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Living Sandstorm, Living Sandstorm (Sandstorm)

Living Sandstorm (Sandstorm) CR 11

Source Pathfinder #83: The Slave Trenches of Hakotep pg. 86
XP 12,800
N Fine outsider (earth, elemental, swarm)
Init +6; Senses darkvision 60 ft., sandsight, tremorsense 60 ft.; Perception +18


AC 34, touch 25, flat-footed 27 (+6 Dex, +1 dodge, +9 natural, +8 size)
hp 147 (14d10+70)
Fort +9, Ref +15, Will +12
Defensive Abilities swarm traits, DR 10/—; Immune elemental traits, weapon damage


Speed 30 ft., fly 60 ft. (good)
Melee swarm (6d6 plus distraction)
Space 5 ft., Reach 0 ft.
Special Attacks create sand, distraction (DC 22), sand blast


Str 1, Dex 22, Con 21, Int 12, Wis 12, Cha 13
Base Atk +14; CMB —; CMD
Feats Dodge, Improved Iron Will, Improved Sunder, Iron Will, Mobility, Power Attack, Step Up
Skills Acrobatics +20, Fly +35, Intimidate +18, Knowledge (planes) +18, Linguistics +4, Perception +18, Stealth +39 (+47 in sand), Survival +18; Racial Modifiers +8 Stealth in sand
Languages Aquan, Auran, Common, Ignan, Terran
SQ change shape (humanoid form or sandstorm form; polymorph)


Environment any desert (Plane of Earth)
Organization solitary, pair, or gang (3–8)
Treasure none

Special Abilities

Change Shape (Su) A living sandstorm can shift between its humanoid form, shaped from packed sand, and a sandstorm form as a standard action. In sandstorm form, a living sandstorm functions as if it were a swarm of Fine creatures with a hive mind, and it loses its burrow speed, slam attacks, and compression abilities, but gains a fly speed and the ability to use its create sand and sand blast abilities. Its Strength score is reduced to 1, but its ability scores are otherwise unchanged. A living sandstorm remains in one form until it chooses to assume its other form. A change in form can’t be dispelled, nor does the living sandstorm revert to any particular form when killed (both shapes are its true form). A true seeing spell reveals both forms simultaneously.

Create Sand (Su) While in sandstorm form, a living sandstorm can, as a standard action, create 500 cubic feet of fine red sand, filling a 10-foot radius beneath it to a depth of 5 feet. All creatures in the area and adjacent squares must succeed at a DC 22 Reflex save or be blinded for 1d4 rounds. Medium and smaller creatures in the area are buried and must begin holding their breath to avoid drowning in the sand. By attempting a Reflex save against the same DC, a creature can avoid being buried if there is an adjacent space outside the area to which it can move; if the save is successful, the creature is moved into an available adjacent space. As a standard action, each buried creature can dig itself out or be dug out by another with a successful DC 15 Strength check. Invisible creatures in or adjacent to the area when the sand is created are outlined until the dust is removed. The save DC is Constitution-based.

Sand Blast (Ex) When in sandstorm form, a living sandstorm can attack with a blast of scouring sand in a 20-foot line. The sand deals 6d6 points of slashing damage and blinds creatures in the area for 1d4 rounds. A successful DC 22 Reflex save halves the damage and negates the blinding. The save DC is Constitution-based.

Sandsight (Ex) The living sandstorm can see through sand, dust, and other particles in the air as if the air were clear, ignoring the miss chance for these obstructions, up to its normal range of vision.

Slashing Sand (Ex) A living sandstorm’s swarm attack deals slashing damage. Its slam attacks deal bludgeoning and slashing damage.

Notorious for appearing suddenly out of the roiling tempests of the deep desert, living sandstorms are capable of turning oases and dry farmlands into areas of featureless desert in a shockingly short span of time. When angered, they can scour a whole army down to bits of shining metal and bone buried under feet of shifting sand over the course of one terrible night. Some Osiriani scholars claim that living sandstorms are related to the deadly khamsin storms that scour the desert, and while these creatures are related to elementals, they have nothing to do with the formation of those iconic storms. Living sandstorms are most comfortable when sand is free to flow across the earth. They become agitated whenever creatures make an effort to remove or limit sand in an area, shelter an area from the drifting dust, or alter the weather to reduce or prevent sandstorms. However, they are curious creatures and enjoy experiencing new interactions with beings of other shapes, and are willing to parley when they believe doing so may open the door to a novel diversion—or if a creature simply appears easy to intimidate.

A living sandstorm in its humanoid shape is about 6 feet tall and weighs 900 pounds. In sandstorm form, it expands its form into a pulsing cloud of streaming, loose sand, which gathers into small clumps before being reabsorbed into the storm.


Living sandstorms are formed from and fed by the unpredictable interaction of raw elemental earth and planar storms or vortices carrying the essence of other planes. These ageless elemental creatures tend to be curious and outgoing when they first discover new places, but are easily frustrated by any kind of restraint. They use their ability to create sand liberally, attempting to pack caves, voids in the Plane of Earth, and other open areas at least half-full of their reddish sand. Because of their origin, they are usually found near gates, portals, and vortices between planes both on the Plane of Earth and on the Material Plane.

Habitat & Society

Living sandstorms dwell in the rare open caverns on the Plane of Earth. On that plane, they are misfits, feared for their affinities for open spaces and howling winds. When conf licts erupt between the powers of the Elemental Planes, they are sometimes recruited to lead strike teams into other planes, as they are adventurous and enjoy discovering open spaces they can fill with their fine, red sand. They are especially valuable when establishing beachheads on planes that have little in the way of earth, because of their ability to create large amounts of sand in relatively short periods of time.

Due to their intrepidness, they readily answer callings to serve summoners so they can visit new places and spread their sand far and wide. If they see an opportunity to do so, they may break free of their calling and explore the wider Material Plane, where they favor desert climes and their nearby regions, and where they are known to contribute to rapid desertification. When marooned on the Material Plane, they are generally restless until they find a way back to the Plane of Earth, but if they know of a route home, they instead explore the nearby area, wandering farther and farther until they lose interest in filling that world with sand and long to move on to a new one.

Creatures in "Living Sandstorm" Category

Living Sandstorm (Humanoid)11
Living Sandstorm (Sandstorm)11

Living Sandstorm

This hulking humanoid figure of packed red sand is no taller than an average human, but it is brawny and exceptionally broad.