Protean-Above-All (3.5e Deity)
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|Symbol:||As the living embodiment of Transformation, it will never accept the same symbol twice|
|Home Plane:||Far Realm|
|Alignment:||All and none|
|Portfolio:||Shapeshifters, diversity in all things, that which is above heaven, below hell, and beyond the stars|
|Domains:||Bestial, Chaos, Evil, Good, Law, Madness, Mentalism|
|Enemies:||The stable (in body or mind)|
|Allies:||Aberrations, shapeshifters, everything of the Far Realm|
|Other Names:||Limbus, Chaos, All-Face, THE Protean, Inconsistency, many more|
The Protean-Above-All is not so much god as elder evil, though this cannot apply as it somehow embodies all alignments in one fractured mind. It is the ultimate shapeshifter, the original aberration, and neither its body, mind, or immortal soul is the same from one nanosecond to the next.
Most beings of its stature are beyond alignment, existing before such forces coalesced after the birth of the multiverse. However, it is said that Limbus is responsible for alignment not as a collection of related philosophical concepts, but as the forces that define the cosmos. Thus, alone among the chioh ha qodesh, its sidereal soul embodies all of them and none at once.
Its evershifting alignment is but one small portion of the near-eternal. Limbus is the ruler of the Far Realm, and in many ways IS that dimension of thought. In this context, a "dimension" is the name for a collection of related planes, i.e. the void (Byss; entropy, nothingness), the prime material (Assiah; space, the bones of the demiurge [personification of the multiverse]), the transitive planes (Yetzirah; time, the muscle and sinews which move the bones), the inner planes (Briah; matter, the flesh that is prone to corruption and pleasures), the outer planes (Atziluth; spirit, the philosophical soul, the fractured heart), and the Far Realm (the original Abyss; thought, the incomprehensible mind of the demiurge). Chaos, like the other chioh ha qodesh and the other primordial/progenitor overgods, lies dormant, its form becoming one of the planes and dimensions upon which the gods and mortals traverse. If they awaken, they can only directly influence the multiverse through a physical manifestation (as a tree that grows above the ground; the rest of it is "below" the surface of the multiverse, and inaccessible to any but equally powerful beings).
Campaign of Contrived Adjectives
- A possible "skeleton" for a mortal-to-epic-to-immortal-to-sidereal campaign, with The Protean as BBEG:
Throughout the breadth of creation, incursions of aberrant beasts and other extracosmic terrors from Outside have gradually but steadily increased for thousands of eons. It started with adventures on every mortal-inhabited world facing a few more chuuls and destrachans than they were used to. But eventually, worlds were flooded with vast hordes of slimy tentacles, like kudzu vines smothering whole cities. Even the Outer Realms began to feel tremors of stampeding hordes of many-mawed nightmares.
However, even this didn't elicit much more than a half-hearted shrug from the few deities who still noticed events beyond their divine auras; the gods had long ago succumbed to godly politics, their petty power plays taking up too much of their time to tend their orchards. The few "weeds" that sprouted on their doorsteps were removed, but the swarms of other monsters were either ignored, or simply not noticed. Much like the same consideration they gave to their worshipers' desperate please for help. This deific negligence would have caused the trees of their orchards, analogous to worlds full of followers, to go rotten and die anyway. But the blight of Outside, coupled with the gods' collective slack, toppled and putrefied entire fields into toxic swamps of rot.
Please Wake Up
But eventually the emergency reached critical mass in the form of an unseen cataclysmic event, or perhaps it was many cataclysms over time -- no one was paying attention -- this last one being the drop of water that broke the dam. Whatever happened, aberrations flooded forth from every corner of the universe; their attacks intensifying a millionfold. This heralded the release of countless primeval abominations, and the return of the mind flayer empire. It was only with the Far Realm triggering apocalypse when it commanded immortal attention.
In response to this overwhelming threat to existence, for the first time in eternity, all the immortals -- along with those beings approaching godhood in power and influence -- joined together as one grand, unified force: deities of law and chaos, gods of good and evil, and those dedicated to not caring or caring only about ideals not related to moral or ethical outlooks, all began marching under the same banner. Even those who shared age-long enmities... even they pooled their resources to declare war on the Far Realm. Those too conspiratorial or opportunistic of the situation, those who enjoyed the devastation, and even those too "wild" to cooperate were simply crushed under the collective heel.
They amassed great armies of disparate beings. Troops of devils, archons, and modrons kept tight formation even as hordes of demons, eladrin, and slaad swarmed around them, all working together to cut down the aberrant menace in their own ways. The petitioners of all the racial gods worked to free the worlds of their mortal forms from giant, stinking jaws. Even dragons of all breeds formed great flights of thousands of wyrms that blocked the light of the sun, the worlds they attacked were scoured of all life.
The gods themselves were the figureheads of these armies, towering hundreds of feet above their followers as they commanded them to press the assault. As many as a dozen deities battled shoulder-to-shoulder against the most powerful horrors; vast, lethal creatures of incomprehensible forms; many-eyed comets spanning miles. Even greater deities were swallowed by beings such as these, but by working together the gods slew many.
God Dies At The End
However successful they were initially, by the time they rallied together it was already too late. The gods were severely weakened by so many of their followers losing faith in the face of their patron's shunning. Even with the Far Realm's monstrosities a near mindless horde compared to the unified front of deific power, there were so many of them that trying to exterminate this plague was murderously futile. As time went on, the cracks in the barriers between the Far Realm and the rest of reality split wider and wider. The flood of aberrations was as unstoppable to the gods and their servants as a hundred-foot tidal wave is to a defiant man stanced with his palm thrust forward.
Eventually the walls between realities completely shattered, allowing the greatest of unimaginable beings to attack en masse. Flights of hundreds of cogents had flayed thousands more worlds and devoured hundreds of godly realms. Not even an army of gods could stand against such heralds of devastation.
As more and more THINGS spilled into reality, the gods and their immortal servitors became weaker and weaker as they channeled vast amounts of quintessence into ceaseless combat. While they could cleanse a few worlds, they could not cure the plague infesting even a single galaxy. Once they became so exhausted that they could barely manifest in the physical world anymore, aberrations everywhere found them delicious. Devils and angels alike were reduced to appetizers, spices, and desserts. The few gods that did not flee to the darkest voids between the stars or the deepest regions of the Abyss or the Astral Plane had their limbs flayed and torn apart before they were slowly eaten alive.
As savage as watching the equivalent of army ants slowly rip to pieces dozens of crippled old men, the worst was yet to come. With no higher powers to watch over them, the few remaining mortal holdouts immediately fell. Those that were not devoured were enslaved, possibly to be devoured. Nothing else standing in its way, the Far Realm made itself at home.
The Good Spelljammer Misery
Now that the the only thing left are intergalactic dominions of aboleths, beholders, grell, illithids, tsochari, and other intelligent aberrations, they have only each other for war. Nothing less than epic-level power has survived this bizarre act of might-makes-right.
For those not currently warring, they stimulate their alien intellects and imaginations through tortuous experimentation on enslaved natural creatures (are they now not the aberrations?). Whole worlds are populated by macrobe praying mantises and other creations of genetic, magical, and psionic craft, the end result of amoral science with neither check nor balance. These freaks in every sense of the word are given free reign to evolve insane ecosystems, preying upon one another over the course of millions of years, watched over by tentacled "zookeepers" with their psionic scrying devices in the form of orbital, nautiloid space observatories for their own personal amusement.*
Another of their amusements is hunting. Some of the hiding gods were still to be discovered, and there were many thousands of deadly but non-aberrant monsters lurking the deepest regions. Like human dragonslayers, they would venture to these to prove themselves. They used their greatest weaponry against monsters of world-shattering power like Atropus and Ragnorra, firing massive beams of energy and magic from fleets of nautiloid vessels channeling their energies through one another like webs of devastation to catch and kill even these deific threats.
All mortal aberrations, from fierce, mindless horrors to the decadent lords of vast swathes of space (who are no less horrific), are guided by the star-entangling tentacles of immortal aberrants, the highest rank of hundreds of ranks of alien influence. They who opened the gates of the Far Realm to allow its slimy, brain-licking mass to wholly subsume the Outer Realms. Even the physical building blocks of the material realm, such as air and fire, are themselves changed and unpredictable -- not even the ground anything walks on doesn't work the way it "should" -- thanks to of the fundamental planes of energy and the elements are mixed in with the maddening morass. In effect, the Far Realm and all the Outer Realms and Elemental Planes are as one.*
The only non-aberrant forces left are small tribes of gods; the players are most likely one of these survivors. With no significant number of mortals left to worship them (any mortal from a zoo planet who discovers the existence of a real deity is immediately exterminated), are forced to consume the quintessence of god-monsters to advance in power.
Finally sensing this upheaval of cosmic balance, all elder gods reawaken. They find their dimension-spanning forms infested by thousands of god-parasites. Sickly from this invasion, it takes millenia of effort just for the overgods to summon enough personal strength to begin to operate on one another to remove the parasitical infection.
Perhaps during these eons of "surgery" the players finally gain enough devoured quintessence to
The greatest of sidereal scholars have rebuilt their cosmic libraries in the few extra-dimensional fortresses
Don't Believe Everything You See
* Instead of epic mortals who failed to stop the original incursion, alternatively the players could have grown up on one of these "zoo planets" (a low-magic campaign banning access to all forms of interplanar travel seems most appropriate here). Maybe the world itself isn't much different than a "normal" mortal campaign, with goblins and kings and dragons and everything in between. Through a careful combination of illusions and psionic manipulation
Little by little, over the course of adventuring for five or ten levels, the clues they've gathered allow them to conclusively prove (at least to themselves) that everything is not as it seems -- very difficult indeed, when their very brains are being tampered with to try and stop them from learning "too much": memories erased, replaced with implanted false thoughts -- basically the plot of every single "the world is an illusion! it's all a vast conspiracy of mind-control aliens/shapeshifting lizardfolk/a malevolent, sentient computer!" movie and video game ever. For the sake of avoiding painful cliches, ban your PCs from wearing sunglasses and black trenchcoats.
This opens up the possibility of an emotion-fuelled climax to the mortal levels of their adventure when they finally realize that the universe wasn't always like this, that the "Other Side" wasn't always a vast, bleak, incomprehensible dimension where great old ones stalk the stars, that the gods and angels everyone thought they believed in so long ago used to be as real as themselves,
Manifestation of Inconsistency
|Chioh ha Qodesh of Transformation|
|Size/Type:||Gargantuan Aberration (Extraplanar, Shapechanger)|
|Hit Dice:||301d100 +79,464 +14,448x8 x16 (1,984,192 hp)|
|Initiative:||+143 (+39 Dex, +48 divine, +48 insight, +8 Sup Init); always first|
|Speed:||1,800' (360 squares), burrow 900' (through any material up to hardness 57), climb 900', fly 5,400' (perfect), swim 3,600'; see artifacts|
|Armor Class:||426 (-4 size, +39 Dex, +78 deflection, +48 divine, +78 force, +48 insight, +129 natural), touch 297, flat-footed - (seventh sense)|
|Attack:||Slam +557/+552/+547/+542 (10d10+164/17-20/x4 plus 2% of targets maximum HP)|
|Full Attack:||20 slams|
|Space/Reach:||40'/2,880' (see Stretching Strike)|
|Special Attacks:||Alter reality, alter shape and soul, augmented critical, aura of alteration (24,880', DC 232), divine aura (12,440', DC 184), destabilize form, enhanced attack, fortress of madness, manydirectional hit, multilayered and multidimensional (DC 334), pounce, psionics, stretching strike|
|Special Qualities:||Cosmic consciousness, firmament +8, string, and traits, damage reduction 4,320/-, force armor, immortality, immune to sonic, immunities, immunity to critical hits and transformation, integrated class levels (150th-lvl fighter), lunatic insight, morality flux, portfolio traits, ultimate shifter, unreal, virtual size category +6|
|Saves:||Fort +512, Ref +512, Will +512|
|Abilities:||Str 139 (+64), Dex 89 (+39), Con 102 (+46), Int 57 (+23), Wis 538 (+264), Cha 166 (+78)|
|Skills:||Omnicompetent - all skills; each 400 plus + key ability modifier|
|Feats:||Improved Initiative, Power Attack|
|Epic Feats:||Automatic Metamagic Capacity (x11), Greater Power Attack, Metamagic Freedom, Power Attack Mastery, Self-Concealment (x5), Sixth Sense, Superior Initiative, Uncanny Power Attack, Underwalker|
|Divine Abilities:||Anyfeat (x11), Eternal Freedom, Nescience, Perfect Aura, Perfect Initiative, Seventh Sense, Shapechange, Superior Power Attack|
|Cosmic Abilities:||Chimerical, Divine Inspiration (x5), Divine Nescience, Eighth Sense, Greater Gravitic Strike, Molymorph, Slipstream|
|Transcendental Abilities:||Cosmic Inspiration|
|Environment:||Above heaven, below hell, and beyond the stars|
|Alignment:||See Morality Flux|
|Advancement:||321-480 (Colossal), 481-640 (Titanic), 641-998 (Macro-Fine)|
The epicenter of the myriad forms, storms, and flashing emotions of the Far Realm is appropriate enough. It seems to absorb everything around it, at the same time as the unfamiliar creatures seem to swim or orbit around unhindered. Every moment the whorls of color and sound around it shift, and the surface of this large... thing seems broken up in places, as if it were having trouble existing in this reality. The parts you can comprehend are as the rest of the Far Realm: everchanging and make the mad look lucid.
But something you never would have imagined in this place, from the giant being grows a bronze dragon's head! Completely solid and normal! It regards you with serenity and says, "You have come and braved my Realm--" It suddenly splits open like a rotten egg and the drooling, malicious countenance of a pit fiend on the end of a naga's body shoots from another part of it, screaming, "FOR THAT YOU MUST--" It loops backwards and is dragged back in like a fish on a pole, creating a hoop resembling a reverse solar flare. In front of each of you appears a miniature ghost in the form of an elf's legs with a mind flayer's head replacing one foot and an aboleth's eyes replacing the other that stare at you intently before vanishing.
The entire entity fluxes and spin in all directions, its flesh a bubbling patchwork waterfall of deep and hideous colors, and the thing transforms into an iron colossus with a head shaped like an upside-down, backwards-facing werewolf (an entire werewolf, not just its head), its entire form still peppered with holes in the multiverse, still wavering and fluctuating like a tapestry caught in a hurricane. Half a second later you hear a human infant sobbing while its breaks apart and gigantic beholder eyestalks and ravids snake out while the entire thing crackles with black lightning and tiny, popping explosions of wine-colored flame before becoming something else entire.
Protean-Above-All can only be seen as it truly is (or the closest to) on the Far Realm. Here planar layers are about an inch to a mile from one another, and resemble stacks of translucent parchment. It is a multilayer creature, and parts of it appear as a single, huge shape marked upon one sheet of parchment. Individually the marks seem meaningless, but when viewed through the stack, they coalesce into a three-dimensional object. Even here, though, parts of it seem "missing" or "out of phase", since its form breaks the mold of the three dimensions of height, width, and depth.
It is even worse for those who see the manifestation of the first one of thought in other planes, which can be compared to a person moving his hand or head through a piece of paper representing a two-dimensional world: only a paper-thin "slice" of the person would be viewable to those occupying this 2D realm. Minds not native to the Far Realm aren't built to handle perceiving the face and voice of the Far Realm in all its sentient, sanity-devouring glory.
Protean-Above-All, when viewed through the multiple layers of the Far Realm in that rare instance that it's in normal form, is almost 60' of boiling pillar of hide and hair of every form (patches of human skin, bulette shell, flowing nymph's hair, rakshasa fur, and copper dragon scales on a single square meter, which will alter in a moment to patches of basilisk hide, owlbear feathers, and vermiurge exoskeleton surrounding a blue avian eye with lids of orc ears), claws and teeth sticking out haphazardly, bursted eyes and a tornado of stone-and-horn segmented pseudopods. Its immensely packed musculature makes it weigh roughly 19 megatons (about 38,400,000,000 lbs).
It can be anything it wants to be, use any ability it wants to use, kill with any weapon it desires. Look under Alter Shape and Soul, Anyfeat, Divine Inspiration, and Cosmic Inspiration to scratch the surface.
Its natural weapons, as well as any weapon it wields, are treated as epic for the purpose of overcoming damage reduction.
If you wish to use the house rule that multiplies a creature's maximum hit points by one-tenth its CR once it reaches CR 11, Protean-Above-All would instead have 75,597,715 maximum hit points.
- Alter Reality (Su): First ones are part of the fabric of reality. Once per round as a free action, The Protean can duplicate any 20th-lvl or lower spell or power. This ability can also duplicate any epic spell or epic power with a DC of 684 or lower.
- Alter Shape and Soul (Ex or Su): With a swift action, The Protean can assume the shape of any combination of creatures (regardless of type or subtype, including incorporeal) with a divine rank (or effective divine rank, e.g. a void dragon's Unknowing ability) up to 96 (twice its own). Whatever its present form, Protean-Above-All retains all its own abilities. Plus, it gains the advantage of up to eight extraordinary abilities from the forms it mimics and up to four supernatural or spell-like powers. It can assume its spellcasting or psionics or a similar ability, but each spell or power counts towards its supernatural ability limit.
- It can also assume parts of the form of an individual with class levels, and assume class features that are extraordinary, supernatural, spell-like, etc (any not labeled are treated as extraordinary aside from spellcasting or a similar list [such as martial maneuvers], which is treated as spell-like [and each individual spell or whatever is treated as one spell-like ability]); each class feature assumed counts towards the limit (it's treated as having 349 levels in that class, if that matters, such as spellcasting). A favorite is the factotum's Cunning Brilliance, Cunning Surge, and Inspiration; another is a cleric's Turn Undead for use with Divine Metamagic (via Anyfeat).
- Any limited use abilities (e.g. turn undead, efreeti wishes) use the same pool of uses/day no matter how many different classes or ex/su/sp abilities it emulates to gain that attack. For spells (from any class regardless of it's arcane or divine), it's treated as a 349th-lvl druid for the purpose of spells+bonus spells/day. For psionic powers (from any class/discipline) it's treated as a 349th-lvl psion for the purpose of daily power points.
- The assumed form can be any size (make sure to take into account rules for reach and size modifiers to AC and melee attacks). If Limbus assumes a partial form that confers an ability already possessed by the creature, only the better of the two abilities is retained. No matter its form, it can never make more than twenty attacks using a full-round action. However, it may substitute a melee attack form for one of its slam attacks, using its own base attack bonus and Strength modifier to damage, but dealing base damage appropriate to the attack type.
- It cannot take a hagunemnon's Alter Shape or this ability, or anything similar.
- Augmented Critical (Ex): All of Inconsistency's natural attacks threaten a critical hit on a roll of 17-20, doing x4 damage on a successful crit.
- Aura of Alteration (Su): Any creature within The Protean's divine aura may be subject to an effect duplicating Polymorph Any Object. Enemies are made weaker or petrified if they fail a Fortitude save (DC 382), allies are made more dangerous, and inanimate objects are made into more allies. It chooses who and what to affect with this every round. This is a transmutation effect, the DC is Cha-based and includes a +48 racial bonus.
- Destabilize Form (Su): If The Protean hits with two or more natural attacks in the same round (including iteratives), it partly destabilizes its foe's physical form, dealing additional damage equal to thrice the base dice and Strength bonus as well as 10d4 points of Con drain. If the victim is drained to 0 Constitution, its dead body is only so much clear fluid that drains away unless somehow preserved by friends of the victim. This attack works on objects, reducing hardness or damage reduction by 20d8 until it is repaired or regenerated.
- Divine Aura (Su): A deity's divine aura is a direct extension of its will, its subconscious desires existing beyond mere physical limitations and reaching out to interact with the reality around it. It may have one of the following abilities active during any given round, which can be changed at the beginning of its turn with no action (it typically has Perfect Heroism up, or Death if it has no allies [if all its other sanity-assaults didn't work, this one wouldn't either]). All save DC's 194 (Cha-based).
- Daze: Enemies within the divine aura must make a Will save or be dazed for 1 round.
- Death: Enemies must Fort save or die; Protean-Above-All can only slay up to 38,400 hp of creatures a round (starting with the creatures with the lowest current hit points; divine rank times one-hundred times cosmic firmament modifier).
- Fear: Enemies Will save or be shaken.
- Insanity: Enemies must Will save or go permanently insane.
- Perfect Heroism: Allies gain +48 morale bonus on armor class, attack rolls, saves, skill checks, are immune to fear, and gain 3,840 temporary hit points (divine rank times ten times cosmic firmament modifier).
- Enhanced Attack (Su): The Protean gains an enhancement bonus to attack and weapon damage rolls with its natural weapons equal to one-third its hit dice. (Already figured in the above statistics.)
- Fortress of Madness (Ex): Anyone targeting Chaos with a thought detection, mind control, or telepathic ability makes direct contact with the extra-cosmic thoughts and emotions of the demiurge and takes 5d8 points of Wisdom drain and then must make a Will save DC 520 or go permanently insane (those immune to Wisdom drain must still save or go insane).
- Furthermore, as the former mind of the demiurge, if Protean-Above-All succeeds at a Will save or is hit with a Will-targeting effect that it is immune to, the attacker automatically takes 10d4 Intelligence, Wisdom, and Charisma drain and takes a -48 morale penalty to Will saves for 1 day (Will DC 520 half drain and penalty). This ignores immunity to ability drain (though it still reduces the drain by half [quartered with a successful Will save]) except against powers with an equal or higher divine rank.
- Other creatures with Thought Mastery ([Dimensional] Mastery and choosing Unreal [Thought]) are immune to either effect, as their own extra-cosmic mind is on equal footing. The save DC's Wis-based.
- Manydirectional Hit (Ex): Whenever Chaos would make a single attack (e.g. standard attack, attack of opportunity) with a weapon (natural or otherwise), it can hit three additional times with that attack with iterative penalties of -5, -10, and -15 respectively. This would still count as a single AoO.
- Multilayered and Multidimensional (Ex): The Protean's physical manifestation occupies more dimensions than the standard three of height, width, and depth. As such, it has a 75% miss chance against any effect that requires an attack roll or that targets Reflex (True Seeing from beings of two lower divine status' or more reducing this to 50%). On the Far Realm more of its dimensions come to the fore, and this ability is reduced to 50% (True Seeing from beings of two lower divine status' or more bringing it down to 25%). This miss chance stacks with any other, including its Self-Concealment epic feats (i.e. roll to see if an attack misses because of this, and if not, roll to see if it misses because of Self-Concealment).
- Any creature not native to the Far Realm who perceives Limbus in any manner (vision, hearing, scent...) outside of the Far Realm goes permanently insane unless they make a Will save at DC 334, in which case they are confused for 2d4 rounds. They continue making saves every round. If they make the save they are immune to this effect for 1 minute. The save DC is Cha-based.
- Pounce (Ex): If Limbus charges, it may follow up with a full attack.
- Psionics (Sp): CL 397 (398 with transmutation spells), DC's 370 plus spell level (Wis-based). At-will-- detect thoughts, dimension door, ethereal jaunt, knock, nondetection, plane shift, suggestion. The following are usable with a swift action and a standard action: at-will-- alter self, enlarge person, fabricate, flesh to stone, gaseous form, polymorph any object, righteous might, shapechange, statue
- Stretching Strike (Ex): Due to the Protean-Above-All's extremely pliant and many-dimensional form, the normal reach for any of its melee attacks is multiplied by its divine rank.
- Any targets Chaos threatens (limited to range of divine aura if using an ability like Enlarge Attack or Widen Attack that increases reach) that makes any sort of movement, including a 5'-step, provokes an AoO. Foes provoke this attack before leaving the area it threatens. Enemies also cannot use the withdraw action to treat the square they start in as no longer threatened by The Protean.
- Cosmic Consciousness (Ex): The senses of a first one extend to the borders the current dimension they inhabit (the outer realms are all one dimension, the transitive planes another, the Far Realm...).
- Cosmic Firmament (Ex): A first one is the embodiment of a dimension (the Protean-Above-All is the embodiment of the Far Realm, the dimension of thought), as such they are treated as if always within their godly realms, regardless of where they manifest. They have a cosmic firmament modifier of eight.
- Cosmic String (Ex): First ones are intricate parts of the multiverse, and as such is not willing to give them up easily. The Protean can only be permanently destroyed by a being of equal or better divine status (another first one or greater). If a first one's manifestation is destroyed by a being of a lower divine status (old ones or lesser) it simply rejuvenates within 1d10 seconds.
- Cosmic Traits (Ex): Inconsistency is effectively a first one and thus adds a +48 divine 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, spells); initiative; saving throws and spell resistance. Deities are unaffected by antimagic, and gain a deflection bonus to AC equal to their Cha mod.
- Damage Reduction (Ex): Equal to total hit dice (rounded down to nearest multiple of five) plus divine-rank-times-five (240), multiply total by cosmic firmament modifier (eight). It cannot be penetrated, even by weapon materials or abilities that say they can reduce or penetrate any damage reduction, hardness, or the like -- unless they are sidereal artifacts, beings of cosmic god power (basically anything that uses d100s for HD), etc. or higher, then such abilities work as advertised.
- Force Armor (Su): The Protean is encased in a thick yet intangible field, and thus gains a force bonus to armor class equal to its Cha mod.
- Immortality (Ex): A first one does not age, requires no air to breathe, no food or drink to sustain itself, nor sleep.
- Immunities (Ex): A first one is unaffected by any magical or natural effects such as: ability damage, disease, natural elements (cold, drowning, fire, lava, lightning etc.), poison and so forth. They can still be affected by artifacts (epic magic items) and epic spells (but see Unreal). Deities ignore antimagic effects.
- Immunity to Transformation (Ex): No ability, mortal or otherwise, can permanently affect or fix Inconsistency's form (unless used by a being with two or more divine status' higher than its own [demiurge stage II's and above]). Effects such as polymorphing or petrification force the creature into a new shape, but at the start of its next turn it automatically returns to its normal form. Furthermore, it gains a +48 racial bonus against any transmutation effect, including as an AC bonus against artifacts with a transmutation aura and spell resistance versus transmutation spells.
- Integrated Class Features (Var.): Chaos has all the class features of a 150th-lvl fighter (76 bonus feats [already accounted for]).
- Lunatic Insight (Ex): Anything that uses Int (check's, DC's, skills, prerequisites, etc) is instead used by Wis instead if it is higher. Uses Wis mod in place of others for all saving throws if higher. Uses Wis mod in place of Con mod for bonus hit points if higher. Insight bonus equal to its normal divine 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, spells); initiative; saving throws and spell resistance. Always under the effect of a Mind Blank effect (CL 397) and True Seeing (CL 397) out to the dimension it inhabits (see Cosmic Consciousness), though it can raise or lower either of these effects with a free action.
- Morality Flux (Ex): The ultimate shapeshifter's body is never the same from one nanosecond to the next, and neither is its mind nor soul. At the beginning of every turn, roll a d12-3 and change its alignment accordingly (if it rolls the same alignment as its own, it stays the same):
|<=0||Stays the same|
- It temporarily gains the appropriate alignment subtype(s), and its natural weapons and whatever weapons it wields are treated as those alignments for overcoming damage reduction. It is also susceptible to alignment-based spells and attacks, depending on which one it is at this moment, and radiates an aura as an outsider of its hit dice and divine rank with that alignment.
- It acts and reacts in accordance to the rolled alignment that turn. While it never ends a fight, always trying to win an engagement, how it fights that turn is influenced by its current alignment. For example, if it's chaotic evil in one round, it is completely sadistic and ultraviolent, trying to kill and torment all in sight. If its lawful good, it suddenly acts predictable and fights with more emphasis on defense, though it still attempts to slay the enemy with honor and courage.
- Portfolio (Double Transformation) Traits (Ex or Su): First ones with the double-transformation portfolio have the following traits.
- Hostile Environment (Stasis) (Ex): -96 competence penalty on all die rolls while within a plane or area with the Static or Timeless trait.
- Transmutation Reflection (Su): Enemies using any transmutation effect on Limbus has it automatically reflected back onto them.
- Sire of Change (Ex): +96 competence bonus on attack rolls, weapon damage rolls and armor class while within a plane or area with the Highly Morphic trait.
- Perfect Summoning (Shapechangers) (Su): Summoned creatures with the Shapechanger subtype have 200% more HD.
- Embodiment of Alteration (Ex): Ignore immunities to your transmutation or polymorph effects.
- Greater Gravitic Strike (Su): Any successful melee attack with natural or manufactured weapons also obliterates 2% of the targets maximum hit points.
- Diversity Heals (Ex): Gain fast healing 138,240 while in another form.
- Lord of Shapechangers (Su): Dominate any shapechangers and creatures with the alternate form or change shape ability in your divine aura and godly realm. The Will DC is 194. This uses no action on part of the immortal. Functions like Dominate Person with the following exceptions: changing instructions or giving a new command is a free action, you always receive full sensory input, this ignores Protection from Evil or similar effects, and this is neither a mind-affecting effect nor an enchantment or compulsion effect (it works by the elder god's intimate connection between its double portfolio and the multiverse).
- Cosmic Imperfection (Stasis) (Ex): Two sidereal artifacts in the multiverse can defeat its cosmic string ability:
- Purest Silver, Scourge of Shifters: +90 orichalcum dagger of opening and shredding. Base damage 8d6+90/15-20/x6; deals an extra 30d100 bane damage (1/3 enhancement bonus) to shapechangers that is multiplied by crits, even against creatures immune to crits. Any sneak attack or similar ability is also multiplied by crits (but only to those vulnerable). Treated as epic, orichalcum, and silver for the purpose of overcoming damage reduction. As a weapon made of pure orichalcum (extremely dense collapsed star metal), it ignores up to 100 points of damage reduction and hardness, its base damage dice is increased by 7 virtual size categories, and creatures require 115 Str to wield (weighs over five-hundred tons).
- Zurvan's Law: +42 composite greatbow (base damage 1d10+42/x3; exotic weapon). The composite portion automatically fits its wielder's Str bonus. Range increment equal to range of deity's normal divine aura (i.e. before any multipliers such as the Enlarge Aura divine ability), or 500' (whichever is further). It is made of the bones of a time dragon, and is purest white and blazes with violet-hued light whenever an arrow is nocked, and again when it is released. Has an unlimited quiver (but can use other ammunition) of +42 arrows (that are jet black which twinkle as if looking into a crack into the night sky) that bend time to reach the target near-instantly. Anyone struck and injured by one of these arrows must make a Fort save DC 60 (18 + enhancement bonus) or be under the effect of Temporal Stasis (as the spell) for 2d4 rounds; the arrows exist in their own time stream and can be used to attack anyone under such an effect. The wielder is always treated as hasted and with the cosmic ability Time Dilation (must use at least one of the standard actions or full attacks to attack with Zurvan's Law).
- Molymorph (Su): Has Molymorph as a bonus cosmic ability: Chaos is immune to all the extraordinary abilities, including attacks with natural weaponry, of any form it assumes. Does not make it immune to manufactured weapons, spells, supernatural abiltiies or elsewise.
- Cosmic Inspiration (Ex): Has Cosmic Inspiration as a bonus transcendental ability: has one interchangeable cosmic ability.
- Ultimate Shifter: All of Chaos' abilities (extraordinary, supernatural, spell-like, natural or otherwise) are available to it when it changes shape (with an Alter Self spell, the divine ability Polymorph, etc). This is a natural ability.
- Unreal (Ex): Protean-Above-All cannot be affected by magic or psionics (or similar) from its multiverse (with the exception of one epic psionic power: Heavy Mithral, which is similar to a much enhanced Rain of Fire but only harms shapechangers with bane damage). It is, however, vulnerable to spells or psionics from another multiverse. It may use such on itself.
- Base Attack Bonus: Limbus has a BAB equal to its hit dice, unlike most aberrations.
- Cosmic Abilities: Protean-Above-All has the following cosmic abilities.
- Chimerical: Can combine the powers and abilities of two forms to create a new form. Total hit dice, bonuses (not scores) and special abilities/qualities.
- Divine Inspiration (x5) Gain a single divine ability, however once per round as a free action it can change this divine ability to any other. Thanks to Divine Nescience, it needn't meet that divine ability's prerequisites. Common choice divine abilities:
- Adjuration (standard action, each day can summon total of 602 HD worth of creatures, no single creature can have CR higher than 198, each summoned creature remains for 48 minutes), Enlarge Aura (double size of divine aura and thus also Aura of Alteration), Energy Absorption (pick an energy type, that type of energy heals one point of damage for every point it would have damaged), Gravitas (each round you use the same attack on an opponent, the DC increases by 2, to a maximum of +78), Heavenly Soul (+78 luck bonus to saving throws), Learned Spell Immunity (can only be affected by a given being's specific spell once), Moderate Eradication (50% chance to ignore immunity to critical hits), Perfect Bane Strike (uses 4 divine ability slots; +75d12 bane damage versus one creature type with each melee attack, chooses the type it is currently attacking), Perfect Trip (each attack is also a trip attempt), Shadow Self (gain a single shadow duplicate, treat as single mirror image except defeats true seeing except against beings with a higher divine rank, if attacked and destroyed it returns in the next turn), Telluric Effect (any [Effect] abilities such as Gravitic Strike or Bane Strike double its effect each round you use the same ability on the same opponent), Uncanny Whirlwind Attack (make a full attack against every single target it threatens)
- Divine Nescience: Ignore all divine ability prerequisites.
- Eighth Sense: As Seventh Sense (see below), except Protean-Above-All's senses extend one minute into the future (10 rounds).
- Greater Gravitic Strike:' Each melee hit obliterates 2% of target's maximum hit points.
- Molymorph: See above.
- Slipstream: Exists within its own time stream: cannot be undermined by time travel (an enemy cannot go back to the past and kill it when it was weaker, for example), and if an enemy uses time stop, it also gains the same rounds of apparent time at the same time.
- Divine Abilities: Equivalent to a salient divine ability (Deities & Demigods), roughly equal in power to six feats.
- Anyfeat (x12): Have a single feat, however once per round as a free action can change this feat to any other (including epic feats). Cannot change the anyfeat while it has a previous use of the anyfeat in effect. Thanks to Nescience, Protean-Above-All need not meet the feat's prerequisites. Commonly used feats:
- Danger Sense (for Initiative, roll twice and take better result. 1/day), keeps until used, then switched out at earliest opportunity; Greater Critical & Greater Critical Multiplier with its current natural weapon, threat range tripled and crit multiplier increased (9-20/x10); a metamagic feat or two for use with Alter Reality and its SLAs, Combat Panache (to Intimidate enemy), successful Intimidate check gives enemy -78 penalty on attack rolls; Greater Power Attack, for every -2 BAB, do +3 bonus damage (if the artifact giving Ult Pwr Atk is destroyed or negated), Quick Reconnoiter, 1 spot & 1 listen check each round as free action; Rolibar's Gambit, gain AoE after enemy hits you; Leap Attack with Combat Brute (momentum swing) to do the following: if it jumps with a charge, it multiplies power attack output by 2, and if it attacks the same way again in the following round, the power attack output is multiplied by 3; etc
- Eternal Freedom: Always has freedom of movement and the epic spell Eternal Freedom active.
- Nescience: Ignore all feat prerequisites (including epic feats).
- Perfect Aura: Adds Death, Insanity, and Perfect Heroism to divine aura options.
- Perfect Initiative: Always goes first on the initiative count. Two immortals with this or similar abilities roll against each other.
- Seventh Sense: Its senses extend one round into the future (but see Eighth Sense); cannot be surprised or caught flat-footed, and can replay 48 rounds a day. When Protean-Above-All replays a round, everyone else uses the same actions, whereas it can change its actions based on the knowledge of what they are going to do. It can only replay a given round once before the time stream becomes too muddied and confused. Slipstream is no defense against this ability.
- Shapechange: Can shapechange to a different form as a free action. Any new form cannot have more than 602 hit dice. It gains all the extraordinary and supernatural abilities of the assumed form, and would lose all its own supernatural abilities (aside any from its divinity template, including divine abilities) were it not for Ultimate Shifter.
- Feats: Explained here if not in the SRD.
- Automatic Metamagic Capacity [Epic]: However many times this feat is taken, gain that many free metamagic slots which may be applied on the fly to any spell or spell-like ability being cast, even if it's already modified by metamagic.
- Metamagic Freedom [Epic]: Can stack any metamagic with itself, just like you could in 3.0. This lets you, for example, empower a spell 9 times and do +450% (times five) a spell's damage.
- Sixth Sense [Epic]: Superseded by Seventh Sense, below.
- Uncanny Power Attack [Epic]: Automatically power attack for damage exceeding attack roll. Still cannot power attack more than your BAB. E.g., Protean-Above-All smacks somebody with an AC of 280, and its attack roll is 570 (rolled a 13); it hit deals an additional 2320 points in bonus power attack damage ([570 - 280] x 8 [Ult PwrAtk; see artifacts]).
- Underwalker [Epic]: Gain a burrow speed equal to half your land speed. Up to Str 25 you can burrow through soft earth, but every 2 points above this you can burrow through material of 1 more point of hardness; e.g. to burrow through solid granite (hardness 8) needs a Str score of 41. Calculated as such: maximum hardness = (Str - 25) / 2
- Saving Throws: All of Inconsistency's saving throws use the good progression.
- Skills: +8 to Climb and Swim, can take 10 with either even when rushed or threatened.
- Transcendental Abilities: Limbus has the following transcendental abilities:
- Cosmic Inspiration (x2): Gain a single cosmic ability that can be switched for another with a free action once a round (like Anyfeat and Divine Inspiration). It must meet that cosmic ability's prerequisites. Common choices:
- Abrogate (any single opponent within divine aura has its greatest ability negated, this can be an ability score or one of its other abilities such as a divine or cosmic ability, a negated ability score is reduced to 10), Cursed Soul (opponents in divine aura suffer -78 luck penalty on saving throws), Daunting Soul (prereq: Heavenly Soul; opponents in divine aura suffer -78 morale penalty on saving throws), Hyperostosis (natural armor bonus becomes +602), Learned Ability Immunity (prereq: Learned Spell Immunity; can only be affected by the same ability from the same opponent once), Metamorph (double all the powers of the assumed form as if you were stacking two creatures to create a new creature), Nebulous (75% chance of being unaffected by any attack that requires an attack roll, true seeing bringing this down to 50%; stacks with Multilayer and Multidimensional), Psychometry (perfectly gauge its opponents powers; effectively gaining access to its stats/char sheet), Pugnacious (damage reduction is doubled; does not increase its fast healing), Quixotic (can reroll any dice roll; can only reroll a given dice roll once), Thelemic Damage Induction (only affected by every other attack; the first one automatically fails, the third one automatically fails, etc), Time Dilation (take twice as many actions during the round than usual)
- Sophism: Chaos' mind is stronger than reality, and can ignore an attack by simply not believing it. With a Will save versus a DC equal to target's character level, it can negate any attack or effect (be it physical, magical, or otherwise).
- Superluminal: The Protean moves faster than light, and has a speed of 5,621,108,590 (1,124,221,718 squares) through all mediums.
- Ultimate Power Attack: For every point of BAB sacrificed for more Power Attack damage, Protean-Above-All deals +8 damage (or +16 with a two-handed weapon).
- Virtual Size Category: Due to its normal Strength score being so high above the norm for creatures of its size (thus making it weigh much more than its size indicates), Protean-Above-All is treated as Macro-Small (five size categories above Colossal) for the purpose of size modifiers to Dex, Con, bonus to natural armor, and the base damage it deals with natural weapons and unarmed strikes.
Orbiting Chaos are these four sidereal artifacts: Foray of the Multiverse, Formation of the Multiverse, Foundation of the Multiverse, and Function of the Multiverse.
The Foray of the Multiverse, one of the four artifacts collectively known as the the First Ioun Stones, the Proofs of Fate Defied, and the Trophies of the Demiurge, is a 15-foot clenched hand of unknown material. While it always looks like a fist, its color and surface texture are as mutable as its master. Its appearance is typically in line to the Protean-Above-All's current alignment and actions. For example, when lawful good and not in combat, it may appear as a cut diamond, it's surface glass-smooth, with beautiful sparkling rainbows that gently dance on and within its form, to when it becomes chaotic evil and the fist suddenly takes on the appearance of a horrible union of dire crocodile, atata offspring of balor and pit fiend, and the nightmares of an illithid elder brain: dark bruise-purple scales, glowing blood-red spikes jutting haphazardly all over, sickening ichor clinging to these spikes, and oily black smoke that belches from its surface.
No matter its form, it is always unmistakably an upright-aimed fist, a gesture of challenge and defiance. The fist's look doesn't always indicate Limbus' alignment and mood, nor does it always shift in sync with the overdeity. Mostly this means some of the time its form lags behind, remaining lawful when the Protean has long since been chaotic, but rarely it becomes what could possibly be the next immediate alignment shift. However, this rare occurrence is almost always random, too; anyone trying to divine how The Protean will act in a round by watching what its artifacts look like is in for a surprise.
The fist, along with the other three floating artifacts, either slowly or swiftly orbits The Protean, from the edge of it's divine aura to about half-way in between the edge of the aura and The Protean itself, at about its head-height, though even this doesn't always prove the case. However, the Fist is always exactly the same difference from the other two artifacts in relationship to their orbit around The Protean; this may be the only thing consistent about Inconsistency.
The Foray's powers are those of raw physicality, of brute strength and ceaseless stoicism. It is as the multiverse on the warpath to self-improvement and the dominance of its lessers. While with the Protean-Above-All, it has the Ultimate Power Attack transcendental ability.
The Formation of the Multiverse is not solid, but ephemeral. As with the Foray, it morphs with The Protean -- and sometimes without. If it is neutral good, it appears to be a translucent sphere (about the size of the Foray), dyed with soft pinks and blues, with yellow sparkles falling from the top. But if Protean-Above-All turns neutral, its colors are that of grey and brown, of stone and earth, with disembodied streams of water circling it. It isn't always a sphere, sometimes when lawful evil it appears to be a swirling red mass with a vague face stricken with horror and grief, which moves faster and wavering as Chaos shifts towards chaotic evil.
As its name implies, the Formation represents the inchoate mass of creation that followed the birth of existence. Its powers are that of the beginning, of change. While in its possession, The Protean has a second Cosmic Inspiration transcendental ability.
The Foundation of the Multiverse is similar to the Foray, only instead of a fist, it appears as an endlessly stepping foot. While it is lawful evil, the foot may look similar to that of a gargantuan pit fiend: scaled with sulfer-steaming clawed toes, perfectly manicured and perfectly vile. A chaotic good foot may appear as an avoral guardinal's, with swirls and flashes of white on a plumage background.
The Foundation represents the motion of all that keeps everything moving forward. Protean-Above-All has the Superluminal transcendental ability so long as it has this sidereal artifact.
The Function of the Multiverse resembles a disembodied humanoid head, with only the barest facial features: no eyes, only slight protrusions where the nose, lips, and cheek bones would be. It is always looking slightly above whoever sees it -- sometimes a bit to the left or right, completing the smug gesture -- even if many look at it at once. It always seems the same drab grey as a doppelganger, though in accordance with The Protean's current alignment and actions, its facial expression changes only slightly. But to the mind of the onlooker, they feel the most intense of emotions from it, hate radiating like a salamander's forge, or a blissful peace as if your soul had just been released from physicality and was on its way to Elysium, or wild and carefree, or offendedly bored.
The Function is a metaphor for what keeps the cosmos... functional. It is also the logic and the super-ego which makes sure mindlessness never mediates. While orbiting the ultimate in mentalism that is Limbus, it gains the Sophism transcendental ability.
- High Level: An elder brain, in its last moments, floods the players' minds with visions of the multiverse being conquered by the aberrations.
- Low Epic: Asmodeus cuts a deal with the burgeoning mind flayer empire as Demogorgon allies with the aboleths.
- Mid Epic: All deities suddenly gain the double-madness portfolio, even if their regular portfolios are normally opposed.
- High Epic: An elder one of the Far Realm escapes and burrows upwards from the bottom of the Abyss, devouring every planar layer it rips through. Every layer about a dozen above the insane daitya's current conquest gain the wild magic, highly morphic, and strongly chaotic aligned traits, becoming nearly indistinguishable from an evil-flavored Limbo. Many demi- and lesser power obyriths, recently freed from their eons of imprisonment, harry the monster, trying to harness its might for themselves before it destroys the outer realm they wish to possess yet again.
- Low Cosmic: All the cherubim have been brought to heel by twenty-four 200-HD cogents casting magic jar. Now they have become a pride of 170'-long lions, which has been targeting non-aberrant cosmic powers for extermination.
- Mid Cosmic: The old ones awaken at the very same moment, perhaps at the instant the players themselves become secundadeians. They quickly set about to rousing the first ones so that they may finally make headway towards clearing the aberrant plague. But first, they and the players must deal with a flight of pseudonatural stellar wyrms, driven feral and ravenous by the influence of Algol the Demon Star.
- High Cosmic: The swelling power of the mind of the demiurge finally awakens Limbus, and it breaks free of its cell. Chaos immediately uses all its influence to keep the other first ones locked away. If nothing changes, Inconsistency will forever be in stalemate with all the other first ones, fighting back with their dreams. However, the mere consciousness of its manifestation, coupled with how grossly empowered it has become, may inadvertently bring the demiurge itself to awareness. Alternatively, if enough overgods enter its maddening realm and are defeated -- thus bathing the Protean-Above-All in even more raw quintessence from their sidereal corpses -- it may grow mighty enough to steal the mantle of the demiurge, freeing Thought to devour the rest of the first ones and then the multiverse itself.