Tuesday, July 13, 2021

Non-Dark Sun Creatures in Dark Sun - Elemental, Sandman

 There are many creatures from 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.
I often add a new Athasian variant as well.

Elemental, Sandman

Sandman, Free
Sandman, Slave

Climate/Terrain Any, non Forest Any, non Forest
Frequency Rare
Organization Family
Activity Cycle Night
Diet Minerals
Intelligence Average (8-10) Average (8-10)
Treasure Nil
Alignment Neutral Evil
Neutral Evil
No. Appearing 1d6
Armor Class 3
Movement 9 9
Hit Dice 4
THAC0 17
No. of Attacks 1
Damage/Attack Nil
Special Attacks Sleep, Spells
Special Defenses See Below
See Below
Magic Resistance 20% 20%
Size M (5-6' tall) M (5-6' tall)
Morale Elite (13-14) Elite (13-14)
XP Value 2,000

The sandman’s name describes it exactly: This elemental is a manlike biped made entirely of sand, held together by magical cohesion. Sandmen are creatures of the Elemental Plane of Silt and generally reside there. However, many sandmen have been captured by the dao and enslaved by them. Their ability to capture foes unharmed makes them especially successful in capturing slaves. Sandmen apparently communicate telepathically between themselves, but they speak no languages; in fact, they do not speak at all. Dao and other sandmen seem to be able to understand what they are thinking. Sandmen can understand what other intelligent creatures are saying, or perhaps thinking, however.

Sandmen prefer to fight from ambush or at night, when they can flee encounters that go against them. Any character or monster coming within 20 feet of a sandman must successfully save vs. spell or fall asleep, regardless of experience level. Those who manage to stay awake must attempt to save again each time they touch a sandman or are touched by it (a hit on the sand with a weapon does not constitute a touch). Creatures from the paraelemental plane of silt are immune to this sleep effect.
Once a sandman has put a victim to sleep, it takes no further hostile action against him, leaving him to doze while the sandman takes the victim to slave markets, or expels them from the paraelemental plane of silt. In the case of an enemy to the paraelemental plane of silt, they are simply killed.
Victims remain asleep for three full turns regardless of noise, motion, or magic applied to them. Thereafter, there is a cumulative 10% chance per turn of a sleeper waking of his own accord, and a 95% chance per round of him waking if violently disturbed. Creatures attacked while asleep are automatically hit for maximum damage for a single round of attacks, but thereafter, they may respond normally.
Free sandmen are able to cast spells as sixth level silt clerics. However, they lose this ability when enslaved by the dao.
Sandmen have the natural ability of protection from normal missiles. Missiles striking a sandman simply pass through its form and fall to the ground.
When a sandman is slain, it immediately crumbles into dust.

Sandmen automatically attack humans and need never check morale. They serve in the armies of the paraelemental lords of silt, using their sleeping abilities and spells against the forces of water and earth.
When enslaved by the dao, they serve as slave-takers. They go to Athas and bring back human and demihuman slaves.

Many sandmen are slaves of the dao. The dao have learned to bind sandman through the use of magical amulets; this ensure that sandmen sent to Athas to fetch more slaves do not simply run away. Sandman hate their masters fiercely, but they loathe humans even more, for they consider them weak. They despise any creature that they can ensorcel into sleep, and they fear any creature immune to their powers.
Sandmen seem to require neither food nor drink, and they are excellent at surviving even the harshest deserts or mines. They derive their food from stone, sand, and dust, and can starve only if they are kept airborne for a lengthy period. They find gems and especially metal a delicacy.
The powder into which a destroyed sandman crumbles can be used to grow potions related to sleep or dreaming. If used as the material component in a sleep spell, the spell affects double the normal number of levels or Hit Dice. The dust of a sandman is enough for only one potion or two spells.

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