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Reconciling Immortals, Part II: Forms

by Scott Moore

For characters reaching 36th level, the Immortal character class, originally presented in Frank Mentzer's Immortals Rules boxed set (the gold box) and later revised for Aaron Allston's Wrath of the Immortals boxed set (WotI), provides further advancement and adventuring opportunities. Unfortunately, several significant differences exist between these two products. Some items addressed in one product are ignored, or even contradicted, in the other. The purpose of this series of articles is to help document the information that differs between the two products as well as to provide some suggestions for expanding the material presented in both sets. For this second article in the series, we'll examine some of the differences between various Immortal Forms in the rule sets.

The introduction to WotI Book One (page 2) makes a note of some of the differences between that set and the earlier gold box. Where there is a conflict between the two rules sets, it recommends using the WotI set as the definitive guide. While this does make sense for certain items (such as eliminating the limit on the number of Immortals per level, dropping the Olympics and competition requirement for advancement, and dropping the sphere association for spells), there are certain aspects of the gold box rules that players may wish to continue using in their game. For those that may own only one of these boxed sets, the following will give you an idea of exactly where some of the rules differ in relation to Immortal Forms and offer you options and suggestions for adopting either system (or a combination thereof) as the base rules for your own campaign.

Incorporeal Form

The original Mentzer gold box stated that Immortals can still use Aura and Power attacks, but not magical effects, when incorporeal (page 24 of the Player's Guide To Immortals). WotI Book One (page 72) partially contradicts this by allowing incorporeal Immortals to cast spells up to a caster level equal to twice their Hit Dice, up to a maximum of 36th level. Use whichever limitations you prefer.

Other features of this form (per pages 72-73 of WotI Book One) include the ability to fly at will at the normal rate of 720 a turn (240 a round) or a maximum of 24 miles per round, the ability to speak and telepathically communicate in all languages known in that dimension, the ability to assume any appearance (although remaining transparent and obviously insubstantial), the ability to control dreams within 180', and immunity to all physical attacks and spells except the Immortal spells power attack and probe.

Standard/Manifestation Form

These are the names given to describe the new form taken on by an Initiate Immortal. The first such form is a considered a gift from the Initiate's sponsoring Immortal and costs the new Initiate nothing. Recreating a standard or manifestation form that has been destroyed costs an Immortal 100 PP (page 25 of the Player's Guide To Immortals states that the cost for a replacement demi-human standard form is only 50 PP, however).

Additional manifestation forms may also be created at a cost of 100 PP per form (per page 72 of WotI Book One).

The original gold box limits standard forms to a maximum of 27 for each ability score (page 25 of the Player's Guide To Immortals). This limitation was removed in WotI.

This form also bestows infravision, with a range dependant upon the rule system used (180' range per page 25 of the Player's Guide To Immortals; 60' range per page 58 of WotI Book One).

If you choose to limit the maximum ability scores of this form, allow the greater infravision range.

Original Form/Mortal Identity

Per the gold box rules, creating additional forms costs 50 PP and 3 rounds with an additional expenditure of 50 TP to inhabit the form. Even though they are essentially returned to a physical mortal form, Immortals in their original forms can still create magical effects through the expenditure of PP (page 25 of the Player's Guide To Immortals).

WotI Book One reduces the cost for creating a new mortal identity is to 5 PP (as compared to the original form's 50 PP), with no associated cost for inhabiting the form, or re-assuming it at a later time. However, Immortals that have assumed a mortal identity cannot use their Immortal powers (except for the ability to speak all languages) without being forced into manifestation form.

In the original gold box rules (page 25 of the Player's Guide To Immortals), Immortals are forced back into their original form whenever they are on their Native Plane (unless already in incorporeal form), keeping their original ability scores when in this form. By contrast, page 73 of WotI Book One removes this restriction.

If being able to use Immortal powers while in this form is important, follow the gold box rules. If a lower cost mortal form with less overall restrictions (excluding the forced manifestation form limit) is more attractive, use the WotI rules.


Avatars are defined similarly in both sets of rules. The number of avatars an Immortal can have is equal to his Intelligence modifier or half that if they are active on separate planes (pages 27-28 of the Player's Guide To Immortals). The absolute maximum number of avatars an Immortal may have is 19 avatars (page 74 of WotI Book One).

Although not specifically detailed in the gold box, power, in the form of TP, is also allocated and reclaimed in the exact same manner as hit points (page 74 of WotI Book One).

Creature Form

The gold box gives a somewhat complicated procedure for figuring out the PP cost of assuming the form of a non-player character race (pages 25-27 of the Player's Guide To Immortals). The WotI rules state that an Immortal may assume the form of a monster (or other creature) by following the standard rules for creating mortal identities (see above). Since that procedure is more straightforward, it is the recommended method.

Golems & Drolems

Although not detailed in WotI, Immortals can also inhabit one of these existing construct types for a cost of 50 PP. While in these forms, the Immortal may not alter the physical form of the construct and is limited to whatever types of movement are standard for the construct they have inhabited.

All other powers and abilities of the Immortal, including anti-magic, are accessible in the construct form, as are all the standard abilities for that particular construct type (page 27 of the Player's Guide To Immortals).