Advanced beings physiology/biology

I was wondering what the process of becoming an advanced being does to the being undergoing the transformation. Specifically, would the resulting creature still be able to reproduce? If it could reproduce, what would it’s prodigy look like? Balance wise, I am guessing that two dragons would not be able to produce another dragon, as that would quickly get out of hand. So, that means that the dragon would either 1) remain genetically identical to their base race, so a formally human dragon (such as, say, Nibenay) would father a human spawn, or 2) the eldritch process leaves the advanced being devoid of the ability to reproduce at all. Is their any canon examples of children of sorcerer kings?

There’s a third option; that they do not breed true.

Off the top of my head, there’s a character in The Amber Enchantress who is identified as the son of Nibenay – He is a half-cylops; that is, the torso of a Human, and the lower body of a cylops – basically a giant centipede. I belive he’s shown to be a spellcaster at one point, though, its been a long time. He is certainly physically resiliant.

Whether or not he’s Nibenay’s biological son is never specifically made clear.

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What do you mean by not breeding true?

The children are messed up, or otherwise not the same as either parent.

I believe Abalach-Re is stated as having had many children, at least one of which is the mostly normal leader the Raam’s VA.

With Abalach-Re as exemple having a lot of children and one appearing as a human preserver. An advanced being should breed their original race children with a powerful talent for magic & psionic.

By this, would you mean a sorcerer? Or would that be too close to conventional D&D? (In the case it could be a sorcerer, perhaps some changes could be made to the class so that it reflects it’s advanced being progenitor)

Its always a GM choice, but i would approve a Sorcerer. Wizard, Mystic, even Bard.

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What would an Elemental Lord or Spirit Initiate produce?

I would likely say that Sorcerer would be the best choice for wizarding advanced beings. Plus, Bard is not a magic class in most versions of Dark Sun.

What would it take for a life-shaper to become an advanced being?

For a sorcerer, since there are multiple types of arcane advanced beings, i would imagine that the character would have an alternate class feature at first level to differentiate the different types. I have some tenative ideas.

Dragon: You do not gain a familiar. Instead, you can choose one of the two benefits below.
-Least Dragon Magic: You can store life energy in an obsidian orb as a myrmeleon for use later. You still must pay the requisite cost of making the orb. Unlike a myrmeleon, however, you do not have to be a defiler to use this ability.
-Dragon Breath: You can choose once a day to sacrifice one or more spells to utilize a breath weapon consisting of a 15-foot cone of superheated sand, dealing 1d6 of damage per spell level sacrifice. A successful Reflex save (DC 10 +1/2 class level + Con modifier) halves the damage. Half of the damage is fire, and the other half is piercing, in the favor of fire. You can only sacrifice a number of spell levels equal to half your caster level rounded down, and may only sacrifice sorcerer spells in this way.

Avangion: You do not get a familiar. Instead, you gain one of the following benefits:
-Least Avangion Magic: Once per day you can draw on an internal reserve of power for your spells. You can treat your spells as if they were cast in one level better terrain than you are in. Alternatively, this allows you to cast a spell in areas devoid of life as if they were desolate terrain, or if you are a defiler it allows you to cast a spell without defiling, although you are likewise treated as if casting in desolate terrain.
-Lesser Defiling Immunity: Your life force is very difficult to siphon. You are immune to the effects of being in another’s defiling circle, and gain a plus 5 bonus to fortitude saves for the purpose of resisting dragon magic.

Shadow Shifter: You do not get a familiar. Instead, you gain one of the following benefits:
-Black Magic: You gain the benefit of the Shadow Magic class feature of the Shadow Wizard once per day.
-You gain the benefit of the Shadow Taint class feature of the Shadow Wizard.

My contributions will be solely psionic in nature. As such I will address the possibility of the elan.

Various natures and initial genesis methods have been proposed across different world settings: beings created by trapped vestiges and psi lords; living prisons for other-planar beings, bound to the soul such that when one dies so does the other; and other similar themes. The common element is the foreign power source.

Reproduction is not currently possible, instead the same mysterious ceremony to create an elan must be used each and every time.

Biology is suffused with psionic power, and in fact appears to require psionic power to persist.

Unless and until a viable method of reproduction is discovered, or the mysterious ritual becomes more commonly know (at least to all elans, instead of just the council) this is an endangered species.

I would rule that Elans are either remnants of the Green Age or high-ranking lawkeepers of Saragar. No other organization on Athas maintains enough knowledge of psionics to effectively produce Elans, even in a psionicaly advanced world like Athas.

I would counter slightly by pointing out that while a formalized ritual is one possibility, an instinctive or inspired one are some others. The potentials of group or merged minds that I’ve mentioned elsewhere, or even adaption seeking any source of alternate sustenance or reproduction combined with foresight, inspiration, clairvoyance, and/or psychometry (or destiny’s trail) can yield the necessary information. Not to mention hyper-cognition and the like.

There actually is no way to keep information secret when psionics are in play, short of a targeted effect such as a made-for-the-purpose psionic mythal, or intervention of a greater Power, which doesn’t currently exist on Athas, by default. It may be tough, it may be tougher, but it can always be found out eventually. So, it is actually more unlikely that only the two organizations would have the method. Or at least, a method… as there is probably more than one.

Of course, whomever or whatever else may know of a method may not communicate in recognizable terms, patterns, or methods at all, especially in the case of instinctive. Inspired methods may convey the ability to cause the effect to come to pass, but may not properly provided the clarified concepts necessary to actually teach or share said method to another.

This might mean that the only way to access such methods would to become part of the group or meld. Such a joining could have, ah, interesting, effects upon the one seeking it. While they may achieve the state they seek, would they then still be the same entity? Even if they recall their former life as a newly minted first level being which I’d past of a group or meld, it would be most unlikely that they would be able to, or even desire to, break free and pursue their previous agenda.

While normally I would agree, keep in mind that the Mind Lords of Saragar are essentially insane, and given that they would be the only ones alive with that information, reading their minds could be deadly. Similarly, the Green Age remnants are less an organization and more a group of actually dead people, who have been dead since the cleansing wars. As a matter of fact, aside from any Elans they left behind, the Mind Lords of Saragar are the only remnants of that age who are sane enough to remember the ritual and who are also advanced enough psions to complete it (the sorcerer kings are powerful psions, but not nearly as powerful as the mind lords). The mind lords are also privy to two other secrets: the secret to making mind lords, and the secret to making guardian orbs.

Please note that none of the methods I outlined actually involved reading anyone’s mind. In point of fact, complete and detailed information on all three of those secrets could be retrieved without ever coming near the mind lords mentally. Such is the scope of psionics and some of the powers I mentioned.

I fully agree that attempting to read the mind of such an entity would be dangerous, if not suicidal.

With the mythal you mentioned before, it’s not inconceivable that the Mind Lords have such a device. They are the most powerful epic psions on Athas, and have had millennium to perfect their craft. One or all of them might have access to the mythal epic psionic power. They would use it to protect their obsidian orbs from intruders, and could also use it to shield themselves from any effect that would steal the knowledge they need to protect their realm from prying sorcerer kings and keep their people submissive to their will.

Also, I wouldn’t consider an Elan an advanced being. Becoming an advanced being grants incredible power in addition to immortality. A short list of Advanced Beings includes:

Badna Zombie
Shadow Shifter
Spirit Initiate
Mind Lord
Spectral Savant
Elemental Lord
Drake Guardian
Monarch’s Chosen
Psion Uncarnate
Champion of Rajaat
Sun wizard
Chosen of Mystra
Chosen of Bane
Worm Lord
Worm that Walks

I will have to check if all the methods I mention count as divination or not. That is the most common method of protection against information gathering effects, even using mythals. However, not even a mythal can protect against hyper-cognition. Nothing can.