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  1. - Top - End - #1
    Firbolg in the Playground

    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    London, England.

    Default The Profound Darkness (3.5 single-foe BBEG battle)

    Following on from Proven Paradox's thread, this is a single-foe battle for D&D 3.5. It's intended as the climax and BBEG fight of an entire campaign. It's also a demonstration of how to have a long single-foe encounter without a quick win for either side.

    The setting is the Phantasy Star universe (which includes high-tech and psionics, but neither of which are a big part of this battle - you can run it without them). The PCs, loaded to the gills with buffs and magical gear, arrive on the Profound Darkness' demiplane just as it's preparing to finally break free of its prison and manifest upon the material world. If they lose, the world is toast.

    To reach the Profound Darkness' demiplane, the PCs have to go through the Edge, which is a weird in-between place full of kaleidoscopic light. A single 5-foot-wide path progresses through it, with an infinite drop in all directions. The PCs can run into the shades of old enemies here, but it is NOT recommended to give them any fights - they should be at full health for the battle.

    Once they enter the Profound Darkness' demiplane, read them the following text:

    "You step through into blackness. At first, everything around you looks dark; then, slowly, it begins to brighten. You're on a circular island in the midddle of an endless plane of kaleidoscopic light that seems to stretch away to infinity. At the same time, overlaid over this, is a second image just barely visible; a transparent cylinder leading away to darkness. In the centre of the cylinder, and at the centre of the island, is a writhing sphere of darkness."

    Roll initiative.

    The Profound Darkness

    DM Notes: This battle is intended to be very difficult and very long. When I ran it, it took over 4 hours of continuous combat. You'll need to tweak the numbers depending on your party's level, numbers, and powergameyness quotient.

    My party was level 10 for this fight and were six in number; however, they were loaded down with high-powered magical items, including an artifact sword that could use cure critical wounds and true resurrection as standard actions at will (though it could only resurrect each person once). You know the phase in videogames where you gear up for the final boss? Yeah, they'd just done that. Without the sword and special items, my guess is that they'd have needed to be several levels higher. Note that even with the resurrections, only two PCs walked out alive.

    The PD is designed to be impossible to take out quickly. In true video-game style, the only way to kill it is to go through its truckloads of HP for all three of its forms. However, note that the PD has no energy resistance, no damage resistance, no spell resistance, and no critical immunity; this means pretty much all classes have the potential to hurt it. The idea is that everyone can do something. (In the game story, the reason the PCs were able to get through these things was due to the special rings they were carrying, which also protected them from the worst of the PD's powers.)

    All forms of the Profound Darkness have the following abilities:

    Plane Shift: The battle takes place on a disc approximately 120 ft in diameter, with the Profound Darkness at the centre. Since the Profound Darkness is always at the centre of the demiplane, whenever it 'moves', it's the PCs that appear to move instead. So if it takes a move action for 30 ft, you tell the PCs, "Everyone move your figure 6 squares this way." (point.) If you're cruel, you can drop PCs off the edge of the arena this way, but make sure to give them some warning first.

    Senses: All forms of the Profound Darkness have darkvision, lifesense, tremorsense, blindsense, everythingsense, telepathy out to 100 ft, and constant true seeing.

    Immunities: All forms of the Profound Darkness are immune to poison, sleep, paralysis, disease, death, mind-affecting, ability damage, ability drain, energy drain, stunning, fatigue, exhaustion, decapitation, plane shifting, polymorphing, kittens, teleportation, That Damn Crab, ability penalties, dazing, presidential debates, antimagic fields, imprisonment, and anything else you feel the need to throw in.

    When (if) the PCs kill a phase, there's a 2-3 round pause between the next one as the PD shifts dimensions. The PCs can use this breathing space to rebuff and heal.

    The Profound Darkness, Phase 1

    Description A huge mass of thousands of thin, writhing tentacles emerging from a sphere of darkness.
    Huge outsider (Extraplanar, Evil)
    HP 1000
    Speed 30 ft. (6 squares, plane shift; see above)
    Init +0
    AC 25; touch 7; flat-footed 25
    Attack Ranged touch +13
    Space 15x15 ft; Reach 0.
    Special Attacks Medium SLAs; see below
    Special Qualities See above
    Saves Fort +16 Ref +12 Will +16
    Skills Concentration auto; Spellcraft auto
    Challenge Rating High
    Alignment Evil

    DM Notes: This form is an easy warm-up for the PCs, though it can still knock off one or two of them if they get careless or unlucky. It allows the PCs to get used to the unusual conditions of the fight. Once it's destroyed, move on to . . .

    The Profound Darkness, Phase 2

    Description The mist solidifies into a creature out of a nightmare. It stands twenty feet tall on six widely spaced legs, and it's covered with mottled green and purple scales. Three draconic heads rise on separate necks, and a scorpion tail curls up over its back.
    Gargantuan outsider (Extraplanar, Evil)
    HP 900
    Speed 30 ft. (6 squares, plane shift; see above)
    Init +0
    AC 29; touch 3; flat-footed 29
    Attack Bite +20 (2d8+10)
    Full-Attack 3 bites +20 (2d8+10), 2 claws +18 (2d6+5), sting +18 (2d6+10 and poison; see below)
    Poison DC 22; initial damage death, secondary damage death.
    Space 20x20 ft; Reach 15 ft.
    Special Attacks Major SLAs; see below
    Special Qualities See above
    Saves Fort +18 Ref +14 Will +18
    Skills Concentration auto; Spellcraft auto
    Challenge Rating You don't want to know
    Alignment Evil

    DM Notes: This is where the fight starts getting tough. PCs who've gotten used to the initial form having no physical attacks or reach may be wrong-footed by this form's full attacks. Its SLAs are also dangerous. Expect some PC deaths here. Once the PCs finally take it down, it's time for . . .

    The Profound Darkness, Phase 3

    Description This creature is over thirty feet tall. Eight enormous segmented legs rise up to a vast spiderlike body, which rises at the front to take the figure of a giant humanoid female with a faceless head. Four colossal batlike wings rise from the creature's back, beating slowly as the empty face turns to look down on you.
    Colossal outsider (Extraplanar, Evil)
    HP 900
    Speed 30 ft. (6 squares, plane shift; see above)
    Init +0
    AC 27; touch -1; flat-footed 27
    Attack Ranged touch +15
    Space 25x25 ft; Reach 0.
    Special Attacks Greater SLAs; see below
    Saves Fort +20 Ref +16 Will +20
    Skills Concentration auto; Spellcraft auto
    Challenge Rating Why are you even asking?
    Alignment Evil

    DM Notes: This is where you stop pulling punches. This form can easily kill one PC per turn, and sometimes more. Better hope the players are good, because they're not going to have any second chances.

    Spell-Like Abilities

    These don't provoke AoO's, and all are at CL 20. All are only examples; assume the PD can use pretty much any attack spell of equivalent level. The listed ones include some psionic powers as well as spells; DM should free to swap in his or her personal favourites. :)

    Medium SLAs: Death Urge (DC 23 negates, duration 2 rounds), Prismatic Ray (DC 22), Baleful Polymorph (DC 22), Greater Dispel Magic

    Major SLAs: Prismatic Spray (DC 24), Energy Wave (DC 24), Ultrablast (DC 24), Finger of Death (DC 24)

    Greater SLAs: Megid (Mass Disintegrate on all targets within 30 feet, ignoring line of effect, DC 23), Maze, Meteor Swarm (DC 26), Weird (DC 26), Polar Ray

    If the PCs somehow manage to kill it; congratulations, they've saved their planet! The Profound Darkness disintegrates in an escalating explosion, while the PCs run as fast as they can out of the collapsing demiplane and then through the Edge, the path breaking apart behind them.

    For the curious, when my party tried this battle, the final results were: 1 PC killed, resurrected, killed, reincarnated, and finally surviving (favoured soul), 1 PC surviving without being killed at all (druid), 1 PC disintegrated (psion, though the druid grabbed some of her dust on the way out to reincarnate), 1 PC killed by a prismatic ray, resurrected, then disintegrated (rogue), 1 PC killed by an energy wave, resurrected, and then sent insane, polymorphed into a badger, and thrown through a planar rift to Bytopia (warlock, don't ask), and one PC who sacrificed himself to finally kill the thing (psychic warrior).

    If you actually decide to inflict this on your own group, PM me with the results. :)

    - Saph
    Last edited by Saph; 2008-11-02 at 10:40 AM.
    I'm the author of the Alex Verus series of urban fantasy novels. Fated is the first, and Book #10 in the series, Fallen, is out as of September 2019. For updates, check my blog!

  2. - Top - End - #2

    Default Re: The Profound Darkness (3.5 single-foe BBEG battle)

    All hail the kitten immune one!

    Jokes aside, very nice custom final boss. Gotta try to squeeze it one day in one of my campaigns.

  3. - Top - End - #3
    Bugbear in the Playground
    Pie Guy's Avatar

    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    center of earth

    Default Re: The Profound Darkness (3.5 single-foe BBEG battle)

    Why am I reminded of Kirby?

    Edit: "Quick, hammer him with the star rod!"
    edit: again: The star rod should be (5d12 +str+dex+con+wis+int+cha)^2 +5 fire damage, with 30 foot range.
    Last edited by Pie Guy; 2008-11-02 at 09:32 PM.

  4. - Top - End - #4
    Pixie in the Playground

    Join Date
    Nov 2008

    Default Re: The Profound Darkness (3.5 single-foe BBEG battle)


    While I have once upon a time run a pseudo-D&D game in the PS universe, I never got around to ever even considering statting out the Profound Darkness.

    Scary...what level PCs were you planning for this?

    A Mass Disintegrate is a very interesting take on Megid, one I had not considered. Interesting I say!

  5. - Top - End - #5
    Bugbear in the Playground
    Proven_Paradox's Avatar

    Join Date
    Oct 2006

    Default Re: The Profound Darkness (3.5 single-foe BBEG battle)

    This is pretty much the kind of thing I want to eventually inflict on my PCs--though they'll likely be more along the lines of level 15 when we finally get to the final encounter, so I'll have to adjust. Still, thanks; this does what I'm wanting to do for that fight, save being humanoid in the first phase.

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