Can water elementals cast spells? A wave oracle conundrum


Rules Questions


Reason I am asking is I just checked the oracle's wave mystery and found it pretty cool. One of the revleation is called Wave Form and allows you to shapeshift into a water elemental.

Now elementals can speak so verbal components are covered, oracles don't need to use a divine focus and escrew materials allows you to ignore cheap materials. Question is can the water elemental use somatic components? I could see it happen if it assumed a human-like form with digits, but I am not sure.

Any opinions?


The natural spell feat lets a druid cast while using wild shape into elemental form. I would imagine something similar would be needed.


niel wrote:
The natural spell feat lets a druid cast while using wild shape into elemental form. I would imagine something similar would be needed.

The druids need natural spell mainly for beast shapes (and tree) shapes but it also helps them with the elementals thing, because the thing there is no RAW answer to that, so i would say ask your DM.


Note that polymorphing into elemental melds your equipment with your body - either Natural Spell or Eshew Materials feats are required to cast spells with material components.

link


Drejk wrote:

Note that polymorphing into elemental melds your equipment with your body - either Natural Spell or Eshew Materials feats are required to cast spells with material components.

link

I see no reason why an elemental form could not have hands and fingers, etc. to perform Somatic components.


I think I'd just require natural spell to cast in elemental shape, doesnt really matter if you are a druid it is similar enough and more limited than a druid's wild shape.


Kalyth wrote:
I see no reason why an elemental form could not have hands and fingers, etc. to perform Somatic components.

Yes - that part is covered in "GM decides if the form assumed is capable of completing Verbal and Somatic components". And reading description of elemental creatures we find that elementals come in various shapes making it sensible to assume that element-composed humanoid is possible.

So the only real problem is being cut off of your components. On the other hand, at least in case of earth elemental (and possibly air/water) one should be able to drop component pouch before polymorphing and pick it up thereafter to avoid it melding with new form. Fire elementals would have hard time doing so, I think.


Drejk wrote:

Note that polymorphing into elemental melds your equipment with your body - either Natural Spell or Eshew Materials feats are required to cast spells with material components.

link

Bad drejk did not read my post with extreme carefullness.

Thanks for answering anyway though (and this goes to everyone by the way).

So a dm can easily rule it either way.

Doesn't natural spell need wildshape?


John John wrote:
Bad drejk did not read my post with extreme carefullness.

Now, when you say this... I actually missed the part when you already mention the Eshew Materials. Still, the link lead to generic polymorph rules that included both the (redundant) material components part and somatic components part (i.e. GMs call depending upon form taken).

Quote:
Doesn't natural spell need wildshape?

Yes it does. And Wis 13+.


personally I would not make natural spell a requirement for casting in elemental form... I would reserve the need for that feat for cases where the caster is in some form that normally can't speak (plant or animal) and or doesn't have hands or the possibility of having reasonably hand-like appendages (again plant, animal, some magical beasts, etc).


In PF, elementals are formless creatures with the same immunities to precision damage as oozes. I would rule that a caster shifted into an elemental would not have the fine digits and control needed for somatic components.


AvalonXQ wrote:
In PF, elementals are formless creatures

this is not true... rather than being 'formless' the bestiary states that they come in many forms (all of the say that appearances can vary, but they have identical statistics), I find it hard to believe that with the plethora of possible forms out there that one with fingers is out of the question (plus a GM who made such a ruling would have a hell of a time explaining how an earth elemental cleric that he or she might want to include in an adventure can cast spells but the oracle can't).


Elemental subtype description notes that those who are humanoid in shape are proficient with simnple weapons - which means elementals can be humanoid and have enough manual dexterity to handle crossbows. I think that it is enough to cast spells with somatic components.
So the whole point is to specificially state that you take form of humanoid-shaped elemental to be able to cast spells.


Personally I think that if you have articulated limbs, then you have a defined anatomy and are not immune to crits / sneak attacks. So those "humanoid in shape" elementals would not have crit immunity in my game.


Drejk wrote:

Elemental subtype description notes that those who are humanoid in shape are proficient with simnple weapons - which means elementals can be humanoid and have enough manual dexterity to handle crossbows. I think that it is enough to cast spells with somatic components.

So the whole point is to specificially state that you take form of humanoid-shaped elemental to be able to cast spells.

I'm not sure about the answer to the opening question, but I believe the elemental subtype thing about "generally humanoid in form" is referring to creatures that always (or at least usually) have a humanoid shape (most of the time), like a gargoyle. A gargoyle has the earth subtype, and it is humanoid in shape at all times. Or a magma mephit that can turn into a pool of lava for a short time, but it is usually in a humanoid-ish form.

I don't think this would be referring to an earth elemental who likes to take humanoid shape as being more proficient with simple weapons than an earth elemental who likes to take dog shape. Cos that just seems silly since both should be able to take the same forms. If anything, even if elementals can take on humanoid form (and their descriptions do mention this), I would think that they are NOT usually in humanoid form, and as a result, I could see how they might not be so good at somatic components that probably require fine movement. So yeah, maybe this my answer.

But the DM is welcome to tweak things as needed, and if there needs to be a cleric elemental, maybe it has spent years in humanoid form to fine tune somatic components... or it can only cast spells without somatic components? Whatever works for the DM.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

General answer is .... you're not going to be spellcasting in elemental form. It's not built for the somatic nor verbal components and you've got an issue with your material components and divine focus if any. (Fire elementals especially) You take elemental form for it's combat advantages, not for spellcasting.


LazarX wrote:
General answer is .... you're not going to be spellcasting in elemental form. It's not built for the somatic nor verbal components and you've got an issue with your material components and divine focus if any. (Fire elementals especially) You take elemental form for it's combat advantages, not for spellcasting.

Actually only somatic components may be an issue:

Escrew materials takes care of material components.
Elementals can talk so that takes care of verbal components.
And oracles don't use a divine focus.


AvalonXQ wrote:
In PF, elementals are formless creatures with the same immunities to precision damage as oozes. I would rule that a caster shifted into an elemental would not have the fine digits and control needed for somatic components.

Of course how "fine" are somatic components? Who knows; it's a generic thing that is never given description to anywhere.

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