Pathfinder Player Companion: Elemental Master's Handbook is just about to coalesce from the elements to land in your hands, so it's time to let you know what it's about! This book is a player-focused look at wielding elemental powers. Whether your PC studied elemental forces as a route to power, was born with an inherent connection to these primordial forces, or became cursed with an affiliation to one entity at the expense of vulnerability to another, this book is for you. Whether or not your GM plans to provide you with planar adventures, such by using the recent Pathfinder Campaign Setting: Planes of Power, you'll find this book to be invaluable!
Elemental Master's Handbook is broken up into several sections. First up are four long sections about air, earth, fire, and water. Each of these sections provides one or two new archetypes, such as the firebrand gunslinger archetype, who uses dragon pistols effectively but recklessly, or the storm caller summoner archetype, who can hurl lightning. These sections also present a variety of additional rules elements like new magic items, rogue talents, and bloodlines. All these rules are infused with elemental flavor: for example, desperation is a new spiritualist phantom focus to reflect a death by drowning or suffocation. Tragic? Yes. But also cool. Each elemental section concludes with a look at a few places on Golarion where your PC may have been steeped in elemental power, including a new feat for each. For example, the following new feat fits characters with a connection to the dwarven Sky Citadel of Kraggodan.
Kraggodan's Stance (Combat)
You have learned one of the secrets of Kraggodan's defenders and can lock your armor and shield into an impenetrable barrier.
Prerequisites: Con 13, proficiency with heavy armor and shields.
Benefit: As a move action when wearing heavy armor and using a heavy shield or tower shield, you increase the bonus to AC granted by your armor and your shield by 1 each until you move or are moved from your current square. You must be in contact with solid ground to gain this benefit. You can never increase an armor or shield bonus to AC by more than 1 each in this way.
"Good? Bad? I'm the kid with the stick."
Illustration by Graey Erb
The rest of Elemental Master's Handbook contains several shorter sections, each touching on a different facet of elemental mastery. There has been some public speculation about whether this book will have kineticist content—of course it does! In addition to rules items scattered throughout the book that kineticists will find invaluable, there's an entire section devoted to kineticists alone. This section includes new infusions, utility wild talents, and feats—like this one.
You can gather elemental energy while walking slowly.
Prerequisites: Kineticist level 7th, kinetic blast class feature.
Benefit: While taking a move action to gather power, you can move up to half your base speed, and while taking 1 full round to gather power, you can move up to half your speed on the turn you begin the full round of gathering power. This movement provokes attacks of opportunity, and you can't use Acrobatics checks or other abilities to attempt to negate them, as you're concentrating on gathering power (nor can you use Acrobatics to balance, jump, or do anything else that requires a skill check). It's harder to concentrate on gathering power while using this feat; if you take damage during or after gathering power and before using a kinetic blast that releases it (including from an attack of opportunity provoked by the movement), the concentration check DC to avoid losing the gathered power increases by twice the blast's effective spell level.
An advantage—or a curse, I suppose, depending on how you look at it—of being in one of my home games is that I'll sometimes introduce new rules items I'm writing or developing. The kineticist player in my Hell's Vengeance game already uses some of these rules items to blast paladins and angels with wanton abandon.
Another section of Elemental Master's Handbook presents elemental augmentations, which permanently alter a portion the recipient's body by infusing it with primordial powers. An augmented body part is forever altered; the elemental augmentation remains until the body part is removed, which can have some unfortunate side effects. Elemental augmentations come with some powerful advantages, but also carry some corresponding weaknesses that tend to be more flavorful than debilitating. What? You don't follow? Is this some trick to get an example out of me? Okay, done.
"My master wishes you some serious harm, and I'm pleased to grant it."
Illustration by Kent Hamilton
Quicksilver Blood Price 62,000 GP
Slot none; CL 9th; Weight —
Aura moderate transmutation
This recipient's blood is infused with liquid metal that is magically bound to the recipient's system. When the recipient bleeds, the metal clings to itself and turns a bright silver color. The recipient automatically stabilizes when at negative hit points and is immune to continuous damage from bleed attacks (including weapons with the wounding special ability) and ability damage from blood drain. The recipient is considered a ferrous creature for the purposes of spells and effects such as rusting grasp and a rust monster's attack.
This elemental augmentation cannot be applied to a creature without blood.
Construction Requirements Cost 31,000 gp
Craft Wondrous Item, adhesive bloodACG, lesser restoration, creator must have 9 ranks in Knowledge (planes)
There's more neat stuff here than I can get into, such as a new oracle mystery that blends elemental powers together, the aether elemental school for wizards, and the new genie eidolon subtype that can improve its own powers only in response to its summoner uttering a wish. Elemental powers for any PC can be yours!
As a final note, the first bardic masterpiece has a missing title. Although I briefly considered inviting readers to propose their favorite name for this masterpiece, I'll just tell you: it's Blazing Rondo (oratory, percussion).