Thursday, August 8, 2019

Non-Dark Sun Creatures in Dark Sun - Aerial Servant

There are many creatures for the various monstrous manuals that have been officially added to Dark Sun. I added some unofficially for my game and I'm sure a lot of other DMs do the same.
There is no inherent problem with this, although the flavor text often doesn't fit with the Dark Sun setting. My goal is to list the various monsters that "don't fit" and rewrite their flavor text to make them fit.
In this, I am using the Elemental War theory I have written about in the past and is mentioned briefly in Earth, Air, Fire, and Water. I have included their stats for ease of reference.

Aerial Servant
Climate/Terrain: Elemental Plane of Air
Frequency: Very Rare
Organization: Solitary
Activity Cycle: Any
Diet: See Below
Intelligence: Semi (2-4)
Treasure: Nil
Alignment: Neutral
No. Appearing: 1
Armor Class: 3
Movement: Fl 24 (A)
Hit Dice: 16
Thac0: 5
No. of Attacks: 1
Damage/Attacks: 8-32
Special Attack: Surprise
Special Defense: +1 or better weapon to hit
Magic Resistance: Nil
Size: L (8' Tall)
Morale: Elite (14)
XP Value: 10,000

The aerial servant is a semi-intelligent form of an air elemental native to the elemental plane of air. An encounter with an aerial servant on Athas is usually the result of a conjuration by an air cleric. Like all air elemental beings, the aerial servant serves the Elemental Lords of Air in the Elemental War.
When encountered on Athas, aerial servants normally are invisible. They are dimly visible on their native plane, resembling legless humanoids made of sparkling blue smoke. They have empty eye sockets, a thin slash for a mouth, and two long arms with large hands and four thick fingers.

An aerial servant generally avoids combat on its native plane, unless ordered otherwise by their masters. If attacked or threatened, it responds by attempting to grab and strangle its opponent. The aerial servant’s first successful roll to hit means it has grabbed its victim; in each successive round that it holds its victim. the aerial servant, if it desires, automatically inflicts 8-32 hp of damage. An aerial servant is very strong and can easily carry weights in excess of 645 pounds. A character must have a Strength of 18 to have any chance of breaking free. For each percentage point score the character has, there is a like chance to break free of the aerial servant’s grasp; for instance, a character with an 18/50% Strength has a 50% chance of breaking free, while a character with a 00% or 19 automatically breaks free. If using Strength scores from the Revised Box Set, the victim must still have a minimum strength of 18, then make an opposed strength roll vs the aerial servant. Treat the aerial servant as having a 23 strength. (If the grasped creature has no Strength rating, roll the appropriate number of the creature’s Hit Dice and 16 HD for the aerial servant; if the creature’s total is higher, it breaks free.)
An aerial servant under the command of a non-air cleric will not fight for him, but will complete any other assigned duty, usually finding and returning an object or victim. If assigned to return a victim the aerial servant grabs the victim as described above. Additionally, those attacked by an aerial servant on Athas have a -5 surprise modifier. If the summoning cleric is not an air cleric and does not protect himself by casting protection spells or by standing inside a protective symbol, the aerial servant will attempt to crush and kill him. If the aerial servant is prevented from completing its assigned mission, it becomes insane, returns to the cleric, and attempts to kill him.

Aerial servants do not organize themselves into families, communities, or any other social units. They do not collect treasure. When not engaged in the Elemental War, aerial servants pass the time by soaring on the elemental wind and exploring the infinite mysteries of their native plane. As they have no permanent lairs, aerial servants have a virtually limitless range and are not tied to any specific territory. They are particularly drawn to areas of extreme weather, which are becoming very rare. Generally, aerial servants are able to avoid the dangers of these phenomena. However, if a careless aerial servant is caught up in one of these storms, there is a 50% chance it will be blown in two, with each half becoming a separate aerial servant. This is the only way aerial servants reproduce, an extremely painful process the aerial servants strive to avoid.
Aerial servants will not voluntarily leave their home plane and have no interest in Athasian affairs, unless they directly correspond to the affairs of the Elemental Plane of Air. Even though they understand the importance of protecting and purifying their element on Athas, they dislike being summoned there. They will attempt to complete their minions as soon as possible in order to return home.

Aerial servants do not consume food for nourishment. Instead, they are refreshed and energized by being buffeted in the planar winds. Long periods of calm weather, which are becoming common on their elemental plane, cause aerial servants to grow listless and weak. If an aerial servant is not exposed to a planar wind in excess of 30 miles per hour for 30 consecutive days, it risks suffering damage; beginning on day 31, it has a 10% chance per day of losing 1d8 hp. Aerial servants recover lost hit points at the rate of 1d8 per hour of being buffeted by planar winds in excess of 30 miles per hour. They are unaffected by the winds on Athas.
Aerial servants have no natural enemies on their home plane. However, magma, silt, and sun creatures will attack aerial servants on sight. Due to their enemies and the uncommon and painful way of reproducing, aerial servants are nearly extinct.

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