In Dungeons & Dragons 3.5e, using the Archmage prestige class from the Dungeon Master's Guide (DMG), I've chosen the Arcane Thesis feat to allow the use of metamagic feats with a +0 level adjustment, reducing the spell's level adjustment cost incurred by more expensive metamagic feats.
So, if I'm using the +0 metamagic feat Energy Substitution (cold) on the thesis spell, and that's the only energy substitution feat I've included in my build, applying it to lower the adjusted level cost of also applying Elemental Admixture, could I then use the High Arcana (Mastery of Elements) to prevent the damage type from negating the bonus damage from Elemental Admixture?
I believe it should work, but I can see room for argument, so I'm seeking some opinions. Here's my reasoning:
Metamagic feats are applied during preparation. Therefore, a prepared spell with both metamagic feats applied would qualify as a cold spell when prepared. Mastery of Elements explicitly states that you choose the alternate energy type at the time of casting, which is after the preparation phase. Energy Admixture provides the altered damage separately from the spell's prepared damage type. Without Mastery, the two would cancel each other out, allowing only one damage type to reach the damage cap. However, at the time of casting, Mastery can select to change the prepared type again from the metamagic-altered cold type to, let's say, Sonic. The unaffected cold damage from Energy Admixture would then function as usual.
This situation is slightly complicated by the fact that I accessed the Archmage class from the Sorcerer class instead of the Wizard class. However, I believe the logic still applies. While spontaneously cast spells are not technically prepared spells, they do take more time to cast, indicating a 'preparation step' prior to beginning casting, allowing room for effects like Energy Substitution and Mastery of Elements.
I look forward to hearing people's thoughts. Please do let me know if I've omitted any pertinent details. | | | | To add a little context. This build is a Sorcerer (5) Incantatrix (10) Archmage (4) with a variety of complicated build rules adjusting things all over the place.
The Thesis spell in question is Meteor Swarm (the 9th level sorcerer/wizard spell), and the list of metamagic effects I'm employing is extensive. Arcane Thesis is used to keep the spell slot at 9 in conjunction with the Incantatrix 10th level class ability Improved Metamagic (PLayers Guide to Faerun Pg63, and several instances of the feat Practical Metamagic from Races of the Dragon Pg101.
The way the interactions work I essentially need 1 +0 metamagic feat for each +1-+4 metamagic feat applied to allow Thesis to bring the spell level adjustment back down to +0. This methodology is incredibly feat intensive so knowing if my Class ability can offset my list of needed +0 Metamagic feats is critical to ensuring the build is valid.