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  1. - Top - End - #1
    Ogre in the Playground
     
    Greywander's Avatar

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    Nov 2017

    Default Feat that makes it easier to be a specific elemental mage (e.g. fire mage)

    I was thinking about elemental mages, such as fire mages or ice mages, and these are difficult to pull off at the moment. Some elements are better supported when it comes to spell selection, such as fire, while others, such as acid, are pretty sparse. There's the Transmuted Spell metamagic, but that requires you to be a sorcerer and uses up both sorcery points and a precious metamagic option. I thought I'd make a feat that did something similar to Transmuted Spell, but limited to a few damage types that related to your specific elemental theme. Also, a free elemental cantrip, because why not?

    Elementalist
    Prerequisite: The ability to cast a spell

    You've trained as an elemental mage, attuning yourself to a specific element. You gain the following benefits:
    • Increase your Intelligence, Wisdom, or Charisma score by 1, to a maximum of 20.
    • When you cast a spell that deals damage, you may choose to change the type of damage dealt by that spell to one associated with your elemental specialization. Choose one of the elemental specializations below, or work with your DM to create your own. You also learn one cantrip depending on your elemental specialization. The cantrip's spellcasting ability is the ability increased by this feat.
      • Deep. You may alter your spells to deal acid, cold, or psychic damage. You also learn the shape water cantrip.
      • Earth. You may alter your spells to deal acid, bludgeoning, or fire damage. You also learn the mold earth cantrip.
      • Flame. You may alter your spells to deal fire, lightning, or radiant damage. You also learn the control flames cantrip.
      • Nature. You may alter your spells to deal acid, piercing, or poison damage. You also learn the druidcraft cantrip.
      • Shadow. You may alter your spells to deal necrotic, poison, or psychic damage. You also learn the minor illusion cantrip.
      • Storm. You may alter your spells to deal cold, lightning, or thunder damage. You also learn the gust cantrip.

    I'm not entirely sure about these specific configurations. What are some elemental specializations you might suggest? Does the feat seem more or less balanced? I realize this does open the possibility of just changing all of your spell damage to something like radiant or psychic, but it seems like it's easier to get damage bonuses for the more common elements like fire or cold (see Draconic sorcerer, Flames of Phlegethos racial feat, etc.). The DM also has the power to toss in an enemy or two that are resistant or immune to a specific damage type if it's becoming a problem, though it might make more sense to also throw in enemies with vulnerabilities that the player can exploit if they're paying attention instead of mindlessly spamming the same damage type.

  2. - Top - End - #2
    Orc in the Playground
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    Aug 2013

    Default Re: Feat that makes it easier to be a specific elemental mage (e.g. fire mage)

    Seems a little to powerful for what your trying to do.

    Pre-Tasha's most feats granting a stat bump did so to one stat only but provided several benefits. Those in Tasha do have 3 choices such as the Fey and Shadow Ancestory but look at the spells. They are one a days and provide no other benefits than gaining the spell itself. If you are set on stat bump it might be best to follow one of these patterns. Further there is already something similar to an elemental theme via the Elemental Adapt feat. I would suggest using that as a guide to tweak this a bit. The conversion idea is not bad but you may want to have some limitation on it such as one spell of a particular element per spell level or x number of spells per day in some fashion. As well perhaps a benefit to an element you have already might work. Perhaps something like this:

    Elementalist
    Prerequisite: The ability to cast a spell

    You've trained as an elemental mage, mastering and attuning yourself to a specific element. You gain the following benefits:

    - When you select this feat, choose one of the following damage types: acid, cold, fire, lightning, or thunder. When you cast a spell of this elemental type you have advantage on any rolls to cast the spell.
    - When you cast a spell that has a damage type, you may spend a bonus action to convert the damage type to your chosen element. You may do this a number of times equal to your proficiency modifier. You regain uses when you complete a long rest.
    - Based on your chosen elemental type you gain one of the following cantrips:
    Acid: Mold Earth
    Cold: Shape Water
    Fire: Produce Flame
    Lightning: Dancing Lights
    Thunder: Gust

    You may only take this feat once.


    So in this example you are given a little bump for sticking to spells of your element type, gain a conversion ability though balanced via limiting to a certain uses per long rest, and granted cantrips based on the element chose. Though the cantrips are miscellaneous utility ones as you already got benefits to the damaging spells via the first ability. As well being an elementalist typically means dedication to one mastery of said element. Hence the restriction.

    You can go about this different ways but points to keep in mind.

  3. - Top - End - #3
    Titan in the Playground
     
    Nifft's Avatar

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    Default Re: Feat that makes it easier to be a specific elemental mage (e.g. fire mage)

    Psychic, Acid, Radiant, and Thunder are all fairly special damage types. Unlimited access to any one of those types would be very strong.

    I agree with GentlemanVoodoo's analysis.

  4. - Top - End - #4
    Ogre in the Playground
     
    Greywander's Avatar

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    Nov 2017

    Default Re: Feat that makes it easier to be a specific elemental mage (e.g. fire mage)

    Quote Originally Posted by GentlemanVoodoo View Post
    Seems a little to powerful for what your trying to do.
    Kind of, but I think this is mostly only in a metagame sense. Analysis of the Monster Manual reveals that certain damage types are less likely to be resisted or immune. If you were basically picking blindly, then I think it would mostly be fine. Still, I could see perhaps limiting the player a bit more, I'm just not sure how to do it. Perhaps they pick which of the three is their "favorite" damage type and can change spells to that one for free, but can also still spend limited uses to change a spell to one of the other two damage types? Or, maybe when you take the feat and any time you learn a spell thereafter, you can switch the damage type permanently (essentially swapping that spell on your spell list for a similar spell just with a different damage type).

    Pre-Tasha's most feats granting a stat bump did so to one stat only but provided several benefits.
    This feat is meant to be viable for all caster builds, which is why it offers a choice of stat. Since the feat is more for flavor/theme than anything else, it made sense to make it a half feat so that you didn't have to delay your progression if you were evening out an odd stat. Also, switching damage types, while occasionally useful, won't benefit you most of the time.

    Those in Tasha do have 3 choices such as the Fey and Shadow Ancestory but look at the spells. They are one a days and provide no other benefits than gaining the spell itself.
    These are also (if I'm not mistaken) the first time you've been able to get a 2nd level spell from a feat. I'd say one cantrip and the ability to switch damage types to a limited number is roughly comparable to a 1st and 2nd level spell.

    Further there is already something similar to an elemental theme via the Elemental Adapt feat.
    They aren't similar at all, though. Elemental Adept makes you better at casting spells of a particular damage type. This feat simply allows you to cast spells with that damage type in the first place. Try playing an acid themed mage and see how many good acid spells there are. Elemental Adept is great if you already have a lot of spells that deal the damage type you want, but if such spells simply don't exist, then you're out of luck. That is what this feat is meant to address.

    When you cast a spell of this elemental type you have advantage on any rolls to cast the spell.
    What, you just straight up have advantage on all your attack rolls with those spells? This would combo very well with Elven Accuracy.

    Again, the point isn't to make you stronger at casting spells with that damage type, but to allow you to cast spells with that damage type in the first place. I could see adding some kind of benefit to using spells with that damage type, but this is far too strong.

    You may only take this feat once.
    Just a heads up, you don't need to state this. It's already assumed that you can take a feat only once, unless the description says otherwise. I haven't double-checked the new feats in Tasha's yet, but I know that Elemental Adept used to be the only feat you could take more than once. I was surprised when I saw that, as I'd assumed that any feat that offered you a choice of options, e.g. Magic Initiate, could be taken more than once so long as you chose different options each time.

    So in this example you are given a little bump for sticking to spells of your element type, gain a conversion ability though balanced via limiting to a certain uses per long rest, and granted cantrips based on the element chose. Though the cantrips are miscellaneous utility ones as you already got benefits to the damaging spells via the first ability. As well being an elementalist typically means dedication to one mastery of said element. Hence the restriction.

    You can go about this different ways but points to keep in mind.
    This is a good summary of what this feat should probably look like, it's just a question of how to properly implement it. A small bump to make them useful, a (perhaps limited) ability to swap damage types, and a minor utility cantrip. It's pretty close to what I was going for, except I replaced the bump with the half-ASI.

    Quote Originally Posted by Nifft View Post
    Psychic, Acid, Radiant, and Thunder are all fairly special damage types. Unlimited access to any one of those types would be very strong.
    As are bludgeoning and piercing. But I think you might be overselling them a bit. IIRC, it's usually assumed that PCs will do full damage to monsters. Yes, resistance or immunity will increase their defensive CR, but past a certain point the players will be expected to have the tools to get around resistance or immunity, e.g. magic weapons.

    It's also possible for the DM to tweak monster stats so that these damage types become less reliable. As previously stated, I think it would be more interesting if the DM started introducing monster vulnerabilities that the player can exploit if they're paying attention, instead of just nerfing them by slapping on resistance or immunity. Anyway, it's something that a DM can work around, but you're right that it's not good to put more work on the DM. If the player isn't metagaming/powergaming and is just playing to a theme (e.g. actually using fire damage instead of radiant, if playing a fire mage), then it should be fine, but of course not everyone will.



    Okay, so how about this? When you take the feat and whenever you learn a spell thereafter, you can permanently change its damage type to one of the ones associated with your specialization. You can also change the damage of a spell when you cast it to any of your special damage types, and can do so a number of types equal to your proficiency bonus per long rest. This forces you to commit to using a specific damage type with a specific spell, while giving you the option to change it by spending a limited resource. So you can still change Fireball to Acidball, but if the DM decides to throw some oozes at you then you can switch it to, say, Coldball a limited number of times.

    I could drop the half feat aspect, perhaps replacing it with something like the ability from Flames of Phlegethos, where you reroll any 1s on the damage roll.
    Last edited by Greywander; 2021-02-03 at 11:46 PM.

  5. - Top - End - #5
    Ettin in the Playground
     
    MindFlayer

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    Default Re: Feat that makes it easier to be a specific elemental mage (e.g. fire mage)

    I think it's fine. Probably.

    The biggest issue is fire.

    Fire damage is commonly resisted but there are also a lot of enemies vulnerable to fire in some way (mummies, trolls). Radiant damage is rarely resisted and there are an above average number of enemies vulnerable to radiant damage. I think this will hit vulnerabilities more than most.

    Couple this with things like the celestial warlock's or dragon sorcerer level 6 ability to boost damage and you get something a bit too powerful: eldritch blast as radiant with charisma bonus added on top? Or Magic missile with +Cha added to each missile (provided you use one target). At level 6 you can be doing 3(d4+6) from a level 1 magic missile. If you combine with something like hexblade's curse it just gets worse and worse.

    Frankly, if you just specified that only non-force damage could be changed I think it would work well enough.

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