Dust Digger (CR 4)

Large Aberration
Alignment: Always neutral
Initiative: +0; Senses: tremorsense, Listen +4, and Spot +4

AC: 16 (-1 size, +7 natural), touch 9, flat-footed 16
Hit Dice: 4d8+4 (22 hp)
Fort +2, Ref +1, Will +4
Speed: 10 ft.
Space: 10 ft./5 ft.
Base Attack +3; Grapple +2
Attack: 5 tentacles +5 melee
Full Attack: 5 tentacles +5 melee
Damage: Tentacle 1d6+3
Special Attacks/Actions: Sinkhole, improved grab, swallow whole
Abilities: Str 14, Dex 10, Con 13, Int 2, Wis 11, Cha 10
Special Qualities: Burrow, tremorsense
Feats: Alertness
Skills: Hide +0*, Listen +4, and Spot +4
Advancement: 5-8 HD (Large); 9-12 HD (Huge)
Climate/Terrain: Warm desert
Organization: Solitary, gang (4-8), or colony (9-20)
Treasure: None

Source: Converted


A dust digger buries itself and waits for its prey. When a creature walks on top of a dust digger, the dust digger deflates its body, creating an area very much like a sinkhole. Once fully deflated, the dust digger folds its arms up around the victim and forces it into its maw.

Sinkhole (Ex): By deflating its body (when buried in sand), the dust digger uses the sands shifting toward its mouth to slow the escape of its prey.

A creature caught in the shifting sand can only move at half speed, and must make a Reflex save (DC 13 with the DC increasing by +1 per round to a maximum of +3) each round to maintain its footing. If the save fails, the creature falls and slides toward the dust digger's mouth. On a successful save, the creature maintains it's footing, but must make another Reflex save (same DC) for each round it remains in the shifting sand.

Improved Grab (Ex): To use this ability, the dust digger must hit with two of its tentacles. If it gets a hold, it can bite or swallow its prey.

Swallow Whole (Ex): By making a successful grapple check, a dust digger can swallow a grabbed opponent of Medium-size or smaller. Once inside, the creature takes 2d8+2 points of crushing damage plus 6 points of acid damage per round from the dust digger's digestive juices. A swallowed creature can climb out of the digger with a successful grapple check. This returns it to the digger's maw where another successful grapple check is needed to get free. A swallowed creature can also cut its way out by using claws or a Small or Tiny slashing weapon to deal 25 points of damage to the gizzard (AC 20). Once the creature exits, muscular action closes the hole; another swallowed opponent must.again cut its own way out. The dust digger's gizzard can hold two Small creatures, four Tiny, eight Diminutive, or sixteen Fine or smaller opponents.

Burrow (Ex): A dust digger can glide through sand, loose soil or almost any sort of loosely packed earth as easily as a fish swims through water. Its burrowing leaves behind no tunnel or hole, nor does it create any ripple or other signs of its presence. A move earth spell cast on an are containing a burrowing dust digger flings the dust digger back 30 feet, stunning the creature for 1 round unless it succeeds at a Fortitude save.

Tremorsense (Ex): A dust digger can automatically sense the location of anything within 60 feet that is in contact with the ground.

*Dust diggers receive a +8 racial bonus to Hide checks when in sand covered terrain.

The Dust Digger first appeared in the Monster Manual II (Gary Gygax, 1983).