Monday, 24 February 2014

Elementalist: Specialists and 1st Level Spell List

While waiting for the completion of the illustrations for The Complete Vivimancer, I've been playing around with some ideas for my follow-up project The Complete Elementalist.

My plan is to include rules for a generalist elementalist as well as specialists in each individual element. What I have in mind is the following:
  • An elementalist may at any point in his career choose to focus his study on one of the cardinal elements. Once made, this decision cannot be reversed.
  • Elemental specialists can only memorize spells which are directly related to their chosen element, though this includes sub-elements. For example, a fire specialist could also memorize sub-elemental spells of ash or magma.
  • Elemental specialists can cast spells relating to other elements from scrolls, but are absolutely restricted from casting spells of the element opposed to their chosen speciality, including sub-elements. For example, a fire elementalist cannot cast water-related spells from scrolls, even spells of steam (a sub-element of fire and water).
  • The advantage of a narrow focus is that an elemental specialist casts and memorizes spells at one experience level higher than his true level.
This ability to specialise on a single element means, of course, that the spell lists will need to be balanced, providing a decent selection of spells for each element. Ideally I'd like to make the spell list exactly balanced.

I've been working on the 1st level spells, and so far this has worked out. Here's the list as it stands.

All 1st Level Spells
1. Burning hands
2. Create water
3. Crystal resonance
4. Domination of lesser elementines
5. Dust blast
6. Feather fall
7. Feet of stone
8. Firelight
9. Firewreath
10. Fist of stone
11. Flickerflame
12. Hush
13. Ignite
14. Lasting breath
15. Lodestone
16. Manipulate fire
17. Message
18. Mudflow
19. Purify
20. Ray of fire / ice
21. Resist cold
22. Rusting grasp
23. Seasong / windsong / firesong
24. Shapes
25. Sound the deeps
26. Stalagmites / stalactites
27. Stoneskin
28. Unburn
29. Wall of vapour
30. Windwreath

1st Level Air Spells
1. Domination of lesser elementines
2. Dust blast
3. Feather fall
4. Flickerflame
5. Hush
6. Lasting breath
7. Message
8. Purify
9. Seasong / windsong / firesong
10. Shapes
11. Wall of vapour
12. Windwreath

1st Level Earth Spells
1. Crystal resonance
2. Domination of lesser elementines
3. Dust blast
4. Feet of stone
5. Fist of stone
6. Lodestone
7. Mudflow
8. Purify
9. Shapes
10. Sound the deeps
11. Stalagmites / stalactites
12. Stoneskin

1st Level Fire Spells
1. Burning hands
2. Domination of lesser elementines
3. Firelight
4. Firewreath
5. Flickerflame
6. Ignite
7. Manipulate fire
8. Purify
9. Ray of fire / ice
10. Seasong / windsong / firesong
11. Shapes
12. Unburn

1st Level Water Spells
1. Create water
2. Domination of lesser elementines
3. Lasting breath
4. Mudflow
5. Purify
6. Ray of fire / ice
7. Resist cold
8. Rusting grasp
9. Seasong / windsong / firesong
10. Shapes
11. Sound the deeps
12. Wall of vapour


  1. I'd keep wood & metal specialists in mind as well. Someone always throws those into the mix. And any other variants that come to mind.

    1. I'm actually consciously just sticking to the 4 classical elements. I wanted to keep the class pretty focused, and didn't want it to veer too much into druidy realms by including things like lightning or wood. There will be a few metal-affecting spells in the earth, fire or water schools (rusting grasp, for instance).

  2. Hi. I play a little known 80s RPG called Dragon Warriors, and the elementalist there also had to choose a 'prime' element at PC start. Strong in that element, and slightly resistant to it, capable but weak in the two 'adjacent' elements, and forbidden from any spells dealing with their 'opposite' element, and more vulnerable to it. Lightning was a high level water spell, as it's associated with storms, but a copper rod was needed to 'capture' the bolt before it could be used, which had it's own risks

    Anyway, I like what you're doing, so please continue.