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So this hasn't come up before, but it has brought an interesting question to mind. Would it be possible to combine the Absorb Elements spell and Transmuted Spell metamagic.

Absorb Elements reads as follows:

The spell captures some of the incoming energy, lessening its effect on you and storing it for your next melee attack. You have resistance to the triggering damage type until the start of your next turn. Also, the first time you hit with a melee attack on your next turn, the target takes an extra 1d6 damage of the triggering type, and the spell ends.

And Transmuted Spell metamagic reads as follows:

When you cast a spell that deals a type of damage from the following list, you can spend 1 sorcery point to change that damage type to one of the other listed types: acid, cold, fire, lightning, poison, thunder.

The fundamental basis of this question. Say I'm a Red Dragon Draconic Sorcerer and wanted to keep my fire damage consistent and prevalent. Would I be able to Absorb Elements a White Dragon's Breath Weapon and Transmute Spell the Cold damage I would deal with a melee attack to Fire damage instead? As to 1 avoid it's resistance/immunity and 2 keep with my fire theme.

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    \$\begingroup\$ Highly related: Artificer/Sorcerer absorbing and transmuting spells \$\endgroup\$
    – MivaScott
    May 13 at 19:48
  • \$\begingroup\$ @MivaScott When I originally searched this question no results came up. When I was making the question I was given questions that involved one or the other and didn't directly correlate. So I'll check this one out. \$\endgroup\$
    – ZenRenHao
    May 13 at 20:10
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    \$\begingroup\$ it's not a duplicate, as the Artificer question is about applying a class feature twice, whereas this is more about the transmutation. \$\endgroup\$
    – MivaScott
    2 days ago

2 Answers 2

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A strict reading of the rules suggests that it does not work on just Absorb Elements.

You quoted the relevant rules: let's analyze in details the text of Transmuted Spell (emphasis mine):

When you cast a spell that deals a type of damage from the following list [...]

In this case, the spell you are trying to transmute is Absorb Elements: the real question is if Absorbing Elements is dealing damage or if it is the next attack to which you are adding the damage.

A strict reading of the rules tells that the correct interpretation is the latter: the melee attack is dealing damage, with a further bonus given by Absorb Elements, not the spell itself. Hence, your strategy does not work.

A DM can rule otherwise.

The DM has the final word on rulings: they may decide to bypass this strict interpretation and then to allow what you propose.

For what it is worth, I would allow it because I'd like to maintain this fire-theme idea.

It may work if you transmute the spell to which you are adding the bonus damage.

In this case, if you transmute the spell with which you are making the spell melee attack everything seems fine. The fact is that Transmute spell says (emphasis mine):

When you cast a spell that deals a type of damage from the following list [...]

So, it depends on the reading of that a: a spell that deals only that type of the damage or a spell that deals ì, among the other types, also that type of damage? This depends on the DM's reading.

For what is worth, as a DM I would allow the modification of just one of the type of damage, still for the same above reason.

Another problem is that for a "pure" Sorcerer there are only four spells that allow a melee attack:

  • Blade of Disaster
  • Booming Blade
  • Green Flame Blade
  • Shocking Grasp
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    \$\begingroup\$ Consider the situation where the round after the caster uses absorb elements, they walk into an antimagic field. Does their melee attack still get the bonus provided by the effect of the absorb elements spell? If so, why does this magic effect ignore antimagic field, if not, why isn't the spell the source of the additional damage dealt? \$\endgroup\$
    – GcL
    15 hours ago
  • \$\begingroup\$ @GcL Sorry, I do not see your point: once entered in an AF, every magic effect is suppressed. \$\endgroup\$
    – Eddymage
    13 hours ago
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Yes; transmuted spell affects absorb elements

The conditions of transmuted spell feature are satisfied:

  1. "When you cast a spell": absorb elements is a spell that the character cast.
  2. "deals a type of damage": absorb elements adds 1d6 damage. Adding damage is dealing it.
  3. "listed types: acid, cold, fire, lightning, poison, thunder": absorb elements can only be cast when acid, cold, fire, lightning, or thunder damage is receive, and can only deal out those kinds of damage.

Reaction timing avoids same type to same type conversion.

The wording of transmuted spell seems to disallow use when the incoming and outgoing type of damage are the same.

to change that damage type to one of the other

Since absorb elements is cast as a reaction, the damage it will do is already known. So there is no issue of using a sorcery point to attempt to convert fire damage to fire damage.

Example in practice

When the caster takes cold damage, they cast absorb elements as a reaction. Since this casting of absorb elements deals cold damage (on the next melee attack), they spend a sorcery point to use transmuted spell to convert the cold damage to fire damage. The casting of absorb elements now deals fire damage (on the next melee attack)..

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