Level Up (A5E) The Genasi Heritage-What special ability do all Genasi have in common?

Corinnguard

Adventurer
I have been musing on and off about creating a Genasi heritage for A5e for a while now. Not as a part of the Planetouched heritage, but as it's own heritage. I know that the first part to creating their heritage is the part where you determine their age, their size and their speed. I also figure that they are going to have Darkvision. But I don't see them having anything like the Immortal Blessing feature that the A5e Aasimar and Tiefling have.

So what special ability could they have in common? I think it should be something that ties them to their Genie ancestors or maybe even the elements themselves.

Recently I had an idea for their special ability that could tie them to their Genie ancestor. The Bountiful Luck feat from 5e. Here's the part I would use from that feat:

Your people have extraordinary luck, which you have learned to mystically lend to your companions whenever you see them falter. You're not sure how you do it, you just wish it, and it happens. Surely a sign of fortune's favor!

  • When an ally you can see within 30 feet of you rolls a 1 on the d20 for an attack roll, an ability check, or a saving throw, you can use your reaction to let the ally reroll the die. The ally must use the new roll.

Since Genies are commonly known for granting wishes, I could see their Genasi descendants having a tiny sliver of this ability. It's not very reliable most of the time. Rolling a 1 only happens 5% of the time when making any kind of check. And even when their wish does come true, it's not always helpful. Thus it's not OP. This ability could be called Minor Wish or Genie's Blessing Thoughts?

I am curious to see what everyone might like to see as a common special ability for the Genasi. :)
 

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xiphumor

Adventurer
I have my own design for a Genasi-like heritage, but I intentionally took a step away from magic and genies because it bothers me that the living incarnation of flame can cast Burning Hands once per day. Instead, I focus on how they move, sense, and interact with the world.

As for common traits, I kind of cheated and gave them a trait called “Elemental Affinity” which generally includes a resistance, movement/sense, and third feature I can communicate quickly.

E.g.

Air - lightning resistance, +5 speed, can hold breath forever

Space - force resistance, climb speed, expertise on Str saves

Earth - acid resistance, 10 ft. tremorsense, petrification immunity

They share a size and base speed, and have access to some of the same paragon gifts, but beyond that, I don’t see much reason that a heritage that embodies a fundamental element should have much in common with another that embodies the exact opposite.
 



Corinnguard

Adventurer
I did something akin to the genasi in my Handbook of Heritages, in case you hadn't seen it and were interested. They're not planetouched--although I have a bunch of new planetouched gifts in there to represent different types of extraplanar beings.
I did buy the Handbook of Heritages a while back and read about the Jenn. The Jenn are more like Pathfinder 2nd edition's Dualborn Suli.
 

Tonguez

A suffusion of yellow
I’d give endure elements or even absorb elements as a standard ability x per day if you want. You’d think Genasi should be adapted to their energy type at least
 

Corinnguard

Adventurer
Another special ability that the A5e Genasi could have in common is a minor manipulation of their element. Currently 5e has four cantrips Control Flames, Gust, Mold Earth, and Shape Water. Each of these cantrips control a particular element within a 5 foot cube. So collectively they could have a special ability called Shape Element that works like these four cantrips, but works only with one element depending on which Genasi gift you choose as a player character. Ex. An Earth Genasi using Shape Element to Mold Earth (like the cantrip).

Yes, this for anyone who wants their Genasi character to bend their respective element. ;) But how to improve Shape Element without making it too powerful. Increasing the size of the cube at 5th, 11th and 17th is one possibility. Having it affect magical versions of each element is also possible, but I feel like this could be their Paragon gift at 10th level.

As always, thoughts here are appreciated. :)
 

xiphumor

Adventurer
I’ve tried to design A5e versions of those cantrips that are versatile, balanced, and respectful of WotC’s IP. It’s very hard. As much as I wish I could say otherwise, 5e is simply built on an engine that makes AtLA-style bending very difficult to simulate.
 

Corinnguard

Adventurer
I’ve tried to design A5e versions of those cantrips that are versatile, balanced, and respectful of WotC’s IP. It’s very hard. As much as I wish I could say otherwise, 5e is simply built on an engine that makes AtLA-style bending very difficult to simulate.
Good point. I only know of one homebrewed attempt to create a class that was based off of the Benders from AtLA. Element Bender (5e Class) - D&D Wiki I have no idea if this class has been playtested or how good it actually is.

At the same time, however, it would be cool if the Genasi could bend.
 

xiphumor

Adventurer
I think there is room for that in A5e, but I think the right place for it is actually combat traditions. (I think @Steampunkette was playing around with this idea at one point?) Tying it to an origin feature necessarily limits the power it can have, and besides, as combat traditions, we can REALLY lean in to the ATLA fantasy!

(Spells are also cool I guess, but it would take a lot more spells)
 

Faolyn

(she/her)
Yes, this for anyone who wants their Genasi character to bend their respective element. ;) But how to improve Shape Element without making it too powerful. Increasing the size of the cube at 5th, 11th and 17th is one possibility. Having it affect magical versions of each element is also possible, but I feel like this could be their Paragon gift at 10th level.
I'd think the easiest way to de-power these abilities is to prevent the damage from scaling with level. Increase the size of affected cube, yes, but not the damage. A paragon gift which allows for increased damage, or to have lower amounts of damage ignore resistance/turn immunity into resistance could definitely be a way to go, though.
 

Corinnguard

Adventurer
I think there is room for that in A5e, but I think the right place for it is actually combat traditions. (I think @Steampunkette was playing around with this idea at one point?) Tying it to an origin feature necessarily limits the power it can have, and besides, as combat traditions, we can REALLY lean in to the ATLA fantasy!

(Spells are also cool I guess, but it would take a lot more spells)
True. Bending in the form of arcane (or primal?) battle maneuvers probably would be better than trying to string along a bunch of spells together. I think Steampunkette a while back did present everyone with a psychic warrior combat tradition. It's somewhere on these forums. ;)

The Arcana Evolved setting by Malhavoc Press had created a 5th-level spell called Shape Element. It also involved manipulating an element within a given sized cube. It also had the means to mimic other elemental spells. For instance, you could take the flames coming off of a torch and mimic a weak version of Burning Hands (the amount of fire damage, however, would always equal the amount of a damage a torch could inflict). I'll have to revisit this spell asap to see if I can adapt for here.
 

Steampunkette

Rules Tinkerer and Freelance Writer
Supporter
I think there is room for that in A5e, but I think the right place for it is actually combat traditions. (I think @Steampunkette was playing around with this idea at one point?) Tying it to an origin feature necessarily limits the power it can have, and besides, as combat traditions, we can REALLY lean in to the ATLA fantasy!

(Spells are also cool I guess, but it would take a lot more spells)
I never actually went in on the elemental ones. But I did wind up making two magic ones (One Arcane, one Occult) that you might see in the near future. And the Psionic one is gonna be in a book I'm working on, myself.
 

Corinnguard

Adventurer
I never actually went in on the elemental ones. But I did wind up making two magic ones (One Arcane, one Occult) that you might see in the near future. And the Psionic one is gonna be in a book I'm working on, myself.
A Kinetcist Battle Tradition then? ;) Created by an order of Genasi Adepts....
 


Pedantic

Adventurer
True. Bending in the form of arcane (or primal?) battle maneuvers probably would be better than trying to string along a bunch of spells together. I think Steampunkette a while back did present everyone with a psychic warrior combat tradition. It's somewhere on these forums. ;)
I wonder if you could adapt the Night Master feat's exertion based casting, perhaps alongside a set of maneuvers, just limited to fewer schools. That would give you a bit of utility, and a list of flexible powers ready to go. You already have elemental spell schools to reference, so you could just set the exertion cost lower (say 1/spell level) and then set a maximum spell level based on class level in whatever "bender" class we end up with.
 

Micah Sweet

Legend
Good point. I only know of one homebrewed attempt to create a class that was based off of the Benders from AtLA. Element Bender (5e Class) - D&D Wiki I have no idea if this class has been playtested or how good it actually is.

At the same time, however, it would be cool if the Genasi could bend.
I would strongly recommend the following amazing 3pp:

Incarnate: Last of the Lacers
Best benders in 5e!
 


Corinnguard

Adventurer
This is the Shape Element spell from Arcana Unearthed (Arcana Evolved's predecessor) from Malhavoc Press.

Shape Element
Transmutation [See Text]
Level: 6 (Complex)
Casting Time: Five minutes
Range: Close (25 feet + 5 feet/two level
Area: One 10-foot cube per level (S)
Duration: One minute/level (see text)
Saving Throw: None
Spell Resistance: No
You take any existing amount of one element (air, earth, fire, or water) and shape it. You can take the fire from a torch and shape it into a wall of fire (which inflicts no more damage than the torch) or create a safe passage through a forest fire. You can take earth from the ground and make it into a bridge or a statue, or create a passageway underground. You can take the air out of a room and shift it elsewhere. You can shape the air to form a continual gusting wind effect in the area. You can, by manipulating either air or water, create a bubble of air under the surface of a lake. You can make a statue out of water, or a wall or a dry passage through a pool. The finished shape remains as you left it for the duration, and if it is a sustainable change, such as a stone wall with good support, or flames where flammable material can keep them burning, the change remains in effect (as if the spell’s duration were Instantaneous). The spell takes on the descriptor of the element shaped.

Diminished Effects: The spell affects only a single 10-foot cube.
Heightened Effects: You affect five 10-foot cubes per level, with a range of Medium (100 feet + 10 feet per level). The duration becomes 10 minutes per level

What I want for the A5e Genasi, obviously, is going to be a diminished version of this spell. In this case a 5-foot cube. But first I need to figure out how to convert it to 5e.
 

Faolyn

(she/her)
Shape Element
Transmutation
Level: 6
Casting Time: 1 minute
Range: 30 feet
Area: 50-foot cube of one element (air, earth, fire, or water)
Duration: concentration, up to 1 hour (special)

You take any existing amount of one element (air, earth, fire, or water) and shape it. You can take the fire from a torch and shape it into a wall of fire (which inflicts no more damage than the torch) or create a safe passage through a forest fire. You can take earth from the ground and make it into a bridge or a statue, or create a passageway underground. You can take the air out of a room and shift it elsewhere. You can shape the air to form a continual gusting wind effect in the area (no stronger than a moderate wind). You can, by manipulating either air or water, create a bubble of air under the surface of a lake. You can make a statue out of water, or a wall or a dry passage through a pool. An object you can create can have hinges and latches, but fine mechanical detail isn't possible.

If you maintain concentration for the entire duration, the duration becomes permanent. However, water and air can be fouled or consumed, fire may cease to burn when it runs out of fuel, and an earthen structure may collapse if not structurally sound.

***

Genasi Version
(I'm assuming this is an ability, not a spell)

When you gain this ability, choose one of the following elements: air, earth, fire, water. You can use your action to shape that element in a 5-foot cube, as follows (the element must be nonmagical in nature):

Air: A Medium or smaller creature that is within 10 feet of you must succeed on a Strength saving throw (using either your spell save DC or maneuver save DC) or be pushed 5 feet away from you; you can move an object that weighs less than 5 pounds up to 10 feet away from you; and you can cause a harmless sensory effect, such as rustling leaves or slamming shutters.

Earth: You can move a pile of loose earth, sand, gravel, or mud up to 5 feet away; you can cause shapes, images, patterns and/or colors to appear in the dirt or stone for 1 hour; and you can cause earth- and stone-based difficult terrain to be normal terrain, and vice versa, for 1 hour.

Fire: You can expand the flame 5 feet in one direction, provided there is fuel in the new location; you can extinguish the glames; you can double or halve the area of bright and dim light cast by the flame and/or the flame's color, for 1 hour; and you can cause simple, vague shapes to appear in the flame for 1 hour.

Water. You move or change the flow of water up to 5 feet in any direction; you can cause the water to form simple shapes such as fountains for 1 hour; you can change the waters color and/or opacity for 1 hour; and you can freeze the water, provided there are no creatures in it, for 1 hour, although warm temperatures will cause it to melt sooner.

You can't inflict any damage with this ability. Unless otherwise specified, the changes you make last for 1 round.
 

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