Man, when you come down on Heaven, it really comes back to bite you in the ass fast! Less than a day after my razzing the hound archon, I found myself cast into a place of endless suffering and despair, where the howls of the damned filled my ears and sights of pure horror assaulted my eyes. I was, dear readers, thrown into the realm of…the Dungeons & Dragons movie.
It took me six days to claw my way out of that hellish realm, but now I’m back, and remain undaunted! So long as there’s an ounce of strength left in me, I’ll continue to mock and roll! So without further ado, let’s continue through the Bestiary, moving on to…
Despite the artwork for them making them look like celestial butterflies, lantern archons are small glowing balls with no physical form – while the Bestiary doesn’t say so, I always pictured them as being the disembodied souls of mortals who died and went to Heaven. These guys are that aunt who you always loved to visit when she was alive – the one who always baked cookies just for you when she knew you were coming – reborn into a form with no corporeal woes or physical desires any more.
Interestingly, the Paizo people added a new ability to the lantern archon from its 3.5 incarnation. Nine of these creatures can form a gestalt, more powerful lantern archon for 2d4 rounds. That’s pretty cool, but they note that such a creature is basically a large air elemental, with a few changes noted.
Now, I’m something of a nitpicker when it comes to stat blocks, and while I can certainly understand where Paizo is coming from by just saying “for the gestalt form, use this monster, with changes X, Y, and Z,” but that just strikes me as rather offhand. I know it saves space, and really it doesn’t make that much of a difference for a creature that’ll exist for roughly 5 rounds…but it still irks me.
But fear not, I’m not just going to complain without offering any solutions. No, I’ve gone ahead and created a stat block for the gestalt lantern archon! Of course, I took a few creative liberties with the creature where Paizo’s hand-waving proved nebulous (showcasing the problems with such an approach). For example, does this creature having “all the powers and abilities” of a Large air elemental mean that it doesn’t have the base lantern archon’s spell-like abilities? Does it speak just Auran like an air elemental? Does it have a slam attack?
These are the sort of questions that can make a DM freeze up during play as they try to decide, flipping back and forth between the pages in indecision. I may not have official answers, but I think that the stats I’ve put together here are reasonable – they’re certainly functional – and will work for a DM who needs a gestalt lantern archon in play.
Gestalt Lantern Archon CR 5
N Large outsider (archon, extraplanar, good, lawful)
Init +11; Senses darkvision 60 ft., low-light vision; Perception +11
Aura aura of menace (DC 16)
AC 21, touch 17, flat-footed 13 (+7 Dex, +1 dodge, +4 natural, -1 size; +2 deflect vs. evil)
hp 68 (8d10+24)
Fort +9, Ref +13, Will +2; +4 vs. poison, +2 resistance vs. evil
Defensive Abilities air mastery; DR 5/evil and magic; Immune electricity, petrification; Resist electricity 10, fire 10
Speed fly 100 ft. (perfect)
Melee 2 slams +14 (1d8+4)
Ranged 2 light rays +14 ranged touch (2d6)
Space 10 ft.; Reach 10 ft.
Special Atks whirlwind (DC 18)
Spell-Like Abilities (CL 3rd) At will – aid, continual flame, detect evil, greater teleport (self plus 50 lbs. of objects only)
Str 18, Dex 25, Con 16, Int 6, Wis 11, Cha 11
Base Atk +8; CMB +13; CMD 31
Feats Combat Reflexes, Dodge, Flyby Attack, Improved InitiativeB, Mobility, Weapon FinesseB
Skills Acrobatics +15, Escape Artist +15, Fly +21, Knowledge (planes) +5, Perception +11, Stealth +11
Languages Celestial, Draconic, Infernal; truespeech
Environment any (Heaven)
Air Mastery (Ex) Airborne creatures take a –1 penalty on attack and damage rolls against a gestalt lantern archon.