Your Favorite Powerful Monster and Why?


Pathfinder First Edition General Discussion

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Aboleth... no question about it.

Ancient Undersea aberrations that inherit the memories of their parents (going all the way back) AND anybody they eat. They know all... they see all... they are hideous and terrifying. They can turn you to jelly. They kill or enslave anything on a whim.

I first developed my love of the Aboleth without even knowing it was a D&D monster. Long long ago there was a game called "Star Control 2" for the PC... the ultimate bad guys were called the Ur-Quan, and if you listen carefully, and look at them carefully, you can really see the resemblance. In the game their dialogue and backstory was amazing... I found out a bit later that it was merely re-skinned for sci-fi from one of the earlier D&D monster manuals. It's popped up in a bunch of publications since, but the story was never longer or more complete than back in the day when the illustrations were tiny and sparing.

Here's a link to some dialogue from the Ur-Quan:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pjJOu-VyDY8
which pretty much spells out how I thought of Aboleths. In my entire history of TTRPGs, I always hoped one of my characters might meet one. Sadly, I GMed more than anything and while I introduced them as villains myself once or twice, I never got to meet one myself.


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Humans and humanoids with class levels. Preferably ones that come with a social order.

Ever see the faces of a group of player characters who have just discovered that the orc warband they defeated last week has sent the whole tribe against them?


Richard Leonhart wrote:

if noone is saying it, then me, modified shield adamantine golem.

Unkillable under normal circumstances. No need to carefully roll out loot, he's made of treasure.
Shows the all powerful wizards and any other spellcaster who is boss.

Modifications are normally homemade, but even the vanilla one scares the hell out of everyone. You can just run, but altough he is slower, you have to sleep.

Wow, adamantine vorpal sword - so specific.

The only tactic that comes to my mind is reverse gravity + gate and send him to the abyss or soemthing.


My most memorable NPCs have been humanoid spellcasters.

Of the monstrous NPCs I am also a fan of dragons for lots of reasons. Of course my dragons tend also to have class levels in sorcerer or some other spellcasting class.

I also "roll my own" monsters so many of my villains are unique creatures made up out of the blue.

It's always good to go up against a Demon Lord or an arch-lich though...

Grand Lodge

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Tzitzimitl


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I'm also a big fan of the Wendigo. love the myths involved, and they're a great background evil that eventually jumps out and gets you to eat the rest of the party, before you go off to do that to someone else.
they're disturbing, scary, and a clash between taboo and primal needs. Makes them a great monster in my book.

also the Atropal, something about dead god foetuses (wow that's a weird looking word) just make a good dark and stormy night story.

Shadow Lodge

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Foeti! It's easier(and probably inaccurate).

I have no particular favorite, since my roleplaying history is so short(4 years only), but there's something about Nick Logue's ogres(with class levels since this is abot powerful monsters) that just makes you fall in love with them. Add some barbarian levels for extra crazy. The various rage powers that usually seem less than optimal such as raging climber and swimmer just add terrifying and unexpected abilities to an already impressive combat monster.

A warband of ogre berserkers scaling sheer walls and descending on your sorry party of normies in an orgiastic frenzy of blood and gore just makes all my sloshy and gooey parts warm.

High level ghoul necromancers or antipaladins of Kabiri sound pretty damn cool as well. But isn't all this talk about class levels and common monsters veering on cheating to be honest? How about some naturally high CR monsties?

-Neothelid. Now this is a scary sight. Great offense and defense with a nasty tracking ability built to circumvent one of the most gm-irking combat tactics: the teleport retreat. If you happen to piss off this massive foe, be prepared to come up with a crazy escape plan if all goes foul. And foul it will go, since this guy has a nasty ability for every character type from the melee monster to the elusive conjurer. Extra cool with some seugathi in tow.

-Gelugon, Ice Devil. Yeah, they seem like only half-decent melee opponents considering their CR, but it's not the physical prowess, but the special abilities that make the monster formidable. Essentiallyy, it's a foe that's made to toy with the opposition. Wall of ices and teleports at will, huge Intelligence score and immunity to all earth-bound elements except lightning make this guy a pain in the backside to take down. Sure, if it's just a throwaway opponent in a dungeon hallway quite a bit of the oomph is lost, but play them according to their stats and flavor and you'll have an insectoid mastermind villain leading the PCs through a gauntlet of ice and fire.

-Puragaus, Immolation Devil. Sorry about introducing another devil, but just look at this dude, would you? He's freaking metal. It's as if somebody took a monster from Quake and had it have it's way with fiery asura. Yes, he's a combat monster, though and through, but what a foe! I can just imagine the devil roaring with laughter once your party tank gets a hit in when he drops the persistent image of the burning choir around his angelbone throne to reveal a troop of devils all the while taking flight in preparation of a throng of fire slas.

-


twells wrote:
Conundrum wrote:
Apparently if one digs deeply into middle earth lore and possibly non canon MERP content, we find that Smaug was merely the most powerful wyrm alive during his time. It seems long before him there was an even more powerful dragon named Ancalagon the black and he was so powerful he was stated in his MERP description as making Smaug loook like a "Home sick Hobbit"! by comparison.
Ancalagon and Glaurung were definitely above Smaug in weight class, but Smaug began my fascination with the mythical creatures.

No doubt a bad egg,(smaug) probably got tired of curb stomping his two dozen or so rivals in the Withered Heath and decided to mosey south for some easy dwarf plunder!


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Conundrum wrote:
You know, thinking about it, I really like so many of the monsters from D&D and Pathfinder I got to wondering what my favorite was and at the moment I believe it to be the Molydeus, in 3.5 it was a CR19 that I could envision facing any other demon fearlessly, win or lose even a balor! I believe with the proper strategy the molydeii could have ruled the abyss over the balor. So I am asking all of you out there, what is your favorite 3.5 and/or Pathfinder monster in the UPPER challenge ratings and feel free to share why.

Probably the succubus, because of how much it can challenge a party without ever actually facing the party.


Pathfinder Pawns, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
Ascalaphus wrote:
Oooooh, the Wendigo. That's a pretty cool one yeah.

They scare the crap out of me.


Yeah, I see Wendigos as being quite scary too,never used one but I first saw them in shadowrun 1e a long time ago and just recently(a year or so ago) found out they are known to the Native north americans as "Skinwalkers" nigh unkillable, and like the t-1000 able to take most any form. I saw their entry in the Legendary Monsters Revisited and that specimen was QUITE potent and even the base as someone else stated, could be a high end challenge at I believe Cr 17?


I am a huge fan of the wendigo, also :-). I have been building one up as a villian. Doug Jones (Blue from Hellboy, Pan from Pan's Labyrinth, etc al) played an exceptionally scary one in an episode of Fear Itself, I recommend checking it out for Wendigo fans!


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Jabberwocky; because it burned all my stuff, killed me, and I turned around and killed it and turned its skin into my new stuff.


Da Cultist wrote:
Jabberwocky; because it burned all my stuff, killed me, and I turned around and killed it and turned its skin into my new stuff.

Did you dye your hair? It's s'posed to be pink ... :P


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Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber

Black Dragons. Why?

Maleficient.


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Kryzbyn wrote:

Black Dragons. Why?

Maleficient.

Hmm...I may need to reconsider my entry for favorite monster.


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Unbelievable. Inacceptable. No one yet named the dark master of unholy flame, the horror that walks in fire, he who despoils and stains, he who watches from the pinnacles of torture. And craves.
The silken tongue of ruin, the smoldering serpent, the Pit Fiend.
Unlimited mastermind possibilities, the finest plans to corrupt and desecrate, a fiery reptilian Gargoyle look, legions of Devils to rely upon. It's THE bbeg.

That is, from a GM perspective; otherwise, I like the Solar most: shining light embodied. Also, I've always had a love for Astral Devas.

But I like Dragons too, of course. Black and Red most, from the GM perspective, or Silver in general.

The Astradaemon, so alien-looking and soul-hungry, raiding the soul streams in the magnificent Astral Plane...

Nightshades and Tzitzimil, devastating horrors of darkness and death.

And Lich, because it's outright cool.

And Vampires, especially when I think of them in the Legacy of Kain (Reference I, Reference II, Reference III) fashion.

But all in all, there are so many I like...


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One wendigo to rule them all, one wendigo to find them, one wendigo to curse them all, and in the darkness bite them!


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Inevitables are awesome. Just their names is enough to make you feel you're doomed.

Raveners are delightfully scary, too. You know how liches are terrifying? You know how dragons are freakin' awesome? Well, raveners are both! I'd tell the PCs to cry, but chances are they will be annihilated by a cone of fire and darkness before they have the chance to shed a single tear.

But the coolest monster for me is the Nightwave. Me and my friends were discussing why the shark looking shade (Nightwave) was so much more powerful than the Demonlord looking one (Nightwalker).

Our conclusion was this, the Nightwalker is scary, sure, but it looks like a final boss. It's freaking strong, but it gives you the impression that a powerful enough hero can defeat it.
The Nightwave? That one looks like it's made of nightmares! It's not just powerful, it's made of whatever it's you fear the most! And it's just as unsatisfiable as the beast it's shaped after. It feels like it's a unstoppable force of nature, not a monster who can be slain.


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Pugwumpi with class levels... ;)

Silver Crusade

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Thazar wrote:
Pugwumpi with class levels... ;)

Headbutts "Flag" button repeatedly

Silver Crusade

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Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Thazar wrote:
Pugwumpi with class levels... ;)

Pugwampi Witches. With Evil Eye, Misfortune and Cackle.

FOREVER TROLLING.

Grand Lodge

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Astral Wanderer wrote:

Unbelievable. Inacceptable. No one yet named the dark master of unholy flame, the horror that walks in fire, he who despoils and stains, he who watches from the pinnacles of torture. And craves.

The silken tongue of ruin, the smoldering serpent, the Pit Fiend.
Unlimited mastermind possibilities, the finest plans to corrupt and desecrate, a fiery reptilian Gargoyle look, legions of Devils to rely upon. It's THE bbeg.

Well, I DID say I liked devils. The only problem with going full blown Pit Fiend is that at CR20 they're almost never going to be THE BBEG of the game. The greater likelihood is they'll spend the game as Sealed Evil in a Can and your BBEG will be the one trying to free them ala Council of Thieves.


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EntrerisShadow wrote:
Astral Wanderer wrote:

Unbelievable. Inacceptable. No one yet named the dark master of unholy flame, the horror that walks in fire, he who despoils and stains, he who watches from the pinnacles of torture. And craves.

The silken tongue of ruin, the smoldering serpent, the Pit Fiend.
Unlimited mastermind possibilities, the finest plans to corrupt and desecrate, a fiery reptilian Gargoyle look, legions of Devils to rely upon. It's THE bbeg.
Well, I DID say I liked devils. The only problem with going full blown Pit Fiend is that at CR20 they're almost never going to be THE BBEG of the game. The greater likelihood is they'll spend the game as Sealed Evil in a Can and your BBEG will be the one trying to free them ala Council of Thieves.

To this, I shall respond without the use of words.


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Thazar wrote:
Pugwumpi with class levels... ;)

If my DM see's this I'll be coming for you. Fair warning.


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Deepspawn, from the Forgotten Realms. Give it a template (half fiend was my favorite) and you have a true horror. They make great mastermind villians, pumping out troops consisting of different creature types that are devastating working in concert. Have a Deepspawn eat a doppleganger, and now it can create an army of shapechanging, mind reading loyal minions that can infiltrate all levels of society. And dont forget, created spawn retain class abilities as well! Poof! Mages, fighters, rogues, etc on demand.

Grand Lodge

Reviving thread because of the Wendigo.

There is one of these bad boys in Rise of the Runelords. The fact this is from Native American lore, Algonquin to be more specific, is cool in and of itself. But how it manifest from the horror of Cannibalism adds an eerie twist.

It preys on your Nightmares. Creates Blizzards. Panics your party, then attacks the weakest in their state of Panic.

Having the miniature for one of these just enhanced the creepy effect.

This is a truly formidable monster.

Shadow Lodge

An Intelligent Rust Monster riding a Jaberwocky. Endearing, Confusing, and terrifying at the same time. Add wizard levels for enhanced effects.


Dragons, liches, demons, devils, vampires, anything you have to fight in its lair (where it has traps and uses the customized environment to its advantage) are old favorites. The 3E Hill Giant for low- to medium level parties, it was tougher than its CR (lots of hit points and hit hard but no spell-like abilities, 3.0 Cr calculation favored SLAs and didn't give weight to hitting hard and taking punishment). Newer ones are the Lovecraftian mythos from Bestiary 4 and Kaiju. The Wendigo is neat but a little off from the mythology I'm familiar with. My personal favorite is a pixie cleric I had as the BBEG in a 3E campaign. but that was because the group made it a lot of fun.


Dread Wraiths

Maraliths(probably spelled wrong), even though they always get trounced when I used them.

Pit Fiends

Dragons

Monsters with class levels :)


I used to love Umber Hulks and Carrion Crawlers but alas...


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I loved mind flayers, so I understand.


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I just love the Hekatonkheires Titan. A massive 50 headed, 100 armed giant. What's not too love?

Also, I just have a love for the Shoggoth that goes beyond my fondness for Lovecraft. It's a gibbering, mouthy ooze of great size.


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Devils would have to be my favorites for alot of reasons.

Among devilkind my favorite would be the Deimavigga from Book of the Damned I.

I love the duality of telling a story where you know the villain has to be stopped at all cost, but you're not sure if you have to fight him, or not fight him, to win. Where you constantly think that if the villain wins it will be horrible, but there would most certainly be peace and order.

I'm a fan of options, and with devils I do not only feel like I provide myself with alot of options as a GM, but that I also open up alot of options for my players.

-Nearyn


Vampire. I just love monsters that walk among us. Scalable, variety, and loads of minions... Casters with tons of defenses, monks that kick ass, unfindable rogues...


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Nearyn wrote:

Devils would have to be my favorites for a lot of reasons

...

I love the duality of telling a story where you know the villain has to be stopped at all cost, but you're not sure if you have to fight him, or not fight him, to win. Where you constantly think that if the villain wins it will be horrible, but there would most certainly be peace and order ...

Sounds like your political affiliations waver whenever you portray one, Nearyn. ;)

Grand Lodge

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ParagonDireRaccoon wrote:
The Wendigo is neat but a little off from the mythology I'm familiar with. My personal favorite is a pixie cleric I had as the BBEG in a 3E campaign. but that was because the group made it a lot of fun.

It was because the Wendigo was something outside of the standard monsters I have been running since 1st edition that made it special in my eyes. That and how it gave a 15th level party major league fits.

But for old school monsters, a Lich has consistently been a very tough encounter for a party in my campaigns. Though an equal party of Drow or Githyanki can be quite formidable.


Jaelithe wrote:
Nearyn wrote:

Devils would have to be my favorites for a lot of reasons

...

I love the duality of telling a story where you know the villain has to be stopped at all cost, but you're not sure if you have to fight him, or not fight him, to win. Where you constantly think that if the villain wins it will be horrible, but there would most certainly be peace and order ...

Sounds like your political affiliations waver whenever you portray one, Nearyn. ;)

I feel like I should understand this, but thinking about it is like trying to catch fog.

Can you please spell it out for me, else it's gonna rattle around in my head, forever!

-Nearyn


Richard Leonhart wrote:

if noone is saying it, then me, modified shield adamantine golem.

Unkillable under normal circumstances. No need to carefully roll out loot, he's made of treasure.
Shows the all powerful wizards and any other spellcaster who is boss.

Modifications are normally homemade, but even the vanilla one scares the hell out of everyone. You can just run, but altough he is slower, you have to sleep.

Assuming you are talking about this then let me cower in terror at its inability to fly and lack of any form of ranged attack. A Sorcerer with overland flight, intensified spells and Snowball will reduce it to less than 0HP in under a minute. Sure you need a wish or miracle to finally finish it off but the idea that this is a CR19 opponent is laughable.


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Albatoonoe wrote:

I just love the Hekatonkheires Titan. A massive 50 headed, 100 armed giant. What's not too love?

Also, I just have a love for the Shoggoth that goes beyond my fondness for Lovecraft. It's a gibbering, mouthy ooze of great size.

Alas the Hekatonkheires used to be a Cr 57 :( guess we have to settle for a nerfed version.


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andreww wrote:
Richard Leonhart wrote:

if noone is saying it, then me, modified shield adamantine golem.

Unkillable under normal circumstances. No need to carefully roll out loot, he's made of treasure.
Shows the all powerful wizards and any other spellcaster who is boss.

Modifications are normally homemade, but even the vanilla one scares the hell out of everyone. You can just run, but altough he is slower, you have to sleep.

Assuming you are talking about this then let me cower in terror at its inability to fly and lack of any form of ranged attack. A Sorcerer with overland flight, intensified spells and Snowball will reduce it to less than 0HP in under a minute. Sure you need a wish or miracle to finally finish it off but the idea that this is a CR19 opponent is laughable.

At the very least - it is an opponent that costs 25000 gold to kill, unless you happen to have a Vorpal Adamantine weapon laying about.

Now, considering the range of Snowball and an Adamantine Golems speed, it is able to run 90' (more then the range of the spell) in one round assuming it was not staggered (a 50-50 shot, unless the Sorcerer are very focused on snowballs). Should it be staggered, it takes ~2-3 round to leave the range of the sorcerer.

Since the sorcerer can't move and use metamagic, his damage is reduced to ~7.5 damage per round (after fast healing) ... Meaning he is, at the very least, going to spend a few slots ^^

But yeah, wise golem owners are advised to make it an armour and cast Anti-Magic field :)


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I've come to appreciate any creature with aquatic qualities and the "Control Water" spell.

PCs are often completely unprepared for a sudden flooding of the battle zone.

Creatures that fit the bill in my Jade Regent/Ruby Phoenix Tournament game:
- Brine dragon
- Hydrodaemon
- Omox demon

BTW, I'm going with "natural attacks from aquatic creature have no penalties under water" rule.


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Nearyn wrote:
Jaelithe wrote:
Nearyn wrote:

Devils would have to be my favorites for a lot of reasons

...

I love the duality of telling a story where you know the villain has to be stopped at all cost, but you're not sure if you have to fight him, or not fight him, to win. Where you constantly think that if the villain wins it will be horrible, but there would most certainly be peace and order ...

Sounds like your political affiliations waver whenever you portray one, Nearyn. ;)

I feel like I should understand this, but thinking about it is like trying to catch fog.

Can you please spell it out for me, else it's gonna rattle around in my head, forever!

-Nearyn

You're probably giving me more credit than I deserve. I was just joking about the inclination towards an ordered society that D&D/Pathfinder devils represent—a "Fascists make the trains run on time and so have their appeal" comment.

Sorry for the obfuscation.


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Jaelithe wrote:

You're probably giving me more credit than I deserve. I was just joking about the inclination towards an ordered society that D&D/Pathfinder devils represent—a "Fascists make the trains run on time and so have their appeal" comment.

Sorry for the obfuscation.

Ah! Nothing to apologize for, I was entertained for a solid hour, trying to think of anything I'd done or said :)

But yes, that was exactly my point about devilkind, you made there. A big bad evildoer that really, geniunely just needs a beating across the face, for the sake of everything and everyone is refreshing from time to time, but I tend to prefer the villains where you stop and consider if it would be SO bad, if the enemy won. THEN you proceed to do what you find best :)

-Nearyn


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A burrow of kobolds. No class levels or special abilities, just a burrow of a couple dozen kobolds properly entrenched and prepared to repel invasion should be a nearly epic level encounter.

Assuming the party somehow manages to climb the narrow greased tunnels while flaming barrels full of explosives and acid and ballista bolts rain down on them they'll reach a sealed wall of iron and stone several meters thick in front while the collapsing tunnel quickly fills up with boiling water and poisonous gas from behind.

Sure, maybe they'll prepare some kind of extended ethereal jaunt or teleport straight into the central burrow but against CR1/8 creatures will they or will they underestimate the little guys and walk in expecting an easy fight?

Silver Crusade

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Keketar is my favorite. I love the proteans in general, and they just embody the entire protean concept. The look is cool, warpwave is cool, and their SLA list is cool.


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Nearyn wrote:
...I tend to prefer the villains where you stop and consider if it would be SO bad, if the enemy won...

I think of Doctor Doom, who'd want everyone to be prosperous and content simply because it would reflect poorly on him as a monarch if they weren't.


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The Outcast King from Council of Thieves. One of the freakiest monsters I've ever fought. The mini the GM made for it caused confusion and fear in us players.


...

...

Well, most things were already mentioned, but:

Shapeshifters/telepaths/manipulators you never see: Rakshasa, succubi (and incubi), and mindflayers are all incredibly awesome creatures.

Clever and subtle... terrifying... opponents: the boogeyman, animate dreams, inspired (and some of the above)

Inexorable opponents that will get you: shadows, wendigo (they also fit with the above), inevitables, aeons

Mighty godlike opponents that are mostly too big to care about you: balor lords, pit fiend dukes, (solars - okay, so they're not only not opponents, but they really care about you - yes you - personally, but they fit in the "godlike" aspect; in truth, I like them best of all, but don't consider them monsters, so...)

Base cruel creatures that disease you into being one of their own kind (though you don't necessarily know it at the time... or you do, but have no way to stop it): therianthropes, ghouls/ghasts

Deep, odd, and creepy powers or magical power-houses: Aboleth, Beholders

I dunno, there's a ton of 'em.

Though, honestly, my favorites are... celestials. I just don't consider them "monsters".


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Tacticslion wrote:
Though, honestly, my favorites are... celestials. I just don't consider them "monsters".

Planescape: Torment

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