I am. A new element to branch out of would be a great way to add replay value and something new to the genre. Fire, water, ice, earth, lightning have seen its fair share of use since the ancient greeks first go the idea they made up the cosmos. Well, now that its 2013, how about we draw some information from more current sources understanding? Biology, particle physics, quantum mechanics, there's a great deal of awesome fields of knowledge to draw inspiration for! Why isnt anyone trying something new like this? The setting doesn't necessarily demand it, theres no rule saying a fantasy rpg has to stay with old tropes, neither does it preclude the use of modern science-inspired elements, you can always rephrase them in a way that aligns them with the rest of the arcane world.
Yes, i realize some of the "elements" might best be suited as individual skills, but you get my point.
The "alternatives" you listed aren't "elements." And in the classical sense, ice (a phase of water, recognized even by ancients, Latin has a word, CONGELATIO, which means "freezing" or "to freeze," for instance,) and lightning aren't elements. Lightning isn't an element in reality, obviously. It's a phenomenon brought about by one of the four fundamental forces of the universe in the Standard Model: electromagnetism, gravity, the strong atomic force and the weak atomic force. And of course, there are no elementary forces in RPGs. What I'm tired of is a nonsensical set of "elements" in which one or more "element" isn't an element.
In the Western (Hellenic) tradition, the elements are air, water, fire and earth. In Chinese tradition it's fire, water, earth, wood and iron/metal. In Japan it's air, water, fire, earth and void. In Hinduism, it's air, water, fire, earth and akasha, which translates to "aether."
At any rate, back to my first point: none of your poll "alternatives" are elements. They're concepts and actions, not component materials. An element is a fundamental component material of the cosmos, not an action or a concept or a technique. Shapeshifting is not an element. Telekinesis is not an element. How can a world be made of shapeshifting?
Edited by AGX-17, 13 March 2013 - 09:29 PM.