Elementalist, Tirr (3.5e Prestige Class)
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|“||All you ever really need is force; I firmly believe that. Fire or acid? Burns everything, all over the place. Cold? It gets all brittle and falls apart. Electricity? Unpredictable, bouncing from object to object like that. Force is just better, and I happen to be quite appreciative of that.||”|
|—Albrecht, Dragonkin Elementalist, When asked why he almost never casts Burning Hands|
Wizards and Sorcerers alike have an entire world of magical properties at their fingertips. Some of the more combative spellcasters choose to further specialize in a single type of elemental affinity. We call these "Elementalists".
One might be tempted to think of the traditional form of the elements, or they might be thinking of the three elements of lore; An Elementalist isn't necessarily so cloistered, nor so lucky. They just happen to have a practical or even subjective preference for a particular type of spell over another. It's natural, really. Some people just seem to enjoy fire a bit more than other, and others might prefer a helping voltage of Electricity. Mages, specifically, who have such preferences and build upon that with their experience and experiments, end up becoming Elementalists, masters of the elements.
Becoming a Elementalist
Arcane Spellcasters often become Elementalists in the pursuit to develop more powerful versions of their favorite spells. In the hands of a normal wizard, a fireball is nothing to sneeze at; All-around a useful spell for clearing out the less savory denizens who seem to be oblivious to the folly of attacking a mage while being close together. In the hands of a Fire Elementalist, however, the very same fireball is recognizably more dangerous, burning hotter, brighter, and even bigger. It's a matter of practicality.
Elementalists are spellcasters who build upon an existing course of study, therefore they typically remain loyal to their original arcane classes' preferred attributes.
|Skills:||Concentration 6 ranks, Spellcraft 6 ranks, Knowledge (Arcana) 6 ranks|
|Spellcasting:||Must be able to cast at least one 3rd-level arcane spell with an elemental effect and/or descriptor (Acid, Fire, Cold, Electricity, Force, or Sonic)|
|1st||+0||+0||+0||+2||Elemental Affinity, Elemental Damage, Spellcasting||+1 to existing arcane spellcasting class|
|2nd||+1||+0||+0||+3||Elemental Crafting||+1 to existing arcane spellcasting class|
|3rd||+1||+1||+1||+3||Elemental Metamagic||+1 to existing arcane spellcasting class|
|4th||+2||+1||+1||+4||Elemental Counterspell||+1 to existing arcane spellcasting class|
|5th||+2||+1||+1||+4||Elemental Resistance||+1 to existing arcane spellcasting class|
The Elementalist is essentially a Sorcerer or Wizard... perhaps even a Bard, who has further specialized their arcane capabilities towards a chosen elemental affinity. All of the following are class features of the Elementalist.
Spellcasting: At each level, you gain new spells per day and an increase in caster level (and spells known, if applicable) as if you had also gained a level in an arcane spellcasting class to which you belonged before adding the prestige class level. You do not, however, gain any other benefit a character of that class would have gained. If you had more than one arcane spellcasting class before becoming an Elementalist, you must decide to which class to add each level for the purpose of determining spells per day, caster level, and spells known.
Elemental Affinity (Ex): At first level, an Elementalist must choose their specialization from the following elemental effects: Acid, Fire, Cold, Electricity, Force, Sonic. This type of effect becomes their chosen specialization for which all Elementalist class features apply to.
Elemental Damage (Ex): Spells that are aligned with the Elementalist's Elemental Affinity are cast at a bonus of +2 to caster level for the purposes of determining damage dice, so long as the damage is dealt directly at the time of casting the spell, or is a prolonged effect applied by the spell. Furthermore, all damage dealt by these spells gain additional elemental damage equal to the Elementalist's class level.
Elemental Crafting (Ex): Any magical item that an Elementalist creates, so long as it is created entirely with spells of Elemental Affinity, costs half as much in material and/or experience costs.
Elemental Metamagic (Ex): Spells cast with metamagic that are aligned with the Elementalist's Elemental Affinity take up one spell slot less than usual for metamagic. Furthermore, Elementalists who cast spells spontaneously, as a Sorcerer and/or Bard, do not require additional casting time to apply spontaneous metamagic when casting a spell with which they have Elemental Affinity.
Elemental Counterspell (Ex): When counterspelling any spell that aligns with your Elemental Affinity, you may use any spell also aligned with your Elemental Affinity one level or higher of the same school, as if under the effects of the Improved Counterspell feat, without having taken the feat beforehand.
Elemental Resistance (Ex): An Elementalist gains an amount of energy resistance equal to their Elementalist level, of the same type as their Elemental Affinity. Furthermore, an Elementalist can spend a standard action to bolster this effect to double that of their class level, or a full-round action to bolster it to triple that of their class level. The duration of the boosted resistance is a single round, though the Elementalist can attempt to maintain the resistance by succeeding a Concentration check (DC equal to 20 + Elementalist Class Level).
Playing a Elementalist
Combat: Elementalists take generally the same role as Wizards, Sorcerers and other heavy spellcasting classes in battle. The only difference is that Elementalists are specialized to specific elemental affinities and are more likely to focus on that particular part of their capabilities than others.
Advancement: Sorcerers and other arcane spellcasters are drawn to this class because they seek to improve their capabilities and effectiveness in battle, but also because they find themselves more akin to certain elemental values. That said, this is simply one type of specialization that does not necessarily preclude any others. Many Elementalists have gone on to become Archmages or Thaumatugists, for example.
Resources: An Elementalist can expect no more or less luxuries from the world around them, outside of some cultural or religious values that might happen to shape their lives. For example, while there are a number of arcane academies and guilds throughout the world of Tirr, whose members might very well be Elementalists, there are no notable institutions that sponsor Elementalists, exclusively. A temple in the service of Vok, the Aesirean God of Fire and Forge, however, might treat Elementalists who specialize in fire more preferably than other travelers.
Elementalists in the World
|“||Huh? That's Crassius. He's an Elementalist; Specializes in fire spells, fire enchantments, and just about everything else that you can set on fire. He used to live in town, but after we replaced the thatch on his roof a few times, and sometimes on our own, he moved a little ways out of town.||”|
Elementalists are essentially highly trained Wizards and Sorcerers who work hard to apply innovative and powerful new methods to the applications of their chosen elements. This allows them to tap the fearsome primal elemental power that aligns with their elemental affinity, and direct that power towards their current endeavors.
If casting a spell as a Wizard or Sorcerer would be akin to opening a small window to the primal elemental force, the Elementalist seeks to find that window and cast it wide, using themselves as a conduit between the primal elemental force and their objective. Because of this specialization, and the devotion needed to maintain it, other characters in the world might well often see Elementalists as a mixture of obsessed or diligent, often to the point of uneasiness or admiration. They do not typically enjoy much difference in reception than normal arcane spellcasters, however.
NPC Reactions: Those who do not know any better, such as Barbarians, Commoners or others who are ignorant of the complexities of magical properties, are likely to just see Elementalists as if they were any other Wizard or Sorcerer: A wielder of magic. Those who are more experienced with the arcane arts, however, will recognize the difference between themselves and an elementalist, although some still might find more prestige elsewhere.
Characters with ranks in Knowledge (Arcana) can research Elementalists to learn more about them. When a character makes a skill check, read or paraphrase the following, including information from lower DCs.
|11||Elementalists are mages who have attuned themselves to a particular Elemental Affinity, and become more capable of unleashing the primal power of their chosen element. Elementalists can be of one of the six fundamental types of elements.|
|16||Elementalists can channel the primal power of their chosen Elemental Affinity to perform a number of extraordinary abilities, such as bolstering similar spells destructive potential or lessening damage from similar elements.|
|21||Elementalists maintain a powerful link to the primal elemental force of their Elemental Affinity, itself, which restricts them from gaining the same proficiency in multiple elements.|
|26||Even some Elementalists do not know the true nature of what they're doing: Plucking the very threads of arcane power, the very fabric of the primal elemental forces of the Elemental Planes of Tirr, a powerful matrix of woven reality, created by Mana and Fate to establish the basis for the prison of the mad god, Varglokirr.|
Elementalists in the Game
Once more, Elementalists are essentially highly trained Wizards and Sorcerers who work hard to apply innovative and powerful new methods to the applications of their chosen elements. This allows them to tap the fearsome primal elemental power that aligns with their elemental affinity, and direct that power towards their current endeavors.
Adaptation: While Elementalists in other campaigns may not have the same origins, possibly due to differences in the planes, forces involved, or deity and/or universe modifications, they should be able to fit into any campaign that allows normal Wizard and Sorcerer classes without issue. Essentially, they're just these classes with high-focus on a single elemental value.
Sample Encounter: A group of seasoned travelers are welcomed into a small town, and upon asking around for work, are conscripted to help evict an Elementalist of the Fire Affinity, whose constant experiments and tests with his craft continue to endanger homes nearby. Being a former sorcerer who just recently began specializing with his affinity, he is dangerous enough to hire outside help, but should be within the bounds of the travelers to handle.
EL 7: The Elementalist isn't happy to hear that he's being evicted, and fights back against the party! He needs his home for his research and he possibly doesn't see his experiments as all that bad. Specializing in Fire Affinity, his fire spells deal extra damage to the party, all the same!
|Male Dragonkin Sorcerer 6 / Elementalist 1|
|CE Medium Humanoid|
|Init/Senses||+4/Listen +5, Spot +9|
|AC||24, touch 20, flat-footed 20|
|hp||152 (16 HD)|
|Melee||Rapier 1d6 or|
|Abilities||Str 15, Dex 18, Con 14, Int 12, Wis 12, Cha 15|
|Feats||Energy Substitution, Dodge, Empower Spell|
|Skills||Concentration +6, Knowledge (arcana) +10, Knowledge (local) +7, Listen +5, Spot +9, Swim +6, Spellcraft +8|
|Possessions||Rapier, Mundane Equipment, Spell Components|