Archives of Nethys

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Stones jump and roll as if moved by an earthquake that affects nothing else around it. A wave of disturbed earth and rock follows behind them.

Sturzstromer CR 19

Source Pathfinder #138: Rise of New Thassilon pg. 92
XP 204,800
CN Tiny outsider (earth, elemental, extraplanar, swarm)
Init +1; Senses darkvision 60 ft., tremorsense 120 ft.; Perception +33


AC 34, touch 14, flat-footed 32 (+1 Dex, +1 dodge, +20 natural, +2 size)
hp 324 (24d10+192)
Fort +22, Ref +17, Will +16
DR 10/—; Immune electricity, elemental traits, swarm traits; Resist cold 30, fire 30; SR 30


Speed 50 ft.
Melee swarm (6d6+6 plus distraction)
Ranged rock +29/+24/+19/+14 (6d6+6)
Space 10 ft., Reach 0 ft.
Special Attacks distraction (DC 30), landslide, powerful swarm, rock throwing (120 ft.), rumble, trample (6d6+6, DC 26)
Spell-Like Abilities (CL 19th; concentration +21)
Constant—stone tell


Str 18, Dex 13, Con 27, Int 10, Wis 22, Cha 15
Base Atk +24; CMB —; CMD
Feats Blind-Fight, Dodge, Greater Blind-Fight, Improved Blind-Fight, Improved Iron Will, Improved Lightning Reflexes, Iron Will, Lightning Reflexes, Mobility, Quick Draw, Run, Weapon Focus (rock)
Skills Appraise +27, Climb +31, Knowledge (geography) +27, Knowledge (planes) +27, Perception +33, Stealth +36
Languages Terran; stone tell
SQ mountaineer


Environment any mountains (Plane of Earth)
Organization solitary
Treasure incidental

Special Abilities

Landslide (Ex) When a sturzstromer runs, it can create an avalanche 1d6×100 feet wide along the path which it moves as a free action. The sturzstromer must be in an area of natural rock, soil, or sand and moving downhill, though even gentle slopes are sufficient, and it can use this ability only if it took sonic damage within the past round or if it used its landslide or rumble abilities in the previous round. Each creature caught in the avalanche can attempt a DC 26 Reflex save to halve damage in the bury zone or negate damage in the slide zone. The sturzstromer is unaffected by its own avalanche. The save DC is Strength based.

Mountaineer (Ex) A sturzstromer takes no penalty to speed or on Acrobatics or Stealth checks when moving across steep slopes, rubble, or scree. In addition, a sturzstromer can hide in rocky terrain, even if that terrain provides no cover or concealment.

Powerful Swarm (Ex) A sturzstromer adds 1-1/2 times its Strength modifier on swarm damage rolls, and it is treated as a Large creature for the purposes of its rock throwing and trample abilities.

Rumble (Ex) As a full-round action, a sturzstromer can create a rumble that shakes the ground and air in a 120-ft. radius centered on the sturzstromer (the sturzstromer still makes a swarm attack at the end of this round). A creature that starts its turn in the affected area must succeed at a DC 26 Reflex save or be unable to move. A creature that fails this save by 5 or more is knocked prone; a flying creature falls instead. Casting a spell in this area requires a successful concentration check (DC = 15 + the level of the spell being cast). All other concentration checks in the area have their DCs increased by 5. The DC of Perception checks is likewise increased by 5. The effects of this ability last until the start of the sturzstromer’s next turn. The save DCs are Strength-based.


Sturzstromers, also known as living landslides, are the elemental incarnations of earth in motion, from crushing rockfalls to landscape-altering avalanches. A sturzstromer consists of hundreds of stones, each moving of its own volition. When at rest, the stones lie atop one another; when the sturzstromer moves, the stones roll and churn, drawing smaller pebbles and dirt into their mass. Some observers are able to discern faces in the textures and colors of these rocks.

The individual rocks that compose a sturzstromer are roughly a foot in diameter, though often irregularly shaped, and weigh approximately 80 pounds each. Altogether, a sturzstromer weighs around 12 tons, and when formed into a pile, the peak reaches 5 feet high.


A sturzstromer consists of several hundred rocks each able to move independently. It is unclear to scholars whether a sturzstromer is made up of a mob of tiny elementals working in unison, or whether it is a single elemental spirit divided among countless bodies. Some sages speculate that when a powerful being of elemental earth is destroyed, its shattered remains reanimate in the form of a sturzstromer.

A sturzstromer can be composed of any sort of common rock, though all of its constituent stones will be of the same type. The type of rock invariably matches a type common to the area where the creature lives. A sturzstromer that has lost stones (often due to damage) can replace them with stones from its environment, infusing them with the same elemental spirit that animates the sturzstromer.

Habitat and Society

Sturzstromers dwell in only the largest caverns of the Elemental Plane of Earth. Here they can spend decades, even centuries, raising mountains of earth and stone, only to bring them crashing to the ground in the blink of an eye. Although strurzstromers do not seek out companions, other earth elementals are sometimes drawn to them, aiding the living landslide in its creative and destructive endeavors. Some monastic oreads and shaitans view the sturzstromer’s efforts as a metaphor for sublimation and catharsis. Due to how long it takes for sturzstromers to build their mountains, their constructed landscapes often become inhabited, usually by creatures unaware of the inevitable catastrophe.

A sturzstromer is unlikely to travel to the Material Plane intentionally or even by accident. Those that exist on Golarion were conjured in ages past by powerful ritual magic. Whether to cause mayhem or to accelerate entropy, cultists of Ayrzul, Groetus, and Rovagug have called sturzstromers or attempted to magically dominate those previously conjured. Living landslides do not take well to being controlled, and this has been the downfall of many cults.

Though others may see them as a destructive force of nature, sturzstromers view themselves as artists creating beauty in the rise and (especially) fall of mountains.

Variant Struzstromers

Sturzstromers can form from any sort of stone, from sedimentary to igneous. Some sturzstromers contain traces of cold iron or silver ore, allowing them to overcome the corresponding damage reduction. The following variants emerge from those regions where two Elemental Planes overlap.

Glacial: Though similar in many ways to a true sturzstromer, a glacial sturzstromer is composed of chunks of ice and snow. Hailing from the border between the Elemental Planes of Air and Water, they are found only upon snowy peaks on the Material Plane. A glacial sturzstromer has the same statistics as a normal sturzstromer except as follows: It loses the earth subtype and gains the cold and water subtypes. It loses all energy resistance, but it gains immunity to cold and vulnerability to fire. A glacial sturzstromer can use its landslide ability after taking either fire or sonic damage, and its mountaineer ability applies to snow and ice instead of rocky terrain. It speaks Auran and Aquan instead of Terran, and can use its stone tell ability to speak with snow and ice instead of stone.

Pyroclastic: Dwelling near the border between the Elemental Planes of Earth and Fire, pyroclastic sturzstromers can only be called to the Material Plane from active volcanoes. Though other sturzstromers may consist of volcanic rock, pyroclastic sturzstromers retain molten heat. A pyroclastic sturzstromer has the same statistics as a normal sturzstromer except as follows: It gains the fire subtype in addition to the earth subtype. It loses all energy resistance but gains immunity to fire and vulnerability to cold. Its attacks, including avalanches it creates, deal 2d6 fewer points of bludgeoning damage, but deal an additional 2d6 fire damage plus burn (2d6, DC 30). A pyroclastic sturzstromer can use its landslide ability after taking either cold or sonic damage. It speaks Ignan in addition to Terran.