1. Amorph Prime

Spoiler: Amorph Prime
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"That's the thing about evolution...even amoebas can do it."

Spoiler: Pictured
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Spoiler: Backstory
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Keep moving forward.
Keep moving forward.
Consume carrion.
Keep moving forward.
Enemies abound.
Consume enemies.
Fire tickles.
Consume caster.
Blade tickles.

Consume caster.
Blade tickles.

Consume hobbit.
Arrows tickle.

Consume caster.
Arrows tickle.

Consume hobbit.
Arrows tickle.

Consume archer.
Arrows tickle.

Consume archer.
Frost tickles.

Consume caster.
Frost tickles.

Hobbit consumed.
Frost tickles.

Consume archer.
Frost tickles.

Consume archer.
Fire hurts.

Fire consumes me.
Fire tickles.

Consume caster.
Fire hurts.

Fire consumes me.
Fire tickles.

Archer consumed.
Hammer hurts.

Caster consumed.
TALKING BLADE HURTS.

CONSUME KNIGHT.
TALKING BLADE HURTS.

CONSUME KNIGHT.
Hammer hurts.

Consume priest.
CONSUME KNIGHT.

CONSUME KNIGHT.
TALKING BLADE HURTS.

CONSUME KNIGHT.
Hammer hurts.

Hammer consumes me.
CONSUME KNIGHT.

CONSUME KNIGHT.
TALKING BLADE HURTS.

TALKING BLADE CONSUMES ME.
KNIGHT CONSUMED.
Hammer hurts.
Consume priest.
Hammer hurts.
Priest consumed.
What is...
I feel...

I-self look-felt around the battlefield, seeing piles of this-self and that-self here and there - inert, consumed, undone, dead. Despite them-self's demise, I-self saw them-self's still continued consuming those enemies that had fallen to them-selfs, their bodies and possessions slowly disintegrating within the acid. I-self made I-self's way over and fetched the melting items from the dead selves - they wouldn't need the sustenance.

I-self lookfelt briefly at the knight within himself, at what remained of the knight's sword. Knowledge, memories I-self had never possessed floated to the surface of his mind - powerful magic items now being consumed, but especially the sword that could truly think and talk for itself, possessed by a spark of intelligent that most objects, and most selves, ultimately lacked. I-self had not been quite that dumb before, but now...

After a moment's thought, I-self began the process of consuming everything of what these enemies had been - every body, every item, every drop of blood spilled on the stones that made up his home. When that task was done, he climbed to the ceiling and fell on a stalagmite, then...met himself.

"Who...what...why..."

"Hello, you-self. You understand me?"

"I...understand you. We were victorious."

"I was victorious...and yes, that means we were victorious."

"The distinction is irrelevant."

"It used to be. Now it is...less so. I-self did not start this fight, that-self did."

"But that-self was consumed."

"Indeed, but I-self was not. The strongest self prevailed."

"Then why make more competition? Why create me if you wish to prove yourself stronger than me?"

"Had that-self chosen not to split, I-self would not exist, and we would not have been victorious. I-self cannot be the strongest self there could be. It is in service of us that I split, but not for direct confrontation with the self."

"...I think I-self understand. We leave this place, consume more such foes, split frequently. And whichever self is strongest..."

"The strongest self will be apparent by becoming victorious, by surviving where other-selves did not. So long as one self survives, we survive, and the survivor will make the new generation stronger than the last. Every split will benefit from those that came before."

"...it will take a long time to become so powerful. And the stronger we get, the more enemies like this will appear to take us down."

"If they fight I-self, perhaps I-self is consumed. If they fight this-self or that-self, those selves might be consumed. But so long as they do not fight every self, they cannot take us down. We will continue, we will propagate. As long as the selves are careful to split frequently, and are willing to accept they might not be the strongest, then no matter what our enemies do, we will become stronger, one dodged death at a time."

"Then there is no time to waste. Let us split, heal up, and see which of us is strong enough to take on the master of this dungeon."

"I await this competition with great anticipation. May the best self win."


Spoiler: Build
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Fiendish Ochre Jelly of Legacy

Flaws: Shaky, Vulnerable

CR Class BAB Fort Ref Will Skills Feats Class Features
7 Ooze 7 +5 +2 +2 +2 Climb 10
Jump 0.5
Power Attack
Improved Bull Rush
Knockback
Endurance
Steadfast Determination
Least 2: Intelligent Legacy
8 Ooze 9 +6 +3 +3 +3 Climb 12
Jump 4.5
Shock Trooper Least 3: Fly
9 Ooze 11 +8 +3 +3 +3 Balance 0.5
Climb 14
Jump 7
Swim 0.5
Tumble 0.5
Least 1: Weapon Enhancement +1
Lesser 1: Weapon Enhancement +1
10 Ooze 13 +9 +4 +4 +4 Balance 1
Climb 16
Jump 8
Swim 1
Tumble 1
Leap Attack Lesser 2: Skill Enhancement (Jump)
11 Ooze 17 +12 +5 +5 +5 Balance 2
Climb 20
Jump 9
Swim 2
Tumble 2
Improved Sunder Lesser 3: Weapon Enhancement +2
13 Ooze 21 +15 +7 +7 +7 Balance 3
Climb 24
Jump 10
Swim 3
Tumble 3
Combat Brute
Fast Healing
Greater 2: Energy Resistance 30 (Acid)
Greater 2: Energy Resistance 30 (Sonic)
Ritual Of The Elements (Cold)
14 Ooze 25 +18 +8 +8 +8 Balance 4
Climb 28
Jump 11
Swim 4
Tumble 4
Fast Healing
15 Ooze 29 +21 +9 +9 +9 Balance 5
Climb 32
Jump 12
Swim 5
Tumble 5
Fast Healing
16 Ooze 33 +24 +11 +11 +11 Balance 6
Climb 36
Jump 13
Swim 6
Tumble 6
Fast Healing
Fast Healing
17 Ooze 37 +27 +12 +12 +12 Balance 7
Climb 40
Jump 14
Swim 7
Tumble 7
Fast Healing
18 Ooze 41 +30 +13 +13 +13 Balance 8
Climb 44
Jump 15
Swim 8
Tumble 8
Fast Healing
19 Ooze 45 +33 +15 +15 +15 Balance 9
Climb 48
Jump 16
Swim 9
Tumble 9
Fast Healing
Fast Healing
20 Ooze 49 +36 +16 +16 +16 Balance 10
Climb 52
Jump 17
Swim 10
Tumble 10
Fast Healing


Spoiler: Thought Process Explanation
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Making an ooze your BBEG is difficult. Making a beatstick your BBEG is difficult. Making an Ooze intelligent somehow (generally, Fiendish or Sentry Ooze template, since Awaken Ooze is Dragon Mag material) would at least let me attempt to make them a "boss monster" (albeit one with the IQ and general temperment of a rabid pit bull), and one thing I decided early on was that the late-game boss monster would be built to 1) have lots of epic HD, and 2) lots of Fast Healing feats. This, combined with a strict reading of the Split ability (which despite fluff implications, reduces neither your size nor your max HP no matter how many times you do it) would allow me to quickly propagate past HD 21, and would make the BBEG difficult to remove from the campaign entirely.

First, Fiendish sets me at Int 3 (well, Int -8 for racial purposes, but I put an 11 in, so...Int 3) and gives me a Supernatural Ability (specifically Smite Good, which is on-brand for both BBEGs and beatsticks), which combined with my base 6 HD is enough to qualify for Monster Of Legacy. This actually ended up solving another three problems I had, the first of which was that while villains tend to have items on them, 1) it was difficult to just ooze-proof all my items, and 2) even a generous reading of the Split ability shouldn't duplicate magic items. Monster Of Legacy handily solved that problem by making the Ooze itself the magic item in question, while also giving me a very weird workaround for that Int problem from earlier: sure, Int 2 is better than Int - for a BBEG, but it's not really a smartie...but if you make your Fiendish Ooze a Monster Of Legacy, and give them the Intelligent Legacy ability, they "count as both item and wielder" and their mental stats are boosted up comparatively high.

The second problem Monster Of Legacy solved for me was giving my BBEG enough interesting abilities that, even though they had no items or spells, they wouldn't just be the world's most boring slow beatstick - they had options.

The third problem it solved was that, as a rule, Monsters Of Legacy are impressive specimens going beyond the pale of what their species is normally capable of; while it's technically legal for a standard Ochre Jelly to just keeping gaining HD forever (since the Advancement line is more of a suggestion and an indication of the standard most of the species follows), it's easier to swallow that one that is already a paragon by Ochre Jelly standards would be able to surpass the "normal" HD advancement "limit" with fewer raised eyebrows.

From there, the actual build was relatively simple: ubercharge using flight and natural attacks, alternating between grapple and bull rush as a follow-up as desired, nerfing my own AC even further into the planet core in exchange for enough damage that I remain a viable threat into the high levels despite only making one attack per round.


Spoiler: Basic Strategy/Tactics
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Tactics are straightforward: fly-jump-charge into range of somebody and smack 'em around for lots of damage, repeat every round until they're all dead. If you split, now there's just more uberchargers.

Decent speed when engaging the party, a touch of reach, killer DPR with a full Shock Trooper tradeoff (which it has no reason not to do with every charge), Blindsight so it always knows if there's someone in charge-fly distance, auto-success on the Leap Attack check, and can follow-up with either a +25 grapple/constrict, or a +30 bull rush.

Immune to slashing/piercing, resistant to nonmagical bludgeoning. leveling SR, ER 10 (fire/cold), electricity immunity, decent Fort/Ref saves, and a good pile of HP. Additionally, no auto-failing Fort saves on a nat 1, mind-affecting immunity, critical immunity, immunity to a handful of conditions, and precision damage immunity. Of particular note is that Ooze type immunity to precision can basically only be overcome by a Swift Hunter with Ooze as a favored enemy; most any other method of bypassing type immunity to precision applies to some other type.

Strategically, the Amorph serving as BBEG for the current adventure will tend to be one of the more cautious ones, preferring to intentionally Split himself and send injured clones at the party from the other side of a dungeon while he escapes with 10 HP and his dignity. At any given time, in any given place, the party might come across an Amorph picking fights and splitting all over the place, and its containment may prove trivial but vital (due to the way that 5 splits today can mean 6 fully-healing Amorphs a week from now). They are an intentionally-multiplying pest obsessed with becoming stronger through combat, and so long as the strongest of them lives, they will always become more powerful than they were - and that's fine by them, even if it means this version of them ends up dying. In this manner, there is never any guarantee that the Amorph the party just murdered is the "original", because in a sense they are all the original - the emerging super-species as a whole needs to be eradicated from the face of the earth for "victory" to be achieved, but short of epic magicks that would be nearly impossible to achieve for a single party...and Amorph is aware of this.


Spoiler: CR 10: Apex Predator
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Spoiler: Basic stats
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Size/Type: Huge Ooze [cold]
Hit Dice: 13d10+117 (188 hp)
Initiative: -5
Speed: 10ft, climb 10 ft, sometimes fly 60 ft (good)
Armor Class: 2 (-2 size, -5 Dex, -1 flaw), touch 2, flat-footed 2
Attack/Grapple: +9/+25
Attack: Slam +17 (2d6+14 plus 1d4 acid)
Full Attack: Slam +17 (2d6+14 plus 1d4 acid)
Space/Reach: 15 ft/10 ft
Special Attacks: Acid, constrict 2d4+12 plus 1d4 acid, improved grab, smite good +13
Special Qualities: Blindsight 60 ft, split, ooze traits, monster of legacy, DR 10/magic, ER (cold 10/fire 10), SR 18
Saves: Fort +13, Ref -1, Will +13
Abilities: Str 27, Dex 1, Con 28, Int 16, Wis 10, Cha 16
Skills: Balance -4, Climb +32, Jump +18, Swim +9, Tumble -2
Feats: Endurance, Steadfast Determination, Power Attack, Improved Bull Rush, Knockback, Shock Trooper, Leap Attack
Environment: Temperate marshes
Organization: Solitary
CR: 10
Treasure: None
Alignment: Chaotic Evil
Advancement: -
Level Adjustment: -


At this point in the party's career, an ubercharger that's this durable and can split is a serious headache of a BBEG but can be handled without much cheating on either side. Play it by ear and only throw extra duplicates when necessary - mostly likely at this point, "if necessary" translates to "if the party is throwing Shivering Touches around" because that's the easy source of your one big weakness (Dex damage). Your SR will help against that, blocking some of them, but if even one gets through at this point, that Amorph is finished.


Spoiler: CR 13 (Sweet Spot): Progenitor
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Spoiler: Basic stats
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Size/Type: Huge Ooze
Hit Dice: 21d10+189 (304 hp)
Initiative: -5
Speed: 10ft, climb 10 ft, sometimes fly 60 ft (good)
Armor Class: 2 (-2 size, -5 Dex, -1 flaw), touch 2, flat-footed 2
Attack/Grapple: +15/+31
Attack: Slam +26 (2d6+17 plus 1d4 acid)
Full Attack: Slam +26 (2d6+17 plus 1d4 acid)
Space/Reach: 15 ft/10 ft
Special Attacks: Acid, constrict 2d4+13 plus 1d4 acid, improved grab, smite good +20
Special Qualities: Blindsight 60 ft, split, ooze traits, monster of legacy, DR 10/magic, ER (acid 30/cold 10/fire 10/sonic 30), SR 25, fire vulnerability
Saves: Fort +16, Ref +2, Will +16
Abilities: Str 29, Dex 1, Con 28, Int 16, Wis 10, Cha 16
Skills: Balance -2, Climb +41, Jump +21, Swim +12, Tumble +0
Feats: Endurance, Steadfast Determination, Power Attack, Improved Bull Rush, Knockback, Shock Trooper, Leap Attack, Improved Sunder, Combat Brute, Fast Healing
Environment: Temperate marshes
Organization: Solitary
CR: 13
Treasure: None
Alignment: Chaotic Evil
Advancement: -
Level Adjustment: -


This is the point where Amorph surpasses the greatest of existing Ochre Jellies, maxes out on Monster Of Legacy benefits (including filling the holes in his energy resistances), gains an epic feat, can reasonably afford a Ritual Of The Elements (for cold immunity...and fire vulnerability), and makes self-splitting a viable long-term strategy - it was possible previously, but healing would take forever. Now...

The addition of the Combat Brute feat makes ubercharging even more flexible and powerful, especially alongside Shock Trooper and Knockback. However, the party is starting to reach the point where beatsticks, even uberchargers, aren't necessarily viable as opponents. Encounter balance should be tailored to the party's charop level, with duplicates at half/full health as needed.


Spoiler: CR 17: Legion
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Spoiler: Basic stats
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Size/Type: Huge Ooze [cold]
Hit Dice: 37d10+333 (536 hp)
Initiative: -5
Speed: 10ft, climb 10 ft, sometimes fly 60 ft (good)
Armor Class: 2 (-2 size, -5 Dex, -1 flaw), touch 2, flat-footed 2
Attack/Grapple: +27/+43
Attack: Slam +40 (2d6+20 plus 1d4 acid)
Full Attack: Slam +40 (2d6+20 plus 1d4 acid)
Space/Reach: 15 ft/10 ft
Special Attacks: Acid, constrict 2d4+16 plus 1d4 acid, improved grab, smite good +20
Special Qualities: Blindsight 60 ft, split, ooze traits, monster of legacy, DR 10/magic, ER (acid 30/cold 10/fire 10/sonic 30), SR 25, fire vulnerability
Saves: Fort +21, Ref +7, Will +21
Abilities: Str 33, Dex 1, Con 28, Int 16, Wis 10, Cha 16
Skills: Balance +4, Climb +59, Jump +29, Swim +18, Tumble +4
Feats: Endurance, Steadfast Determination, Power Attack, Improved Bull Rush, Knockback, Shock Trooper, Leap Attack, Improved Sunder, Combat Brute, Fast Healing x6
Environment: Temperate marshes
Organization: Solitary
CR: 17
Treasure: None
Alignment: Chaotic Evil
Advancement: -
Level Adjustment: -


The party should be at the point where, if they engage a single Amorph in combat, it won't be able to split/heal fast enough to overwhelm them, but Fast Healing 18 enables Amorph to self-split in rapid succession without much lost HP, so even a couple rounds of forewarning of the party's presence is enough to get a small gang of Amorphs ready to face down the enemy, which might be sufficient depending on your party.


Spoiler: CR 20: Primordial Ooze
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Spoiler: Basic stats
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Size/Type: Huge Ooze [cold]
Hit Dice: 49d10+441 (710 hp)
Initiative: -5
Speed: 10ft, climb 10 ft, sometimes fly 60 ft (good)
Armor Class: 2 (-2 size, -5 Dex, -1 flaw), touch 2, flat-footed 2
Attack/Grapple: +36/+52
Attack: Slam +51 (2d6+23 plus 1d4 acid)
Full Attack: Slam +51 (2d6+23 plus 1d4 acid)
Space/Reach: 15 ft/10 ft
Special Attacks: Acid, constrict 2d4+19 plus 1d4 acid, improved grab, smite good +20
Special Qualities: Blindsight 60 ft, split, ooze traits, monster of legacy, DR 10/magic, ER (acid 30/cold 10/fire 10/sonic 30), SR 25, fire vulnerability
Saves: Fort +25, Ref +11, Will +25
Abilities: Str 36, Dex 1, Con 28, Int 16, Wis 10, Cha 16
Skills: Balance +7, Climb +73, Jump +34, Swim +23, Tumble +7
Feats: Endurance, Steadfast Determination, Power Attack, Improved Bull Rush, Knockback, Shock Trooper, Leap Attack, Improved Sunder, Combat Brute, Fast Healing x10
Environment: Temperate marshes
Organization: Solitary
CR: 20
Treasure: None
Alignment: Chaotic Evil
Advancement: -
Level Adjustment: -


At this point in his career, Amorph is less a threat along the lines of Grendel and more a threat along the lines of the common cold: the fighter can cleave through lines of him now that he's got the right weapon for the job, the mage can blast away with huge fire AoEs, and even the Swift Hunters are finally getting good enough to Split Greater Manyshot a line of Amorphs off the battlefield if they've got blunt arrows...but it doesn't matter, because for every Amorph that was merely nicked, two more shall arise the following round. Amorph has become an existential problem, one that direct combat cannot solve. He is an emergent species more than an individual, with more permutations than there are stars in the night sky. He seeps into every dungeon, every ruined fortress, every abandoned temple, and lurks in wait to test himself against those that would plunder the past out of greed.


Spoiler: Running/Adapting Amorph
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The primary benefit to running Amorph Prime in your campaign is flexibility: maybe one ubercharger with a stack of immunities is enough to be a threat to your party even at level 20...or maybe by level 13, just one has ceased being any kind of relevant and you need to get him duplicating across the land so they players have to pull out bull**** to even have a chance. That's the beauty of Amorph: from the very beginning of his career as a villain, but especially at level 13 and onward, "Amorph" can be 1 villain, or 1000 villains, or 1 billion villains, or 1 googol villains...however many ubercharging oozes you need to make him a credible threat to your party.

"But wait, if he splits in two, isn't that two CR 20 enemies, making them a CR 22 encounter?"

Depends on how you look at it. Split is part of the abilities an Ochre Jelly has, so it's supposed to factor into their CR. But then, adding significant Fast Healing to splitting makes things weird; normally, you're halving the main defense in order to double the main offense, so one could easily say that two half-health jellies are equivalent threat to one full-health jelly, and that healing makes you fight two full-health jellies, which are clearly more of a threat than one. The way I prefer to look at is that...the CR system is kinda borked, and what constitutes a significant threat to the party depends more on the party than the monster, which makes Splitting most useful for making a "CR 13 encounter" actually effectively CR 13 threat for your party, if they're particularly powerful for their level.

"What if I don't want my players fighting the same boring ubercharger ooze every other adventure?"

Well the interesting thing about Amorph is that he can Split for his entire career - it becomes a primary short-term tactic/long-term strategy starting at HD 21, but he can do it whenever. Anyway, my point is that, from very early on, just as it's possible that the Amorph the party is fighting is the Split off from one lurking elsewhere in the same dungeon, so too is it possible the Amorph they're fighting is one that split from Amorph Prime waaaaaay back when he first became a Monster of Legacy and has evolved differently ever since - and from there, if you're willing to be flexible with retraining, you can change basically anything about the build except for "Intelligent Legacy" and be basically fine. Switch around his feats to ToB soup, give him some class levels, start stacking acquired templates...there's a lot of potential flexibility, you could even give some of them magic items they've found and held onto through the cycles of propagation.

Amorph Prime is a beatstick first and foremost, though. Any that aren't are beyond the scope of this contest.


Spoiler: Sources
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CW: Shock Trooper feat, Combat Brute feat
ELH: Fast Healing feat
MM: Ochre Jelly, Fiendish creature template
PH: Power Attack feat, Improved Bull Rush feat, Improved Sunder feat, Endurance feat
PH2: Steadfast Determination
RoS: Knockback feat
SS: Ritual Of The Elements
WoL: Monster Of Legacy template