Petitioners of the Great Wheel

Petitioner traits for the standard Planescape “Great Wheel” cosmology.


Creating a Petitioner

Petitioners are created as detailed in Pathfinder RPG Bestiary 2.

Exceptional Petitioners

The deities may choose particular servants for specific tasks who may remember something of their previous selves. These exceptional petitioners retain the feats and skills that they had in life but are otherwise limited as the other petitioners of their plane are.

Petitioners Traits

A petitioner gains additional traits based on its home plane.

The Abyss (Chaotic Evil)

Those souls from the Material Plane that are not simply absorbed into the structure of the Abyss become petitioners called manes. Manes have pale white skin, cruel claws, sharp teeth, sparse hair, and white eyes. Often, maggots visibly squirm through a mane’s bloated flesh. Manes that survive many years are sometimes “promoted” to lesser demon types, though they retain no memory of their former lives.

Manes are detailed in Chapter 2 of Fiendish Codex I: Hordes of the Abyss.

Acheron (Lawful Evil/Lawful Neutral)

Deserters and petitioners make up many of the renegade armies on Acheron. If soldiers have killed others for a cause they do not believe, and killed happily, they might wind up as petitioners on Acheron. Particularly rabid revolutionaries and terrorists slain on the Material Plane also find their way to Acheron, often as leaders of the roving armies. The renegade commanders cannot rest until they are finally slain and their essence merges with the plane itself.

Acheron petitioners have the following special petitioner qualities:

Additional Immunities: Electricity, sonic.
Resistances: Cold 10, fire 10.

Renegade commanders have the following additional special petitioner quality:

Other Special Qualities: Hearten.
Hearten (Ex): All members of a renegade army within a 100-foot radius of a petitioner commander receive a +2 morale bonus on saving throws against charm and fear effects and a +1 morale bonus on attack and damage rolls.

Arborea (CG)

Arborea has two common types of petitioners. The first are the spirits of the elven dead, whose souls have migrated to Arborea and their final reward. Some infuse the plane itself, others are reformed into celestial or anarchic creatures, and still others serve as petitioners in the elven realm of Arvandor, the first layer of Arborea.

These last act as scouts and wardens for the communities on the plane, serving the Elven Court in their magic glades and great castles. The deity of the elves, Corellon Larethian, rewards worthy souls in the afterlife with elven form and service in his oak-lined halls. Here they enjoy an afterlife of hunts, trysts, and celebrations in the elven fashion. These petitioners, known as the Chosen of Arvandor, have the following special petitioner qualities:

Additional Immunities: Electricity, poison.
Resistances: Cold 10, fire 10.
Other Special Qualities: Damage reduction 5/magic.

Other petitioners may be found in Arborea besides the elven souls on the plane. Called bacchae, these petitioners are wild mobs of drunken revellers found reclining in glades or running through the forest in raving, wine-sotted celebrations.

The bacchae are satyrlike, caught in mid-transformation between man and beast. Bacchae are spirits of equal measures good and chaos, living for the moment and making it the best moment possible. The greatest danger they pose to travellers is enticing newcomers to join in their celebrations.

Bacchae petitioners are generally nonviolent, fleeing if attacked—or more likely offering bread and mead to their assailants. In previous lives, bacchae were the spirits of gourmands, gluttons, well-meaning drunkards, and others who relished the act of living.

Bacchae have the following special petitioner qualities:

Additional Immunities: Electricity, poison, polymorph.
Resistances: Acid 10, cold 10, fire 10.
Other Special Qualities: Entice.
Entice (Su): A traveller within 100 feet of a mob of bacchae must make a Will saving throw (DC 10 + the number of bacchae within range; maximum DC 25) or else join the party. While partying among the bacchae, those who failed their saves drink, eat, and engage in all manner of pranks and foolery. But they take no sustenance, and suffer the effects of being without food and water. The bacchae entice ability lasts either for 101 days or until the enticed character collapses from lack of sustenance. Moving the character more than 100 feet from the bacchae ends the entice effect, but those under its sway do not leave the bacchae revellers willingly.

Alternately, use bacchae as described in the Fiend Folio or in Pathfinder #68: The Shackled Hut.

Arcadia (Lawful Good/Lawful Neutral)

The petitioners of Arcadia are called einheriar. The einheriar appear much as they did in their previous lives, though they are markedly more healthy and robust. They are all fanatically devoted to making sure the common good is maintained.

Using their abilities to discern the alignment of all they meet, einheriar make it their business to police the plane. If they catch any nonlawful or nongood creature, they have three possible courses of action. Chaotic good or neutral good visitors are tolerated so long as they follow the laws of Arcadia. Those who are truly neutral are asked to finish their business and leave. Those who are tainted with evil in any aspect are immediately and remorselessly attacked.

The einheriar have the following special petitioner qualities:

Additional Immunities: Sonic, acid.
Resistances: Cold 10, electricity 10.
Other Special Qualities: Detect chaos, detect good.
Detect Chaos/Good (Ex): Einheriar can detect chaos or detect good at will (as the spells cast by a 5th-level caster).

Alternately, use the einherjar template from the Free D&D® v.3.5 Accessory Update or the einherji from Pathfinder RPG Bestiary 4.

Baator (Lawful Evil)

Several kinds of petitioners are found in the Nine Hells. Evil, proud, ambitious souls unconcerned with others and bereft of empathy find their way there. Most of those souls take the form of ghost-white shades, shells of their mortal forms, which devils cruelly mould and shape into twisted, agonized forms of horror. Only when the soul is so twisted and moulded that it is truly, finally slain does its essence merge with that of the Nine Hells itself. Often, devils or deities of a particular hellish realm molds petitioners in their realm to conform to a specific, macabre aesthetic.

These average Baator petitioners, sometimes called soul shells, have the following special petitioner qualities:

Resistances: Cold 10, fire 10. Petitioners native to Cania have immunity to cold and no resistance to fire.
Other Special Qualities: Powerful devils have an innate power to warp and mold soul shells, usually into shapes that are inherently painful and degrading.

Particularly vile petitioners become lemures. Only the most evil of mortals can achieve status as lemures, and they usually end up here regardless of the deity they worshipped in life. Lemures, of course, are despised by all other devils, and they serve the most base duties in any devilish group they are part of. In any initial Blood War confrontation, the lemures are the shock troops that draw the enemy’s fire.

Lemures appear as revolting blobs of molten flesh, with vaguely humanoid torsos and heads. Hints of the petitioner’s former mortal features are visible when they are not too twisted by anguish. Lemures are mindless, though they are sensitive to telepathic messages from other devils and obey their mental commands, doing the bidding of the strongest devil in the closest proximity.

Lemures are detailed in the Pathfinder RPG Bestiary.

The Beastlands (Chaotic Good/Neutral Good)

Because not many deities make this plane their home, mortal souls drawn to the Beastlands primarily arrive based on their philosophy: good and just a bit on the side of freedom over order. They usually live in small communities at the bases of great trees, leading simple lives in harmony with the other creatures of the plane.

These petitioners take on animal traits soon after they arrive. Their hair grows long in lustrous pelts, short horns sprout from their foreheads, and they develop cats’ eyes or fox ears. Over the course of centuries, they become celestial animals.

Beastlands petitioners have the following special petitioner qualities:

Additional Immunities: Electricity, poison.
Resistances: Cold 10, fire 10.
Other Special Qualities: Fast healing 2.

Bytopia (Lawful Good/Neutral Good)

As a result of Garl Glittergold’s presence on this plane, most of Bytopia’s petitioners permanently assume the form of gnomes regardless of their race in mortal life. Those whose souls drift to Bytopia by virtue of their alignment alone (good with just a touch of the lawful ethos) may be surprised to find themselves incarnated as gnome petitioners.

These petitioners live on Bytopia in much the same way as they lived in life: pursuing order at a leisurely place, satisfying curiosity, and otherwise enjoying themselves at their work. There is a marked humour among the petitioners of Bytopia, an easygoing nature that disappears as one moves onto the sterner planes of law. Conversely, they maintain a sense of community that erodes as one moves through Elysium and onto more chaotic planes.

Bytopian gnome petitioners have the following special petitioner qualities:

Additional Immunities: Fire, cold.
Resistances: Electricity 10.
Other Special Qualities: At will magic circle against evil (as the spell cast by a 5th-level caster).

Carceri (Chaotic Evil/Neutral Evil)

Even if they wanted to, Carceri’s petitioners couldn’t leave, so they hold a powerful resentment for visitors merely passing through. Most petitioners on Carceri are souls who abused trust and betrayed friends or family. Like all petitioners, they have no memory of their past lives, but they remain treacherous. They lie—constantly, compulsively, and with great cunning.

Petitioners on Carceri reside on one of five layers according to their particular treachery. Orthrys holds politicians and national traitors, and Cathrys holds those who gave in to animal lusts when logic and reason would have served better. Minethys imprisons hoarders who could have helped others with their wealth but didn’t, and Colothys confines liars whose untruths harmed others. Finally, Porphatys is home to the shallow and self-absorbed who refused to aid others when the opportunity presented itself.

Carceri’s petitioners have the following special petitioner qualities:

Additional Immunities: Cold, acid.
Resistances: Electricity 10, fire 10.
Other Special Qualities: Petitioners on Carceri lie often and well, receiving a +10 racial bonus on Bluff checks.

Elysium (Neutral Good)

The petitioners of Elysium either venerate a particular deity of that plane, or are merely souls that naturally gravitated to the plane of ultimate goodness and peace. Petitioners appear as they did in life (goodness cares little for outward appearance), but most have a nobler and calmer demeanour as petitioners.

Only when evil actions besmirch the plane do the petitioners of Elysium take up arms, and then they are more dangerous than most other petitioners. Unlike other petitioners, those who call Elysium home retain some knowledge of their past, which usually manifests itself as wistful nostalgia. Sometimes their memories are more practical: Petitioners who had character levels before they became petitioners retain up to four character levels (multiclass characters can choose levels from any classes they held in life).

Petitioners of Elysium have the following special petitioner qualities:

Additional Immunities: Electricity, cold.
Resistances: Fire 10.
Other Special Qualities: Retain up to four character levels acquired before becoming a petitioner.

Gehenna (Lawful Evil/Neutral Evil)

Petitioners of Gehenna are the refuse of the planes. Greedy and grasping, they care only for themselves. Expect no favours from such a petitioner unless proof of immediate recompense is at hand. Unlike on many of the other Outer Planes, petitioners on Gehenna are more wilful, travelling from layer to layer on their own personal quests for power. They’re looking for the ultimate exercise in free will, though they are destined to never find it.

Gehenna’s petitioners have the following special petitioner qualities:

Additional Immunities: Poison, acid.
Resistances: Fire 10, cold 10.
Other Special Qualities: Surefooted.
Surefooted (Ex): All petitioners have a +10 racial bonus on Climb checks.

The Grey Waste (Neutral Evil)

Petitioners in the Grey Waste are mostly greyish ghosts, spirits so depleted by the Waste that they lack solidity. They rarely speak, instead crowding around visitors like moths around a candle, seeking the warmth of emotion and hope that living beings possess.

Spirits of particularly selfish and malicious mortals that come to the Grey Waste become a special form of petitioner called a larva. Larvae appear as Medium-size worms with heads that resemble the heads on their mortal bodies. Larvae serve as the currency of the Lower Planes, especially among night hags, liches, demons, devils, and yugoloths. Most are as likely to be used as food or to power a spell. The rare “lucky” larva is sometimes promoted to a lower form of fiend.

Normal petitioners in the Grey Waste gain only one special petitioner quality: incorporeality. But larvae have the following special petitioner qualities:

Additional Immunities: Cold, fire.
Resistances: Electricity 10, acid 10.
Other Special Qualities: Wounding, disease.
Wounding (Ex): Every time a larva deals damage, the wound automatically bleeds for 1 additional point of damage every round until a Heal check (DC 15) is made or magical healing is applied.
Disease (Ex): Following a battle with larvae during which the larvae dealt any damage, wounded characters must make a Fortitude save (DC 17) or contract devil chills (see Diseases in Appendix 1 of the Pathfinder RPG Core Rulebook for the effects of devil chills).

Alternately, use larvae as described in Pathfinder #76: The Midnight Isles.

Limbo (Chaotic Neutral)

The petitioners of Limbo who are not absorbed back into the plane often appear as swirling masses of chaos-stuff, gibbering and laughing without regard to their surroundings. Like slaadi, Limbo’s petitioners automatically control the chaos in their personal vicinity even if unconscious or flat-footed, rendering them immune to their tempestuous environment.

Petitioners who reach Limbo gain the following special qualities:

Additional Immunities: Fire, cold.
Resistances: Electricity 10, sonic 10.
Other Special Qualities: Morphic stability (as the planeshifter’s class feature) within 40 feet.

Mechanus (Lawful Neutral)

The petitioners of Mechanus often adopt a stylized version of their mortal bodies. Despite the outward differences, all petitioners on Mechanus are alike in their frightening honesty and submersion of individuality. They are notoriously literal, and some take no instruction at all for fear of misinterpreting the speaker.

Mechanus petitioners have the following special petitioner qualities:

Additional Immunities: Fire, cold.

Mount Celestia (Lawful Good)

Most petitioners of Mount Celestia are lantern archons. More so than most petitioners on other planes, they are graced with both knowledge and power. Every petitioner’s goal is to ascend through the layers of Mount Celestia and evolve into a more glorious archon type. Other archons treat lantern archons like children, forgiving their errors and guiding them onto paths of virtue. Lantern archons appear as floating balls of light that glow like a torch.

Lantern archons are detailed in the Pathfinder RPG Bestiary.

The Outlands (Neutral)

Petitioners in the Outlands are common within the realms of neutral deities, within the various portal towns, and within specific locations such as ancient libraries, museums, or crypts scattered across the plane. In general, such petitioners are human or humanoid in appearance, and they tend to adopt a live-and-let-live attitude toward other travellers. As long as they are not bothered, they do not care to bother others.

Outlands petitioners encountered in the wide spaces between communities are usually wanderers seeking new lands, penitents seeking a deity they believe in, or shepherds happy with their lot in the afterlife.

Outlands petitioners have the following special petitioner qualities:

Additional Immunities: Electricity, polymorph, petrification.
Resistances: Acid 10.
Other Special Qualities: Damage reduction 5/magic.

In addition, petitioners that seem more native to other Outer planes sometimes walk the Outlands—valiant warriors that should be among Ysgard’s glorious dead, and half-melted lemures that belong in Hell are lost or were misdirected to the Outlands. Or maybe these petitioners were not quite good or evil enough to truly merit their inclusion on an aligned plane.

Pandemonium (Chaotic Evil/Chaotic Neutral)

Of course, Pandemonium has many petitioners. Most of them are swallowed by the screaming wind immediately upon arrival. But some linger, appearing much as they did in life, though they are bonier, and the winds somehow don’t affect them as much. Also, most of them are completely, utterly insane.

Pandemonium’s petitioners have the following special petitioner traits:

Additional Immunities: Electricity, sonic.
Resistances: Cold 10, acid 10.

Ysgard (Chaotic Good/Chaotic Neutral)

The petitioners of Ysgard are mostly former soldiers whose aggressive and valiant spirits draw them to the plane where competition never dies. They have the following special petitioner qualities:

Additional Immunities: Fire, acid.
Resistances: Electricity 10, acid 10.

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