Elemental Sorcerer


Rules Discussion


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Why was the decision made to change the old set up for elemental sorcerer?
Earth = Acid Damage
Water = Cold Damage
Air = Electrical damage
Fire = Fire damage

Now it is all bludgeoning except for fire.

This change makes no sense to me at all. They took something that was thematic and made it dull. A bludgeoning fireball makes no sense. Why would anyone take anything other than Fire now?

I can't see any game play or rules reason for the change.


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Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber

The four classic elements are earth, wind, water, and fire.
If I hit someone with earth, it will bludgeon them. If I hit someone with wind, it will bludgeon them. If I hit someone with water, it will bludgeon them. If I hit someone with fire, it will burn them. You can now crush someone with rocks as an earth elementalist, rather than assaulting them with something closer to water than earth or what the water elementalist was using.


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Yeah, bludgeoning damage is much more evocative of the actual elements involved. The energy damages were only ever loose associations.


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Besides, there are plenty of monsters weak to bludgeoning and resistant to fire (and vice versa), and the damage is magical either way, so it's not like fire is strictly above the others in this case.

If anything the old setup was stranger - why was earth associated with poison of all things?


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This change was one of my favorites, actually. A player wanted to be a "Water Wizard" from a family of magic sailing nomads.

It ended up using all cold damage and cold spells for no good reason. Now there's actually water involved.


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the elements save for fire can bludgeoning, pierce or slash. I think they should have allowed the sorcerer to chose. if I make my earth, air, or ice blast manifest like needles they will pierce, if I make them like razors they will slash.


I like the change, however I would have wished for a little more differentiation, which I guess could have been done, employing the other physical damage types.


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Would have liked Air to be slashing for the RAZOR WINDS!

Liberty's Edge

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ikarinokami wrote:
the elements save for fire can bludgeoning, pierce or slash. I think they should have allowed the sorcerer to chose. if I make my earth, air, or ice blast manifest like needles they will pierce, if I make them like razors they will slash.

Letting people pick damage types at will is a large mechanical boost, which would be why they didn't do it. As a House Rule, I still wouldn't do that, though allowing them to pick a damage type at character creation is very reasonable.


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Air could've been slashing, water bludgeoning, and earth... piercing or bludgeoning. Would've been more thematic


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I think that losing common and evocative elemental damage types like lightning and cold is a major loss. That elemental list could have been more expansive.

Yes, I know, somewhere in the 5 post below at least 3 people will say "archetypes will fix that!"


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TheGoofyGE3K wrote:
Air could've been slashing, water bludgeoning, and earth... piercing or bludgeoning. Would've been more thematic

If I had multiple people playing different elements, I might do that. But for each individual non-fire element, bludgeoning makes the most sense, at least to me.

RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

I like the change, but I also was trying to get my second ever character in 3.0 to become an elemental savant, so... biased (my first character died horribly at the grand old age of level 2).

I do think there should be some type of bloodlines aligned with energy, to give cold and lightning casters in particular (I don't see acid as a common theme, but am fine with them being included in the same), but I'm not sure what bloodline would fit. I feel Elemental didn't fit, but Energy just feels a bit... lackluster, somehow. I dunno, honestly, but I'd like it.


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Cydeth wrote:

I like the change, but I also was trying to get my second ever character in 3.0 to become an elemental savant, so... biased (my first character died horribly at the grand old age of level 2).

I do think there should be some type of bloodlines aligned with energy, to give cold and lightning casters in particular (I don't see acid as a common theme, but am fine with them being included in the same), but I'm not sure what bloodline would fit. I feel Elemental didn't fit, but Energy just feels a bit... lackluster, somehow. I dunno, honestly, but I'd like it.

Storm and winter bloodlines, for instance.


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Basically, in 1E Air/Water/Earth Sorcerors weren't doing Air/Water/Earth damage, they were doing Electric/Cold/Acid damage.
Now in 2E they are actually directly using their element.
Certainly you can see a mechanical gap left, but that is better served by Electric/Magnetic/Storm, Ice/Winter, and Acid (Para)Element Bloodlines.
Water and Ice, and Stone/Earth and Acid are really OPPOSITE concepts albeit intimately related in that opposition.
As others mentioned, it was ridiculous to force somebody who identified with flowing water, to use a bunch of Ice/Cold spells.
All those niches CAN be covered by a Bloodline that perfectly matches them, but Air/Water/Earth isn't it.
I would be far from surprised if APG delivers Bloodlines exactly filling those niches, and everybody should be better served then.

EDIT: I'd also not be surprised if APG will have Genie bloodlines which probably will be Arcane (or at least many of them),
to more specifically cultivate Djinni/Marid/Shaitan/Efreeti vibe, distinct from, if overlapping, more primal Elementals.

RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

QuidEst wrote:
Storm and winter bloodlines, for instance.

Excellent suggestions, those, and I'm wondering why I didn't think of the Storm bloodline, considering I had an NPC building a prestige class around that theme in a game... I blame my brain being utter mush due to work. But yeah, there're definitely options that should be made for energy types. I love elemental/energy themes.


Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber
Cydeth wrote:
QuidEst wrote:
Storm and winter bloodlines, for instance.
Excellent suggestions, those, and I'm wondering why I didn't think of the Storm bloodline, considering I had an NPC building a prestige class around that theme in a game... I blame my brain being utter mush due to work. But yeah, there're definitely options that should be made for energy types. I love elemental/energy themes.

Understandable! It’s also possible that the djinni-and-company bloodlines will provide those energy types.


I would also point out that this change makes the Elemental Bloodline more distinct from the Draconic bloodline. instead of having two bloodlines where you pick from fire/acid/cold/electric, now one has the old 4 (plus poison! that I find fun!) and the other has fire/water/wind/earth.

RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

My only problem with the draconic bloodline over the elemental bloodline is the spell list. I do love how the Primal list has both blasts and healing spells...


Acid was always kind of the odd man out, but losing electricity and cold as options when they're both very thematic is a shame.

I know Paizo will probably eventually provide another option for that later, but that's not really satisfactory right now and still has the potential to suck if the theoretical Winter Bloodline has mechanics or features radically different than Elemental's and someone prefers the latter.


I was/am a little disappointed by the elemental line anyway. I suppose I was hoping for a temporary replacement for kineticist but elemental sorc is honestly pretty boring. Just a blast every ten minutes or a boost to movement for a minute every ten.

That being said I don't think they could've made it much stronger as the class itself is a full caster, so whatchu gon do


I feel like either air or water could do Slashing damage instead, if only just to give a little variation.


I don't know about this Winter bloodline (could be modelled after P1E Boreal as Primal or Jadwiga Winter Witch as Occult?),
IMHO Ice and Acid directly qualify as Primal "Paraelemental" Bloodlines with parallel Elemental creatures.
They're just distinct from Water and Earth Elementals.


For an acid bloodline, there is always oozes.


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Leotamer wrote:
For an acid bloodline, there is always oozes.

Now that's an adventurous grampa


If Shaman goes for Material/Spiritual (Primal-Occult hybrid) that could also be used for Winter Bloodline...?


The water bloodline should deal electric damage because storm clouds are made of water.


Dekalinder wrote:

I think that losing common and evocative elemental damage types like lightning and cold is a major loss. That elemental list could have been more expansive.

There are still spells that use ice or lightning or acid.

Its just that water magic isn't always actually ice magic and earth specialists aren't burning people with acid for no reason at all.

Its a pretty major improvement, barring some weird interactions (persistent bludgeoning damage from produce <element> can trip is a bit odd.

Exo-Guardians

Personally i like the change, what's more fun for an earth elementalist than casting fireball EARTHBALL?


Voss wrote:


Its a pretty major improvement, barring some weird interactions (persistent bludgeoning damage from produce <element> can trip is a bit odd.

I mean... I guess your wet hair is just really really heavy and until it dries it's gonna keep making your head squished. And the, uh, dust and dirt is doing the same thing.

...I got nothin' for air though.


Also, don't forget how the element choice interacts with the movement feature of the later bloodline spell.

Air - flight
Fire - flight
Earth - burrow
Water - swim/waterbreath

With that, you get a distinct pairing of damage type/movement type from your bloodline for each element.


Sure, and Ice Elementals (and associated BL) for example probably wouldn't have that movement mode.
Although they could have abilityt to ignore penalties of snow/ice surfaces or even burrow/glide thru ice/snow.

Acid Elementals seem interesting case, in that I would posit that instead of EarthGLIDE they would burrow ability that would leave stable tunnel behind (at least in stone and hard earth, not in sand etc).

Shoving those together with Water/Earth just means everybody has less nuanced and appropriate abilities for those chosen focus.

Similarly, while I can see Lightning/Storm also having Flight, it seems Air should have superior Flight with Lightning, as Fire not getting as impressive abilities there. Although that could also be expressed re: granting group Fly buff to allies (or not, for Fire/Lightning).

I see it as: could these be distinct Elemental monsters? well by same logic, they should be distinct Bloodlines.
Of course, much of this stems from "does CRB give me my favorite candy or not" griping,
but that hardly seems valid reason to force everything into suboptimal paradigm when APG and more will soon be out anyways.

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