The Order of Scribes from Tasha's Cauldron of Everything has the "Awakened Spellbook" feature. Part of the feature reads as follows:

When you cast a wizard spell with a spell slot, you can temporarily replace its damage type with a type that appears in another spell in your spellbook, which magically alters the spell’s formula for this casting only. The latter spell must be of the same level as the spell slot you expend.

Can I change the absorbing damage type of the spell "Absorb Elements"?

Absorb Elements is a spell with a casting time of Reaction and an asterisk when the Reaction can take place as follows:

which you take when you take acid, cold, fire, lightning, or thunder damage

Can you replace the damage type of the trigger with that feature? That way you could absorb every type of damage with this spell. Absorbing poison, psychic, force or physical damage types.

  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ If understand this correctly, you're asking whether absorb elements can effectively be used to absord (and later deal) psychic damage (or some similar damage type)? \$\endgroup\$ Nov 26, 2020 at 21:48
  • \$\begingroup\$ yes. i will add that to the question. \$\endgroup\$
    – mahe4
    Nov 26, 2020 at 21:55

1 Answer 1


No, you'd still need to take the incoming hit from the specified damage types.

As the spell says you can temporarily replace the damage type with another, thereby altering the type of damage you can deal out while the spell is in effect.

But you can't change the trigger to the spell. You'd still need to get targeted by acid, cold, fire, lightning, or thunder damage because if you weren't you couldn't cast the spell in the first place.

So, a wizard hits you with Fire Bolt, you can cast Absorb Elements in reaction to that, change the damage type to poison, gaining resistance to poison and do an extra 1d6 of poison damage on your next turn. You lose the resistance to the incoming attack though as it is still fire.

Objection raised: The wording says "you have resistance to the triggering damage type".

Good point, but then you have to say the extra damage is of the triggering type too as that is what the wording says and therefore there is nothing to be gained at all. But as the ability in question lets you change the damage type I think changing the resistance and outgoing damage is allowed by the ability. The trigger itself has to stay the same as it was prior to the spell being cast.

  • \$\begingroup\$ Why would you gain resistance to poison damage when the spell says "You have resistance to the triggering damage type"? \$\endgroup\$ Nov 26, 2020 at 22:11

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