Can Earth Elementals be stunned?


Rules Questions

Dark Archive

2 people marked this as FAQ candidate.

All elementals, as part of their Elemental Traits, are immune to stunning.

Earth elementals get the Earth Glide ability, which specifically calls out that if a Move Earth spell is cast on an area of earth that contains an elemental, said elemental is thrown back 30 feet (it doesn't specify which direction, but the countless problems with the wording of Earth Glide are not the point here) and stunned for 1 round unless they make a fort save.

This was just going to be a case of the specific (Earth Glide specifically calling it out) overriding the general (Elemental Traits giving all elementals a general immunity to stunning) until it was pointed out that the text for Move Earth specifically calls out that it "has no effect on earth creatures".

So, can Earth Elementals be stunned by casting Move Earth on a patch of dirt they are earth gliding through?

linkies:
http://paizo.com/pathfinderRPG/prd/coreRulebook/spells/moveEarth.html
http://www.d20pfsrd.com/bestiary/monster-listings/outsiders/elemental/eleme ntal-earth/small-earth-elemental
http://www.d20pfsrd.com/bestiary/rules-for-monsters/creature-types#subtype- elemental


Linkified:

Move Earth

Small Earth Elemental

Elemental Subtype


The Sell says it specifically stuns the earth elemental, this should over ride immunity to stun from Sub type.


2 things spring to mind, one Earth Glide is the specific ability here as it is clarifying both the spell and the creature.
second, not seeing a conflict with the spell as it requires move earth to be cast on the area, not the creature. It is disrupting the earth the elemental is moving through, which affects the creature, not the elemental directly.

So, yeah critter gets stunned despite the immunity.

Dark Archive

Thank you Gisher. I should probably learn how to do that myself.

Akkurscid - the *ability* specifically says that elementals using it are stunned by the spell, the *spell* specifically says that it has no effect on earth creatures and does not have any mention of stunning anywhere in the text. Unless Earth Elementals are not "earth creatures", then we have two cases of the specific directly contradicting each other, one of which is supported by the general.

Dark Archive

dragonhunterq wrote:


not seeing a conflict with the spell as it requires move earth to be cast on the area, not the creature.

Ah, so it's referencing people in combat trying to cast Move Earth on the actual Earth Elementals. That makes more sense. So even though you can't cast it on the elemental itself, if you cast it on the area an elemental is burrowing through then the elemental is affected by the results of the spell, not the spell itself.

OK, then yes the spell would cause the elemental to be stunned.

Liberty's Edge

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Companion Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
dragonhunterq wrote:

2 things spring to mind, one Earth Glide is the specific ability here as it is clarifying both the spell and the creature.

second, not seeing a conflict with the spell as it requires move earth to be cast on the area, not the creature. It is disrupting the earth the elemental is moving through, which affects the creature, not the elemental directly.

So, yeah critter gets stunned despite the immunity.

Move Earth wrote:

Area dirt in an area up to 750 ft. square and up to 10 ft. deep (S)

This spell has no effect on earth creatures.

1) the spell can't target a creature

2) the spell say that it don't affect earth creatures.

Earth Glide (Ex wrote:
) When the creature burrows, it can pass through stone, dirt, or almost any other sort of earth except metal as easily as a fish swims through water. If protected against fire damage, it can even glide through lava. Its burrowing leaves behind no tunnel or hole, nor does it create any ripple or other sign of its presence. A move earth spell cast on an area containing the burrowing creature flings it back 30 feet, stunning it for 1 round unless it succeeds on a DC 15 Fortitude save.

1) Earth glide say that if the creature is in a area targeted by a Move earth spell it the creature can eb stunned.

2) Nowhere it say: "this override specific immunity to stunning" nor "this override the specific limit of move earth where ti say This spell has no effect on earth creatures."

So no, it don't override specific immunities.
It work on druids wildshaped into earth elemental, oracles with the stone gliding ability and any other creature with stone gliding that isn't a earth creature, but it don't bypass specific immunity as stone gliding don't say that the stun effect bypass specific immunities.

To apply "specific beat generic" you need to have a specific that say that it beat generic immunities.
"a fireball deal fire damage" don't beat "immunity to fire", even if that is the specific of the spell while immunity to fire is a a benefit of the generic fire subtype.


Diego, the earthglide ability is in the stat block for the earth elemental. If it were anywhere else I would agree with you, but I'm going with the default assumption that rules actually do something.
It must alter the basic rules for elementals or it is a waste of text as neither the move earth nor the stun does anything.

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Companion Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
Akkurscid wrote:
The Sell says it specifically stuns the earth elemental, this should over ride immunity to stun from Sub type.

It don't say that. It specifically say that earth creatures are immune.


Librain wrote:

Thank you Gisher. I should probably learn how to do that myself.

Akkurscid - the *ability* specifically says that elementals using it are stunned by the spell, the *spell* specifically says that it has no effect on earth creatures and does not have any mention of stunning anywhere in the text. Unless Earth Elementals are not "earth creatures", then we have two cases of the specific directly contradicting each other, one of which is supported by the general.

Ah yeah I read all three entries and wrote spell... The ability specifically says it is stunned and overwrites the spell and subtype.

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Companion Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
dragonhunterq wrote:

Diego, the earthglide ability is in the stat block for the earth elemental. If it were anywhere else I would agree with you, but I'm going with the default assumption that rules actually do something.

It must alter the basic rules for elementals or it is a waste of text as neither the move earth nor the stun does anything.

The earth glide ability is in the stat block of a lot of creatures. That make it the generic version, same as the Earth and Elemental type for the elemental.

And I repeat, the spell specifically say "This spell has no effect on earth creatures." More specific that that ...


Diego Rossi wrote:


The earth glide ability is in the stat block of a lot of creatures. That make it the generic version, same as the Earth and Elemental type for the elemental.
And I repeat, the spell specifically say "This spell has no effect on earth creatures." More specific that that ...

Well you can't cast the spell directly on the earth elemental... It has to be cast on the earth/ground where the earth elemental is and the elemental has to be earth gliding.

Dark Archive

A good point: if the target is "area", not "creature", then that should be enough to say it can't be cast on an earth elemental. If they felt it were not, then the line at the end should be "cannot be cast on" or "cannot target", rather than "has no effect on", which kind of implies that neither the spell nor the immediate effects of the spell have any direct effect on an earth elemental.

This is an issue from the CRB and B1. Surely I'm not the first one to notice this discrepancy?


Specific over rides general. The specific entry in the Earth Elemental listing over rides their general stun immunity FOR THAT CAUSE.


If both are contradicting it is worth an FAQ. It is likely an oversight.

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Companion Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

My reading:

Earth Glide and the [i]Elemental type[/b] are at the same level of specificity. Both are generic rules from the Bestiary that apply to several creatures. I would say that the specific immunity of the elemental trump the generic effect of Move earth on earth gliding creatures, seeing how there are plenty of earth gliding creatures that aren't immune to stun. Bypassing that immunity would require a specific rule, not a generic one.

Then we have the spell.

1) It target an area, not a creature;

2) The spell has no effect on creatures, it even say "This spell does not violently break the surface of the ground. Instead, it creates wavelike crests and troughs, with the earth reacting with glacial fluidity until the desired result is achieved. Trees, structures, rock formations, and such are mostly unaffected except for changes in elevation and relative topography.";

3) there is that last row in the spell: "This spell has no effect on earth creatures."
Why it is there? From 1) and 2) we see that the spell has no effect on creatures, so why this specification?
As it can't target creatures it is not because someone would think that it can reshape creatures made of earth.
The only other effect it has is the combination with earth glide.
at that point it is pretty clear that what it say is that move earth don't affect earth creatures, i.e. the only potential effect, the stunning of earth gliding creatures, don't affect earth creatures.


Diego Rossi wrote:

My reading:

Earth Glide and the [i]Elemental type[/b] are at the same level of specificity. Both are generic rules from the Bestiary that apply to several creatures. I would say that the specific immunity of the elemental trump the generic effect of Move earth on earth gliding creatures, seeing how there are plenty of earth gliding creatures that aren't immune to stun. Bypassing that immunity would require a specific rule, not a generic one.

Then we have the spell.

1) It target an area, not a creature;

2) The spell has no effect on creatures, it even say "This spell does not violently break the surface of the ground. Instead, it creates wavelike crests and troughs, with the earth reacting with glacial fluidity until the desired result is achieved. Trees, structures, rock formations, and such are mostly unaffected except for changes in elevation and relative topography.";

3) there is that last row in the spell: "This spell has no effect on earth creatures."
Why it is there? From 1) and 2) we see that the spell has no effect on creatures, so why this specification?
As it can't target creatures it is not because someone would think that it can reshape creatures made of earth.
The only other effect it has is the combination with earth glide.
at that point it is pretty clear that what it say is that move earth don't affect earth creatures, i.e. the only potential effect, the stunning of earth gliding creatures, don't affect earth creatures.

I see all your points. They are good and valid.

The spell isn't effecting the creature it is effecting the earth. I think everyone is agreeing on this.
The Earth glide ability, however specifically says if you use it in the area of this one spell X happens. The stun is not caused by the spell, it is caused by the earth glide ability.

Quote:

Earth Glide (Ex)

A burrowing earth elemental can pass through stone, dirt, or almost any other sort of earth except metal as easily as a fish swims through water. If protected against fire damage, it can even glide through lava. Its burrowing leaves behind no tunnel or hole, nor does it create any ripple or other sign of its presence. A move earth spell cast on an area containing a burrowing earth elemental flings the elemental back 30 feet, stunning the creature for 1 round unless it succeeds on a DC 15 Fortitude save.

Lastly the example used in Earth Glide is an Earth Elemental. As to why it can be stunned in this one case? Earth Glide must be causing a vulnerability.

Anyway that's my take.

Cheers


1. Nowhere in the Earth Elemental entry on the Official Paizo PRD does it specifically state that Earth Elementals are immune to stuning. It does state that they have general Elemental traits, but those traits are listed on an entirely different page.

2. In the entry for Earth Elemental, the Earth Glide ability is described specifically, using different text than the Universal Monster Ability. In other words, the Earth Elemental's Earth Glide is specifically different than the Universal Monster Ability and is, in fact, a unique ability.

Quote:
Earth Glide (Ex) A burrowing earth elemental can pass through stone, dirt, or almost any other sort of earth except metal as easily as a fish swims through water. If protected against fire damage, it can even glide through lava. Its burrowing leaves behind no tunnel or hole, nor does it create any ripple or other sign of its presence. A move earth spell cast on an area containing a burrowing earth elemental flings the elemental back 30 feet, stunning the creature for 1 round unless it succeeds on a DC 15 Fortitude save.

3. The Earth Glide ability in the Earth Elemental entry specifically states Move Earth stuns not just creatures, but specifically Earth Elementals.

The specific rules in the Earth Elemental entry override ALL other rules from other entries/pages as they pertain to Earth Elementals. Unless The Earth Glide ability as it appears in the Earth Elemental Entry is an error (in which case it needs to be errata'd) Earth Elementals can be stunned.

Grand Lodge

Quantum Steve wrote:

1. Nowhere in the Earth Elemental entry on the Official Paizo PRD does it specifically state that Earth Elementals are immune to stuning. It does state that they have general Elemental traits, but those traits are listed on an entirely different page.

Incorrect. It states it right here:

Quote:
Immune elemental traits

That's just a space saving measure, because otherwise every elemental would have that entire block repeated and there are a lot of elementals.

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Companion Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
Quantum Steve wrote:

1. Nowhere in the Earth Elemental entry on the Official Paizo PRD does it specifically state that Earth Elementals are immune to stuning. It does state that they have general Elemental traits, but those traits are listed on an entirely different page.

2. In the entry for Earth Elemental, the Earth Glide ability is described specifically, using different text than the Universal Monster Ability. In other words, the Earth Elemental's Earth Glide is specifically different than the Universal Monster Ability and is, in fact, a unique ability.

Quote:
Earth Glide (Ex) A burrowing earth elemental can pass through stone, dirt, or almost any other sort of earth except metal as easily as a fish swims through water. If protected against fire damage, it can even glide through lava. Its burrowing leaves behind no tunnel or hole, nor does it create any ripple or other sign of its presence. A move earth spell cast on an area containing a burrowing earth elemental flings the elemental back 30 feet, stunning the creature for 1 round unless it succeeds on a DC 15 Fortitude save.

3. The Earth Glide ability in the Earth Elemental entry specifically states Move Earth stuns not just creatures, but specifically Earth Elementals.

The specific rules in the Earth Elemental entry override ALL other rules from other entries/pages as they pertain to Earth Elementals. Unless The Earth Glide ability as it appears in the Earth Elemental Entry is an error (in which case it needs to be errata'd) Earth Elementals can be stunned.

I stand corrected. I have gone to check the Earth glide general entry, but the specific one in the Earth elemental description say:

PRD wrote:
Earth Glide (Ex) A burrowing earth elemental can pass through stone, dirt, or almost any other sort of earth except metal as easily as a fish swims through water. If protected against fire damage, it can even glide through lava. Its burrowing leaves behind no tunnel or hole, nor does it create any ripple or other sign of its presence. A move earth spell cast on an area containing a burrowing earth elemental flings the elemental back 30 feet, stunning the creature for 1 round unless it succeeds on a DC 15 Fortitude save

and that is decidedly specific for the earth elemental.

So you are right: the earth elemental can be stunned by Move earth.

Dark Archive

I agree that the specific for the Earth Glide ability would override the general entry for elemental immunities, I'm not sold on it overriding Move Earth, as that also seems to have a very specific line about "earth creatures". Unless Earth Elementals are not included in this, they still appear to be in direct contradiction.

Just throwing this out there in case it means anything. There is a spell called Move Earth, svirfneblin racial spell, came out in ACG (so well after all the others). It uses the same language, but says "casting Move Earth on an area containing the target" flings the yada yada, rather than referring specifically to Earth Elementals.

Move Earth

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