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AryalůmŽ
Senior Scribe

USA
666 Posts

Posted - 05 Dec 2012 :  01:44:09  Show Profile Send AryalůmŽ a Private Message  Reply with Quote  Delete Topic
So, while in my chemistry class a good while back, I learned that the Greeks used to believe that light itself was an element (aether? aethir?). What would you all think of beings that embodied light itself as an element in D&D? I think it would be fairly interesting to see what we could cook up with them.

Hoondatha
Great Reader

USA
2438 Posts

Posted - 05 Dec 2012 :  02:03:41  Show Profile  Visit Hoondatha's Homepage Send Hoondatha a Private Message  Reply with Quote
The aether in D&D influenced both the ethereal plane (everywhere but you can't sense it) and the phlogiston between the spheres. Both have creatures native to them, but neither has elementals.

However, we do have the quasielemental plane of Radiance, which does have elementals. Well, quasielementals, but for your question the same thing. Enjoy!

Doggedly converting 3e back to what D&D should be...
Sigh... And now 4e as well.
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Chosen of Asmodeus
Master of Realmslore

1221 Posts

Posted - 05 Dec 2012 :  07:19:43  Show Profile  Visit Chosen of Asmodeus's Homepage Send Chosen of Asmodeus a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Within the context of 4e D&D the concept is essentially covered by angels.

"Then I saw there was a way to Hell even from the gates of Heaven"
- John Bunyan, Pilgrim's Progress

Fatum Iustum Stultorum. Righteous is the destiny of fools.

The Roleplayer's Gazebo;
http://theroleplayersgazebo.yuku.com/directory#.Ub4hvvlJOAY
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sleyvas
Great Reader

USA
8339 Posts

Posted - 05 Dec 2012 :  10:29:15  Show Profile Send sleyvas a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Lately I've been thinking about the "classic" elements and how people percieved them in the realms in the past. Yes, there were the four inner planes of "earth, air, fire, and water". However, there were also the quasi-elemental planes of radiance, steam, lightning, minerals, dust, vacuum, ash, and salt.... plus the paraelemental planes of smoke, ice, ooze, and magma. Now, factor in that the people of Toril didn't have a "map" of how all these planes were "layed out"..... could we see some people that felt that the elemental schools of magic were "light, lightning, steam and minerals"? Or maybe just an odd admixture "earth, fire, water, metal, crystal, wood, lightning, and light" wherein they thought that the feywild and the elemental realms were related and thus they threw in wood.

Alavairthae, may your skill prevail

Phillip aka Sleyvas
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Razz
Senior Scribe

USA
722 Posts

Posted - 05 Dec 2012 :  12:03:59  Show Profile Send Razz a Private Message  Reply with Quote
They have stats for Shadow and Darkness elementals in 3E I believe. I am surprised Light Elementals were not covered in the Dragon Magazine where they talked about the Plane of Radiance.
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Hoondatha
Great Reader

USA
2438 Posts

Posted - 05 Dec 2012 :  14:25:53  Show Profile  Visit Hoondatha's Homepage Send Hoondatha a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Sleyvas: I doubt it. The problem is that the "Big Four" are so omnipresent, and the ones you describe are obviously subsets, that I don't see how they could get replaced. I mean, earth air fire and water come from Earth metaphysics, and were thought about deeply for many centuries before science came along and actually explained things. So we already have a "test case" of what people will come up with working on their own.

Now, I think it's entirely possible that people could add to the big four. Oriental cultures on Earth, for instance, add wood and sometimes metal and spirit (please don't flame me, this isn't my area of expertise). So a different culture could add another element if they wanted. It still likely would be more of a "combination" element and not one that exists within the big four, like the way lightning is part of the air.

Doggedly converting 3e back to what D&D should be...
Sigh... And now 4e as well.
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sleyvas
Great Reader

USA
8339 Posts

Posted - 05 Dec 2012 :  16:30:08  Show Profile Send sleyvas a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Hoondatha

Sleyvas: I doubt it. The problem is that the "Big Four" are so omnipresent, and the ones you describe are obviously subsets, that I don't see how they could get replaced. I mean, earth air fire and water come from Earth metaphysics, and were thought about deeply for many centuries before science came along and actually explained things. So we already have a "test case" of what people will come up with working on their own.

Now, I think it's entirely possible that people could add to the big four. Oriental cultures on Earth, for instance, add wood and sometimes metal and spirit (please don't flame me, this isn't my area of expertise). So a different culture could add another element if they wanted. It still likely would be more of a "combination" element and not one that exists within the big four, like the way lightning is part of the air.



That's all because we're from earth and we're basing this on what earth did. For instance, its not obvious to me that lightning is part of air anymore than an island is part of water just because it sits in it. However, if I'd seen lightning hit a tree and then a fire started..... I might think that lightning is the base element and not fire (as it takes the element of lightning and wood to make fire). Lightning is also fast, so the "sparks" you see coming off flint and steel are simply "small/fast lightning". Now, when fire burns things down, what's left behind is ash, which eventually becomes earth.... except in the case of metals, which simply change shape. Then they discover spells that harness lightning and note that magical electricity can be transferred via metal. So, in this instance, their elements are lighting/electricity, earth, and metal so far. Then, they don't really fathom air per se, so much as they get that there is light and the absence of light perfusing air. Meanwhile, there are these special types of earth that allow light to traverse through them and thereby change the light. They call these types of earth crystals/minerals, and they start ascribing all kinds of qualities to these different crystalline elements. Finally, they recognize water and .... maybe instead of wood, they think "flesh" as wood is simply the "flesh" of a tree. So, they end up with lightning, earth, metal, crystal, water, and flesh as their elements. Maybe after they discover magic missile they add "force" as an element, and they ascribe "force" as that which drives the wind.

That's just a very rough idea, but you can see how it might work.

Alavairthae, may your skill prevail

Phillip aka Sleyvas
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Markustay
Realms Explorer extraordinaire

USA
15712 Posts

Posted - 05 Dec 2012 :  19:24:38  Show Profile Send Markustay a Private Message  Reply with Quote
The title of this thread made me think of 'Heavy elementals'.

I want to summon a Uranium Elemental.

"I have never in my life learned anything from any man who agreed with me" --- Dudley Field Malone

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Hoondatha
Great Reader

USA
2438 Posts

Posted - 05 Dec 2012 :  20:34:35  Show Profile  Visit Hoondatha's Homepage Send Hoondatha a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Well, it's a golem, not an elemental, but Spelljammer has the Radiant golem. It's like a super-charged, sentient iron golem made out of some unknown material. Which oh-by-the-way has a death aura that you have to save against every day or lose hit points. I guess that explains what happens when your list of exotic materials includes uranium.

Doggedly converting 3e back to what D&D should be...
Sigh... And now 4e as well.
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see
Learned Scribe

192 Posts

Posted - 06 Dec 2012 :  00:10:00  Show Profile Send see a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I note that the Planescape Monstrous Compendium Appendix, we had radiant mephits (p.73), and in the Planescape Monstrous Compendium Appendix III, we had radiance quasielementals (p.82 & pp.84-85).

Indeed, the former has sixteen mephits, one each for all the elemental and para/quasi-elemental planes except Vacuum (instead of a vacuum mephit, there are both steam and mist mephits), while the latter includes para/quasi-elementals for all twelve para/quasi-elemental planes.
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TBeholder
Master of Realmslore

1887 Posts

Posted - 07 Dec 2012 :  11:34:45  Show Profile Send TBeholder a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Yup, a quasielemental. It looks like (surprise) a glowy ball of brightness equal to continual light, attack (double surprise) with a choice of colorful beams, don't like magical darkness. Generally are peaceful until disturbed.
Probably can get summoned mostly for alchemical purpose - when Prism of Light Splitting from Tome of Magic is a good idea, but too simple.

People never wonder How the world goes round -Helloween
And even I make no pretense Of having more than common sense -R.W.Wood
It's not good, Eric. It's a gazebo. -Ed Whitchurch
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Fyre
Acolyte

USA
1 Posts

Posted - 08 Dec 2012 :  18:46:55  Show Profile Send Fyre a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Chosen of Asmodeus

Within the context of 4e D&D the concept is essentially covered by angels.



Good point there. However, personally, I considered the Elementals to be be rather.........non-sentient. More of mindless....Elements. Angels are, basically, Celestials. Immortal ones, at that~

Light elementals........would be like the rest of Elementals, right? Just embodiment's of different parts of Nature? Or.......would they be special? After all, it is a big scientific discussion if Light is physically-tangible or not.

Yikes, this thread is making me think a lot.
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