Pathfinder Player Companion: Blood of the Elements (PFRPG)

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Pathfinder Player Companion: Blood of the Elements (PFRPG)
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Fire in the Blood

Harness the powers of air, earth, fire, and water to bring your elementally inclined character to life with Blood of the Elements! Whether you are the progeny of genies and wield a portion of their elemental wish magic or seek to glean some of the awesome arcana of the Elemental Planes for yourself, this Player Companion is the definitive guide to playing a Pathfinder RPG character with mastery over one or more of the four elements of creation.

Blood of the Elements provides a player-focused, in-depth exploration of the geniekin races and the Elemental Planes. In addition, each Pathfinder Player Companion includes new options and tools for every Pathfinder RPG player.

Inside this book, you’ll find:

  • New details for the five geniekin races—fiery ifrits, curious sylphs, hardened oreads, fluid undines, and elementally balanced sulis.
  • Tons of new race and regional traits, allowing you to customize your geniekin character for his or her heritage and situation.
  • A whole bazaar of new magical and mundane equipment to help you traverse the Elemental Planes in safety and style.
  • A bold new teamwork feat that allows you and your allies to combine elemental spells to achieve powerful new effects.
  • New rules options designed specifically for geniekin and elementally themed characters, including spells, rage totems, mutated bloodlines, a cavalier order, and more!

This Pathfinder Player Companion is intended for use with the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game, but can easily be incorporated into any fantasy world.

Written by Tim Akers, Judy Bauer, Jim Groves, Chris Lites, Dale C. McCoy, Jr., and Cassidy Werner
Cover Art by Kerem Beyit

ISBN-13: 978-1-60125-654-6

Note: This product is part of the Pathfinder Player Companion Subscription.

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This book makes me angry

1/5

This book makes me furious and almost makes me feel a little teary-eyed at the wasted potential. I am a huge fan of Blood of Angels/Fiends, and how they both spend 32 pages on expanding a single race. As a result, Angels/Fiends are the gold standard of a racial supplement. After Angels/Fiends, pretty much all my aasimar/tiefling needs were catered to. They had tons of subraces, so no matter what ability modifiers I wanted to have, I was covered. They had feats. They had traits. They had magic items. They had variant abilities. And of course tons of fluff and art.

Then I open Blood of Elements.

I flip to my favorite of the elemental races, sylph. Three traits and two spells and 1.5 pages of fluff text.

And that's it.

I look at what an amazing job Angels/Fiends did to aasimar/tieflings, then I come here for my sylph characters, and...

I just want to cry. I want to cry.

There was so much that could have been done for the elemental races. So much. Instead, of the 32 pages, a bare 10 pages is split among five races (the four geniekin plus suli). So two pages for each race, and of those two pages well over half is fluff, so you have less than one page of crunch per race. You look at the five pages of tiefling subraces in Blood of Fiends PLUS ALL ELSE in that book. Then you look at less than a page for ALL CRUNCH PER RACE in this book.

It is a completely insane design choice to spend 10 pages of this book on describing the four elemental planes plus the City of Brass, when there was WAY TOO LITTLE space for racial crunch already, and then they waste space on planes! As much space is spent on planes as on the races! When the races are already page-starved!!

They never should have tried to cram FIVE different races into a single 32 page book to start with. But if they absolutely insisted on that terrible choice, then the ABSOLUTE MINIMUM starting point from there would have been to jettison absolutely everything else. No two-page planar map. No ten-page planar descriptions. No two-page "elemental magic". No two-page "magic items". Just the races. Nothing else. Absolutely nothing else. The 32 interior pages should have been allocated as follows: 6 pages per race, and the leftover 2 pages to editorial content like table of contents and rules index.

6 pages per race would have been the barest minimum to even get started on covering the races. What they did now -- 2 pages per race, and more than 1 page of that is fluff, less than a page is crunch per race -- is insane. It's ludicrous. It's insulting to people who actually want to play these races and want options. How could they possibly have thought that people who want to play a sylph would find more value in a two-page planar map than in getting two more pages of traits or subraces? What is wrong with them?

This is the single worst designed Paizo product that I can off-hand think of. I wish I could give it less than one star. The only people I can recommend this to are people who actually don't care about playing the geniekin races.

I'm baffled and flabbergasted at whoever designed this product.


Great Intro to the Genie-Kin

5/5

Blood of the Elements, a 32-page entry in Pathfinder's Player Companion line, focuses on a collection of races that are pretty new to me even though I've been playing RPGs for a couple of decades now. "Geniekin" are five different races in Golarion descended (as their name implies) from genie and human blood, and each has strong ties to particular elemental forces. Ifrits are passionate and impetuous humanoids with links to elemental fire, Oreads are strong and stoic creatures linked to elemental stone, Sylphs are slight and willowy people linked to the element of air, Undines are the cold but perceptive links to the element of water, and Suli are . . . well, I'm not quite sure. They're kind of the odd race out, and even after reading the book I still didn't get a good read on exactly how/why they relate to the other four beyond having genie ancestry and (I guess) a balance of the four other elements. I'll get into the details in a second, but as a quick overview I'll say that 1) I think the artwork and layout for this book is fantastic--it has a very cool, unearthly feel that fits the theme perfectly; 2) The book has (to me) a good balance of flavour text and rules mechanics, but readers expecting character options covering every single page will be a bit disappointed.

The gorgeous cover speaks for itself. The inside front cover concisely summarizes the racial traits of each of the five races. It's good to have them here, as otherwise a player would have to find them online in an unofficial source or get the hardcover Advanced Races Guide where they first appear. Next up are three pages that you'll probably skim over quickly (a table of contents, an index of new rules options, and an admittedly more useful "For Your Character" page that tells you what classes the book focuses on). Usually the inside back-cover of books in this line just reprint the cover art, but here its devoted to a table listing spells with elemental descriptors from hardcover sourcebooks; it's a really nice way to help find spells for a geniekin PC that fits their theme.

The book proper starts with a two-page introduction that talks about the origins of the geniekin races. It also has a terminology section--usually I find these unnecessary, but as I'm pretty unfamiliar with this whole area, I found it surprisingly useful.

Each of the five races then gets a two-page overview, with the first page consisting of description and lore and the second page presenting new player options that include at least a couple of race and regional traits in addition to something else. The traits are interesting and original, without being so awesome that they become mandatory. Many of the new player options are thematically-linked to the race, but broad enough that PCs of other races could take them as well.

* The section on Ifrits introduces a new cavalier order: The Order of the Flame (an order devoted to members achieving personal glory). It sounds really fun as a role-playing choice, with some potentially crazy results in big combats.

* The section on Oreads introduces the idea of "gem magic," which allows them to modify (usually in a pretty minor way) the effects of spells by adding a valuable gem as a material component. It's an interesting idea, but frankly pretty weak in most cases considering the cost. I think it's a system that would require a full elaboration somewhere, not just a one-column entry.

* The section on Suli introduces the concept of Elemental Totems for barbarians, with the rage powers granted depending on the particular element the barbarian is devoted to. I'm not an expert on barbarian rage powers, but some of them at least sound pretty cool, like an Earth element one that would likely result in enemy weapons shattering against their skin.

* In the Sylph section, two new arcane spells appear: "Enshroud Thoughts" and "Storm Step," the latter of which sounds really fun (the PC turns into a lightning bolt and can zap opponents in order to change positions on the battlefield).

*The Undine section introduces two new bloodlines for the "Wildblooded" sorcerer archetype in Ultimate Magic. One of the bloodlines has to do with elemental water (of course), while the other is tied to Marid ancestry. The granted powers are pretty high-level, and I'm not familiar enough with the norm for sorcerers to say how desirable they'd be. Thematically, they're interesting at least.

Each section has an "On Golarion" sidebar that discusses (geographically) where the race might be concentrated, and I thought this was great for integrating character backgrounds.

The middle of the book is a two-page map titled "The Inner Sphere of the Great Beyond." It's done in the style of an in-game artist's rendering of how the different planes relate to each other. I think it's pretty cool and would be something I'd use in a game to explain the relation of planes to players.

Next up is a series of two-page entries on each of the four elemental planes. The first page describes the plane and what adventures might be like there, while the second page introduces some new equipment and regional traits. Apart from the description of the Plane of Earth (which was a lot of name-dropping with very little information), I thought these were nice (if necessarily cursory) overviews of the planes. Most of the magical items and traits didn't really stand out to me, but two did: first, a "Planar Alchemical Catalyst" piece of equipment that modifies normal alchemical items in some really interesting ways to (in part) make them more useful at higher levels; second, a "Thoughtful Wish-Maker" regional trait for the Plane of Fire that allows a character to (probably) avoid having their wishes corrupted--it's probably a trait that would have no effect for about 85% of a character's adventuring, but could then turn out to be really useful near the end!

The remainder of the book is something of a miscellany, with each section consisting of a two-page entry on a different topic. There's an overview of the City of Brass (a scary place!) that would be useful to GMs; it also introduces a couple of new magical items and regional traits. An entry titled "Elemental Magic" introduces a new teamwork feat that creates a new secondary effect when two elemental spells are combined into one; it's an interesting idea, but as with all teamwork feats, it requires just the right PCs in an adventuring group in order to make it worthwhile. The section also contains a really cool picture of an Undine spellcaster and a sidebar on how other areas of Golarion conceive of the elements--an idea worth developing if areas like Minkai or Vudra ever get dedicated sourcebooks. Last, there's a section simply titled "Magic Items." My conclusion is that, for what they do, they're way too expensive. I suppose they could make an interesting quest item or dungeon loot, however.

Overall, I really liked Blood of the Elements as a colourful and evocative introduction to the genie-kin. I've heard some grumbling from other readers that it didn't contain enough "crunch," but to me it had a nice balance. When I consider playing one of the races, it'll be the first place I turn.


Lack of Crucnch, but really good for lore

4/5

I liked the Blood of the Elements book more than I would expect, especially with the reviews I saw on the site. Indeed it lacked the crunchy part we're used to in the Blood books, but on the other side it presents a very good background for the characters.


Uninspiring

2/5

Read my full review on Of Dice and Pen.

Blood of the Elements looks at the geniekin races (ifrits, oreads, sulis, sylphs, and undines), providing background and character options for each. It also goes beyond this and looks at the four elemental planes, as well as the famed City of Brass on the Plane of Fire—and this is part of where the book goes wrong. There have been a number of Blood of... books and the best ones (Blood of Angels, Blood of Fiends) have had tight focuses, while the weaker ones (Blood of the Night) have tried to do too much. Thirty-two pages really isn’t enough space to adequately cover five races and include a gazetteer of the elemental planes, making Blood of the Elements one of the ones that tries to do too much.


Lots of material, just not a ton in one area

3/5

I didnt like this book as i read it, but having read it a second time, its a solid 3-stars.

The common complaint that it doesnt explore any one area in detail is valid, as is the question as to why material about the planes made it in at all. well the obvious answer is that it had to be available somewhere, and it wasnt enough material to get its own campaign setting.

You get the races, optional race traits, new regular traits, a feat, magic items, material on the planes. you get a lot. And theres nothing wacky here, so its a solid 3 star book. they covered a TON of areas, just not a huge amount of material on each piece.

Still, i think this book is one that you'll be using more than you thought you would,after the first read (which, like alot of the player companions, feels more like a pamphlet than a sourcebook at times)


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Yes Brinebeast, more is always welcome in my book as well.

Contributor

4 people marked this as a favorite.
zergtitan wrote:
P.S. Still crossing fingers for player companion books for kitsune and changelings. :)

Gosh, if Wes or Patrick or someone asked me to contribute to a kitsune player companion for free, I'd do it in a heartbeat.

Dark Archive

Any traits or suggestions for elemental-touched characters of Mephit, Gargoyle, Azer, Pech, Nereid, Triton, etc. heritages? (or less obvious Air/Earth/Fire/Water/Cold races, like Invisible Stalkers, Fire Yai, Cold Riders or Adlets) Or is it all genies?

Bastards & Bloodlines, from Green Ronin, had a fairly awesome Gargoyle/Dwarf crossbreed race, for instance, and Azer/Dwarf or Nereid/Aquatic Elf seem kind of like a no-brainers.

Dark Archive

Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Adventure, Companion, Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber
Set wrote:

Any traits or suggestions for elemental-touched characters of Mephit, Gargoyle, Azer, Pech, Nereid, Triton, etc. heritages? (or less obvious Air/Earth/Fire/Water/Cold races, like Invisible Stalkers, Fire Yai, Cold Riders or Adlets) Or is it all genies?

Bastards & Bloodlines, from Green Ronin, had a fairly awesome Gargoyle/Dwarf crossbreed race, for instance, and Azer/Dwarf or Nereid/Aquatic Elf seem kind of like a no-brainers.

Just Genies. Nothing else. It's really, really pretty, I mean some of the best art in a Player Companion yet, but the crunch is poor, at best.

Paizo Employee Organized Play Developer

Set wrote:

Any traits or suggestions for elemental-touched characters of Mephit, Gargoyle, Azer, Pech, Nereid, Triton, etc. heritages? (or less obvious Air/Earth/Fire/Water/Cold races, like Invisible Stalkers, Fire Yai, Cold Riders or Adlets) Or is it all genies?

Just genies, and not even all that much for them. This book was definitely weighted far more towards providing information on the elemental planes and where the genie-kin fit into Golarion than actually providing a good amount of new crunch.

It's pretty to look at, but that's its strongest selling point.


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Alexander Augunas wrote:
zergtitan wrote:
P.S. Still crossing fingers for player companion books for kitsune and changelings. :)
Gosh, if Wes or Patrick or someone asked me to contribute to a kitsune player companion for free, I'd do it in a heartbeat.

I'd prefer you got paid for it. :) I'm sure I'm not the only one who'd definitely be interested Paizo turning you loose on a Kitsune Companion.


I call dibs on a "Catfolk Companion" book:)

I hope that "People of the Stars" has more crunch then this one.


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Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Blood of the Beasts: a book on Kitsune, Tengu, Catfolk, and Ratfolk.

Dark Archive

Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Adventure, Companion, Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber
zergtitan wrote:
Blood of the Beasts: a book on Kitsune, Tengu, Catfolk, and Ratfolk.

This would be the best option. Those of us who wouldn't touch a Kitsune book with a 10-foot pole (unless said pole were on fire) still might find a lot of content to use with the other races.


Kvantum wrote:
zergtitan wrote:
Blood of the Beasts: a book on Kitsune, Tengu, Catfolk, and Ratfolk.
This would be the best option. Those of us who wouldn't touch a Kitsune book with a 10-foot pole (unless said pole were on fire) still might find a lot of content to use with the other races.

That would be my favorate player's companion forever, as long as they did the right balance of flavor+background and crunch. And also a nine tailed fox sorcerer's bloodline ;)

Books like Blood of Elements shows that it can be hard to get the balance right when your focus is divided between four races, and the creatures in a Blood of Beasts book actually would have very little in common. Less so than the elemental races.


Also tengu should be in a book about avian races not beast.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion, Lost Omens Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber

I would not be pleased to see 4 races lumped into one book. Bastards of Golarion dealt with Half Elves and Half Orcs predominantly, and it was good. The bone it threw to other Half races, just made me want to see something dedicated to them. I would much rather have just 2 spotlight races a book max so we don't have the issue of too little content for too great a spread of topics.

Shadow Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion, Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber
Set wrote:

Any traits or suggestions for elemental-touched characters of Mephit, Gargoyle, Azer, Pech, Nereid, Triton, etc. heritages? (or less obvious Air/Earth/Fire/Water/Cold races, like Invisible Stalkers, Fire Yai, Cold Riders or Adlets) Or is it all genies?

Bastards & Bloodlines, from Green Ronin, had a fairly awesome Gargoyle/Dwarf crossbreed race, for instance, and Azer/Dwarf or Nereid/Aquatic Elf seem kind of like a no-brainers.

Nope. It's all basically genie-kin and sometimes "cause your parents dabbled a lot in you certain elemental magic". Sometimes it doesn't even give you that much (the sylphs are kind of the biggest offender there).

The crunch though isn't bad it's just buried in fluff that just isn't interesting or inspiring.

To sum it up, if I were looking at just the fluff I have no better idea of how to inhabit any of the genie-kin then I did before I read it.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Well, some good advice how to fit in "unusual" races to Golarion is surely a good thing.
Yet i wish there would be a bit more consistency in the Player Guide line.
Even books with the same titles like the Blood of.... series have a big variation on what to expect.
Then often it´s not really clear if it´s more useful for players or for GM´s.

That is actually something that keeps me from subscribing.


Maybe if beg really hard we could one day get an Advanced Races Guide 2:)

Silver Crusade

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Liz Courts wrote:
The digital versions of June releases will be available on the 25th.

TY for the info-- I'll pop back in and pick it up then.

I stick to PDFs 'cause it's much easier to carry a single laptop or tablet than several ruck-sacks full of books, but I do get 'em legitimately and support y'all... :D


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Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Maps, Pathfinder Accessories, Starfinder Accessories, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Maps, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

I've only skimmed it once so far, but this is one of my favourite of the Blood Of... books. I dont have much use for mechanical crunch though, so the lack of such is a bonus to me, rather than a drawback.

I wonder whether it was slightly misbranded (if that's the term?) as a lot of stuff felt like it was from a campaign companion.

The elemental planes map is awesome. I need to find a way to use that as a player handout. :)


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Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Steve Geddes wrote:


I wonder whether it was slightly misbranded (if that's the term?) as a lot of stuff felt like it was from a campaign companion.

I don´t doubt that the book is awesome, but that player companions feeling like campaign companions is a rising critique.

President, Jon Brazer Enterprises

I had alot of fun working on this one.


Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Maps, Pathfinder Accessories, Starfinder Accessories, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Maps, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
Hayato Ken wrote:
Steve Geddes wrote:


I wonder whether it was slightly misbranded (if that's the term?) as a lot of stuff felt like it was from a campaign companion.

I don´t doubt that the book is awesome, but that player companions feeling like campaign companions is a rising critique.

You're probably right. I'm certainly enjoying them more, but I've always preferred flavour material to mechanical stuff.


3 people marked this as a favorite.
Steve Geddes wrote:
Hayato Ken wrote:
Steve Geddes wrote:


I wonder whether it was slightly misbranded (if that's the term?) as a lot of stuff felt like it was from a campaign companion.

I don´t doubt that the book is awesome, but that player companions feeling like campaign companions is a rising critique.
You're probably right. I'm certainly enjoying them more, but I've always preferred flavour material to mechanical stuff.

From my point of view, the issue isn't that it was flavour material, but that it was flavour material that was more campaign orientated. The whole elemental planes thing feels more like it's going to be useful for GMs planning games, especially given that the elemental blooded races are Native Outsiders (unless I'm misremembering that).

I'd have appreciated more focus on the flavour for alternative heritage genie-kind (those who somehow ended up with mephits or elementals in the bloodline, that sort of thing), stuff that does feel more player focused to help them build characters.

Comes down to personal preference though.

Shadow Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion, Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber
Tinkergoth wrote:
Steve Geddes wrote:
Hayato Ken wrote:
Steve Geddes wrote:


I wonder whether it was slightly misbranded (if that's the term?) as a lot of stuff felt like it was from a campaign companion.

I don´t doubt that the book is awesome, but that player companions feeling like campaign companions is a rising critique.
You're probably right. I'm certainly enjoying them more, but I've always preferred flavour material to mechanical stuff.

From my point of view, the issue isn't that it was flavour material, but that it was flavour material that was more campaign orientated. The whole elemental planes thing feels more like it's going to be useful for GMs planning games, especially given that the elemental blooded races are Native Outsiders (unless I'm misremembering that).

I'd have appreciated more focus on the flavour for alternative heritage genie-kind (those who somehow ended up with mephits or elementals in the bloodline, that sort of thing), stuff that does feel more player focused to help them build characters.

Comes down to personal preference though.

This. Not saying that I would not be interested in a book on the elemental planes but as it stands I came for a book about playing elemental kin not to learn about the planes.

I think what a lot of people would have preferred is something like when blood of fiends game out where you have blood of fiends for players alongside the long running books of the damned to help gm's set the stages for the creatures that help spawn the tieflings.

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Maps, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

I have also have to add my dice to the roll and say that I too was looking more for a Player Companion rather than a Min-Campaign Guide. Again, as others have pointed out, look to the Blood of Fiends/Angels for inspiration.

Dark Archive

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On the one hand, I agree that I'd rather the Player's Companions be a combination of crunch and player-usable flavor text (stuff that details what sort of roles the race plays in a setting, what sort of relations they might have with other races / cultures / etc.).

On the other hand, I see the plethora of races in Blood of Fiends and Angels and think 'wow, there's literally going to be a sub-race for everything, isn't there?' Tieflings and Aasimar are the new Elves. There's one for just about every attribute combination you could want, and I'm a little bit conflicted about whether or not I'd want to see Elemental-kin of every possible role and niche, or shadow-kin, or dragon-kin, or animal-shifters, etc. For a game that so strongly discourages people from playing orcs or gnolls 'because we want them to be two-dimensional monsters, into which one, absent pesky thoughts of moral or ethical alignment (which we insist is vital to the game, despite working extra hard to avoid being applied in any way other than mechanically), inserts blade for XPs and GPs' having a half-dozen different playable fiend-spawn seems like rowing against the stated current.

On the other, other hand, perhaps Paizo is attempting to mix things up a bit with the formatting, so that each new 'Blood of X' book isn't a somewhat 'easy' page for page rewriting of Blood of Fiends, just copying that success over and over until whatever magic made it work is stale and boring (and the game is flooded with a dozen new sub-races a couple times a year).

Elemental planes options seems a bit far-reaching, granted. An elemental-touched race isn't any more likely to interact with an elemental plane than a gnome is to visit the First World, or an aasimar to end up on Mount Celestia. It's also possibly quite setting specific. The Great Beyond is a Golarion thing, and quite different from the extraplanar makeup of the Wheel, or the configurations in Midgard or Eberron or the Scarred Lands. As long as they are delving into setting specific stuff, I feel that a section going into more detail about where the elemental-touched are prominent on Golarion (such as in Qadira, where they are purportedly even hidden communities of them) would be useful for character development and backstory and even GM use (need to know where I'm likely to find a city with a big oread or sylph population?).


This book is still very disappointing race book, second only to the blood of the night.

Actually Set, if you read the elemental plane sections they do tell what elemental plane touched races are found there and why.

Shadow Lodge

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Set wrote:
For a game that so strongly discourages people from playing orcs or gnolls 'because we want them to be two-dimensional monsters, into which one, absent pesky thoughts of moral or ethical alignment (which we insist is vital to the game, despite working extra hard to avoid being applied in any way other than mechanically), inserts blade for XPs and GPs'

Ouch. Harsh but admittedly accurate.

Liberty's Edge

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Pathfinder Companion Subscriber
Set wrote:
On the other hand, I see the plethora of races in Blood of Fiends and Angels and think 'wow, there's literally going to be a sub-race for everything, isn't there?' Tieflings and Aasimar are the new Elves. There's one for just about every attribute combination you could want, and I'm a little bit conflicted about whether or not I'd want to see Elemental-kin of every possible role and niche, or shadow-kin, or dragon-kin, or animal-shifters, etc.

Frankly, that's exactly what I want. Decoupling the crunch bonuses from the flavor. In my ideal world there would be no such thing as, "Well, I really want to play an Aasimar fighter, but the default crunch just doesn't support it so I guess I'll look for a different concept..." Instead, my ideal world would be like, "I really want to play an Aasimar fighter...now where are the crunch pieces to make it work?"

Shadow Lodge

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Samy wrote:
Set wrote:
On the other hand, I see the plethora of races in Blood of Fiends and Angels and think 'wow, there's literally going to be a sub-race for everything, isn't there?' Tieflings and Aasimar are the new Elves. There's one for just about every attribute combination you could want, and I'm a little bit conflicted about whether or not I'd want to see Elemental-kin of every possible role and niche, or shadow-kin, or dragon-kin, or animal-shifters, etc.
Frankly, that's exactly what I want. Decoupling the crunch bonuses from the flavor. In my ideal world there would be no such thing as, "Well, I really want to play an Aasimar fighter, but the default crunch just doesn't support it so I guess I'll look for a different concept..." Instead, my ideal world would be like, "I really want to play an Aasimar fighter...now where are the crunch pieces to make it work?"

Seconded.


Crunch for a Aasimar fighter is in the Blood of Angels book but what you should be asking is were is the crunch to play an Undine fighter:)

Shadow Lodge

You missed her point completely Dragon =P

Liberty's Edge

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Pathfinder Companion Subscriber

Blood of Angels/Fiends are five star books (IMO, naturally) exactly because they offer this -- the crunch to make pretty much any sort of Aasimar/Tiefling you want.

The latter race books haven't offered this level of versatility, which disappoints me greatly.


So.... I haven't read it yet... but the book itself is Gorgeous!

I love the background image and the borders and heading fonts. So evocative, like the "Russian-y" ones in Reign of Winter.

And the map is unbelievable.

Dark Archive

the two new spells "Enshroud Thoughts" and "Storm Step" p. 13 are missing the Components section


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Good but disappointing. Too much Planes, not enough People.

I too was hoping for some non-genie variants, maybe a few more feats and spells, and especially more about how the elemental-kin lived and were seen on Golarion. That whole City of Brass section I could've done without. In and of itself it was nice, it just didn't belong in this book.

Don't get me wrong, I enjoyed the book, and some of the things in it will get used by my Undine sorceress, but this felt like the main focus of the book got hijacked halfway through. I love you guys, but you kinda lost focus on this one. 7.5/10

Contributor

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SAMAS wrote:

Good but disappointing. Too much Planes, not enough People.

I too was hoping for some non-genie variants, maybe a few more feats and spells, and especially more about how the elemental-kin lived and were seen on Golarion. That whole City of Brass section I could've done without. In and of itself it was nice, it just didn't belong in this book.

Don't get me wrong, I enjoyed the book, and some of the things in it will get used by my Undine sorceress, but this felt like the main focus of the book got hijacked halfway through. I love you guys, but you kinda lost focus on this one. 7.5/10

This sums up my thoughts nicely. Too much planes, not enough people.

I was really bothered by the fact that this book focus 10 of its precious 32 pages directly on the planes (12 if you count the Inner Planes map). That's two more pages that could have been given to each race. Between the fact that this book is a "Blood of" book (not an Inner Planes Primer) and the fact that this is a Player Companion book (not a Campaign Setting book), Blood of the Elements lacks focus. I also didn't like that all five races focus their player crunch on one really long archetype. I have the same distaste for the Elemental Commixture teamwork feat as well. The book felt stretched overall, like no one was sure what to talk about. This could be a very real issue considering that the book has a very broad theme (people with elemental blood).

On the map, it is gorgeous but also out of place in a product about NATIVE outsiders. As in outsiders native to the Material Plane. That's the biggest reason I felt this book was so unfocused. It spends 12 pages talking about the planes in a book about native outsiders.


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Didn't the authors of this book slip in several regional feats not associated with particular elemental planes but not with particular races? I have seen them mentioned elsewhere but not in this thread, so I am curious to find out in three days whether my source might be in error on that point. I can see that the geniekin might have a greater chance than aasimars or tieflings of growing up on their non-humanoid parent's home plane.

Shadow Lodge

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David knott 242 wrote:

Didn't the authors of this book slip in several regional feats not associated with particular elemental planes but not with particular races? I have seen them mentioned elsewhere but not in this thread, so I am curious to find out in three days whether my source might be in error on that point. I can see that the geniekin might have a greater chance than aasimars or tieflings of growing up on their non-humanoid parent's home plane.

Yeah they did sort of. Each race has a regional trait for them. The problem is that about 50% of them are thematically appropriate for the race they are coming from while the other 50% are don't seem to be. For example the Oreads have a regional trait from Jamelray that makes them better at social encounters and allows them to touch stone surfaces and doors and hear through them (very cool and thematic for them) while ifrits have one for Katapesh that says they are escaped slaves and due to your characters paranoia about being recaptured doesn't need to sleep much. The former fits very well with the theme while the latter is cool but not necessarily associated with the troubles and tribulations of being an Ifrit.


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Okay, now that I have the PDF -- there are also separate regional traits for each of the elemental planes plus the City of Brass, none of which are tied to race. Combine that with the fact that my source was d20pfsrd.com, which had to remove the Golarion specific references as it added traits to its site. To cite one example -- "Merabian Mentorship" is on that site, but they renamed it in a way that it is unrecognizable unless you have the source material.

I guess my biggest disappointment is the lack of alternate racial traits. The closest thing I saw was the Suli Dualborn race trait, which modified a Suli racial feature. I don't recall any other cases of race traits being used that way.


The "Blood Of" books are very hit and miss... Blood of Angels and Blood of Fiends were nice, Blood of the Night was kind of a derailment, Blood of the Moon could have been better... Blood of the Elements was fated for problems the moment they decided to put 5 races (not subraces) in it.


Bastards of Golarion has more races than Blood of the Elements and talks about most of them better than it.

Shadow Lodge

chopswil wrote:
the two new spells "Enshroud Thoughts" and "Storm Step" p. 13 are missing the Components section

They're also missing divine casters. No druids for storm step? Really?


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Draco Bahamut wrote:
Bastards of Golarion has more races than Blood of the Elements and talks about most of them better than it.

But Bastards of Golarion had two "tiers" of races -- the Half-Elf and Half-Orc got the bulk of attention, while all of the other half-human races covered got no more than a feat and a trait each.

The problem for Blood of Elements is that it had to cover five distinct races approximately equally -- and no previous "Blood of" book ever attempted to do that. The total amount of crunch material in this book appears to be comparable to other Player Companions, but because it had to give equal coverage to five races, no one race seemed to get very much.

I think this book would have gotten a much better reception had only one of the geniekin races (most likely the Suli) existed prior to this book, and then this book introduced the other four as variants of the original geniekin race.


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They should just treat each one like a race of it´s own, which they apparently are.
Half-elves and half-orcs are different there as in each of the parent races are well known and have good descriptions.

Liberty's Edge

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In my dream world, this book does not preclude the possibility of four separate Player Companions for air, earth, fire and water.


I think they mistitled this book....it is much more of a Player's Guide to the Elemental Planes than a books about the races. If you look at it that way it is not that bad of a book...but as a book that 'focus' on the elemental races...it is not that great.

Dark Archive

Samy wrote:
In my dream world, this book does not preclude the possibility of four separate Player Companions for air, earth, fire and water.

In addition to variations based on different aspects of the genies or elementals involved, what other sorts of heritages might fit?

Right off, I'm seeing;

Air - air type mephits, invisible stalker
Earth - earth type mephits, gargoyle, pech
Fire - fire type mephits, azer, salamander, fire giant, fire yai
Water - water type mephits, triton, nereid, water yai

Perhaps elemental-touched could also be (distantly) related to (or influenced / altered by) dragons of the Air, Earth, Fire or Water types. As with aasimar and tieflings, the ability of the creature to actually mate with a humanoid is ultimately not terribly relevant, as one could end up with tiefling traits because one's mom was possessed or one's dad was a paladin infected with fiendish taint during a trip to rescue someone from Hell or something. Sex is just the easiest way to explain otherworldly traits or a Sorcerous bloodline. :)

And then there's the various Cold type creatures. There isn't currently an elemental-touched Cold humanoid PC race to fit next to the Sylphs and Ifrits, but it seems like a logical development.

Additionally, different lands have different elemental themes, such as the 'element' of Void, or the 'elements' of Wood and Metal.

Versions of Oread more focused on metal or wood, than earth and stone, could be one way to go, instead of creating entirely new elemental-touched races for those 'elements.'

Void, I'm less certain as to how to develop, since it seems to vary between 'void of space / celestial sky' and 'thought / spirit,' depending on the interpretation. You go in one direction and have it be a sort of ethereal psychic sort of thing, and another and be all dark and shining and just a little bit Lovecraftian. Or both...


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Eh, I'll be honest, I'm pretty skeptical about non-outsiders leading to ifrits, oreads, sylphs, and undines...humanoid with fey influence somehow becomes an outsider? I'd prefer something more unique there, maybe some sort of fey-touched entity, though the fey creature template works reasonably well.

I'd also tend to say that oni (such as fire yai or water yai) would be more likely to produce tieflings in the Golarion setting, albeit ones with influence related to their fire or water heritage...I actually asked a similar question of James Jacobs last year in regards to brijidines (who are celestials who have the earth and fire subtypes).

I did take a look myself at (non-unique) creatures with the air, fire, earth, and water subtypes, sorted by type...

Spoiler:
Air Subtype

Aberration Flying Polyp, Trench Mist, Vampiric Mist, Will-o’-Wisp
Dragon Cloud Dragon, Green Dragon, Jabberwock, Mist Drake, Sky Dragon
Magical Beast Dragon Horse, Kirin, Tempest Behemoth
Outsider Air Elemental, Belker, Comozant Wyrd, Djinni, Ice Elemental, Invisible Stalker, Kaminari, Lightning Elemental, Raiju, Wind Yai, Xocothian, Zhyen

Earth Subtype

Aberration Delver
Dragon Blue Dragon, Copper Dragon, Crystal Dragon, Desert Drake, Forest Dragon, Forest Drake, Rift Drake, Spine Dragon
Fey Pech
Humanoid Rock Troll
Magical Beast Thunder Behemoth
Monstrous Humanoid Gargoyle, Lava Child
Ooze Carnivorous Crystal, Crysmal
Outsider Ahkhat, Brijidine, Earth Elemental, Forgefiend, Jinushigami, Magma Elemental, Mud Elemental, Mudlord, Sandman, Shaitan, Thoqqua, Xorn, Zhyen
Undead Guecubu

Fire Subtype

Construct Wickerman
Dragon Brass Dragon, Flame Drake, Gold Dragon, Jabberwock, Lava Drake, Magma Dragon, Red Dragon, Solar Dragon, Underworld Dragon, Vortex Dragon
Humanoid Fire Giant
Magical Beast Phoenix, Sun Falcon, Thrasfyr
Monstrous Humanoid Lava Child
Ooze Magma Ooze, Shard Slag, Tear of Nuruu'gal
Outsider Azer, Brijidine, Brimorak, Efreeti, Fire Elemental, Fire Yai, Hell Hound, Iophanite, Magma Elemental, Magmin, Rast, Salamander, Thoqqua, Yhohm, Zhyen

Water Subtype

Aberration Vampiric Mist
Dragon Black Dragon, Brine Dragon, Bronze Dragon, River Drake, Sea Dragon
Fey Nereid, Oceanid
Magical Beast Julunggali, Thalassic Behemoth
Ooze Freezing Flow
Outsider Ice Elemental, Marid, Mud Elemental, Mudlord, Suijin, Tojanida, Triton, Water Elemental, Water Yai, Xocothian, Zhyen
Undead Draugr

However, perhaps making alternate versions of ifrits, oreads, sylphs, and undines that retain their humanoid type would be better suited for allowing more elemental taints from non-outsiders, using them as a skeleton, or just providing an alternate racial trait that swaps out that outsider (native) type and subtype for something more appropriate...


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Samy wrote:
In my dream world, this book does not preclude the possibility of four separate Player Companions for air, earth, fire and water.

That might be too much to hope for.

However, after downloading the latest Wayfarer, I see that fanzine as a more promising approach. Whereas a Player Companion has to cram everything into 32 pages, an issue of Wayfinder can have 100+ pages in assorted articles devoted to a topic. The latter page count is what you would need to do the geniekin races justice.

Liberty's Edge

has this been added to the PFS legal update yet?

{edit) Nope

I might get it then as I have an oread boon.

Mike


Orthos wrote:
Samy wrote:
Set wrote:
On the other hand, I see the plethora of races in Blood of Fiends and Angels and think 'wow, there's literally going to be a sub-race for everything, isn't there?' Tieflings and Aasimar are the new Elves. There's one for just about every attribute combination you could want, and I'm a little bit conflicted about whether or not I'd want to see Elemental-kin of every possible role and niche, or shadow-kin, or dragon-kin, or animal-shifters, etc.
Frankly, that's exactly what I want. Decoupling the crunch bonuses from the flavor. In my ideal world there would be no such thing as, "Well, I really want to play an Aasimar fighter, but the default crunch just doesn't support it so I guess I'll look for a different concept..." Instead, my ideal world would be like, "I really want to play an Aasimar fighter...now where are the crunch pieces to make it work?"
Seconded.

agreed

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