Elementalist (3.5e Class)
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An elementalist is primarily a nature based spellcaster. Extremely talented, an elementalist is usually trained by a wizard or similar spellcaster, but finds little solace studying the lifeless words of more lifeless men. Often, an elementalist is driven to his path by youthful recklessness, finding freedom away from society and its followers. An elementalist finds attunement easily with the constantly shifting energies of nature, and follows a more natural method of magic than dusty scrolls and the words of wrinkly men.
Adventure: Elementalists view adventuring as their simplest connection to society. Often charismatic, they possess a wild allure, as well as a natural urge to explore. They rarely care for gold or material wealth, though magic and natural riches can fascinate the more ambitious elementalists. Adventures to elementalists have their own reasons for occurring. Some see it as a chance to grow, others see it as a way to further their attunement with the world, and still others take on adventuring as a way to cause chaos in society.
Characteristics: Elementalists are a combination of a wizard's study and a sorcerer's raw talent, guided by a druid's affinity for nature. often, elementalists are former wizards who find that learning through dusty tomes and enclosed walls rejects the natural theory of magic. Inherently impulsive and impatient, an elementalist is insatiably curious, and will learn and cast a slew of spells, often wearing himself out mentally in the process. Elementalists often find themselves partnered with a companion, be it magical or an animal, and both grow together. The strength of the relationship is the ideal example of an elementalist's beliefs, of working with nature and the arcane together.
Like wizards, elementalists love reading, but care little for the time it takes to study spells or useless lore. His magic is usually completely innate and natural, and wiards would view an elementalist's approach to casting as crude and unrefined.
Alignment: Elementalists are extremely carefree by definition. They care deeply for nature, and abhor any act of meaningless destruction against the natural world. They have little regard for laws, and view society as a collected mass of group intelligence, that is, mindless and useless. They have little regard for laws, and cannot be lawful, though they will obey laws when constricted by society's bounds, and hold honor of high importance. Most elementalists are chaotic good or neutral, however, sometimes an elementalist will declare a personal vendetta against society, and will be considered evil for all intents and purposes.
Religion: Elementalists revere nature over any deity, despite the potential myriad of backgrounds he can come from. If he does worship a deity, it is often related to his race or to magic. Corellon Larethian, Ehlonna, Obad-Hai and Boccob are not uncommon deities worshiped by elementalists.
Background: Elementalists are often extremely gifted magic users, noticed and taken into a wizard's apprenticeship from birth. Because of their raw talent, an elementalist is often bored, and turns to self studying, abandoning the books that outline a wizard's path. Unlike sorcerers, elementalists respect knowledge and lore, but place more importance on nature and 'living magic'. Some become druids instead of continuing their arcane path, others return to wizardry. An elementalist strikes the balance between using the 'higher' arcane magic, and balancing themselves with nature.
Most elementalists view society as destructive, and remove themselves from it. Some find companionship with druids, but are frowned upon for their use of arcane spells. Others find companionship with rangers, and sometimes monks, relating to their natural ways, and co-existence with nature. Some cross paths with sorcerers, and thus seek to improve themselves, while many remain hidden deep in the woods, until some debt or sequence of events drags them into adventure.
During his studies, elementalists develop a strong bond with nature, and exist almost on a supernatural level with it. As he grows, he will usually find one companion, be a magical or natural beast, and travels and develops with it. The companion feeds off of an elementalists raw excess magical energy, growing and developing at the same rate. (See below for rules of an elementalist's companion). These bonds may become so strong that the death of an elementalist's companion will incapacitate him, even resulting in instant death.
Elementalists, unlike most chaotic beings, place a high importance on honor, and in reverence of nature and other life. Because of this, they work and learn best with even lawful beings, such as monks and paladins, even studying with them in the course of their life.
Races: Elementalists are often youthful, and find more members among the slow aging races, such as elves, and gnomes, as more rapidly aging elementalists tend to mature, and decide to become sorcerers or wizards. Elementalists encountered outside of adventuring are rarely young. Humans and others tend to follow a more structured path(such as that of a wizard), or die of old age before reaching their full potential. As such, elves, half elves, as well as other crossbreeds, especially those who do not feel they fit into society, are optimal candidates for becoming elementalists.
Other Classes: Elementalists get along with many other classes who seclude themselves from society. Rangers, sorcerers, druids, and monks seem to share qualities that an elementalist relates to. Elementalists will often frown upon the chaotic and self serving natures of rogues and barbarians, and shy away from the fanaticism most clerics present. Wizards and elementalists will get along, provided the wizard doesn't force dusty books in front of him to study.
Role: Unlike sorcerers, even when charismatic, elementalists simply do not relate well with society. As such, an elementalist usually takes a support or independent role in the group, always learning and watching others, providing help when needed. Unlike wizards, elementalists lack the vast knowledge of wizened practitioners of arcane lore, so he will rarely guide a group from his side, preferring a role as a scout or a first line of offense. His many physical skills and relationship with nature allows an elementalist to provide a strong base of a party, utilizing spells and skills in a unique combination. Often, an elementalist will scout ahead, and use his wide array of spells to keep out of harms way, while providing offensive backup for his party.
Game Rule Information
Elementalists have the following game statistics:
Abilities: Elementalists have a wide array of skills and spells, and are often shortchanged in their inability to buff all their attributes. Intelligence, wisdom, and charisma all play a part in the elementalist's unique spellcasting method, while many of his skills depend on dexterity. Inteligence determines the number of spells per day, while wisdom and charisma outline how many spells an Elementalist may learn. A high dexterity and/or constitution is often required for Elementalists to stay alive.
Alignment: Any nonlawful. While this may change without penalty, Elementalists rarely confirm to the 'normal' concept of civilized life.
Starting Age: "Simple" Starting Gold: 2d8 +20 (28 gp), plus one minor wondrous item
|1st||+0||+2||+2||+2||Wild Empathy, Bonus Feat, Spell Recalling|
|2nd||+1||+3||+3||+3||Evasion, Animal Affinity|
|3rd||+2||+3||+3||+3||Eschew Materials, Supernatural Penetration|
|5th||+3||+4||+4||+4||Self-Sufficient, Memorized Spell|
|7th||+5||+5||+5||+5||Agile, Bonus Feat|
|9th||+6/+1||+6||+6||+6||Speak with Animals|
|10th||+7/+2||+7||+7||+7||Bonus Feat, Memorized Spell|
|15th||+11/+6/+1||+9||+9||+9||Timeless Body, Memorized Spell|
Class Skills (6 + Int modifier per level; ×4 at 1st level)
All of the following are class features of the elementalist
Weapon and Armor Proficiency: An elementalist can use most simple weapons, as well as the longbow, shortbow, shortsword, longsword, rapier, and whip. An elementalist takes a penalty of -4 with any weapon that has mechanical parts, such as a crossbow, as if he were nonproficient. He also takes a -1 penalty for any weapon made mostly out of metal, other than daggers, and the aforementioned swords. An elementalist is treated as being proficient with javelins when wielding one as a melee weapon, and does not take the -4 penalty.
Elementalists are proficient with light armor and medium armor, but not any type of shield. However, if any arcane spell failure chance occurs, such as when wearing padded armor (5% arcane spell failure chance), the elementalist looses all spellcasting ability entirely, looses all bonus feats, and any spells he has prepared for the day. (Not spontaneous casting) Any interference with the natural energies of the world completely disrupts the elementalist's spell casting ability. Thus, if even 1% arcane spell failiure chance occurs, the elementalist incurs this penalty.
'Wild Empathy (Ex): At first level, an elementalist can use body language, vocalization and his energy to improve communication with animals. This ability is treated as a diplomacy check. The elementalist rolls a d20, adds his elementalist level, and his charisma bonus to determine the result. An elementalist can use this on a magical beast with intelligence 1 or 2 with no penalty. Influencing an animal requires normal visibility and a distance of 30ft. or less. Generally, the action takes 1 minute.
Evasion (Ex): If an elementalist of second level or higher makes a successful reflex save against an attack that would deal half damage on a success, he instead takes no damage. A helpless elementalist cannot use this ability.
Animal Affinity: An elementalist of second level or higher gains Animal Affinity as a bonus feat.
Eschew Materials: An elementalist of third level or higher obtains eschew materials as a bonus feat. Elementalists use the natural energy, so at this level, they rise above a need to use such things.
Supernatural Penetration: At third level, an elementalist's supernatural abilities (if he has any) increase in their DC by +2.
Self-Sufficient: An elementalist gains Self-Sufficient as a bonus feat at level 5.
Spell Penetration: An elementalist gains Spell Penetration as a bonus feat.
Agile:' An elementalist gains Agile as a bonus feat.
Woodland Stride (Ex): Starting at 8th level, an elementalist moves through bushes, or other undergrowth without taking damage or suffering a penalty. Magical thorns, etc., or those magically manipulated to impede still affect the elementalist.
Speak with Animals (Su): Starting at 9th level, an elementalist may communicate with animals as if he were enchanted with the 'speak with animals' spell.
Improved Evasion (Ex): On a successful reflex throw, an elementalist takes no damage. In addition, any failed reflex throw results in the elementalist taking half damage. A helpless elementalist does not receive this benefit.
Timeless Body (Su): An elementalist has attuned himself so well with nature that he no longer physically ages, and does not recieve penalties or bonuses for aging. He also cannot be magically aged. In addition, an elementalist's lifespan multiplies by a factor of ten. (e.g., if his original lifespan was 120 yrs, it would be 1200 years.)
Improved Counterspell: An elementalist receives the bonus feat improved counterspell at the 17th level.
Memorized Spell: At the fifth level, and each subsequent five levels, an elementalist perfects one of his spells. It may be treated as Silent, Still, and Quickened. (See Memorized Spells below)
Bonus Feats: When receiving a designated bonus feat, an elementalist may receive any metamagic feat. (e.g., empower spell, maximize spell)
Spell Recalling: An elementalist, upon seeing a spell an ally or enemy casts (he must be within 30 ft of the caster), may make a spellcraft check (Dc 20 + spell level+ caster level). Upon a success, he stores the spell in his mind. In this state, the spell cannot be cast, nor is it treated as a prepared spell. At the end of the day, he may write this spell in a spellbook, for later use. An elementalist may only acquire ONE spell per day this way, and must have 10 min/spell level of uninterrupted concentration to write the spells in. If he is interrupted, the spell for the day is lost.
Additional Features, Factors to Note
An elementalist may not multiclass as another arcane spellcasting class, such as a wizard or sorcerer, though he may take a prestige class.
An elementalist who encounters a construct must make a willpower save of dc 20, or a) enter combat, or b) take a -1 to all saves for 1d4 hours. Elementalists get a -2 attack penalty to any hit made on a construct.
Elementalists do not get along well with machinery. On any craft or other skill check that involves a machine, an elementalist takes a -6 penalty to all rolls. This includes, but is not limited to, disarming non-magical traps, constructing something more simple than a staff or spear, operating any type of siege weapon, opening a portcullis, winding a clock, etc.
For the purposes of Homebrews, an elementalist may not be a gestalt character.
An Elementalist does not have the skill Concentration as a class skill. Spells are easily disrupted when cast by an elementalist, and checks in extreme situations should be made. This is a key feature of the elementalist class, as most elementalist left a wizard path because they are easily distracted. (This is also why the elementalist is combat-capable, as well as his familiar). A DM can, and should, take advantage of this weakness.
Elementalists, as an optional rule, when failing a concentration check in battle, have a 10% chance of casting a random spell. If the d20 roll results in a 1, the DM chooses a negative effect spell (either a damage spell to the caster or party, or an enhancement on the monster, or a non-effect spell). If the result lands on a 20, the DM chooses either a random damage spell on the enemy, or a random enhancement on the caster or his party. These may be of any level, and can result in amusing situations, such as shape-changing the barbarian in your party into a chicken, or suddenly casting prismatic spray on the poor helpless beggar you were trying to clothe in illusion.
Spellcasting as an Elementalist
Elementalists combine the arcane lore of wizards with the innate talent of sorcerers. They cast mostly nature based magic, coupled with basic arcane enhancements. Throughout their career, an elementalist will accumulate a myriad of spells, both for use as prepared, or as spontaneous casting, both with limits.
Elementalists learn and cast spontaneous spells as a sorcerer would. they learn high power spells quickly, but tend to wear themselves out when it comes to what they can cast per day.
In addition to the table below, each level an elementalist receives a certain number of 'Spell Points' to spend on learning spells. He may learn spells from either the elementalist's spell list, or a spell book he has handy. (This is the preferred method, as the elementalist's spell list is limited.)
Each spell the Elementalist wishes to learn costs it's Spell Level in Spell Points. E.g., a level 1 spell requires one spell point. Level 0 spells are the only exception, and they cost 1 point each, as well.
An elementalist who level's up receives Spell Points equal to his Wis bonus + his Cha Bonus. These spell points MUST be spent at the time they are received. (No saving up!)
The amount of spells an elementalist knows does not change his daily limit. (e.g., you may know every lvl 1 spell in the game, but you may only cast lv 1 spells a certain number of times).
Spells Per Day
An elementalist, though capable of hurling the most powerful spells even at an early level, is severely limited in the amount of spells he can cast per day.
The total number of spells cast per day is equal to elementalist level +int bonus.
0 level spells are excluded from this limit, though they have a total limit per day, and this limit excludes perfected spells (below).
Intelligence is also used for determining the spell save DC.
This int bonus is affected by magical items and other attribute modifiers. For instance, Gerrard is a lvl 5 elementalist with a +3 to intelligence. He may cast a total number of 8 spells per day, compared to a sorcerer's unmodified total of 12, and a wizard's of 10.
In addition, no spell may be cast more than a certain number of repetitions a day, and each level spell is further limited in its use:
|Spell Level||Spells per day||Repeats of Same spell|
No ability score gives an elementalist additional bonus spells per day, as other spellcasting classes receive.
In addition to spells per day, the elementalist may take 1 hr of preparing spells from his spell book, to a maximum of 10 spells. These spells may only be prepared from a spellbook, not from his spontaneous casting list, and may only be cast once each. Unlike a wizard, an elementalist does not start with a spellbook. He may not cast a spell of higher level than he would ordinarily be able to cast.
These do not count towards an elementalist's daily allotment of spells. An elementalist, regardless of level, may only have ten spells prepared at any given time, and may have no more than two of any particular spell level. (e.g., two level nine, two level eight... etc.)
Every five levels, an elementalist may choose one spell he has memorized, and perfect it. A perfected spell may be cast twice a day, and does not count against an elementalist's spells per day. It may be cast as a quickened, silent,and/or still, at no cost to the elementalist (provided he has the required feats). All other metamagic feats cause the memorized spell to take up a higher spell slot as normal. This represents the mastery the elementalist has with these spells. More often than not, these are minor or moderate spells that the elementalist becomes so familiar with he can release them at will. There are severe limitations to the spells an elementalist may perfect. A perfected spell must not have any material cost other than basic material components, or arcane foci, nor may it have an exp cost. It also must be a spell that the elementalist has had for some time (it may not be one learned the same level as it is memorized.) Each memorized spell also has a level limit equal to one half the characters level, rounded down. For instance, a spell memorized at level five may not be of a level greater than two. One learned at level fifteen is limited to level seven, and so forth. In addition, certain spells are automatically perfected at certain levels:
|5th||First memorized spell (lv 2 or less)|
|10th||Second Memorized Spell (lvl 5 or less)|
|12nd||Alter Spell (see elementalist's spellbook)|
|15th||Third memorized Spell, (lvl 7 or less)|
|20th||Fourth Memorized Spell, no limit.|
To balance this out, an elementalist may not learn an overwhelming spell, such as power word kill. The DM has the right to disaprove of any memorized spell.
Examples of good spell choices: Damage based Character: magic missiles, Lightning bolt (or fireball), Chain lightning, Prismatic Spray Enchantment based character: Mage armor, Overland flight, Cat's grace, mass, polymorph any object.
Example of overpowered/bad spell choices: Summon swarm, Phantasmal Killer, prismatic spray, mordekainen's disjunction.
Abusing powerful spells disrupts the natural flow of energies of an elementalist. If a memorized spell is too powerful (more than 1/3 Character level +1), there's a 1/20 chance that the spell tears at the casters mind. (roll a d20, if you roll a 1, you loose the spell and take 1d8 points of int damage for 1d4 days. Each day, roll a recovery check (1d20, dc 10, no bonuses) If you fail more than one, the int damage is permanent, and cannot be recovered with a wish or miracle spell.
The Epic Elementalist
Skill Points Per Level
Caster Level: The Elementalist's caster level is equal to his class level, as normal.
Bonus Feats: The epic Elementalist gains a bonus feat (selected from the list of epic Elementalist Feats every 2 levels after 20th.
'Epic Monk Bonus Feat List: Automatic Quicken Spell, Automatic Silent Spell, Automatic Still Spell, Energy Resistance, Enhance Spell, Epic Spell Focus, Epic Spell Penetration, Epic Spellcasting, Ignore Material Components, Improved Combat Casting, Improved Heighten Spell, Improved Metamagic, Improved Spell Capacity, Intensify Spell,Multispell, Permanent Emanation, Spell Knowledge, Spell Stowaway, Spell Opportunity, Spontaneous Spell.
The Elementalist may choose to pick a new Memorized Spell with DM approval instead of a bonus feat.
The elementalist casts druid spells as arcane spells, and also has access to the following: All level 0 arcane spells Any spell added to the elementalist's spellbook using his copying ability becomes a spell on the elementalist's list. Elementalists may also study other spellbooks to learn new spells, from the wizard or sorcerer list as well as the druid. Other spells are at DM discretion.