater level of Castle Whiterock and my kineticist Psion is mowing through the opposition with energy cone/energy missile. Due to the kineticist abilities I can change the energy type between fire/cold/electricity/sonic easily so the question quickly became: "What effects does being underwater have for each energy type?"

My DM house-ruled the effects for different energies but I was wondering if either Pathfinder or D&D 3x had specific rulings for each type.

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up vote 13 down vote accepted

In D&D 3.5, if a character is swimming, floating, or underwater, it affects stealth, AC, attacks, damage, and movement. Being underwater also affects fire-based spells and spell-like effects (as you mentioned). There is no mention in the DMG of effects on other energy types (DMG p. 93). The other combat effects are listed in Table #3-22.

In Pathfinder, the rules for making attacks and impacting AC differ from 3.5 (see Pathfinder Core p.432). Spells with the [Fire] descriptor require a caster level check (DC 20+spell level) to cast; supernatural fire effects are ineffective unless the spell says otherwise, and the surface blocks line of effect. In addition, a creature that cannot breathe water must make a concentration check (DC15+spell level) to cast any spell underwater. "Some spells might function differently underwater, subject to GM discretion."

So, the short answer is, "no, there isn't" - at least not in the core rules.

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+1 That's true of Pathfinder as well, AFAIK, but I'd personally house-rule electricity effects to work differently underwater...because, well, they would. :) – Cthos Jun 22 '11 at 14:40
Adding physics to a fantasy game? Madness :) – okeefe Jun 22 '11 at 14:51
Yea, we kinda half followed physics in the game. Sonic did 1.5 times damage but electricity/cold act normally. Fire didn't work at all. – mirv120 Jun 22 '11 at 16:08

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