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Review of Pathfinder Rage of Elements for Pathfinder 2nd Edition

Cover for Rage of Elements by Paizo

Pathfinder Rage of Elements, the latest sourcebook and supplement for Pathfinder Second Edition (PF2), focuses on all of the powerful elemental energies flowing around the world!

Perhaps the most important part of the book – the thing that will get all the people out of their seats and excited – is the release of the new Kineticist class for Pathfinder Second Edition! It’s time to get mastery over the elements.

Pathfinder Rage of Elements introduces lore, information, spells, items, and creatures for the major elements: air, earth, fire, metal, water, and wood. Learn about these various Planes, what they have to offer, and maybe even the secrets to harnessing their power.

Let’s delve straight into the details of the book!

Pathfinder Rage of Elements: Who It’s For

I always start off these reviews my touching on who the book is designed for, and a lot of times they skew a bit in favor of the Gamemaster. However, Pathfinder Rage of Elements has the new Kineticist class, so this falls very firmly in the camp of Player-focused!

In Pathfinder First Edition, the Kineticist class was released in Occult Adventures, although it never really seemed to fit that particular theme in my opinion. Are the elements inherently supernatural or spooky? I don’t really think so. That’s why I’ve very happy that the Kineticist released with its own book specifically tied to the Elemental Planes, because it just makes more sense to me.

What’s really fun about the Kineticist is that right out of the gate you’re choosing which element(s) that you want your character to focus in. From a flavor perspective, it’s also mechanically fitting that choosing a single element gets you slightly more benefit to that element versus choosing two elements. By having multiple elements, you’re sacrificing potency for versatility.

What this means is that eventually you could have a character that is incredibly attuned to a single Plane, or you might have a powerful character that has semi-mastery over all of the elements. Both are equally viable and fun ideas to build around. I’m partial to the Earth Plane myself, particularly fond of the ‘Rebirth in Living Stone’ Feat, which turns your body into Living Stone. Flesh to Stone, but better?

Of course, from the Gamemasters chair it’s really interesting to read about the different elemental Planes as well, especially since each is presented from the standpoint of a different denizen of that Plane. There’s also mechanical information on the Planes themselves, meaning that you can see what the party might have to deal with if they’re suddenly submerged in the Plane of Water or sweating on the Plane of Fire.

Pathfinder Rage of Elements: The Best Parts

Now it’s time to pick out my three favorite things in Paizo’s Pathfinder Rage of Elements! These are specific to my tastes, and just know that there is plenty more where this all comes from. Also, I’m skipping Kineticist as that’s already a huge selling point.

Elemental Barbarian Instinct (Pg 54)

There’s something about the glass cannon aspect of Barbarians that makes me really enjoy playing them, more than almost any other class. But sometimes it’s fun to infuse them with a whole new type of power, which you can now do with the Elemental Barbarian Instinct!

Going into an Elemental Rage not only increases the damage from Raging, but also changes the damage type to the element that you’ve selected to attune to. Additionally, you gain resistance to that same elemental damage because you’re so locked in with its nature.

And, if that wasn’t enough for you, picking up the Elemental Explosion Feat at level 6 is surely going to make groups of weak enemies cower in fear. Every creature within a 15-foot emanation takes 1d8 per level you possess. It’s like those scenes where the hero gets swarmed and you feel like all is lost until they unleash their inner power, sending their foes sprawling in all directions. Awesome.

Ferrumnestra (Pg 140)

I’ve never done much research into the Plane of Metal, instead choosing to stick to the Big Four. Now that I’ve done some reading about it, however, I feel like bringing a party to the Elemental Plane of Metal would be such a fun and harrowing experience. Especially if they can encounter Ferrumnestra, The Lady of Rust.

Often portrayed as a multi-layered crustacean covered in rusted metal, she wanders the Plane as its shepherd, consuming the planar material towards its inevitable and rusty end. The very idea of some kind of spreading contagion, waste, and decay has a lot of undead overlap to it, that there’s probably an adventure hook or three built in right there. Not to mention what might happen to the party’s metallic weapons…

I also really appreciate Paizo’s foresight to include the effects of the avatar spell when introducing all of these Elemental Lords. If you’re not familiar, this powerful spell turns you into the avatar of your chosen deity, which grants you a slew of powers specific to them. For example, Ferrumnestra grants you deteriorating spit (60-ft), a burrow speed, and some NASTY mandibles. What fun!

Twins of Rowan (Pg 211)

The art of the Twins of Rowan immediately drew me in, as they are two wood elementals essentially combined into one. They share a single consciousness in their roots despite having two heads and torsos. Their home is the Elemental Plane of Wood, a sprawling forestal plane that is alive in more ways than just the traditional sense that plants are.

The reason I chose the Twins as one of my favorite aspects of the book is because of their ability to empower all wood elementals within the range of their lantern. Fast healing 10 and +2 circumstance bonus to all attack and damage rolls? Sign me up for that every day of the week. I’m imagining a boss-style encounter with multiple Twins of Rowan covering the entire battlefield, and the party has to prioritize taking them down one by one at which point the big bad manifests themselves.

On top of that, they have an ability called Lifespring Burst, allowing them to strike the ground with their sword, releasing a 30-foot burst of life energy that deals 14d6 vitality damage and creates difficult terrain with all of the vibrant plant growth that erupts in the area. These things are bad news by themselves and I think I’d prefer to have them as allies if given the opportunity.

Pathfinder Rage of Elements: Parting Thoughts

The Pathfinder Rage of Elements book for Pathfinder Second Edition is refreshing, not only for the vitality it injects into the game with the release of the new Kineticist class, but also because it makes you think about the Elemental Planes in new ways. Everybody thinks they know what the Planes are about: Fire is hot, Water is wet, and so on. But there’s so much more going on that it’s really doing the Planes a disservice if you don’t expand your understanding of how they operate.

Plus, the Kineticist is so versatile in its ability to fit a variety of character roles within the party. Damage dealer, jack-of-all-trades utilitarian…you can really sculpt your character to gel nicely with any group. It just seems like a top-of-the-line class that I hope to play with at my next opportunity.

You can pick up your copy of Pathfinder Rage of Elements for Pathfinder Second Edition directly from Paizo, on Amazon, or better yet, your FLGS.

[Disclosure: Nerds on Earth was provided a copy of Pathfinder Rage of Elements from Paizo in exchange for an honest review.]

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