Legends of your exploits have traveled the world, but they seem so unreal that most consider your very existence a rumor. An enemy might, if he's lucky, catch a glimpse of you in the shadows before he feels your blade in his back. Those who bring the fight to you find you an elusive opponent -- almost impossible to keep in one place or to hit effectively. Being a mythic shadow means you won't get all the glory you deserve, so you'll have to take comfort in being the one person who knows how good you really are.
Requirements: 21st level
21st Improved precision damage, phantom visage
24th Spectral stride
27th Spurn death
30th Shadow strike
Improved Precision Damage (Ex): At 21st level, any attack you make that gets extra precision damage (because you're able to strike a vital spot with an ability such as the rogue's sneak attack, ninja's sudden strike, or scout's skirmish) becomes more powerful. Increase the size of your precision damage dice by one step.
Phantom Visage (Su): At 21st level, you are under a constant greater invisibility effect. You can suppress or resume this effect as a swift action.
Spectral Stride (Su): At 24th level, you gain the ability to move through solid objects. Doing so requires you to have a 10-foot running start. Additionally, you treat these objects as difficult terrain (each square of movement counts as 2 squares, each diagonal square counts as 3), and you can't end your movement inside a solid object. This movement provokes attacks of opportunity normally, but you have concealment (20% miss chance) against such attacks.
Spurn Death (Su): At 27th level, you can usually avoid being killed or disabled. If you would be reduced to 0 hit points or fewer by an attack or die from massive damage from an attack, you can use an immediate action to attempt to spurn death. You have a 50% chance to avoid all damage from the attack.
Shadow Strike: At 30th level, your attacks with weapons, natural weapons, or unarmed strikes become touch attacks.
Immortality in the Shadows: Many characters who achieve their epic destinies leave the world, but you might not want to. Ageless and always concealed from sight, you can find out many things you're not supposed to know. There are still so many places to go and things to see that you might not tire of earthly delights for some time. Occasionally, you might even hear a story about yourself and your exploits. Perhaps you'll even spread a few rumors of your own. There's something satisfying about watching tales of your legendary deeds grow and become well-known legends, and if there are a few exaggerations here and there, who does it hurt? When the bards sing tales of your first adventures, even if you're actually 3 feet shorter than they say and you didn't really kill 800 orcs with one swing of your blade, it still feels like old times. In time, as your tale becomes taller and taller, you can no longer remember whether you're a real person, or just an old story.
How to Implement Epic Destinies
If you decide to use epic destinies in your campaign, you'll need to dedicate yourself to working closely with your players, and you may possibly need to give up some of your control as a DM (but if you're playing epic level, you've probably gotten used to that anyway). The epic destiny a player chooses gives you a good idea of what she expects to get out of the final stages of a campaign.
As a DM, epic destinies are a great tool for crafting the last adventures of your campaign. If you've already plotted out the endgame, try tying destiny quests into the story. Let's say you're using Atropus from Elder Evils as a threat in your game (either a version you've modified to epic levels or one you're fighting using the "Non-Epic Epic Destinies" variant). This undead planetoid can obliterate all on an entire world if it's not stopped. A blade of Ragnarok character thrills at the prospect of a battle to decide the fate of the world. The force of nature must stop the destruction of natural life. The demigod sees the failure of the deities to stop the incoming destruction, and vows to become a deity who will be prepared for such extreme dangers. The eternal hero's previous incarnation is the one who inadvertently called Atropus to your world, and must stop the creature to redeem himself.
The immortality section of each epic destiny also includes ways you can create continuity between campaigns. By linking the epic characters from previous campaigns to your next campaign, you can give players a sense of a larger world and give their characters a more important role within it. This approach works especially well if you plan to do multiple campaigns in the same world.
Here are some suggestions for engaging characters who are using epic destinies in your campaign.
Artifact Lords in Your Campaign
Item-related hooks can draw in the artifact lord player. You can use an artifact lord character to bring artifacts into your game.
The party finds a deck of cards that looks much like a deck of many things. However, instead of the normal faces, each of the 22 cards has a message scrawled on it describing a mission. The PCs find that if they complete a mission, the message transforms into a single letter. What could the 22-letter message be?
One of the artifact lord's items, which seemed to be a normal magic item, suddenly becomes intelligent. Its personality seems benign, even helpful at times. But soon, other party members' items gain sentience, too, and they all share the same personality. As it spreads, the items grow rebellious, but you can't get rid of them. What is this being, and why is it taking over your items?
Blades of Ragnarok in Your Campaign
Combat and world-ending threats are compelling to a blade of Ragnarok. Only the biggest threats draw the notice of such a powerful warrior.
Signs of deadly portent abound. The night sky is filled with strange phenomena, and a scourge upon the land brings drought, famine, and disease (see "Signs of Apocalypse," Elder Evils pages 7-10). The signs are clear, but there are so many. Is it possible many evils rise against the world at the same time?
There is not just one blade of Ragnarok, and their numbers are split. A blade of Ragnarok sits on the throne of a small empire in the Outlands, far from other civilized life. He kidnaps beings from across the planes and brings them here to serve as slaves. All manner of creatures from solars to titans to great wyrm dragons toil, bound magically to his command. They carry out many schemes, and if the PCs can follow them to the Outlands and slay the corrupt blade of Ragnarok, they can greatly influence the apocalyptic battle.
Demigods in Your Campaign
Adventure hooks for demigods usually deal with existing deities and danger in good deities' domains.
Becoming a true deity requires great sacrifice and dedication. The existing deities devise challenges for one who might join their number, and there's no guarantee that Ehlonna or Pelor will be any more lenient than Hextor or Gruumsh. These challenges can be folded into other adventures (and much of the difficulty lies in discovering when you are being challenged). Theme these challenges to the deities who chose them. Kord might demand a test of courage in battle. Vecna might want the demigod to infiltrate the power structure of one of his followers he suspects of deception. Fharlanghn might send the demigod traversing across the planes, gathering dust or useless trinkets from every corner.
A deity needs to travel to a distant place. Perhaps it is beyond all the planes, in a place difficult for anyone but a deity to fathom. Perhaps the deity needs to assume a less powerful form for some time. In any case, it's too dangerous to let others know of the deity's absence. The demigod character must impersonate the deity, see to the affairs of the divine domain, and generally maintain appearances. This "trial run" for godhood might come with unwanted surprises . . .
Eternal Heroes in Your Campaign
Since eternal heroes all have deep histories, it's easy to incorporate them into your campaign. Here are a few plot hooks related to eternal heroes.
The PCs find a magic item or artifact that belonged to a previous incarnation of the eternal hero. Inscribed on it is writing in a secret language only the eternal hero can understand. It warns of impending danger.
The eternal hero hears about a villain that gives her an odd mental image. She discovers she encountered this villain in a previous incarnation. Perhaps this was someone the eternal hero was unable to defeat, an undead form of the original, or even an "eternal villain" who will always return to plague the hero.
The party encounters a descendent of one of the previous incarnations of the eternal hero. This descendent wields some of the power of that incarnation. This could even be one of the PCs, if the players are game.
Forces of Nature in Your Campaign
The secrets of the natural world are known to the force of nature, and they can be a source of adventure ideas.
The grass, the animals, and the rock of the earth speak to the force of nature. Every place of evil, and every dungeon in which aberrant creatures live, is like a disease in nature's body. Nature's life force is growing dim and could be snuffed out. Eons ago, shards of a vast, green crystal -- a heart of the earth -- were wrenched from the earth and scattered into hidden places across the planes by vile beings. If the PCs can recover the pieces and reform this nexus of nature's power, nature's resurgence can blot out the grotesque mockeries that dot the surface of the world.
A powerful group of mind flayers (similar to the mind flayers of Thoon, Monster Manual V, pages 104-125) seeks a mysterious substance called "quintessence." It exists in many places, and the mind flayers are willing to extract it even from living creatures. Every time they extract it, the earth -- and the force of nature -- feel pain. The mind flayers are ruled by a thoon elder brain (MM5 144, advanced to 30 HD). The leaders of the group are ulitharid sorcerers (LoM 158), who aspire to gain even more power by becoming alhoons (LoM 157) kept alive with quintessence. You can use advanced versions of the thoon creatures as rank and file.
Mythic Shadows in Your Campaign
When a mythic shadow hears about an impenetrable fortress or well-guarded secret, she considers it a challenge. Sometimes, the reward for pulling off an unlikely scheme is just being able to say you could do it.
The city of Sigil (Dungeon Master's Guide 167) is vast, and no one knows all its secrets. Several centuries ago, a sage began recording every door in the city, and he actually almost completed his list. However, he met with a messy end. His assassins failed to account for all his magical countermeasures, and his vast folio of maps landed in the hands of the mythic shadow, for unknown reasons. It seems like someone wanted to keep the sage from completing the list. Can the PCs discover why that is, and how the mythic shadow became involved?
The mythic shadow walks the thin line between reality and legend, as does the Mazraghar Fortress. Tales bandied about between epic adventurers say that the fortress was formed with giant bricks carved from the substance of different planes and serving as a window into each. One brick is a slice of Arboria, another a chunk of the Negative Energy Plane, and so on. The fortress was created by a great dragon, and all his friends and allies died while building the fortress. When it was done, the dragon went inside and hasn't left. He now sits, watching all areas on all the planes, but with no companionship. Stories about the fortress are assumed to be fables, illustrating moral concepts about how ambition and power bring only solitude. But the mythic shadow character is not so sure they aren't true. What kind of power rests in Mazraghar Fortress? How can the PCs get there? And how does one get past a dragon who can see all places?
Variant: Non-Epic Epic Destinies
Despite the name, it's possible to use epic destinies at non-epic levels. If you don't feel like playing in an epic campaign, you can change the prerequisite of the Epic Destiny feat and the levels at which you replace feats with epic destiny features.
Epic Level Non-Epic Level
*The 20th-level feature doesn't replace a feat.
Keep in mind that the epic destiny features are much more powerful below epic level! Your game automatically has a higher power level than normal, and the power between characters is very unbalanced unless every character has an epic destiny. You can use tougher monsters to compensate, though you can give XP as though the monsters were lower CR to keep advancement at the rate you want.