The upcoming Pathfinder 2e book, Rage of Elements, introduces the Pathfinder Plane of Metal to the tabletop RPG’s vast universe. This twisted, unpredictable, and sometimes outright horrifying plane is one-part junkyard and one-part heavy metal concert (we even made a Plane of Metal playlist to prove it). While it was once locked away, adventurers can now explore it again – and uncover the new creatures, encounters, and player options the plane offers.
We had an exclusive early look at Rage of Elements (as well as an even earlier Rage of Elements preview), and below we’ve dropped some of the greatest hits from the Plane of Metal. Here’s an iron-tinged taste of what to expect when the Pathfinder book drops on August 3.
What is the Plane of Metal?
In the beginning, the gods created six elemental planes: Air, Earth, Fire, Metal, Water, and Wood. Until recently, residents of Golarion may only have heard of four.
Shaped by the mythologies developed by mortals, the elemental lords charged with stewarding the planes began to oppose one another. The more benevolent lords of the stronger planes became imprisoned, and weaker planes – Metal among them – seemed to disappear completely. Only recently have the captive lords been freed, and the planes of Wood and Metal reappeared shortly after.
Watched over by the elemental lords known as Laudinmio and Ferrumnestra, the Plane of Metal is a sombre and unpredictable place. Sharp metal constructions, mercury rivers, and rust deserts cover the land, while bolts of lightning fill the ozone-heavy sky.
Metal can cause great harm, and it slowly decays into rust eventually. This makes the philosophy of the Plane morose and its landscape dangerous. However, Metal can also be the element of creativity and discovery – meaning there’s plenty of joy to uncover in the Plane.
Plane of Metal spells
The return of the Plane of Metal means there’s a (slag) heap of new spells a budding spellcaster can learn. Many of these focus on metal’s ability to transform or reinforce – while others sound like something straight out of a horror movie. Here’s some that got us buzzed:
Field of Razors
A truly gnarly spell, Field of Razors lets you blow fine metal dust into the air and turn it into a tangle of razor-sharp wires. The area becomes difficult terrain, and it deals five slashing damage per square travelled. If any creature bleeds inside your homemade Saw trap, you can spend a reaction to turn the blood shed into more razor wires and expand the area by five feet.
This spell makes you part-liquid-metal, allowing you to stride up to twice your speed and pass through one creature’s space without needing to roll for Tumble Through. You do this by splitting into a thousand mercury droplets and simply moving around the creature in question. That creature also has to make a Fortitude save or be subject to mercury poisoning, which gives it the sickened condition – and a possible 6d6 poison damage.
In the Plane of Metal, even the air is a weapon. This spell coalesces toxic metal on the skin of all living creatures in a 20-foot area. They’ll need to roll a Fortitude save or take 4d6 poisoning damage as the metal seeps into their bloodstream.
If your target is particularly metal-averse (for example, they have the plant or wood trait), they take this particularly hard. The success of their saving throw will dictate how badly sickened they are by the spell, as well as the amount of poison damage dealt.
Plane of Metal items
Metal can be used to craft truly wondrous things, and its potential has only expanded with the Plane of Metal’s return. Here are a few of our favorite Metal items you’ll find in Rage of Elements:
Here’s one for the Pathfinder Bards – a guitar made entirely of metal. As well as a +2 to Performance checks, a resonant guitar gives you the ability to teleport to the Plane of Metal. Strum the right tune, and you might even be able to pick exactly where you’ll land.
A resonant guitar can also be used to buff your allies in combat. The Strum of Thunder can give a metallic weapon within 60ft the thundering rune for an hour, while Chord of Protection puts up an invisible sound barrier when an ally is attacked, granting them a +2 stat bonus to their armor class. It also deals 3d10 sonic damage to the attacker if their strike still hits.
Your morphing weapon may look like an ordinary metal ingot at first, but a shifting rune allows it to transform into a metal melee weapon of your choosing. When you strike with this weapon, you can choose one of four abilities to alter your attack:
- Increase the weapon’s reach by five feet
- Change the weapon’s damage type to bludgeoning, piercing, or slashing
- Attempt to disarm or steal from your target if the strike hits
- Gain a status bonus for the damage roll that equals the weapon’s number of damage dice
The curious teardrop is a sentient liquid metal sphere that’s heavily implied to have been shed by one of the plane’s elemental lords. Understandably, it’s an emotional little thing, ricocheting between gleeful chatter and bursts of sobs. If you’re happy to play emotional support adventurer, it does have some useful magical properties.
Once a day, you can ask for the teardrop’s help, and it’ll cast a spell in response. This might be Curse of Lost Time, Elemental Form, or Ferrous Form (a new spell found in Rage of Elements).
If you’re targeted by an emotion or metal effect, the teardrop can also give a +4 stat bonus to your saving throw against it. Even if you fail, the teardrop will attempt a +36 counteract check to reflect the effect back at its source as if the teardrop had cast it.
Plane of Metal creatures
The creatures that inhabit the Plane of Metal are as varied as those from Golarion. Many have the ability to transform their appearance thanks to their metallic properties. Some are aggressive or depressed, while others are highly creative and charismatic.
While there’s plenty of new creatures to meet, here are a few of our favorites from Rage of Elements:
Asp of Grief
Golden, metallic snakes that twist through the air, the Asps of Grief appear to those experiencing strong emotions, hoping to feed on their negative feelings. The tinkle of bells and the sibilant flick of their tongues announce their arrival. If you share your sorrows and knowledge of magic with the Asps of Grief, they may choose to follow you on your adventures for a while.
Imagine a butterfly the size of a turkey. Now imagine it’s made of metal. Now imagine that it wants to drink your blood. That’s the Ferrous Butterfly in a nutshell – a gorgeous but dangerous elemental that can cause horrible lacerations with its metal wings.
Melomachs look vaguely like humanoids, but they’re made of various metal scraps. Often adorned with spikes, blades, and skulls, they look like iron statues of various punk singers. And given their habit of fighting and competitive ‘singing’ (read: screaming), they sound a lot like them too.