Eclipse – The Elementalist Level One Build

   Our next sample classless Eclipse d20 character is a fairly popular type of mystic – the Elementalist. Elementalists are fairly powerful spellcasters, but are restricted to magic involving a single element or school of magic. You may thus find Masters of Fire or Earth, Illusionists and Conjurers, and many more variants.

   Elementalists are, of course, popular simply because they’re easy. They have easily identifiable and distinguishable themes, easily limited sets of easily-explained powers, and easily-projected paths of character growth. They’re easy to make and play.

   And there’s nothing wrong with that. This is a game after all, and there are plenty of players out there who don’t delight in a detailed analysis of their characters abilities, or sorting through a list of hundreds of effects, or wondering why simple clairvoyance is more difficult than summoning a creature from another dimension and binding it to obedience.

   Why is that anyway?

   Now, if you have a Fire-Master, you have a pretty good idea of what he or she can do even before you decide how much, how long, and how good their control is. He or she will be able to light fires, create pyrotechnics, provide light, blast things with fire, make barriers of fire, either create constructs of fire or summon fire elementals, and will probably be able to resist fires and put them out. At higher power levels, he or she may be able to transform into fire, scry through it, or play tricks with plasmas or chemical reactions – but that isn’t anything you need to worry about with a starting character.

   In any case, an Elememtalist can work a few basic general magical tricks, produce cantrip-level effects within his or her speciality field pretty much at will, and work more powerful spells within his or her field.

  • Disadvantages: (Select three disadvantages for 10 CP).
  • Duties or Restrictions (An Elementalist often has restrictions on dealing with “opposing” types of magic – or duties to some organization or whatever force supplies his or her power, +2 CP/Level).
  • Total available character points: 48 (Level One Base) + 10 (Disadvantages) +2 (Duties) + 6 (Level One Bonus Feat) = 66, 18 of which (from disadvantages, duties, and the bonus Feat) may be spent outside of the Adventurer framework restrictions.

   Basic Attributes: Variable. These depend on the characters chosen spellcasting attribute – which is usually set by his or her chosen field of magic.

   Basic Purchases (30 CP):

  • Proficient with All Simple Weapons and Light Armor (3 CP).
  • +11 Skill Points (11 CP)
  • +2 on Will and Reflex Saves (12 CP)
  • d8 Hit Die (4 CP)
  • Initial BAB +0 (0 CP).

   Special Abilities (36 CP):

  • One level of Spontaneous Sorcerer Spellcasting, Specialized for double effect (effective level of two)/all effects beyond the level of cantrips must be drawn from a particular magical field (16 CP). Optionally, those with “natural affinities” may want to trade out the Components limitation for the Conduct limitation – allowing them to use spells while wearing armor without difficulties and to skip most rare or expensive ingredient requirements.
  • Immunity/their elemental speciality or school (Common, Major, Minor, 12 points of resistance, effects of up to level three, or +4 on relevant saving throws – whichever is most appropriate to the field in question, 6 CP).
  • Occult Sense/phenomena within the characters speciality area (6 CP). Elementalists can both sense and – with intelligence checks – determine a fair amount of information about phenomena within their area of expertise, whether that’s a magical signature, an air mage detecting toxic gases or predicting the weather, or a chronomancer telling the time and detecting disturbances in the flow of history.
  • Shaping, Specialized in the character’s chosen speciality, to allow producing various cantrip-level effects within that field at will (6 CP).
  • 1d6 Mana with the Spell Enhancement option, Specialized and Corrupted/only for use with Spell Enhancement, only for use with the Shaping ability, only to enhance efforts to resist, quell, or dispel effects within the characters magical speciality (2 CP).

   Further Advancement: Our Elementalist will, of course, want to continue buying magic levels – although probably not at every level unless the game master is running a very high-powered game. Every adventurer needs hit dice, saves, skills, and saving throws of course – but their major secondary sink for character points after spellcasting is going to be special powers. More Mana and Rite of Chi with Bonus Uses to let them counter effects more easily, Reflex Action to let them throw the occasional quick spell or make effective use of their counterspelling and blocking ability, upgrading their immunity, and various speciality-related enhancements. Those who specialize in the physical elements may want to develop elemental shapeshifting. An Air mage might want the ability to block missile attacks and the ability to sense disturbances in the air – a variant of Tremorsense. Stone mages may want armor class bonuses, earthshaping, and the power to commune with stone. Life-mages will probably want to be able heal themselves reflexively, or even unconsciously (Grant of Aid) when needed. Any Elementalist might like to take modifiers such as Spell Pool, and go to a full spell-point system.

   There are a lot of other ways to build an Elementalist of course: you could use Theurgy, and gain far greater versatility at the cost of slower advancement, or Path of the Dragon, and gain limitless use of your powers at the price of only fitting into a limited range of games, or do it in a dozen different ways – but this one resembles standard spellcasters closely enough to fit into almost any game.

Eclipse: The Codex Persona is available in print HERE and in a shareware .pdf version HERE.

3 Responses

  1. […] Elementalist: a specialist in a particular branch of […]

  2. Well, I don’t know about you, but I think an Elementalist should only be the cardinal elements of history – Air, Earth, Fire, and Water – with one exception. What do you get when you remove Air, Earth, Fire, and Water? I believe this indicates that there is a fifth element – that I call Void. I also wonder about the demi-planes – Mud (Water and Earth), Magma (Fire and Earth), Smoke (Fire and Air), and (here’s the one I’m not sure of) Fog (Air and Water). What do you think of my ideas Eclipse wise?

    • Well, this is Eclipse; it’s not like you can’t name a particular build anything you like. The mechanics of this one will support any kind of thematic magic you want though.

      In this case it was “elementalist” as in “elements of an array”. Thus you might go for the classical Japanese “elements” as you have, the four greek “elements” (or throw in positive and negative energy and the twelve demi-planes of older edition AD&D), the Chinese elements (wood, fire, earth, metal, water, yin, and yang), the mystical elements (as used in the Theurgy system – the physical elements of Air, Earth, Fire, and Water, the living elements of Body, Mind, Plant, and Spirit, and the Hidden Elements of Illusion, Magic, Space, and Time.

      You could also go for the “Elements of Magic” (in basic d20 Abjuration, Conjuration, divination, enchantment, evocation, illusion, necromancy, and transmutation. If you wanted to do magical ponies you could use Generosity, Laughter, Loyalty, Honesty, Kindness, and Friendship. You could do Harmony, Chaos, Good, and Evil. You could go with states of matter – Plasma (Fire), Gas (Air), Solid (Earth), Liquid (Water) – but then you might have to deal with electron and neutron-degenerate matter, strangelets, and a variety of other exotic states. You could do the “Elements of the Year”, with Spring, Summer, Fall, and Winter magic.

      There are an awful lot of both traditional and nontraditional sets of elements. Ergo this generic “elementalist” is set up so that it can be used with any of them.

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