Elemental Plane Of Earth

It is a place of hidden riches. It is a wall against all foes. It is a grave for the greedy. The Elemental Plane of Earth is a solid place made of rock, soil, and stone. The unwary and unprepared traveler may find himself entombed within this vast solidity of material and have his life crushed into nothingness, his powdered remains a warning to any foolish enough to follow. Despite its solid, unyielding nature, the Elemental Plane of Earth is varied in its consistency, ranging from relatively soft soil to veins of heavier and more valuable metal. Striations of granite, volcanic rock, and marble interweave with brittle crystal and soft, crumbling chalks and sandstones. Thin veins of gemstones, rough and huge, can be found within the plane, and these unpolished jewels often lead the greedy to this plane in the hopes of picking them up with minimal effort. Such prospectors often meet their match in the natives of the Elemental Plane of Earth, who feel extremely attached (sometimes literally) to parts of their home.

The Elemental Plane of Earth is a place hostile to life from the Material Plane, but unlike the Elemental Plane of Fire, it is not actively hostile. Rather, it is uncaring, unconcerned about the motes of life that move through it and around it. It is solid stone, as patient as the earth itself. And it has all the time in the universe.

Elemental Plane of Earth traits

The Elemental Plane of Earth has the following traits.

• Heavy Gravity: The penalties of the heavy gravity trait apply to all creatures, native and visitor, on the plane.
• Normal Time.
• Infinite Size.
• Alterable Morphic.
• Earth-Dominant.
• Enhanced Magic: Spells and spell-like abilities that use, manipulate, or create earth or stone (including those of the Earth domain) are both empowered and extended (as if the Empower Spell and Extend Spell had been used on them, but the spells don’t require higher-level slots). A xorn movement spell would thus have its duration doubled. Spells and spell-like abilities that are already empowered or extended are unaffected by this benefit.
• Impeded Magic: Spells and spell-like abilities that use or create air (including the summoning of air elementals or outsiders with the air subtype) are impeded. This includes spells of the Air domain. These spells and spell-like abilities can still be used, but a successful Spellcraft check (DC 15 + level of the spell) must be made to do so.

Earth Inhabitants

Much of life on the Elemental Plane of Earth is unknown to travelers from the Material Plane, due at least in part to the nature of this Inner Plane. Most visitors spend time only in the caverns and tunnels that snake through the solid world of the plane, so creatures that live deep in the heart of the plane are unknown and unguessed-at. Elementals are sentient parts of the plane itself. They move effortlessly through the mix of rock and soil that makes up the Elemental Plane of Earth. Some creatures are analogous to those of the Material Plane, while others reflect the raw power of their elemental form. Earth elementals are uncomfortable with open spaces. On their home plane they will, unless otherwise restrained or driven off, collapse tunnels, rifts, and caverns that snake through their realms.

The outsiders who live on the plane oppose this elemental destruction because they seek trade with other planes and want their homes on the Elemental Plane of Earth to remain hospitable. Dao outposts, for example, are continually vigilant against the natural and sentient hazards of their plane, protecting spaces open enough to allow them to deal with their fellow genies and other travelers. Mephits also seek such clear spaces and are as common as vermin in settlements on the Elemental Plane of Earth. Creatures that have the ability to move through the earth, such as xorn, care neither one way nor the other for such open regions within their realms.

The Elemental Plane of Earth is also home to creatures with a natural affinity toward earth and stone, denizens who are comfortable in tunnels of their own carving. Dwarves and some dragons live here, as do larger creatures such as stone giants and the occasional gargoyle (though they rarely get to stretch their wings and fly very far on this plane). Such creatures need open spaces to survive, so they often ally themselves with more powerful native races.

The native tongue of the Elemental Plane of Earth is Terran, a deep rumbling tongue that vibrates through the listener like a tremor. Those natives who deal with visitors may speak additional languages, though most feel no need to do so.

Movement and Comat

Two kinds of movement are possible through the Elemental Plane of Earth: digging and walking through the tunnels and caverns. Digging is a tiring activity, done at the rate of 5 feet per 10 minutes (but see the Digging Your Way Out sidebar). Moving through passages is like normal movement and bears all the perils of exploring caves on the Material Plane. Individuals with the ability to move like a xorn through solid objects do not become intangible when they move this way. Rather, they move like fish through water, allowing the earth to close behind them in their wake. Such creatures do not normally leave a tunnel behind for others to follow unless digging at the speed and manner above. An astrally projecting traveler whose form manifests on this plane gains the ability to move through the solid rock in the same fashion as an earth elemental. This ability only applies on the Elemental Plane of Earth.

Earth Combat

Except as noted for the elemental traits, combat is normal on the Elemental Plane of Earth. A traveler using a xorn movement spell or similar ability can be attacked normally and might face attacks from assailants that can move in a similar fashion (see Combat in Three Dimensions in Chapter 1).

Features of the Elemental Plane of Earth

For the traveler, the greatest danger on the Elemental Plane of Earth is being accidentally caught and suffocated within solid earth. Travelers who manifest in the caverns and other “clear areas” of the plane are safe from that danger (unless a cave-in occurs), but a traveler who suddenly manifests randomly on the plane runs the risk of suffocation and speedy burial. Even creatures that do not need to breathe may still find themselves trapped in the rock and soil, unable to extricate themselves. In such cases they must wait for rescue by an outside source, and they may fall prey to starvation and dehydration.

At the DM’s discretion, those who wind up buried in an area of relatively loose soil on the Elemental Plane of Earth can start digging a chamber for themselves (taking about 10 minutes to clear a 5-foot cube). From there they have to choose a direction and start digging, hoping to find an open cavern. A spellcaster trapped in solid earth can use only spells that do not require a somatic component, and the only foci and material components that may be used are those at hand. Verbal components are unaffected. For those trapped on a long-term basis, starvation and dehydration become threats. The elemental life forms are part of the plane itself and thus inedible. The outsider natives of the Elemental Plane of Earth that require normal sustenance often have their own permanent communities to draw upon. Except in such areas, the evergrinding motion of the plane’s soils prevents anything from taking root long enough to blossom—even if it had enough light to do so.

Travelers trapped in the rocky state of the plane are effectively blind until they can reach a space large enough to cast a spell or light a torch. Even then, the Elemental Plane of Earth is by its nature as dark as the deepest cave—there is no sky or sun here at all. Darkvision functions normally in the twisting passages of the Elemental Plane of Earth, but those without it must provide their own light source. There are luminous gems and crystals found naturally within the plane that may provide light (usually as bright as a candle, large deposits are the equivalent of a torch). Such discoveries are usually signs of recent or present occupation of the area by other inhabitants.

Special Discoveries

For every 8 hours (at most) that a character or group of characters spends digging through the plane, there is a 10% chance of coming across something of interest. If the d% roll indicates a discovery sometime in the next 8 hours, then roll 1d10 to determine what the discovery is (see the table below) and roll 1d8 to determine how many hours pass before the discovery.

1d10 Discovery
1–4 Elemental pocket
5–8 Metal seam
9 Gem seam
10 Fossil

Elemental Pocket: Most adventuring on the Elemental Plane of Earth takes place in the clear spaces of the plane, those parts that are not earth itself but the intrusions of other planes onto the Elemental Plane of Earth. Most common are caverns worn by nonnative water and tunnels carved by living things. The plane itself moves slowly, like a thick batter, and it eventually fills these in. A more durable kind of clear space is an elemental pocket from another plane, a place where another plane emerges onto the Elemental Plane of Earth. These regions are dangerous if broken into, because they can surge wildly into the surrounding areas, immersing them completely with that element. An elemental pocket of water floods an area, while an elemental pocket of fire subjects those within to the dangers of being on the Elemental Plane of Fire. Pockets normally extend 20 feet from the breach point. In some places, the area around an elemental pocket has been carefully mined, and these areas may be still be inhabited by natives of the emerging plane.

Metal Seam: This type of deposit is usually a precious metal on the Material Plane, such as gold, silver, or platinum. A typical seam produces 1,000 gp per hour’s digging for 4d10 hours before giving out.

Gem Seam: These smaller but more valuable discoveries produce rough, uncut gems. Such a deposit can net 2d10 gems. Successful use of the Craft (gemcutting) skill can yield gems of great value. Determine the value of the finished product by using Table 7–5: Gems in Chapter 7 of the DUNGEON MASTER’s Guide.

Fossil: This is a generic term for objects and creatures (living or dead) that have been trapped in the stone until discovered by prospectors or explorers. When someone digging through the plane hits a fossil, roll a random encounter on the table of your choice from the DUNGEON MASTER’s Guide for the appropriate challenge level. If the creature is one that would not survive long-term burial on the Elemental Plane of Earth, the characters find its body instead (and any treasure on it). If it is a creature that might survive such a period of entombment, such as a construct or a corporeal undead, then the discoverers have a new problem on their hands.

Great Dismal Delve

The most civilized race on the Elemental Plane of Earth is the dao (as they will undoubtedly tell you). These genies are found in a number of communities and are often at odds with the native elemental life because the dao continually desire to deal with extraplanar races. The greatest of the dao communities is the Great Dismal Delve, also known as the Great Mazework. It is here that the greatest leader of the race makes her home.


The Elemental Plane of Earth is constantly in motion. Usually this motion is a slow, grinding process that fills in the caverns and tunnels made by those who have passed before. Sometimes the motion is much more sudden and dangerous. Those caught within the area of an earthquake (usually a 150-foot radius) suffer the effects of an earthquake spell. In addition, characters in caverns or passages must make Reflex saves (DC 17) or wind up in the bury zone of a cave-in (see Cave-Ins and Collapses in Chapter 4 of the DUNGEON MASTER’s Guide). Characters buried by loose soil and rock must either dig themselves out or be extricated by their allies.

Earth Encounters

The Elemental Plane of Earth is place of great mass and solidity. Creatures that can’t burrow and lack the xorn’s ability to pass through the earth are only encountered within tunnels, caverns, or other pockets that dot this solid plane.

Great Dismal Delve

Most content is Copyright 2000, Wizards of the Coast, Inc..