Elemental Theory argues that the elements can be organized into a sort of wheel of dominance, in which each of the five elements dominates one other element and is dominated by another element. The interaction between adjacent elements create what are known as Para-Elements, which are inferior in power to the five Prime Elements. The interaction between all five of the elements all together creates the stuff of Shadow which stretches from Amber to Chaos.
This system of elements seems to have been inherited from the Pre-Logrus civilization, which is believed to have ordered its understanding of the universe on these principles. The Pattern itself reflects five Elemental Patterns, in accordance with these principles.
Elemental Power is inferior to Pattern and Logrus, but typically somewhat superior to Sorcery, within its ambit.
The Wheel of Elements:
"Water douses Fire forges Metal chops Wood bends in the Wind ripples Water"
In a direct conflict, each element dominates one other element and is dominated by another one. Water dominates Fire. Fire dominates Metal. Metal dominates Wood. Wood dominates Wind. And Wind Dominates Water. In game terms, this means that if, say, Water and Fire Elementalists with equal psyches try to blast each other with Elemental Attack, the person with the Water Imprint will, all other things being equal, beat down the Fire Elementalist and get through their attack with a weakened one of her own.
Wise Amberites, of course, make sure that all other things won't be equal.
The Prime Elements:
All that is gaseous is the realm of Air. This ranges from poisonous gases to life-giving and fire-causing oxygen. The element of Air also has power over weather, although you can control weather a lot more effectively if you also have Fire (for lightning and temperature) and Water (for clouds, rain, snow) imprints.
Fire burns and consumes, creates and destroys, warms gently and sears hideously. It is the most volatile of the elements, for while air moves more freely, Fire is more destructive. You can try to control other forms of energy with fire, although many of them partake of the nature of other elements (lightning of air, for example). It is also useful for controlling temperature, especially for heating things up, and for controlling light, an aspect of fire.
Metal is the realm of the non-living solid. Metals and stone are the main area of influence (dirt is more in the realm of Plant, as it is the matrix in which Plants grow and is made of dead Plants). It is the area of things which have solidity and persistence and form and were never alive.
This is the realm of living and once-living plants. Animals are a complex mix of all five elements and can't be controlled by this, but every plant from fungus to mighty redwoods to endless fields of wheat are part of the sphere of Plants.
Water is the realm of liquids, both poisonous and pure. If it flows, you can control it. At sea, tides and currents are easily commanded. Solidified water, ice, is also controlled by this, unlike most frozen liquids, which fall under Metal. Ice is so tied to the idea of water itself, that it remains under the influence of the Water elementalist.
Para-Elements come from the interaction of elements. They are not as powerful as pure elements, and those who control both of the relevant elements can generally beat down someone who practices only a Para-Element. They are more specialized, generally speaking, more easily mastered because they are more focused. But they also tend to be more rare. Air is a common element, smoke is less common. And so on.
Most serious elemental masters ignore them, since they can be controlled via Co-Joint Affects if both of the relevant elements are controlled, and they tend to be weaker.
Air (Wind) + Fire = Smoke
Smoke is, well, control over smoke, from tobacco to burning chemical fumes, to good old fashioned wood smoke.
Fire + Metal (Earth) = Magma
There aren't too many magma experts, because it's hard to get access to your element to master it. But this is the sphere of molten rock and metals.
Metal (Earth) + Plant (Wood) = Oil
Oil and other naturally produced liquids originating from organic materials are the sphere of this para-element. Things produced from such chemicals also falls into the realm of this para-element, such as plastics.
Plant (Wood) + Water = Mud (Ooze)
Mud, slime, and similar substances are the realm of this para-element.
Water + Air = Mist
Mist, fogs, and clouds, ie, water vapor, is the area of control of this
para-element. This can include mists of other liquids than water.
[requires Chaos Psyche, Chaos Endurance]
Basic Imprint: 30
Advanced Elemental Mastery: 50
Master of Elements: 70 (Cannot be purchased until after game begins)
Exalted Elemental Mastery: 90 (Requires centuries of dedication; essentially NPC only)
Acquiring an Elemental Imprint is not an easy thing. It requires one to seek out someone else knowledgeable in the arts, who can then take you deep into Shadow to a shadow embodying your element in all its purity. They must then invest anywhere from days to decades (depending on your Psyche) in instructing you in the arts of that Element, followed by a very dangerous ritual in which your mind is plugged into the shadow itself, and you must successfully attune youself to the element involved, or you will perish in the attempt.
It requires a minimum of Chaos Psyche and Chaos Endurance to survive the process, assuming one goes into it fully rested and unhurt.
It is possible to acquire multiple Elemental Imprints. This puts more and more strain on you as you acquire them, and requires more and more of those who would master such a thing. See below under Multiple Imprints, Para-Elemental Imprints and Co-Joint Affects.
Possessing an Elemental Imprint tends to influence one's personality. This is no where near the level of impact a Broken Pattern flaw has on a person, but attuning oneself to an element does tend to effect one's personality somewhat in the ways typically connected with that element (Fire Elementalists tend to have bad tempers and be passionate, Air Elementalists are more flighty and free-thinking, and so on). This is pretty much up to you to RP, and is not intended to cause massive personality reshaping.
With this power, you learn how to sense the existence and nature of your chosen element within a range that depends on your Psyche and how free you are to concentrate and time spent concentrating. If none is present, it will give you an impulse of the right way to go to find it. With enough Psyche and time, you can analyze it in detail.
This functions like shadow walking for Pattern Users, except that you have to stick to the medium of your element in order to use it. Thus, Plant elementalists would have to move from tree to tree, or stick to grassy fields, Air elementalists need to be up in the air (being in a shadow with breathable oxygen around you isn't enough; you need to get up into the sky itself), water elementalists need to be on or in the water, fire elementalists have to move through places on fire, and metal elementalists have to travel on stone, paved roads, metal bridges, etc. This may make it impossible to get to some locations, or force round about movement; in general, you move at about half to two-thirds the speed of someone with Pattern.
You can now travel through shadow much faster, moving at about half to two-thirds the speed of a Pattern person of your psyche hellriding.
There is no way to do Shadows of Desire with Elemental Control.
You now have enough fine control to move within a single shadow at lightning speed between concentrations of your element. In a few seconds, if left unmolested, you can move anywhere in the same shadow. This will tire you out fast if you do it a lot. If you are attuned to a shadow (ie, you own it with points), you can use this ability to leap to your element in that shadow.
You can now open gateways across Shadow between two different locations dominated by your element. This is fairly draining, although the rate depends on the size of the gateway.
This gives you control over your element. You can move it around and reshape it physically. The more of your element you're working with, the more effort it takes to achieve what you want. You can use your element for defense, such as forming wind barriers to stop arrows or walls of stone to block incoming bullets. You can also use it as a transport medium (use winds to fly, ride on a wave, etc).
You can control your element to launch attacks on people, or summon small quantities of your element in order to fire it at people. These attacks are targetted with Warfare, with Psyche controlling how much punch they have and how big they can be.
Unless the local environment is hostile to your element, you can now
summon up large amounts of your element, to then reshape and mold with
Mold Element. The more Psyche you have, the more you can call forth.
Sustained over long periods of time, you can eventually summon quite a
bit of it.
Summon Elemental Creature
You can now summon Elemental Creatures which will obey and serve you. They're not very bright, but they are pretty potent. This takes seconds (for a fire dragonfly) to hours or days (for a giant Earth Elemental).
Summon Horde of Elemental Creatures
You can now summon many elemental creatures at once; the more powerful they are, the longer this takes.
Advanced Mold Element
You can now transform your element between its different forms (such
as turning oxygen into freon, roses into potatoes, Pepsi into coca-cola,
etc). The more of your element you're working with, the more effort
it takes to achieve what you're doing. You can also use Mold Element
on much larger amounts of your element.
Master Element Molding
You can now affect huge areas with your element molding, though it takes time to build up your control over the area to work your will on it.
Exalted Element Molding
You can control all of your element within the shadow you dwell in, fundamentally reshaping that aspect of the shadow.
You have a high degree of resistance to your own element if you concentrate. If this concentration is broken, you're in trouble. This also allows you to comfortably operate in your element. For example, you can breathe in water or fire or rock or wood.
You can now comfortably function in your element all the time, even
when asleep or unconscious. It's very, very hard to damage you with
it, though someone with a massive Psyche advantage could probably still
You can transform your body into your element, gaining its advantages and disadvantages. This is mildly draining under calm circumstances, and substantially draining when under stress.
Transform Others to Elemental Form
This power lets you transform other people into your element.
If voluntary, the transformation is sustained by their Endurance.
If involuntary, you must beat down their Psyche and then sustain the transformation
with your own life force (your Endurance).
Multiple Imprints, Para-Elemental Imprints and Co-Joint Affects
It is possible to get more than one Elemental Imprint. This puts
additional stress and strain on one's body as one does so, however.
Plus, one must relearn every power with that particular element.
This makes mastering all five elements rather difficult, though a dabbler
could get a little of everything.
|# of Imprints||Psyche Needed||Endurance Needed|
As seen in the Elemental Theory section, the interaction between Elements creates Para-Elements. It is possible to get a Para-Elemental Imprint. These are cheaper than Elemental Imprints, but they also are inferior, and will tend to lose out to the real Elements.
Para-Elemental Imprints cost 4 points per power instead of 5.
It is possible to combine elements to produce effects impossible with just one, if you possess Multiple Imprints. Someone with Improved Mold Element in Air and Water could evaporate a lake. Someone who had it in Water and Fire could turn the sea into a bonfire. A combined Water/Fire Elemental Attack might turn water into gasoline and ignite it. With Air and fire, you could turna blazing bonfire into a cool breeze. And so on.
To produce a co-joint effect, you need to have the power to do whatever
is necessary for it with all elements involved.
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Last Update February 3, 2002