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In Dungeons & Dragons (D&D), an "elemental" refers to a type of creature fundamentally connected to one of the four classic elements: earth, air, fire, or water. These creatures come from the Elemental Planes, which are dimensions that embody these elements in their purest forms. Elementals can have various shapes and sizes, ranging from small whirlwinds or flames to massive beings made of stone or water.

When you play D&D, you might encounter elementals as allies, enemies, or beings that can be summoned with specific spells. Here’s how elementals fit into the game:

  1. Nature: Each elemental has traits that reflect its element. For example, fire elementals can ignite anything they touch, water elementals can drown foes, earth elementals can move through stone, and air elementals can create fierce winds.

  2. Summoning: Wizards, sorcerers, and other magic-users can summon elementals to help them in battles or to perform tasks. This is done through spells like "Conjure Elemental."

  3. Combat: In battles, elementals use their natural powers. They can be formidable opponents or valuable allies, depending on their type and how they are summoned or encountered.

  4. Role-Playing: Elementals can also play a part in the story or quest. A water elemental might guard a sacred spring, or an earth elemental could be the key to unlocking an ancient temple.

For first-time players, remember that elementals are more than just monsters to fight. They are beings deeply tied to the world's fundamental forces. When dealing with elementals, think about their connection to their element and how that influences their behavior, strengths, and weaknesses.

Understanding elementals can add depth to your game, whether you're using their power, battling against them, or weaving them into your storylines.

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