Once, every city in Athas was led by a king or queen. They were the top of the social order. Often, they lived near the city in a fortified palace bustling with minor officials. When a potentate found it necessary to leave his or her palace, he or she did so only with a great deal of preparations and pomp, well-protected by magic and a full bodyguard retinue.
Almost without exception, every king or queen was a powerful Defiler who had risen to his or her position through the unprincipled use of magical and psionic abilities. Each would use his or her magic to prolong his or her life, and most have reigned for hundreds of years.
Currently, there are only three sorcerer-kings in the Tablelands. The Shadow King Nibenay openly rules the city of the same name at the eastern edge of the Crescent Forest. To the far side of the forest is the Oba, Lalai-Puy. Finally, the warrior king Hamanu presides over militaristic Urik to the north.
A Sorcerer-King/Queen’s Lair
A sorcerer-king/queen lives within its palace in a city that sees it as a divine being. Everything about the sorcerer-king/queen’s lair and its surrounding city reflects its ego and keen mind, from the architecture to the servants. Often, the sorcerer-king/queen is surrounded by its most trusted agents, templars, who are granted magical powers from their patrons.
On initiative count 20 (losing initiative ties), the sorcerer-king can take a lair action to cause one of the following magical effects; the sorcerer-king can’t use the same effect two rounds in a row. A sorcerer-king/queen encounter in its lair has a CR of 26 (90,000 XP).
- The sorcerer-king/queen defiles all living life within 120 feet of it. If a plant creature or a magical plant is in the area, it must make a DC 19 Constitution saving throw with disadvantage, taking 8d8 necrotic damage on a failed saving throw or half as much damage on a successful one. All nonmagical plants that aren’t a creature, such as a tree or a shrub, don’t make a saving throw; they simply wither and die. The sorcerer-king/queen can then cast a spell of 3rd-level or lower.
- The sorcerer-king/queen targets up to three creatures it can see within 30 feet of it. Each creature must succeed on a DC 21 Strength saving throw. On a failure, a target takes 13 (3d8) bludgeoning damage and is flung up to 20 feet away from the sorcerer-king/queen in a direction of the sorcerer-king/queen’s choice. If a thrown target strikes an object, such as a wall or floor, the targets 3 (1d6) bludgeoning damage for every 10 feet it was thrown. If the target is thrown at another creature, that creature must succeed on a DC 21 Dexterity saving throw or take the same damage and be knocked prone. If the saving throw is successful, the target takes half the bludgeoning damage and isn’t flung away or knocked prone.
- The sorcerer-king/queen targets one creature it can see within 60 feet of it. That target must succeed on a DC 21 Intelligence saving throw. On a failed saving throw, the creature takes 27 (6d8) psychic damage and is stunned until the start of the sorcerer-king/queen’s next turn.
Medium humanoid (dragon king/queen), lawful evil
Armor Class 19 (natural armor)
Hit Points 180 (24d8 + 72)
Speed 30 ft., fly 30 ft.
Abilities Str 21 (+5), Dex 14 (+2), Con 16 (+3), Int 20 (+5), Wis 18 (+4), Cha 21 (+5)
Saving Throws Con +11, Int +13, Wis +12, Cha +13
Skills Arcana +13, Deception +13, History +13, Insight +12, Perception +12, Persuasion +13
Damage Resistances cold, lightning, thunder
Damage Immunities fire, necrotic, poison; bludgeoning, piercing, and slashing from nonmagical attacks
Condition Immunities charmed, frightened, poisoned
Senses truesight 120 ft., passive Perception 22
Challenge 24 (62,000 XP)
Psychic Weapons. The sorcerer-king/queen’s weapon attacks are magical. When the sorcerer-king/queen hits with any weapon, the weapon deals an extra 6d8 psychic damage (included in the attack).
Legendary Resistance (3/Day). If the sorcerer-king/queen fails a saving throw it can choose to succeed instead.
Magic Resistance. The sorcerer-king/queen has advantage on saving throws against spells and other magical effects.
Innate Spellcasting (Psionics). The sorcerer-king/queen’s innate spellcasting ability is Intelligence (spell save DC 21, +13 to hit with spell attacks). It can cast the following spells without requiring components:
- At will: detect evil and good, detect magic, detect thoughts, invisibility, mage hand (the hand is invisible), sending, shield
- 3/day: animate dead, banishment, Bigby’s hand, dimension door, dominate monster, enhance ability, telekinesis, teleport (self only)
- 1/day: astral projection, conjure elemental (any except water)
Spellcasting. The sorcerer-king is a 20th-level spellcaster. Its spellcasting ability is Charisma (spell save DC 21, +13 to hit with spell attacks). It can cast the following sorcerer spells:
- Cantrips (at will): chill touch, dancing lights, fire bolt, minor illusion, prestidigitation, ray of frost
- 1st-level (4 slots): burning hands, fog cloud
- 2nd-level (3 slots): scorching ray, hold person
- 3rd-level (3 slots): counterspell, dispel magic, fireball
- 4th-level (3 slots): polymorph, wall of fire
- 5th-level (3 slots): cloudkill, wall of stone
- 6th-level (2 slots): disintegrate
- 7th-level (2 slots): fire storm
- 8th-level (1 slot): dominate monster
- 9th-level (1 slot): meteor swarm
Sorcery Points. The sorcerer-king/queen has 20 sorcery points. It regains all its spent sorcery points when it finishes a long rest. It can spend its sorcery points on the following options:
- Distant Spell. When the sorcerer-king/queen casts as pell that has a range of 5 feet or greater, it can spend 1 sorcery point to double the range of the spell. When the sorcerer-king/queen casts a spell that has a range of touch, it can spend 1 sorcery point to make the range of the spell 30 feet.
- Empowered Spell. When the sorcerer-king/queen rolls damage for a spell, it can spend 1 sorcery point to reroll up to 5 damage dice. It must use the new rolls. The sorcerer-king/queen can use Empowered spell even if it has used a different Metamagic option during the casting of the spell.
- Heightened Spell. When the sorcerer-king/queen casts a spell that forces a creature to make a saving throw to resist its effects, it can spend 3 sorcery points to give one target of the spell disadvantage on its first saving throw made against the spell.
- Subtle Spell. When the sorcerer-king casts a spell, it can spend 1 sorcery point to cast it without any somatic or verbal components.
Multiattack. The sorcerer-king can use its Frightful Presence. It then makes three melee weapon attacks.
Longsword. Melee Weapon Attack: +13 to hit, reach 5 ft., one target. Hit: 9 (1d8 + 5) slashing damage plus 27 (6d8) psychic damage.
Frightful Presence. Each creature of the sorcerer-king/queen’s choice that is within 120 feet of the sorcerer-king/queen and aware of it must succeed on a DC 21 Wisdom saving throw or become frightened for 1 minute. A creature can repeat the saving throw at th end of each of its turns, ending the effect on itself on a success. If a creature’s saving throw is successful or the effect ends for it, the creature is immune to the sorcerer-king/queen’s Frightful Presence for the next 24 hours.
Scorching Sand Breath (Recharge 5-6). The sorcerer-king spews a 60-foot cone of scalding sand. Each creature in the area must succeed on a DC 19 Constitution saving throw. A creature that fails its saving throw takes 36 (8d8) slashing damage plus 36 (8d8) fire damage and is blinded for 1 minute. A creature can repeat its saving throw at the end of each of its turns, ending the effect on itself with a success. On a successful saving throw, a creature takes half as much damage and isn’t blinded.
The sorcerer-king/queen can take 3 legendary actions, choosing from the options below. Only one legendary action option can be used at a time and only at the end of another creature’s turn. The sorcerer-king/queen regains spent legendary actions at the start of its turn.
Attack. The sorcerer-king/queen makes a melee weapon attack.
At-Will Spell. The sorcerer-king uses one of its at-will spells (innate or otherwise).
Summon Undead (Costs 3 Actions). Up to eight skeletons or zombies appear in unoccupied spaces within 30 feet of the sorcerer-king/queen and remain until destroyed. Undead summoned in this way roll initiative and act in the next available turn. The sorcerer-king/queen can have up to eight undead summoned by this ability at a time.
Teleport (Costs 2 Actions). The sorcerer-king/queen and any equipment it is wearing or carrying teleports to an unoccupied space it can see within 60 feet of it.
BroadSword is Coming!
The first issue of BroadSword Monthly will be out in just a few weeks. Be sure to grab a copy if you haven’t already. Currently, pre-orders get a 10% discount on the cover price.
The book will include 4 new adventures, new campaign settings, new monsters, new magic items, and more!