Would there be anything wrong with changing a Dragonfire Adept's base breath weapon element to something other than fire? I was working on a Dragonfire Adept that was supposed to have been descended from a Silver dragon, so I thought maybe it would make more sense for Frost to be his default breath type instead of Fire with Frost as just one of the extra breath effects. Any reason to or not to do this?

  • \$\begingroup\$ Also, I assume you are talking balance issues. Although I think it is pretty clear in this case, please clarify this in your question if it isn't so. \$\endgroup\$
    – kravaros
    Commented Sep 24, 2013 at 18:53

2 Answers 2


Fire is the most commonly resisted type in the Monster Manual, but cold is close behind. So you're gaining a little bit out of this, unless you happen to be fighting cold immune stuff all the time.

You might have to change a couple of other minor things, like changing the Frost Breath breath effect to Fire Breath. All in all I wouldn't worry that you're breaking anything with the change, though.

  • 2
    \$\begingroup\$ It’s probably worth noting that outside of very-low levels (and then only with Entangling Exhalation), the Dragonfire Adept’s breath weapon is only a mediocre attack anyway, so this rather slight boost shouldn’t be of great concern. But big +1 for mentioning that the frost breath effect should probably become fire. \$\endgroup\$
    – KRyan
    Commented Sep 24, 2013 at 18:58
  • \$\begingroup\$ Sounds fair enough, then. Though I have to ask: does having a different energy type affect anything beyond resistances or weaknesses? Sometimes spells or Psionic powers give different effects for variant energy types, but I wasn't sure if that applied to all energy attacks. \$\endgroup\$
    – Cobalt
    Commented Sep 25, 2013 at 23:09
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Cobalt Some energy types can do special things in some cases (Acid & Sonic do more damage against objects than other types, Cold does the least - d20srd.org/srd/exploration.htm ). But against creatures no. All energy types are treated as straight damage attacks unless some effect/ability is modifying it. Fire/Cold Breath Weapons are just damage at their base with no extra effect, so you can change the energy type without altering anything else. \$\endgroup\$
    – Tridus
    Commented Sep 26, 2013 at 0:43
  • \$\begingroup\$ Ah, I thought I heard somewhere that Cold warrants a Fortitude save instead of a Reflex save, but that might have been just for that specific spell/power. \$\endgroup\$
    – Cobalt
    Commented Sep 26, 2013 at 1:24
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Cobalt Silver Dragons have two breath weapons. The cold damage one is a reflex save. The paralyzing breath one is a fortitude save. That might be where that came from, but they're distinct attacks. \$\endgroup\$
    – Tridus
    Commented Sep 26, 2013 at 1:29

I dont think there is much issues with this, unless your group disagrees.

It is true that fire is the most commonly resisted element, and is easy to find defenses against.

However, cold immunity is not all too much more rare (think all the undead).

The breath weapon is not all that overpowered anyways, so I dont think it should be a problem.

Unless you are actively abusing this or have a group that finds that unfair/unacceptable, I see no real reason to ban it, but it's "talk to your DM" thing.


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