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Rauthiss
2010-04-29, 09:02 AM
The Elementalist
http://www.wizards.com/dnd/images/iw041015_defenestration.jpg
I control the very air you breathe!

Many arcanists draw power from the elemental planes without bothering to consider the momentary connection they achieve. Even elemental savants rely on the framework of their spells, never bothering to consider how, exactly, the energy is drawn to them. Elementalists, however, have an innate connection to the elemental planes, drawing the energy directly through them.

Inspiration: I wanted a class that felt like a caster, without the brokenness of a wizard or cleric. BAM.

Game Rule Information

Alignment: Elementalists can be of any alignment; the forces of nature are not bound by morals.
Hit Die: d6. An elementalist is not as sturdy as a cleric or fighter, but more sturdy than a pure caster.
Starting Gold: As Sorcerer.

Class Skills:
The class skills for an Elementalist (and the key ability for each skill) are Concentration (Con), Craft (Int), Decipher Script (Int), Knowledge (all skills, taken individually) (Int), Profession (Wis), and Spellcraft (Int).
Skill Points at 1st Level: (4+Int Mod) x4
Skill Points at Each Additional Level: (4+Int Mod)

The Elementalist
{table=head]Level|Base Attack Bonus|Bad Save|Good Save|Special|Primary Element Points|Secondary Element Points
1st|
+0|
+0|
+2|Elemental Strike, Elemental Specialization|4|2
2nd|
+1|
+0|
+3|Elemental Domain|9|4
3rd|
+1|
+1|
+3|Resistance|16|8
4th|
+2|
+1|
+4|Elemental Devotion|25|12
5th|
+2|
+1|
+4|Boon of the Elements|36|18
6th|
+3|
+2|
+5|Energy Orb|49|25
7th|
+3|
+2|
+5|Punishment of the Elements|64|32
8th|
+4|
+2|
+6|Elemental Devotion|81|40
9th|
+4|
+3|
+6|Elemental Gift|100|50
10th|
+5|
+3|
+7|Improved Boon|121|60
11th|
+5|
+3|
+7|Elemental Familiar|144|72
12th|
+6/+1|
+3|
+8|Improved Punishment|169|84
13th|
+6/+1|
+4|
+8|Plane Shift 2/day|196|98
14th|
+7/+2|
+4|
+9|Energy Storm|225|112
15th|
+7/+2|
+4|
+9|Superior Boon|256|128
16th|
+8/+3|
+5|
+10|Elemental Devotion|289|144
17th|
+8/+3|
+5|
+10|Superior Punishment|324|162
18th|
+9/+4|
+5|
+11|Elemental Devotion|361|180
19th|
+9/+4|
+6|
+11|Plane Shift at will |400|200
20th|
+10/+5|
+6|
+12|Scion of the Elements|441|220[/table]

Class Features:

Weapon and Armor Proficiency: Elementalists are proficient in the use of all simple weapons. They are proficient in no armor.

Elemental Specialization (Su): When an elementalist takes his first level in the class, he chooses two elements from the below chart. This choice is permanent and cannot be altered. The two saves of the elements chosen are good saves for the elementalist, while the other is a bad save. If the elementalist chooses two elements that share the same save, he gains the good save progression for that element along with the associated feat (Great Fortitude, Iron Will, Lightning Reflexes). His Elemental strike deals the indicated type of damage, his energy familiars are the type indicated, as are his Boon, Punishment, and gift. He gains an amount of Energy Points equal to the number on the table for both his primary and secondary elements. He may spend up to his class level points at once for his primary element, and half this number, rounded down to a minimum of 1, for his secondary element, to fuel his class abilities.
{table=head]Element|Damage Type|Familiars|Associated Attribute|Opposite Attribute|Gift|Domain|Save
Fire|Fire|Xac-Yel*|Strength|Intelligence|Rage|Fire|Reflex
Water|Cold|Xor-Yost*|Intelligence|Strength|Calm Emotions|Water|Fortitude
Earth|Acid|Xac-Yij*|Consitution|Dexterity|Slow|Earth|Fortitude
Air|Electricity|Xap-Yaup*|Dexterity|Consitution|Haste|Air|Reflex|
Positive Energy|Positive Energy|Xag-Ya|Wisdom|Charisma|Restoration|Healing|Will
Negative Energy|Negative Energy|Xeg-Yi|Charisma|Wisdom|Enervation|Destruction|Will[/table]
*Located in Planar Handbook
The Xag-Ya and the Xeg-Yi are located in the Manual of the Planes

Elemental Strike (Su): As an attack action, an Elementalist can make an attack with either his primary or secondary element as a touch attack. Earth, Fire, and Negative Energy are Melee touch attacks, while Air, Water, and Positive Energy are ranged touch attacks with a range of 60ft. This attack deals 1d6 damage of the type specified for the element. Spending energy points can increase the damage by 3 per point spent.

Elemental Domain (Sp): An elementalist gains the ability to cast spells from the cleric domain associated with his element as Spell-Like Abilities, in addition to gaining the granted domain power. The elementalist must spend a number of energy points equal to twice the spell level to cast a spell. For all purposes related to caster level or to cleric level, use the elementalistís class level instead. The DC of all spells cast this way is 10+the spell level + the elementalistís modifier in the elementís associated attribute.

Resistance (Su): As a free action, an elementalist may spend energy points to gain resistance to the energy associated with his elements. By spending energy points, an elementalist can gain resistance 2 per point spent to the energy associated with the type of point spent.

Elemental Devotion (Ex): An elementalist gains the devotion feat of one of the domains associated with his elements as a bonus feat, even if he does not meet the prerequisites.

Boon of the Elements (Su): As a standard action, an elementalist may spend 5 energy points to gain an +2 enhancement bonus to his associated ability score. This ability lasts for 1 minute. An elementalist can also give this bonus to an ally by touching them.

Energy Orb (Sp): An elementalist can create a 20 foot radius orb of his element up to 100 feet away. For every energy point that he spends on this ability, the orb deals 4 damage of the associated energy type to everything in the orb. Any creatures in the orb can make a reflex save of DC 10 + Ĺ the elementalistís class level + his associated ability modifier to take half damage.

Punishment of the Elements (Su): As a standard action, an elementalist may spend 5 energy points to give a -2 penalty on the associated ability score to a creature within 100 feet. That creature can make a fortitude save of DC 10 + Ĺ the elementalistís class level + his associated ability modifier to negate this ability.

Elemental Gift (Sp): As a standard action, an elementalist may spend 8 energy points to cast the indicated spell as a spell-like ability as a cleric of the elementalistís class level. The DC of these abilities is 10 + Ĺ the elementalistís class level + his associated ability modifier.

Improved Boon (Su): An elementalist may spend 10 energy points on his Boon of the Elements instead of 5, to raise the bonus to +4.

Energy Familiar: An elementalist gains 2 of the indicated energon that function as familiars of the elementalist. They gain normal familiar abilities as if the elementalist was a sorcerer of his class level Ė 10.

Improved Punishment (Su): An elementalist may spend 10 energy points on his Punishment of the elements instead of 5, to lower the penalty to -4.

Plane Shift (Sp): An elementalist may use Plane Shift as a spell like ability twice per day as a cleric of his class level. He may only shift to his associated elemental planes.

Energy Storm (Sp): An elementalist can create a 60 foot radius orb of his element up to 500 feet away. For every energy point that he spends on this ability, the orb deals 4 damage of the associated energy type to everything in the orb. Any creatures in the orb can make a reflex save of DC 10 + Ĺ the elementalistís class level + his associated ability modifier to take half damage.

Superior Boon (Su): An elementalist may spend 15 energy points on his Boon of the Elements instead of 5, to raise the bonus to +8.

Plane Shift at will (Sp): An elementalist can now use his Plane Shift Spell-like ability at will.

Superior Punishment (Su): An elementalist may spend 15 energy points on his Boon of the Elements instead of 5, to lower the penalty to -8.

Scion of the Elements: An elementalist becomes a master of his element, taking on the elemental type and gaining immunity to the energy that his elements are associated with.

(Image from www.wizards.com/dnd/images/iw041015_defenestration.jpg)

The Tygre
2010-04-29, 09:23 AM
Right; first and foremost, what are 'Good Save' and 'Bad Save'?

Magikeeper
2010-04-29, 09:53 AM
Right; first and foremost, what are 'Good Save' and 'Bad Save'?

Well, when making a save would be 'good', you use the 'good save' and when making the save would be 'bad' (I.E. against a 150% real shadow miracle) you use the 'bad save'. Simple, really.

[/joke]

Sorry, I could not resist. I'll actually critique the class later.

Rauthiss
2010-04-29, 11:20 AM
Right; first and foremost, what are 'Good Save' and 'Bad Save'?


Elemental Devotion (Su): When an elementalist takes his first level in the class, he chooses two elements from the below chart. This choice is permanent and cannot be altered. The two saves of the elements chosen are good saves for the elementalist, while the other is a bad save. If the elementalist chooses two elements that share the same save, he gains the good save progression for that element along with the associated feat (Great Fortitude, Iron Will, Lightning Reflexes). His Elemental strike deals the indicated type of damage, his energy familiars are the type indicated, as are his Boon, Punishment, and gift. He gains an amount of Energy Points equal to the number on the table for both his primary and secondary elements. He may spend up to his class level points at once for his primary element, and half this number, rounded down to a minimum of 1, for his secondary element, to fuel his class abilities.
Emphasis added for clarification.

Saveducks
2010-04-29, 07:18 PM
I like it I once attentempet an elementalist but I never finished it, anyway I liked the idea but I was confused about one thing, do you have to pair fire with air or is the player able to choose between something like fire and negative energy.

pyrefiend
2010-04-29, 07:41 PM
I like it. There's been a lot of attempts at an element-based caster, and this is definitely one of my favorites.The only issues I have with it are mostly flavor related.

First off, I hate the common associations between the elements and energy types. Fire-Fire makes sense, of course, but Earth-Acid, Air-Electricity, and Water-Cold just don't... jive, really. If you're channeling the raw elements, why is that manifested as such a random, minor feature of that element? I know that's how WotC does it, but it just doesn't seem thematically appropriate to me.

Secondly, and this is really minor, the ability associations of water and fire seem a little odd. I like all the other ones, but I would have switched what you have for water and fire, personally. Fire doesn't have any physical force to it, and is very insubstantial, whereas water is the opposite.

Origomar
2010-04-29, 07:44 PM
i tried to make an elementalist aswell but mine ended up being too complicated x.x

anyway it looks pretty good.

Rauthiss
2010-04-29, 08:05 PM
Thank you all for your kind words!

Saveducks, you do not have to choose two associated elements - Fire and Negative energy is as much a valid choice as any other, if you wanted to play the class.

pyrefiend, I wholly agree with you - The class would have been much more flavorful if there were direct energy types to go with. But like you said, that's how Wizards does it, for better or worse. In terms of the fire/water attributes, I chose strength for fire since it is typically seen as more of an "active" element - Despite it's insubstantialness, it's almost always destructive, while water is more passive. Much of the attribute/element relations are very subjective, though, so I wholly understand your point.

Again, thank you all! Now I just wait for someone to come along and tell me how bad it is. :p

The Tygre
2010-04-29, 08:45 PM
Ahhh, sorry about that. Kind of tired when I first saw this. I've gotta' say, I really like this class. A lot of people do elemental mages, but they always come out the same, some bland blaster. At the very least, you're ahead for remembering Negative/Positive and the energon, an angle which doesn't usually get played. You should develop this; like, what if someone wants to be a specialist in para-elements or quasi-elements?

Rauthiss
2010-04-29, 08:52 PM
Ahhh, sorry about that. Kind of tired when I first saw this. I've gotta' say, I really like this class. A lot of people do elemental mages, but they always come out the same, some bland blaster. At the very least, you're ahead for remembering Negative/Positive and the energon, an angle which doesn't usually get played. You should develop this; like, what if someone wants to be a specialist in para-elements or quasi-elements?
Thank you! I do think a Para-elementalist would be interesting to play, but the shame there is the lack of positive and negative paraelementals. That said, it's certainly something to consider.

The Tygre
2010-04-29, 10:14 PM
Thank you! I do think a Para-elementalist would be interesting to play, but the shame there is the lack of positive and negative paraelementals. That said, it's certainly something to consider.

That's what a quasi-elemental is. Let me see if I can count them off;

Air/Positive: Lightning
Earth/Positive: Crystals
Fire/Positive: Radiance
Water/Positive: Steam (I prefer Rainbows. :smallredface: )
Air/Negative: Vacuum
Earth/Negative: Dust (Or Grime, if you prefer)
Fire/Negative: Ash
Water/Negative: Salt

I read one theory that stated that the meeting of the Positive and the Negative is the Plane of Shadows. The meetings of Earth/Air and Fire/Water have always been Sand and Steam, respectively, to me. However, since Fire can also account for lava, Fire/Water could very well be Obsidian. And if you want to get even more specific:

Ice/Positive: Crystals
Ice/Negative: Frost
Ooze/Positive: Clay
Ooze/Negative: Silt
Magma/Positive: Obsidian
Magma/Negative: Pumice
Smoke/Positive: Sparks
Smoke/Negative: Fumes

And I don't even know what to do with equations that factor in alternative elements like Wood and Metal...

ForzaFiori
2010-04-29, 10:43 PM
That's what a quasi-elemental is. Let me see if I can count them off;

Air/Positive: Lightning
Earth/Positive: Crystals
Fire/Positive: Radiance
Water/Positive: Steam (I prefer Rainbows. :smallredface: )
Air/Negative: Vacuum
Earth/Negative: Dust (Or Grime, if you prefer)
Fire/Negative: Ash
Water/Negative: Salt

I read one theory that stated that the meeting of the Positive and the Negative is the Plane of Shadows. The meetings of Earth/Air and Fire/Water have always been Sand and Steam, respectively, to me. However, since Fire can also account for lava, Fire/Water could very well be Obsidian. And if you want to get even more specific:

Ice/Positive: Crystals
Ice/Negative: Frost
Ooze/Positive: Clay
Ooze/Negative: Silt
Magma/Positive: Obsidian
Magma/Negative: Pumice
Smoke/Positive: Sparks
Smoke/Negative: Fumes

And I don't even know what to do with equations that factor in alternative elements like Wood and Metal...

With something like this (and possibly the combos involving Pos/Neg (shadow), or Fire/Water (steam), etc (changing positive water or fire water) you could have your two choices of elements grant you abilities based on their combined quasi-element. IE, I pick earth and positive, and I get powers involving crystals. I pick fire and water, and I can use steam in powers, etc. If you are lacking on combos, you could have players pick from Fire, Earth, Water, and Air, and then take their second from Positive or Negative.

Jack of Spades
2010-04-30, 08:39 AM
Elemental Strike (Su):
...
Spending energy points can increase the damage by 3 per point spent.
You may want to cap this, because as I'm reading it a level 17 elementalist can currently one-shot a Great Wyrm Black Dragon. Also, it seems to me that this would fit slightly better as a spell-like ability.

Elemental Strike (Su):
...
Earth, Fire, and Negative Energy are unarmed touch attacks
I believe you mean melee touch attacks, unless you intend for them to do nonlethal damage :smallwink:
Or maybe I'm remembering syntax wrong. That's a possibility.

Plane Shift (Sp): An elementalist may use Plane Shift as a spell like ability twice per day as a cleric of his class level.
Flavor-wise, it doesn't make very much sense to me that the elementalist can travel to any plane, as opposed to just his elements' planes. But hey, your class not mine.

Energy Storm (Sp):
...
For every energy point that he spends on this ability, the orb deals 4 damage of the associated energy type to everything in the orb.
It appears I spoke too soon; the elementalist can one-shot that dragon at 14th level :smalleek:

Anyhow, it looks like a very well-made class and one that would be enjoyable to play (as long as your DM isn't an *** who sends mobs with DR against your energy type :smallbiggrin:)

EDIT: I based the one-shot claims off of the average hit point value here. (http://www.d20srd.org/srd/monsters/dragonTrue.htm) I went for the first level that could deal 600 damage in one hit, which is above the average hit point value for all but Silver, Gold, and Red Great Wyrms.

Rauthiss
2010-04-30, 08:58 AM
Elemental Devotion (Su): When an elementalist takes his first level in the class, he chooses two elements from the below chart. This choice is permanent and cannot be altered. The two saves of the elements chosen are good saves for the elementalist, while the other is a bad save. If the elementalist chooses two elements that share the same save, he gains the good save progression for that element along with the associated feat (Great Fortitude, Iron Will, Lightning Reflexes). His Elemental strike deals the indicated type of damage, his energy familiars are the type indicated, as are his Boon, Punishment, and gift. He gains an amount of Energy Points equal to the number on the table for both his primary and secondary elements. He may spend up to his class level points at once for his primary element, and half this number, rounded down to a minimum of 1, for his secondary element, to fuel his class abilities.
{Emphasis added for clarification.}

A level 17 Elementalist will only be dealing 1d6+51 damage to that great wyrm, which I don't think will be one-shotting it.

I haven't read too much into the Melee vs. Unarmed touch attacks, but I think you're right. I'll change that. Same for Plane Shift.

See above for my comments on your Energy Storm.

Jack of Spades
2010-04-30, 04:01 PM
Wow, I should really stop subconsciously skipping over random sentences when I read things :smallredface:

pyrefiend
2010-04-30, 08:24 PM
With something like this (and possibly the combos involving Pos/Neg (shadow), or Fire/Water (steam), etc (changing positive water or fire water) you could have your two choices of elements grant you abilities based on their combined quasi-element. IE, I pick earth and positive, and I get powers involving crystals. I pick fire and water, and I can use steam in powers, etc. If you are lacking on combos, you could have players pick from Fire, Earth, Water, and Air, and then take their second from Positive or Negative.
I sorta love this idea. At the very least, there's the opportunity for a lot of prestige classes.

Rauthiss
2010-05-29, 01:48 AM
Any more thoughts on the class, all? I'd love some input!

Ilriyn
2010-05-29, 11:22 AM
First off, I love the elementalist idea, I've always wanted to create one, but it always ended up too complex to play. You've done a pretty good job of making it fun to play.

My concerns are that it is underpowered, and that it does not have enough combat options.

Why is it underpowered? Well at 20th level, it's main damage dealing ability deals 80 damage. Pitiful really. But wait, there's more. Since it's not a spell, you can't add any metamagic bonuses to it. Right there, you're taking out the feature that makes blasters somewhat viable.

It's only effective means of dealing damage is to be earth-based, and constantly use it's superior punishment ability. But even that is vastly underpowered at 20th level. And your elementalist doesn't only suffer from being underpowered at high levels. At level 5, when other (unoptimized) blasters can be throwing around 5-6d6 fireballs, you can do 1d6+15 damage. To one target.

My other concern is it's lack of options. Basically, at high level, it's options are. Touch attack to do damage, short range fireball to do damage, long range fireball to do damage, or it's superior punishment ability. Admittedly, the domain spells and gift feature add a few more options, but it still is not able to use it's primary ability (Throwing the elements around) effectively. It can't do cones, cylinders, lines, or other areas of effect. It can't do anything besides deal damage. It can't use metamagic. It can't really do a lot of things.

Don't get me wrong, I love your idea, and it was really well thought out. But you've run into the same problems that I (and others) did when trying to create a class like this.

Lix Lorn
2010-05-30, 07:35 AM
Maybe give them access to all spells with their spell descriptor?
Problem would be negative/positive energy. Maybe evil and good spells?