Elementals and weapons / armor


Rules Questions


Currently playing, and LOVING, a Paladin/Stonelord and just got to level 5 (so I got my Earth Elemental pet). Never had a pet like this before, so I was curious as to whether or not they could use weapons and/or wear armor.

Any info and sources are greatly appreciated!

Thanks!


Elemental 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.

•Proficient with whatever type of armor (light, medium, or heavy) it is described as wearing, as well as all lighter types. Elementals not indicated as wearing armor are not proficient with armor. Elementals are proficient with shields if they are proficient with any form of armor.

Don't see why not.

Sczarni

Starfinder Charter Superscriber

I'm betting you it'll be covered in Blood of the Elements.

As it stands right now Elementals and Plants have no defined item slots with which to wear armor, though you can of course create your own houserules.

Wielding weapons seems doable, so long as the Elemental is "generally humanoid in form".


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There have been a multitude of threads on this or similar topics with arguments in both directions. But sadly, despite many FAQ requests, no official answer.

A big problem is the need for a generally humanoid form to be able to use weapons vs the earth elemental's description of being roughly humanoid. Is roughly humanoid enough to apply the generally humanoid clause? RAW is silent on this.

Ask your GM about it. As is the stone servant is much too weak to be of real use. It starts out with something around 13hp if I remember right. Not nearly enough to survive any combat at 5th (let alone 7th) level.

Sczarni

Starfinder Charter Superscriber
Umbranus wrote:
As is the stone servant is much too weak to be of real use. It starts out with something around 13hp if I remember right. Not nearly enough to survive any combat at 5th (let alone 7th) level.

To mitigate that you could have your Servant attack from directly underneath its target. The Servant would benefit from Total Cover while attacking, but would also suffer a 50% miss chance.


How much good will it do with that? Low to hit, low damage, if you add 50% miss chance it is hardly worth rolling at all.

Sczarni

Starfinder Charter Superscriber

Nobody said it was optimal.

A small earth elemental using such tactics while Power Attacking hits at +6 and does 1d6+8. But it's AC is 25. Meanwhile the Stonelord is probably bashing face and taking more aggro.

It's a more survivable option for the small elemental until it gets larger, and it adds a bit of damage in the interim.

The real benefit of the Servant is its ability to scout ahead, though.


It hits at +6 without power-attacking for 1d6+4. Having a BAB of +2 it would hit at +5 for 1d6+6 when power-attacking. That is, I guess, before adding earth mastery. But even with that added your numbers seem off.

But what I was trying to express was: The stone servant is that weak when compared to the bonded mount that they (paizo) could at least give us an answer to the question about weapons and armor.

Sczarni

Starfinder Charter Superscriber

Its regular attack is a single slam at +6 for 1d6+4.

Power Attack changes this to +5 (1d6+7)

Earth Mastery changes this to +6 (1d6+8)

Oh, it's totally not up to par with a regular Bonded Mount, but it doesn't have to be. It's just different.


Nefreet wrote:

Its regular attack is a single slam at +6 for 1d6+4.

Power Attack changes this to +5 (1d6+7)

Earth Mastery changes this to +6 (1d6+8)

Oh, it's totally not up to par with a regular Bonded Mount, but it doesn't have to be. It's just different.

I forgot that PA treats primary natural weapons that deal 1-1/2 str damage like two-handed weapons.


Nefreet wrote:

Its regular attack is a single slam at +6 for 1d6+4.

Power Attack changes this to +5 (1d6+7)

Earth Mastery changes this to +6 (1d6+8)

Oh, it's totally not up to par with a regular Bonded Mount, but it doesn't have to be. It's just different.

So, to make sure I am understanding, I can just have my Earth Elemental go underground to power attack people and it would be +6 (1d6+8) with a 50% chance for enemies attacks to miss it as long as it remains underground?

Sorry if that is a silly question, I just haven't done much with concealment/cover before.


ingenuus wrote:
Nefreet wrote:

Its regular attack is a single slam at +6 for 1d6+4.

Power Attack changes this to +5 (1d6+7)

Earth Mastery changes this to +6 (1d6+8)

Oh, it's totally not up to par with a regular Bonded Mount, but it doesn't have to be. It's just different.

So, to make sure I am understanding, I can just have my Earth Elemental go underground to power attack people and it would be +6 (1d6+8) with a 50% chance for enemies attacks to miss it as long as it remains underground?

Sorry if that is a silly question, I just haven't done much with concealment/cover before.

I am a bit curious about that too. How does fighting against a creature with earthglide work exactly? I mean, it can move through the ground like it was water, so would underwater rules apply, or is there some specific burrowing rules?


The most rational way I've seen it run is the same way one runs an incorporeal creature attacking from within a solid object. If it attacks from the wall without leaving its square, the only way to hit it is by readying an action to do so as it attacks. Even then, it has cover. On the flip side, a creature totally submersed while earth gliding is basically blind unless it has a separate sense for such situations.

Sczarni

Starfinder Charter Superscriber

The elemental has total cover, just like an incorporeal creature within a wall, granting it a +8 bonus to AC. Likewise, since tremorsense can only pinpoint your opponent's square, the elemental is effectively fighting blind, suffering a 50% miss chance.

Those are the most sensical rules I've seen, at least. Perhaps others run it differently.

And of course this only works in situations where the elemental has a ground with which to earthglide through, and its opponent is standing on said ground. That won't be happening all the time.


Improved cover is +8 to AC. Total cover is just that, total; you cannot attack a target with total cover.


blahpers wrote:
Improved cover is +8 to AC. Total cover is just that, total; you cannot attack a target with total cover.

So would the elemental have improved or total cover then?


I think total cover most of the time which is reduced to improved during its own attack. On the other hand the idea of attacking it while it attacks via readied action contradicts the rules that you can't attack a creature with reach while it attacks you.

Sczarni

Starfinder Charter Superscriber

It's not attacking from reach. It's small-sized.

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Umbranus wrote:
I think total cover most of the time which is reduced to improved during its own attack. On the other hand the idea of attacking it while it attacks via readied action contradicts the rules that you can't attack a creature with reach while it attacks you.

+1 but it doesn't have reach so your comment about reach isn't relevant.

Sczarni

Starfinder Charter Superscriber

But I guess that would make a huge-sized earth elemental that stayed 15 feet underground super scary.

Scarab Sages

Also don't forget that as it has the Celestial Template, so it can smite if needed too.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Companion Subscriber

Can this elemental buddy gain feats?

I am not familiar with the archetype.

If so, then give that guy Lunge.

Sczarni

Starfinder Charter Superscriber

It's a direct copy from the Bestiary statblock (plus the Celestial template), if I recall correctly.

It doesn't advance like an Animal Companion, but it becomes large at some point and eventually huge.


Imbicatus wrote:
Also don't forget that as it has the Celestial Template, so it can smite if needed too.

For the smite, how do you figure out the damage bonus since it neither has a level (like a paladin would use) or HD per say like an NPC would have?


Anyone have a source for all the attacking from cover stuff mentioned here? I want to be able to show my DM all this stuff when I bring it up with him.


ingenuus wrote:
Imbicatus wrote:
Also don't forget that as it has the Celestial Template, so it can smite if needed too.
For the smite, how do you figure out the damage bonus since it neither has a level (like a paladin would use) or HD per say like an NPC would have?
Celestial Template wrote:
Special Attacks The creature may smite evil 1/day as a swift action (it adds its Cha bonus to attack rolls, and a damage bonus equal to its HD against evil foes; smite persists until the target is dead or the celestial creature rests).

It tells you right in the text. A paladins smite is different from the celestial templates.


Maybe you didn't read what I wrote, so I will add bold for emphasis.

ingenuus wrote:


For the smite, how do you figure out the damage bonus since it neither has a level (like a paladin would use) or HD per say like an NPC would have?

I mentioned both what a paladin would use (it's level) and HD since those are the two instances of smite I can find that tell you what to add as damage. I cannot find anything saying what a Stonelords Earth Elemental uses for either its level or its HD.

RPG Superstar 2011 Top 16

also, consider that using this earthglide tactic is going to prohibit the elemental from wearing armour or wielding a weapon, since those things wouldn't "glide" with him. It's kinda one or the other.


ingenuus wrote:

Maybe you didn't read what I wrote, so I will add bold for emphasis.

ingenuus wrote:


For the smite, how do you figure out the damage bonus since it neither has a level (like a paladin would use) or HD per say like an NPC would have?
I mentioned both what a paladin would use (it's level) and HD since those are the two instances of smite I can find that tell you what to add as damage. I cannot find anything saying what a Stonelords Earth Elemental uses for either its level or its HD.

It has a HD. Small starts with 2, and it goes up everytime it increases size.

Less insulting next time.


MrSin wrote:

It has a HD. Small starts with 2, and it goes up everytime it increases size.

Less insulting next time.

Genuinely wasn't trying to be insulting, sorry if it came off that way. I've seen a lot of people read half of a post and respond to that.

I cannot find where it mentions HD on here. Think you can give me a source to show my DM so he doesn't think I am trying to get one over on him.


ingenuus wrote:
MrSin wrote:

It has a HD. Small starts with 2, and it goes up everytime it increases size.

Less insulting next time.

Genuinely wasn't trying to be insulting, sorry if it came off that way. I've seen a lot of people read half of a post and respond to that.

I cannot find where it mentions HD on here. Think you can give me a source to show my DM so he doesn't think I am trying to get one over on him.

To clarify, this line is confusing to me since I am unsure if the elemental is a creature or a monster (or if there is even a difference based on this text):

d20pfsrd wrote:
As a creature gains levels, it gains additional Hit Dice. Monsters, on the other hand, gain racial Hit Dice, which represent the monster's general prowess and ability.

RPG Superstar 2011 Top 16

The elemental is exactly the entry listed in the Bestiary, unless otherwise noted, so however many HD it has in the entry is how many HD your elemental has


Nick Bolhuis wrote:
The elemental is exactly the entry listed in the Bestiary, unless otherwise noted, so however many HD it has in the entry is how many HD your elemental has

Sweet...thanks so much!

Grand Lodge

Nick Bolhuis wrote:
also, consider that using this earthglide tactic is going to prohibit the elemental from wearing armour or wielding a weapon, since those things wouldn't "glide" with him. It's kinda one or the other.

Really? I believe several PC classes / archtypes grant earthglide. Do you put the same restrictions on them?

Usually powers that limit what you can bring with you state how much you can carry. Movement powers that do not specify do not limit you.


FLite wrote:
Nick Bolhuis wrote:
also, consider that using this earthglide tactic is going to prohibit the elemental from wearing armour or wielding a weapon, since those things wouldn't "glide" with him. It's kinda one or the other.

Really? I believe several PC classes / archtypes grant earthglide. Do you put the same restrictions on them?

Usually powers that limit what you can bring with you state how much you can carry. Movement powers that do not specify do not limit you.

It is certainly true that you do not see that kind of restrictive language in: the gray disciple monk archetype, the shaitan binder summoner archetype, the stone mystery for oracles, the deep earth or kobold sorcerer bloodlines, the earth school for wizards, the earth glide spell, the earth elemental block for elemental body, or the earth glide universal monster ability.

And, while the majority of those options belong to full spell casters, they would still be carrying some stat boosting items while doing it (or clothes...hopefully), and at least some of those options are for classes that would often use weapons....and the oracle at least would enjoy armor.

Quite honestly, I am unsure where the idea that people can't take gear along for earth glide comes from. Can anyone quote where they learned that from? The closest I can think of is that such gear would be absorbed when using elemental body (The most common method of getting earthglide due to druids). And even then, it would only affect gear on you when you used the spell. Anything put on afterwards would be unaffected according to the transmutation school.

Sczarni

Starfinder Charter Superscriber

I remember this discussion coming up during a thread about what happens when an Elemental grapples/drags/carries someone else with them.

The argument was that if you're of the belief that an Elemental can't take another character with them, then you'd have to be of the belief that they couldn't take other things with them.

Grand Lodge

Or you could just be of the belief that this is a cinematic gamist system, and thus while there is not a realistic difference between a 150 lb sack of potatoes and a PC, the elemental can only earthglide with one of them :)

Because otherwise there are going to be some very uncomfortable oracles out there....


Nefreet wrote:

I remember this discussion coming up during a thread about what happens when an Elemental grapples/drags/carries someone else with them.

The argument was that if you're of the belief that an Elemental can't take another character with them, then you'd have to be of the belief that they couldn't take other things with them.

Well....a druid can't absorb people into their wildshaped body either, but they can absorb their own equipment. So quote vague and circumstantial evidence goes both ways.


James Risner wrote:
Umbranus wrote:
I think total cover most of the time which is reduced to improved during its own attack. On the other hand the idea of attacking it while it attacks via readied action contradicts the rules that you can't attack a creature with reach while it attacks you.
+1 but it doesn't have reach so your comment about reach isn't relevant.

I was just comparing those two things with each others.

If you can't attack a creature with reach while it attacks you, why shouls you be able to attack a creature hiding in the wall while it attacks you?

In both cases you try to attack something that you could not attack normally. And in both cases you try to hit the attacking appendage with a readied action. Very similar.


blackbloodtroll wrote:

Can this elemental buddy gain feats?

I am not familiar with the archetype.

If so, then give that guy Lunge.

Not all it gets is the celestial template. Apart from that is is exactly as in the bestiary.

Grand Lodge

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Wow... It really would be nice if Paizo figured out how earth glide works...

Oracle: you breath stone, you can bring others with you, but it lowers your duration. No rules for duration expiration

Sourcerer: no rules for breathing, no rules for bringing others, no rules for duration expiration

Wizard: no rules for breathing, no rules for bringing others, running out of duration deals 4d6 damage, and kicks you out where you came in.

Kobold Sourcer: You have to hold your breath, no rules for bringing others, no rules for duration expiration

Shaitan Binder: It just gets earth glide.

Gray Disciple: no rules for breathing, no rules for bringing others, running out of duration deals 5d6 damage, and kicks you out in the nearest adjacent spot. (Note that 3 levels later, the gray disciple gets to use his earth glide to bullrush opponents into stone and hold them there while releasing the earth glide, killing them instantly. If the manuever fails, it ejects them per his normal ability. It is unclear if that upgraded is needed to bullrush them into stone, or if it is just needed to hold them there.)

Grand Lodge

I think my general rule, in the absence of a clarification, is going to be:

If it doesn't say you can breath, you can't breath and need to hold your breath / cast bubble of air / do something.

You can bring one other same size or smaller creature with you, but if your power has a duration, you are halving the duration, and you have to carry/drag them.

If you run out of juice, or you drop the person you brought, they pop out of stone, as per your abilities rules. If your ability doesn't have rules, they are flung out of the stone at the nearest point and are stunned for one round (fort DC 15 negates) (loosely based on the rules for move earth.)


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

I just FAQed your second last post, FLite as I see at least a need for standardization here.

Ruyan.

Grand Lodge

I agree, especially given paizo's stated design philosophy that "Similar things should work the same, or else be clearly and distinctly different."

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