Talk:Elementals (Proposal) (Old)

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A couple of points, regarding the current system.

Earth mages are the only ones that get to have two spells summon and control.
Others get a single ritual to Summon/Conjuring and Controlling elementals.

EN, and FT.

Earth and Fire Elementals get 15+5 per rank.
Ice Elementals get 15+6 per rank.
Water and Air Elementals get 15+15 per rank.

--Jono Bean 08:06, 23 Nov 2006 (NZDT)

I'd lose the Animal Growth from Earth Elemntals. I don't see them as linked to animals - they are minerals.

The removal of the 60 + 10/Rank cubic foot/pulse Rock Disintegration & replacement with 3 + 1/Rank cubic foot/pulse Rock to Mud for 1 FT per pulse, is a significant weakening of their utility. This may not be a bad thing, but forget building tunnels or caves with Earth Elementals any more. They are thus only really useful as combat creatures or for brute strength. This limits their use by pacifist earth mages greatly. Could you consider some rock shaping/carving/tunneling that doesn't cost FT?

--Andreww 13:38, 25 Nov 2006 (NZDT)

I believe that the +15/rk for EN&FT was a typo. All of them were intended to be +5 or 6 per rank. This makes them tough to take down using damage but not ludicrously so.

Extra damage from the opposing element is not needed, some spells already specifically do extra damage, others don't.

I like the reduced damage from their own element, it makes sense and makes it harder for the adepts to take out their own rogue elementals. Rather than immunity, I'd prefer half damage, resist for none or something like that.

All elementals should be able to move through their own element without trace and mould/shape reasonable quantities of their own element as an innate ability (no FT cost, no BC).

They should all be required to maintain contact with their element.

They should all have some magical abilities, casting a selection of spells from their college is the simplest to document and play.

They should all have defined attacks with effective ranks, BCs and damage, all increasing with rank.

-- Stephen 23:49, 26 Nov 2006 (NZDT)

If the Elementals are to be 'evened' out across the colleges then the stats should be too with the EN & FT being +5 or 6 as above.

Losing contact with their element should cause the elemental to be effectively dissipated or banished.

"The removal of the 60 + 10/Rank cubic foot/pulse Rock Disintegration & replacement with 3 + 1/Rank cubic foot/pulse Rock to Mud for 1 FT per pulse, is a significant weakening of their utility." - Agreed. "All elementals should be able to move through their own element without trace and mould/shape reasonable quantities of their own element as an innate ability (no FT cost, no BC)." - Agreed

-- Chris 7.32am 27 Nov 2006 (NZDT)

Having a set of defined abilities makes it easier for GMs and players to use PC summoned elementals. It means that the player is not constantly asking the GM if in the GM's version of the world the elemental can do x.

But there should also be some latitude for player and GM creativity.

What about:

  • All xx Elementals can... (core stuff they should always be able to do)
  • Most xx Elementals can... (defined abilities that most can do unless the GM needs them not to)
  • Sometimes xx Elementals can... (loosely defined stuff that doesn't work unless the GM wants it to)

-- Stephen 10:08, 27 Nov 2006 (NZDT)

Doesn't giving Earth Elementals spells create a multi use invested item that never backfires? When it uses it's fatigue, two spell casts and you have another. Fatigue and spells Exp for free.

Axis 11:37, 27 Nov 2006 (NZDT)

Someone in our party suggested last week giving Earth mages a standard-type ritual for full-power elementals, and make the spell version a more limited combat version.

--Errol 11:46, 27 Nov 2006 (NZDT)

This raises a fundamental question, should Elementals be able to be summoned by a spell and why should only Earth Mages get to do it? I've listed the reasons for each that I can think of, please add the ones I've missed to the appropriate list.

-- Stephen 13:08, 27 Nov 2006 (NZDT)

Moved reasons for Spell/Ritual to discussion section below.

You can look upon it as "This raises a fundamental question" but do we have too? Is it that broken, and are people unhappy with it, that it needs a change or fix?

Since Bernard started the page, could we get Bernard (if he has time and is willing) to you address the specifically question of; What the current problems with Elementals? Also what the overall aims would be, in fixing it?

--Jono Bean 14:07, 27 Nov 2006 (NZDT)

Bernard stated his reasons at the top of the main page - Fixing their Height and Giving them abilities to spend FT on.

Whether 'it' is broken, whether it needs a change or a fix can presumably only be determined once the issues have been raised and discussed.

A healthy discussion might reveal that the problems are only in one person's perception or interpretation of them.

Or lack of discussion could reveal that nobody cares.

Supressing discussion does not fix a problem nor make it go away.

'Do you have to?' No. Feel free not to be involved. Most people don't care enough, or don't have the time to contribute to the discussion. That's fine. But it doesn't invalidate people who do care or do have the time.

Specifically regarding Earth Mages getting a spell where everyone else has a ritual. I think it is an anomaly, I would like to know if there is any good reason for this anomaly. Playing an Earth Mage with the spell and playing in parties where someone else has the spell, it is certainly useful and it gets used more than any other elemental summoning magic. It's good for me as a player but is this good for the game or not?

If it is a good thing, should it be spread to the other elemental colleges? Or is it in Earth to make up for them not having one of the killer damage spells that most of the other elemental colleges have.

I advocate discussion to surface the issues, whether the discussion identifies something that is broken, whether it should be fixed, is yet to be determined.

-- Stephen 15:14, 27 Nov 2006 (NZDT)

The other three elements have much more ephemeral elementals associated with them. I can see an air elemental going through a keyhole, (or a water elemental or even a fire elemental) Would an earth elemental go through a keyhole if it was blocked with dirt? Earth elementals are almost pre golem stone/clay golems. (Sand golems anyone?) They are much more practical than the others in that they will not innately damage their surroundings and can go just about anywhere. I can see the sense in rationalising size and shape for all elementals, but no urgent need to grunt them up with spells. Unless you wish to create the concept of greater and lesser elementals, one of which can be summoned via spells and the other by rituals.

Axis 15:41, 27 Nov 2006 (NZDT)

Seems people are fairly keen on elementals disippating when they loose contact with their element.... but what does that mean for elementals? Does that mean an Earth Elemental can't jump or that a Fire Elemental has to ignite everything before it can go anywhere(which would be very impractical and not the currently played way).

The reason I leaned more towards the 5 fatigue drain in an opposing elements situation(and was leaning towards drain so you can't just heal it) rather than the instant disipation is it means that you actually have to hold an elemental in a hostile situation to it, rather than just 1 second of that situation. Possibly less applicable with an earth elemental, but if you sit down for an hour or three to summon an elemental it seems a bit easy to get rid of it if all you have to do is cut it off for the blink of an eye from it's element to banish it.

Bernard 9:26pm 28th Nov (NZDT)

Discussion format

I thought the current discussion format is a bit scrappy and could use tidying up a little. It might pay to move comments about a specific area to this format so we can focus the discussion.

What needs to be changed

Please list here what you believe has to be changed in order to the use of Elementals to be successfully utilised within the campaign.

  • Elemental combat statistics.
  • Their height.

What do people want to change

Please list things that you believe would be good to change even if it isn't broken now.

  • The ability to only destroy not move/create earth.
  • Native abilities are either too limited or not well enough defined. Could use updating either way.
  • Earth Elementals summoned by Spell.


Combat Stats

At the moment I have seen a number of methods for calculating the strike chances of Elementals (mainly earth) I would like to see a single clearly defined calculation. Mandos 07:57, 29 Nov 2006 (NZDT)

Elemental Height

60ft high and a single hex creature is just silly. I use 5+rk feet and even that seems a bit odd for a 1 hex creature. I would like to see either elementals smaller or possibly multi-hex creatures at high rank. Ahhh Multi-hex, there is a can of worms ripe to be opened. Mandos 07:57, 29 Nov 2006 (NZDT)

Earth Elemental Digging

I think the use of the spell as bernard suggests is too limited, but I also think the amount they can dig now is too much. I would also like to see Elementals being able to create and shape their own element, not just destroy it. (all elementals not just Earth).

Native Abilities

I think that detailing exactly what they can do is not a good idea as it restricts what can be done with them or a note detailing that controlled/bound elementals are restricted to certain actions to distinguish between summoned elementals and others.

The reasons behind not wanting them defined are....

  1. Once you define the actions of something that becomes all it can do. At this point GM's are either restricted in their options or they have to say 'these elementals are a bit different' at which point you may as well have not documented it at all.
  2. As soon as someone goes to lookup what an Elemental can do you risk the flow of the game. If people know that elementals do things with their element and it is undefined, they don't bother checking, which in turn makes the game flow.
  3. This is an area where a GM's imagination can really roam free, these are powerful individuals with great scope for cool effect. Tying it down only fetters the imagination for no real positive effect.

-- Mandos 09:19, 27 Nov 2006 (NZDT)

I've added a line to the generic abilities to include generic moulding and shapping of the element not covered by specific spell like powers which should hopefully cover this sort of thing for roleplay type circumstances? That the sort of thing you wanted them to be able to do? The spell list was more to make the abilities clear and well defined for use in a combat situation, so your not having to sit down and define amorphus effects mid combat all the time, only when a PC comes up with something truely exceptional as an idea, and also a potentially applicable RP situation or two, not limit them from doing other stuff, since the current abilities on most of the elementals are very poorly defined as to what they can do.

--Bernard 17:06, 29 Nov 2006 (NZDT)

Summon Rituals or Spells?

Is it better for the game to have Elementals summoned by Spell or by Ritual?

Pro Ritual

  • It takes longer to get to high ranks in Elementals, makes powerful elementals less common.
  • They get used less because they require in-game time and planning.
  • A spell to summon something that can produce several spell like effects is too cheap and easy.
  • Summoning is traditionally ritualistic.

Pro Spell

  • Elementals will get more use in game because they are quick to summon.
  • Parties are less likely to summon an elemental in the morning and have it accompany them all day because they can be called on demand.

Earth Mages

If everyone else gets a ritual, why should Earth Mages be an exception?

  • History - because they always have.
  • Exceptions make the rules more interesting, less bland.
  • Because their Elementals are weaker - they have less EN&FT.


I would prefer to power elementals up a bit more and make all Elementals a ritual, or conversely power down Earth Elementals a bit if it is to stay as a spell. Mandos 07:57, 29 Nov 2006 (NZDT)

I quite like the idea of lesser and greater elementals. One summoned by spells the other by rituals.

As to size The lesser elementals could all be a fixed size but just get denser or tougher as the rank increases. For example Earth elemental rank 1 gets an 8ft tall sandy earth elemental that has low ps, en and ft. rank 5 gets an 8ft tall muddy textured elemental that has low - medium ps, en and ft. rank 10 gets an 8ft tall earthen/clay textured elemental that has medium ps, en and ft. rank 15 gets an 8ft tall sandstone textured elemental that has medium - high ps, en and ft. rank 20 gets an 8ft tall granite textured elemental that has high ps, en and ft. perhaps slide natural armour as well.

Air elemental rank 1 gets an 8ft wispy elemental that has low ps, en and ft. rank 5 gets an 8ft tall misty textured elemental that has low - medium ps, en and ft. rank 10 gets an 8ft tall light cloudy textured elemental that has medium ps, en and ft. rank 15 gets an 8ft tall foggy textured elemental that has medium - high ps, en and ft. rank 20 gets an 8ft tall Cumulo Nimbus textured elemental that has high ps, en and ft.

Water as ranks increase elemental goes from clear stream water to dense seawater in hue

Fire as ranks increase you get a wisp of fire and smoke up to a serious conflagration.

Greater Elementals could be taller say twenty feet and say three hexes. They would all be top of the range in aspect and tough to match. They could be smarter, able to use the spells described and perhaps require something in exchange for service.

Axis 12:32, 29 Nov 2006 (NZDT)


On the topic of Air/Water elementals fatigue and endurance ranges, I'm having a check back towards the original DQ 2 Rules to see if this is an error that we have brought all the way along from the initial rules, or something that crept in at some point in which case we can check the change log to find it. It's defiantly something that needs fixing buy either changing the ritual write-ups to drop the End/FT or changing the beastiery to have an appropriately sized End & FT range for such a large number in any rate, but I'll do some research as to where the ranges initially came from.

-- Bernard 17:14, 29 Nov 2006 (NZDT)
Bernard you said you are going to check the DQ 2 Rules, please do and post the result. Thanks.
--Jono 01:19, 11 Jan 2008 (NZDT)