Best of the Beastiary, D&D

Empyrean: The Bipolar Demigods

Hey! That’s just a synth from Alien: Isolation in Greek clothing! You can’t fool me, Wizards of the Coast!

Empyreans are pretty cool! Sure, their designs are super boring! But their lore, despite only being four paragraphs long, is super flexible and fun to work with! On top of that, they’ve got some incredible stats, making them a perfect fit for an endgame boss fight!

If you want to keep stroking your players egos. Which is a dangerous thing to do. Last thing you want them to do is go around proclaiming themselves god slayers.

If they aren’t already.

Lore: Manifestations of Emotion

The opening paragraph basically boils down to “Yeah, they’re the kids of the gods, so they’re just naturally beautiful and confident.” So these guys are somebody’s Mary Sue.

Empyreans experience god-like fits of emotion. These can greatly affect the environment around them, depending on its mood. When they’re sad, it might cause intense rains of salt water while the nearby wildlife and fauna will wither and die. Conversely, life around them will flourish when they are jovial.

Some Empyreans, after descending to the Lower Planes, become corrupted or cursed, turning to evil. They cannot survive long in the Upper Planes after undergoing this transformation, so they retreat to the Material Plane and become a tyrant over their own kingdom.

Nigh indomitable, given their immortality. They can be slain, but Empyreans are so confident in their overwhelming power that they can’t even imagine it. Even at the door of death, they do not believe they’ll pass. When they do, they’ll return to their home plane, whereupon they’ll be resurrected by their parent, unless they have a good reason to avoid doing so.

The possibilities held within that lore is incredible! You could set up a fun quest where the players have to protect an Empyrean from being corrupted! Or maybe you want to set one up as the final boss by making him the leader of a corrupt kingdom! Hell, dude, you can even make him a recurring villain; after the party kills him, he could come back time and time again to try and claim his revenge! There’s a ton of cool shit you can do with this guy!

If only he looked as cool…

Design: Pasty Hercules

*Yawn* Boring.

Those pecs, though…

I legitimately don’t have anything to say. What can I? Look at this dude! It’s so bland!

To say something positive… um… I like the Greek gladiator aesthetic. It’s a cool look that works well in a fantasy setting. Plus, there can’t be anything more menacing than saying ‘a dude in a tunic and basically nothing else is getting ready to kick your ass’.

Aside from saying ‘yeah, literal Godzilla shows up, roll for initiative’.

And… yeah, that’s it. Out of all the words utilized in the English language, I have used all that I can in regards to this design. It’s bland and boring. Moving on.

Stats: Champion of the Heavens

This is not a dude you wanna fuck with.

First off, he’s got an AC of a whopping 22. On top of that, he’s got a massive HP pool, averaging around the 300 range. Worse yet: he is completely immune to all non-magical forms of attack. If you don’t have a magical weapon of any kind, you can’t even hurt this dude, even if you get past that monstrous AC!

But oh boy, can he hit you!

Even if his weapons weren’t magical, which they are, he can deal some damage! For god’s sake, his Maul has a +17 to hit and his Bolt has a +15 to hit! On top of that, the maul does 31(6d6+10) damage and can stun you, while the bolt can do magic 24(7d6) damage of basically any variety. This dude is a MONSTER!! If he had Multiattack, he’d be able to wipe a party in less than three turns!

Did I mention that he has fucking magic?! Check these spells out!

At will: greater restoration, pas without a trace, water breathing, water walk
1/day: commune, dispel evil and good, earthquake, fire storm, plane shift (self only)

Bet you thought they weren’t a problem until you saw earthquake and fire storm.

Oh yeah, and he has three Legendary Actions. These include:

Attack: what do you think?
Bolster: a buff for all allies that keeps ’em from getting charmed or frightened and gives them advantage on all ability checks and saving throws
Trembling Strike (Costs 2 Actions): makes an earthquake that can knock everyone within a set range prone… WITH A DC OF FUCKING 25!!!

Oh yeah and he has three Legendary Resistances a day so that’s cool.

This dude is a fucking beast! His sheer power alone is enough to make for an intense boss fight! He has the perfect set of varied and dangerous moves to push your players and force ’em to get creative! 10/10!

Placement

The Empyrean is really cool! His design is hella weak, easily one of the worst I’ve talked about so far. But it is more than made up for thanks to its lore and stats! He’s rad as hell and I can’t wait to use him in a campaign!

With all that said, let’s put the Empyrean on the Best of the Bestiary!

  1. Beholder
  2. Death Tyrant
  3. Dragon Turtle
  4. Green Dragons
  5. Red Dragons
  6. Blue Dragons
  7. Black Dragons
  8. White Dragons
  9. Silver Dragons
  10. Couatl
  11. Behir
  12. Aboleth
  13. Bronze Dragons
  14. Brass Dragons
  15. Copper Dragons
  16. Gold Dragons
  17. Chuul
  18. Chimera
  19. Death Knight
  20. Bone Devil
  21. Dracolich
  22. Ankheg
  23. Empyrean <——————–
  24. Drow (all four of ’em)
  25. Shadow Demon
  26. Marilith
  27. Drider
  28. Aarackockra
  29. Azer
  30. Demilich
  31. Spectator
  32. Cambion
  33. Animated Armor
  34. Banshee
  35. Basilisk
  36. Yochlol
  37. Bulette
  38. Cloaker
  39. Darkmantle
  40. Doppelganger
  41. Pit Fiend
  42. Erinyes
  43. Chain Devil
  44. Bearded Devil
  45. Barbed Devil
  46. Spined Devil
  47. Ice Devil
  48. Nalfeshnee
  49. Glabrezu
  50. Chasme
  51. Barlgura
  52. Horned Devil
  53. Balor
  54. Shadow Dragon
  55. Vrock
  56. Dretch
  57. Goristro
  58. Hezrou
  59. Manes
  60. Duergar
  61. Quasit
  62. Dryad
  63. Planetar
  64. Imp
  65. Displacer Beast
  66. Carrion Crawler
  67. Rug of Smothering
  68. Bugbear Chief
  69. Bugbear
  70. Vine Blight
  71. Twig Blight
  72. Needle Blight
  73. Bullywug
  74. Cockatrice
  75. Lemure
  76. Solar
  77. Deva
  78. Cyclops
  79. Centaur
  80. Fire Elemental
  81. Water Elemental
  82. Air Elemental
  83. Dinosaurs (All six of them)
  84. Earth Elemental
  85. Flying Sword
  86. Crawling Claw

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