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When beginning work on the primal metal elemental, this user discovered something: the primal elementals suck. Really, they do. They're big fat bags of hit points who would probably make a single player -- whose level is one-third the primal elemental's challenge rating -- groan as they poke the doofus with a sharp stick a dozen times before they finally keel over. Their fully advanced monolith equivalent would probably whup them, just to add insult to injury. But they're from the Epic Joke Handbook, so that's to be expected.
What else? Up their ante!
Hopefully with these alterations, primal elementals will be bad enough dudes who have actually earned a CR high enough to single-handedly threaten a quartet of demon-lord-stomping epic mortals or fledgeling gods.
Primal Elemental Traits (Var.)
All unadvanced primal elementals homebrewed by this schmoe will use the following traits and stats. These are in addition to the normal attacks, qualities, and such of the right "breed" of primal elemental, such as an air elemental's air mastery (which is equal to double its elemental mastery bonus, below).
- Size: Titanic, 256' tall.
- Hit Dice: 64. Use d20's for hit dice, with maximum hit points per hit die. While in their elemental or para/quasi-elemental plane of origin, primal elementals have double maximum hit points. Their hit dice become d100's at elemental mastery bonus (see below) +24 (effectively an elder one), and d1000's at EMB +64 (effectively a demiurge stage I).
- Speed: All have unearthly speed that is unfettered by gravity, though some more unfettered than others (notably fire and air elementals). The speed is specific to the elemental in question (e.g. water and earth = space * 4, metal = space * 6, fire and air = space * 8 [x3 result for air's flight]).
- Armor Class: Natural armor is between about three-quarters their racial hit dice (RHD) to their RHD plus a quarter, depending on the primal elemental in question (with earth and water elementals having it higher); is further increased by their size bonus to natural armor (+20 for titanic size, +27 for macro-fine, etc). They also gain a deflection bonus to AC equal to one-quarter their hit dice (+16). They gain a further bonus against creatures, objects, and effects of their opposed element (see below).
- Attack: Two slam attacks. Gain bonuses from Enhanced Fists, True Strike, and Superior Natural Attack (see below). They gain a further bonus against creatures, objects, and effects of their opposed element (see below).
- Damage: +1 normal slam damage for titanic creatures. Most primal elementals use Improved Natural Attack, Greater Natural Attack, and Superior Natural Attack, increasing damage by an additional 4 levels. Crushing Fists (see below) let them use 1.5* their Strength modifier in bonus damage, and their slams are treated as two-handed weapons for the purpose of Power Attack. As they gain Perfect Weapon Specialization (Slam) as a bonus divine ability (see below), the weapon damage dice are maximized. They gain a further bonus against creatures, objects, and effects of their opposed element (see below).
- Space/Reach: The average, unadvanced primal elemental is 256' tall, giving them a space of 175' and a reach of 255'. Their space and reach increase with their height -- space = 2/3 height, rounded UP to nearest multiple of 5, and reach equals height, rounded DOWN to nearest multiple of 5.
- Special Attacks: Primal elementals gain the following special attacks, on top of the special attacks of their specific element (e.g. a primal air elemental's whirlwind).
- Augmented Critical (Ex): The slams of a primal elemental threatens a critical hit on a roll of 18-20, doing triple damage on a successful critical hit. Against creatures, objects, and effects of their opposed element (see below), it's 15-20/x5 (before any feats like Improved Critical, which most primal elementals do not bother with).
- Crushing Fists (Ex): The slams of a primal elemental use one-and-a-half times their Strength modifier in bonus damage. Furthermore, for the purpose of Power Attack, their slams are treated as two-handed weapons.
- Divine Damage (Su): Any energy damage related to that primal elemental (e.g. electricity for primal lightning elementals) is half divine damage and thus ignores resistances and immunities. Becomes 100% divine damage at EMB +24.
- Enhanced Fists (Su): The slams of a primal elemental are magically enhanced, gaining an enhancement bonus (equal to 1/4 their hit dice) to attack and damage rolls.
- Pounce (Ex): If a primal elemental charges, it can follow up with a full attack.
- [Subtype/Descriptor] Bane (Su): Primal elementals gain a +12 (twice elem. mastery bonus) bonus to: Bluff, Intimidate, Listen, Sense Motive, Spot, and Survival checks, twice this (+24) to attack rolls, thrice this (+36) to weapon damage rolls, and all of their critical threat ranges (even with wielded weapons) are doubled and their critical multipliers are increased by one step (base 15-20/x5 for their slams; stacks with other crit enhancers like Imp. Crit.) against creatures with a subtype opposed to theirs or themself (e.g. water vs fire, metal vs lightning/electricity), and/or are native to the elemental plane opposed to their home plane (e.g. a primal air elemental facing any native of the elemental plane of earth), and/or against even effects (e.g. if a primal fire elemental somehow learned how to dispel magic, it would gain this bonus to dispelling any cold effect) and/or objects (e.g. an earth elemental would gain this bonus on sundering a magic weapon made with a spell with the water descriptor). They also gain the same bonus against the same creatures, effects, and attacks with magic weapons crafted with spells of the same descriptor to AC and/or saving throws, if any. While on the opposed plane, their bonus is halved, but while on their native plane, their bonus is increased to half-again (+50%, *1.5).
- Special Qualities: Primal elementals gain the following special qualities, on top of the special qualities of their specific element.
- Damage Reduction (Ex): Primal elementals have impenetrable damage reduction equal to roughly half their hit dice (though some have it higher, notably those of earth and water). They also have divine damage reduction about one-and-a-half times their impenetrable damage reduction.
- Darkvision (Ex): 6,400'.
- Elemental Mastery Bonus (Ex): Primal elementals are effectively demigods of an elemental nature, and as such add a +6 elemental mastery 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); hit points per hit die; initiative; saving throws; spell resistance; and weapon damage rolls. As a demigod, they are unaffected by all antimagic effects. It increases by 1 at HD 80 and every 20 hit dice after that. If a primal elemental ever gains a divine bonus (e.g. from gaining a divinity template), this bonus and that one overlaps (does not stack).
- Elemental Traits (Ex): Immunity to poison, sleep effects, paralysis, and stunning. Not subject to critical hits or flanking.
- [Energy] Absorption (Su): Most primal elementals don't take damage from an energy type or something else related to its element (specific to the primal elemental). Instead, they are healed 1 point per 2 points of damage it would normally do (or 1:1 if it's one of the common energy types: acid, cold, electricity, fire, and sonic), even if they would be normally immune or resistant to that attack. It cannot heal itself or other elementals of its kind in this manner (e.g. a primal fire elemental attacking a fire monolith). If this ability is somehow negated, they still take no damage from that attack (immune as an extraordinary ability). May be given a different name.
- Fast Healing (Ex): Primal elementals have fast healing 100, but only on their elemental or para/quasi-elemental plane of origin. Outside this plane, their fast healing is only 20. May be arbitrarily increased for really powerful primal elementals so this doesn't become a non-ability.
- Immunities (Ex): Primal elementals are immune to the following effects and conditions: blinded, charm, compulsion, confused, dazed, deafened, death, disease, exhausted, fatigued, fear, nauseated, petrification, polymorph (though it can use such on itself), sickened, slowed, staggered. They are not subject to death from massive damage or nonlethal damage. Primal elementals are also unaffected by 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 magical cold, magical fire, etc.
- Rejuvenation (Ex): When a primal elemental is slain outside its home plane, it returns to a semi-random (in its lair, if it has any, otherwise someplace extremely remote) location on its home plane and rejuvenates in 64 weeks (1 per hit die).
- Resistances (Ex): Primal elementals resist up to 12 points (twice their elemental mastery bonus) of ability damage, ability drain, ability score penalties, ability burn, and energy drain/negative levels, regardless of source.
- Restoration (Ex): Primal elementals restore up to 6 points (equal to their elemental mastery bonus) of ability damage, ability drain, ability score penalties, ability burn, and energy drain/negative levels every round, even if they were brought to zero (except for Con or negative levels equaling their Con score or HD, which kills them as normal).
- Feats and Divine Abilities: As many divine abilities as their elemental mastery bonus, plus the following bonus divine abilities: Bludgeoning/Piercing/Slashing Debasement (whichever one best fits the elemental in question), Perfect Weapon Specialization (Slam), Self-Hynosis, True Seeing, True Strike (Slam), and one or more fitting the theme of the elemental in question, but wouldn't normally be able to meet its prerequisites (e.g. Razor Tongue for primal metal elementals). At elemental mastery bonus +24, they gain Unearthly Weapon Specialization (Slam). At elemental mastery bonus +64, they gain Ultimate Weapon Specialization (Slam). Most primal elementals choose Improved Natural Attack, Greater Natural Attack, and Superior Natural Attack for their slams, as well as several feats and divine abilities to improve their fighting prowess like the Power Attack line, tactical feats (e.g. Shock Trooper), Sixth and Seventh Sense, Improved & Perfect Trip, Sunder, or Disarm (whichever best fits), and the like. As all primal elementals have Pounce, advanced or unique ones often pick feats and divine abilities that improve their prowess with charging like Legendary and Mythic Runner, the Leap Attack line, Combat Brute, Abnormality (Extra Arms), and such.
- Challenge Rating: Half HD and half elemental mastery bonus. May be arbitrarily raised or reduced for certain primal elementals with additional abilities, or end up not living up to their proposed CR.
- Advancement: All primal elementals start at 64 hit dice. They become macro-fine in size at 80 hit dice (288' tall), macro-diminutive at 160 hit dice (576' tall), and macro-tiny at 320 hit dice (1152' tall). Height is 2' per hit die from 65 to 80 hit dice, then 3.6' per hit die above 80.