Dust Storm Chokes Sydney
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September 23, 2009: A dust storm has enveloped Sydney, Australia, causing the city to be bathed into an eerie red light at dawn which was likened by many people to a scene at the End of the World. The dust severely reduced visibility in the city and the surrounding areas, and caused many people to have difficulty breathing. Some birds were even falling out of the sky. In area where it rained, the water combined with the dust to make the terrain very treacherous - almost "as if it was raining mud, in the words of one observer. It also set off many fire alarms, as the alarms mistook the dust for smoke.



Game and Story Use

  • If you want some effect to spice up a combat or other encounter, a dust storm might be just what you need - thanks to its reduced visibility, effect on movement and terrain, and the generally eerie atmosphere.
    • Consider staging the entire showdown of an adventure on a day with a major dust storm affecting the city.
    • This could also serve as a useful inspiration for a campaign or adventure set on Mars - a planet famous for its dust storms.
  • Some supernatural entities (dust elementals? Vengeful nature spirits?) might have caused the storm - or at least take advantage of it.
    • Getting stalked by powerful creatures is a tense situation at the best of times. Now imagine the same during a dust storm, where you have a harder time seeing them coming and the dust keeps on messing up your equipment…
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