So I have been working on a brand new world for my next big campaign. It is based of Elementals. Elementals are used as servants and known as the "Help". There are also factions of Elementals that fight for freedom and all that. I have the world itself pretty much figured out with a force pushing for more and more elementals to rise up and fight the humanoid population.
I have a good start, but what I need is a Big Bad End Boss, so I have a clearer set of motivations. Something high lvl, into the CR 20's. Elder Elementals and Ancient dragons will be under his/her/its sway, or atleast used by the end boss.
Been kinda running into a blank on this one. Thought about a Primal Dragon, Umbral that's turned Ravener. Then there was a thought to just make something from scratch involving all 4 elements, as some greater being. What do you guys think? Just looking for some brainstorming help. Thanks in advance.
It would be nice to know more about your campaign so the community has more to work with.
Since your campaign is based all around elementals, perhaps an end boss that is a bit off from the norm may be best. Dragons and Elder Elementals are bosses that would be expected by players, and seem to create a lack of depth and creativity in a good story/world like yours (from what I know). I think you should make something from scratch. Perhaps the final boss is a gnome or intelligent beast that has met a "terrible fate" and they are cursed with the unbearable control over a powerful 5th element. This curse has caused a destructive change in his behavior, making him hateful of all elemental creatures of the primary 4 types which is why they are enslaved. In the final fight he uses these enslaved dragons and elder elementals as "minions" in the front lines, while he strikes with his far superior 5th element when the minions are taking a beating.
I like the idea of an all-elements elemental. Combine some of the special qualities of each elemental; whirlwind+burn=firestorm(google "fire tornadoes" for images), which could be both direct attack or an aura. Give it four immunities - or rotate a weakness element to underline its chaotic nature(if it has one).
That's what I invisioned from your setting description, which sounds awesome btw.
Basically its a medieval setting, with a Kingdom with a king, then areas ruled by Dukes and so forth. Hundreds of years ago elementals and the core races (being the races from the core book minus half-orcs) worked together in peace. There were Nodes where the most powerful wizards could summon Elementals, and where, if they desired, the elementals could return to their home plane. Its the only way in my world they could move from one plane to the other.
After a major war, where elementals were used as weapons, the nodes were deactivated by a group of like minded wizards, and the elementals stuck on this plane were being hunted. In a offer of peace, the elementals agreed to take on the roles of servants, never to cause violence against any living being. This was followed by another war, were magic caused death and destruction never seen before or since. With the Help of Divine interventions and Elemental powers a barrier was erected around the starting kindom, and all arcane users were hunted down. Any form of arcane magic users would cause armies to be raised to destroy it.
In my world there is a secret society of arcane users. The servant elementals either belong to a town/city or a Noble Household. Some elementals can earn a sort of freedom to travel unmolested with a Medal of Release from servitude, though this is very rare. Any other Elementals either are with a Core Race or belong to a small and unorganized group of rebellious Elementals. The barrier is tied to the bloodline of the current King. Everyone knows the story of if the bloodline ever falls then the barrier would collapse and evil will befall the kingdom.
All animal encounters for lower lvls, I have made them into Elemental subtypes. Their first "quest" leads them to fight a Magma Elemental, which is the first elemental ever seen that is of two elemental types. Out of Bestiary book 2. There is a lot more info on the game world, but its a bit much. Hope this over view helps some.
Im liking the idea of the multi elemental that can switch from one mixed elemental type to another as the main boss. When he is in one form he takes on the str/weakness of that type and can switch as a move action once per round.
Thanks Donduckie on the compliment.
For sure Elder Elementals will be front line fodder. The dragons im feeling more like them being used, instead of willingly putting themselves in danger for a higher being. Trick them into thinking they are in charge, if you know what im trying to say.
thanks again, I know this is long. And I am more then happy to answer any questions on my game.
There's 2 critters from the 3e MM2 that seem ideally suited, with a little conversion: the Tempest (gargantuan elemental, CR 16, would definitely need a power-up to be PF competitive, but not a bad choice) and the Spirit of the Land (a fey, but it fits nicely with the elemental theme by manifesting in 4 different elemental forms. CR 23, but not so tough by PF standards)
I've got to agree, an omnimental boss fight sounds challenging and exciting. It would definately help if you gave the boss certain tactics and allowed the players to gauge which form it was going to shift into in order to gain a tactical advantage if they make a successful check of some sort. To that end, a more protracted boss battle as opposed to huge damage rolls might be more appropriate.
Maybe throw in some small elemental fodder (one hit kills) that set up tactical advantage for the boss but otherwise lack the big hurting power of larger elementals. During a long battle it can be frustrating to feel like you aren't making a dent in the BBEG. However, if you can one hit kill some minions, you feel a sense of accomplishment and power (but rewarding things to keep a group motivated during an end encounter).
"Avatar State, Yip Yip"!
Best recap episode EVER of any television show EVER. Loved Aang's reaction to him being played by a girl in the stage production.
Back to the post, I agree that foreshadowing with the small elementals would be a really good way to introduce anything new you wanted to throw at them with the final boss battle.
An evil Captain Planet?
Something from space?
A god of tyranny
A mental parasite in all things
Is the big bad seeking revenge, restitution, power, an end of everything, thinks they are saving the world through these actions?
Okay i am going to go a different way with this... Why not have a demon summoner(wiz or sorc in reality) or some such be the big baddie? He could be harnessing the elemental planes for his nefarious needs and binding these creatures to his will.
I am doing a homebrew campaign myself at the moment. The group has been charging over undead constantly with the occasional demon involved. The major end boss is going to be a Vampiric Marillith and a Red Thayan Demon Master.
A couple things come to mind for me, if you wanna draw inspiration from other omni-elemental boss type characters, and homebrew something that works.
This massive omni-elemental fiend can modify its form somewhat to capitalize on the weaknesses it sees in its opponents. The image shows it in its Melee form, where it can try to crush its foes with his massive stone fist, or pelt them with rocks. It can instead conjure a flaming bow to snipe its opponents from a distance, or flare up in a geyser of water to deal magical damage to its opponents. You could also add some sort of air attack if you like. I like the idea of a bolt of whirling into a twister that deals damage of all elements to anyone it sucks up.
The other idea that comes into mind is Avatar State
Whether you want it to be powered by some human source or not is up to you, but you could make a pretty vicious cyclone of elements.
Either way, you could just homebrew some combination of the four elder elementals, and give it cool abilities from each, and new ones that you think sound cool. Whatever you do, don't make it a one trick pony. If you really want it to challenge your PCs, make it very adaptable, so just when they think they've figured out how to deal with it, it changes.
Maybe you could give it new abilities that it gains from combinations of elements.
Fire + Water = Steam/boiling water
Fire + Earth = Lava
Fire + Air = Smoke
Water + Earth = Mud
Water + Air = Mist
Earth + Air = Dust
With the base elements, it could effectively have 10 unique abilities to keep the PCs on their toes.
I actually just had what I think could be a really cool idea.
Elementals of each of the four types band together to form one elder omni-elemental. This omni-elemental has 10 abilities of the elements/combinations mentioned above (I could help dream up some abilities if you want). It can only use abilities based on which of the 4 elements it has powered up at the time. It takes a swift action (maybe standard or move?) to power up, or power down one of it's 4 elements, but can only benefit from 2 elements at a time. Any more more than two elements puts it more in balance with itself, and it becomes weaker. If it powers up a third element, then it has the abilities it would have from any one of those elements, or any combination of 2 of those elements; however, abilities based from elements that oppose each other (fire opposes water, air opposes earth) then those abilities are weakened. It could still have just water and fire or just air and earth powered up to use steam or dust abilities, but adding a third element would weaken those abilities. An alternative means of defeating it (maybe the only way?) would be to make it power up all 4 elements in an attempt to deal with the PC's different methods of combat, and when it does, the 4 elements bring the elemental into a harmonic balance with it's self, and the energy powering it escapes as the elements escape into their harmless components.
All of it's abilities would have to be customized to give it various defensive and offensive abilities that would give it an advantage over different PCs. If they can all provoke it to power up different elements, they can bring it into balance.
I don't know how you'd want to bring dragons into the mix, but I think this sounds like a pretty cool idea for an end-game omni-elemental boss.
The undead wizard who brokered the original peace, returned from the grave after the nation has turned his elemental friends into slaves. Of course now that he's undead and evil, all is fair in war.
Stats-wise, I'd probably go with a 20th level oracle and mix and match thematic elemental abilities and throw on a lich or Mythic Lich template. Instead of a phylactery, his life force is divided and held by an uber elemental of each type and PCs have to take out all of the elementals before he can be put down for good. If they retreat or fail to do so, he reforms and moves the missing lifeforce elsewhere. For additional thematic elements, I'd probably steal some stuff from the sorcerer bloodline abilities, racial feats for the elemental kin, and similar.
For additional threat, stack the encounter with things that are aided by the elemental creatures (like shambling mounds near elemental lightning) and give him the ability or spells to take over summoned creatures the PCs may bring to the fight.