Tag Archives: elemental

Elemental Binding Collar – Random Binding Form Table

As a variant on the Elemental Binding Collar, every time it’s used, the elemental takes on a new form. The Standard column can be used if the elemental isn’t one of the other types or just want a simple table. The others are creatures that are, more or less, part of an elemental theme. 

As a reminder, the bound elemental retains its HD, knowledge, personality, alignment, and known languages. It loses any elemental powers it once had and gains all the abilities of the new form. It gains the size, shape and coloration of an ordinary creature of its type. It has the AC, movement modes, special sight types, attack forms, and special abilities of its new form. The exception is that magical powers are not gained.


d% Standard Fire Air Water Earth
1 – 10 Ordinary Cat Ordinary Cat Ordinary Cat Ordinary dog Giant Spitting Beetle
11 – 20 Toad Camel Robin (bird) Cow Ordinary Dog
21 – 30 Ordinary Dog Giant Fire Beetle Ordinary Bat Ordinary cat Giant Badger
31 – 40 Raven Hawk Giant Bat Pig Giant Centipede
41 – 50 Hawk Lizard Giant Bee Toad Giant Ferret
51 – 60 Pony Spitting Cobra Giant Fly Salamander Giant Rat
61 – 70 Lynx War dog Hawk Seagull Giant Shrew
71 – 75 Spitting Cobra Wolf Horse Horse Baboon
76 – 80 Baboon Giant Spider Strige Giant Crab Boar
81 – 85 Wolf Giant Scorpion Giant Wasp Giant Crayfish Camel
86 – 90 Chimpanzee Wolverine Crystal Statue Giant Frog Horse
91 – 92 Lizardfolk Hyena Cheetah Spitting Cobra Spitting Cobra
93 Dwarf Homunculus Goblin Crocodile Homunculus
94 Homunculus Half Orc Halfling Homunculus Kobold
95 Wood Golem Orc Homunculus Human (pirate) Gnome
96 Pixie Wood Golem Pixie Elf Duergar Dwarf
97 Imp Imp Sprite Nixie Neanderthal
98 Quasit Quasit Brownie Sahaugin Crystal Statue
99 Pesudo-dragon Hell Hound Imp Dryad Satyr
100 Small Dragon (any) Small Dragon (Red) Small Dragon (Blue) Small Dragon (White) Small Dragon (Black)

Elemental Binding Collar – Inspired by the Abhorsen Trilogy

Inspired by the collar that bound Mogget, a Free Magic Elemental into the service of the Abhorsen in the form of an adorable white cat (at least when Sabriel met him), this could definitely be an alternative way for a Magic-User (or any character) to adopt a Familiar of sorts.

Before being applied to an Elemental, the collar appears as a fairly plain steel ring. On closer inspection, etched runes of binding, service, and holding, can be read around its circumference. The ring can be worn on one’s finger and doesn’t count against the number of magical rings one can wear since it doesn’t provide any inherent bonuses to the wearer.

When the wearer holds the ring and speaks the command word, the ring quickly expands into a steel hoop with bright runes spinning around its circumference. The hoop can be expanded to any reasonable size required by the user. The hoop will also retract back into a ring with another use of the command word or after a few hours, if not used. The hoop will not expand against a solid object or fast enough to cause harm.

Once placed around or under an elemental, the hoop will quickly retract around the elemental’s form. As a general rule, elementals with 8 HD or less can be bound in 1 round, 9 to 12 HD in two rounds, 13 to 16 HD in three rounds, and 16+ HD in four rounds. On the first round, the elemental receives a Save vs Death at a -4 penalty to resist the effect and remove the hoop. On the second round, it receives another Save vs Death, but at a -8 penalty. If that fails, the process cannot be stopped. The elemental is likely to panic and attempt to flee or to spend its last few round attacking the one who placed the collar on it.

As the hoop constricts, it forces the elemental into a new, benign form, often an animal. When the process is completed, the new form appears as an ordinary creature of its type, though it is capable of speech and of a random gender, and wearing a leather collar around its neck (the collar could be a particular color depending on the type of elemental). Hanging from the collar is a small steel bell, enchanted, that helps keep the elemental bound whenever it rings. A round after the transformation is complete the creature coughs up another Elemental Binding Collar in its ring form. Both the leather collar and the ring bear the same magical rune to indicate that the two are connected.

It’s worth noting that the leather collar is merely an illusion. The collar cannot be broken with a weapon, it will not degrade over time, and it cannot be removed by the transformed elemental alone. Someone must choose to undo it and take it off. If the leather collar is ever removed it dissolves into smoke immediately and the elemental will be released over the course of 1 round.

The collar reverts back into the original ring form and one of these things will happen:

  • The ring will return to the hand of the person who had bound the elemental, unless they are dead or not on this plane.
  • The ring will return to the hand of the person who unbound the elemental, unless they are dead or not on this plane (extraordinary bad timing).
  • The ring will appear within 2′ of the elemental and clatter on the floor; it may be lost!

How the ring gets there is up to the DM

At this point, the runed ring can be turned into the hoop and used to rebind the elemental. The ring will not respond to the command word before then.

The bound elemental in its creature form will be helpful to the owner of the ring, if not friendly, and will not willingly harm its master. Though it lacks any of its previous offensive capabilities but it retains its knowledge, personality, and ability to speak all languages it might know. When asked questions or asked to perform tasks, it will answer truthfully and act properly (if begrudgingly). The bound elemental retains its HD and Saves, but its AC, forms of attack, and special abilities are that of the new creature. Any magical powers the new form would normally have are not available. (For example, an elemental bound into the form of a Small Dragon (HD 3) would have a breath weapon. Turned into an Imp, it would lack any of the spell-like abilities, but keeps the poison tail attack)

The form the elemental takes could depend on the type of elemental, a particular collar may always turn an elemental into a particular creature, or each binding transforms an elemental into a random creature; it’s up to the DM. Needless to say, the type of creature will be appropriate to its environment (that is, its new form can swim and breathe water if it’s underwater and so on).

Next week, I’ll post a random table to determine what form a bound elemental might take.

Free-Magic Elemental – Inspired by the Abhorsen Trilogy

Mogget, a Free-magic Elemental

Free-magic Elemental

Elemental, CN, 40’ Flying, 8 / 12 / 16 HD, AC 2 / 0 / -2, 1d8 / 2d6 / 3d8 + 1d6 to Magic Users, F8 / F12 / F16, Mo 10, xp 2560 / 3600 / 5100

A Free-magic Elemental is an agent of pure chaos and possess a mind of burning raw magic. They don’t care about concepts like good or evil; they delight mainly in the havoc caused by possessing a magic item and using its powers in interesting ways and the frustration instilled in magic-users when their magic goes haywire.

They hunger for magic items to feed upon and may ally with a mortal for a time if it’s promised a choice magic item in payment, though it may decide, when the job is done, that it was not enough (or that his other magic items look tasty too).

They hate sentient magic items and those who ally with them. Oddly enough, the reason for its enmity is that the elemental sees the wielder as a slave-master of its kind, though it sees the sentient item as a rival to be consumed, rather than released.

Free-magic elementals are capable of speech and they know Common, Auran, Ignan, and the Chaotic alignment language.

Elemental Resistances:

An Elemental is immune to Sleep effects, paralyzation, and critical hits (if your game uses them).

A Free-magic Elemental appears as a very bright, energetic fire or smoke with a thin, spindly, vaguely humanoid form. Its color is usually white, electric blue, or neon green. It is 1’ tall and 3” in diameter per HD it has.


Free-magic’s chaotic nature causes feedback when a magic-using character is struck. They take an extra 1d6 damage as a result. Generally, only those who use arcane magic are affected; divine magic-users like clerics and druids are not affected.

Free-magic Aura:

A Free-magic Elemental has a 40’ aura surrounding it that causes all magic to go awry. Whenever any spell is cast within this aura, the spellcaster must make a Save vs Spells or roll a d% as if a Rod of Wonder had been used to determine the spell’s effect. Those who Save against this effect are still subject to this effect on future spells.

The aura can be dispelled with a successful Dispel Magic, but the Free-magic Elemental can reassert this aura as a free-action on its next turn.

In general, this aura affects both arcane and divine spells, spells cast from scrolls, wands, and rods (though the Save is that of the item’s wielder), but not the personal or inherent effects of permanent magic items. For example, a Dancing Sword‘s dancing ability or a Rod’s transformation abilities would still function normally.

Possess Magic Item:

A Free-magic Elemental can enter any magic item (like an enchanted ring, suit of armor, a wand, or a sword, but not single-use items like scrolls or potions) and may animate it in a limited fashion if it has moving parts, depending on its form. A possessed item cannot move any unmoving parts, so a cloak could billow or crawl, a suit of armor could walk, or a sword swing if held by an appendage, but a ring or amulet would be immobile. Possessing an item takes an entire round.

Items held or worn by a creature receive a Saving Throw vs Spells to resist being possessed. This Save is based on the creature’s Save plus the item’s + bonus, if any (so a Longsword +2 would receive a +2 bonus to the Save). A loose magic item receives no Saving throw (unless it’s a sentient item).

When possessing an item, the Free-magic Elemental has an Ego score like a sentient magic item does and can influence (or hide from) anyone who picks up or wears the possessed item. Generally, the possessed item has an Ego score of 11 + half the elemental’s HD (or 15 / 17 / 19). The Free-magic Elemental cannot use its Free-magic aura or cause any direct damage to the wielder (setting off a Wand of Fireball’s effect at close range, for example, works fine).

A possessed item will, as a general rule, glow the same color as the Free-magic Elemental. This glow cannot be turned off by the Elemental. The smaller the item is, the brighter the glow. For example, the glow of a Maul of Titans would be barely noticeable in the dark, a suit of armor would be as bright as a candle, a ring would be almost too bright to look at (and likely quite hot). An Identify spell will determine that the glow is not a natural property of the item.

The Free-magic Elemental can leave the item any time, though it takes a full-round to do so, during which the Free-magic Elemental is vulnerable. It can also be forced out via an Exorcism or a targeted Dispel Magic. Forcing it out of an item stuns it for 1d4 rounds (cannot move or attack). Once a Free-magic Elemental has left an item, it cannot repossess it for 1 week; the item’s “magical matrix” is under too much flux to allow it.

A Free-magic Elemental feeds on the magic items it possesses. For every week the item is possessed, it loses 5 charges (also lowering its maximum number of charges), one ‘per day’ use of an ability, a + bonus or similar power. The previous list is also the order of preference for which power the Elemental drains first. If the Elemental was damaged when it possessed the item, it heals 5 hp per magical power drained. Drained powers cannot be restored except through a Wish spell.

Once drained of all magical power, the Free-magic Elemental will leave the item immediately, as the item can no longer support it. The Elemental has the option to leave the item intact as a mundane item or destroy it (by melting, burning, shattering, etc). Only drained items can be destroyed in this way.

The Unbroken Forge – Part 3

Unbroken Forge Part 3

Unbroken Forge Part 3

“The heat in the domed hall is intense and the air almost dances with embers and soot from further inside. The bas reliefs on the walls are brought to life by the shifting patterns of heat behind them and the work of the great fire-dwarf craftsmen depicted there is reflected by the clanging of hammer on anvil coming from all sides.”

The final section of the Unbroken Forge is the forge itself. There are three main chambers to the north, south, and east where armor, weapons, and shields are made. Other rooms are the various finishing workshops and storerooms.

The central chamber has a domed ceiling and walls covered in bas reliefs depicting the almost religious nature of the fire-dwarves’ work here. Thick archways rising from the floor branch out onto the dome to create a complex design of ridges and lines. An experienced magic-user might recognize that this pattern weakens the barrier between this place and the Plane of Elemental Fire. Invisible ley lines link this room with the three forges and helps create the infernal heat necessary for their work.  Of course, depending on who now controls the Forge, these ley lines may not be active, but who can say what will happen (or come through the planar skein) when they are activated?

The Unbroken Forge – Part 1

Unbroken Forge Part 1

Unbroken Forge Part 1

“Past the antechamber with its statues clad in mirrored ceremonial armor, you see a wide hall with long steps and a narrow ramp leading down to a huge bronze door. Upon the thick doors are shaped two dwarf thanesguard holding pikes, their beards appearing ornately braided and capped and their bodies wreathed in flames. Beyond the sealed door you can hear hammer on anvil, the distant whoosh of bellows, and echoed orders. The Unbroken Forge is occupied once more, though one wonders if it’s the ancestral dwarves of legend, or some usurper seeking the forge’s power.”

 The Unbroken Forge was originally built by the now-extinct fire-dwarves of Borzen-khar, the Firelands, who, centuries ago, were renowned for their skill in creating terrible weapons and frightening armor, all imbued with their unique runecraft rumored to be native to the Plane of Elemental Fire.

The map features two main obstacles: the bronze doors at the bottom of the hall and the wide portcullis just beyond it.

West of the bronze doors are mostly storage rooms and a few plundered museum pieces (though hidden treasures might still be found!). To the north east is a private bazaar where the fire-dwarves sold their wares to the highest bidder.

Beyond the portcullis, a wide tunnel leads to Part 2 of 3 maps in this series.

Dessicator – Undead Water Elemental

I converted this monster from the Complete Arcane book (3.5 edition rulebook), so I take absolutely no credit for the monster or the artwork, but I did enjoy converting it to Labyrinth Lord.

On a related note, it was originally used in The Drowned Fort – Level 2 map.

Dessicator by Jeremy Jarvis

Dessicator – Undead Water Elemental

NE, 30’ / swim 70’, AC 4, HD 6, 1d6+fatigue, F3, Mo 11, xp 1520

  • Darkvision 60’
  • Immune to mind affecting spells and other Undead immunities
  • +2 to Initiative
  • Desiccating breath: 15ft long and wide cone, can be used every 1d4 rnds, does 1 CON damage that heals 1 per 2 Turns
  • Fatiguing touch: Save vs Poison or be fatigued; -2 to hit and must rest 1 hour (6 Turns) to recover, doesn’t stack with itself.

The tiny creature is little taller than your boots. It’s limbs and body are hard, crusty, spindly things and a conical head that’s all toothless mouth. Tiny points of blue light on the side of its head hint at eyes. Its crusty skin is a mottled yellow and white and it twitches sharply when it moves, grinding white powder on the floor from its joints. It screeches shrilly just before it attacks.

The Drowned Fort – Level 2

The Drowned Fort Level 2

The Drowned Fort Level 2

So this the prison level of Harstaag Fort. There are cells, both barred and with optional iron doors, interrogation rooms, isolation cells, and guard-rooms.

However, since the fort was abandoned, salt water broke through the wall in the south west room and began to eat away at the floor. Following the path of least resistance, the water found a way down through a sinkhole it widened underneath the balcony. However, that whole lower level is completely flooded and the current in the deeper sections are strong.

It’s on this level that the corrupted elementals have made their home. One of the most fearsome creatures found here is the rare Salt-water Shambling Mound.