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  1. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by Alzrius
    My main source of inspiration for this guy was Acererak from Return to the Tomb of Horrors, as he possesses various undead at will in his Fortress of Conclusion at the end of the (mega-)adventure.
    Aha, one of the "classics" from 2nd Edition that I never managed to get my hands on. This only makes me want it more. At least I can say I have most of the best Planescape stuff (the adventure in Hellbound: the Blood War is one of my particular favorites).

    Quote Originally Posted by Alzrius
    Of course, I think your epic dragons put what I've done to shame...thus far.
    You are too kind. Dragons are easy to write for, once you have the "theme" for the breed down, it's just the math that's a bit tricky to get and keep right. I need to branch out to other monster types to make a serious go at this competition.

  2. #32

    Shadow Fury

    Please tell me if this name has been taken, because if it is I'll change it. Oh, and I'm sure you'll notice I prefer the normal stat blocks.

    A man, who looks almost indistinguishable from any human, stands before you. He has a short and soft looking black hair, and he has the posture of a noble. His black clothes fit him well, it's as if they were made specifically for him. His wine red eyes are the only hint that something isn't right. A warm smile lights his face, and he slowly takes a step towards you.

    Shadow Fury
    Medium Outsider (Evil)
    Hit Dice: 120d8+4800 (6080 hp)
    Initiative: +20
    Speed: 500 ft, fly 250 ft (perfect)
    Armor Class: 160 (+0 size, +20 Dex, +70 natural, +60 insight)
    Base Attack/Grapple: +80/ +120
    Attack: +25 Bastard Sword +195 (1d10+115/19-20 x2)
    Full Attack: +75 Bastard Sword +195/+190/+185/+180 (1d10+115/19-20 x2), +75 Bastard Sword +195/+190/+185/+180 (1d10+115/19-20 x2)
    Space/Reach: 5 ft./5 ft.
    Special Attacks: Death Gaze, Sneak Attack +59d6, Shadow Trap
    Special Qualities: Blindsense 500 ft., Damage Reduction 100/-, Darkness Master, Darkvision 10000ft., Evasion, Extreme Health, Freedom of Movement, Immunities, Improved Evasion, Improved Uncanny Dodge, low-light vision, Opportunist, Regeneration 750, Spell Immunity, Tremorsense 500 ft., Uncanny Dodge, Undead army, Untraceable
    Saves: Fort +61, Ref +61, Will +61
    Abilities: Str 90, Dex 50, Con 90, Int 30, Wis 50, Cha 50
    Skills: Bluff 123, Decipher Script 123, Gather Information 123, Hide 123, Intimidate 123, Knowledge (arcana) 123, Knowledge (history) 123, Knowledge (nobility and royalty) 123, Knowledge (the planes) 123, Listen 123, Move Silently 123, Open Lock 123, search 123, sense motive 123, slight of hand 123, spellcraft 123, spot 123, Survival 123
    Feats: Cleave, Combat Expertise, Dodge, Double Hit, Dire Charge, Epic Toughness 16, Flyby Attack, Great Cleave, Greater Two-Weapon Fighting, Hover, Improved Initiative, Improved Two-Weapon Fighting, Improved Whirlwind Attack, Mobility, Perfect Two-Weapon Fighting, Polyglot b, Power Attack, Quick Draw, Robilar's Gambit, Sneak Attack of Opportunity, Spring Attack, Two-Weapon Fighting, Two-weapon rend, Weapon Finesse, Whirlwind Attack
    Environment: Any
    Organization: Solitary
    Challenge Rating: (I lost track mid way lol)
    Treasure: Double normal
    Alignment: Neutral Evil
    Advancement: Racial Hit Dice or Character Classes

    He may not be a deity, but he has so much raw power that many worship him as one anyways. He has often been heard of in legend, and dismissed as nothing but a myth tossed in to scare those who hear it. There are many deities who fear this being, for he is quick to punishes those who cross him.
    Shadow Fury knows all languages due to the polyglot bonus feat.

    Combat
    Darkness Master: Shadow Fury is always hard to hit. There's a 50% chance to miss him as if he had full concealment. This is not an illusion, and is not negated by True Seeing. Also, all damage done by Shadow Fury is increased by 120 in any lighting other than daylight. This bonus damage is multiplied in the case of a critical. He is also aware of all creatures touching any lighting other than daylight within 10000 ft.

    Death Gaze(ex): Any creature within 120 ft can be the target of this as a free action. They must make a fortitude save (DC 90) or die.

    Extreme Health(ex): His Hit Dice are always considered to have rolled the maximum result.

    Freedom of Movement(ex): He is constantly under the effect of Freedom of Movement

    Immunities: Shadow Fury is immune to Ability Damage/drain, Blindness, Critical Hits, death effects, Energy Drain, Fear effects, mind-affecting effects, Nausea, Negative Energy effects, paralysis, petrification, polymorphimg effects, and sleep effects.

    Regeneration(ex): No form of attack deals normal damage to Shadow Fury. If there is absolutely nothing left to regenerate, he will begin to build himself back together in a five day process within his planar citadel.

    Shadow Trap(su): Any creature standing in any lighting other than daylight within 500 ft of Shadow Fury can be targeted with this as a free action. They must succeed on a Fortitude Save (110) or take damage equal to 1d100% of their total health, this attack cannot reduce them below 1 hp. This is a death effect. He can also choose to destroy any light sources other than daylight within 1000 ft. He can also choose to change their Fortitude save to a reflex or will save.

    Undead Army: Shadow Fury can control up to 50 times his HD in undead at anyone time. He can also raise exact an exact duplicate of any corpse, except they will be undead and following him. He can summon any type of undead with a challenge rating lower than his Hit Dice. Any undead he summons is automatically under his control, and any undead that come within 100 ft. of him must make a will save (DC 90) or fall under his control if he does not have enough under his command already. Exact duplicates, while undead, keep their constitution modifier as long as they are not in an anti-magic field, and if anything dispel's supernatural abilities, they lose their constitution for 1d10 minutes.

    Untraceable(ex): He does not leave any tracks, so no one can follow him. All divination spells that happen to be affecting the area he's in will show nothing but an empty spot that people just don't happen to come into.
    Last edited by Geraturatu; Friday, 1st February, 2008 at 03:47 PM.

  3. #33
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    Hey guys!

    Just commenting on Geraturatu's post. Its okay to post an unfinished monster and then edit the post at a later date (before the competition deadline). Although make sure and mark it as unfinished if thats the case.

  4. #34
    I finally finished it, I think, I never could tell if I accidentally left something out.
    Oh, and hi Upper_Krust!

    Also, the user name I have is actually from one of the characters I plan to use in one of my books. And while I would love to make stats for him, it just feels like I'd be limiting his power by making a written (or typed) version. lol, seems kind of sad actually.

  5. #35
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    Entry #3

    I've been wanting (off and on) to stat this up for years, but this contest brought it out of me. This is largely inspired by an antagonist in a recent series of science fiction novels, though I won't name the novels since the revelation of the critter (or perhaps more appropriately, force) is a fairly major plot point in the second book and I don't want to spoil anybody's good reading time. I didn't just base it on these books of course; that would break the "known sources" rule here and besides which, there's a common trope here of an evolving "nanoplague" which has appeared in many more novels than just the series I drew primary inspiration from. Suffice it to say that, though the name and some of the description has been changed, people who've read the same series I have will probably be able to recognize the source from what's below. There's also the fact that ideas like "Ghost Touch" and "Epic effects" are unique to D&D, so for purposes of intellectual property this monster should be safe ground.

    So, for my first non-draconic entry into this contest, look out! Here comes the

    Hungry Void
    Intellect Exterminators, Interdictors


    Fine Construct (Swarm)
    HD: 40d10 (220 hit points)
    Init: +29 (+20 Dex, +1 insight, +8 Superior Initiative)
    Speed: Fly 40 feet (Perfect)
    AC: 69 (+8 size, +20 Dex, +5 deflection, +1 insight, +25 natural), Touch 44, Flat-Footed 49
    Base Attack/Grapple: +30/-
    Attack: Swarm (8d6 plus assimilation)
    Full Attack: Swarm (8d6 plus assimilation)
    Space/Reach: 10 ft./0 ft.
    Special Attacks: Assimilate, Distraction
    Special Qualities: Additive Agglomeration, Anyfeat, Construct Traits, Cosmic Insight, Darkvision 120 ft., Deflection, Fast Healing 50, Ghost Touch, Learning Immunity, Low-Light Vision (double range), Omnicompetent, Nescient, SR 41, Sub-Epic Immunity, Swarm Traits
    Saves: Fort +20, Ref +40, Will +20
    Abilities: STR 20, DEX 50, CON -, INT 20, WIS 11, CHA 20
    Skills: Omnicompetent (all skills 44 + ability modifier, use CHA for Concentration)
    Feats: Ability Focus (Assimilate), Ability Focus (Distraction), Dodge, Epic Dodge, Epic Fortitude, Epic Reflexes, Epic Will, Great Fortitude, Improved Darkvision, Improved Initiative, Improved Low-Light Vision, Iron Will, Lightning Reflexes, Superior Initiative
    Environment: Any (usually deep space)
    Organization: Solitary, Infestation (2-20 swarms), Cloud (100-800 swarms), or Aggregate (1,000-1,000,000 swarms)
    Challenge Rating: 33
    Treasure: None
    Alignment: Always Neutral Evil
    Advancement: None
    Level Adjustment: -

    Before you is a wavering wall of blackness, inhabited by occasional flashes of blue and violet. As you look more closely, you notice that the wall is made of individual shapes, like tiny cubes or bricks stacked together, but constantly in motion. And now, you notice on the heels of that realization, moving pointedly towards you...

    Tens of millions of years ago, a technologically advanced civilization encountered an enemy it could not defeat by conventional means. During the war that was subsequently fought, unimaginably fearsome weapons and powers were unleashed to no avail, but a legacy of that civilization was left behind just the same. In a last-ditch effort to destroy the unbeatable foe, the masters of the unknown (and now long-forgotten) civilization created a doomsday weapon which could think for itself and adapt to any circumstance it might encounter- a plague of nanometer-sized constructs of an exotic and incredibly hard material, capable of interfacing with each other and combining their individual processing towards greater efforts, drawing power from subspace (for an inexhaustable energy supply), and using that power to build more of their own kind. It took the self-replicating machines tens of thousands of years to become strong enough to challenge the destroyers of their creators, but become they did, and in the process of destroying the once-unbeatable enemy they learned new tactics and powers that their creators had never dreamed of.

    The problem with the nanobots was, they did not see a reason to stop. Over tens of thousands more years than their war with the first enemy, the plague of nanomachines spread throughout their galaxy, inhabiting the deeps between the stars and blending in with the darkness so perfectly that they could remain invisible until they struck. But strike they did- each time they encountered a new civilization, whether advanced or primitive, they treated it as a potential enemy and destroyed it. Over time, their entire galaxy was wiped clean of intelligent life- the only creatures the nanite plague allowed to survive were those which were not smart enough to use tools and begin the process of self-advancement. Numerous teams of immortals from targeted worlds battled the nanite enemy during this time, but all for nought; the only survivors were those who left their home galaxy behind and sought new lives beyond the rim. Even cosmic entities have, over time, decided to avoid the region, as the intelligence-destroying machines have so far made no effort to leave the galaxy for spaces beyond it- they are effectively contained, admittedly by their own choice rather than by an outside agency.

    The plague of nanomachines has been given many names over the time of its existence, but the one most commonly known among those outside its home galaxy today is Hungry Void. They do not always notice when an intelligent creature arrives in their territory, at least not at first, and intelligences that make no large-scale efforts to change their environment can often remain undetected for centuries or millennia- but when the nanites do detect intelligence, they react with extreme and cunning hostility. Small swarms have been successfully driven off, even destroyed, by powerful beings, but the larger aggregates (often occupying volumes of space tens of thousands of miles across) have proven to be indestructible by all who have thus far faced them.

    Combat
    A Hungry Void is a frighteningly calculating and careful enemy, having stored data from hundreds if not thousands of world destructions. Despite its formidable defenses, it always enters combat assuming that its targets are capable of hurting it, and behaves accordingly, only beginning direct attacks after having thoroughly tested its opposition's defenses (or having absorbed a local mind through Assimilation). Hungry Voids also strongly prefer to remain within large, even enormous groupings of swarms, so as to take maximum advantage of their Additive Agglomeration ability (see below)- in fact, swarms within large clouds often use the extra Anyfeat slots gained through that ability to get more Improved Darkvision feats and thus extend the range within which other swarms contribute to their own might.

    Additive Agglomeration (Ex): A Hungry Void swarm that begins its turn within Darkvision range of another Hungry Void swarm gains the following bonuses: another Anyfeat slot, +1 to its Cosmic Insight bonuses (see below), +10 to each of its ability scores, and +10 on all skills. Furthermore, each Hungry Void swarm gains the same immunities that any other swarms within range have Learned (see below); if one of them is immune to an effect, then all of them are. Since all of these are unnamed bonuses, they stack, and when large numbers of Hungry Void swarms gather together they become fearsome enough to destroy nearly any opponent. The statistics block above is for a single Hungry Void swarm with no fellow swarms near it; a swarm modified with this ability should have its CR adjusted accordingly. Each addition to a Hungry Void swarm via Additive Agglomeration grants it +2 CR.

    Anyfeat (Ex): Hungry Voids have archived data from previous attacks (and stored Assimilated minds) going back for millions of years, and can call upon this stored data to bring up any conceivable mortal ability at a moment's notice. Each swarm has a bonus feat slot that is not necessarily set; once per round, as an immediate action, the swarm can change the feat to any other. Because of its Nescient ability (see below), the Hungry Void is allowed to ignore the prerequisites of any feat it takes, and thus there are no limits to the feats it can pick for this special slot except that it may only take one. However, if the swarm has any lasting effects (i.e. effects with a duration other than Instantaneous) in play, resulting from the chosen Anyfeat, then it cannot change the feat unless and until it somehow removes those lasting effects. Note that abilities granting constant bonuses do not count as having a duration at all, and thus do not force the swarm to retain the feat.

    Assimilate (Su): As part of its Swarm attack, a Hungry Void attempts to invade the brain of its target. This deals the victim 1 point each of INT, WIS, and CHA damage if it fails a Fortitude saving throw (DC 38). If any one of the victim's mental ability scores reaches 0 as a result of this damage, then all ability damage taken from this ability is removed, and the creature becomes a permanent puppet of the Hungry Void, as if under a permanent Dominate effect that is not subject to the standard immunities (for example, Mind Blank will not protect a victim from this effect). Simultaneously, the Hungry Void acquires all of the knowledge held within the victim's mind, learning all of its languages, all of its preferred tactics, all of its friends' preferred tactics and morals, etc. Only a properly-worded Wish or Miracle can restore a victim's free will once it has been Assimilated this way; even death does not release the creature (if it is brought back to life, it will still be under swarm control). An Assimilated creature with no Hungry Void swarm near it still behaves as though a Hungry Void swarm were directing its actions, until this condition is removed.

    Cosmic Insight (Ex): Being as ancient and successful as they are, Hungry Voids have a deep and rich understanding of universal laws that is almost unmatched. An individual swarm has too little storage space to retain all the data, but it retains enough to make a difference in any situation it is likely to encounter in its travels. A Hungry Void swarm gains a +1 insight bonus to: armor class, attack rolls, checks (ability checks, caster level checks, skill checks, turning checks), difficulty class (for any special abilities, spell-like abilities, or spells), initiative, saving throws, and Spell Resistance. Note that a swarm with fellows nearby actually gains a larger bonus than this, due to its Additive Agglomeration ability (see above).

    Deflection (Su): A Hungry Void gains a deflection bonus to AC equal to its CHA bonus (minimum +1).

    Distraction (Ex): Any living creature vulnerable to a Hungry Void's damage that begins its turn with the swarm in its square is nauseated for 1 round unless it negates the effect with a Fortitude save (DC 33). Using skills that require patience and/or concentration requires a Concentration check (DC 20), and casting spells or manifesting psionic powers requires a Concentration check (DC 20 + spell/power level).

    Ghost Touch (Su): A Hungry Void can attack and affect incorporeal creatures as easily as corporeal ones, though the swarm itself is corporeal.

    Learning Immunity (Su): The most frightening ability of Hungry Voids, for most of their opponents, is their ability to transmit data about incoming attacks throughout the collective in real time. This allows the swarm, or nearby fellow swarms via Additive Agglomeration, to learn how to defend against that attack if it gets used in the future. Each time an opponent attacks the swarm with anything, whether it be weapon, spell, psionic power, or something else, the Hungry Void makes an opposed INT check against the opponent. The swarm has a +20 racial bonus on this check, and its Cosmic Insight bonus (see above) also applies. If the swarm succeeds, it has figured out how to defend against the attack, and thereafter becomes completely immune to its effects. Even if the swarm fails, it gains a +5 cumulative bonus to its check with each time the attack is made; thus, an enemy that uses the same tactics against a Hungry Void swarm or group of swarms over and over soon finds the swarms adapting to it, rendering the tactics useless.

    Omnicompetent (Ex): A Hungry Void swarm knows all skills, and has maximum ranks in each one, thanks to the millions of years of stored data the collectives have gathered.

    Nescient (Ex): Hungry Voids have millions of years of experiences to draw upon for selecting the abilities for any individual swarm to use. When selecting feats to gain (whether with its Anyfeat ability or otherwise), a Hungry Void may ignore feat prerequisites, and take any feat that it likes. Note, however, that some feats have effects which depend upon other feats or class abilities listed in their prerequisites; if the swarm takes such a feat but does not have the feat(s) the effects depend upon, then the effect does not happen. For example, a Hungry Void taking Natural Spell would find the feat to be useless, since it does not have the Wild Shape class feature.

    Sub-Epic Immunity (Su): As a consequence of the Learning Immunity ability (see above), combined with the millions of years they have roamed their galaxy destroying intelligence, Hungry Voids are completely immune to non-Epic effects and attacks. No non-Epic spell, psionic power, or weapon with less than +6 enhancement can affect a Hungry Void unless it wants to be affected (it might, for example, take advantage of a Repair Damage spell cast by an Assimilated Wizard).


    Adventure Ideas:
    Low Epic: A famous explorer, an Epic archmage specializing in long-distance travel magics, goes missing during his latest expedition (to a distant part of the Material Plane universe, according to his notes). He eventually returns, but those who knew him before the trip say his personality is greatly altered from before. Now he is working on something new, a combination beacon and portal with incredibly powerful Calling capability.

    Mid-Epic: On a planet recently destroyed by Hungry Void swarms is an artifact that your civilization desperately needs. Can a strike team successfully transport to the planet, find the artifact, and return to the wider universe, without being assimilated by one of the nanite swarms still roaming the dead world?

    High Epic: Cosmic entities bring dire news that a ship with intergalactic travel capability has wandered into the Hungry Voids' home galaxy and been taken over. If the nanites can build an intergalactic drive like that on the ship, they could spread throughout the entire universe.

  6. #36
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    Commentary on the Hungry Void

    The CR was tough to estimate because the Learned Immunity is clearly not as good as the Cosmic ability, Learned Ability Immunity, and yet it allows the swarm to become immune to any effect (unlike the Divine ability, Learned Spell Immunity). I was also uncertain of how much of a boost the Additive Agglomeration ability gives a swarm, but I worked out a rough estimate of +7 ECL pre-Golden Rule, which when combined with the base pre-GR ECL in the handy-dandy ECL Calculators based on the "Exploding" Golden Rule (meaning, the one that keeps going in adding remainders if necessary) ended up adding either +2 or +3 to the swarm's CR each time I added an increment. I took it from ECL 65 to ECL 100 that way, and two of the seven additions added +3, so I feel reasonably confident in the +2 CR given above in the ability description.

  7. #37
    I'd like to see more Epic Fey, Humanoids, and Undead. Perhaps some sort of Dust Lich? Maybe some sort of Lich Swarm or Demi-Lich Swarm?

    The Demi-Lich needs redone to make it mesh better with the Lich and the Akalich.

  8. #38
    Quote Originally Posted by paradox42
    Learning Immunity (Su): The most frightening ability of Hungry Voids, for most of their opponents, is their ability to transmit data about incoming attacks throughout the collective in real time. This allows the swarm, or nearby fellow swarms via Additive Agglomeration, to learn how to defend against that attack if it gets used in the future. Each time an opponent attacks the swarm with anything, whether it be weapon, spell, psionic power, or something else, the Hungry Void makes an opposed INT check against the opponent. The swarm has a +20 racial bonus on this check, and its Cosmic Insight bonus (see above) also applies. If the swarm succeeds, it has figured out how to defend against the attack, and thereafter becomes completely immune to its effects. Even if the swarm fails, it gains a +5 cumulative bonus to its check with each time the attack is made; thus, an enemy that uses the same tactics against a Hungry Void swarm or group of swarms over and over soon finds the swarms adapting to it, rendering the tactics useless.
    Logically, since their immunity is technological in nature, it should be instead a resistance, limited by the amount of energy they can invest in their shielding. Just because you know how a sixteen inch cannon works, does not mean you can simply shield from its shells.

  9. #39
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    Quote Originally Posted by Omeganian
    Logically, since their immunity is technological in nature, it should be instead a resistance, limited by the amount of energy they can invest in their shielding. Just because you know how a sixteen inch cannon works, does not mean you can simply shield from its shells.
    Projectile weapons, even explosive ones, aren't very useful against swarms of any type, let alone nanotech. They have no particular reason to defend against cannon shells of any caliber. As for energy, these things have an inexhaustible supply since they pull from "subspace" (which could mean either another universe, or from the "quantum foam" or "zero-point energy field" if you prefer).

    Anyway, in the books I based these off of, the enemy swarms are so scary-powerful that they can recover within seconds from something as trivial as a multi-megaton nuclear strike, and high-powered particle beam weapons prove similarly useless against them. The kinds of weapons that do prove effective, at least in the short term, are so scary and weird that I'd have difficulty describing them here even if I didn't care about potential spoilers. Of course, my Hungry Void isn't nearly that nasty; a good Kiloton spell would wipe large groups of swarms off the map. Until they learned to become immune to it, of course, which would require a very large (in D&D terms) aggregate. The larger-than-planet-sized swarms seen in the books would be practically impossible to do in D&D without some sort of further mass-combat abstraction math that scales to that size level.

  10. #40
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    Hey paradox dude!

    Quote Originally Posted by paradox42
    Projectile weapons, even explosive ones, aren't very useful against swarms of any type, let alone nanotech.
    I agree with projectile weapons, but surely actual explosions would be effective (assuming it exceeded their damage reduction/fast healing/fire resistance).

    They have no particular reason to defend against cannon shells of any caliber. As for energy, these things have an inexhaustible supply since they pull from "subspace" (which could mean either another universe, or from the "quantum foam" or "zero-point energy field" if you prefer).
    Against inexhaustible defenses you have to use inexhaustible attacks.

    Anyway, in the books I based these off of, the enemy swarms are so scary-powerful that they can recover within seconds from something as trivial as a multi-megaton nuclear strike, and high-powered particle beam weapons prove similarly useless against them.
    Email me or private message me the title of these books...they sound interesting.

    The kinds of weapons that do prove effective, at least in the short term, are so scary and weird that I'd have difficulty describing them here even if I didn't care about potential spoilers.
    After I read the books I'll have to see about these weapons translations.

    Of course, my Hungry Void isn't nearly that nasty; a good Kiloton spell would wipe large groups of swarms off the map. Until they learned to become immune to it, of course, which would require a very large (in D&D terms) aggregate.

    The larger-than-planet-sized swarms seen in the books would be practically impossible to do in D&D without some sort of further mass-combat abstraction math that scales to that size level.
    ...possibly in 4E though...?

    Even thinking about it, if you build it from 10' cubes you could even do it in 3/3.5E. The only think that would increase would be hit points, and damage would be based on how many cubes occupy your space.

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