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There is a question that handles how the Order of Scribes wizard's Awakened Spellbook feature works with spells that have multiple damage types at the same time. However, those spells are rare.

There also are spells that allow you to choose one of a series of damage types (for example, Chromatic Orb, Elemental Weapon, Elemental Bane, Protection from Energy). Awakened spellbook says:

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.

How does Awakened Spellbook work with them? Can you use it at all? Can you change a damage type you can choose from? Or can you change the damage type once you have chosen it?

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  • \$\begingroup\$ Where is the confusion? You cast a spell and choose a damage type. It now has a damage type that can be changed via Awakened Spellbook. Is there something beyond this you think happens? \$\endgroup\$
    – MivaScott
    Jun 20, 2023 at 21:43
  • \$\begingroup\$ @MivaScott In his answer to the linked question, Groody alleges that Awakened Spellbook changes the damage types you can choose from as well. As in, if a damage type appears in your spellbook, then you can choose it for any spell that gives you a list of damage types to choose from. \$\endgroup\$ Jun 20, 2023 at 21:46
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    \$\begingroup\$ @ThomasMarkovisonStrike, ahh.. So it's a question of, can a caster choose any of the damage types from a spell that has multiple choose, not cast a spell that has multiple damage types and then change it to something else. That wasn't very clear from the question. \$\endgroup\$
    – MivaScott
    Jun 20, 2023 at 21:49
  • \$\begingroup\$ Tangent answer: How to get the most types of breath weapons? involves using Awakened Spell book \$\endgroup\$
    – MivaScott
    Jun 20, 2023 at 22:04

2 Answers 2

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If your GM rules that spells with multiple damage types are eligible to have one of them replaced, you can replace any one of the choices, and choose the replacement.

Regardless of when you make the choice of which damage type you want for the spell, before you've made your choice you might be able to replace one of them (and then choose the replaced type).

If your GM rules that spells with multiple damage types are not eligible to have one of them replaced, it comes down to the GM's ruling on when the choice is made.

A spell with multiple damage types in a list that you choose from is a spell with multiple damage types before you cast it, but one damage type after you've chosen. Once you've made your choice and the spell has "a damage type," (rather than "damage types"; "a" is singular) it is definitely eligible to be replaced by Awakened Spellbook to replace that damage type.

However, does the choice happen too late? Importantly, the Awakened Spellbook feature can be used "when you cast" the spell—so if the choice is made after you cast the spell (and you're reliant on it only having one damage type to be eligible), it is too late to replace its damage type. So, is the choice made before or after you cast the spell?

The exact timing of that choice has not been clarified in the rulebooks or in Sage Advice, so your GM would need to make a ruling. The exact timing of other choices made regarding spellcasting could be useful in making this ruling:

  • According to Sage Advice Compendium #SA153, the targets of spells are chosen after the casting. For example, Scorching Ray's second target is chosen after the first target is known to have been hit (or missed).
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The damage type is replaced

Just like any other spell, the Awakened Spellbook can replace the damage type. When casting the spell, eg. Chromatic Orb, you choose a damage type. Then you use Awakened Spellbook to change that damage type.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ The core of the questsion is if you get to replace one of the types before choosing or if you get to replace the type you have chosen (assuming you can use the feature). The answer currently claims it is "you replace once you have chosen" , but does not offer any supporting reasoning or references for that choice. \$\endgroup\$ Jun 23, 2023 at 6:15
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    \$\begingroup\$ There is no difference between those scenarios. \$\endgroup\$ Jun 24, 2023 at 7:07

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