Talk:Elementals (Proposal)

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In order to avoid clutter, the old talk page has been moved.... Here. Talk:Elementals (Proposal) (Old)


After a long discussion with Jono, the following changes to my proposal have been made.

  • I have differentiated between Ritual and Spell summoned elementals.
    • I am not pushing for any change to should any particular college be a spell or ritual, or both, but this will provide room in the future for such a change if others feel it should happen, or for a GM to give a special spell/ritual out to players and not have to write an entire rules set.
    • This will mean that Earth Elementals summoned by spell will get no spell abilities, which will avoid them being used as a Fatigue Battery.
    • Since Ritually summoned elementals will have spells, this will likely have the inherent effect of making them more usefull/tougher.
  • I have changed the Spells from magical talents to spells.
    • This means an Elemental can be stopped from casting by using a counterspell.
    • This means Elementals will be influenced by bane.
    • As it is linked to the casters ability in the spells, an Elemental can no longer add additional spells or be a better caster than the mage that summoned it.
    • This means that as a mage grows in skill in their spells, their elementals will also, and Elementals will be slightly unique based on their summoner in their spell ranks.
  • As the Original DQ 2 rules addressed my question about the difference between the Beastiary and the Summoning rituals, there is no longer any concern there as far as I am concerned, in that the difference has been intentional right from the original authors.

Hopefully the new format is easier to read, and better for moving into Playtesting also. I'm aware of the following area's of possible contention currently.

  • Air Elementals; Their ability to create a gale, I wasn't sure how to write the old ability into a spell format, and as Jono pointed out Elementals having magical abilities as talents made them uncounterspellable and so on, so I'm not entirely sure how to approach that problem.
  • The Splitting ratio. I've been told there has been standard convention on this but never anything formal, this may or may not be needed but if we only use convention, then per the rules a player could do something dramatically different. Up to people on this one.
  • Banishment of Ritual Elementals. By making them not immediatly banish if say, a water Elemental leaves the water and surges up onto a beach like a small tsunami, this makes a ritually summoned elemental considerably tougher to get rid of as well as able to extend it's reach a bit further into area's, which I personally believe to be a good thing, but thats up for open debate.

--Bernard 13:05, 14 Feb 2008 (NZDT)

Readers would be able to better evaluate your proposal if you could explicitly state the problems with the curent rules, and how your proposal intends to resolve these issues

Evilross 12:01, 13 Aug 2008 (NZST)

The revamp started from the original complaints about the stupid heights of elementals, 50' tall, 1 hex.
From there I noticed that their strike chances were also a little silly, and also that if a GM played by the book elementals were highly constrained when it came to magical abilities and manipulating their element.
Now admitadly most GM's aren't too fussy on the manipulating side, but I thought it would be a good idea to provide scope within the rules which would expand the magical range of an elemental. Since then in response to the previous rounds of feedback it's evolved a little, and should provide a lot more individuality between different mages elementals.
--Bernard 15:36, 18 Aug 2008 (NZST)

A few notes.

Why not separate the dependency of elementals as monsters from their summoning? Things like their stats/etc can be defined in the spell/ritual. That way you don't have to worry about some of the distinctions you've made. However, most elementals do turn up as the result of magic, not encountered as a natural phenomena.

Also I think there should be a bigger difference between the types, ie earth elementals should be much stronger (+5 PS/rank), air elementals more dextrous, fire more agile and do more damage, or something like that. So far your re-writing hasn't changed the fact that elementals all are basically the same creature with a different mask on. They should suit their element more, ie Earth for strength, fire for destruction/damage, air and water should be more subtle. They don't and IMHO should not just all be combat driven.

--Dan 21:50, 19 Aug 2008 (NZST)

If change are implemented to elements a discussion regarding the spell/rituals that summon the creates should occur. i.e. what, if any, changes should be made to the spell (altering the XP cost?). This is commonly a missing component when they mechanics are altered.

Evilross 00:59, 20 Aug 2008 (NZST)

I deliberately wanted to stay away from changing gross physical stats, as combining physical changes with the other changes would create a massive shift in elementals making it very hard to judge what effect the changes would have. By keeping the changes to only some of the sections, we can better judge the effects, then if people want further change afterwards, we can make those choices later.
As for the EM, thats the sort of thing a playtest should let us judge, since without playtesting we get no visible feedback on exactly what difference it makes.
--Bernard 18:23, 20 Aug 2008 (NZST)

I assume elementals are entities for the perposes of casting magics on them (including buffs) though I can see no referance to the fact? As to shape does it matter as long as the retain mass, or must an elemental be humanform, bipedal etc?

And given that celestial is a elemental college according to the book should we not also get Shadow, Star, Solar and Dark Elementals? Wheather adepts of this college should be able to cast them is a different discussion/can'o'worms;)

This 'slot' is generally assumed to be 'taken' by Light/Dark Sphere. I have come across a one-off feral Dark Elemental - --Errol 11:56, 22 Aug 2008 (NZST)


Re. Michael. Thats kinda a given since Entity is well, anything in the Beastiary. Non Sentient of course given they have no MA score at all. Shape I have no real opinion either way on, but was just keeping the current descriptions of them for that. If enough people think it should change it can.
--Bernard 01:04, 23 Aug 2008 (NZST)

Elementals moving stuff

Air elementals are sometimes used for long-distance travel. How fast do they move? I seen them played as being able to move at EN mph, as that's how fast they can blow winds (which they then presumably ride on). On the other hand, the stats give a much slower 500 yards/min + 50yds/min/rank (17 mph + 1.7 mph/Rk), as a short-term running speed. If air elementals are intended to be used for travel, a long-distance speed (in mph) should be given. Ditto water elementals in water, I guess.

--Andreww 21:01, 21 Aug 2008 (NZST)

Re Andreww. Good question. The current rules on them certainly don't allow them to do any kind of travel magic at all, and the proposed rules, well.... one could possibly say they bind the air then blow it along, but speed of that sort of travel would be entirely dependent on the GM's whim as to how stable and how fast it could go. Is this something people want Air Elementals to be able to do by the standard rules, or is GM whin as to can they bind air like that and how fast sufficient?

--Bernard 01:04, 23 Aug 2008 (NZST)

I as a player have used Air Elementals to move clouds (they can move with the wind) around with their ability to blow the wind. Yes its up to the GM, but most GM's allow it. The new Air Elemental (as it stands) can't do this, and it would be nice if it could. Moving to a MPH (as Andrew points out) is nice for everyone. If it was not re-included it would be missed by some.

You could include:

  • In general they can increase or decrees the speed of winds. At ground level (to a distance of 10 X EN feet) they can add or subtract 1/3 the Elemental Rank to the current Force scale (see Weather Scale Table 1.2). In the air (away from interfering structures, hills, etc) it will allow them to blow a wind driven objects by an additional endurance MPH.

I put it like this as it references the Weather Scale table, and allows for movement of wind driven objects.

--Jono 08:28, 2 Sep 2008 (NZST)
I'm not entirely sure on those numbers given air elementals Endurance reaching the hundreds, but it sounds a reasonable writeup to me and something that we can then gauge the effects of. The new elemental can already do something like this under the general manipulation of air category which the old one didn't, but it does sound like a case were we need to be more specific. Assuming people feel Wind Whistle/Mage wind effects are not sufficient for the situation.
In the same vein, people often play water elementals moving boats. Do people consider anything more than a mage current effect is needed there?.
--Bernard 09:29, 2 Sep 2008 (NZST)

Melee Strikes

Their SC% needs to increase with rank. I think +5% per rank putting them in the 140-160 range at rk 20. Otherwise they run into the same issue as now, they can only hit when in close.

Fire - if they are immolating then I think it should be half non-magical fire, half magical fire. Gaining another +1/rk for EN and +2/Rk for Spec.

Alternatively it should be a 'fire-fist' physical strike doing half physical half magical fire.

-- Stephen 08:14, 30 Aug 2008 (NZST)

I agree with the concept, I prefer +4% per rank though as it matches the increase for weapon skills thus standardising the increase a little and also it drops the max strike chances a little, so they are a bit more reasonable.

My gut feel is that Elementals should not replace PC warriors in a fight and so having lower strike chances is a balancing mechanism for the high damage they deal out. --Mandos 11:41, 1 Sep 2008 (NZST)

Fair enough, I picked 5% as a nice round number that most of us can multiply on the fly at 10pm. 4% is also fine. Key thing is that a Rk 20 Elemental should be scary in melee, not something you ignore until it closes. -- Stephen 23:21, 1 Sep 2008 (NZST)

My apologies if it wasn't entirely clear, but I have given elementals a rank based SC in the common characteristics section. They use half the ritual rank as their weapon rank was my proposal, which means they max at Rank 10 in their weapons, and of course, add MD also.
If this wasn't clear enough we can add this to each elemental writeup also?
Fire I went with half physical/half magical to explain the fact a fire elemental has a PS stat. It'd be pretty odd for something with a massive PS stat to hit you and do totally no physical damage. We can simply rename the strike and keep the overall damage/etc the same if that makes more sense to people?
--Bernard 01:38, 2 Sep 2008 (NZST)

Ok, comparing the SC at rank for adding MD and 1/2 rank vs +4/rk this gives ranges of:

Element Rk 0 Rk 10 Rk 20 vs Rk0 Rk 10 Rk 20
Air 90% 113% 135% 65% 105% 145%
Earth 60% 83% 105% 50% 90% 130%
Fire 90% 113% 135% 70% 110% 150%
Water 67% 90% 113% 50% 90% 130%
Ice 70% 93% 115% 50% 90% 130%

I prefer the +4% per rank in ritual. It means that rank counts for more than the type of elemental, and most elementals should hit equivalent level mages half the time and have a chance of hitting equivalent fighters but slim chance against evading fighters.

Effective Weapon rank of 1/2 Ritual rank is fine for IV, parry, etc.

Re Fire: Ok, please rename it to something that implies physical thumping.

-- Stephen 15:36, 2 Sep 2008 (NZST)

Just on that, an equivalent level mages defence would be what? My guess is around 50-70% (15AG, 42% Magic, 2% Amulet, and maybe a bit more for a shield). So for a mage to be hit about half the time would be base chances from the first set of columns. I prefer the straight rk*4 calculation for run time simplicity but just querying the numbers on your intended target for those base chances. --Mandos 15:50, 2 Sep 2008 (NZST)

I was thinking 80% Def for a high level mage (as you speculated plus another 10-20% for high level weirdness) vs 130% SC for most elementals is 50% chance of actually hitting (obviously worse vs Fire/Air).

Fighters getting another 20+% for Warrior, better AG, greater focus on combat items and abilities. Then adding 38-50 when evading.

-- Stephen 16:40, 2 Sep 2008 (NZST)
Does it not complicate things more having to use 2 separate numbers when calculating SC & IV etc, rather than simply using the same number for both? While I do agree using a +4% per rank makes the SC itself easy, but how often is your rank in a ritual going to change mid adventure anyway? It's no harder than calculating a single one of your weapons.
Also warrior will give no bonuses vs elementals as a side note, because warrior doesn't give bonuses vs monster type attacks, teeth, claws, etc. Only against weapons in a weapon group. Though 90-100 defence isn't too much to expect in a high level warrior with a shield.
--Bernard 18:29, 2 Sep 2008 (NZST)

Er No. It means everything is directly tied to the rank of the spell/ritual.

SC: x +4/Rk Dam: [D+x]+Rk IV: PC+AG+Rk/2 Eff Weapon Rank: Rk/2

I never suggested that the rank of the ritual would change mid adventure (though that does happen occasionally), however frequently players and GMs don't have the SC for their elementals worked out in advance.

-- Stephen 09:55, 3 Sep 2008 (NZST)

Hmmm, damage is directly tied to the rank already I suppose. I was thinking of just using rank/2 as the weapon rank then calculating everything as a normal weapon, to keep mechanics the same as normal weapons.
Still, either way works. Though the numbers on +4%/rank do seem as high as a high warrior is getting pre greater, and if you have an E&E on adventure, you can take an hour and drop a greater on your elementals also, pushing them up another 20% potentially.
Does anyone with a high level warrior want to post SC's & a rough breakdown of where that number comes from so we have a point to compare with?
--Bernard 14:10, 4 Sep 2008 (NZST)

Calculating X times Rank is a lot easier runtime that calculating out a weapon SC. Stick with the simple option for the mathematically challenged. --Mandos 14:25, 4 Sep 2008 (NZST)

Without getting into 'Guild Beast' abilities:

Hand & a Half Rk7: 60% + 28 + MD 20 + Rk7Warr 7 + Rk20GE + 21 + AmDiamonds 2 = 138% (Plus weapon/wpn spell/items)
Unarmed Rk10: (2*AG+PS-15) 45 + 50 + MD 20 + Rk7Warr 7 + Rk20GE + 21 + AmDiamonds 2 = 145%

My fighter adds 15-20% to the above plus weapon spells for an extra 20-25%. The top fighters in the guild sit around 200% with their best weapon.

-- Stephen 15:56, 4 Sep 2008 (NZST)

Hmmm, so it sounds like other than guild beast abilities a Rk 20 elemental would be pushing similar to a high level fighters average strike chances using +4% per rank. On the other hand, that is a Rk 20 elemental, we can give it a go and see how it works, if it doesn't work well, we can change it after playtesting. Changing writeups.
--Bernard 20:48, 4 Sep 2008 (NZST)