Favorite energy type

This is a silly question unless you play 3e or 4e.  In the versions of D&D I enjoy, there is no firm taxonomy of ‘energy types’ (like “radiant” and, um that’s only one I remember…).  We throw around loose terms like “fire,” “cold,” “electricity” etc. and somehow manage without defining them, although I can actually see why some game designers thought there was a problem.  Look at the description for a ring of fire resistance in the 1e DMG and it talks about three different intensities of fire (normal fires, very hot fires, and exceptionally hot blasts) so maybe there was a DM somewhere who needed more guidance about that sort of thing?

There was such a thing as negative and positive energy in 1e, which came from the negative and positive material planes.  These planes were never described in any detail as far as I know but the more powerful types of undead, particularly those that drain levels, have a connection to the negative plane and use negative energy for the drain.  I have always thought level draining made undead truly scary in a game already filled with weird monsters and while I sympathize with people who say energy draining is a bitch, I think it still has a place in the game.  (I would just make it a little easier to recover from rather than eliminate it.)

So I guess my favorite energy type is negative energy.

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Published in: on September 24, 2013 at 9:49 am  Comments (4)  
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4 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. Potential: the energy possessed by the inhabitants of the quasi-elemental plane of laziness.

  2. figures your a downer.

  3. I dimly recall an “item saving throw table” in the 2e DMG that differentiated fire, magical fire, cold, electricity, and all kinds of other crap. I am pretty sure positive and negative energy didn’t appear on that table, possibly on the principle that they didn’t affect objects?

  4. The possibility of level loss always made me cringe when fighting wraiths, etc back in the day. Much respect for negative energy! I guess that’s why using cure spells against undead is still a viable attack in 3/3.5 for divine casters.


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