Should Athasian dragons have immunity to X

Here is the situation. The old team struggled with making credible Sorcerer Monarchs that could stand against a single classes PC of the same character level. For that reason, they created the Champion of Rajaat template that granted immunities to everything under the sun. Basically if there is an effect, the Sorcerer Monarchs are immune to it.

Immunities (Ex): Champions of Rajaat are immune to disease and poison, stunning, sleep, paralysis, death effects, disintegration, energy drain, ability drain, ability damage, polymorphing, petrification, or any other attack that alters its form. Immunities can voluntarily be lowered.

It’s important to emphasise that they did this because the Sorcerer Monarchs were too weak under the system they presented under Legends of Athas. As for other advanced beings that aren’t Sorcerer Monarchs, they are out of luck.

My question is: should dragon advanced beings have these immunities if their abilities have been buffed in ways that had not been thought of by the old team? Regular dragons do not have all these immunities.

This is important because it will inform the direction certain statblocks will take.

If they have the immunities, advanced beings are closer to demigods. If the don’t have the immunities, then they are mighty indeed, but not virtually unkillable.

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Most of those immunities are fairly uncontroversial for immortal beings (disease and poison for example). I think it’s arguable that energy and ability drain and ability damage shouldn’t be included. The way much of energy/ability drain/damage occurs in 3.X is that it’s temporary, at least initially, with a save allowed later to see if its permanent (negative levels for example). Disintegrate immunity absolutely shouldn’t be in there. Even if a Champion fails its save against disintegrate, that’s still only a maximum of 40D6 damage. Only being relative for epic level beings.

There’s no good reason why immortal, but otherwise non-deific beings shouldn’t be subjected to those forms of attack. Their levels and saving throws should be sufficient to sail them past any permanent damage, and of course they’re still subject to the dreaded roll of 1. I’d also flag that the Chosen of Mystra (which seems to have been a template for the Champion) are only immune to aging, disease, disintegration and poison and have no need to sleep. That’s the loadout full on Greater Goddess favour bestows on you in the Realms.

The Champion writeup as it stands makes them quasi divine beings. Which they absolutely aren’t. Vortices aside, they’re just immensely powerful immortal beings, with incredible mundane, magical and psionic resources at their disposal. One reason they’ve survived as long as they have is the entire structure of Athasian society is geared to preventing anyone from rising to epic levels to challenge them. It does happen (see Nerad or Farcluun), but vanishingly rarely.

The only reason the heroes of the Prism Pentad are able to compete against the Champions/SMs is because they have their own base of operations, own resources, the help of the Pristine Tower and artifact weapons from the time of the Wars. Epic level Sadira, or RIkus, or Agis (well, he’s dead but you get my point) would and should be able to compete without artifacts to level the field.

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What I was thinking is that maybe these immunities could be given to avangions, and withheld from dragons. It’s hard to balance the dragons against avangions because the physical capabilities of the dragons is just so overwhelming. So granting immunities over the 10 ranks of avangion might be a way to balance them out. That means that a fully metamorphosed dragon is more reliant on physical means to combat an avangion.

I am certain that all advanced beings should have immunity to hostile polymorph effects, since they are undergoing a metamorphosis.

This is true, but the reason they did this was because the advanced being rules that the old team came up with in Legends of Athas simply cannot compete with a character of equal character level. The champion template was designed to fix a problem of their own creation. This fixed (kind of) the problem of pathetic Sorcerer Monarchs, but also created a tier of second class advanced beings (weak non champions).

I’d like to fix this problem. I’d like to ascertain what the consensus is about the power levels. According to the Prism Pentad, the Dragon is a master of physical combat, psionics, and sorcery. So think of a great wyrm with epic level arcane magic and psionics. Of the suite of immunities (lifted from the suite of divine immunities in the SRD, BTW, and only excepting mind affecting effects), there is nothing.

While I’m of the opinion that the Dragon and Sorcerer Monarchs went down too easily, it shouldn’t be impossible either like it would be if they had all those immunities.

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To me that suggests that advanced being metamorphosis needs to be decoupled (somewhat) from level advancement. Perhaps you need to be of a certain level to be able to cast the Nth metamorphosis spell and perhaps you need to have undergone the Nth metamorphosis to be able to cast certain psionic enchantments. But you can advance as a wizard or psionicist or anything else without necessarily advancing as a dragon. And then the Sorcerer Monarchs can be horribly powerful because of levels they have accumulated over the millennia and not just because of their advanced being status.

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Legends of Athas had the Dragon prestige class, which was wrong headed in my opinion, but part of the problem is that this game - especially 3.5 - needs levels as an indicator of power. I’ve come up with a solution, a kind of framework so that the Sorcerer Monarch’s are on two tracks of advancement.

An advanced being should be more powerful than a single classed character of the same level. I am going to create another thread for this so I don’t derail this one.

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I’ve always been confused by the Avangion/Dragon/Shadow Shifter prestige classes. Leaving aside the Avangion auras (which IIRc are both feats and PrC features), do you have to advance a level in the PrC and then cast the accompanying stage of metamorphosis spell? Can you be a Stage II Dragon but be 10th level in the Athasian Dragon PrC (or vice versa)? It’s confusing to me unless I’ve missed something glaringly obvious.

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I sort of feel like it’s a six-of-one, half-a-dozen of another situation.

The Sorcerer Monarchs have had thousands of years to prepare for all sorts of enemies. Whether it’s a specific class feature that they have immunities, or whether it’s simply the case that people at this level of power and this much time have sought out magical items or enchantments that grant these types of immunity is slightly beside the point… Either way, you shouldn’t be able to just easily poison or ability drain (or whatever) a Sorcerer King. It’s inconceivable that they’d be unprepared for this. If you don’t want to give them this as part of their stats, then it’s only logical that you’d give them this as part of their arsenal of mundane, magical and psionic items. The end result is the same.

The Sorcerer Monarchs (as a matter of plot, if not mechanics) are far harder to take on than Farcluun or Korgunard because they’ve had extra millennia to obtain protections, train loyalists, establish escape routes, create magical items, cast protective wards on their throne rooms, etc.

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What would you say is innate to an advanced being in terms of immunities? And what should accompany immortality?

Immunity to disease for an immortal seems like a no brainer. Having an immortal die of cholera or cancer seems pathetic.

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DIe yes, debilitated? Now that’s an evil idea. A bit Methuselah - immortal but still subject to ageing. Immortal and can’t die from disease? Sure, but you can still look scabrous and have a hacking cough and have nerve damage etc.

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There is a potion of immortality in a Dungeon mag adventure which does exactly this.

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Has anyone, actually, rolled up a 30th-level Dragon-King and a 30th-level Avangion and had them fight?