Ten Reasons for DMs to Buy Sandstorm
by Stephen Schubert

Think deserts are just hot places with lots of sand? Think again! The new Sandstorm book offers plenty of solid advice on including deserts and arid wastelands in your campaign. Below are ten reasons to pick up Sandstorm, whether your players characters live in the desert or are only visiting for a few adventures.

10. Wasteland Encounters: You can take advantage of the material in this book even if your campaign isn't set entirely in a desert environment. Sandstorm presents a number of monsters and encounters usable in and around desert wastelands, so you can utilize them anytime the party travels near such an area. These encounters span a wide range of ELs, and most can be run right from the pages of the book, with little or no adaptation.

9. NPC Customization: You can use the material in Sandstorm to detail a villain who might hail from a desert clime, complete with new feats and magic items appropriate for such arid environments.

8. The Bad and the Ugly: Need a new monster? Sandstorm provides sixty pages of new desert and wasteland creatures for your campaign.Ashworm herds burrow across the desert, sand dragons strike from the cover of the dunes, jackal-headed marruspawn troops patrol the arid wastes, and strange, new aberrations await those unlucky enough to cross their paths. Undead creatures abound as well, and not all of them lie buried under the sand in tombs -- some wander the desert ceaselessly in search of prey, heedless of the scorching sun.

7. Flamestorms: Travel across the desert need not be a long, slow trek through endless sand dunes. Use some of the natural hazards in Sandstorm to spice up the trip! Your PCs might encounter the dark clouds of a flamestorm raining fire down upon the desert, the wind might blast them with sand or heat, and even the sand upon which they walk can prove deadly. This book provides you with all the tools you need to create a wasteland in your campaign world and fill it with hazards to challenge your players.

6. Wasteland Adventures: Sandstorm provides numerous sample adventure sites, each of which includes a location background, great maps, encounter details, and suggestions on incorporating it into your campaign. From sandblasted ruins to a mummy's tomb, this book has you covered.

5. Touchstones: Sandstorm presents more than a dozen touchstone sites -- planar locations that bestow magical power on qualified individuals who visit them (see Planar Handbook for details). Not only can PCs with the Touchstone feat gain the mystical power associated with these locations, but you can use the sites as encounter locations or as cornerstones for larger adventures. To that end, each site includes a map and/or a list of potential encounters.

4. Desert People: The many cultures that have evolved among the people of the wastelands are reflected in the descriptions of the two new native races in the book: the sand-swimming asheratis and the desert goblinoid bhukas. Religion amid the wasteland peoples also helps define their national character, so several new deities, as well as the Babylonian and Egyptian pantheons, are presented to help flesh out your desert world.

3. Arcane and Divine Lore: Within the pages of Sandstorm are spells to please casters of all sorts. If you want to tailor your NPC spellcasters to fit a wasteland theme, give them spells such as control sand, desiccate, mummify, or other spells that embody the desert's heat and sand.

2. Prestigious Individuals: The descriptions of the seven new prestige classes in this book provide plenty of information to help incorporate them into your campaign world. Each entry details the organization behind the prestige class, encounters with class members, and information on how to join. If your players are interested in becoming worm-riding ashworm dragoons, noble scions of Tem-Ut-Nu, or quick-striking, sneak-attacking scorpion heritors, look no further!

1. The Desert Campaign: Although Sandstorm is designed to help bring the desert to your campaign, you can also use it to bring your campaign to the desert. Hundreds of ideas lie hidden within its pages, just waiting for you to dig them up.

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