Advanced Dungeons and Dragons 2nd edition: Wizard class: Specialist Wizard Elementalist



Elementalists are wizards who specialize in spells dealing with one of the four elements — air, earth, fire or water. There are also a few elementalists who specialize in spells dealing with the para-elements (ice, magma, ooze and smoke) and some who specialize in spells dealing with quasi-elements (ash, dust, lightning, mineral, radiance, salt, steam and vacuum). Examples of para-elemental and quasi-elemental specialists are detailed in a section which follows this one.
Elementalists ignore the “normal” structure of the philosophical school. Instead, all spells are designated as either elemental spells or nonelemental spells. Furthermore, elemental spells are divided into spells of each of the four elements. An elementalist is barred from casting spells of the element that opposes his particular specialty; fire mages cannot cast water spells, air mages can’t use earth spells, and vice versa.

Elementalists enjoy most of the standard benefits and restrictions of specialist wizards, but there are some minor differences. They gain the benefit of memorizing an extra spell of each level, as long as it is taken from their preferred element. An elementalist gains a +2 bonus to saving throws against spells of his particular specialty (fire for fire mages, etc.) and inflicts a –2 penalty to his opponents’ saves when casting spells of his specialty.
Elementalists gain a +25% bonus to learn spells of their specialty, and a +15% bonus for other elemental spells that don’t actually oppose their specialty. For example, a fire mage has a +25% bonus to learn fire spells, and a +15% bonus to learn air and earth spells; he can’t learn water spells at all. Elementalists suffer a –25% penalty to learn all other nonelemental spells. Last but not least, elementalists research spells of their specialty as if the spells were one level lower than their actual level.
Note, elementalists do not automatically add a spell to their spellbook when they gain a level, as other specialists do. However, an elemental specialist has the ability to cast one memorized spell of his specialty per day as if he were 1d4 levels higher with no additional spell point cost. This affects range, duration, area of effect, and damage.
When an elementalist reaches 11th-level, he does not need to concentrate to control an elemental of his specialty that was summoned through conjure elemental. At 14th-level, there is no chance for a summoned elemental to turn on the elementalist.
While the elemental schools tend to be small, the elementalists’ abilities generally exceed those of normal specialists. Elemental wizards of earth and fire have a potent range of attack spells and can equal the firepower of an invoker. Wizards of air and water tend to have fewer damaging spells, but have access to better travel and support powers.
Elementalists can be used to portray magicians of unusual cultures or origin. After all, the standard philosophical arrangement of schools implies a scholarly, Western approach to magic, but not every culture or nation may have the same beliefs or practices regarding sorcery. Many elementalists are much closer to nature, or more attuned to their surroundings, than philosophical specialists.