Earth Elemental vs. Falling Boulders


This scenario came up recently in a battle with an earth elemental in the Darklands. Rather than attacking the thing directly, my character decided to collapse part of the weakened 30 foot ceiling. Would have been creative and ironic to have an earth elemental bludgeoned by hundred pounds of rocks because it would deal more damage with one action.

However, after the deed the earth elemental simply comes up having received no damage. The GM said, "Sorry, man. It was a cool maneuver and all, but it has earth glide. So, too bad." I get GM fiat and all, but looking at the earth glide ability it would seem that this is a traveling power when it is burrowing and not a means to pass through falling objects.

What do you guys think?

I think what your GM says goes for the campaign your GM is running. Just be clear on it and protest if you summon an earth elemental that does get damaged by falling rocks. If you wish to show a better model, then put on the GMing mantle instead.

That is the sort of thing that I'd expect an argument and possible player revolt over, yeah.

I agree with the player here. "I can pass through stone" =/= "stone passes through me." Especially when the latter would have to happen at a higher speed than it can manage the former.

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I'd equate the speed of falling rocks and Earth Glide to Gust of Wind (or similar) and normal walking. The GM made a similar argument to the fact that a halfling can walk through normal wind just fine, so sudden strong winds aren't a problem.

Another way to think about it is moving through ball pit and getting pelted by a fast ball.

It's not something I'd do as a GM, but if the GM wants to rule it that way, it is their prerogative. If a character was going for a creative solution like that which due to mechanics wasn't going to work, I'd at least offer up a Knowledge check (Kn: Planes in this case) to know that a creature's abilities would mitigate the attack.

On second thought, reading the actual rules:
Earth Glide (Ex)
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.

This doesn't seem to confer any special ability to ignore damage beyond the base DR of the creature. They are not immune to a giant throwing a boulder at them or even a character using a sling, so I'd be giving the hairy eyeball to a GM who said the elemental took no damage. However, the elemental could use Earth Glide to get out from underneath the massive pile of rocks without much effort, unlike most characters who after taking damage, would still be buried under the rubble.

Your GM is wrong, but it's his table. Having earth glide doesn't grant immunity to rocks. If you read earthglide they can go through metal also, but they aren't immune to swords, axes, and other weapons so there is no reason falling rocks don't hurt.

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