The elemental wizard is a new variety of specialist mage beginning to appear throughout the lands. These wizards scorn the "accepted" theories of magical classification (the rigid school structure) in favor of a holistic, natural understanding of magic. The result is elementalism.
Elementalism is not a school in itself; it is an area of specialization focusing on spells involving the four prime elements of air, earth, fire, and water. These spells may be from any of the nine schools of magic. The fireball spell, for example, belongs to the evocation school, but according to elementalists, it is also a spell of elemental fire.
Unlike other specialists, an elementalist does not specialize in a single school of magic, but may learn and cast spells belonging to any school. Although this may seem to be a great advantage, elementalists suffer considerable penalties when learning and casting spells that do not relate directly to the elements. The exception to this penalty is the spells of the school of lesser divination, which every wizard may learn.
Each element has a diametrical opposite: air opposes earth, fire opposes water, and vice versa. Every elementalist must choose one element as his specialty. He may learn and cast any spells relating to his chosen element and gains advantages when doing so. He may also cast spells of the two elements which do not oppose his specialty, for which he receives no bonuses or penalties. Consequently, he may not learn or cast any spells associated with the element that opposes his element of specialty. For example, a fire elementalist may cast spells relating to fire, air, or earth, but may not cast spells of elemental water. A specialist is also prohibited from using magical items that duplicate spell effects of his oppositional element.
Although their repertoire of spells is small, elementalists are potent wizards, for they gain the following advantages when involved with spells of their chosen element:
- Elementalists receive a bonus of +25% when attempting to learn spells of their element and a bonus of +15% when learning other elemental spells. They suffer a penalty of -25% when trying to learn spells that do not relate to the elements.
- An elementalist may memorize one extra spell per level, providing that at least one of the memorized spells is from his element of specialty.
- Because elementalists have an enhanced understanding of spells within their element, they receive a +2 bonus when making saving throws against those spells. Other creatures suffer a -2 penalty when making saving throws against an elementalist casting spells from his specialty.
- Once per day, an elementalist may choose to cast one memorized spell from his element of specialty as if he were 1d4 levels higher. He must declare his decision to do this immediately prior to casting the spell. This affects range, duration, area of effect, and damage; it does not allow the wizard to cast a spell from a level which he normally could not use.
- When an elementalist attempts to create a new spell relating to his specialty element, the DM should count the new spell as one level less (for determining difficulty).
- Upon reaching 15th level, an elementalist does not need to concentrate when controlling elementals of his specialty element summoned by the 5th-level spell conjure elemental . The normal 5% chance of the elemental turning upon its summoner remains in effect.
- At 20th level, there is no chance of a summoned elemental turning upon an elementalist if the creature is of the wizard's specialty element.