How does Absorb Spell (Su) work? [Spellthief class]

Absorb Spell (Su) is a class feature of the Spellthief (Complete Adventurer variant, p. 13) and it reads as follow:

Beginning at 7th level, if a spellthief makes a successful save against a spell that targets him, he can attempt to absorb the spell energy for later use. This ability affects only spells that have the spellthief asa target, not effect or area spells. A spellthief can’t absorb a spell of a higher spell level than he could steal with his steal spell ability (see above).

To absorb a spell that targets him, a spellthief must succeed on a level check (1d20 + spellthief class level) against a DC of 10 + the spell’s caster level. Failure indicates that the spell has its normal effect. Success means that the spellthief suffers no effect from the spell and can cast the spell later (or use its energy to cast one of his own spells known) as if he had stolen the spell with his steal spell ability. His normal limit of total spell levels stolen still applies.

At 20th level or higher, a spellthief can choose to use the stolen spell energy as an immediate action (see page 137), either to recast the original spell or to cast one of his own spells known using the stolen spell energy.

Let me pick these two phrases:

  • if a spellthief makes a successful save against a spell that targets him, he can attempt to absorb the spell energy
  • To absorb a spell that targets him, a spellthief must succeed on a level check

So, in order to absord the spell, you must succeed on a saving throw and then pass the level check.

What I do not understand is this part:

Failure [on the level check] indicates that the spell has its normal effect.

Does it refer to the fact that the spell complitely affects you even after a successful save?

or

Does it mean that if the spell’s descriptor has somithing like “Saving Throw: Reflex half” then this halved damage (or effect) still applies?

Does Absorb Elements give you resistance to damage from the triggering attack?

Absorb Elements says:

Absorb Elements
1st-level abjuration
Casting Time: 1 reaction, which you take when you take acid, cold, fire, lightning, or thunder damage
Range: Self
Components: S
Duration: 1 round

The spell captures some of the incoming energy, lessening its effect on you and storing it for your next melee attack. You have resistance to the triggering damage type until the start of your next turn. Also, the fist time you hit with a melee attack on your next turn, the target takes an extra 1d6 damage of the triggering type, and the spell ends.

This seems to imply that the caster avoids some of the incoming damage, but it isn’t stated as explicitly as similar abilities of other spells, such as the Shield spell which states (in part):

Until the start of your next turn, you have a +5 bonus to AC, including against the triggering attack

Are others reading the Absorb Elements spell as I am, as similarly granting the resistance beginning with the triggering attack?

Can a Rod of Absorption Absorb a spell that was Twinned?


Scenario

A party that has a Rod of Absorption is facing an evil Sorcerer. The Sorcerer casts a twinned Ray of Sickness at the Fighter and the Wizard. The Wizard is holding the rod.

Would the Ray that is targeting the Wizard be able to be absorbed?

I am unsure whether Twinned Spell Metamagic creates a second spell using the same slot, thus able to be absorbed, or if it is a single spell that now targets two creatures.

Rod of Absorption:

While holding this rod, you can use your reaction to absorb a spell that is targeting only you and not with an area of effect. (DMG, p. 195)

Twinned Spell

When you cast a spell that targets only one creature and doesn’t have a range of self, you can spend a number of sorcery points equal to the spell’s level to target a second creature in range with the same spell. (PHB, p. 102)

RAW, can a 3rd level sword-and-board eldritch knight usefully cast Absorb Elements?

I often see Absorb Elements (AE) mentioned as a useful spell for an Eldritch Knight (EK), because it gives you temporary resistance to one type of damage and lets you add that type of damage to your next melee attack.

However, it has somatic components, which require a free hand to perform. With many spells this isn’t a problem, since you can drop or stow your weapon, cast, and then use your bonus action for the EK Weapon Bond feature to resummon it. But since AE is a reaction, that doesn’t seem to work, although I might be wrong. So it seems as though you have to preemptively stow your weapon at the end of your turn if you think you might need to use AE, which then becomes a problem if what you actually end up needing your reaction for is an opportunity attack.

Of course, this all goes away at 4th level when you can take War Caster as a feat, which lets you cast without a free hand for somatic components.

So:

  • Am I wrong? i.e. is it possible to drop your sword as part of your reaction before casting AE?
  • If not, can a 3rd level EK usefully use AE, or should you wait until 4th level to take that spell?

How much does someone absorb from the Sleep spell if they can’t be put to sleep?

How much would someone absorb from the sleep spell if they can’t be put to sleep? The spell states

This spell sends creatures into a magical slumber. Roll 5d8; the total is how many hit points of creatures this spell can affect. Creatures within 20 feet of a point you choose within range are affected in ascending order of their current hit points (ignoring unconscious creatures).

Starting with the creature that has the lowest current hit points, each creature affected by this spell falls unconscious until the spell ends. […] Subtract each creature’s hit points from the total before moving on to the creature with the next lowest hit points. A creature’s hit points must be equal to or less than the remaining total for that creature to be affected.

So what happens if an elf or a warlock with Aspect of the Moon (both are immune to magical sleep but not directly to the spell itself) is in the targeted area?

Would it:

A. Treat them like they don’t exist

B. Subtract their HP and then move on, leaving them awake or

C. Let them absorb the full effect of the spell as regardless of their HP they can’t be put to sleep


B seems the most likely but I feel like I’ve seen C ruled before in a game. A would also make some sense as well.

Is absorb elements next attack, or first attack on next turn?


The spell captures some of the incoming energy, lessening its effect on you and storing it for your next melee attack. You have resistance to the triggering damage type until the start of your next turn. Also, the first time you hit with a melee attack on your next turn, the target takes an extra 1d6 damage of the triggering type, and the spell ends.

First line says next melee attack. Later it says next turn, which is it?

Let’s say I use movement to jump into a bonfire, reaction to cast absorb elements, use the rest of my movement to get up to the enemy and attack him. Do I have the extra elemental damage?

Is it possible to stack the damage done by the Absorb Elements spell?

The absorb elements spell says

The spell captures some of the incoming energy, lessening its effect on you and storing it for your next melee attack. You have resistance to the triggering damage type until the start of your next turn. Also, the first time you hit with a melee attack on your next turn, the target takes an extra 1d6 damage of the triggering type, and the spell ends.

At Higher Levels. When you cast this spell using a spell slot of 2nd level or higher, the extra damage increases by 1d6 for each slot level above 1st.

So if my Sorcerer is hit with a fire bolt from the enemy mage, I use my reaction to cast absorb elements at 3rd level so I now have 3d6 fire damage stored for my next melee attack, I then use my action to cast a 1st-level spell and my turn ends, resetting my reaction. Another enemy hits me with chain lightning and I use absorb elements again at 3rd level.

Do I now have 3d6 fire + 3d6 lightning or just 3d6 lightning stored for my next melee attack?

Does Absorb Elements Combine With A Sorcerer’s Distant Spell?

According to this question “Is a melee spell attack also a melee attack?” a Melee Spell Attack is a Melee Attack. Meaning if I was to cast Absorb Elements after being hit by a Firebolt, I can add 1d6 fire damage to my next Shocking Grasp.

My question is, as a Sorcerer, could I combine this with the Distant Spell Metamagic option? Using a sorcery point allows me to give a touch spell a range of 30ft. Is Shocking Grasp now a Melee Spell Attack with a range of 30ft and therefore eligible for the extra damage granted by Absorb Elements?