This year’s big summer Pathfinder book is Rage of Elements, a sourcebook that’s all about traversing and channelling the elemental planes. While water, earth, air, and fire feel pretty old-hat, the sourcebook will also introduce the planes of wood and metal. Paizo lead designer Logan Bonner tells Wargamer you can take the name ‘plane of metal’ pretty literally, as “it’s a little bit like metal music”.
“The plane of metal is a place of extreme forces like decay, magnetism, and rust”, says Bonner. “There’s a lot of rusted-out husks, skull-looking creatures, and insects with plates of metal for their carapace”. “When it says ‘metal’, it’s a little bit like metal music as well”, he adds, “it has that vibe”. If Pathfinder players find themselves somewhere that looks like a Cannibal Corpse album cover, they’ll know they’ve found the right plane.
The plane of wood is going for something a little less death metal, though. “The plane of wood is highly ordered, filled with giant-scale geometric plant life and cities in enormous, enormous trees”, Bonner tells Wargamer. “It’s kind of a contrast to The First World, the Realm of the Fey, which is more of a tangled wilderness”, he adds. “The plane of wood is a vast, orderly realm where all different kinds of biomes are represented, but they’re intricate and enormous in scope”.
Bonner says these planes have both emerged thanks to the Pathfinder Society, who freed Ranginori, Duke of Thunder from his elemental prison. “The Pathfinder Society freed the lord of air, and then in quick succession, the other elemental lords were freed”, he says. “And this caused a change that brought back two planes that had been shut off and hidden.” “The planes of metal and wood are regrowing now, and their elemental lords are also coming back into power”, he tells Wargamer.
This surge of elemental energy means plenty of new power for your playable heroes. “We have four pages of spells and four pages of magic items for each element”, Bonner says. Arcane and Primal spell lists will reportedly get the bulk of the goodies thanks to their ties to the elements, and Bonner says the Summon Elemental spell can take advantage of the “tonne of Elementals in this book”.
One feature that fits the heavy metal plane theme quite well is the new options for Pathfinder classes. The Elemental Instinct for the Barbarian means, as Bonner puts it, “you can literally have the Rage of Elements”. Meanwhile, the Iron Druid archetype explores what the emergence of a metal plane means for them. “Druids have a prohibition against metal”, Bonner tells Wargamer. “This is a way they can see metal as a part of nature and go against the grain of other Druids.”
The biggest class development in Rage of Elements is, of course, the return of the Kineticist, who apparently has the “longest ever” class rules. We also know new Rage of Elements Geniekin options are on the way. If you want to learn more about the book, you’ll have to check out the full Pathfinder Rage of Elements preview.