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Inspired by this current question: Can the UA Wild Talent feat interact with the Chaos Bolt spell? – and Matthieu's comment on Groody's answer.

It seems that RAW, you are replacing the number you roll with the number on the Wild Talent die. Let's say that you replace the chosen d8 that is determining which damage type the spell does.

Does that mean that the damage type changes to the roll from the d6, since that's the new number?

If so, what happens if you get high enough level to have a d10 or d12 and you roll a number that's off the chart? RAW does it do an undefined damage type?

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  • \$\begingroup\$ Thank you to all the editors, I went through and read each one. so I have a better idea in the future here. \$\endgroup\$
    – Alan
    Jan 24, 2023 at 23:12

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RAW : you cannot change the damage type

The rules for Wild talent state the following :

Psi-Guided Strike. Once on each of your turns when you hit with an attack roll that uses the ability increased by this feat, you can roll your Psionic Talent die after you make the damage roll and then replace one of the damage dice with the number rolled on the Psionic Talent die.

The key words here are : you replace the damage dice with a number. Obviously, in most situations this only really changes the final damage value of the spell after rolling the damage. However, we have a fairly unique and unexpected situation here, where the value of the damage dice rolls has other effects on the spell.

Chaos bolt states the following :

You hurl an undulating, warbling mass of chaotic energy at one creature in range. Make a ranged spell attack against the target. On a hit, the target takes 2d8 + 1d6 damage.

The spell makes an attack roll, so it is a valid candidate for Psi-Guided Strike. However, things get tricky with the following text :

Choose one of the d8s. The number rolled on that die determines the attack's damage type, as shown below.

When you roll damage, you take one of the d8s and the number you rolled on that dice decides what damage type the attack will have.

However, if we stick close to text, Psi-Guided Strike replaces the damage dice itself with the number on the Psionic Talent dice. The spell explicitely makes you choose the number rolled on one of the d8s, so you cannot choose a number that replaces both the d8 and its result.

In short, you don't replace the number on the d8 you rolled, but rather the d8 in itself, and replace it with a simple number. As for whether or not you can still use the replaced d8's result to decide damage type, it is ambiguous, as the term "replace" does not exactly tell us whether or not this d8 roll still exists in the context of the spell's damage roll resolution.

There's one more case to analyse :

If you roll the same number on both d8s, the chaotic energy leaps from the target to a different creature of your choice within 30 feet of it. Make a new attack roll against the new target, and make a new damage roll, which could cause the chaotic energy to leap again.

We're in a similar situation : this condition refers explicitely to "both d8s", so for this situation to occur we need both d8s to roll the same number. Replacing one of them with a number will not change the situation here, only the final damage equation.

But at the end of the day, this is just strict text reading

It is entirely up to the DM to decide how they want to rule this interaction, as it is quite unique, and a RAW interpretation does not really give it much for the sake of interesting interactions.

Whether or not allowing to change the dice roll for better control over the damage types and/or additional bounces is balanced or not, I couldn't say. But if your DM finds it to be a cool interaction, it's up to them to give it a go and evaluate whether or not it has a positive or negative impact on the game.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ Yeah, I figured this would definitely be a RAI DM call. I just saw this as a followup of the other question and went "Huh, I wonder..." \$\endgroup\$
    – Alan
    Jan 24, 2023 at 8:26

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