High-Level Threats for Your Campaign
Your player characters stand on a precipice, the corpses of slain enemies all around them. Across a great expanse awaits the final threat - their ancient nemesis. What terror will you unleash upon them?
This supplement provides DMs with truly wicked threats to challenge high-level adventurers. Each "elder evil" featured in this tome comes with a detailed description, statistics blocks for the elder evil and its minions, tips for how to incorporate the elder evil into any D&D campaign, adventure seeds, and maps of the elder evil's lair (complete with encounters and room descriptions). This book also provides guidelines to help DMs create their own unique elder evils as worthy campaign villains and endgame encounters.
For use with these Dungeons & Dragons products: Player's Handbook, Dungeon Master's Guide, Monster Manual.
"I suddenly find myself needing to know the plural of apocalypse."
- Riley Finn, Buffy the Vampire Slayer
Sometimes, you just need to blow up your world.
When that's your plan, Elder Evils (2007) has you covered. This book of world-ending apocalypses gives you nine methods for ripping apart your campaign world and lovingly dancing on its (metaphorical) smoking ashes, all while making a superb adventure out of the process. Elder Evils was launched near the end of the 3.5 D&D cycle and is in some ways edition-agnostic; the traditional parade of new feats/spells/classes/prestige classes/magic items is largely absent from this supplement. In exchange, the book delivers strong, horrific villains with world-changing designs.
Nine Beasts to Rule Them All.
"Choose! Choose the form of the Destructor!"
-Gozer the Gozerian
In Elder Evils, your choices for world-threatening monstrosities include the following:
- Atropus, the world born dead, wandering moonlet, who unmakes whole planets and pulls the living dead from their graves. Its aspects walk the world, and Gorguth the demon leads an army from the Abyss to prepare the way.
- Father Lymac, alien thought given flesh and form, trapped in an icy prison for his age of freezing darkness to begin. He will bring glaciers and darkness to the world, and his Far Realm brood come with him.
- The Hulks of Zoretha, five stone monoliths that awaken at long last. They will gladly destroy the world to make a nest for their own brood.
- The Leviathan, spawned from the chaos of creation that slumbers deep beneath the waves. When Leviathan awakes, it will wreak destruction, as is its nature. More worrisome are those who seek to control or harness it for their own desires.
- Pandorym, brought to our world eons ago by those who wished to shield themselves from the will of the gods. Now it lies hidden in a forgotten temple, brain and body split asunder, awaiting the opportunity to kill gods once again.
- Ragnora, Mother of Monsters, bloated and hideous as she seeks new worlds to remake in her image. She loves the monstrosities that she has birthed into the multiverse, and she seeks to spread her terrible fecundity across the planes.
- Sertrous, father of the yuan-ti, deceased demon lord who is destined to rise again and take back all that he has lost. Pray he does not.
- The Worm That Walks, the psychic imprint of the demigod Kyuss, a sifting mass of maggots and worms that years to usher in the world's last age.
- Zargon the Returner, beast-god and former ruler of Hell, who builds an army to conquer the world that was denied him. He has no interest in the Nine Hells; our own world is so much riper and more convenient.
Each of these chapters contains information on the respective elder evil, its followers, their plans, and the consequences for their actions. Myths about the evil are accompanied by typical portents and signs about their imminent arrival. Each chapter also includes a series of encounters designed to help the heroes conquer the evil (or at least its minions) or at least forestall complete destruction.
Building Adventures as Well as Apocalypses. Chapter One sets the stage for the madness that follows. There are rules for portents, vile feats, and malefic properties. Most importantly, there are guidelines for integrating these creatures into your world and your mythology, heralding the end times in a way that's both terrifying and exceptionally fun.
Elder Evil is an atypical book in a lot of ways, although it's a superb one. You won't want to pick it up for crunchy new rule systems: You will want it for inspiration when creating long campaigns that result in malevolent, world-shaking catastrophes; for imaginative large-scale adventure design; and for big-picture planning of major campaign threats. When you want to shake up your campaign world, there's no better way to do so.
About the Creators. Robert J. Schwalb is the Iron Man of game design, an incredibly prolific designer whose work can be found throughout 3rd and 4th edition D&D. His work can also be found in Green Ronin's Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay, A Song of Ice and Fire Roleplaying Game, and innumerable other products.
About the Product Historian
History and commentary of this product was written by Kevin Kulp, game designer and admin of the independent D&D fansite ENWorld. Please feel free to mail corrections, comments, and additions to firstname.lastname@example.org.