CLIMATE/TERRAIN:Mechanus(all),other planes(see below)
FREQUENCY:UncommonUncommonRareVery Rare
NO. APPEARING:1-81-41-20-1
ARMOUR CLASS:333 or 03
MOVEMENT:Fly 10Fly 168 (Creep)Fly 20
HIT DICE:57910
DAMAGE/ATTACK:1d81d8 / 1d81d8 (x4)1d6 / 3d4
SPECIAL ATTACKS:Spell-like powersSpell-like powersStingEnergy beam, gate, symmetry attack
SPECIAL DEFENCES:Protectionfromchaos(1/day)
SIZE:>Tiny(1 to 1.5′)<
XP VALUE:1754209751,400
AD&D 2e statistics

“One side must match another, all must be equal, balanced, and perfect.”

— Symmetrical creed

Guvners claim there’s law in everything and an old joke has it that some Guvners are so law obsessed they turn into modrons. That isn’t true, but some particularly obsessed Guvners have become creatures of law petitioners when they have died.

Symmetrians are just that. You see some Guvners become so obsessed with finding law in everything they start believing that their is an ultimate symmetry to law in the multiverse and that it should be found, catalogued, and recorded. Some of their obsessions drive them to become symmetrians when their souls enter Mechanus so they can continue their quest even after their deaths.

Symmetrians occur in four known forms. Aceti, the asymmetrical, are lumpy balls of flesh with one eye and a tentacle on their right side. Dilenzo are bilaterally symmetrical, and have one eye in front, one wing on each side, and two tentacles. Madzembago, the radially symmetrical, resemble sea anemones and have a circlet of eyes just below their tentacles. Shooli are the spherical symmetrical. Silvery spheres that glow with energy, they are featureless but can see and act from all sides of their form. All of these creatures appear to be made from the same metal-like substance as modrons.

Each symmetrian has a purpose; they have a job and a question related to their job. When they answer their question to the satisfaction of their superiors they advance to the next form. Simplest of the symmetrians are the aceti; they have the simple task of finding order and bringing it back to Mechanus. Their question is: “How do you find order hidden in chaos?”

The next highest is the dilenzo; they direct the activities of the aceti, and their question is: “What order should we seek?” Their superiors are the madzembago, their job is to catalogue order, and their question is: “What order is the most important in the multiverse?” Finally the shooli are top of the evolutionary ladder. They oversee the activities of the others and open gates to other planes (usually using the Labyrinthine Portal, but also with a natural magical ability). Their question is: “What is the ultimate shape of pure, unbroken (spherical or better!) symmetrical law in the multiverse?” This final (and perhaps barmy) question may not even have an answer.

COMBAT: Symmetrials do not pursue battle but in their attempt to find and catalogue order they often run across misunderstandings or have to defend themselves from enemies.

Aceti, who usually just float slowly looking to find and collect items that match their symmetrical search image of law, can defend themselves using their tentacle for 1d8 points of damage.

Dilenzo have two tentacles that do 1d8 hit points of bludgeoning damage each but can use the spell like abilities charm person and hold person twice a day.

Madzembago have four attacks for 1d8 damage each with their tentacles and their tentacle stingers do an additional +2 hps damage if fighting an opponent without armour. They can utilise shocking grasp, identify object, and legend lore once per day, and if threatened can also improve their AC to 0 by retracting their tentacles into their body, however they cannot attack when protected like this.

Shooli are powerful, their weakest ability is ramming an opponent which does 1d4 damage. Few opponents get the draw on shooli, however, since their all-round vision makes them impossible to surprise. Shooli can also use their energy manipulation powers to shoot a beam that does 3d4 points of damage as well as light spells and invisibility. Each of those light-altering abilities are usable once per day. Shooli can only be hit by +1 or better weapons. Perhaps the two most dangerous shooli abilities are to open a gate between two outer planes at will, and their symmetry effect. This can increase an opponents symmetry. If they make the left and right sides perfect matches then they being affected gets +1 to appearance (some studies show beautiful faces are those with the highest symmetry.) Even nastier, they can make a beings front and back or top and bottom symmetrical matches, forcing a save versus spells to avoid instant death. These two powers are usable once per day.

HABITAT/SOCIETY: Their bizarre quest to find and catalogue law and symmetry has lead symmetrians to travel across the Outer Planes looking for objects to bring back to the race’s Hall of Balanced Forms on Mechanus. Recently, this has been leading to an unusual situation: aceti on Limbo have been inadvertently shaping chaos with their mental search limit and bringing it back to Mechanus. This had given the symmetrians a great curiosity in the “hidden order” that has been uncovered so they have begun strip mining Limbo of chaos-stuff to study in Mechanus. This means chaos has been converted to law and moved away from Limbo. It makes one wonder how long until a large bit of Limbo tries to slip through a gate to Mechanus on its own… One thing is certain, as long as symmetry crazed Guvners become symmetrians the number of workers bringing back chaos shaped into law will be increasing.

ECOLOGY: Though they fit into the bizarre mental and law based ecology of Mechanus, elsewhere on the planes they can be disruptive. Though symmetrians do not seem to need nutrients, they slowly fade away and die in a unbalanced or non-symmetrical environment. Symmetrians rarely have treasure of value, but the examples of balance, law, and symmetry they find and collect may be valuable objects indeed, such as finely cut gemstones or art objects.

Source: Joshua Jarvis. Author’s note: Thanks to the Planescape Mailing List for helping make these creatures work!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *