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Old 05-07-2019, 12:29 PM   #11
Phantasm
 
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Default Re: Feeding a Water Elemental

Likewise, metal elementals should have Doesn't Eat or Drink as well as Doesn't Breathe. Wood elementals depend on if you're going with something like the unliving wood in the center (could be mistaken for a wood golem), a mass of vines, branches, and leaves (ala Swamp Thing), or the whole tree (ala Groot). The latter two cases probably should need to drink, flytrap-style eating optional but a need for nutrients by planting roots in the ground for a meal could work.
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Old 05-07-2019, 01:09 PM   #12
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Default Re: Feeding a Water Elemental

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Originally Posted by Sorenant View Post
I just noticed Water Elementals are the only type of Elementals that doesn't have the "Doesn't Eat or Drink" trait. It's like this both in Magic and DF9 so I doubt it's an errata, but then why is that? Is there some particular reason to why Water Elementals needs to eat and drink?

Edit: It's not as odd as the above, but I've also felt weird that Water Elementals comes with Chameleon while Air Elementals doesn't, and Slippery feels partially redundant with Diffuse (MA115 says Diffuse makes you immune to grapples).
But it isn't like that in Elemental Meta-Traits (p. B262), which predates both. None of the Elemental Body of [Substance] meta-traits there includes Doesn't Eat or Breathe. So yes, it probably is an errata issue.

It's not that weird that Water Elementals have Stealth 1 as part of Body of Water, while Air Elementals don't have any level of Stealth as part of Body of Air. It suggests that if your body is made of water, it's a little easier to not be noticed/blend in with your surroundings, but people will still have a fair chance of noticing you due to refraction when they look through you. While it helps some while you're moving, it's more effective when your standing still. All of which sounds reasonable enough and Stealth is a good fit for describing it. That's probably why Water Elementals have Stealth.

OTOH, Body of Air doesn't have issues with refraction and should be just as hard to notice when moving as when standing still, so Stealth isn't a good fit for describing them. What is weird, is that Body of Air doesn't come with Invisibility as part of the build.

Diffuse doesn't have much overlap with Slippery. Slippery 5 makes you hard to hold and lets you squeeze through small openings. Diffuse is a form of Injury Tolerance and while most [but not all] foes cannot grapple or slam you, its primary benefit is making you hard to hurt. If you are Diffuse, you are: immune to crippling injuries; don't bleed; cannot go unconscious by having your blood supply choked off; take no extra damage from a blow to the skull; take no extra damage from an attack to the Vitals or Groin; and only explosions, area effect and cone attacks aren't capped at 1 HP or 2 HP of injury. Diffuse has a lot of bang for the buck.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Anthony View Post
Despite being copied, it's likely still an errata, though the incorrect ones are arguably the other elementals; I would argue that:
  • air elementals should not eat, but should breathe.
  • earth elementals should neither eat nor breathe.
  • fire elementals should both eat and breathe (though their food is flammable materials), but should not drink. I'm not impressed by the Oxygen Combustion limitation on doesn't breathe; all it gives you is immunity to choking and strangulation (moot for diffuse creatures) and inhaled toxins (moot with immunity to metabolic hazards).
  • water elementals should drink.
I can't say that I see an argument for those particular traits for those particular elementals, just a list of premises.

Why does an air elemental need to breathe? It's made of air. Likewise, why does a water elemental need to drink? It's made out of water. If either elemental needed this, they could consume their own body if nothing else was handy, but if they live on a plane of their element, they'd eventually consume the whole plane. Fire and Earth might be argued to need to eat (or drink for the earth elemental) and breathe, although that seems a bit unlikely given their opposite numbers don't need to.

On the other hand, not needing to breathe or eat or drink doesn't necessarily preclude being able to go through the motions of doing so. It just won't benefit them.

As for not being impressed by what the Oxygen Combustion Limitation gives you, it impresses me. The benefits with the limitation are exactly what you'd get if there was no limitation. The effect of the limitation is that although you don't need to breathe as such, you still can't exist anywhere fire couldn't, which seems like an eminently sensible limitation for a fire elemental.

Last edited by Curmudgeon; 05-07-2019 at 01:15 PM.
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Old 05-07-2019, 01:19 PM   #13
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Default Re: Feeding a Water Elemental

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Originally Posted by Curmudgeon View Post
As for not being impressed by what the Oxygen Combustion Limitation gives you, it impresses me. It gives you the exact same benefits you'd get without the limitation.
No it doesn't. It in fact it's a quirk-level disadvantage. There aren't any atmospheres where oxygen-based fire can burn and a person with immunity to poisons cannot breathe (there are some where fire cannot burn but a person can breath).
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Old 05-07-2019, 01:56 PM   #14
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Default Re: Feeding a Water Elemental

Quote:
Originally Posted by Anthony View Post
<snip>
I'm not impressed by the Oxygen Combustion limitation on doesn't breathe; all it gives you is immunity to choking and strangulation (moot for diffuse creatures) and inhaled toxins (moot with immunity to metabolic hazards.
<snip>
Quote:
Originally Posted by Anthony View Post
No it doesn't. It in fact it's a quirk-level disadvantage. There aren't any atmospheres where oxygen-based fire can burn and a person with immunity to poisons cannot breathe (there are some where fire cannot burn but a person can breath).
Checking Doesn't Breathe and Oxygen Combustion (both p. B49), there are two differences with the limitation vs. without. First, you require oxygen. You can suffocate without it, though the oxygen could be dissolved in something else and, but you can absorb it through the surface of your body, [that information via the references to Oxygen Absorption and Gills]. Essentially, it implies you do breathe, just not in the conventional way. Second, unlike the Gills limitation, you can't do it underwater or anywhere else fire can't burn.

I wouldn't call it a disadvantage, not even at the quirk level. You sort of need to breathe oxygen, but no one can cut off your oxygen supply just by strangling you, which is an advantage. OTOH, if you were in a room and it were suddenly flooded with water, you would suffocate, essentially putting your Body of Fire out if you can't escape. Which isn't much worse than death by drowning if you didn't have the advantage. It's a point whether your diffuse body could be revived by artificial respiration afterward. Maybe if your rescuer had asbestos protection? Or maybe it would be more like blowing on an ember to get it back into flame.
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Old 05-07-2019, 02:38 PM   #15
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Default Re: Feeding a Water Elemental

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Originally Posted by Curmudgeon View Post
I wouldn't call it a disadvantage, not even at the quirk level.
It's a disadvantage if you already gain all the benefits from other traits. Diffuse and Immunity to Metabolic Hazards already give you everything it does.
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Old 05-08-2019, 10:39 AM   #16
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Default Re: Feeding a Water Elemental

Treebeard "eats" long draughts of liquid. If you don't errata out a need to eat or drink, then I see no reason why elementals in bodies shouldn't have to sustain those bodies, which would require "eating and drinking" sufficiently pure versions of their element.

Thus an air elemental spirit could be bound indefinitely inside a bottle, say, while an embodied air elemental materially stuffed into a container would last no longer in there than anything else without its food sources. Then the body "dies" and you end up with the spirit, which would no longer be trapped unless the bottle was also prepped to trap spirits. (And of course morally you've just starved something to death, if perhaps not quite so unpleasantly as a more natively material creature.)

For what it's worth this also opens up the possibility of offering such spirits fine food and drink of the types they like: for instance, an air elemental might be more willing to work without coercion, in exchange for a regular offering of rare perfumes or the scent of many fresh roses.
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