Can Cold Spell Specialization affect Shivering Touch?

I have a player trying to apply the benefits of Cold Spell Specialization to the spell Shivering Touch.

Shivering Touch:

On a successful melee touch attack, you instantly suck the heat from the target’s body, rendering it numb. The target takes 3d6 points of Dexterity damage. Creatures with the cold subtype are immune to the effects of shivering touch.

Cold Spell Specialization:

In cold areas (temperature at or below 40° F), you gain a +1 bonus per die to any dice rolled to determine damage caused by cold spells you cast. In areas of extreme cold (below -20° F), the damage bonus increases to +2 per die.

I told the player that this doesn’t work for 2 reasons:

  1. The spell has a duration, and so the Dex damage isn’t really damage, it’s really a penalty, and thus wouldn’t apply.

    Reasoning:

    1. Ability damage is persistent, being removed at 1 point per day, not all being removed in 1 round per caster level.
    2. Ray of Enfeeblement was originally worded very similarly, and was later errata’d to being a penalty instead.
  2. Unless specified otherwise, "damage" refers to hit point damage, not any other kind of damage that the player might try to twist in.

I was coming up with these reasons on the fly based on because I couldn’t find the RAW that prevented the use of this in a timely manner.

I would prefer to remain in the RAW than to create either reasoning as a house rule that could have later unforeseen repercussions. Can someone point out where this is specified, or was it something that was assumed as carryover from previous editions?

Does Alchemical Savant affect Elemental Weapon?

The Alchemist subclass of the artificer has a 5th level feature Alchemical Savant which states (E:RftLW, pg 58)

Whenever you cast a spell using your alchemist’s supplies as the spellcasting focus, you gain a bonus to one roll of the spell. That roll must restore hit points or be a damage roll that deals acid, fire, necrotic, or poison damage, and the bonus equals your intelligence modifier

Elemental Weapon is an Artificer spell gives the option to grant an extra 1d4 of acid/fire damage when the enchanted weapon hits a target. Does this extra damage count as a roll of the spell and so can the roll benefit from the alchemist’s intelligence modifier bonus for a single hit?

Does Evards Black Tentacles affect the 5 foot cubes above its area?

So I’m playing in a tomb of annihilation game and there were some succubi that we were fighting. We had information ahead of time that a lot of them were grouped up together talking to someone and so I decided it would be a good time to whip out my new spell Evard’s Black Tentacles. Now the problem is that the Dm said that the creatures are flying creatures and are unaffected.

My problem is this, when the spell designates that the 20 foot square area is the area of the spell, does that actually mean hostile enemies have to be physically touching the ground or does the spell reasonably affect the 5 foot cubes that the 20 foot square has above them.

How far away can stone shape affect stone?

Stone shape can affect an amount of stone up to 10 cubic feet + 1 cubic foot per level. If the shape you want to effect is narrow enough, you could get a lot of distance while staying under this volume. For example, a 10th level caster has a maximum of 100 cu. ft. Could such a caster touch the side of a mountain and bore an 8,000-foot-long hole through it if the hole was only 1.5 inches in diameter? The volume of this hole would be π(0.06252²)(8000) = ~98 cu. ft.³. What about reshaping a 4.5-foot cube of stone into a cylinder of similar dimensions?

Fey Ancestry says “Magic can’t put you to sleep” and Brass Dragon has the ability to “exhales sleep gas”. Does the breath weapon affect elves?

I always assumed that elves/half elves were just immune to sleep effects, but re-reading Fey Ancestry, it says “magic can’t put you to sleep”.

Brass Dragons and Kamadans (Tomb of Annihilation p225) have Sleep Breath, and I just assumed it wouldn’t affect elves, but now I’m not so sure.

Am I just overthinking it?

Are there any other magical sleep effects besides the Sleep spell? If not, then I would assume it’s intended to include sleeping gas. But maybe the Fey Ancestry is a mix of magic resistance and “elves don’t sleep” so it really is just against magical sleep?

Would the spell Disintegrate affect a carried creature?

During a recent D&D 5e session, a Retriever picked up a player character and started to move, using this ability:

If the paralyzed creature is Medium or smaller, the retriever can pick it up as part of the retriever’s move and walk or climb with it at full speed. (Mordenkainen’s Tome of Foes)

Another player character then cast Disintegrate on the Retriever. The text of disintegrate includes:

A creature targeted by this spell must make a Dexterity saving throw. On a failed save, the target takes 10d6 + 40 force damage. The target is disintegrated if this damage leaves it with 0 hit points. A disintegrated creature and everything it is wearing and carrying, except magic items, are reduced to a pile of fine gray dust. (Basic Rules, pg. 233)

If the Retriever was successfully disintegrated, would the character being carried also be disintegrated?

Connect Cables in pc and it’s affect

Is there anyway I can know if the cable I use to charge my phone in it was connect to my pc before or not? Is there something in pc can let me see that because my pc contain some malware and spy files that comes to it through another phone because I used to use all cables and connect them to pc so I decided to format my other iphone in charger while charging it in the wall during deleting your data and setting the phone turned off so I connect it to the charger and it start to format and delete all data and settings while connect to charger so I format it again and I am afraid that the malware will be inside the iPhone system and even formatting it will no help

How would giving a creature a Vorpal Sword affect their CR?

The Vorpal Sword is a legendary magical item that allows heads to be struck from bodies, as well as doing a tonne more damage if it doesn’t. A good summary has already been discussed on this site.

I’m a little unsure how it would affect a creatures CR though, and would like some help.

In order to make this question specific, but I would like to understand your workings, How would giving a Bugbear a Vorpal Sword affect it’s CR?

How does removing crit damage for divine smite and sneak attack affect balance?

At my table, there is a house rule that divine smite and sneak attack do not recieve critical hit bonuses.

I’m worried this would heavily affect the balance of the game and am trying to petition for going back to the core rules. But the DM and a couple players believe that that would be too OP.

This is a continuation of a previous question.

How can giving skill checks critical fails and successes affect game balance?

At my table there is the house rule that skills can crit on a natural 1 and 20.

At least I think a natural 20 would be treated special over a 19. But I do know that 1’s give harsh consequences.

In my last session I rolled natural ones on 2 separate skill checks.

One was a Perception check to listen to the mutters of nearby NPCs, I rolled a natural 1(I had a +6 to it) and the DM said I was talking so loud that all the other PCs had to do their checks at disadvantage.

The second time I rolled insight to see if i could figure out about how badly our setting the dock ablaze affected an invading orc army, whose ship was also set on fire. I rolled a natural 1(+6) and the DM said I did not think it had any effect at all and was going to be frightened for the 1st 3 rounds of the next encounter.

I’m all for having fun and silly things with low skill rolls. And am ok with these harsh consequences if everyone at the table are for the most part. But I feel this kinda screws over bards and rogue who get expertise.

Continuation of another question.