Elementalists - Where is the love?


Advanced Player's Guide Playtest General Discussion


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When the APG comes out, the following classes will focus upon a single element when it comes to spellcasting:

- Clerics and Druids with elemental domains
- Oracles (4/6 Foci deal with elements)
- Sorcerers with the elemental bloodline

I'm personally a huge fan of playing characters that focus on a single element as I think it's very stylish and I'm a sucker for stylish characters. However, focusing your spellcasting on a single element has its flaws, namely resistances and immunities, but this is something you should expect when choosing such a specialized class concept.

What I'd like to see is something to beef up the elemental spellcasting of these characters to compensate for the resistances and immunities. The easiest way to do so would be to put in a few feats but how they should be implemented is another story. I have a couple of ideas listed below, but I would love to hear opinions or ideas from you guys on the matter. Blasting for live!

Elemental Focus

Choose one type of element: acid, electric, fire or ice. You add +1 to the Difficulty Class for all saving throws against spells with the subtype of your chosen element.

Special: You can gain this feat multiple times. Its effects do not stack. Each time you take the feat, it applies to a new element.

Greater Elemental Focus

Choose one type of element: acid, electric, fire or ice. Add +1 per each die of damage you deal with a spell from the subtype of this element.

Prerequisites: Elemental Focus in the selected element.

Special: You can gain this feat multiple times. Its effects do not stack. Each time you take the feat, it applies to a new element.


While I'm at it, I might as well add this one in:

Channel Elemental Blast

Choose one elemental subtype, such as air, earth, fire, or water. You can channel your divine energy to create an elemental blast with the selected elemental subtype (air - electric damage, earth - acid damage, fire - fire damage, water - ice damage). If you choose to channel your energy in this way, the amount of damage is equal to the normal damage dealt (or amount healed) and the DC to halve the damage is otherwise unchanged, but it is solved by a reflex save instead of a will save.

Prerequisites: Channel energy class feature, Elemental Channeling with the selected element.

Special: You can gain this feat multiple times. Its effects do not stack. Each time you take this feat, it applies to a new elemental subtype.

Lantern Lodge

Was there an explanation somewhere as to why the elemental damages are as they are? earth/water = acid/ice 0o?


Me'mori wrote:
Was there an explanation somewhere as to why the elemental damages are as they are? earth/water = acid/ice 0o?

Well, the water one is pretty obvious.

I guess earth is acid's representative as an element because acid fits earth better than any other damage type. Other than bludgeoning, of course!

Liberty's Edge RPG Superstar 2008 Top 32, 2011 Top 16

We know that there will be alternate class features in APG, so I'm expecting that there could be some new wizard schools of magic, and if I were to bet, I'd pick Elemental schools as a likely candidate.


JoelF847 wrote:
We know that there will be alternate class features in APG, so I'm expecting that there could be some new wizard schools of magic, and if I were to bet, I'd pick Elemental schools as a likely candidate.

There's an Elemental Wizard class option in 4 Winds Fantasy Gaming's "Paths of Power", which is out now.

Grand Lodge

There was a feat I liked, somewhere (too damn many books to remember where) that allowed the caster to substitute damage types, so for example, a Magic Missile could use Acid instead of Force, and Fireball could be Acid Ball instead. I thought it was a great feat.

I modified a sorcerer to start with this feat and made him an elementalist. Was a cool character but never got to play him.


OK here's the thing to me, when you talk about "elementalist" you almost exclusively are talking about blasters or direct damage builds for casters. These spells typically have a Reflex save for half and have a dice cap on damage. Ignoring for the moment the problem of elemental resistance/immunity, the other concern is that the saves of creatures as well as their HP total tend to outscale your save DC/DPR output. AoE spells are one niche that still end up being useful, but are very situational.

The better solution for a feat in my mind is one that would let spells of an element do 75% damage on a save instead of half.


Yar!

I'm currently playing an elamentalist (sorcerer,elemental bloodline, earth) that is not a blaster. In fact, he's the opposite. He's a controler, terrain manipulator, special effects specialist, party buffer, and heavy hitter. His melee attacks and damage is comparable (and often times better) than our front line fighter. Increadibly effective too (no one suspect the half naked guy who stares blankly into space walking behind the tin can), despite limiting myself to only stone/earth powers, ignoring the "acid" part completely (it just didn't fit with my concept). Transmutation focus with the occational conjuration (grease) can be quite the combination, and there is no doubt that he's an "elementalist"... just one played in a different way than the norm.

(of course, now that the oracle is out, I'm thinking, MAN, that is so close to what I am, stone foci, blind (yes, my guy has vision problems too)... although I'm dealing with the lower BAB progressiong with sorcerer, I'm liking my spell selection better ATM.

Just thought I'd throw that out there. Elementalist doesn't have to be energy-spacific evocer flinger type.

^_^


Pirate wrote:
Just thought I'd throw that out there. Elementalist doesn't have to be energy-spacific evocer flinger type.

HERETIC!

Ahem. Sorry about that. I guess I was a little when specifying elementalists and they can work out a lot better if they don't focus on pure blasting, but that doesn't change the fact that blasting is still an issue for them. And if you fling nothing but fire spells all day, shouldn't you at least be a bit better at it than the guy that flings fire, acid, ice and electric spells equally?


I agree it is something missing from 3.x/D&D/Pathfinder. I guess that is mostly down to how magic is divided up. I'm sure you're not the only one who'd jump at something like this. In our games, we've found the sorcerer a lot easier to "elementally theme" than the wizard, but about 95% of that is down to a more limited spell selection!

Bring on the elementalists!

Peace,

tfad


Although the idea of an elementalist caster appeals to me, I'm afraid I've always distasted the narrow presentation of the concept that has plagued AD&D, D&D and now Pathfinder; why must I must we choose only one element for our characters? If I were to play an elementalist I'd want to portray a master of the elements; someone who can raise walls of stone or create sinkholes to ward off attackers, who could send waves crashing down upon enemy ships and drown swimmers, who can hurl bolts of fire and conjure clouds of ash to beleaguer enemies, someone who can summon the winds to fly through the air or pass by unseen.

In my mind, the single element caster idea only works if you've got a party of four casters, one for each element, working in tandem. The concept of the four elements only has meaning when they're all present and juxtaposed against each other. Oddly perhaps, psionics has succeeded in sidestepping the traditional presentation more effectively; giving its casters the ability to choose amongst different energy types with each manifestation. Likewise, the Ardent class offers up a possible "elements" mantle that incorporates all four elements into one focus. So, kudos for psionics. I'd like to see more of the same for a true "elementalist" class. Down with single-element game mechanics!

Sovereign Court

Back in 2nd ed, I remade the entire wizard list along the themes of the 4 elements for a home brewed game, but each element wasn't just element control directly. Fire included passion and rage, so they got the charm spells and Emotion, water included change, so they got the polymorphs, earth was unyielding, so they got the Hold Person/Monster spells, etc etc.

RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

I was hoping the alchemist was going to fill the elementalist role. Alchemy traditionally deals with the classical elements (air, earth, fire, and water), and mixing multiple elements could lead to additional substances.
Air + Fire = Electricity
Air + Earth = Force (hard air)
Air + Water = Sonic
Earth + Fire = Base Metals (copper, tin, iron, lead, quicksilver etc.)
Earth + Water = Cold
Fire + Water = Acid

Air + Earth + Fire = Exalted Metals (gold, silver, mithril, adamantine)
Air + Earth + Water = Wood
Air + Fire + Water = Healing? Medicine? Poison? Positive Energy? (Lack of the grave's earth)
Earth + Fire + Water = Death? Negative Energy? (Lack of air/breath)

Air + Earth + Fire + Water = Living Creatures


You guys are flashing me back to 1991, Tome of Magic. When you mentioned the classical elements, it occurred to me that other cultures do business slightly differently. For example, the idea of 5 elements (wood, water, fire, metal/gold, earth) pervades Chinese culture. You can see it in martial arts, cooking, and medicine, just to name a few. I wonder if anyone has ever made a class like that, elementalist with an Eastern flavor.


jocundthejolly wrote:
I wonder if anyone has ever made a class like that, elementalist with an Eastern flavor.

Check out the Wu Jen base class from Complete Arcane.


Ambrus wrote:
In my mind, the single element caster idea only works if you've got a party of four casters, one for each element, working in tandem.

....And they can all wear different colored outfits, shout in unison, and call upon a giant-robot! You, Sir, are a genius! Runs off to write a sentai-themed D&D adventure.

;p

Peace,

tfad


SmiloDan wrote:

I was hoping the alchemist was going to fill the elementalist role. Alchemy traditionally deals with the classical elements (air, earth, fire, and water), and mixing multiple elements could lead to additional substances.

We have elementalist wizard options in our recent release, "Paths of Power" available right here on Paizo.

Just sayin'. :-)

Connie Thomson
4 Winds Fantasy Gaming


tallforadwarf wrote:
....And they can all wear different colored outfits, shout in unison, and call upon a giant-robot! You, Sir, are a genius![/ooc]

By your powers combined... :P


So has anyone in this thread checked out the Elementalist Wizard presented in Paths of Power and found it lacking? Not fitting what they wanted?

Essentially you are playing a standard PFRPG Wizard, except that your choice of school is an Element - Fire, Air, Water, Earth - instead of Abjuration, Evocation, etc.

We organized the spells by Element, calculated school benefits, and so on. The flavor is that you're playing a more primal wizard, one less focused on technique and classification of a spell, and instead focused on the elemental nature of their magic. To them, summoning a Fire Elemental and casting a Fireball are both part of Fire, regardless that one is conjuration and the other is evocation.

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