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Let's say we have a druid without the Beast Spells feature. They take enough elemental damage to reach zero HP, thus reverting them from Wild Shape. They are already in their original form, so they can cast spells again.

Can they use their reaction to cast Absorb Elements for the remaining damage?

Description of the Wild Shape feature is phrased like this:

(...) if you revert as a result of dropping to 0 hit points, any excess damage carries over to your normal form. For example, if you take 10 damage in animal form and have only 1 hit point left, you revert and take 9 damage

And the reaction trigger for Absorb Elements is:

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

So because both sections use the "take damage" phrase, I would rule that the druid can use Absorb Elements after reverting, only for the remaining damage that was carried over. But then again, I'm not sure about the intention here, does taking the excess damage really count as "taking damage" for the trigger? After all, if you take this damage in two parts, why wouldn't it trigger a Concentration check twice?

Thank you in advance!

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  • \$\begingroup\$ I have closed your question because I feel it has effectively been asked before. If you feel the one I've marked as a duplicate is not asking the same thing and that your question has nuance, feel free to explain why in a comment or edit. That all said, welcome to RPG.SE! Please take the tour if you haven't already done so and you can always visit the help center or ask questions here for further guidance. Best of luck and happy gaming! \$\endgroup\$ Aug 2, 2021 at 20:14
  • \$\begingroup\$ Thank you, unfortunately I didn't find that duplicate before, but it does give me a satisfyingly detailed answer. \$\endgroup\$
    – vpeter1119
    Aug 2, 2021 at 20:25

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