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When summoning earth elementals in the B/X or Labyrinth Lord game, there is a chance of summoning a specific form of elemental suited to the environment in question. The DM determines what the most likely subtype to appear will be. There is a 50% chance that the appropriate subtype appears instead of a standard earth elemental of the appropriate power.

There are 4 basic types of Earth Elementals, typically determined by their summoning source.

  • Lesser Elemental (Summoned by Staff) – 8 HD, AC 2, 1d8 damage
  • Greater Elemental (Summoned by Devices) – 12 HD, AC 0, 2d8 damage
  • True Elemental (Summoned by Spells) – 16 HD, AC -2, 3d8 damage
  • Legendary Elemental (Summoned by Ritual) – 20 HD, AC -4, 4d8 damage

Standard earth elementals take the form of a humanoid, 1′ tall per hit die. They move at a rate of 60′ (20′), cannot cross water wider than 1′ / HD, but ca move through earth or stone unimpeded. Damage from earth elementals is increased by 1d8 points against targets standing on the ground.

A spellcaster can learn (typically via a quest or magical tome) how to summon a particular subtype of elemental. In this case, if the proper environment is present, the summoning will always bring forth the desired subtype. A spellcaster can learn how to summon a number of subtypes equal to 1/2 his level.

Earth elemental subtypes are treated identically to standard earth elementals, but have one additional power as indicated below. Unless otherwise indicated, any spell-like abilities are treated as being cast by a spellcaster with a level equal to the elemental’s Hit Dice. Some spell effects are from the Advanced Edition Companion.

Earth Elemental Subtypes

  • Plains – reduce enemy ground-based movement to 1/3 within 20′ / HD
  • Dirt lesser move earth at will
  • Desert – 1d6 heat and abrasion damage / round in a 2′ radius / HD
  • Mud transmute rock to mud 1 / turn
  • Graveyard animate dead 1 / turn
  • Dungeon – melee targets must save versus paralysis or be chained to the elemental and must move with it
  • Sand blur 1 / turn
  • Mountain – can attack (without the normal damage bonus for target type) at a range of 5′ / HD by hurling boulders
  • Crystal mirror image 1 / turn, colour spray 1 / turn
  • Metal – attacks are wounding, dealing 1 point of damage per round until bound.