I feel it takes after an air elemental more in its physical abilities than an earth elemental, so I'd lean its ability scores in that direction.Since it blends air and earth, perhaps a middle ground between these two?
Small Earth Elemental: Str 17, Dex 8, Con 13, Int 4, Wis 11, Cha 11
Small Air Elemental: Str 10, Dex 17, Con 10, Int 4, Wis 11, Cha 11
Str 13-14, Dex 12-13, Con 11-12, Int 4, Wis 11, Cha 11
Int is listed as High, though, so is 13-14. Maybe boost other mental stats to a similar range? Thus...
Str 13-14, Dex 12-13, Con 11-12, Int 13-14, Wis 13-14, Cha 13-14
They are a bit of a "kitchen sink" monster.freyar said:These seem a bit weird. They're true neutral, but they seem to like killing everybody, and they have a pretty rigid strategy. They're also of higher Int, but they don't really seem to use it. I don't get it.
Using gaseous form is my favourite.That's an apt comparison. In that case, gaseous form seems the best option, although I'm also a bit fond of the airy quality (from the plague brush, et. al) for them.
That'd be fine by me. The only reason I didn't raise Dex any higher was I was reluctant to make them too much like an Air Elemental.Also, the dust mephit's ability scores are worth considering:
Str 10, Dex 17, Con 10, Int 6, Wis 11, Cha 15
Compare to Cleon's suggestion:
Str 13, Dex 14, Con 11, Int 13, Wis 12, Cha 12
That's pretty close. Maybe bump Dex a tad closer to the dust mephit's?
I'd like to make them Chaotic Neutral, it seems a better fit to their behaviour.Its behavior seems a lot more chaotic evil than neutral, or at the very least chaotic neutral.
Ah, but a standard grapple is a form of touch attack, since it requires a touch attack to initiate it.Or a form of grapple?
This appears a much better match to the original, I'd rather use it than Steal Breath.Smoke Claws (Ex): A belker in smoke form (see below) can engulf opponents by moving on top of them. It fills the air around one Medium or smaller opponent without provoking an attack of opportunity. The target must succeed on a DC 14 Fortitude save or inhale part of the creature. The save DC is Constitution-based. Smoke inside the victim solidifies into a claw and begins to rip at the surrounding organs, dealing 3d4 points of damage per round. An affected creature can attempt another Fortitude save each subsequent round to cough out the semivaporous menace.
I think the Smoke Form is the closest, except the Dust Devil's works the other way round - most of the time it's in gaseous form. If we follow the original it takes it a full-round action to become solid enough to attack.Smoke Form (Su): Most of the time a belker is more or less solid, but at will it can assume smoke form. It can switch forms once per round as a free action and can spend up to 20 rounds per day in smoke form. A belker in smoke form can fly at a speed of 50 feet (perfect). The ability is otherwise similar to a gaseous form spell (caster level 7th).
Gaseous Form (Ex): A phiuhl's insubstantial form grants it immunity to critical hits. A phiuhl cannot run, but it can fly (slowly), and it is subject to winds. It cannot wear armor, manipulate solid objects, or enter water or other liquids. It can pass through small holes or narrow openings--even mere cracks. It also can occupy squares occupied by enemies.
I'd be game to have it shrink when it's using its "throttle" attack (whatever we decide to call it).Since it spends more time in gaseous than compact form, we'd have to reverse the description of dust form/gaseous form as per Cleon's suggestion. I think we also need a change in size from Small to Tiny (6" diameter).
Yes that makes sense.Slam attacks sound good, and I'll let you switch to CN if we change the flavor and tactics a little.
Rather than having them shrinking to assume solid form, I was thinking of having them size-reduce when using their "Smoke Claws" like attack, something like this:I'm torn on the size change. I'd rather keep it simple, but it sure sounds like it's going down to Tiny.
It takes a swift action to start the transformation, but it takes a round to have effect. That means it can condense and move, double-move or run in the same round, but not attack, since it isn't solid yet.Hmm, I have some questions about that.
Why is assuming dust form a swift action if it takes a round? Shouldn't it be a full round action? Or something like a 1 round casting time spell?
Well we can just say it gains a smaller size category if that bothers you...Why does it get the size bonus to AC when using dust talons if it's not smaller? In fact, it's engulfing an opponent (or at least the head!). The belker doesn't get that. If anything, I'd say the victim of the talons takes some fraction of the damage dealt to the dust devil.