Nepenthean (Epic Monster)



Aug 14, 2006 14:05:06
Medium Undead (Psionic)
Hit Dice: 42d12+34 (307 hp)
Initiative: +6
Speed: 40 ft. (8 squares)
Armor Class: 42 (+6 Dex, +26 natural), touch 16, flat-footed 36
Base Attack/Grapple: +21/+26
Attack: Slam +26 melee (1d6+7/19-20 plus nausea)
Full Attack: 2 slams +26 melee (1d6+7/19-20 plus nausea)
Space/Reach: 5 ft./5 ft.
Special Attacks: Unliving witness, gray on earth, vendetta of the cleansed, psi-like abilities
Special Qualities: Undead traits, turn resistance +10, PR 41, damage reduction 20/epic
Saves: Fort +14, Ref +20, Will +30
Abilities: Str 20, Dex 22, Con -, Int 24, Wis 29, Cha 41
Skills: Bluff +60, Concentration +70, Hide +51, Intimidate +60, Knowledge (history, psionics) +52, Listen +54, Move Silently +51, Psicraft +52, Sense Motive +54, Spot +54
Feats: Alertness, Combat Manifestation, Combat Reflexes, Dodge, Improved Critical (slam), Power Attack, Psionic Body, Psionic Charge, Psionic Fist, Psionic Meditation, Run, Speed of Thought, Unavoidable Strike
Epic Feats: Epic Skill Focus (Concentration), Epic Toughness
Environment: The Gray
Organization: Solitary
Challenge Rating: 29?
Treasure: None
Alignment: Any evil
Advancement: 43-62 HD (Medium); 63-126 HD (Large)
Level Adjustment: -

This creature physically resembles an amalgam of races not seen on Athas for several millennia. However, its dark gray flesh is more akin to storm clouds than it is to anything biological.

It gnaws at the soul when one feels alone in the world, but it is far more horrific when one actually is alone in the world. During the Cleansing Wars, at least seven races were eradicated from the face of Athas: gnomes, goblins, ogres, orcs, pixies, trolls, and wemics. Whether the final victims of Rajaat’s Champions died on their feet fighting or on their knees begging for mercy, each knew they were amongst the last of their kind. This, the greatest of all sorrows, allowed the souls of these individuals to draw in other like spirits, and through sheer force of will return to physicality. Woe unto Athas should any of these forgotten horrors escape from the Gray to exact their revenge on the living.
A nepenthean has an average height of about 7 feet, and weighs about 150 pounds.
Nepentheans speak a variety of ancient Green Age languages, most of which have been long forgotten.

A nepenthean’s natural weapons are treated as epic for the purpose of overcoming damage reduction.
Unliving Witness (Su): The nepenthean’s very body is composed of souls that witnessed atrocities beyond imagination. Those hit by a nepenthean’s slam attack must succeed at a Will save (DC 46) or be nauseated by images of these Cleansing Wars atrocities. The nausea lasts for 1d4 rounds. Creatures hitting the nepenthean with natural weapons or unarmed attacks also become nauseated unless they succeed on a Will save.
Gray on Earth (Su): The nepenthean maintains such a strong connection to the Gray that it’s mere presence disrupts the multiverse. Natural planar traits are replaced by those of the Deep Gray, out to 30 feet from the creature.
Vendetta of the Cleansed (Ex): The souls that comprise a nepenthean despise all living things for surviving the Cleansing Wars while they themselves did not, but their true wrath is reserved for the humans that wiped them out. A nepenthean treats humans as a favored enemy (+6 bonus). This is in all ways identical to a ranger’s favored enemy ability.
Psi-Like Abilities: At will – empathic feedback, forced share pain (DC 28), inflict pain (DC 27), recall agony (DC 27); 3/day - insanity (DC 32), reddopsi; 1/day - microcosm. Manifester level 29th. The save DCs are Charisma-based.
Undead Traits: Immune to poison, sleep, paralysis, stunning, disease, death, effects, necromantic effects, mind-affecting effects, and any effect requiring a Fortitude save unless it also works on objects. Not subject to critical hits, subdual damage, ability damage, ability drain, or energy drain. Negative energy heals. Not at risk of death from massive damage, but destroyed at 0 hit points or less. Darkvision 60 ft. Cannot be raised; resurrection works only if creature is willing.


Aug 17, 2006 18:12:30
seems a bit soft for an epic monster - i would add gray toughness and some other abilities from the TotDL, but with a bit more beef to them. there was a vampire-thingy around here a while back iirc that was screaming for epic attention and some hints on more undead to follow that one. do you know what i am talking about?

maybe for this undeady - make him large, with extra str buffs, have then able to pull other undead from the gray, and bump them up in some additional psi powers - at the hd they are the few he has seems too light. on the flip side, imo the PR and the DR seem to high for a CR 29. also, since he is undead, and a kind of open portal into the gray, i would make it so that any arcane spells cast within the area draws some of the undead dudes essence away - i think that follows the cannon material from PP and some of the other material i have seen in other areas - i know it is a but vague, but i cannot recall the exact source at this moment.

to bad most everyone else here is too stuck up to give this creature more in the way of feedback, it has some great potential. i would like to see a v.2.


Aug 17, 2006 19:05:50
Thanks for the feedback. I'll try to address some of your comments.

Gray Toughness and all the other special attacks/qualities/weaknesses from TotDL are meant to be applied to individual undead, not to all of the same kind. Therefore, they do not appear in a race description. As a 13+ HD undead that died a violent death, you could add two special attacks/qualities and one special weakness to a nepenthean.

I do kinda like the idea of arcane magic damaging it. While it isn't incorporeal as TotDL requires for drawing arcane energy, the fact that the nepenthean's body is drawn from the Gray could allow it to be an exception.


Aug 18, 2006 10:17:47
As it stands I'd suggest dropping its CR down a point or two, and as Seraph suggested drop the DR and PR down as well; make PR = 10 + final CR (IMO) and DR 15/epic at best.

The "arcane susceptibility" idea sounds interesting...I'd suggest adding in an Ex ability along the lines of "wizards can draw their arcane energy directly from the Nepenthean, dealing 1d6 damage per spell level" yadda yadda, basically as described in TotDL, and maybe also add something like "takes 1 point of damage per spell level if caught in a defiler's ash radius or the equivalent for a preserver." Dunno on that last one...might be overdoing it.

Regarding the special qualities/etc. from TotDL, I have issues with applying them to non-template undead...not because I don't think they should have them, technically, but because no template means that they're really not that individualistic; in my games at least I only apply the special qualities/etc. to template-ed undead for this very reason (the rest I don't really consider "free willed" either, though).
In this case I think that the special stuff is appropriate however...but because of my other beliefs on this you may want to "spell it out" for everyone. Probably not necessary, maybe I'm the only person who thinks this way about this particular subject.

Finally, I think you should spell out what effects the Gray on Earth (shouldn't it be "Gray on Athas"? ;)) have rather than making someone refer to TotDL. This also will prevent any missconception about what the ability does; for instance, the Deep Gray reduces speed to 1/2, vision to 10', and has no does this "rift in the multiverse" cause all of those effects? Does it make the actual ground around the creature disappear (which would, in effect, give it a flying speed)? Much better to just specify exactly what this does than to leave it up in the air for strange interpretations like that.