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Dust Devil

An amorphous, roughly spherical cloud of semi-transparent dust skims above the surface of the ground

Originally Posted by Shade of the En World forums.  
On this Thread

Dust devils are creatures of both elemental air and earth. Smarter than their air elemental and earth elemental kin, dust devils are also far greedier.

Dust devils covet precious metals and gemstones, and can naturally sense such materials. They frequently travel to the Material Plane in search of precious metals and gems, finding it easier to acquire from mortals than the mostly tougher beings of the Elemental Planes of Air and Earth.

A typical dust devil is 4 feet tall and weighs 8 pounds.

Dust devils speak Auran and Terran.

Dust devils can be summoned via a summon monster VI or summon nature’s ally V spell.

Dust Devil
Small Elemental (Air, Earth, Extraplanar)
Hit Dice6d8 (27 hp)
SpeedFly 50 ft. (perfect)(10 squares)
Armor Class18 (+1 size, +3 Dexterity, +4 natural), touch 14, flat-footed 14
Base Attack/Grapple+4/+1
AttackSlam +8 melee (1d4+1)
Full Attack2 slams +8 melee (1d4+1)
Space/Reach5 ft./5 ft.
Special AttacksAsphyxiate
Special QualitiesDarkvision 60 ft., dust form, elemental traits, ethereal shift, treasuresense
SavesFort +5, Ref +8, Will +3
AbilitiesStrength 13, Dexterity 16, Constitution 11, Intelligence 13, Wisdom 12, Charisma 12
SkillsAppraise +10, Listen +10, Spot +10
FeatsCombat Reflexes, Flyby Attack, Improved Initiative (B), Power Attack, Weapon Finesse (B)
EnvironmentElemental Plane of Air and Elemental Plane of Earth
Challenge Rating4
TreasureDouble coins, double goods (gems and precious metal items only), no items
AlignmentUsually chaotic neutral
Advancement7-9 HD (Small); 10-18 HD (Medium)
Level Adjustment


Dust devils prefer to asphyxiate their foes, but utilize a variety of tactics featuring Flyby Attack and Power Attack.

Asphyxiate (Ex): A dust devil in solid form (see dust form, below) can engulf opponents by moving on top of them. It fills the air around one Medium or smaller opponent without provoking an attack of opportunity. The target must succeed on a DC 13 Fortitude save or inhale part of the creature. The thick, choking dust inside the victim deals 3d4 points of damage per round. An affected creature can attempt another Fortitude save each subsequent round to cough out the semivaporous menace. While asphyxiated, the victim suffers a -4 penalty to Strength and Dexterity. The save DC is Constitution-based.

Dust Form (Ex): A dust devil’s natural form is a vortex of whirling dust, with the same effects as gaseous form. In this form it can fly at a speed of 50 ft (perfect).

A dust devil can condense its body into a solid form as a swift action, this solidification takes a round to take effect, during which time the dust devil loses the DR 10/magic of gaseous form but is unable to attack physically, although it can still perform actions that do not require a solid body, such as movement. A solidified dust devil can still fly, but must stay near the ground – it is unable to stray more than its Reach from the earth without collapsing back into gaseous form.

A dust devil can instantaneously return to its natural dust vortex form as a swift action.

Ethereal Shift (Su): As a full-round action, a dust devil can transfer itself to the Ethereal Plane from the Material Plane, the Elemental Plane of Air or the Elemental Plane of Earth. It can then transfer itself from the Ethereal Plane to any of the aforementioned planes with another full-round action. The dust devil can also transfer any non-living objects it can carry when it uses ethereal shift.

Treasure sense (Su): Dust devils can sense the location and amount of any precious metal (precious metals include adamantine, copper, gold, mithral, platinum, and silver) and gems within a distance of 60 feet. This makes it nearly impossible to sneak up on a dust devil when wearing jewelry or carrying coins. Like Blindsense, opponents the dust devil can’t actually see still have total concealment against the elemental. Treasure sense can penetrate barriers, but 1 foot of stone, 1 inch of common metal, a thin sheet of lead, or 3 feet of wood or dirt blocks it.

Originally appeared in Dragon Magazine #45 (1981).

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