Signup
Welcome to... Canonfire! World of GreyhawK
Features
Touring the Flanaess
Cities of
Oerth
Deadly Denizens
Greyhawk Wiki
#greytalk
JOIN THE CHAT
ON DISCORD
    Canonfire :: View topic - Eye of (Epic) Beholder
    Canonfire Forum Index -> Greyhawk- EpicHawk
    Eye of (Epic) Beholder
    Author Message
    Grandmaster Greytalker

    Joined: Aug 05, 2004
    Posts: 1446


    Send private message
    Mon Nov 29, 2004 5:48 pm  
    Eye of (Epic) Beholder

    A confession. I have long thought beholders to be one of the dumbest monsters around. Maybe more silly than dumb. A flumph is dumb. Anyway.

    My FLGS was having its annual Christmas sale (75% off selected merchandise) and I picked up The Complete Guide to Beholders (Goodman Games). The approach therein is to see beholders as a serious monster with genuine horror potential, not just a collection of special attacks. Anyway.

    I noted that the Epic Handbook describes a "super beholder," the Gibbering Orb. Anyway.

    My thought is that where you have a monster that appears in various incarnations, and more importantly Challenge Ratings, you have a unique "epic opportunity." Rather than saying to the players, "Your characters are of epic level, here come epic monsters!" you can naturally build toward epic monsters as a natural seeming extension of lower level monsters of the same general type that they have been encountering for some time.

    So, to take the beholder example, the PCs start encountering beholders at 13th level or beholder-kin types at even lower levels. They keep encountering them. Not all the time but often enough to be memorable. By the time the party has reached epic level and the Gibbering Orb (Int 40) appears, the party is not thinking outside the game in "epic" terms. They are seeing the Gibbering Orb as connected to or an extension of the beholder types they have been encountering at lower levels. Even better if all the beholders are somehow working together.

    I think this may be one "classic," if I can use that term, way to set up an epic campaign.

    Thoughts?

    Other monsters that can "grow" with the characters as in the example above?

    GVD
    _________________
    GVD
    CF Admin

    Joined: Aug 29, 2002
    Posts: 178
    From: Michigan

    Send private message
    Mon Nov 29, 2004 6:25 pm  

    A simple use of the advancement chart and /or additions of classes can make those monsters familiar to PC's stay around well into and beyond epic levels. Its easy to take an orc throw 30 levels of classes on them and use them as a major opponent in a game, githyanki as a race are tougher than orcs and a large astral fortress crewed but minium level githyanki of 6th-18th level gish and knights would make a tough lair based game for any epic party. Use the paragon template on a mind flayer and you have an ulithid capable of tearing an epic party asunder singly. Many tough monsters can be advanced right out the MM into epic levels and made into a formidable opponents, albiet larger and much more capable, without having to create a whole new epic monster. Remember that most of the monsters in the MM are just the basic type of creature and in many cases the weakest type shown.

    But to give a more specific example, the atropal; sealed away for centuries, in its dreams gives rise to the White Kingdom; a kingdom of flesh eaters in the Underdark. Its sleepless slumber gives direction to a crazed animus in the North Kingdom, a line of cults of Nerull trying to reach the dark dreamer locked away beyond the reach of spells, intelligent undead seeking to come closer to the demiurge that whispers in their dark thoughts. This way not only do the PC's face undead and dark preists, but also come to a climatic encounter with a lurking undead menace that they have been opposing indirectly all their careers. In this way undead and morbid preists are a factor all through a continuing campaign, not just introduced as monsters of the week syndrome.
    _________________
    Canonfire Community Supporter and Forum Justicar


    Last edited by Dethand on Tue Nov 30, 2004 5:14 am; edited 1 time in total
    Forum Moderator

    Joined: Feb 26, 2004
    Posts: 2570
    From: Ullinois

    Send private message
    Mon Nov 29, 2004 11:49 pm  

    Beholders are one of those love em or hate em creatures methinks. As for myself, in my last epic campaign I cooked up a pseudonatural beholder. Anything with the epic pseudonatural template is cool, but somehow coupling those two concepts was extra scary.
    Journeyman Greytalker

    Joined: Sep 21, 2003
    Posts: 155


    Send private message
    Tue Nov 30, 2004 12:32 am  

    I like beholders, but use them sparingly. A possibility to advance a beholder is a racial prestige class called Ocullar Master (IIRC) described a while ago in a Dragon Magaine.
    _________________
    Kneel before Rahu!

    Victor Caminha
    Grandmaster Greytalker

    Joined: Aug 05, 2004
    Posts: 1446


    Send private message
    Tue Nov 30, 2004 7:58 am  

    Dethand wrote:
    A simple use of the advancement chart and /or additions of classes can make those monsters familiar to PC's stay around well into and beyond epic levels. Its easy to take an orc throw 30 levels of classes on them and use them as a major opponent in a game


    This is one of the issues I have with 3rd Edition "epic" rules - adding levels to an otherwise ordinary monster to make it epic.

    There is a movie called "Kung Pow: Enter the Fist." It is a takeoff on martial arts movies. In perhaps the signature scene, the Bruce Lee - like "hero" engages in a Matrix-like martial arts battle with . . . a cow. And not just any cow, its a dairy cow, a Holstein, I believe. The scene is brilliantly crafted to make the (digital) cow a martial artist and very funny because this is a cow we are talking about.

    My point? Take a Guernsey and give her 20+ levels of Monk. You have an epic martial artist . . . cow. I see too much of this in the 3rd edition "just add levels" philosophy. This is not to say it can't be done and done well, but I do not find it particularly satisfying beyond a certain point.

    My preference is for uniquely epic monsters - like the Atropal (brilliant "White Kingdom" idea btw). For this reason, when I can build to the epic monster with lesser kinds of that monster, I am most satisfied. (Btw, there is now some kind of "lesser" atropal, I think, but its name and book escape me at the moment).

    GVD
    _________________
    GVD
    Journeyman Greytalker

    Joined: Sep 21, 2003
    Posts: 155


    Send private message
    Tue Nov 30, 2004 11:58 am  

    > This is not to say it can't be done and done well, but I do not find it particularly satisfying beyond a certain point.

    I can understand. Sometimes it can go overboard (I hope my hags did not :-) )

    > For this reason, when I can build to the epic monster with lesser kinds of that monster, I am most satisfied

    Not only the pseudonatural template , but the paragon or even the abomination template can do this job nicely.

    > My preference is for uniquely epic monsters - like the Atropal

    Yes. Personally, only the Dream Larva is more appealing...

    > there is now some kind of "lesser" atropal, I think, but its name and book escape me at the moment

    The Atropal Scion, I read something about it on a review of Libris Mortis.
    _________________
    Kneel before Rahu!

    Victor Caminha
    Grandmaster Greytalker

    Joined: Aug 05, 2004
    Posts: 1446


    Send private message
    Sun Dec 05, 2004 7:15 pm  

    Wykthor wrote:
    > there is now some kind of "lesser" atropal, I think, but its name and book escape me at the moment<

    The Atropal Scion, I read something about it on a review of Libris Mortis.


    Yup. I got Libris Mortis and there it is. Now, we just need those Atropal cultists. Smile

    GVD
    _________________
    GVD
    Display posts from previous:   
       Canonfire Forum Index -> Greyhawk- EpicHawk All times are GMT - 8 Hours
    Page 1 of 1

    Jump to:  

    You cannot post new topics in this forum
    You cannot reply to topics in this forum
    You cannot edit your posts in this forum
    You cannot delete your posts in this forum
    You cannot vote in polls in this forum


    Forums ©


    Canonfire! is a production of the Thursday Group in assocation with GREYtalk and Canonfire! Enterprises

    Contact the Webmaster.  Long Live Spidasa!


    Greyhawk Gothic Font by Darlene Pekul is used under the Creative Commons License.

    PHP-Nuke Copyright © 2005 by Francisco Burzi. This is free software, and you may redistribute it under the GPL. PHP-Nuke comes with absolutely no warranty, for details, see the license.
    Page Generation: 0.43 Seconds