Review my framework

Here it is. PDF file.

This is a framework for salient feats. This is a bolt-on system that does not touch the base game, but rather supplements it. Advancement as an advanced being is thus two tracked.

  1. Advancement in metamorphosis ranks via metamorphosis spells.
  2. The acquisition of salient feats, which is influenced by both character level and metamorphosis ranks, via the implementation of an “evolution score”.

Why do this?

I love the Dark Sun setting. It is the first epic level setting for D&D. So harsh is Athas that in the original 2nd edition version the Player Characters started at third level.

This project began as a way to power up advanced beings. The advanced beings presented in Dragon Magazine #339 and Legends of Athas are a lower powered version of dragon and avangion advanced beings that would struggle against, and would likely be defeated by, a single classed character of the same level. My preferred vision of advanced beings is what is implied in the original boxed set – that the Sorcerer Kings are on par with demonlords or arch-devils.

Interestingly, the designers of Legends of Athas appear to have understood this also, so to rescue the Sorcerer Kings from the ignominious fate of the other advanced beings in the rules, they have the Sorcerer Kings the ‘Champion of Rajaat’ template, that among other things granted the Sorcerer Kings a huge number of immunities.

My position is that all the advanced beings should have equal standing in their potential, with the exception of the elemental vortices that grant the Sorcerer Kings the ability to grant spells to templars. Even then I provide a way to obtain such power if the Dark Lens can be found and utilized for that purpose.

I have labored on this project for many years, at least since 2016. Thinking, writing, and revising. And going back to the drawing board a half dozen times. I believe I have come up with a version of the advanced beings that was originally intended by the original designers.

What is a Sorcerer Monarch? YOU Decide

The decision of what a Sorcerer Monarch is should be the decision of the DM. The Dark Sun campaign setting evolved and changed as the setting matured, yet there are many loyalists to the original setting. Therefore, the material contained herein can easily represent Sorcerer Monarchs that are not dragons, but instead very powerful psion/mages. All this requires is using the salient feat framework without the dragon or avangion metamorphosis.

What are Salient Feats?

A salient feat is to an epic feat what an epic feat is to a regular non-epic feat. A salient feat is between two and four times (sometimes more!) as powerful as an epic feat, depending on the context and utility. Only a creature with an evolution score can take salient feats, and on Athas the only creatures that have salient feats are advanced beings, such as the Sorcerer Monarchs.

Salient feats provide the creatures possessing them with a crucial edge against those creatures lacking them. Who has these salient feats depends on you, the Dungeon Master. In my campaign, creatures with an evolution score are the Sorcerer Monarchs and those that have undergone a preserver or defiler metamorphosis. This system, however, is completely modular, and can be used for literally anything at all. Perhaps you like cleric/psion combinations as advanced beings. In that case, there is no reason why they cannot use this system. You can use this modular system with Legends of Athas, or my own series of psionic enchantments for the metamorphosis of advanced beings. Because this is completely modular, you may take what you like and discard everything else.


The first Sorcerer Monarch stats will be coming soon, starting with Kalak. This will showcase the potential of this framework.

Define what you mean by “first epic” for D&D, please?

First D&D game setting to release an explicitly high level supplement. That is Dragon Kings. Epic is 3.5e terminology to denote high level play.

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Yeah, not Immortals from BECMI?

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It was a different type of campaign. The immortals aren’t supposed to interfere with mortals, so in that type of campaign you came up against other immortals or “exalted” (immortal like monsters) creatures. In a sense, it was more a reset to level one (in fact, you were reset to level one) and a different style of play. I don’t include it for that reason.

I’m looking for a number here. What counts as high level in your definition?

It depends on the edition. In OD&D level 36 is the equivalent of level 20 in 2E. Dragon Kings took characters up to level 50 (20 + 20 + 10). In 3.5E, high level plays is defined as level 21+.

Thank you. I appreciate the comparisons.

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A new salient feat that explains the power of Daskinor to create Inner Demons. Oronis might be using this ability as penance to “bring back” the lizardfolk.

Demiurge [Salient]

You attempt to usurp the place of the rumoured gods of old. You can create living creatures by taxing your own energies.

Prerequisites: Evolution score.

Benefit: As a full round action you may create a mortal creature with Hit Dice or class levels of half your evolution score or less. If the creature has a higher CR than HD or has LA, you must add the difference between the CR/LA and HD to the calculation of half evolution score. You may not create a creature with an opposed alignment. For example, a lawful creator could not create a chaotic creature and an evil creator could not create a good creature.

The created creature is free willed and under no obligation to follow the commands of the creator, although the creature could be compelled to follow commands by other means.

Creation of life is very taxing. You must pay 500 XP times the CR of the resultant creature. In addition, you suffer a penalty -6 on all of your ability scores, skills, difficulty classes, and caster level/manifester level 1 day per every 2 CR (round down) of the resultant creature. If additional creatures are created while you are suffering these penalties, an additional -6 penalty is accrued for each creature, and additional days of time affected by the penality are added as appropriate.

For example, the mad Sorcerer King Daskinor in one of his delusional states uses this ability to create a creature. Daskinor creates a human with 10 class levels and the Fragment (inner demon) template, which has a +3 to CR. This means that Daskinor must pay 13 times 500 XP (6500 XP), and Daskinor additionally suffers a penalty of -6 on all of his ability scores, skills, difficulty classes, and caster level/manifester level for 6 days. As an involuntary action resulting from his psychosis, Daskinor does not perceive the connection between his creations (which is does not realize he is actually creating) and the penalties resulting from the creation, which he sees as an “illness” caused by shadowy enemies plotting against him.

Normal: You need to use an epic spell to create creatures, such as Origin of Species: Achaierai.

Superior Feat Progression provides immediate bonus feats/psi enchantments based on the Evolution score, and then more, moving forward?

So, for an Evolution score of 29, the AB would pick up two Psionic Enchantments and one Bonus Feat retroactively, then a second Bonus Feat when it achieves an Evolution score of 30?

Not based on evolution score. Make sure you see my latest version. Everything is streamlined now. It’s better to delete your previous versions to avoid confusion.

Rapid Feat Acquisition [Salient]

You get bonus feats and bonus psionic enchantments.

Prerequisites: Evolution score.
Benefit: When you take this salient feat you get 2 bonus feats (normal or epic) and 3 bonus psionic
enchantments for which you meet the prerequisites.
You may not select the improved spell capacity feat, any item creation feat, salient feat, or any feat
that increases an ability score as a bonus feat.
Special: You may select this feat multiple times. Each time you get an additional 2 feats and 3 psionic

Ah. Yes, that will do it. I had d/l the pdf from another thread, but this one is just in word. I will review and alter.

There were just enough feat slots for a build that makes thematic sense and I believe maxes out class ability acquisition. There’s some difficulty on fluff, but nearly anything can be excused.

Wizard (Defiler) 5/Arch Defiler 5/Psion (Telepath) 1/Athasian Cerebremancer 10/Psiologist 4/Master of the Way 2

CL 17 (21), ML 17 (21); Epic Spellcasting @ 21st, Improved Spell Capacity @ 24th, and Epic Manifesting @ 27th. Casting the first metamorphosis spell at 27th, and gaining an Evolution score of 29.

That’s an immediate bonus of 11 Salient Feats. I’ll go through the updated doc and start choosing. Much easier with 11 than it was with 5. :joy:

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Right. You will also notice that some of the salient feats have been made discrete. Whereas one salient feat previously did a lot of things and affected a lot of mechanics, now salient feats do smaller things and its easier to customise.

Who is this fellow?

Random test case #X to figure out the interconnections of the new class features and updates. We can make them into either of the non-SM dragons we know from lore. Or reskin Terras from LoA if we need to.

With some changes (more MotW levels, less or no Psiologist levels), it can be the base for most of the SM’s. Maybe Andropinus or Kalak. Definite changes for Kalak.

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Indeed. And now that the metamorphosis is largely disentangled from the salient feats, its as simple as applying the changes from metamorphosis from Legends of Athas or not.

Superior Species [Salient]

As an advanced being, only the long-vanished divinities can rival your strength and wisdom.

Prerequisites: Evolution score.

Benefit: You gain a boost to all of your ability scores of +6. This does not stack with any previous positive ability adjustments from race or templates. For example, Arik has a +8 racial bonus to Strength. In this case, Arik does not receive any boost to his ability score as his racial bonus to Strength already exceeds the bonus from this feat. If on the other hand Arik had a +4 racial bonus to Strength, then Arik would get +2 Strength from this feat.

Inherent bonuses and character level bonuses remain.

Can this be taken more than once? An argument for more than once is ‘you are continually evolving’, but maybe this is limited by the number of metamorphosis spells you have cast?

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Just once. They continually evolve, but in other ways. I ran the numbers and found that +6 works best when starting at the elite array. Don’t forget the +5 inherent bonuses, which I expect all of the Sorcerer Monarchs to have.

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Advanced Spell Research [Salient]

You are able to learn spells unique to other classes.

Prerequisites: Evolution score.

Benefit: When you take this feat, you learn some spells from the spell list of any spellcasting base class, whether arcane or divine. You choose a number of spells equal to your evolution score bonus and add these spells to your list of spells known. If your evolution score increases after taking this feat, you may select additional spells to your list of spells known in accordance with the increase in your evolution score bonus.

Could there be a similar feat for choosing Psionic Powers from another list (like psy war or another discipline)? Could it be worded in a way that allows choice of Powers from any list?

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Unless I am mistaken, one can use psychic chiurgery to do this, no??

Transfer Knowledge

If desired, you can use this power to directly transfer knowledge of a power you know to another psionic character. You can give a character knowledge of a power of any level that she can manifest, even if the power is not normally on the character’s power list. Knowledge of powers gained through psychic chirurgery does not count toward the maximum number of powers a character can know per level.

Given this, no I will not include it.