Elemental Heritage

Sorcerers with an elemental heritage are generally either the result of magical experimentation or (more commonly) were influenced in the womb by elemental magics – their mothers lived on one of the Elemental Planes, or are elementalist mages (a specialist evoker who uses cold magics, for example). Some few are the byproduct of elemental creatures and mortals.

When the character is created, the player can choose Air, Earth, Fire, or Water as the sorcerer's heritage. While there are no alignment restrictions or influences, Air and Fire sorcerers tend toward chaotic alignments, while Earth sorcerers are often lawful and Water are neutral. All Elemental sorcerers choose mainly druidic and wizard spells, with the odd clerical prayer here and there.

A sorcerer with the Elemental heritage can choose from the following powers.

Elemental Affinity (Ex or Su): The sorcerer's ties to the elements grant him certain bonuses related to that element. Abilities that are not always active are considered supernatural.

At 1st level,

An Air sorcerer can create a cushion of air around himself as he falls, enabling him to fall more slowly (in effect, a feather fall spell). This is a move action, which can be maintained for as long as he concentrates. There is no limit to the number of times per day it can be used.

An Earth sorcerer can draw upon the power of the earth to grant him great strength. This requires a move action, and the sorcerer must be touching the ground (or a large mass of stone in contact with the ground, like a cliff) to activate it. He gains a +4 bonus to Strength, which lasts until he loses contact with the ground or stone, until he dismisses it, or until 1 round per class level has passed. This ability is usable 3 + Cha bonus times per day.

A Fire sorcerer can infuse himself with elemental Fire; one his hands (his choice) bursts into flame. He can hold the charge for up to 1 round per class level. He can make a touch attack against a creature or object which, if it hits, deals 2d6 fire damage. The target then bursts into flames, taking an additional 1d6 points of fire damage per round until extinguished. This ability is usable 3 + Cha bonus times per day.

A Water sorcerer gains a +6 bonus to Swim checks and can hold his breath for twice as long as normal underwater (or while immersed in any other liquid).

At 6th level,

An Air sorcerer gains greater control over his body while falling; he can glide, which means that, while falling and not under a feather fall effect, he can move 20 horizontal feet each round. Directing movement in this manner is a free action.

An Earth sorcerer gains tremorsense in a 15-foot radius, but he must be in contact with the ground.

A Fire sorcerer can use a fire as a scrying device of sorts. In order to use this ability, he must have a fire of at least Small (campfire) size; as a full-round action, he can tap into the elemental energies of the fire, then see through it to another fire within 1 mile per class level of the same or larger size (spells that block magic or remote viewing also block this ability).

He can use it to view a location or to communicate with someone on the other end. If he uses it for viewing only, those on the other end can make DC 20 Spot checks to detect the scrying; he can see everything within the radius of the light cast by the fire. If he chooses to communicate with someone, he is automatically visible, and he can see only the person before the fire, but they can speak freely (but not cast spells). In either case, the connection lasts until the sorcerer severs it (or it is dispelled), or for 1 round per class level. The scrying can be ended simply by dousing the fire on either end of the link.
A Water sorcerer can walk on the surface of water or other liquids. This ability can be manifested as a free action and requires concentration; the liquid under his feet temporarily solidifies into a gelid mass that supports his weight (so he could stand in one place, or move freely about). He is not protected from harmful liquids like lava or acid, however. This ability can be used 3 + Cha bonus times per day, for 1 minute per class level each time.

At 11th level,

An Air sorcerer can freely fly, as the fly spell. This ability is usable 3 times per day, for 1 minute per class level each time. If the duration ends while the sorcerer is still in the air, he falls.

An Earth sorcerer can merge with a mass of earth or stone large enough to hold him as a full-round action; thereafter, he can move freely through the earth at half his base speed for up to 1 round per class level. If he is still in the ground when the duration expires, he takes 3d6 points of damage and is expelled through the nearest surface (which could result in further injuries, like falling damage). Emerging from the ground is a move action. This ability is usable 3 times per day.

A Fire sorcerer can transport himself between two sources of fire. Both sources must be large enough to hold him (for reference purposes, a campfire is Small, a small bonfire is Medium, and a large bonfire is Large) and must be within 10 feet per class level of each other. The sorcerer merely steps into one fire and emerges from the other on his turn on the next round, without taking any damage from the flames (he can also use this in lava pools or rivers; in this case, he can emerge anywhere within range). This ability is usable 3 times per day.

A Water sorcerer gains a Swim speed equal to his base speed; if he already has a Swim speed, it increases by 10 feet. He can also breathe freely underwater, as if he were under the effect of a permanent water breathing spell.

At 16th level, an elemental sorcerer can control large amounts of his chosen element. In order to exert control, he must be within 5 feet per class level of the element and must be able to see it (this restriction is waived for Air sorcerers, for obvious reasons). Gaining initial control of the element is a full-round action; thereafter, he must maintain concentration, and can control it for up to 1 round per class level. He can manipulate up to 10 cubic feet per class level, all of which must be touching - a Fire sorcerer can't control several separate fires, for instance.

The limits of what can be done are nearly limitless, subject to the player's imagination and the DM's discretion. An Air sorcerer, for instance, could create a miniature dust devil that deals 1d6 points of damage per round to anyone caught in it (creatures and objects of Tiny or smaller size could be swept away). A Fire sorcerer could create animals out of existing sources of fire and control their movement, or simply make a mass of fire move on its own. An Earth sorcerer can make the ground move (ripple, open up under someone or something, or rise), create hands to grapple or pummel, or change its consistency, turning earth into fine dust or quicksand, or stone into mud or sand. A Water sorcerer can raise or lower water, as the spell control water, or create a small tidal wave (enough to swamp a small boat), or create tentacles of water that can snatch creatures nearby or in the water (within 10 feet of the water source) and drag them under to drown. Generally speaking, a controlled elemental mass uses the monster size rules for purposes of grappling, attack rolls, etc.

The sorcerer can relinquish control at any time as a free action; if he loses concentration for any reason or moves out of range, the element automatically reverts to its original state (which could prove disastrous for creatures caught in quicksand or mud). A fatigued or exhausted sorcerer cannot use this power.

Elemental Shroud (Su): Once per day per point of his Charisma bonus, an elemental sorcerer can draw upon the elemental essence in his blood to create a shield of energy around himself. The shield's appearance varies according to the bloodline: a whirling storm of air shot through with bolts of electricity (Air); a curtain of acid, sand, and crystal (Earth); an aura of flames (Fire); or a swirling aura of water and ice (Water). The shield surrounds the sorcerer at a distance of 1 foot and is not enough to obscure his sight. It grants resistance 10 against attacks using the opposing element (Air – Earth, Fire – Water). Anyone striking the sorcerer with a melee attack suffers 1d6 + Cha bonus points of damage of the appropriate type (electricity, acid, fire, or cold respectively). The shield lasts for 1 round per class level, and can be dismissed at will.

Energy Bolt (Su): The sorcerer can draw upon the elemental energy that flows through her veins to unleash a bolt of energy at a target up to 40 feet away. The energy type depends on the sorcerer's heritage – electricity (Air), acid (Earth), fire, or cold (Water); it deals 1d6 points of damage per class level, plus the sorcerer's Charisma bonus. There is no save to mitigate the damage, but energy resistance does apply. This ability is usable at will.

Summon Elemental (Su): Three times per day, the sorcerer can summon a creature related to his element – either a native of the plane, or a creature with an elemental descriptor. The DM can choose an appropriate creature; its ECL cannot exceed the sorcerer's class level, and it cannot be a unique being in any case. The sorcerer can summon a specific being (a genie or Huge elemental, for instance), but this requires a Concentration check (DC 10 + ECL), and the above restriction applies. The creature is under the sorcerer's control and remains for 5 rounds, +1 round per 3 class levels, or until it is slain or dismissed, then vanishes.

Heritage Abilities

As an Elemental sorcerer gains levels, he can increase the power of his abilities, but this power manifests itself as changes to his physical form.

Level I: The sorcerer's eyes change color to closer reflect his element heritage: pale blue or gray (Air), dark brown or black (Earth), amber (Fire), or deep clear blue or blue-green (Water). His innate abilities are adjusted as follows:

  • Damage from the elemental shroud increases to 1d8 + Cha bonus.
  • The range of the elemental bolt increases by 10 feet.

Level II: The sorcerer gains resistance 5 to his chosen element, and his innate abilities are adjusted as follows:

  • The ECL of creatures he can summon increases to class level +1.
  • He can freely substitute his chosen element for another in spells with an energy descriptor (acid, electricity, fire or cold only); if the spell uses more than one element (hellball, e.g.), he can substitute only one.

Level III: The sorcerer's hair and skin undergo slight changes in color, as noted below:**

  • Air: Hair is shot through with strands of silver, skin becomes paler.
  • Earth: Hair becomes darker, shading toward golden brown, auburn, or black, as appropriate; skin also becomes darker, taking on an earth-tone, as if he had a dark tan.
  • Fire: Hair becomes lighter, shading more towards red – brown or black becomes dark auburn, and blond is tinted with red; skin takes on a dark gold hue.
  • Water: Hair turns black, and skin takes on a faint pale blue or green tint.

He gains resistance 10 to his chosen element, and his innate abilities are adjusted as follows:

  • The elemental shroud grants resistance 15 against the opposing element.
  • The range of his elemental bolt increases by 10 feet.

Level IV: The changes wrought upon the sorcerer's body are the most dramatic by far, marking him as a true child of the elements. An Air sorcerer becomes leaner and gains +2 Dex; an Earth sorcerer becomes more bulky and muscular, gaining +1 to Strength and Con; a Fire sorcerer becomes taller by 1d4 inches and gains +1 Dex and Int; a Water sorcerer becomes subtly more physically attractive and gains +1 Dex and Wis. His innate abilities are adjusted as follows:

  • The range of control over the elements is doubled.
  • The ECL of creatures he can summon increases to class level +2.
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