Help needed for completing a potential G3 element list

I have no idea what board to put this under or how to title it, but here goes: I’ve been wanting to chart out a G3 of sorts for a while now, with lore designed with the lessons learned from G1 in mind. This means cleaning up the list of elements that canonically exist and count as such, and which Toa may use. Even disregarding Earth and Stone, I think we can generally agree that the list didn’t make 100% sense and left out some perfectly good options, like the oft-mentioned Kinesis.

The basis for my proposed system has roots in Matoran religion, in which the number 6 is considered important, much like how 3 and 9 recur in Norse mythology. To coincide with this, I decided that the Matoran would assign all natural components of the universe into some number equal to a multiple of 6. The original 6 elements were evidently not enough to encompass the entire universe, so I expanded the list to 12 bullet points:

  1. Fire
  2. Water
  3. Earth (more on this one in a moment)
  4. Air
  5. Ice
  6. Kinesis (mechanical energy, to be clear)
  7. Light
  8. Lightning
  9. Aether (this encompasses Gravity and also allows the creation of wormholes; it is essentially a “fabric of space” element)
  10. Iron
  11. Flora (just “The Green” with a shorter name)
  12. …uh.

It’s that last one that gets me. I’ve knocked around every idea from glass to non-Newtonian fluids, but I cannot drum up anything else that both fits with the other elements and is practically different in combat applications. Thus I turn to you in the hopes that you can think of something I have not which sates my needs.

To explain why I’ve had so much trouble, here are my rules as of now:

  • Shadow is not an element; rather, I plan to use it as a sort of “anti-element,” representing destruction whereas the 12 proper elements represent creation.
  • Stone has been lumped into Earth simply because we’ve been debating whether it should be for decades now, which clearly means the difference is not intuitive to everyone. I want the difference between each element to make fairly obvious sense. On these same grounds, Magnetism has been lumped into Lightning and Plasma into Fire.
  • Sonics has also gotten the axe, as it’s just motion propagated through another element. Psionics has been oof’d because thoughts are not something you can create and throw at people or manipulate as part of your environment. These can still be in-universe powers, just not elemental ones.
  • I’ve contemplated an “Acid” element, but its usefulness eludes me because even the strongest acid isn’t useful for much in a fight besides subjecting people to a slow, painful death. It can have niche uses, but I don’t want any elements to feel niche.
  • Powers like Life and Time are too OP to make into proper elements, as they can’t be nerfed without stripping them of all uselessness, near as I can see.

Again, not sure where to put this topic, but I’m at my wit’s end, so if you have crazy new ideas or if you can find a way to make the elements I’ve rejected fit with the other ones, don’t hesitate to speak up. I’m kind of desperate at this point so I’m a bit impressionable.

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perhaps life could be the last “element”?

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Life was a big plot device in G1 for a reason: it was really h*cking powerful. I want all the elements here to be on more or less the same power level, and I don’t see a way to nerf Life as an element from its OP state in G1 without making it entirely useless. The same applies to Time for more or less the same reasons.

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Obviously the answer is sand. :stuck_out_tongue:

Hmm, I’m not really sure. It seems like you’ve thought about everything, from the 17 elements in G1 to other common ideas. If anything I’d argue that Sonics deserves more credit than you give it, but I can’t think of anything besides that.

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But I hate sand…

Sonics can be a versatile power with many applications, and I’m open to the idea of “non-elemental” Toa, with powers that don’t quite count as elements. However, it can’t really exist by itself, as it needs something to propagate through. Electromagnetic force is always a thing and you can have it in a vacuum; this isn’t the case for sound.

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Honestly, I’d never thought about it that way before, but that’s a fair point. Can’t think of anything else at this point, but I’ll be back if something comes to mind.

But thoghts can be thrown at people… If somebody have played, in StarCraft Protos actually use psi-energy which is pretty close to psionics I belive. Maybe the last element could be something like physical superiority? Like flexibility and great streight. That also depends on what powers do you clasify as Kanohi powers.

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How about Fauna? Creating Rahi might be a bit much, but controlling them seems useful and unique. If the creation part is necessary, maybe Toa of this element create pheromones. The amount of influence these can have on higher lifeforms can then be explained based on the individual susceptibility of those lifeforms. For example, an anger-inducing pheromone might make a Kikanalo charge, but a Vortixx could try and resist the influence. Or maybe you just say that it has no effect at all because different creatures need different chemicals.
Alternatively, manipulation via pheromones could be part of a chemistry element. Not just acid, but also poison/venom and hallucinogens, or stimulants that increase the strength of themselves and allies. Kind of an alchemist, with a lot of different niche abilities in their toolbox.

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idk if it fits with the elements, but ‘Sound’ always fascinated me as a power or element that can be controled. things like soundwaves or echo’s or vibrations are examples of things that can be created or be controled by the ones who has the power of sound.

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nuuuuuuu

May the ability to control time? 12 seems like a bit of a stretch at any rate…

I’m kind of curious, if Stone and Earth are combined, why not Water and Ice? I’d argue (based on no scientific background, so take it with a grain of salt lol) that water/ice are more similar than stone/earth.

I think Psionics is a good idea, it was just ambiguously executed in G1. Sonics like people have been mentioning is also viable, and maybe some element that has to do with manipulating different kinds of waves/wavelengths? (brain waves, sound waves, etc. technically Light could fall into this category?)

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While I’m not the person who made this list, I think I can explain why water and ice are separate but earth and stone are not. First off, in a scientific sense you’re right - water and ice, being two different states of the same compound, are more similar than earth and stone, which encompass a broad variety of different chemical compounds and could arguably be classified by traits such as how ordered the atoms are or how hard the structure as a whole is.

The point is, this isn’t just about science. These “elements” are meant to both be distinct fundamental building blocks of the universe and distinct and applicable powers. The problem with earth and stone is that they aren’t very distinct from one another. While I can come up with several different ways to separate the two, both based in Bionicle’s canon and along more fanon lines, I have to admit that it’s kind of a fuzzy line, and one that confuses a vocal portion of the fandom. The two feel and function very similarly to each other when being used for magic, and it’s hard to draw a line between them without feeling like you’re limiting them or without expanding greatly upon what they encompass.

Water and ice, on the other hand, do feel very distinct from each other. Despite being the same substance chemically, given their different states they feel very different. Ice is cold, hard - almost more akin to stone or glass; water is fluid and has less of a connection with temperature. It’s easy to tell which is what, and each of them get used for different things. Maybe Keks had different logic when making his decisions, but that’s how I think about it.

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Maybe this is slightly out of place, but maybe it would be usrful. I think that fire and ice are actually mis-named. Like those powers are not about actually chemical process of burning and state of water, they are much more about temperature. I can even say that Toa of ice do not “create” ice but simply freeze water that is in the air (slightly out of canon thoughts, but if we talk about G3 why not make it canon in there?) And that is also a reason why fire and ice are opposed in Bionicle more than fire and water. Only flaw is that Toa of fire are actually do create fire (or maybe they just burn oxygen, eh?). Also I, personaly, see that difference betveen earth and stone is like earth is connected to the ground (Onu-Matoran live undergound and other) while stone is just stone. Hurling a stone at enemy - oh yeah this is classic. Hurling a lump of earth - emm, strange idea.

My beef with a power like this is that it produces major ethical quandaries. A mask of Rahi control isn’t necessarily bad as a cool power, but when you get down to creating whole-■■■ animals, you’re creating living, thinking beings. That’s a little messed-up if you get down to it. It also completely negates Rahi-based threats, so I can’t utilize that sort of environmental hazard as a legitimate threat to the characters in most scenarios.

That…could work, actually. These elements are supposed to be how Matoran classify matter and energy. Miscellaneous gases/chemicals could be thrown under one broad label, even when they have lots of effects. If we have a “Poison” element like this, it can do more than just kill people; it can be a sleeping/laughing gas or a smokescreen or, like you said, some kind of steroid. So, yeah, this one’s definitely going under the “not terrible options” category.

  1. We haven’t been arguing about that one nearly as much over the past 20 years. I don’t think nearly as many people really question it.
  2. They’re used very differently in a fight. Water is a fluid, ice is a solid. TLA merged them into one element, but you can still see there that they have very different applications.
  3. These elements are based on a pre-scientific understanding of nature. The Matoran group things based on intuition, not proper chemistry. The very idea of classical elements is already bogus in the face of modern science; defying these proper rules further can’t do more damage in the logic department.

I’ve explained this already, but the presence of sound depends on the presence of other stuff. It’s not a unique form of energy, just motion–which is ultimately already covered by Kinesis. A good test for what constitutes an element can be putting a Toa in a vacuum; if he can’t do anything with his elemental power, it’s not a proper element.

When the Onu-Matoran live in a cave–which itself is made of rock because that’s what a cave is–I can’t buy this distinction. Like, the ground is rock in a lot of places. What happens in a desert or on a mountain if that’s how they’re split up?

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what about psionics?

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Suggestions for the list: Gravity, Creation

I mean, Ekimu and Artahka seemed to easily handle Creation well enough. However, I would envision the element of Creation being more about being able to make what the user knows how to make, instantaneously. For example, let’s say I know how to make a pepperoni pizza - if I possess the power of Creation, I would be able to generate that in a vacuum instantaneously from Creation energy. But if I don’t know how to make it, I wouldn’t be able to use Creation energy to make the pizza.

The more I know about making the item, the less energy I would need to expend making it. Also, if there were raw materials on hand, it would also be easier - for example it would be easier for a Creation Toa to form iron girders into a crane than to just make one from raw energy. (Also, it would probably take a Nova blast of Creation energy to make a crane from raw energy, whereas an Iron Toa would have a much easier time of it…but the Iron Toa would not also be able to make the pizza. Food for thought.)

Lol, this is the standard we should use for G3 - the least amount of historical arguments.

The reason we haven’t had as many arguments over water/ice was because it was established that Kopaka can control snow and slush (in addition to the ice), whereas Gali cannot, leaving their powers more distinct. In addition, the Ice Toa also has the power to make things colder and change their temperature - as a foil to Fire - which makes his/her powers more acceptable, and draws a bigger difference between Kopaka and Gali. (It also makes Kopaka the most powerful Toa - if you want to know why he defeated three Rahkshi single-handedly, that’s why. :stuck_out_tongue: )

Stone and Earth…the difference is a bit fuzzier, because there are stone bits and sand as a part of soil composition in real life. This leads to the question of “how small does it have to be for Onua to control it?”. Then, if there is Stone inside the Earth, can Pohatu control earth or part of Earth too?

And, after 20 years, we still don’t know the answer to this question. Greg’s answer about the impact of rocks versus earth really didn’t answer it - but I suppose the idea is supposed to be like water and ice - the earth is supposed to be fluid, whereas the stone is supposed to be solid. Fun stuff.

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Cut for reasons explained in the OP.

Gravity’s in there, lumped under Aether, which now deals in any manipulation of the fabric of space.

Creation doesn’t really make sense as an element so much as the sum of all elements. This is what the opposite of “Shadow” is in this continuum: Shadow is destruction, and Creation is…well, creation, and thus comprises all parts of the material world. It’s too big for Toa, and is relegated to this universe’s deities, such as my take on Artakha.

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The only other elements I can think off the top of my head are magnetism and plant life.

Yes, okay this is fair. Esp. the part where they’re used differently in a fight, as you and @BlueJay pointed out . But does ice still melt into water? Would a Toa of Water then be able to use meltoff from an Ice Toa’s leftover element (for lack of better word?)

also, how dependent would controlling the elements be on the surrounding environment? If memory serves me correctly, in G1, it’s generally the case that Toa can create, as well as control existing manifestations of their respective elements. Is it less energy expenditure to control what already exists (I assume yes, but again, Bionicle doesn’t follow hard science/hard magic system). Like how Frozone had trouble using his ice powers in the middle of a house burning down? So then I feel like ice would always have a disavantage over water, unless it’s more of a power based on altering temperature of substances, not necessarily ice. That kind of gets in to what @Lesnichiy was saying about fire and ice potentially being misnamed.

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Hmm, light may work, unless you want that seperate. The other issue with light is your negative element; shadow, directly opposes light. I feel like you would end up needing a negative element for each normal one, if you included light in the twelve elements.
Some sort of metal power might work, but you would want to limit it so it can’t work on other’s bodies (something like metal in a body is to intertwined with organic material, so much so that the metal can’t be controlled)