Dungeon 183 - Eye on Dark Sun: Magma Elementals

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DnDi_Large.pngDungeon 183
Eye on Dark Sun: Magma Elementals

by Rodney Thompson

"Creatures of earth and fire are among the most abundant elementals on Athas, and the union of these two elementals gives rise to one of the unique creatures to come out of the Athasian wastes: magma elementals."

Talk about this Article here.

183_eods.jpg
interesting.  these magma elementals seem like a cross between the older multi-element elementals--such as rockfire dreadnaughts and flamespikers-- with the format of the newer single-element elementals.

works for me. 
I definitely like these new elementals. They have a classic feel to them. I know this is a dark sun monster article, but these could fit in any adventure or campaign. In one of my campaigns there is going to be a heavy primordial/elemantal theme throughout the paragon tier. I suspect these new elementals will be put into heavy rotation.

Is anyone else looking forward to the monster vault? I can't wait to see all the new builds of the MM1 classics. If the Dark Sun monsters are any indication, we'll be seeing a significant improvement. Thanks for the great article!
@MaximumHavoc - Thanks for starting this thread. I've linked to it as the official discussion thread.  You've almost got the format down exactly. 
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@MaximumHavoc - Thanks for starting this thread. I've linked to it as the official discussion thread.  You've almost got the format down exactly. 


what should i correct?

also, please let me now if i am stepping on toesies.  i don't want to do that. 
Am I the only one disappointed that there's not an actual picture of the Elemental?
no celtic i thought the same thing, then i was like what am i gonna use for a mini, a rock? then i got bored with the monsters. they are ok but not my cup of tea
What's going on with another set of fire elementals that don't even have fire resistance much less immunity.  Am I missing something int he formatting or a change to the rules for the fire and cold creature subtypes?  MM3 had a bunch of non fire resistant fire creatures, inlcuding pure fire elementals and volcanic dragons as well.
@MaximumHavoc - Thanks for starting this thread. I've linked to it as the official discussion thread.  You've almost got the format down exactly. 


what should i correct?

also, please let me now if i am stepping on toesies.  i don't want to do that. 



The link seems to go to last months "Eye on the Realms" article (which I'm guessing may have been a simple copy-paste error). But other than that, I didn't even realize that AsmodeusLore hadn't created the thread!
What's going on with another set of fire elementals that don't even have fire resistance much less immunity.  Am I missing something int he formatting or a change to the rules for the fire and cold creature subtypes?  MM3 had a bunch of non fire resistant fire creatures, inlcuding pure fire elementals and volcanic dragons as well.



The justification in MM3 was that they wanted to avoid resistances, so fiery monsters would typically punish PCs when they use fire damage, rather than resist it directly. It's an interesting approach, but not one I'd want to see as universal. But it is disappointing to see more and more than just abandon it completely.

Honestly, resistances and vulnerabilities are an area where 4E really fell down on the job. It's just a bit too easy for PCs to get them, while simultaneously blowing through the resistances of their enemies. Or, these days, not having them exist at all. I like that they've finally started to make cool use of vulnerabilities (such as with these guys), but without the counterpart of resistances, some of the flavor is lost.
I always felt they did the resistance and vulnerability well from a design standpoint but have recently dropped the ball hard on appying it to monsters.  I do agree that it's far too easy for players to ignore (hello any paragon mage evoker is now better at penetrating ALL resistances than any sorcerer is at penetrating their specialized element!?).  I like the use of vulnerabilities in recent articles but resistances are an important and usfule mechanical representation of some very common story elements (like casting scorching burst at a walking fireball is probably not your best tactical option over magic missile that everyone gets).

Personally I've felt a need to add resist 10 per tier of monster with a fire or cold subtype as a houserule to keep things in synch with my players' instincts and expectations.

A place where I think they screwed up the mechanics designs were with the thigns that cause fractional damage (insubstantial and weakened I'm looking at you), I would have prefered a level dependent Resist All to replace insubstantial and a similarly scaled straight damage penalty to replace Weakened to keep the interactions obvious.  Multiplicatin and Division are never a good idea if you want to keep your combat math simple.
@MaximumHavoc - Thanks for starting this thread. I've linked to it as the official discussion thread.  You've almost got the format down exactly. 


what should i correct?

also, please let me now if i am stepping on toesies.  i don't want to do that. 



The link seems to go to last months "Eye on the Realms" article (which I'm guessing may have been a simple copy-paste error). But other than that, I didn't even realize that AsmodeusLore hadn't created the thread!


thank you for pointing that out.

yes, i simply copied and pasted text from one of asmodeuslore's prior threads and then typed over it.  i do not know how to make a proper hyperlink.  i will have to figure that one out. 
The link seems to go to last months "Eye on the Realms" article (which I'm guessing may have been a simple copy-paste error). But other than that, I didn't even realize that AsmodeusLore hadn't created the thread!


thank you for pointing that out.

yes, i simply copied and pasted text from one of asmodeuslore's prior threads and then typed over it.  i do not know how to make a proper hyperlink.  i will have to figure that one out. 



When typing a post, right beneath the Bold, Italic, and Underline buttons above the post, there should be ones to insert or edit hyperlinks. You usually need to highlight the text you want to link, and then click on the button farthest on the left (which looks like a little bit of chain) and that should allow you to then place the hyperlink.

But to make it easy if you just want to edit your original post and replace the incorrect link, you can copy/paste this one, which should go to the right spot:

Dungeon 183
Eye on Dark Sun: Magma Elementals

The link seems to go to last months "Eye on the Realms" article (which I'm guessing may have been a simple copy-paste error). But other than that, I didn't even realize that AsmodeusLore hadn't created the thread!


thank you for pointing that out.

yes, i simply copied and pasted text from one of asmodeuslore's prior threads and then typed over it.  i do not know how to make a proper hyperlink.  i will have to figure that one out. 



When typing a post, right beneath the Bold, Italic, and Underline buttons above the post, there should be ones to insert or edit hyperlinks. You usually need to highlight the text you want to link, and then click on the button farthest on the left (which looks like a little bit of chain) and that should allow you to then place the hyperlink.

But to make it easy if you just want to edit your original post and replace the incorrect link, you can copy/paste this one, which should go to the right spot:

Dungeon 183
Eye on Dark Sun: Magma Elementals



vunderbar!

thanks a bunch, mrmyth. 
Am I the only one disappointed that there's not an actual picture of the Elemental?



I can understand that with a lot of Dark Sun monsters, but ... it's a magma elemental.  It looks like magma.  I think we can work that one out.
Another day, another three or four entries to my Ignore List.
How about this...
Magma_Brute.jpg
that's good
I was really pleased to see this article. If 4E DS falls short in one area as compared to the 2nd Ed version it may be in the way it handles the elemental side of Athas. From full-bore elemental clerics being a big part of the game to a very different elemental cosmology to a ton of important elemental and para-elemental aspects, 2E had a lot that contributed to the rich setting. The more I see these aspects come in, the happier I am.

I would like more, to be honest. Silt paraelementals, salt, etc. We can use some existing monsters, of course, but I would like to see more and especially to see some powers organized around a single element. This might be a version of the elemental priest theme or powers for the shaman class. My actual preference would be a variant Shaman created for the Unearthed Arcana series that has themed powers.

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I was really pleased to see this article. If 4E DS falls short in one area as compared to the 2nd Ed version it may be in the way it handles the elemental side of Athas. From full-bore elemental clerics being a big part of the game to a very different elemental cosmology to a ton of important elemental and para-elemental aspects, 2E had a lot that contributed to the rich setting. The more I see these aspects come in, the happier I am.

I would like more, to be honest. Silt paraelementals, salt, etc. We can use some existing monsters, of course, but I would like to see more and especially to see some powers organized around a single element. This might be a version of the elemental priest theme or powers for the shaman class. My actual preference would be a variant Shaman created for the Unearthed Arcana series that has themed powers.


here are a few that might be relevant:

caustic slayer, elemental, plane below, page 139 ("fine salt crystals")
sunsearer, elemental, plane below, page 138
corrosive salt stream, hazard, demonomicon,  page 60
dust devil, elemental, monster manual, page 99
shardstorm vortex, elemental, monster manual 2, page 101
tempest wisp, elemental, monster manual 2, page 99
dust demon, plane below, page 132
dust wisp, plane below, page 132
 
What's going on with another set of fire elementals that don't even have fire resistance much less immunity

Monster Vault also continues this trend, generally for the better. Personally I don't see much point in fire resistance or immunity, except small amounts every now and again. I much prefer alternative mechanics, like how Undead have generally lost radiant vulnerability and replaced it with other (better) mechanics.

This is pretty much the direction monster design is going in, so you'll just have to live with it. Not that the DM isn't welcome to do whatever he feels like.
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