If a creature uses Shocking Grasp on another creature that uses its reaction to cast Absorb Elements, will Shocking Grasp, which stops a creature from using reactions, prevent the casting of Absorb Elements since Shocking Grasp should happen first before Absorb Elements does?
Correct, you cannot cast absorb elements in response to shocking grasp
Reactions happen after their triggers unless specified otherwise. The trigger for absorb elements is taking damage...
Reaction which you take when you take acid, cold, fire, lightning, or thunder damage
...but when you take damage from shocking grasp, you can't cast reactions anymore:
On a hit, the target takes 1d8 lightning damage, and it can't take reactions until the start of its next turn
This means that you never have the opportunity to cast absorb elements, as you correctly deduced.
This is different from shield because shield triggers when you are hit or counterspell which triggers when the spell is cast while absorb elements triggers when you take damage. You aren't reaction-blocked until after the hit, and shield can intercede in that hit.
No, you can cast Absorb Elements when (about to be) hit by Shocking Grasp
Q: Does Absorb Elements give you resistance to damage from the triggering attack?
You cannot take damage, and then halve that damage (the damage is already taken and done with). Therefore, Absorb Elements must be cast before taking damage from the attack, which is before the effect of Shocking Grasp prevents the reaction.
Normally reactions that interrupt an attack (between roll and the effects happening) specifically call out that they are interrupting (see Shield). In Absorb Elements case it doesn't, but the only way for the spell to work as intended is for it to work the same way. This problem probably stems from the fact that Absorb Elements was published in a campaign module not a regular rulebook. Such things tend to have a lower level of Quality Assurance applied to them.
Specific (spell block text) > General (core rule text)
D&D is a game of exceptions, meaning (a) happens before (b) except when it doesn’t. I agree with the other answer that AE triggers before SG is completed but AE isn’t resolved until SG is resolved. Both are instantaneous effects if RiE. Both have a primary effect and a secondary effect. Primary > Secondary until you can prove otherwise.
This is a specific exception to the rules. The reaction spell casts faster than an action spell. So in the midst of SG spell effects, AE activates and begins its effects. SG then finishes it’s effects followed by AE last effects.
Some spells can be cast as reactions. These spells take a fraction of a second to bring about and are cast in response to some event. If a spell can be cast as a reaction, the spell description tells you exactly when you can do so.
Order of Resolution
- Creature A. casts Shocking Grasp on Creature B
- Creature B. is hit and takes (primary effect of SG) xd8 lightning damage
- Creature B. casts Absorb Elements as a reaction, triggered by receiving lightning damage (primary effect of AE).
- Creature A. (secondary effect of SG) target can’t use reactions til end of his next turn.
- Creature B. (secondary effect of AE) extra d6 damage with next melee Attack on next turn.
If that’s not the case, then you have an OP Cantrip ? For it literally disables a majority of the reaction mechanic, including specifics.
Disabled by Shocking Grasp
- Barbarian: Retaliation
- Bard: Cutting Words
- Cleric - Nature Domain: Dampen Elements
- Cleric - Tempest Domain: Wrath of the Storm
- Fighter - Battle Master: Maneuver - Parry
- Ranger - Hunter: Hunter’s Prey - Giant Killer
- Ranger - Hunter: Supeior Hunter’s Defense - Uncanny Dodge
- Rogue: Uncanny Dodge
- Warlock - Archfey: Misty Escape
- Defensive Duelist