Monday, November 5, 2012

Lightning Elemental

Lightning is an aspect of Air in Pathfinder and 3.5; it had its own Quasi-Elemental Plane in 1e and 2e.  Either way, lightning elementals are a nice break from the usual air elementals, and are almost as scary as rust monsters to the average plate-wearing party.

Though it’s not reflected in the adventure seeds below, I think it’s fun to think about lightning elementals’ reputation on their own plane, especially given the world-sized storms in which they live.  Are they considered threats?  Assets?  Warmongering metalophobes?  Noble fighters?  Lunatics?  Higher or lower beings?  I wonder.

Also, what kind of conjurors and elementalists summon the less typical elementals?  Ice elementals seem the domain of the cold specialist, while magma and lightning elementals seem like tools of the most power-hungry, daring, and arrogant mages.  (And spellcasters who summon mud elementals are probably eccentric or self-taught—I imagine a lot of sorcerers and druids tend to favor (or are just stuck with) them.)

Wizards are rarely heavies—especially in rough-and-tumble duergar cities.  But Evenn “Sparky” Meistershon has made a name for himself in Shadowhome as a shakedown artist of the first rank and as an independent troubleshooter for a number of gangs.  The not-so-secret of his success is his lightning elemental companion Zap and the frequency with which Sparky and Zap’s enemies (including several watch captains and inquisitors) wind up dead.

The “thunderbirds” spoken of with reverence by the Qui-Foux tribes are not actually thunderbirds or phoenixes or even birds at all.  Rather, they are eagle-, condor-, and dragon-shaped lightning elementals.  Why they are so comparatively intelligent and beneficent compared to most lightning elementals is a mystery.  Some possible explanations: the Qui-Foux regularly entertain sky spirits (djinn) and treat sylphs as full members of the tribe; they are adept summoners and conjurors; and they are in possession of the Headdress of Storm Calling, a powerful artifact. 

In a world where most countries have never seen even crude dirigibles in their skies, let alone sophisticated airships, Heaven’s Juggernaut is truly an unprecedented sight: a gigantic, fan-winged craft-of-air carrier.  A commando team of adventurers infiltrates the flying fortress to shatter the lightning-fired dynamos that power it.  But each dynamo houses an infuriated lightning elemental eager to vent its ire on the closest metal-armored humanoid it sees.

Pathfinder 2 116–117

Two final notes:

1) If you haven’t already, vote tomorrow.

2) I don’t want to make any sweeping generalizations about my followers—I know some of you are liberal, some conservative; some old, some young; some Pathfinder newbs, others diehard AD&D 1e and 2e players with 20 years’ experience. 

But I will say this: As a group, you all have some pretty bitchin’ hair.  You go, boys and girls!

So I’ve been pretty quiet on the radio front lately.  Website issues have made streaming my show difficult and downloading the weekly archive impossible.  I’m still doing my show most weekends, though, still from 10 a.m. to noon East Coast time at a slightly tweaked address.

This weekend, though, I went up to my college for homecoming and got to do something special: DJ at my old station, 91.9 WCFM Williamstown.  They moved to a different building and changed all the equipment, but the CDs and the spirit of the place are still the same. 

If you want it, go here and download the “Sunday 13–14” file; I’m on from minute 4:00 to around minute 35:00.

(I assume the link will be good till Friday, November 9, at midnight; beyond that I don’t know.)

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