Tenebrous Spell grants a +1 bonus to DC when casting a spell in darkness or dim light conditions. Then it goes on to say (emphasis mine)
A tenebrous spell uses up a spell Slot one level higher than the spell’s actual level, except in the case of spells with the darkness or shadow descriptor or of the illusion (shadow) subschool; this feat does not change the effective level of those spells (but still counts as using a metamagic feat for all other purposes).
The way I interpret this:
- When you apply this metamagic while standing in dim light or darkness, you get a +1 to Spell DC, regardless of the school of magic or spell discriptor.
- If the spell that you apply this metamagic to is of the Illusion (Shadow) subschool or has a [darkness] or [shadow] discriptor, you gain the additional benefit of not consuming a higher spell Slot.
But it was hinted to me that because the spell Slot is not increased for shadow spells, it also doesn't gain its spell DC bonus. This suggests that the increase in DC is merely because you are applying metamagic to your spell, increasing the Slot and spell level. Not because the metamagic itself gives you a spell DC bonus.
If that suggestion is true, however, would that also mean that if I cast a non-'shadowy' spell in the right lighting conditions, it would gain a +2 to DC instead (+1 from Tenebrous Spell in the right conditions, +1 from the increased spell level)?
Considering the metamagic spell's name, I think my initial assumption was right, but can anyone clarify what's the case?