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by Ivan Chia

Diminutive Elemental (Earth, Extraplanar, Swarm)

Hit Dice: 6d8+18 (45 hp)
Initiative: +8
Speed: 40 ft.
Armour Class: 19 (+4 size, +4 Dex, +1 natural), touch 18, flat-footed 15
Base Attack/Grapple: +4/-
Attack: Swarm (2d6)
Full Attack: Swarm (2d6)
Space/Reach: 10 ft./0 ft.
Special Attacks: Distraction
Special Qualities: Darkvision 60 ft., elemental traits, hive mind, immune to weapon damage, immunity to mind-affecting effects, swarm traits, tremorsense 60 ft.
Saves: Fort +8, Ref +8, Will +4
Abilities: Str 1, Dex 18, Con 16, Int 13, Wis 14, Cha 11
Skills: Concentration +12, Listen +13, Spot +13
Feats: Alertness, Improved Initiative, Lightning Reflexes
Environment: Elemental Plane of Earth
Organisation: Solitary or patrol (2-8 swarms)
Challenge Rating: 3
Treasure: None
Alignment: Always lawful evil
Advancement: -
Level Adjustment: -

This mantis-shaped creature is composed of a swarm of tiny earthen insects. Its companion, however, appears in the shape of a black beetle with glowing red antennae.

Hordes are frightening life forms native to the Elemental Plane of Earth. Each single horde entity comprises hundreds of separate, insect-like bodies united by a single mind. The bodies of a particular horde consciousness all took alike, and different hordes often feature their own distinct body types.

Sages speculate that a single horde hive mind can control a practically limitless number of creatures, perhaps up to a 10,000 Hit Dice total. Each horde hive mind has its own name, and all the swarm-bodies under the control of a single hive mind will respond to this name, which can cause confusion among outsiders.

The lawful hordes will sacrifice as many bodies as needed to reach a goal. A horde does not recognise any other form of life as worthy of respect - even another of its own kind. When a horde needs more room, it simply tries to take it, without regard for other creatures. Thus, most consider these creatures evil. Hordes often battle each other for living space.

All intelligent creatures of Earth, particularly the krysts (elementals of law), fear and hate hordes. Horrific tales abound of whole realms overrun by a single horde and stripped of all vegetation and native creatures, save for a few "herds" of humanoids kept as feeding stock.


The horde attacks other creatures whenever it finds such an action in its own best interest. Hordes do not consider any other life forms intelligent and have no compunctions against destroying others.

In battle, a horde typically tries to telekinetically hold a foe immobile and within the swarm, slowly consuming it. (Its modifier is +0 for telekinetic bull rush and trip checks, and +6 for disarm and grapple checks.) The collective is usually intelligent enough to recognise a true threat - those that attack it with area-effect spells - and target such opponents first.

Distraction (Ex): Any living creature that begins its turn with a horde swarm in its square must make a Fort save (DC 15) or be nauseated for 1 round. Spellcasting or concentrating on spells within the area of a swarm requires a Concentration check (DC 20 + spell level). Using skills that involve patience and concentration requires a DC 20 Concentration check. The save DC is Constitution-based.

Elemental Traits: Immune to poison, sleep effects, paralysis, and stunning; not subject to critical hits or flanking.

Hive Mind (Ex): Any horde swarm with at least 1 hit point per Hit Die (or 6 hit points, for a standard swarm) forms a hive mind, giving it an Intelligence of 13. When a horde is reduced below this hit point threshold, it becomes mindless. A single hive mind has been known to control up to four horde swarms.

A hive mind has no controlling body, such as the queen of an insect hive: the collective mind and life force occupy all component creatures evenly. However, the horde hive mind can control distinctive swarms only within an area 100 miles across. If a horde swarm is taken outside this range, it either develops a distinct hive mind, or becomes a mindless thing which dies within several days.

Spell-like Abilities: At will - detect thoughts (DC 12), telekinesis (DC 15). Caster level 6th. The save DCs are Charisma-based.

Swarm Traits: A horde swarm has a single pool of Hit Dice and hit points, a single initiative modifier, a single speed, and a single Armour Class. It makes saving throws as a single creature. It can occupy the same space as a creature of any size, since it crawls all over its prey, but remains a creature with a 10-foot space. Unlike other creatures with a 10-foot space, a swarm is shapeable. It can occupy any nine contiguous squares, and it can squeeze through any space large enough to contain one of its component creatures. As a swarm consisting of diminutive beings, the horde is immune to all weapon damage.