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Empowered Evocation (PHB 177) reads:

Beginning at 10th level, you can add your Intelligence modifier to the damage roll of any wizard evocation spell you cast

The spell Ice Storm does 2 different types of damage:

A creature takes 2d8 bludgeoning damage and 4d6 cold damage on a failed save, or half as much damage on a successful one

I have an evoker with a 16 intelligence (+3 modifier). I cast Ice Storm as 4th level. Is my int bonus added to:

  1. The total damage: 2d8 + 4d6 + 3
  2. Each damage type: 2d8 + 3 and 4d6 + 3
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    \$\begingroup\$ What about possibility #3? One damage type (2d8+3 bludgeoning or 4d6+3 cold damage, take your pick, hope the enemy doesn't resist or have immunity to that particular chunk of damage) \$\endgroup\$ Sep 2, 2014 at 8:53
  • \$\begingroup\$ @doppelgreener That is an edge case for option #1 where the DM would ask the caster which damage type it applied to when it matters \$\endgroup\$
    – briddums
    Sep 2, 2014 at 9:18

2 Answers 2

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Number 1 is the correct one. You only get the damage once (And in fact on a spell like, say magic missile, which it's targeting the same creature multiple times, you still only get it once. This is not exactly addressed directly in the rules, though Mike Mearls has tweeted about it several times).

That said, which damage type it falls under is not addressed, and as such I would allow the wizard to pick. If you want to do something consistent, always applying it to the first damage instance would make sense (This seems fall well within the reading of Mearls' response).

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    \$\begingroup\$ The interaction with Magic Missile has conflicting answers between Mearls and Crawford in this answer, so it may not be the best example. \$\endgroup\$ Aug 29, 2018 at 10:48
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Quoting from the Player's Handbook errata:

Empowered Evocation (p. 117). The damage bonus applies to one damage roll of a spell, not multiple rolls.

This implies option 1.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ (Or, rather, it states that option 2 was the case, but now it is changed to option 1) \$\endgroup\$ Aug 29, 2018 at 7:54
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    \$\begingroup\$ @thedarkwanderer Or it clarified the issue; the original wording being "the damage roll", which suggests only one (unique) damage roll, which is a faulty assumption from the original writer of the ability. \$\endgroup\$
    – Tommi
    Aug 29, 2018 at 8:54

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