Archives of Nethys

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Source Bestiary 2 pg. 213
Beings of pure chaos, the serpentine proteans slither through the anarchic improbabilities of Limbo, remaking reality according to their whims. According to their own history, they were already here when the first gods pulled forth the other planes from raw chaos—and they have been battling against the indignity ever since. Hereditary and ideological enemies of Axis, Heaven, and Hell, and especially of the residents of those planes, all proteans see it as their sacred duty to return the bland, static expanses of mundane reality to the beautiful incongruities of Limbo, for the planes' own good and for the greater glory of their mysterious god, a dualistic deity which may be a living aspect of Limbo itself. They are Limbo's living, breathing immune system, rooting out infections of mundanity and replacing them with beautiful entropy.

Primeval in shape and philosophy, proteans are the race that most perfectly embodies the twin aspects of creation and destruction (although certain aeons might contest this claim). Even their language is mutable, evolving so quickly that few outsiders can understand it without magical aid. Ecological study is nearly impossible, as reproduction can take a wide variety of forms, from sexual union to fission to spontaneous generation. Despite their deceptively similar natural appearances, the two things that truly unify the protean race are slavish devotion to their strange god and a fervent desire for the dissolution of reality as we know it.

Proteans are organized into several sub-races or castes, each with its own individual abilities and roles. Other proteans than the four presented here doubtless exist, but they do not interact with other races nearly to the extent that these four types do.

Voidworms: Disowned by greater proteans, who find these tiny beings shameful, voidworms nevertheless retain all the characteristics of true proteans, and are frequently found swimming through Limbo in vast schools or serving as spellcasters' familiars.

Naunets: Possessing little in the way of culture, the powerful naunets are the most bestial of the true proteans, representing the lowest recognized caste. Naunets are the shock troops of the protean race, and patrol the borderlands between Limbo and other planes, seeking out lawful incursions and making daring, savage raids into the realms of their enemies.

Imenteshes: These cunning proteans seek to subvert the forces of order from within their own systems, whispering information and insinuations where they can do the most damage. Endlessly creative, they adore reforming the landscapes of Limbo to suit their fancies, but enjoy warping the vistas and creatures of other planes even more.

Keketars: Priest-kings and voices of Limbo itself, keketars rule their fellows in the name of their bizarre god. Though their forms are extremely mutable, keketars can always be recognized thanks to eyes that glow amber or violet and floating crowns of swirling and changing symbols that often appear above their heads. Organized into cabals called choruses, keketars seek only to understand and follow the will of entropy.

Protean Lords

While the keketars are the highest caste of the protean race, there exist a few scattered individuals who put even the mightiest chorus to shame. Equal in power to demon lords or empyreal lords, the beings known as protean lords are an enigma, far older than other proteans and perhaps spawned in a previous iteration of the multiverse or somewhere beyond the depths of Limbo. Disdaining direct leadership, protean lords act according to their own desires, occasionally appearing to advise their lesser kin or keep an inscrutable eye on entities whose powers rival their own.


Many proteans, particularly the imenteshes, have the ability to create and manipulate ripples in reality known as warpwaves. Yet even a protean can't predict what effects a warpwave might have. When a creature is affected by a warpwave, roll 1d20 and consult the table below to see what effect the entropic energies have.

d20Warpwave effect
1Target takes 2 Strength damage.
2Target takes 2 Dexterity damage.
3Target takes 2 Constitution damage.
4Target takes 2 Intelligence damage.
5Target takes 2 Wisdom damage.
6Target takes 2 Charisma damage.
7Target gains 1 negative level.
8Target is blinded or deafened for 1d4 rounds.
9Target is confused for 1d4 rounds.
10Target is entangled by filaments of energy for 1d4 rounds.
11Target becomes fatigued (or exhausted if already fatigued).
12Target becomes nauseated for 1d4 rounds.
13Target is stunned for 1d4 rounds.
14Target is sickened for 1d4 rounds.
15Target is staggered for 1d4 rounds.
16Target gains 4d6 temporary hit points.
17Target is affected by a heal spell (CL = protean's CR).
18Target is turned to stone.
19Target is affected by baleful polymorph (CL = protean's CR).
20Portions of target's body burst with energy of a random type (choose between acid, cold, electricity, or fire), dealing 4d6 points of damage of the appropriate type to the target.

Creatures in "Protean" Category


Protean, Ourdivar

The upper body of this creature is that of a multicolored bestial humanoid, while its lower section ends in a serpentine tail.

Ourdivar CR 4

Source Pathfinder #92: The Hill Giant's Pledge pg. 86
XP 1,200
CN Large outsider (chaotic, extraplanar, protean, shapechanger)
Init +5; Senses blindsense 30 ft., darkvision 60 ft.; Perception +10


AC 17, touch 10, flat-footed 16 (+1 Dex, +7 natural, –1 size)
hp 42 (5d10+15)
Fort +4, Ref +5, Will +6
Defensive Abilities amorphous anatomy, freedom of movement; Immune acid; Resist electricity 10, sonic 10; SR 15


Speed 30 ft., fly 30 ft. (perfect), swim 30 ft.
Melee slam +8 (1d6+4), tail slap +3 (1d8+2 plus grab)
Space 10 ft., Reach 10 ft.
Special Attacks adaptive strike, constrict (1d8+4), warpwave exit
Spell-Like Abilities (CL 5th; concentration +7)
3/day—color spray (DC 13)
1/day—dispel magic, rage


Str 18, Dex 13, Con 16, Int 11, Wis 15, Cha 14
Base Atk +5; CMB +10; CMD 21
Feats Combat Reflexes, Improved Initiative, Power Attack
Skills Bluff +10, Fly +14, Intimidate +10, Perception +10, Sense Motive +10, Stealth +5, Swim +13
Languages Abyssal, Protean
SQ change shape (any humanoid or monstrous humanoid; polymorph)


Environment any (Maelstrom)
Organization solitary, pair, or breach (3–5)
Treasure none

Special Abilities

Adaptive Strike (Su) An ourdivar’s natural weapons count as magical and chaotic for the purposes of overcoming damage reduction. Once per round as a free action, an ourdivar can change the damage type of its natural weapons to bludgeoning, slashing, or piercing, thereby allowing it to overcome damage reduction of those types as well.

Warpwave Exit (Su) An ourdivar that is killed or that lives out the length of its summoned time on the Material Plane erupts in a wave of chaotic energy. Upon the death of an ourdivar or when any spell or effect summoning or calling an ourdivar ends, 1d4+1 corporeal creatures within 15 feet of the ourdivar are affected by a minor warpwave (see the sidebar on page 87). Targets can resist the warpwave’s effects with a successful DC 15 Fortitude save. The save DC is Constitution-based.


Considered lesser proteans (though greater than voidworms), ourdivars are spontaneously formed from and given sentience by the chaotic energies of the Maelstrom when spellcasters call them forth. Ourdivars toil at the behest of their summoners, acting as tools of chaos across the planes. At the end of an ourdivar’s brief existence, it departs in a furor of riotous energies, warping the area around it as its energy is reabsorbed into the Maelstrom. Sitting upon a powerful serpentine tail instead of legs, an ourdivar’s upper body looks akin to that of a bestial humanoid, but its iridescent skin constantly changes hue. The ends of both arms shift frequently between different weaponlike forms and basic hands that permit the protean to inflict a variety of terrible wounds on its opponents. An ourdivar is 12 feet long and weighs 700 pounds.


Ourdivars are a common form of lesser proteans, brought into existence as a vessel of chaotic life energies bound into a stable yet temporary form. Only powerful spellcasters can summon greater proteans from the Maelstrom, so neophyte magic users instead bring forth these temporary creatures.

Ourdivars’ humanoid upper bodies differ from the more serpentine outlines common to other proteans. Tusked facial features along with strong musculature give these proteans an intimidating countenance reminiscent of an orc with the build of an ogre. Using its inherent magical abilities, an ourdivar can take on the shape of humanoids of various races, often doing so to blend in with the allies or enemies of its creator.

The lower arms of an ourdivar mutate in shape, switching from blunt fists to razor-sharp blades and giving it the ability to bypass enemy defenses in combat. The shape of these weapons changes according to the ourdivar’s whim to keep opponents off balance and wondering what sort of attack the ourdivar will make next.

Of all their powers, the barely contained anarchic energies that infuse ourdivars are the most deadly. Upon the destruction of an ourdivar—or at the end of the spell or effect that gave it form—the protean detonates in a surge of energy known as a minor warpwave. The chaotic outburst of an ourdivar is still able to wreak havoc, be that after the ourdivar falls to enemies on the battlefield or after it reports back to the peaceful home of the one who summoned it.

Habitat & Society

The life of an ourdivar is a solitary and often brief affair, as its entire existence is based on the whims of those who call it. Unless summoned as part of a larger group, ourdivars have little relationship with others of their kind, working together with other proteans only if their summoners wish it. Unbound greater proteans tend to regard ourdivars and other lesser proteans with a mixture of disdain and pity, albeit in their typically erratic and unpredictable manners.

Even though they are creatures of pure chaos, ourdivars obey the wishes of their creators. Even ourdivars brought into existence by potentially long-lasting spells such as planar binding seem content to serve the whims of their masters. Perhaps the only divergence from this odd loyalty is that of an ourdivar near the end of its lifespan; ourdivars on the verge of death move to ensure that their warpwave exit ability affects the greatest possible number of targets. Some believe that the fact that ourdivars’ willingness to serve spellcasters, coupled with the fact that they’re easily summoned, protects the Maelstrom and its greater inhabitants from the interference of spellcasters, and that these outsiders thus serve as an immune system of sorts for the Maelstrom.

Binding & Summoning

Ourdivars can be found on any plane of existence where spellcasters can call them. Most summoners bring forth ourdivars onto the Material Plane to serve their immediate needs. When called forth through a planar ally spell, ourdivars eagerly negotiate with spellcasters. As the first true action of its life, an ourdivar enthusiastically acquiesces to its potential master’s demands and often accepts reduced payments (but never less than 75% of the normal required amount by the spell) in order to continue its existence. When an ourdivar does accept a smaller offering, it makes sure to return to its master upon the completion of its mission, ensuring that the summoner is within range when its task is officially complete so the spellcaster will be struck by its departing warpwave.

Chaotic neutral spellcasters able to cast summon monster V can add the ourdivar to the list of creatures they can summon with this spell; when casting summon monster V in this way, the spell is chaotic.

Minor Warpwave

Lesser proteans, such as ourdivars, can create and manipulate ripples in reality known as warpwaves. Not as powerful as the warpwaves caused by greater proteans, minor warpwaves are nevertheless just as unpredictable. When a creature is affected by a minor warpwave, roll 1d10 and consult the table below to see what effect the entropic energies have.

1d10Minor Warpwave Effect
1Target takes 2 points of Constitution, Dexterity, or Strength damage (determine randomly).
2Target takes 2 points of Charisma, Intelligence, or Wisdom damage (determine randomly).
3Target is blinded or deafened (determine randomly) for 1d4 rounds.
4Target is fatigued (or exhausted if already fatigued).
5Target is slowed as the slow spell. (CL = protean’s CR)
6Target gains a +2 enhancement bonus to Constitution, Dexterity, or Strength (determine randomly) for the next 24 hours.
7Target gains a +2 enhancement bonus to Charisma, Intelligence, or Wisdom (determine randomly) for the next 24 hours.
8Target is affected by a protection from law spell. (CL = protean’s CR)
9Target gains 3d6 temporary hit points.
10Target is hastened as the haste spell. (CL = protean’s CR)