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I'm currently preparing an adventure in which the players encounter an earth elemental. I expect them to want to speak to it and learn about it. Afaik, earth elementals come from the Plane of Earth. But how do they get to "our" plane?

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  • \$\begingroup\$ Are you using the Pathfinder setting Golarion or a different setting? \$\endgroup\$ – Hey I Can Chan Dec 20 '15 at 19:51
  • \$\begingroup\$ Yes, Golarion. It's the default right? (So far I'm only using prewritten adventures and adventure paths. The one in question is from bonus material for the beginner's box) \$\endgroup\$ – Joachim Kurz Dec 20 '15 at 19:59
  • \$\begingroup\$ Note also that list-type questions will typically get closed for being list-type questions, and multiple question-questions typically get closed for being too broad. Personally, I think this one squeaks in on the acceptable side, but it's definitely in the "judgement call" range. Removing the parts about whether they're here willingly and whether they remember the travel will tighten up the "too broad" part (assuming that the method will answer those two questions). \$\endgroup\$ – minnmass Dec 20 '15 at 23:34
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First, you're the GM, so it gets there by virtue of the fact that you said it's there. However, I think you're really asking "when my players talk to this creature, how can it reply within the standard PF rules?".

So, roughly in order of least powerful to most powerful:

  • A random rift between the planes opened up, and the elemental fell through.
  • Planar Ally called the creature, and it hasn't managed to complete its task, so it's stuck.
  • Planar Binding called the creature, and it hasn't managed to complete its task, so it's stuck.
  • Someone (probably a Wizard, for flavor reason) Plane Shifted to the Elemental Plane of Earth, and convinced (Diplomacy, Intimidate, Dominate, etc.) the elemental to come back to the prime material plane.
  • Someone Gated the elemental in, or used Gate to emulate Plane Shift, above.
  • An ancient Portal to the Elemental Plane of Earth is operational (but, the elemental in question can't get to it for some reason). This is on the bottom of the list because, as a permanent portal, it's really hard to make. A malfunctioning portal could do for the rift way above, though.
  • Someone (again, general fluff suggests a Wizard) actually created the elemental here, so it's very technically a Native Outsider.

Of course, there are (probably) mages native to the Elemental Plane of Earth, so it may have been a local that brought the poor elemental to the Prime Material Plane.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ @JoachimKurz: Glad to help! I feel I should point out that it's typical to wait a day or so to Accept an answer, in case something better comes along (though, that doesn't mean you have to un-Accept this one, just for reference). \$\endgroup\$ – minnmass Dec 20 '15 at 23:33
  • \$\begingroup\$ Plane Shift can be used offensively on unwilling targets, so it could also have been used to send an elemental to the Prime without persuasion being involved. \$\endgroup\$ – GMJoe Dec 21 '15 at 2:53
  • \$\begingroup\$ @GMJoe: excellent point; I'd never considered that use in over a decade of d20. \$\endgroup\$ – minnmass Dec 21 '15 at 2:55

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