Copyright 2008 Wizards of the Coast

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The Galeb Duhr apears in the AD&D 2nd Edition monster manual, and I believe in supplements for earlier editions, as this boulder-shaped creature that mostly just likes to hang out in rocky places. In Fourth Edition they get a slightly more humanoid appearance and some additional backstory. They appear only on the Monster Manual.

The Lore

Like the Azers, Galeb Duhrs were originally dwarves who failed to escape the yoke of the giants, and who were mutated through the ensuing eons of servitude. Unlike the Azers, they’re aspected to Earth, and so look like people made out of rock.

Today, many Galeb Duhrs are free and live in the world, where I suspect they’d behave much like the ones from AD&D. Still, many of them are still subservient to the earth giants both in the world and back in the Elemental Chaos, which makes them potential opponents to PCs. Even free galeb duhrs might end up fighting you if you anger them, of course, and as beings of earth they’re very hard to calm down once angry.

The Numbers

Galeb Duhrs have a few signature traits, starting with Tremorsense 10. As creatures of earth, they’re immune to petrification and poison. Their ponderous steps carry them at speed 4, but they can burrow at speed 6. They’re Medium Elemental Humanoids with the Earth keyword.

Power-wise, galeb duhrs are pretty much earthbenders. Earlier editions gave them all sorts of earth-based spells, and these ones have powers that manipulate soil and rocks in ways that fit their roles.

Galeb Duhr Earthbreaker

The earthbreaker is Level 8 Artillery with 73 HP. Its basic attack is a slam, but it will mostly Hurl Stones (Area Burst 1 Within 10 vs. AC), which deals a bit of physical damage and makes the affected area difficult terrain. There’s an explicit note in the power saying that the creature can create its own ammunition if none happens to be available in the surrounding area.

If someone gets too close, the earthbreaker can cause a Shock Wave (Close Burst 2 vs. Fortitude; Recharge 5-6) that does a bit of damage, pushes 1 square, and knocks prone.

Damage from Hurl Stones is actually about right for a level 8 area attack; the others need to be increased a bit.

Galeb Duhr Rockcaller

This Level 11 Controller has 118 HP. Its slam is a little beefier, and it can also use a Rolling Attack which works as a charge that targets Fortitude, pushing the target 1 square and knocking them prone in addition to doing slam damage.

The rockcaller can also use Earthen Grasp against a target who is touching the ground (Ranged 10 vs. Fortitude). This does no damage but restrains (save ends) on a hit. Only one creature can be so restrained at a time.

As an at-will minor action, the Rockcaller can also turn 4 earth or stone squares inside a Close Burst 10 into difficult terrain. These don’t need to be contiguous! Unless you’re fighting over a frozen lake or atop a solid cloud, the whole battlefield will become difficult terrain given enough time.

Sample Encounter and Final Impressions

The sample encounter is level 11: 1 rockcaller, 4 gargoyles, and 1 bulette. The bulette is surely there as a surprise interloper who will go for the combatants most obviously made of meat: the PCs.

You are also likely to find galeb duhr in earth giant strongholds, as slaves and guards. Like the azer, they’d be the first line of defense against invaders, covering those entry points too small to fit a giant. Also like azer, you might be able to persuade them to rebel.

I like galeb duhrs, and their shared origin with the azers and dwarves. It’s still perfectly possible to have interactions with them that resemble the ones you’d have with their 2e counterparts, but the added backstory gives you more hooks from which to hang your plots. Their culture is less complex and craft-based than that of the azers, but then again so is that of their giant masters.