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A spellthief (Complete Adventurer 13) cannot apply metamagic feats to stolen spells. The ability steal spells reads, in part:

A spellthief can't apply metamagic feats or other effects to the stolen spell unless the specific spell stolen was prepared with such an effect. For example, a spellthief of 6th level or higher could steal a wizard's empowered magic missile, but only if he specifically chose to steal empowered magic missile. If he chose to steal an unmodified magic missile, he couldn't steal an empowered magic missile, a silent magic missile, or any other metamagic form of the spell. A spellthief couldn't steal an empowered magic missile from a sorcerer, since the sorcerer applies metamagic effects upon casting and thus has no prepared empowered magic missile spell.

Does this apply to metamagic feats in general? Can a spellthief use a metamagic rod in conjunction with a stolen spell?

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No, the spelltheif always casts the spell as the original caster would have cast it—there’s no provision for the spellthief to do anything at all to modify the spell.

That said, the original caster could have used a metamagic rod themselves to do this—so it seems reasonable to allow the spellthief to do so. After all, the spellthief is a seriously weak class, and could use all the help it can get, and this seems very in line with the way the spellthief works. But the official rules don’t allow it.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ Yes, I must confess that I am pretty disappointed with this class. On the paper seems cool and fun, but at the end of the day it is bad at doing everything other than being a skill-monkey. \$\endgroup\$ – Verdict00 May 6 '20 at 4:06
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Verdict00 Try “borrowing” spells from ally spellcasters, it can help, since you can use their (high-power) spell. It does make you wonder why you aren’t just a high-power spellcaster yourself, but maybe you can borrow something that hits and get sneak attack with it to steal spells while you can cast them. You know, when the stars align and all that... \$\endgroup\$ – KRyan May 6 '20 at 4:55
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Verdict00 The Obtain Familiar and Improved Familiar feats—if a good familiar choice is made—do a lot to help out the mid- and high-level spellthief. Also, in an E6 environment that otherwise adheres to 3.5 norms, spellthief is actually pretty okay. Stealing a caster's 1st- or 2nd-level spell is suddenly a big deal. (Some analysis here.) \$\endgroup\$ – Hey I Can Chan May 6 '20 at 5:08
  • \$\begingroup\$ @HeyICanChan what is an E6 enviroment? \$\endgroup\$ – Verdict00 May 6 '20 at 6:17
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    \$\begingroup\$ @Verdict00 See here. \$\endgroup\$ – Hey I Can Chan May 6 '20 at 6:25

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