paradox42's crazy cosmology

Axolotl

First Post
Those artifacts are really cool, all powerful but limited the way artifacts should be. I'll certainly steal some of them for my own games.

Just a couple of questions if you don't mind.

Do you have any examples ofwhat would or could constitue a Nexus event? I think I understand the bascic concept but I'm unsure of the exact scale of such an occurance.

Secondly given the vast power of players in your campaign, what sort of monsters or other foes did they fight? I remember the nanomachine void thing from another thread but did they generally just fight other gods or did they just not spend much time on combat?
 

log in or register to remove this ad

paradox42

First Post
Do you have any examples of what would or could constitue a Nexus event? I think I understand the bascic concept but I'm unsure of the exact scale of such an occurance.
The simplest way is probably if I give a partial timeline of the known Nexus Events prior to about 2 years before the Grand Nexus (which was the last Event my PCs had a direct hand in). If I'd thought of it at the time, I would've included this in the post on Nexus Events in the first place.

  • ~250,000 years prior to Grand Nexus (Fall of the First Empire): "Fugue Plane" Entity is disturbed enough by sensory impressions from the future regarding its destruction at the hands of inhabitants of the Material Plane that it sets up the Abyssal Gate, which opens a portal between the Material Plane and the Abyss such that they effectively become 1 plane. Portal brings down the civilization ruling the world at the time, who invent (and leave behind) such powerful artifacts as Firestars (essentially, reusable Nuke spells in amulet form) in their desperation to stop the demonic tide. Eventually, the emperor of that civilization sacrifices himself by passing through the portal to the demiplane itself and casting an Epic ritual intended to close the Gate forever. Ritual only succeeds partway, forcing the portal closed except for 24 hours following the passage of a total solar eclipse over the Material Plane side of the Gate, an occurrence which happens every 5,000 years following this date.
  • ~25,000 years prior to Grand Nexus (the Great Red Fleet): Fugue Plane Entity leaks the location of the Abyssal side of the Gate to Lower Plane inhabitants prior to Gate opening that time. Devils invade Abyss from the Hells in an effort to succeed where demons have so often failed, but are rebuffed due to extreme power of Material Plane inhabitants on that side. Material Plane inhabitants are incensed enough by the affront that they send a counter-invasion of their own dubbed "the Great Red Fleet" including (among other things) three planet-sized warships bristling with high-tech firepower, which blast their way through the Hells leaving only Dispater of the original Lords of the Nine alive (because he betrayed his race and let them through his territory unmolested), eventually arriving in Nessus itself and killing the original Asmodeus. The being claiming that name in later times was either a surviving Aspect of the original, or an imposter, nobody (else) is ever really sure. Following this, the original Incarnation of Good, ruling from the top of the 666 Heavens, censures the mortals, and for his trouble is the second target of their wrath- the Great Red Fleet turns to the Heavens and storms them just as easily, killing him and leaving the mortals in charge of the Heavens. During the course of the following millennia, the population of devils and angels slowly recovers, but never quite reaches the strength it once had. The next several Abyssal Gate openings see almost no demons dare the portal, out of fear of what the mortals might do.
  • ~2,000 years prior to Grand Nexus (the War of the Return): Ice Elves, mutant survivors in a post-apocalyptic world following a catastrophic war called the Annihilation which had occurred 3,000 years previously, are searching for a plane from which to rule their slaves and subjects agelessly and forever. They open a portal to the Far Realm, leading (eventually) to the events of the Gates of Firestorm Peak but more importantly providing a way back to the Material Plane for the Mind Flayers and Aboleth, who had been forced out of the world by the First Empire over 200,000 years previously. The returning Mind Flayers and Aboleth scour the planet, above and below ground, bringing an end to Ice Elf civilization and creating several new races of mutant survivors before they are finally confined in the deep underground. After rebuffing the Returners from their own continent, the Shades- already masters of Urgic Magic by this time- investigate the Far Realm where the Ice Elves left off, and concoct their Plan of the Final Gate- resulting in the Black Burst that ends their civilization on the Material Plane and leaves their continent a barren wasteland where any living creature that dies is corrupted to rise again as an undead thing.
  • ~200 years prior to Grand Nexus: This Event did not actually have as profound an impact on my campaign world as it did others, but I have assumed that this time represented the Time of Troubles in the Faerunian Material Plane, perhaps the Cataclysm on Krynn, and several others scattered across the cosmos. It resulted, among other things, from the rise of a new Incarnation of Good to take the place of the old one, and a realigning of the priorities in the Upper Planes such that they were essentially unified against Evil (and the Lower Planes in particular). During this time, an army of Deamons/Yugoloths invaded Elysium, and were only rebuffed by the locals after Taliesid the Lion cast an Epic ritual to awaken a being called "the Soul of Elysium" which singlehandedly wiped out the invading army in less than an hour before going back to wherever it came from.
  • ~20 years prior to Grand Nexus (Gate Day): This was the Event around which my campaign revolved for about 7 years, from when the PCs were 1st level, all the way up until they became DR 3 just-ascended deities. This was the final opening of the Abyssal Gate, the day the Fugue Plane Entity had been dreading for hundreds of thousands of years, when all the prophecies came to fruition. There were essentially two possibilities here: either the players' side won, killing the demiplane and closing the Abyssal Gate forever so that no future society would have to worry about it, or the Entity would win and the Material world would become a literal World of Nightmares where the few hardy survivors would be constantly scourged by demons and civilization would be nothing more than a legendary dream out of the past. The original plan was to have the PCs fight the Entity without the Sword of Time, discovering that they couldn't kill it and forcing them into the World of Nightmares where they would eventually learn about the Sword and collect it, only then traveling back in time to the Gate Day to truly kill the Entity and end the threat- but their ascension proceeded more quickly than I had anticipated, short-circuiting my plans and forcing me to rewrite things as they happened in game. To whit: they arrived on the Fugue Plane side, where a dying alternate-future version of the party tank (carrying the Sword of Time in a Portable Hole) gave it to the divine past-version of himself before the Fugue Plane crushed him to death- thus giving the PCs the weapon they needed to finally kill the Entity.
  • ~2 years prior to Grand Nexus (Rise of Tiegon): The mortal avatar of Thangorodoth revealed himself at last, in the form of a mortal boy who was somehow able to naturally use all ten Urgic Magic Sources at once (standard rules assume that a person naturally skilled in the use of Urgic Magic- the Urgic equivalent of a Sorcerer- is only linked to one of the ten Sources, and can only use the others by taking special feats), eventually discovering his true heritage and becoming a full Antigod going by the name Tiegon. He shut the standard gods out of the Material Plane utterly, killing many and forcing what was left of their religions underground, until a party of mortal heroes found an artifact which was capable of opening a portal through his planar block to the Outer Planes and allow the true gods back into the world for an apocalyptic showdown. Eventually Tiegon was destroyed by that same mortal band, whose leader was wielding the Sword of Time. Following this, the Sword warped itself out of the central cosmos entirely, saying that its presence would just be a distraction from what was to come next. The PCs from Gate Day actually skipped over this Event and heard about it only secondhand, due to being in the Pure-Spirit cosmos at the time.
  • ~2 months prior to Gate Day (Rise of the Sidereals): The suicide of one PC, a desperation move intended to gain the attention and favor of the First One of Entropy, succeeded in causing Entropy to create an "avatar" of Itself exactly resembling her original self but with extra powers (which i will detail in the "Favored of the First Ones" templates post since this was what led me to create those templates in the first place). The shockwaves this event sent reverberating through the central cosmos, more specifically the imbalance to the traditional detente that direct interference by a full First One in the affairs of the cosmos represented, caused the Sidereals on every plane of the central cosmos to awaken from dormancy all at the same time. Most Divine Realms across the cosmos were eradicated by the awakening Overgods as they reasserted their dominance; about half of the surviving gods only did so because they were offered sanctuary in the Device in the Desolation (created, ironically, by the very Shard of Entropy who had precipitated the awakening in the first place).
  • Other Nexus Events prior to the Grand Nexus: were not detailed by me, due to coming so close together. Seriously: the next one after the Rise of the Sidereals was scheduled for only about 5 weeks later, then 4 days, then a few hours... I could go on but the point is moot. The real focus by then was...
  • The Grand Nexus: The Ritual of Opening finally takes place, as the Ring Portal focuses all its energy on the Layer of the Ritual deep within the Far Realm (a layer which incidentally also served as home to the actual Entities who were the ten Sources of Urgic Magic). In the Material Plane, an army of gods led by PCs from both groups acting together overcomes the Parasite from the Egg, a baby Brane Dragon who was preventing the Seventh First One from taking its proper place in the grand scheme of things. SEPHIROSOPHIA, the actual Creator of the DABBATIALDABAOTH Reality, arrives through the open Final Gate and facilitates both the Transcendence into Eternal form of many observers present at the Ritual (including all of the remaining Shade Masters and most of the PCs), and the recognition by the two halves of the Seventh First One of its true nature so that they could finally merge and grow into their proper place. DABBATIALDABAOTH wakes on every plane of existence, in every cosmos, but is lulled back to slumber/dormancy by the Sendings of its Creator before it can do much damage.
Noteworthy on the above list is that several obvious massive Events, such as the several openings of the Abyssal Gate besides the two that occurred during Nexus Events (they happened every 5,000 years), as well as the destruction of the remaining Sidereal portion of Thangorodoth, did not count as Nexus Events. Nexus Events were different in that they sort of "ripple" out from the Grand Nexus that caused them all, and also in that major rules changes for the game (for example, switching from one edition to another, like 3.0 to 3.5 or Pathfinder) should ideally be saved for Nexi rather than dropped into the game at other times. Most Nexus Events, as should now be clear, involve direct action by Sidereals in even mortal-level affairs, and this is why the rules can change during such times.

Secondly given the vast power of players in your campaign, what sort of monsters or other foes did they fight? I remember the nanomachine void thing from another thread but did they generally just fight other gods or did they just not spend much time on combat?
There were several occasions when they fought other deities, and honestly if I'd been better at coming up with good optimized stats for such opponents they would have fought a lot more of them. ;) But more often, I threw whatever monsters at them that I thought I reasonably could from the IH Bestiary or other sources. They fought several Nexus Dragons, for example, and a Neutronium Golem, and I used guidelines from the Bestiary to create several opponents of similar level that weren't actually in the book such as the Eye of Daath (an Inevitable on a level similar to a Seraphim) or Pandorym (from the Elder Evils book, though the PCs actually skipped the cosmos before facing this thing so I never actually used the stats for it). I also threw Macrobe and double-Macrobe Vermin at one party, which usually proved to be relative pushovers- they're very over-CR'ed since they can't (by the rules) take feats, or other important things such as Divine or higher Abilities.

Combat, in the later game, meaning as the Grand Nexus approached, became less and less common, and when it did occur it often became anticlimictic due to the players' tendency to pre-analyze their potential opponents to death before even fighting them. With the exception of the Parasite, at the very end of the campaign, they didn't once enter a fight they didn't know in advance they could win. Accordingly, most XP and QP came from story awards by that time.
 

paradox42 said:
Following this, the original Incarnation of Good, ruling from the top of the 666 Heavens, censures the mortals, and for his trouble is the second target of their wrath- the Great Red Fleet turns to the Heavens and storms them just as easily, killing him and leaving the mortals in charge of the Heavens.

And because *I* know that Damok was one of the movers and shakers of the Great Red Fleet, I now know how a Chaotic Good deity was able to instate his Divine Realm in the Seven Mounting Heavens! Well--I suppose I don't, but I bet this had a lot to do with it. Cool!
 

paradox42

First Post
And because *I* know that Damok was one of the movers and shakers of the Great Red Fleet, I now know how a Chaotic Good deity was able to instate his Divine Realm in the Seven Mounting Heavens! Well--I suppose I don't, but I bet this had a lot to do with it. Cool!
I'll note here that I have, throughout this thread, been very careful to avoid using any proper names for any beings below about Elder Deity level, so as to make the concepts maximally portable to other games and settings. But yes, you do have a rather large Clue there.
 

I'll note here that I have, throughout this thread, been very careful to avoid using any proper names for any beings below about Elder Deity level, so as to make the concepts maximally portable to other games and settings. But yes, you do have a rather large Clue there.

I figured as much. :) But that was one of the little mysteries that always had me wondering. It's nice to finally have some idea. I couldn't help but comment.
 

Evilmonkeygod

First Post
Paradox,
i've been slowly reading this whole thread over the last week or so, and i must say i rather love what i've read so far(i'm on page two atm). Some is a little too mathy-scientific for me(i am incredibly terrible at math), but a lot of your ideas are BADASS, especially some of your planar ideas. I really love the Fate ones, very cool concept. Doubly so since my main group plays both D&D and VtM.

is the Silver Key your last entry, or will there be more??
 


paradox42

First Post
Outstanding thread - that Silver Key thing is too powerful. :p
I did describe it as "appallingly powerful," if you read the post closely.

But honestly, what else could one do, with an artifact created by such a great being? It has to be appallingly powerful or it breaks the integrity of the whole setup. Really, in this modern age it sort of leads me to wonder what other Aeon-created artifacts might be like. If I ever try running a game around the presumed time when DABBATIALDABAOTH "grows up" properly, I'll probably have to come up with a few.

If I get the time I'll pick your brain about a few things. ;)
Of course, you and I have traded emails before (though it now occurs to me that it might have been with my old, now dead, account)- so feel free to do that again if you like. I'm usually pretty prompt about answering them, and check my account several times per day.
 

paradox42

First Post
The Entropic Shard

I promised earlier to post the "Favored of the First Ones" templates that came up in my game, but given the experience of the "artifact list" and "Planar Edifices" posts, I'm going to do this list in a piecemeal fashion rather than try to make one post containing all of them. This is partly because these things, being templates, are rather long anyway, and also because that way it'll bump the thread when I post a new one. :lol:

But, this was the first one, the one that started the whole trend. Two in-game trends led to its creation: one was a setting feature that I haven't yet explained (but will, in a general sense, below); the other was a plotline that developed after a pair of PCs asked precisely the wrong questions at the Cloud of Secrets.

The setting feature is one of the unique features of the Urgic Magic spellcasting classes in my Material world: I explained back on page 1 that the classes don't have much to distinguish them from other casters except for their spell lists, but actually there is one feature that's quite relevant to this post: the fact that, when the spontaneous Urgic casters (who, as mentioned in the post listing Nexus Events above, are always tied to one of the ten Sources at 1st level and are forever after bound to that Source) hit certain levels, they gain special templates which are supposed to represent their bodies being partly (or wholly) "taken over" by energy from their chosen Source. In the case of Raithe's PC, named Moiranna (he's named her more than once, so I'll feel free to), she used the Negative/Entropic Source and was therefore set for two templates. At 20th level, she gained the Shadow Creature template, and then at 38th, she gained the special "Entropic Apotheosis" template which is called Cthonic. Now, each of the ten Sources has a specific pair of templates for this class feature; one granted at 20th, the other at 38th.

The relevant factor about these templates is that the 38th-level "Source Apotheosis" templates were designed after I had the IH, and in fact were specifically designed to look a lot like hyper-specialized DR 3 templates. A mortal character getting one of these would get a tremendous power boost compared to a pure-mortal character of another class, but to divine characters, the Apotheosis templates are by and large weaker than what they'd get as gods anyway- so nothing to write home about (just a couple of extra Divine Abilities really). This, too, was by design; I wanted these to be a sort of "introduction to godhood" set of things to get the players excited by the prospect of questing for Immortality.

But once the PCs started popping up to godhood left and right, this presented a rather obvious extension of the idea to me (Raithe and a couple of other players did too, in fact, though I'd thought of it myself before any of them suggested it in a game session): if the Sources can create these "godhood lite" templates that sort-of mimic DR 3, why could there not also be templates designed for divine Urgic casters to gain, which would mimic Sidereal existence in much the same way? This is where the idea for the Entropic Shard began- it in fact turned out to be such a template.

But, on to the second catalyst- the plot. What happened was this: one day, at the Cloud, the endlessly inquisitive PC god of Secrets made the mistake of asking one too many questions about the Far Realm and Who (or more to the point, What) ruled it. I decided that his questioning had succeeded in actually waking up Thought, just a little bit, and that the crazy First One would do something crazy in response. Thought broke off a piece of itself- a sort of Seed of its own personality and power- and implanted it inside the god of Secrets. Two other PCs were there at the time, and I told them that they saw a wave of green light (green being a color particularly associated with the Far Realm in my game) expand out from the Seeded character and vanish into the mists, as well as the character's eyes flash green briefly. He seemed fine, but one of the two PCs just wouldn't let it go and asked pointed questions of the Cloud to try and find out what had just happened. Naturally, this got him Seeded too, immediately afterward. The third PC (who as it happens was Moiranna, though that's not relevant to the plot here) got smart and decided to avoid that line of questioning in the future.

But, here was a very interesting thing, I thought to myself. The First One has broken off pieces of Itself to sort of "possess" these two characters when it suits It, but why go to all this trouble at all? I already had in mind, at this time, that I wanted to eventually have the Demiurge wake up and start the process of consuming the Sidereals, so the obvious answer here was that Thought was- on some level- dimly aware of this impending doom and wanted to hide pieces of Itself away somewhere to perhaps survive in some form after the Demiurge chomped It.

Then I hit on the idea that if Thought did this, why couldn't (or wouldn't) the other five? Six First Ones, six PCs- and though two had already been "Seeded," thus creating a sort of game of "musical Seed-chairs" for the First Ones, I realized that it could make for a spectacular campaign touring the various cosmoses and deciding which First Ones to save pieces of. The players would decide who got which Seed, in the end, and therefore also which First One was eventually left out (in the end, for the record, Time was the one they never got a Seed from- though that didn't matter given how things turned out). So I pulled a few railroady plot-points and connived to get the PCs out into the Far Realm, and then later (due to a poorly-worded navigational divination, not that they realized at the time why it was badly worded, tee hee :devil:) into the Pure-Spirit cosmos, where they got the second Seed. And Metatron, being the kindly Entity It is, actually explained to the PCs exactly what was going on and why It had done this.

But this leads us back to Moiranna, and Entropy- because she was the next one to get Seeded. And here, we return to the old idea of the "mini-Sidereal" Urgic-Magic template, because I had decided two things about Entropy if the PCs actually did try to get a Seed of It instead of leaving It to be the odd First One out. First, Entropy would not send a mere Seed, but would in fact largely (or wholly) consume the Seed-carrier in the process; and second, since this made Entropy the "most expensive" First One in terms of what it would cost to actually get the Seed, it would not be fair to not grant some sort of reward for following through with it.

Moiranna followed through, all right- she got Entropy's attention by Gating to the heart of the Negative Energy Plane, where it was closest to the Pure-Entropy cosmos, and there committing suicide by Detonating her QP after supplicating Entropy and trying to get Its attention. A brief digression to explain this method of suicide: this was something I had borrowed from the old Primal Order line; basically it means that the deity in question "sets" all her quintessence to explode all at once- every single Quintessence Point creates a miniature explosion. It's a chain reaction: once started, there is no stopping it, and all of the deity's QP are consumed in the process. It is therefore invariably suicidal, but the point of doing it is the hope that in the process the deity can take its enemies with it: I ruled that since each QP explodes, the process of Detonation deals 1 die of damage per QP. I never specified which die, but face it: a Lesser Deity with 2,000,000 QP would probably not be unhappy dealing 2,000,000d3 damage (even if a more standard 2,000,000d6 would be better).

But Moiranna wasn't trying to kill anything except herself: she deliberately sacrificed herself to Entropy with the intent of drawing Its attention and favor. And Entropy answered. Through the hole in the cosmic fabric that had been torn open by the massive blast, Entropy sent a tiny portion of Its own mighty dark essence to see what was what- and that tiny piece took the remaining patterns left in the still-Detonating quintessence to give Itself a form. Thus, It formed Itself into an essentially perfect copy of Moiranna, right down to the smallest detail, like the "Ilia-probe" created by V*GER in Star Trek: the Motion Picture. But since the copy, the Shard of Entropy, was literally a piece of the Greater Being, It had extra powers that the original Moiranna had not had.

And thus, we arrive at the template itself. I'll just note the appearance changes here and then move on to the "How to Create an Entropic Shard" section, since anybody actually using this template in their own games would naturally want to tweak it. This template was designed with the assumption that my own table of divinity is being used in the game, so it assumes a great deal more hit dice and LA/CR than would be appropriate to a game using "core Ascension" as we called it in my game.

The Entropic Shard creature still resembles its previous form, but under normal circumstances looks like a simple hole in the world- a perfectly black, dark region- which happens to be shaped exactly like the original character, except for the eyes which are twinkling points of brilliant white light set into the whole as stars in an endless night sky. The Entropic Shard emits absolutely no smell, and its voice sounds oddly distorted as if by several echoes at once that are slightly out of synchronization with the original voice.

Creating an Entropic Shard
"Entropic Shard" is an acquired template that can be applied to any deity of at least Divine Rank 4 which has the Cthonic template and at least 100 caster levels as a [spontaneous caster of Entropic-Source Urgic Magic]. The abilities from this template overlap (do not stack with) those from the Cthonic and Shadow Creature templates the deity gained with [caster] levels. It uses all of the deity's abilities and statistics, except as noted below.

[Quick side note for adaptation to other games: it's probably not necessary to link this solely to Urgic Magic or the Cthonic or Shadow templates. Honestly, any creature of 100 HD and at least DR 4 would do, if it sacrifices itself to Entropy in an effort to gain Entropy's favor, and the First One actually decides to bestow said favor.]

Size and Type: The deity's size and type do not change further. [Important note here! I made this decision because it seemed the most appropriate thing, to keep the character as an Outsider rather than Undead. However, if the Umbrals are supposed to be type Undead rather than Outsider, then this should probably change the character to Undead instead.]
Hit Dice: The deity does not gain any extra HD, but its hit dice change to d100s for all current and future hit dice. The deity continues to gain maximum hit points per hit die, as standard for its Divine Rank. Finally, the deity gains bonus hit points per hit die equal to its CHA modifier (to offset the loss of CON- see below).
Speed: The deity's speed values change to 10 times its original speeds (that is, the base speed values it had without divine or other templates).
AC: The Entropic Shard has a deflection bonus to AC equal to its CHA bonus (minimum +1), an insight bonus to AC equal to its INT bonus (minimum +1), and natural armor equal to ¼ its total hit dice.
Attack: The Entropic Shard gains a +24 insight bonus on all attack rolls.
Damage: All attacks made by the Entropic Shard, whether natural attacks or by weapon, gain a +24 insight bonus to damage. This even applies to spells which deal hit point damage, and the bonus applies to each target of any such spell the deity uses (for example, a Magic Missile spell would deal an extra 24 points of damage to each target, whether or not any target was hit with more than one missile, while a Fireball would simply deal an extra 24 points of damage to creatures in its area before Reflex saves are rolled). Finally, all of the Entropic Shard's natural attack forms (if it has any) are treated as Epic and Cursed for the purposes of overcoming Damage Reduction, and ignore up to 25 points of Hardness (that is, treat any Hardness rating that a target of the Entropic Shard's natural attack has, as if it were 25 points less than its base value).
Special Attacks: An Entropic Shard retains all special attacks it had before, and gains the following:

  • Abrogate (Su): [Since different people likely play this ability differently, I'm cutting out the lengthy description in the original template file and leaving this note instead. This is the ability from Ascension, and since it's such a "chase ability" my players universally gasped or were otherwise shocked when I said Moiranna was getting this.]
  • Annihilating Strike (Su): Whenever the Entropic Shard makes a physical attack (whether by a natural weapon, or by using a manufactured weapon), the attack deals an extra 1d6 points of Permanent damage per 16 hit dice of the deity (rounded down, minimum 1d6). Permanent damage can be healed only by using a Limited Wish, Miracle, or Wish spell. A Limited Wish heals one point of Permanent damage. A Miracle or Wish spell heals one point of Permanent damage per level of the caster. Regardless of how much is healed by any such spell, the casting always costs the caster XP (even if the caster has it as a Spell-Like Ability and uses that).
  • Entropic Spellcharging (Ex): The Entropic Shard gains a +24 insight bonus on all checks against Spell Resistance.
  • Spell-Like Ability: At will- Quickened Gate. The Entropic Shard is able to use Gate as a Swift action, once per round. This even allows the deity to use the Calling function without spending XP, but doing so allows the intended target of the Call a Will save to refuse the summons. Unique beings such as other deities are still under no compulsion to come when Called. [Side note here: my logic for this was that I had told players prior to this event that Entropy was known to be able to travel anywhere It liked, pretty quickly, since It could effectively just "tear holes in Reality" and step through them. Because of this, I also ruled that this special Gate did not depend on use of the Astral Plane, so it could reach planes not connected to the Astral such as the Elemental Plane of Matter.]
Special Qualities: An Entropic Shard retains all special qualities it had before, and gains the following:

  • Apostasy (Ex): The Entropic Shard cannot be affected by any alignment based attacks or effects. Whenever an attack, effect, feat prerequisite, class feature, or any other game mechanic checks the Shard's alignment, the Shard is treated as being whichever alignment grants the most benefit or least penalty. For example, the deity can take Monk levels without being Lawful, Barbarian levels even if it is Lawful, takes no damage from either a Holy Smite or Unholy Smite, and gives no reading (up or down) to a Detect Good spell. This applies even if the alignment based attack or effect comes from an immortal of higher divine status- for all practical purposes, the Entropic Shard is beyond alignment.
  • Cold Absorption (Ex): The Entropic Shard gains Cold Absorption 500. The first 500 points of Cold damage that hit the deity in a given round heal it instead of hurting it.
  • Damage Reduction (Ex): The Entropic Shard gains Damage Reduction 50/Epic and Cursed. A weapon must be both Epic and Cursed (that is, the weapon must have a "bonus" of -6 or lower) to penetrate the Entropic Shard's DR. This replaces any DR granted by the Shadow Creature or Cthonic templates, but otherwise does not change the deity's existing DR (if it has any from other sources).
  • Entropic Aura (Su): The Entropic Shard continually emits an aura of darkness, actually swallowing light and making nearby light sources dimmer. The aura fills the deity's entire Divine Aura, and is effectively an extra effect added on to that Aura which cannot be suppressed or deactivated. Within that range, all light sources are reduced in intensity by 50% (as though under the effect of the psionic power Control Light). Among other effects, this negates any damage the light would normally deal to any creatures within the aura; for example, a Derro within the Aura would not lose CON even in full sunlight, since (within the aura at least) the sunlight is effectively no longer "full." It also allows the character to use its Shadow Blend ability (gained with the Shadow creature template) at will, no matter what the local illumination conditions would normally be. The Entropic Aura also causes extreme bad luck to befall creatures other than the deity within its radius. Enemies of the Entropic Shard take a -24 penalty to all rolls while within the Aura, and all Luck bonuses to rolls are negated (whether they would be granted to enemies or friends, though the Entropic Shard is allowed to choose certain Luck bonuses to allow, so the deity can choose to not affect allies if desired). Effects and abilities which simulate luck by allowing a creature to reroll the dice allow one less reroll than normal if used within the Entropic Aura; in many cases (for example, the power granted by the Luck Domain) this renders the power useless.
  • Entropic Senses (Ex): All of the deity's senses expand to 10 times their base range.
  • Horrific Presence (Su): The deity's Entropic Aura is extremely disturbing to all creatures (living or otherwise) that are not immune to fear. Creatures with less than 3 INT are automatically Hostile to the deity as soon as they enter the Aura, whether by force or otherwise; however, they are also Panicked automatically and therefore do not attack unless prevented from moving away from the Entropic Shard. Creatures with less than 1/4 the Entropic Shard's hit dice are actually paralyzed with fear, rendered unable to move, until the Entropic Shard's aura is no longer in contact with them. Creatures with 3 or more INT must make Will saves (DC = 34 + half the Entropic Shard's HD + its CHA modifier) or also become immediately Panicked, including being paralyzed with fear if their HD is low enough. They are not necessarily Hostile, but any Diplomacy checks the Shard uses on them have a -50 penalty due to the overwhelming horror.
  • Superior Spell Resistance (Ex): The Entropic Shard gains SR equal to 34 + its hit dice. Furthermore, all spells used against the deity must check this special SR twice in order to function; if either check fails, the spell fails to overcome the SR at all.
Saves: The Entropic Shard gains a +24 insight bonus to all saves.
Abilities: Change as follows: STR +60, DEX +36, CON -, INT +60, WIS +60, CHA +72. The deity loses its CON score, but uses its CHA modifier in place of CON for all checks which would normally use CON. The deity also gains bonus hit points per hit die using the CHA modifier, instead of CON.
Skills: The Entropic Shard gains both Maven and Omnicompetent, if it did not already have them; all skills are raised to their maximum possible ranks by hit dice. Furthermore, the deity gains a +24 insight bonus on all skills.

Challenge Rating: Same as the deity +53.
Level Adjustment: Same as the deity's Level Adjustment +80.


Before moving on to the next post, I'll remark that this template- and the others that came later based on the same idea- were essentially intended to be "KR-3 Lite" in the same manner that the Urgic Source Apotheosis templates were supposed to be "DR 3 Lite." This will become more obvious as I detail the others.

I'll also mention that this template grants an insight bonus (which should properly be the domain of Thought rather than Entropy), because I wanted this template to grant bonuses instead of radiating "null penalties" the way Entropy usually does- and so I had to pick one. Insight seemed the most appropriate, under the circumstances.
 
Last edited:

paradox42

First Post
The Material Nucleus

So, having crafted a "Shard template" for Moiranna, which included several Cosmic Abilities (something which alone, in my game, with the one-esoteric rule, was enough to make powergamers salivate), and furthermore included some abilities that players would seriously consider taking even if they didn't fit the character just because they were That Cool (Abrogate being the prime example), my other players started chomping at the bit to go get Shards (not just Seeds) of their own. So, I started to think about what other First Ones might do, if induced to grant extra powers to lesser being like mere deities. And of course, eventually most of the PCs in this party quested for (and won) Shards- including two who already had Seeds (the God of Secrets became an Independent Thought, while the Seed of Spirit was expanded to become the Karmic Messiah).

But that came later- after I made this one. This was the fifth Seed to be granted to the party, and from the beginning of the quest to get it, the player who eventually got it for his PC (the Goddess of Catastrophe and Necessity) was determined to get not just a Seed but a new template like Moiranna's. The fact that his character had, for years, had a rivalry with Moiranna as a "blaster mage" (this goddess was originally a standard Sorcerer) no doubt helped that motivation along. But of course, in the end she got it.

This was accomplished in Matter's own cosmos, at the edge of the Pit there- this was when the PCs traveled to reach that artifact. The Goddess of Catastrophe knew that the Pit somehow was her best chance to contact Matter and make a deal with It; she made the kitten as a test but then kept the cute little critter around and actually dismissed her old familiar with the intent to make the kitten her new one. One thing I didn't mention in the post regarding the Pit, see, is that when she made this kitten she didn't make just a normal kitten- she specifically requested that it be an Elemental kitten, and more specifically that it be made of the very Elemental Goo that was in the Pit. The Pit obliged her of course: her little green kitten with the slightly-slimy and wet appearance was plucked from the pseudopods of doom by a quick application of Telekinesis, and then the Goddess got to work.

Cutting a long story short, she eventually figured out how to contact Matter directly, and using the kitten as a conduit, managed to make a literal Deal With the Devil. Matter gave her a Seed by possessing the little kitten (she named it "Atom" in a moment of dark humor), and granting her special powers she had scarcely dreamed of before then. She became a Material Nucleus.

Creating a Material Nucleus

"Material Nucleus" is an acquired template that can be applied to any deity of at least Divine Rank 4 which has a Half-Elemental template and at least 100 caster levels in an Arcane spellcasting class. A Material Nucleus exactly resembles the deity's former manifestation with the Half-Elemental template, but the character's eyes turn a solid dark red (pupils remain, but there is no sclera or "white"), and remain so in any form assumed through shape-changing magic or effects. It uses all of the deity's abilities and statistics, except as noted below.

[As before, some of the specifications up there are really unnecessary if you want to use a template like this as a plot point in your games; Matter as a First One could probably grant this template to any being with 100 HD and DR 4 if it were so inclined- which is to say if the price is right. It just happens that the Goddess of Catastrophe in question was Half-Fire Elemental, and had over 100 Sorcerer levels.]

Size and Type: The deity gains the Evil subtype if it did not have it already.
Hit Dice: The deity does not gain any extra HD, but its hit dice change to d100s for all current and future hit dice. The deity continues to gain maximum hit points per hit die, as standard for its Divine Rank.
Speed: The deity's speed values do not change further. [This was important to note, I felt, because the Entropic Shard got a lot faster- but I didn't see Matter as granting much if any speed bonus to a being- especially since I intended to grant the double-HD-natural-armor ability as you'll see below.]
AC: The Material Nucleus continues to have a deflection bonus to AC equal to its CHA bonus (minimum +1), but natural armor increases to double its total hit dice. This natural armor bonus increases with all future hit dice gained or lost, keeping the total equal to double the deity's hit dice (whatever that number may be).
Attack: The Material Nucleus gains a +24 gravitic mastery bonus on all attack rolls.
Damage: All attacks made by the Material Nucleus, whether natural attacks or by weapon, gain a +24 gravitic mastery bonus to damage. This even applies to spells which deal hit point damage, and the bonus applies to each target of any such spell the deity uses (for example, a Magic Missile spell would deal an extra 24 points of damage to each target, whether or not any target was hit with more than one missile, while a Fireball would simply deal an extra 24 points of damage to creatures in its area before Reflex saves are rolled). Finally, all of the Material Nucleus's natural attack forms (if it has any) are treated as Epic and Evil for the purposes of overcoming Damage Reduction.
Special Attacks: A Material Nucleus retains all special attacks it had before, and gains the following:

  • Gravitic Godspell (Su): Whenever the Material Nucleus casts a spell that uses dice to determine the magnitude of its effect (for example, Fireball, Magic Missile, and Cure Light Wounds all qualify, but Teleport does not), the spell deals extra damage to each target based on the target's maximum healthy hit point total. This extra damage is equal to 1% of the target's maximum hit points, but always does a minimum of 1 extra point of damage no matter how low the target's hit points are. The Material Nucleus can choose to deactivate this ability as a swift action, and once deactivated all of the deity's spells will have their normal effects without this extra gravitational damage. If the ability is deactivated, it may later be reactivated as a swift action to "turn on" the gravity-based damage again.
  • Gravitic Spellcharging (Ex): The Material Nucleus gains a +24 gravitic mastery bonus on all checks against Spell Resistance.
  • Spell-Like Ability: At will- Rapid Elemental Swarm. The Material Nucleus is able to use Elemental Swarm at will, with a one-round casting time (i.e. as a full-round action). The Elementals so called arrive in their standard order, despite the greatly reduced casting time, and the Material Nucleus does not need to specify which element type is being called until casting time, so the deity is free to (for example) call Earth Elementals in one round, and then call Fire Elementals in the next, even while the Earth Elementals from the first casting are still arriving. There is no limit to the number of Elementals the deity can call this way, except that the creatures still disappear when the spell's duration runs out. The caster level of this spell-like ability is equal to the deity's highest level in any spellcasting class, regardless of whether or not that class can normally use the Elemental Swarm spell.
Special Qualities: A Material Nucleus retains all special qualities it had before, and gains the following:

  • Damage Reduction (Ex): The Material Nucleus gains Damage Reduction 50/-. All forms of attack are reduced by 50 hit points before being applied to the deity, except for attacks which specifically say they "ignore Hardness." This Damage Reduction does not change any other Damage Reduction the deity gets from other sources, unless that Damage Reduction is also of the "/-" (Hardness) form, in which case the existing number is increased by 50.
  • Divine Inspiration (Ex): The Material Nucleus gains a bonus Divine Ability, but the ability is not necessarily set: once per round, as an immediate action, the deity can change the Divine Ability to any other. The character must still meet all the prerequisites of the chosen ability in order to gain it, but otherwise there are no restrictions on the power to change this special bonus Divine Ability. Because the ability can be changed as an immediate action, it can even (for example) be used to grant bonuses to a saving throw just before the character makes one, by changing to a Divine Ability that grants a bonus to saving throws such as Unknowing Soul or Profane Soul. Note, however, that if the chosen Divine Ability has a lasting effect (for example, the actions stolen using Time Stealer, or the souls bound using Soul Stealer), then the ability cannot be switched until the lasting effect ends. Thus, if the character is using Divine Inspiration to gain Soul Stealer, and kills a creature, the character cannot then switch Divine Inspiration to Profane Mind, unless and until the creature that was killed under Soul Stealer is no longer soul-bound. Likewise, if the character is using (for example) Divine Sorcery to learn Wall of Force, and has one or more Walls of Force active, then the Divine Inspiration cannot be switched to Divine Architect instead to speed up that magic-item crafting.
  • Fire Absorption (Ex): The Material Nucleus gains Fire Absorption 500. The first 500 points of Fire damage that hit the deity in a given round heal it instead of hurting it.
  • Gravitic Senses (Ex): All of the deity's senses expand to 10 times their base range.
  • Great Breath (Ex): The deity can use its Quintessence to create creatures that are not of the Outsider type, just as easily as it can create Outsiders. All creatures the deity creates are capable of reproduction immediately, if conditions are otherwise appropriate for such (for example, a trio of male tigers will not be able to reproduce with each other unless the deity also creates a female, but an Ochre Jelly would be fully capable of growing and splitting/budding in the usual manner).
  • Superior Spell Resistance (Ex): The Material Nucleus gains SR equal to 34 + its hit dice. Furthermore, all spells used against the deity must check this special SR twice in order to function; if either check fails, the spell fails to overcome the SR at all.
Saves: The Material Nucleus gains a +24 gravitic mastery bonus to all saves.
Abilities: Change as follows: STR +24, DEX +36, CON +60, INT +60, WIS +36, CHA +72.
Skills: The Material Nucleus gains both Maven and Omnicompetent, if it did not already have them; all skills are raised to their maximum possible ranks by hit dice. Furthermore, the deity gains a +24 gravitic mastery bonus on all skills.

Challenge Rating: Same as the deity +53.
Level Adjustment: Same as the deity's Level Adjustment +80.
Alignment: The Material Nucleus changes to Evil alignment, if it was not previously Evil, but the Lawful/Chaotic alignment component does not typically change.


Yes, that last one really did get written into the template- you make a Deal with Matter, you pay for it. The Goddess in question became Chaotic Evil, and if the players by this time hadn't mellowed out a bit on the whole Good/Evil thing they might well have attacked her and/or cast her out for it. I'll also remark, here, upon the fact that I gave this template Godspell rather than Strike (as I had for Entropic Shard). By this time, I decided that I wanted each template like this to have three Cosmics chosen to fit this pattern: (1) one [Effect] ability, a different [Effect] type for each template, and of course doing damage based on which First One was granting the power. Entropy of course dealt Annihilating, Matter would grant Gravitic since that's Matter's "thing." (2) one "chase ability" that most PCs would jump at the chance to get even if they had to take it as their one and only esoteric power. (3) a more obscure ability that fit the theme of the First One, but was not necessarily a "chase ability."

In the case of Material Nucleus, the [Effect] type was Godspell both because it had already been pointed out that Godspell was a more useful [Effect] type for spellcasters than Strike, that having been the point of making it; and also because I wanted to be sure it wasn't Strike anyway. The "chase ability" in this case was Divine Inspiration; since every party member had at least one Anyfeat, it was pretty obvious the players would be very keen on getting the Cosmic version of it.
 
Last edited:

Remove ads

AD6_gamerati_skyscraper

Remove ads

Upcoming Releases

Top