The Elements of... Elements
Everything in the Kingdom of Loathing is composed of the five basic elements: hot, cold, spooky, stench, and sleaze. Although most monsters in the Kingdom show no preference for or aversion from any particular element, many monsters, such as the demons in Pandamonium Slums or the undead enemies in The Cyrpt, have an affinity for one element or another. Additionally, adventurers can make use of certain spells and accessories to harness the power of the elements.
The elements exist in a delicate balance, and each one can cause great harm to foes of opposing elements, while dealing 1 damage to enemies of the same element. The following is a breakdown of how each element performs against every other one.
Each element deals normal damage against the other two, and negligible damage against itself.
Adventurers with Hotform, Coldform, Spookyform, Stenchform, or Sleazeform will themselves become aligned to the corresponding element, inflicting all of their damage using that element and resisting all but 1 damage of that type (but also becoming vulnerable to double damage from the two elements that are strong against your chosen elemental form).
Determining Monster Elemental Type
Various monsters need their elemental type confirmed. A monster is of that element if it's resistant to it or weak against its two corresponding others. Check here for data that still needs confirmation. See this page for info on how to use the template.
The obsidian dagger is the best choice for determining elemental type, as it adds +3 damage in each element. Whichever element appears as +1 instead of +3 indicates the monster is aligned with that element. (+6 will appear for whatever elements the monster is weak to.) A Scratch 'n' sniff sword or crossbow with a dragon sticker is functionally the same as the obsidian dagger for determining elemental resistances.
The Yohohoyo is also a good choice; adding +1 damage of each element, those elements which are doubled will show the monster's element.
The Cerebral Crossbow is an equally good choice, as it adds +3 Cold Damage, +3 Spooky Damage, and +3 Sleaze Damage, and this is enough to uniquely determine element.
Dealing 3 Cold Damage, 3 Spooky Damage, and 6 Sleaze Damage would conclusively prove that the monster's elemental alignment is hot.
With only 2 elements, the monster's elemental alignment is only conclusive on 4 out of 6 possible elemental types. For instance, using an icy-hot katana (with +3 Hot Damage and +3 Cold Damage), you could prove that monster had no element or that its element was hot, spooky, or cold, but monsters aligned to sleaze would be indistinguishable from those aligned to stench.
With 1 element, you'd only be able to prove 1 out of 6 possible elemental types. For instance, this is the damage you'd deal to monsters with dirty hobo gloves equipped:
Non-Standard Elements are not considered true elements, as they are dealt only by certain monsters (and never by players). In addition, these monsters have no weaknesses or vulnerabilities to any other element (whether standard or non-standard), although some of them are vulnerable to certain types of attacks.
For more information, as well as a list of non-standard elements, see this page.
- The first three Pastamancer attack spells inflict either physical or random elemental damage. With Flavour of Magic active, it is possible to restrict them to a specific element. Weapon of the Pastalord does physical damage unless tuned, in which case it will do half physical and half tuned. Note that elemental pasta spells will never be the same as an monster's resistance; e.g., Ravioli Shurikens will never randomly deal hot damage against a hot monster.
- Sauceror attack spells randomly inflict either Hot Damage or Cold Damage, unless the passive skill Immaculate Seasoning is in effect. In this case, they will always choose whichever of fire and cold is most damaging to the monster -- monster vulnerabilities and resistances are taken into account, as are any bonuses the player may have that affect only spells of a specific element.
- If a Codex of Capsaicin Conjuration is in your off-hand slot, all Sauceror attack spells and the non-element-specific portions of Pastamancer attack spells will always deal Hot Damage. This overrides Immaculate Seasoning, for Sauceror spells.
- If a Gazpacho's Glacial Grimoire is in your off-hand slot, all Sauceror attack spells and the non-element-specific portions of Pastamancer attack spells will always deal Cold Damage. This overrides Immaculate Seasoning, for sauceror spells.
- The books Necrotelicomnicon, Sinful Desires, and Cookbook of the Damned change the non-element-specific portions of Pastamancer attack spells to spooky, sleaze, and stench damage, respectively, when equipped in the off-hand slot.
- The Codex of Capsaicin Conjuration, Gazpacho's Glacial Grimoire, Cookbook of the Damned, Sinful Desires, and Necrotelicomnicon do not change the damage of spells if a player is affected by Hotform, Coldform, Sleazeform, Stenchform, or Spookyform. Likewise, Flavour of Magic and Immaculate Seasoning change the style of spell, but not the type of damage dealt (for example, summoning hot sauce that deals Spooky Damage under Spookyform).
- The relationships between these 5 elements (namely, the weaknesses between each one) strongly resemble those of the Five Elements of Chinese philosophy.
- Jick made a game on asymmetric.net based on this site, which resembles the star.