Liber Demonica (3.5e Sourcebook)/LD2
Chapter 2: The Demoniary
The inhabitants of the Abyss, like the plane itself, are vastly different from the inhabitants of other planes, and also from each other. While the Abyss is a place of endless variety and constant experimentation, even it is subject to the laws of natural selection and also the whims of its strongest beings. As a result, while innumerable other species do exist, a few have become more dominant and more successful. This chapter attempts to catalogue the more common types of demon, as well as the more common variations on these. Additionally, it also gives some information about how demons think and act, to assist the GM in roleplaying them effectively.
Denizens of the Abyss
Although the Abyss is inhabited by many creatures besides these (such as the many mortals who journey there regularly, or the more powerful denizens of other planes that have business there), two species of outsiders can truly be said to be of the Abyss: the tanar'ri and the obyrith. While the tanar'ri claim to nbe the true rulers of the Abyss at the moment, the influence and power of the obyrith that remain cannot be ignored.
Outsiders are different to mortals in that they don't have separate souls and bodies. Unlike a mortal creature who, upon death, releases the eternal part of their being to join with another plane, an outsider's soul is directly linked to their body, creating (or re-creating) it out of whatever plane it currently happens to be on. As a result, outsiders are immortal (unless killed), and if destroyed on any plane other than their own, they simply reform on their home plane, but weakened. Only by seeking out an outsider in its own home that can it be forever destroyed.
Rules: Not much needs to be changed in the outsider type as written, apart from a few minor corrections to clear up some oddities. For ease of location, these have been bolded.
An outsider is a creature partially (or wholly) composed of the essence of a plane other than the Material Plane, but not of an elemental energy.
Outsiders have the following features:
- A d8 hit die
- Good BAB (as fighter)
- All good saves (as monk)
- 8+Int skill points, x4 at 1st HD
They also have the following traits, unless noted otherwise:
- Darkvision 60ft
- Outsiders do not have separate souls. Thus, spells such as raise dead, reincarnate or resurrection don't work on them. It takes a limited wish, miracle, true resurrection or wish to restore it to life.
- Outsiders are inherently magical creatures. Their attacks, whether natural or manufactured, are always considered to be magical for all purposes, including for the purposes of DR and affecting incorporeal creatures.
- Proficiency with any weapons or armour listed in their entry.
- Outsiders do not need to breathe, eat or sleep. They of course can do these things, and many do them to appear similar to the mortals that they encounter or to simply show off to their underlings or rivals.
Additionally, native is now a subtype of outsider, which changes the following aspects.
- Native outsiders can be raised or resurrected normally.
- Native outsiders need to breathe, eat and sleep.
The first species created by the Queen of Chaos to serve her, the obyrith were creatures of mad genius, filled with the thoughts of the Queen of Chaos and her kind. However, they were less destructive than the Un-Beings and Nega-Beings, and often sought to create - in their own insane manner.
Obyrith share one element of their being - the fact that their forms are destructive to mortal sanity if viewed. What manner of insanity overtakes those that see them varies by obyrith, but in all cases, mortals can rarely see an obyrith and walk away without some kind of mental damage.
Rules: These are the unmodified rules for the obyrith subtype.
Obyrinth have the following traits, unless noted in their statistics block:
- Fast Healing (Ex): All Obyrith possess fast healing of at least 5.
- Immunity to poison and mind-affecting effects.
- Resistance to acid 10, cold 10, electricity 10, and fire 10.
- Telepathy out to 100 ft.
- Form of Madness (Ex): Obyrith have uniquely horrid visages, inciting terror (or other mental effects as described in their creature entry) in any creature that looks upon them. This ability affects all non-demons, but is a mind-affecting effect that always has a Will save (DC 10 + 1/2 the obyrith's CR + its Charisma modifier). Creatures that save successfully against the obyrith's form of madness are immune to its effects for one hour.
Created as an attempt to assist the ascent of the obyrith to godhood, the tanar'ri eventually went far beyond their goal and overthrew the obyrith, destroying many of them and driving the rest away. Given their emotionality in an attempt to allow them to connect better with mortals, the results were far less effective than their creators believed.
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Tanar'ri have the following traits, unless listed otherwise in their statistics block:
- Immunity to fire and poison
- Resistance to acid 10, cold 10 and electricity 10
- Telepathy out to 100ft.
- Aura of Primal Emotion (Su): Tanar'ri are emotions at their most raw and primal. All tanar'ri project one of the following emotions out to Close range (determined by their HD). All mortals (creatures that are not dragons, elementals, fey, outsiders or undead) must make a Will save (DC 10 + 1/2 the tanar'ri's CR + the tanar'ri's Charisma modifier) at the beginning of each of their turns that they spend in this aura, or become afflicted by the emotion. If the auras of multiple tanar'ri overlap, only the strongest of them takes effect, and if multiple tanar'ri of the same power have overlapping auras, those within them only need to save once to ignore both of them. This is considered a mind-affecting ability.
The emotion types vary by demon, and are summarised here:
Anger: Effect identical to the rage spell.
Arousal: Effect identical to the charm monster spell.
Fear: Effect identical to the cause fear spell, with no HD limit.
Thinking like a demon
All outsiders (and demons especially) have a very unique outlook on life, which can make their behaviour seem odd to a creature that is not an outsider or demon itself. Major such differences have been noted here, with a bit of additional information for those who want to roleplay them.
|“||Come on, come on, I don’t have all year...actually I do.||”|
Outsiders don’t view time in the same way that mortals do. No matter how long-lived they are, all mortals--even the great and powerful dragons--eventually succumb to the inevitability of death. This foreknowledge of their own imminent doom gives mortals a natural inclination towards haste. Everything’s about deadlines, and one of the first words on everyones’ lips is “when”.
Outsiders have no such concerns. As immortals, they rarely have a concept of time. Years can go by without any real progress being made in a fiend’s plan, and they won’t care. They’re perfectly content to wait most things out, taking advantage of the fact that mortal enemies have limited lifespans.
Demons, being highly emotional or outright mad creatures, are even more prone to this than others. Tanar'ri can spend years being angry at someone purely for the sake of it, and an obyrith's plans can easily span centuries. As a result, many of their actions can appear strange, out-of-place, or outrightly irresponsible to other creatures, especially mortal ones.
Roleplaying tips: Always take the long view. Express things in terms of centuries or millenia, rather than hours or days. Never be rushed to do anything unless your own existence is at stake. Always lament or joke about the fact that mortals seem to be in such a hurry all the time.
|“||You think you have us outnumbered? We’ve fought the tanar’ri hordes, an army so vast it cannot even be counted. Your men don’t scare us.||”|
Demons could rule the world. Everything they have, they have in abundance. Limitless abundance, that is. They have almost peerless individual strength, the variety to allow them to fight in any environment and take on any fortifications, and the ability to spawn ceaseless numbers of expendable but deadly soldiers. The problem is that there's literally no unity amongst the most powerful of demonkind; each is simply out to get theirs in whatever way presents itself. Most of these lords look to expansion (whether in the Abyss or, more often for the sake of security, elsewhere) as the primary means of gaining power. It’s really for this reason only that so many demons are dispatched to the Material plane. The demons don’t really need mortal souls; they just supplement the currently existing ranks and tend to create more powerful demons than the ones randomly spawned by the planes themselves. The competition for souls also helps keep the devils in check, so it’s advantageous for demonkind as an advantage in the Blood War.
Just to give an idea of just about how many demons each such prince has at their beck and call, each invasion army that has ever mounted an assault on the Nine Hells has been the personal army of a single lord. Not an alliance, not a united front, just ONE lord. When infinite planes exist with potentially infinite lords, it’s understandable why the leaders of just about every other place imaginable would soil themselves at the thought of a united demonic race.
Fortunately for everyone else, it’s just not in the nature of demons to be chummy with each other. It’s like asking The Beatles and the Rolling Stones to make a collaboration record; it just isn’t going to happen no matter how potentially awesome it could be. Instead, demons would rather spend eternity tearing each other to pieces in an endless cycle of civil war and bloodshed. Most of the time that one dares to spend resources fighting elsewhere, they pay for it with their life. This constant threat keeps all but the most desperate or arrogant demons from attempting to invade the Hells, where they are usually swiftly crushed by the baatezu legionnaires.
List of Demons By CR
You can find all demons in Liber Demonica here, arranged by CR.
|Gibling, Liber Demonica||5|
|Umbrax, Liber Demonica||11|
|Devourer Demon, Liber Demonica||18|
Touched By Their Lords: Demonic Ravages
Sometimes, the randomly-creative nature of the Abyss takes too long to do its work, and is too random for a certain demon lord, who wishes a creature more suited to their goals, perhaps immediately. Additionally, some demon lords like to show favour to more successful demons as a form of incentive. These favours and changes are termed ravages, and they work similarly to racial paragon classes that are only two levels long. A creature with one level in such a class is termed minor-ravaged and a creature with two is termed major-ravaged.
In order for a creature to become ravaged, it must be an outsider of chaotic evil alignment. No other creatures can enter ravaged classes. Additionally, a creature cannot be ravaged by more than one demon lord - they are exclusive with their favours, and don't hand them out lightly. Lastly, the creature must be physically injected with Abyssal essence, either by the demon lord themselves, or by another creature major-ravaged by the same lord.
List of Ravaged Classes
|Ravaged By Abaddon||For those that have been ravaged by Abaddon.|
|Ravaged By Baphomet||For those that have been ravaged by Baphomet.|
|Ravaged By Dagon||For those that have been ravaged by Dagon.|
|Ravaged By Demogorgon||For those that have been ravaged by Demogorgon.|
|Ravaged By Fraz-Urb'luu||For those that have been ravaged by Fraz-Urb'luu.|
|Ravaged By Graz'zt||For those that have been ravaged by Graz'zt.|
|Ravaged By Juiblex||For those that have been ravaged by Juiblex.|
|Ravaged By Malcanthet||For those that have been ravaged by Malcanthet.|
|Ravaged By Obox-ob||For those that have been ravaged by Obox-ob.|
|Ravaged By Orcus||For those that have been ravaged by Orcus.|
|Ravaged By Pale Night||For those that have been ravaged by Pale Night.|
|Ravaged By Pazuzu||For those that have been ravaged by Pazuzu.|
|Ravaged By Yeenoghu||For those that have been ravaged by Yeenoghu.|
|Retriever||For those that have been flayed alive and turn into something less than alive.|
Sometimes, the GM needs some generic NPCs, which is where these classes come in. Two of these are non-specific (the adept and the warrior), while the remaining one specific to demonic-themed campaigns (the possessed).
|Adept, Liber Demonica||A class for large numbers of ordinary magic men.|
|Possessed||A class for large numbers of weak, demon-infused creatures.|
|Warrior, Liber Demonica||A class for large numbers of ordinary fighting men.|
One of the most feared capabilities of demons is the power to seize control of the bodies of mortal creatures and make them do their bidding. Known as possession, this is a more common occurrence with demons than other outsiders, as demons tend to be less meticulous and more impulsive. Additionally, demons hunger to experience the world in new ways - and possession allows them to do just that.
Note that no outsider with a CR of more than 20 can ever possess anything. This is not due to a lack of capability - it's simply that there are almost no creatures that could contain this much power, and thus, attempting to do so risks harm to the outsider itself. While theoretically possible, rules for this will not be covered here.
A non-native outsider with a Charisma of at least 12 and the possession ability is able to shed its corporeal body and become a spirit-like form as a full-round action. This is considered a supernatural ability unless noted otherwise. If it does so, the outsider gains the incorporeal subtype (if it didn't have it already), loses any armour or natural armour bonus to AC, gains a deflection bonus to AC equal to its Charisma modifier. It is also naturally invisible (see the creature's description for the type of invisibility), loses the ability to make any attacks, and has its speed converted to a fly speed of double its base land speed (or doubles its fly speed if it already had one). Additionally, while in this form, the outsider cannot communicate with anything by telepathy, cannot have its mind read, cannot interact with the physical world (except by touching a victim, see below) and cannot make any sound. Lastly, it loses access to any of its extraordinary, supernatural or spell-like abilities while in this form.
While in this state, the outsider can attempt to touch a creature as a standard action. This is also considered a supernatural ability, and requires a touch attack, although it is not considered an 'attack' for the purpose of invisibility and similar abilities. If the touch attack is successful, the creature must make a Will save (DC 10 + 1/2 the outsider's CR + the outsider's Charisma modifier). If the creature shares at least one alignment component with the outsider, the DC is an additional 2 points higher. If the creature shares their entire alignment with the outsider, the DC is 4 points higher instead. If the creature has at least one alignment component opposed to the outsider, the DC decreases by 2. If the creature's alignment is directly opposed to the outsider, the DC decreases by 4 instead (lawful good directly opposes chaotic evil, neutral good directly opposes neutral evil, chaotic good directly opposes lawful evil, lawful neutral directly opposes chaotic neutral, etc). If the creature worships a deity that shares at least one alignment component with the outsider, the DC increases by 4. If the creature worships a deity that has at least one opposed alignment component to the outsider, the DC decreases by 4 instead.
If the creature passes the Will save, the outsider cannot possess them at that moment, but can try again. If the outsider fails to possess a creature on three occasions, that creature is forever immune to the possession ability of that outsider until it gains additional CR.
If the save is failed, the outsider's form merges with that of the target, which is now possessed. The outsider no longer has a physical form, and cannot be targeted or affected by anything - in a sense, they become part of the body and soul of the possessed creature. This means that abilities that affect outsiders (such as forbiddance or magic circle against evil) will only work if they would affect the possessed creature. However, the outsider can only take the actions permitted under the Effects of Possession section below.
Additionally, each outsider has its own special way of possessing a creature, as described in its monster entry.
A mindless creature cannot be possessed, nor can a creature without a soul (which excludes most undead, constructs and plants). However, creatures that are immune to mind-affecting abilities are still vulnerable to possession.
Effects of Possession
When a creature becomes possessed, it becomes known as a host, while the creature that is possessing it is termed a possessor. A possessor can take several actions while possessing a host, which are described below. Taking any of these actions requires a standard action in each round that the action is used in.
Bane: The possessor interferes with the character's normal capabilities. Each possessor can apply different conditions (see the description of the possessor for more information). A host can attempt to resist this effect by making a Will save as a swift action (DC identical to possession DC). If successful, the host cannot be affected by this action for 1 hour per point by which they passed (1 round if they passed by 0).
Bless: The possessor grants their host some of their power and capability. As long as this action continues, the host can treat one of their ability scores (chosen by the possessor) as being equal to that of the possessor in their normal form. Note that this modifies the final score, after all modifiers have been applies. Any abilities used to bolster the ability score after it has been so modified apply normally. The host can attempt to resist this effect by making a Will save as a swift action (DC identical to possession DC). If successful, the host's ability scores cannot be affected by the possessor for 1 hour per point by which they passed (1 round if they passed by 0).
Control: The possessor attempts to seize control of the host's body totally, forcing them to do what the possessor wants. This is identical to the dominate monster spell (DC identical to possession DC), except that it lasts as long as the possessor continues to take this action. Additionally, if the possessor forces the host to perform something they would not ordinarily do, that goes against their basic nature, beliefs or ideas, or is similarly grossly out-of-character and outside the norm, the host can attempt another Will save at the same DC to end this action. However, nothing stops the possessor from attempting to take control again.
If a creature is forced to perform actions that they would not do ordinarily, that go against their basic nature, beliefs or ideas, or are similarly grossly out-of-character and outside their norm and fail the Will save to break the control of the possessor, they must test to avoid getting a mental disorder. This test must also be made the first time this happens to a host, regardless of what they were made to do (see section on Mental Disorders).
Depart: The possessor leaves the host, and has no further control over them (unless they choose to try and possess them again).
Manifest: The possessor attempts to transform the host's body into a new one for itself. This requires a full-round action instead of a standard action, and at the end of this time, the host can attempt both a Will save and a Fort save (DC for both identical to possession DC). If either save is passed, the host resists the transformation, and if both are passed, the possessor cannot attempt to use this action on this host again. If both saves are failed, the host transforms into a copy of the possessor before they shed their physical form, and the host is essentially dead.
Probe: The possessor digs deep into the mind of the host, trying to find a specific memory or piece of information. The possessor must know what they are looking for in order to find it. If the host clearly remembers what the possessor is looking for, the search takes 1 round per year of time ago that the memory was made (minimum 1 round). If the host remembers what the possessor is looking for vaguely, the search takes 1 minute per year of time ago that the memory was made (minimum 1 minute). If the host doesn't remember (for whatever reason) what the possessor is looking for, the search takes 1 hour per year of time ago that the memory was made (minimum 1 hour). At the end of this search time, the host must make a Will save (DC identical to possession DC). If this is failed, the memory is forced into their surface thoughts (where the possessor can read it using the Ride action if they choose) and lingers there for 1 round, plus an additional round for each point by which they failed their Will save. Hosts that are forced to recall traumatic or unpleasant memories must also make a test to avoid getting a mental disorder (see Mental Disorder section).
If the memory or memories that the possessor seeks are locked away or erased magically, the possessor must first break apart the spell or ability that did this. This requires 1 day per caster level of the spell or SLA, or 1 day per character level of the origin of the ability if it has no caster level. At the end of this time, the possessor must make a Will save (DC identical to the ability, or 10 + 1/2 the ability's caster level + the ability's user's appropriate ability score modifier, or 10 + 1/2 the character level of the ability's source + the ability's source's appropriate ability score modifier, whichever is most difficult). If this save is failed, the ability still holds, but the possessor can try again. If it is passed, the ability's effect is ended, and the possessor can try and Probe for the information normally.
Ride: The default action for a possessor, this simply means that the demon 'rides' along with the host, without making itself known. While using this action, the demon sees, hears and otherwise detects everything that the host would, and also automatically knows its surface thoughts. If a particular thought is something considered secret or dangerous by the host, the host may make a Will save (DC identical to possession DC) to keep the demon from knowing that thought, or attempting to know it, for the next 24 hours. After this, if the host thinks that thought again, a new save must be made.
Talk: By using this action, the possessor can speak to its host, usually by means of a 'voice inside their head'. While doing so, the possessor sees, hears and otherwise detects everything that the host would. If the host responds to the possessor mentally, the possessor is aware of this, but is not aware of any other thoughts that the host has. Possessors usually use it to order about the host, or simply to intimidate or terrify them.
Possessors can use this ability to deprive a creature of sleep, by speaking as they are about to fall asleep, for example. If a possessor chooses to do this, the host must make a Will save (DC identical to possession DC) in order to get a proper rest when they sleep. If they fail this, they lose 1 hour of sleep per point by which they fail the check. This can render creatures fatigued or exhausted, as the entire time they would have slept is still expended (by talking to the possessor, trying to ignore it, etc). A host that loses more than 2 hours of sleep per 24 hour period this way for 4 days or more must test to avoid getting a mental disorder (see Mental Disorder section).
Possessors can also use this ability to speak disturbing things to the host and generally make their lives miserable. If they choose to do this, they must spend at least 4 hours for each 24 hour period using this action. After each day of this, the host must test to avoid getting a mental disorder (see Mental Disorder section).
Use SLA: A possessor can use one of their spell-like abilities while possessing a host, using the host's body as a channel for the power. Unlike normal possessor actions, this requires as long an action time as the use of the spell-like ability normally would. For all intents and purposes, it is considered used by the possessor and not the host.
All possessors have a physical and a mental mark, which represent their unusual influence on the mind and body of the host. The specifics of each mark are described in the monster entry for them. Usually, a physical mark is something that is clearly noticeable with the senses (such as an extra eye or a strong odour), while a mental mark is to do with behaviour and mentality (such as a preoccupation with death or unusual thinking and logic patterns). Possessors will usually instruct or force a host to hide these marks, although this is not always the case - sometimes, possessors are quite open about their presence in a host.
|To identify a possession requires a Knowledge (religion) or Knowledge (the planes) check, as if identifying the possessor. However, this can be difficult to do, as initially, some clue as to something being wrong must be found. The physical or mental mark of the possessor is usually a good place to begin (see section on Marks), but these can be hidden. Sometimes, a Sense Motive check (with a DC equal to 10 + the possessor's Bluff modifier) is necessary to see that something is amiss. Additionally, if the host seems to be using abilities that it would not have any way of possessing normally (such as a fighter casting spells), such a check may be called for.
However, even then, it is difficult. The DC to identify a possessor is 5 points higher than it normally would be. Additionally, all that a check passed by less than 4 points indicates is that the host is possessed by something - not necessarily what.
It is also possible to use certain abilities, such as detect thoughts to find out a creature is possessed. However, even then, the possessor will usually try to outwit the would-be detector if it wants to stay hidden, by using their Bluff skill.
Removing a possessor from a host is a perniciously difficult task. There are three methods to forcefully eject a possessor from a host: ability, ritual and death. In all of these cases, the creature that attempts to end the possession is termed an exorcist. On rare occasions, a host can self-exorcise, but this is extremely unusual.
Exorcism By Ability: Abilities that can send an outsider back to its home plane (such as banishment) normally cannot affect a possessor inside a host. However, if the possession is discovered (see sidebar), and the exorcist has sufficient understanding of how to use the relevant ability (usually a number of ranks in Knowledge (the planes) equal to twice the ability's level, or the character level at which it was gained, whichever is more), they can attempt to target this ability against a possessor.
Because of the way the host protects the possessor, the possessor receives a +4 bonus to its AC and saves against any ability that would remove it. Additionally, if the ability requires a level check of any sort, the exorcist treats their level as 4 lower than normal.
If the ability successfully sends the outsider back to their home plane, they are considered to have used the Depart action on their host.
Additionally, some abilities specifically deal with possession. Information on how these function is in their description.
Exorcism By Death: If a host is killed, the possessor departs automatically. Additionally, the trauma of this forced departure forces them back into their normal form on their home plane, and prevents them from attempting to possess any creature for a year and a day.
Exorcism By Ritual: If an exorcist successfully identifies a possession (see sidebar), and has at least as many ranks in Knowledge (the planes) as the possessor has CR, they can attempt to perform a ritual to expel the possessor. In order to do this, the host must usually be affixed in place (as otherwise, the possessor would force it to flee).
The ritual requires 1 minute to begin, and from that point, requires concentration to maintain. The exorcist and the possessor make opposed checks, each using the highest of their Intelligence, Wisdom or Charisma modifiers. If the exorcist is of a lawful or good alignment, they gain a +2 bonus on their checks, but if they are of a chaotic or evil alignment, they gain a -2 penalty instead. The possessor does not require concentration to make its checks, and can attempt other actions if it wishes. One check is made each round.
If one side gets a higher result, multiply the difference in results by the exorcist's level (if the exorcist got the higher result) or by the possessor's CR (if the possessor's result was higher). This is the amount of nonlethal damage inflicted to the losing individual. Additionally, this is very strenuous on the host, who is dealt their CR or level (whichever is higher) in nonlethal damage. If a round is a draw, nothing happens (but the host still takes nonlethal damage). This nonlethal damage cannot be prevented or ignored (and for creatures who are immune to nonlethal damage, it becomes lethal instead).
If the possessor takes nonlethal damage equal to its maximum hit points or greater from this ritual, it is banished from the host (treat as a Depart action). Additionally, it is returned to its home plane, and cannot attempt to possess another creature for a year and a day. However, if the same happens to the exorcist, the possessor can attempt to possess them instead, allowing no save to resist.