Pathfinder Player Companion: Elemental Master's Handbook (PFRPG)

***½( ) (based on 5 ratings)
Pathfinder Player Companion: Elemental Master's Handbook (PFRPG)
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Seize Primal Power!

The earth, flames, waves, and wind that make up all natural landscapes might seem like mere backgrounds for characters' heroics, but those who understand the fundamental makeup of nature know that these core elements can lend incredible power. Learn how to harness the building blocks of existence with breathtaking feats, magic items, spells, and much more. Plus, characters with an affinity for the elements can train in one of the many archetypes and other character options presented in Pathfinder Player Companion: Elemental Master's Handbook.

Inside this book, you'll find:

  • The genie binder prestige class, which grants elemental maestros a pool of charismatic gumption when cowing genies to their will and allows them to create elemental seals of power.
  • New archetypes, from the weapon-enhancing flamesinger bard and the breathless Abendego diver ranger to the mystical stone-wielding earthshadow rogue and the hurricane-punching windstep master monk.
  • New kineticist feats, infusions, and utility wild talents that coalesce the power of the elements, including those that harness the esoteric void and wood elements.

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

ISBN-13: 978-1-60125-965-3

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

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***½( ) (based on 5 ratings)

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Great options, need more kineticist

****( )

This book is full of crunchy, interesting options, including options to "cyborg" yourself with elemental matter. Almost all of them are pretty well written and worth considering.

However, I have to remove one star from the lack of kineticist options. The community has a large demand for more kineticist talents. Many elements have a crippling lack of talents at various levels, and people hoped this volume would help solve that. Unfortunately, the book only got two pages of content.


***( )( )

The Elemental Master’s Handbook has some great concepts and good executions that look into some interesting design space, but suffers from a few options that feel like they needed another editing pass after rewrites.

The first half of this book, divided in four, covers what the Player Companion calls the Masters of the elements (Fire, Water, Earth and Air. Each of these sub-sections contain a different mix of Archetypes, character rules elements and feats, as well as four locations within the Golarion setting that ties thematically with that element, and a rules element associated with that location.

Masters of Fire is first, giving us the Firebrand Gunslinger and Flamesinger Bard. The Firebrand is a bomb-throwing, fire spitting gunslinger, that runs it’s grit pool and bombs of it’s charisma score. They can also can add their Charisma to the DCs of dragon’s breath cartridges. They also count direct hits with bombs as firearm shots with regard to grit regeneration.

The Flamesinger gains Fire Music as a bonus feat, and automatically gains summon monster spells as she levels up, and replaces her ability to inspire courage to add stacking fire damage to her allies weapons, toasty!

Masters of Fire also includes the Salamander bloodline for both Sorcerers and Bloodragers. Both bloodlines gain transformational augments that make them more akin to their Salamander ancestors. Bloodragers can enhance their weapons and armor when they bloodrage, while Sorcerers focus on crafting and augmenting magical items.

The last standout in Masters of Flame is Sunblade, which lets Paladins with Word of Healing spend uses of lay on hands to use the blast of flame as a kineticist! (although at a reduced effective kineticist level), opening up a weapons-free ranged attack for Paladins.

The Earthshadow rogue was the first entry in Masters of Stone that caught my eye. It’s a subterranean-themed rogue archetype that gains a pseudo-ki pool, named Earthcraft points which allows an Earthshadow to cast spell-like abilities, including stone tell and dimension door, replacing half you rogue talents. One thing to note is that it doesn’t list whether or not Unchained Rogue’s can take this archetype.

This section also includes some very nice rogue/investigator/slayer talents: ‘Fortified position’ lets you apply cover bonuses to fortitude saves, ‘castling’ improves cover granted by enemies, and Unbalancing trick gives you the Improved trip feat AND qualifies you for Greater Trip once you’ve hit sixth level!

Masters of the Water gives us the Abendego Diver, which drops out their wild empathy of greater breath holding, locks them into aquatic favored terrain. Instead of woodland stride they gain a natural a natural swim speed, and swift tracker goes in favor of scent while underwater. While it’s very niche, it doesn’t give up much you’d miss. Benthic spell lets you add one to the spell level to either replace, or split a damaging spells damage with bludgeoning via torrents of water.

Moving on past the four classical elements, the book goes on to expand on Wizard schools in Masters of the Esoteric Elements, introducing the Aether elemental school, and the Ice, Magma, Mud, and Smoke focused elemental arcane schools, which provide alternative school powers for elemtal school wizards.

Wielders of Elemental power provides seven blast infusions, talents wild talents, as well as two feats. One allows a kineticist to counter spells with a certain subset of keywords (Generally those that correspond with elemental damage types), and the other provides some mobility while gathering power.

Next up, Elemental Augmentations are a new type of slotless magical item, sort of like an elemental magic prostheses. These are all very interesting, but also quite expensive, and successful or not, Inflicts of constitution damage when integrated (which also requires a fortitude save.

Next up is the Genie Binder Prestige Class. The Genie Binder is a five level, that advances spell-casting three levels out of five. The meat and potatoes of this class are elemental seals, a multi-purpose spell-like ability creating a rune on an object or creature. Each ‘classical’ element has seal, and each seal acts differently when placed on an object, a genie, or a creature other than a genie. Placing a seal costs 1 point from the Genie Binder’s Binding Pool (which contains two times her level, and refreshes daily. It can also be used to give +1d6 on a charisma check or skill against a genie), and the Genie Binder can maintain one seal per day at first level, a second at 3rd level, and a third at 5th. Placing a seal on a genie forces it to save versus charm monster, and if it fails it is affected as long as the seal remains in effect. (Seals remain in effect for 24 hours, and can be refreshed every day by spending a further point from the binding pool). When placed on a non-genie creature, it offers 10 points of energy resistance corresponding with the seal’s element, and a constant spell like ability associated with that element. Finally, when placed on an object, it acts as a blasting Glyph of Warding, dealing damage corresponding with the elemental type. The seals available to the Genie Binder are spaced out across levels, and the more powerful Spell-like abilities are tied to higher level seals. Lastly, a fifth level Genie Binder can raise the DC of their Seals by spending an additional binding point.

The Genie Binder also adds the common types of genie to the list of available summon monster spells. The caveat is that summoning them this way costs points from her binding pool, and the summoned creature cannot cast wish, a perfectly reasonable caveat, preventing Efreeti wishes from [/i]Summon Monster VI. Sadly, the last two features are where things come apart at the seams, a little, and I suspect this archetype may have had some growing pains through development, editing and/or copyfitting. At first level the Genie Binder gains Genie Mastery , at which point the Genie Binder must choose to pursue spellcasting power or bind a genie minion. Choosing spellcasting results her ‘gain[ing] the benefits of her alignment spellcasting class feature at 3rd level, in addition to other indicated levels). Unfortunately the Aligned spellcasting feature is absent from the class entry. Alternatively, the Genie binder may gain a Genie Unchained Eidolon, with an effective summoner level equal to her Genie Binder level plus any other summoner levels they may have, meaning while it’s certainly a possibility to choose for Wizard (for example), a wizard is getting very little from this choice. Overall, I do like this prestige class, though it seems to have suffered some growing pains between writing and publishing.

As mentioned, Elemental master’s handbook also offers the Genie Eidolon subtype. Genie Eidolons are proficient with martial weapons, and as their master increases in level, they can increase their size, gain a movement mode based on their type, gain an array of Spell-like abilities. Overall a decent addition, and the fills a space that was in retrospect waiting to be filled.

Oracles get both a new Mystery and a new Curse: The Elemental Mystery and the Elemental Imbalance Curse. Elemental Imbalance afflicts you with energy vulnerability to one element and bonus spells known based on that elements opposite. Elemental Mystery Oracles gain powers from a variety of different elements, and their bonus spells are suitably broad elemental spells. such as the [i]elemental body line of spells, and they gain a nice mix of familiar and new revelations, with plenty of interesting and useful twists.

Finally, Elemental Alchemy is touch upon. The Energy Scientist is an archetype for the Alchemist which attunes to an element every day, and gains save bonuses against spells with the matching keyword. In addition, his bombs automatically deal that type of damage (discoveries can still alter this on the fly, but the bomb die size is reduced). Lastly, the Energy Scientist is also able to turn dead elementals into alchemical items, although they cannot be sold and become inert after 24 hours.

Development lead for Elemental Master’s Handbook were Amanda Hamon Kunz and Ron Lundeen. John Compton, Eleanor Ferron, Mikko Kallio, Jason Keeley, Isabelle Lee, and Christopher Wasko are credited as authors. The Cover art is by Igor Grechanyi, and the interior art is by Alyssa Davis, Graey Erb, and Kent Hamilton.


Elemental Fun

****( )

I found this book to be a good product, not great, but still solid.


Good stuff

****( )

This book has a lot of options, as most Player Companion books do. Reading through it, I liked most of the options from a flavor and mechanical standpoint. While nothing stood out as 'NEW OP MUST HAVE', I thought a lot of it was fairly good and not totally useless.

As an example, there is an advanced rogue talent that gives DR 2/Adamantium and can be taken multiple times. While not the best rogue talent of all time, it certainly has its uses, especially for enemy NPC rogues.

Overall, this book is a solid entry.


Lot of elemental flavors

**( )( )( )

Good points: Lots of different character options that are elemental flavored for most classes. (Ranger, Rogue, Alchemist, Gunslinger, Bard, Cleric, Summoner, Monk, Wizard/Sorcerer, Oracle and Kineticist. It really feels like this book is a perfect Companion for PFS groups that are just starting Season 8 a year late.

BAD points: I think most people (including myself) expected a lot of options for the Kineticist class - the masters of the elements. It is very regretfully only ~1 page of talents. (7 infusions and 3 utilities, only 1 is universal)

Positive thing for Kineticist is a feat that allows you to move half speed while gathering power.


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Pathfinder Companion, Lost Omens Subscriber

Didn't we already have a genie binder prestige class?

Sovereign Court

2 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion Subscriber
Dragon78 wrote:
Didn't we already have a genie binder prestige class?

Verily. However, since the original one was written long ago for 3.5, I suspect this might be an update.


Pathfinder Companion, Lost Omens Subscriber

Ok, so it was in 3.5, I couldn't remember.

Scarab Sages

Dragon78 wrote:
Ok, so it was in 3.5, I couldn't remember.

Well, not exactly, it was Pathfinder, but perhaps before they'd fully converted to the present rules schema.

Sovereign Court

2 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion Subscriber
I'm Hiding In Your Closet wrote:
Well, not exactly, it was Pathfinder, but perhaps before they'd fully converted to the present rules schema.

'Fraid not. Legacy of Fire was pure 3.5 ruleset, the last of its kind. Council of Thieves was the first Pathfinder AP.

Now, if you're referring to the Pathfinder brand... it was that. But the rules were straight outta WotC.


Yeah Genie Binder was 3.5 designed. So this one will probably hew closer to Pathfinder ruleset.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Another fire bard? I'm not complaining, the blurb does make the flamesinger sound different from the flame dancer, and there's always possibilities of other elemental musicians.

I just had my hopes up for a rain-dancer skald, I guess. Hell, I might even get that in this volume! I just don't know.

Scarab Sages

Lindley Court wrote:

Another fire bard? I'm not complaining, the blurb does make the flamesinger sound different from the flame dancer, and there's always possibilities of other elemental musicians.

I just had my hopes up for a rain-dancer skald, I guess. Hell, I might even get that in this volume! I just don't know.

I was kind of bothered by that - there already is a pyromancer Bard, why would we need another one?

A rain-dancer sounds great (though I don't know why it would specifically be a Skald).

Dark Archive

Chris Lambertz wrote:
Updated with final product image and description :)

You forgot to change the release date under the cover to august 17th. ;-)


Lindley Court wrote:

Another fire bard? I'm not complaining, the blurb does make the flamesinger sound different from the flame dancer, and there's always possibilities of other elemental musicians.

I just had my hopes up for a rain-dancer skald, I guess. Hell, I might even get that in this volume! I just don't know.

Now we just need a "Flame War Orator" 0.O


Pathfinder Companion, Lost Omens Subscriber

I agree, we already have a fire bard, could use air, earth, and water.

Yeah, I wish it was coming out this month:(

Dark Archive

2 people marked this as a favorite.
nighttree wrote:
Lindley Court wrote:

Another fire bard? I'm not complaining, the blurb does make the flamesinger sound different from the flame dancer, and there's always possibilities of other elemental musicians.

I just had my hopes up for a rain-dancer skald, I guess. Hell, I might even get that in this volume! I just don't know.

Now we just need a "Flame War Orator" 0.O

Ah yes, the Flamespeaker Archetype. Which will be published in 'Fire Bards of Golarion,' in 2025, when they've run out of ideas, along with the Volcano Drummer, Fire Flautist, Incendiary Comedian and Cinder Mime Bard Archetypes.

Seriously though, Bards who use Wind instruments (or harps, or singing) to control the wind, or dwarven bards who 'drum the earth' (or stomp on it with Dance, or just cause vibrations with String instruments, or use Terran language Comedy to 'make the earth spirits rumble with laughter...') to start tremors, could be funky.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Companion, Lost Omens Subscriber

I would love a bard archetype that uses wind instruments to create wind effects and/or one that uses drums to create earth effects.


How about a bard who can turn his instraments electric? It is high time for a rock-n-roll metal bard.


Pathfinder Companion, Lost Omens Subscriber

I wonder if we will ever see rules for modern musical instruments. Of course it will not be in this book but it would be cool to see one day.

Dark Archive

STARFINDER: ELECTRIC BOOGALOO.


Pathfinder Companion, Lost Omens Subscriber

I said "modern", not "futuristic";)

Liberty's Edge

Davic The Grey wrote:
Ylania Greenbriar wrote:
I hope there will be goodies for wood elemental specialists
Ultimate Wilderness will be where you're likely to get most of that. Mark Seifter confirmed wood is getting a full reprint in that for kineticists. Should be really nice wood based stuff even aside from that. This companion is looking a lot like it's just for the traditional four elements.

Thanks!

Liberty's Edge

1 person marked this as a favorite.

It would be nice if they produced magical instruments for bards, like the old instruments of the bards in previous D and D editions.


Pathfinder Companion, Lost Omens Subscriber

Maybe this book will have a few elemental themed magical musical instruments;)

I wonder if the aether element will get any love weather as wild talents, feats, magic items, or spells, etc.?


Wow! More excited for this than July's actual issue (Blood of the Sea). That release date does need to be fixed.


Set wrote:
Incendiary Comedian

This actually sounds like a good idea....


Product description is cool and all, but anyone know if there will be any new options for sylph, ifrit, undine, oread or better yet the Suli or the bloodrager class? (Ideally, top of my wish-list is a jann bloodline/archetype for the bloodrager) That's what I'd be interested in seeing from something elemental themed :)


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Companion, Lost Omens Subscriber

Some alternate racial traits for ifit, oread, sylph, and undine related to kineticist would be nice.

Shadow Lodge

Honestly, some racial traits for ifit, oread, sylph, and undine related to anything would be nice.

There are plenty non-kineticist material out there that still needs love, and the new description isn't really leaving me with a warm and fuzzy that this book is going to cover most of it.


Set wrote:


Ah yes, the Flamespeaker Archetype. Which will be published in 'Fire Bards of Golarion,' in 2025, when they've run out of ideas, along with the Volcano Drummer, Fire Flatulist, Incendiary Comedian and Cinder Mime Bard Archetypes.

I thought that the Fire Flatulist was a racial trait for dwarves?


Pathfinder Companion, Lost Omens Subscriber

This is one of the more anticipated books on my list. How about the rest of you guys?


Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber
Poison Dusk wrote:
Set wrote:
Incendiary Comedian
This actually sounds like a good idea....

It would make some of them more entertaining...

Silver Crusade

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Dragon78 wrote:
This is one of the more anticipated books on my list. How about the rest of you guys?

4/10.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Dragon78 wrote:
This is one of the more anticipated books on my list. How about the rest of you guys?

Honestly, prior to seeing the description I was super-psyched about this one. After; I'm far less so. That's not to say that I'm assuming the things mentioned in the description will be boring/low quality, simply that they aren't the kind of things that I get excited about from new material.

But who knows, there might be planetouched stuff and/or unusual things in there too (Barbarian/bloodrager love *fingers crossed*). From what we know at the moment though, its not one i'll be picking up on release... but if I hear from others that it has some interesting things, i'll consider it for my "maybe" list.

Or to put it in the words of Gorbacz:

Gorbacz wrote:
4/10.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Dragon78 wrote:
This is one of the more anticipated books on my list. How about the rest of you guys?

Much as I like kinetecists, it seems like they're getting a ton of love in this companion, which makes me concerned about how much content is left for other classes. Especially since they're putting in a whole prestige class too.

Was hoping for more spells/feats to make a single element build for spellcasters more viable. Guess we'll see.


I love the cover!

Shadow Lodge

Dragon78 wrote:
This is one of the more anticipated books on my list. How about the rest of you guys?

Pretty much as others have said, it was, but with the new description, it really seems there will not be any room for anything I would actually want to see get material. Elemental Spells, Archetypes for Cleric, Wizards, Sorcerers, Bloodragers, and Warpriests around a single core element, and the like.

Nothing in the updated description appeals to me, so 2-3/10.

Worse, it really seems that so many of the specifically named options I already have, and I'd rather see something new rather than possibly another poorly handled attempt at reprinting.

Likely going to pass on this one now.


Pathfinder Companion, Lost Omens Subscriber

I love the kineticist but hate every archetype ever made for it;) So I am not interested in that but I am really excited in the new wild talents and feats.

Maybe one day we will get a hardcover element themed book like ultimate elements, elemental adventures, etc.


Pathfinder Companion, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

I'm not too interested in prestige classes, but the earthshadow sounds intriguing, as does the windstep master. And, of course, kineticists are certainly in dire need of more material, so that's certainly something to look forward to from my point of view. Beyond that, we'll just have to see what else is inside.

Shadow Lodge

At this point, I'd honestly just rather them come out with a Player's Guide: Kineticist, PG: Fighter, PG: Rogue, ESPECIALLY PG: Monk, (fixed, the definitive edition), etc. . . all around.

I'd find it more preferable to all of these other books one would think would be very pertinent to a few classes and them getting nothing or little.

A lot of classes have needed love, (as far as mastering the Elements), long before the Kineticist existed, which seems like a big waste to me. YMMV.


Pathfinder Companion, Lost Omens Subscriber

Personally any elemental themed archetype for classes that usually do not have element themed options is always interesting.


Pathfinder Companion, Lost Omens Subscriber

It is nice to see wood and void get some love for kineticist but I wonder if any other classes will get wood and void themed stuff. Also if void gets focus and that is related to the negative energy plane, any chance the positive energy plane will get a little love as well.

I hope the genie-kin races will get some love.

I really hope that all the non-spell casting and non-element based caster classes will get something in this one.


Dragon78 wrote:
I love the kineticist but hate every archetype ever made for it ;)

N. Jolly's Kineticists of Porphyra has some amazing archetypes. Just saying.

Dark Archive

Dragon78 wrote:
Personally any elemental themed archetype for classes that usually do not have element themed options is always interesting.

I'm greedy, I want more *and* better.

More options for classes that don't already get them (not a ton of elemental themed rogue/ninja/slayer Talents, or elemental Rage Powers for barbarians, for instance), but also better options to make clerics or druids with the Air, Earth, Fire and Water domains, or Elemental Bloodline sorcerers, or Elemental School wizards better able to represent their themes, or an elemental-themed druid to replace their animal companion with a small (initially...) elemental, as well as alchemist Discoveries that modify bombs to generate air, earth or water based effects, or mutagens to grant an elemental template or appropriate elemental abilities.

All good to me. I love more options.

Shadow Lodge

There is a Druid archetype for that! It's about the only reason I'd used the (severely chained)Unchained Eidolons.


Pathfinder Companion, Lost Omens Subscriber

Actually I want elemental themed rogue talents, ninja tricks, rage powers, slayer talents, alchemist discoveries, witch hexes, etc.

element themed/infused animal companion options would be nice.

Silver Crusade

2 people marked this as a favorite.
Azten wrote:
Dragon78 wrote:
I love the kineticist but hate every archetype ever made for it ;)
N. Jolly's Kineticists of Porphyra has some amazing archetypes. Just saying.

Mine are pretty hype, but I like kinetic knight myself from 1p. I'll be watching this book closely, see if it has any fun kineticist tricks.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Companion, Lost Omens Subscriber

I just don't like archetypes for kineticist, every time I see one my first thought is "wow I wish that space was used for more kineticist wild talents and/or feats".


N. Jolly wrote:
Azten wrote:
Dragon78 wrote:
I love the kineticist but hate every archetype ever made for it ;)
N. Jolly's Kineticists of Porphyra has some amazing archetypes. Just saying.
Mine are pretty hype, but I like kinetic knight myself from 1p. I'll be watching this book closely, see if it has any fun kineticist tricks.

I dislike archetypes who take away ranged blasts outright even more than the others.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
DM Beckett wrote:

Sure. I'd originally brought this up back on page one, but the way I figure it, the more it's talked about the more likely it is to happen. If not here, then somewhere else.

You would think that, but sorry to burst the hope bubble, when it comes to cleric options and especially archetypes..... I do not recommend that anyone holds their breath!! Paizo are not known for their cleric love!

Elemental clerics would have been great.....eg) a proper Fire Priestess a la GOT ;)


Dragon78 wrote:
I just don't like archetypes for kineticist, every time I see one my first thought is "wow I wish that space was used for more kineticist wild talents and/or feats".

Im a bit behind on Kineticists..... just about every book I see the masses are crying out for options!!

Are they considered bland these days?

Liberty's Edge

I just made a water kinestistic. I hope that there are good things for him in this book.


Pathfinder Companion, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
doc roc wrote:
Dragon78 wrote:
I just don't like archetypes for kineticist, every time I see one my first thought is "wow I wish that space was used for more kineticist wild talents and/or feats".

Im a bit behind on Kineticists..... just about every book I see the masses are crying out for options!!

Are they considered bland these days?

Not so much bland as having very few options available. As if there was a class that only had two or three spells per spell level available.

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Companion, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
Luthorne wrote:
doc roc wrote:
Dragon78 wrote:
I just don't like archetypes for kineticist, every time I see one my first thought is "wow I wish that space was used for more kineticist wild talents and/or feats".

Im a bit behind on Kineticists..... just about every book I see the masses are crying out for options!!

Are they considered bland these days?

Not so much bland as having very few options available. As if there was a class that only had two or three spells per spell level available.

Can't they use those spells all day long though?

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