Elemental Body Spell


Rules Questions


I was just wondering if a Wizard/Sorcerer using this spell can still cast spells while in the Elemental Body? It doesn't say whether you can or not in the spell description.

In my opinion if they cannot cast then this spell is set at too high a level since the forms you can take are too weak for the challenge rating that they would be facing. If they can, then the spell level is appropriate.

The Exchange

You can cast a spell because the form can talk and gesture, but if it has material components then no (unless you have eschew materials). It's all explained in the Polymorph section under Transmutation in the magic section.

I did this with my 7th level Transmuter and it actually worked rather well (Small Air elemental launching Magic Missles, Hold Person spells, and other such helpful stuff while flying, and the size, dex, and natural armor bonuses helped too). Earth Elemental form is actually my favorite because it has the best natural armor, and if you're in a land-based battle it allows you to go underground for complete protection from most attacks.


No they can't unless it's verbal only. Water, air and fire elementals do not have hands, only whirling elemental stuff. Earth elemental might have rough appendices, but far too rough to be able to make intricated spell casting. You need humanoid dexterity for the somatic components.

Material + Verbal might be possible if you can somehow redon your spell component pouch. This is usually only possible on an earth elemental.

So I disagree with the previous poster.


Pathfinder Maps, Pawns Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber
Funkytrip wrote:

No they can't unless it's verbal only. Water, air and fire elementals do not have hands, only whirling elemental stuff. Earth elemental might have rough appendices, but far too rough to be able to make intricated spell casting. You need humanoid dexterity for the somatic components.

Material + Verbal might be possible if you can somehow redon your spell component pouch. This is usually only possible on an earth elemental.

So I disagree with the previous poster.

I agree with Hunterofthedusk.

If you take the form of a humanoid-shaped elemental, then there isn't a problem at all. There is absolutely nothing in the rules supporting the notion that an elemental's appendices are "too rough to be able to make intricate spellcasting." Dragons have big claws rather than true hands and they can cast spells just fine. If something that vaguely "hand-like" passes the somatic component test, then the elemental appendices sure do as well.

Verbal components aren't a problem either since all elementals can talk (they rarely have anything to say, but they do retain the capability).

The only component that becomes problematic are material components, since they are absorbed into the body. Fixing that, however, is as simple as removing your spell component pouch before transforming, or picking up the eschew materials feat.


Funkytrip wrote:
No they can't unless it's verbal only. Water, air and fire elementals do not have hands, only whirling elemental stuff. Earth elemental might have rough appendices, but far too rough to be able to make intricated spell casting. You need humanoid dexterity for the somatic components.

Unless you are a dragon.


I'm in a campaign playing an Evoker and just made 9th level. I learned Elemental Body II. I have read the Polymorph text and understand the intent (I believe) of the spell components language. But why couldn't I put some spell components in a sack (or whatever) on the ground, cast the spell (say....Air Elemental) and then pick them up after casting the spell and then cast spells (using those components)? My DM is taking the wording literally and, so far, not permitting any work-arounds. Is this violating the spirit of the spell or doing a game unbalance thing? I offered to have him charge me an extra round of prep time to pick out a couple spell components and also offered to have him limit the number I could do this with (since, presumably, my wizard robes and all of the pouches for convenient spell component use would be more awkward when I'm not wearing that robe in elemental form).

I'm not trying to break the system, but rather, just have some fun with my wizard in situations where I can fly around as an elemental :)

Thoughts?

Jeff

Scarab Sages

Cartigan wrote:
Funkytrip wrote:
No they can't unless it's verbal only. Water, air and fire elementals do not have hands, only whirling elemental stuff. Earth elemental might have rough appendices, but far too rough to be able to make intricated spell casting. You need humanoid dexterity for the somatic components.
Unless you are a dragon.
Polymorph rules
Quote:
When you cast a polymorph spell that changes you into a creature of the animal, dragon, elemental, magical beast, plant, or vermin type, all of your gear melds into your body. Items that provide constant bonuses and do not need to be activated continue to function while melded in this way (with the exception of armor and shield bonuses, which cease to function). Items that require activation cannot be used while you maintain that form. While in such a form, you cannot cast any spells that require material components (unless you have the Eschew Materials or Natural Spell feat), and can only cast spells with somatic or verbal components if the form you choose has the capability to make such movements or speak, such as a dragon.

Dragon is used as an example of the emphasized rule. It is not an exception permiting dragons to cast when other forms cannot.

Checking rules on elementals, we find each elemental has wide latitude in defining its own form. The range of forms available explicitly includes humanoid.

Quote:
Although all air elementals of a similar size have identical statistics, the exact appearance of an air elemental can vary wildly between individuals
Quote:
This hulking, roughly humanoid creature of dirt and stone
Quote:
Fire elementals vary in appearance—they usually manifest as coiling serpentine forms made of smoke and flame, but some fire elementals take on shapes more akin to humans, demons, or other monsters in order to increase the terror of their sudden appearance.
Quote:
As with other elementals, all water elementals have their own unique shapes and appearances. Most appear as wave-like creatures with vaguely humanoid faces and smaller wave “arms” to either side.


I've read a lot of posts - most agree (as did one of the designers) that elementals can cast somatic. My question was therefore about the third requirement - material components...which many (although not all) evocation spells require.

Scarab Sages

The rules I quoted answer that question as well.

No spells with material components unless you have eschew materials.


The rules don't say anything about setting material components down, polymorphing, and then picking them up after you change though....


thats correct the rules don't say anything about setting down your pouch and then using it but...since your GM is the arbiter of what is and is not allowed in his/her world...he/she interprets the rules as he/she sees fits...if you can talk your GM into your idea and he/she allows it then there ya go...but with alot of characters they try to say "show me where it says I CAN'T do that"...my GM switches that around to say "show me where in the rules it says you CAN and I'll run with it" lol

Scarab Sages

Drakkiel wrote:
thats correct the rules don't say anything about setting down your pouch and then using it but...since your GM is the arbiter of what is and is not allowed in his/her world...he/she interprets the rules as he/she sees fits...if you can talk your GM into your idea and he/she allows it then there ya go...but with alot of characters they try to say "show me where it says I CAN'T do that"...my GM switches that around to say "show me where in the rules it says you CAN and I'll run with it" lol

I fully agree.

Rules debates on the forums tend to go with strict RAW, however, so that is what I tend to stick with during discussions.


also people tend to want to reinterpret the rules to make their characters almighty powerful...the game is meant to be fun...if your idea of fun is showing up with your group and saying "WE KILL EVERYTHING IN ONE ROUND...MUWHAHAHAHAH!!!" and your GM wants to roll with that its his choice...prolly not so much fun for everyone that way...but I for one loved being challenged and that comes with not being OP'd out the a$$ lol.


Drakkiel wrote:
also people tend to want to reinterpret the rules to make their characters almighty powerful...the game is meant to be fun...if your idea of fun is showing up with your group and saying "WE KILL EVERYTHING IN ONE ROUND...MUWHAHAHAHAH!!!" and your GM wants to roll with that its his choice...prolly not so much fun for everyone that way...but I for one loved being challenged and that comes with not being OP'd out the a$$ lol.

Indeed! But a level 8+ Sorcerer with the Elemental bloodline casting spells while Elemental Body is in effect... I don't see that as OP. I just see it as thematic and cool, while giving some nice options (and losing out on some equipment as a trade-off).

These are nice spells to cast if facing a grappling monster, for example. Hard to grapple a whirlwind.


Artanthos wrote:

Dragon is used as an example of the emphasized rule. It is not an exception permiting dragons to cast when other forms cannot.

Checking rules on elementals, we find each elemental has wide latitude in defining its own form. The range of forms available explicitly includes humanoid.

Quote:
Although all air elementals of a similar size have identical statistics, the exact appearance of an air elemental can vary wildly between individuals
Quote:
This hulking, roughly humanoid creature of dirt and stone
Quote:
Fire elementals vary in appearance—they usually manifest as coiling serpentine forms made of smoke and flame, but some fire elementals take on shapes more akin to humans, demons, or other monsters in order to increase the terror of their sudden appearance.
Quote:
As with
...

There is also somethign relevant from the elemental subtype:

elemental subtype wrote:
Proficient with natural weapons only, unless generally humanoid in form, in which case proficient with all simple weapons and any weapons mentioned in its entry.

While polymorph spells do not grant subtype abilities... the ability to use weapons is a rather strong indicator of hands (which you do get from polymorphs).

Ergo- yeah, you can probably do somatic spells.

Actually, I think that the base druid could likely play a poor man's goliath druid with this- you could turn into an earth elemental (best melee stats) and then just buy weapons and armor sized for that form. Just transform in the morning, put on your stuff like everyone else (including the component stuff) and you are good to go. Obviously slower/more troublesome than goliath (which auto resizes your stuff), but it still has its advantages- earth elementals do have earthglide after all. Maybe a nice cave domain to grab tremor sense as well?

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Companion, Maps Subscriber

If you are going to plan to play this at a table discuss it with your GM first so you know ahead of time how it will work. I would expect table variation with this.

I have asked this question a number of times and the answer has been no. Keep in mind that this applies to a number of characters, Druids without Natural Spell, Oracles that assume elemental form (like Fire Oracle).


Oh, man! I set my alarm for 4 years, and I still have a few weeks left. Where is that snooze button?


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

The sole problem that this spell presents is that the elemental form absorbs the caster's spell component pouch, rendering it inaccessible for the material components of most spells. I know of three ways around that problem:

1) The Eschew Materials feat. This is the ideal solution for Sorcerers, who get this feat for free. Other casters must decide whether this ability is worth spending a feat slot on.

2) A Polymorphic Pouch is a magic item whose contents do not merge with your new form when you polymorph. This item costs 5000 GP.

3) Finally, you can drop your spell component pouch, cast the polymorph spell, and then pick up the pouch. The problem with this approach is that it uses up actions when you are likely to be in combat an thus do not want to be wasting actions this way.

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