The Phoenix is an epic encounter in everything but name, and in my estimation, should be epic in name as well. As such, I've applied the paragon template to her. Additionally, the legends suggest that the phoenix can inspire greatness and genious in people, much like muses, so I've given her twenty levels of bard to improve her song. This also matches with more recent stories such as Fawkes of Harry Potter fame.
At sub-epic levels, she could be used as the object of a quest, either to break a spell or be inspired to some act of greatness. I could imagine an appropriately priced magical item with her song recorded within it, to inspire a group to greatness at a later date, with a discount on its price for actually hearing her sing in person during the item's creation. I could also see her being summonable in the style of Final Fantasy, if limited to one round and specified that she is not under the control of the summoner, as either an eigth or ninth level spell.
At low-epic levels, she might have a more direct role in the game, perhaps as the herald of a god. Alternatively, an evil villian might seek to hunt the phoenix, perhaps with a weapon that would prevent her from ressurecting herself. In this manner, an extremely powerful villian might become defeatable, as both the phoenix and the party fight side by side. At mid-epic levels, you could have a Dark Phoenix running around, now evil in alignment (with the appropriate ability changes; protection from good instead of protection from evil, for example) for the party to fight. And at high-epic levels, you could have entire flights of phoenii.
The Phoenix CR 59
Female Paragon Phoenix Bard 20
Neutral Good Large Magical Beast
, Senses ; ; Darkvision 60 ft., Low-light vision
Languages Auran, Avian, Celestial, Druidic, Elven, Ignan, Telepathy
AC 54, touch 48, flat-footed 54 (-1 size, +10 Dex, +6 natural, +5 deflection, +12 insight, +12 luck)
hp 1200 (20d10 + 20d6+880 HD); DR 20/magic; 10/epic
Resist Fire and cold 10; Fast Healing 20; SR 84
Spd 45 ft., fly 600 ft. (average)
Melee Bite +70 (2d6+31), Claw +65/+65 (1d8+31/19-20)
Base Atk +35;
Space 10 ft. ft.; Reach 5 ft.
Atk Options Shriek (DC 42, 60 ft., slow)
Special Actions Bardic music, immolation, planar travel
Class Spells Prepared (CL 20): (4/8/8/8/7/7/7)
Spell-like Abilities (CL 35): (DC 25+Spell Level)
- Always active - detect evil, detect magic, protection from evil
- At will - blindness/deafness, blink, blur, color spray, cure light wounds, dancing lights, find the path, find traps, fire seeds (using drops of its own blood rather than holly berries as a material component; no acorn grenades), heal, invisibility, misdirection, negative energy protection, neutralize poison, polymorph (self only), produce flame, remove fear, remove curse, see invisibility
- 3/day - Greater dispel magic, haste
- 1/day - Incendiary cloud, reincarnate, pyrotechnics, summon nature's ally IX, veil, wall of fire
- 1 minute casting time (CL 55) - dismissal, dispel evil, dispel magic
Abilities, , , , ,
SQ Uncanny dodge
Feats Empower Spell, Enlarge Spell, Extend Spell, Flyby Attack, Heighten Spell, Improved Critical (claw), Improved Initiative, Iron Will, Maximize Spell, Quicken Spell
Epic Feats Automatic Metamagic Capacity x6, Metamagic Freedom
Skills Balance +54, Diplomacy +44, Escape Artist +41, Hide +41, Intimidate +34, Knowledge (Arcana) +54, Knowledge (History) +54, Move Silently +44, Perform (vocal) +44, Search +32, Sense Motive +42, Speak Language x5, Survival +32, Use Magic Device +32
Variant: See Divine Phoenix
Spell Like Metamagic (Ex): The Phoenix can apply metamagic to her Spell Like Abilities as if they were spells, up to her limit of Automatic Metamagic Capacity, without increasing casting time. As a full round action, she can also apply one additional metamagic feat above her Automatic Metamagic Capacity.
- Balance - The Phoenix can walk on the smallest of branches, or even a hair thin wire on a natural roll of 6 or higher.
- Spot - Even if the Phoenix fails a spot check, she still knows that something is there, she simply cannot pinpoint its location. However, she can pinpoint the location of active invisible creatures automatically, or unmoving ones with a natural roll of 6 or higher. She can pinpoint invisible inanimate objects with a natural roll of 16 or higher.
I converted the phoenix to 3.5 rules before applying the templates. While doing so, I had to decide what to do about the Spell Like Metamagic ability, as I could have just replaced it with the Spell-Like Metamagic feats. I eventually decided instead to not only keep the ability, but allow it to combine with the Immortal's Handbook's Metamagic Freedom and Automatic Metamagic Capacity (see Maladric for details on these feats) in order to make her more epic, and to ensure synergy with her bardic spells.
I also decided unilaterally to allow her to take two ranks in "Speak Language (Druidic)", since she has some druidic spell like abilities, is an animal anyway, and could be seen as taking on some druid type roles.
Furthermore, as a house rule, I do not use the epic BAB and Saving Throw progressions, but rather allow them to continue as if they were sub-epic.