Pit Fiend, Aarnott (3.5e Monster)

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Author: Aarnott (talk)
Date Created: 17:30, 27 December 2011 (UTC)
Status: In Progress
Editing: Clarity edits only please
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You may be looking for the SRD:Pit Fiend. This is a homebrew version.


This monster is balanced to fit in a high level of balance game. I have taken the liberty of not using the standard D&D rules for determining various statistics for this monster. As a result, it may seem a bit stronger (or weaker) than some SRD monsters of the same CR and that is fine. I think it will pose an appropriate challenge for characters of its CR.

Pit Fiend[edit]

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Pit Fiend

CR 20

LE Large Outsider (Devil, Extraplanar, Evil, Lawful)
Init/Senses +10/Telepathy 100 ft., Perfect Darkvision 120 ft.; Listen +34, Spot +34
Aura Aura of Fear, Aura of Darkness
AC 48, touch 28, flat-footed 46
hp 400 (20 HD); DR 15/good and silver, regeneration 10
Immune fire, poison
Resist acid 10, cold 10
Fort/Ref/Will +22/+22/+22
Speed 40 ft. (8 squares), fly 60 ft. (average)
Melee +41/+41 Claws (2d6 + 8), +41/+41 Wings (1d6 + 4), +41 Bite (1d6 + 4 + disease), +41 Tail Slap (1d6 + 4 + improved grab)
Space/Reach 10ft./10ft.
Base Atk/Grp +20/+40
Atk Options Burst of Flames, Firebolt, Envenom, Fire Ring, Total Darkness
Abilities Str 37, Dex 27, Con 27, Int 26, Wis 26, Cha 26
Skills Balance +34, Bluff +34, Climb +34, Concentration +34, Diplomacy +34, Disguise +34 (+36 acting), Hide +34, Intimidate +34, Jump +40, Knowledge (arcana) +34, Knowledge (nature) +28, Knowledge (the planes) +34, Knowledge (religion) +34, Listen +34, Move Silently +34, Search +34, Spellcraft +34, Spot +34, Survival +14 (+10 on other planes, +10 when tracking), Tumble +34
Perfect Darkvision (Su) Pit fiends can see perfectly in all forms of darkness, including magical darkness.
Aura of Fear (Su) Each creature with in 60 ft. of a pit fiend, at the start of its turns, must make a Will save DC 31 or become shaken for the turn.
Aura of Darkness (Su) A pit fiend radiates a 60 ft. aura of darkness, which reduces the ambient lighting to shadowy illumination (if that would darken an area). This is identical to the effects caused by a Deeper Darkness spell.
Disease (Ex) A pit fiend's bite attack causes a target hit by it to make a Fortitude save DC 33 or else contract devil chills.
Improved Grab (Ex) A pit fiend that hits with a tail slap attack can attempt to grapple a creature as a free action. This grapple is made at a +40 modifier. If the creature is grappled it takes 2d6 + 8 damage at the end of the pit fiend's turn. The pit fiend can continue acting while its tail grapples a creature, is not considered to be grappled itself, and must take a swift action or move action to maintain the grapple, which does not require a grapple check. It can still attack with its tail attack although it can only grab a single opponent at a time. It can also move and take actions freely while grappling a creature in this way.

A grappled creature in this way has a 20% chance to be hit by ranged attacks directed at the pit fiend (rather than the usual 50% chance).

Regeneration (Ex) A pit fiend takes normal damage from good-aligned silvered weapons, and from spells or effects with the good descriptor.
Burst of Flames (Su) As a swift action, a pit fiend can burst into flames, adding 1d6 fire damage to its natural attacks and dealing an extra 2d6 fire damage to grappled opponents. Any opponent hit by a pit fiend's natural attacks also has its resistance to fire reduced. The extra fire damage lasts for 3 rounds.

When the pit fiend deals this extra fire damage, if the creature has fire immunity or a fire resistance greater than 30, it is reduced to fire resistance 30. If the creature has fire resistance, it is reduced by 10 (to a minimum of 0). If the creature has no fire resistance, it gains fire vulnerability (fire damage deals half again as much damage). This reduction lasts until the end of the encounter.

Firebolt (Su) As a swift action, a pit fiend can launch a small ball of fire at a creature within 300 ft. The fire bolt deals 6d6 fire damage, Reflex save DC 33 for half. On a failed save, the creature is knocked prone.
Envenom (Su) As a swift action, a pit fiend can envenom its claw attacks and bite attack this turn, injecting a powerful poison into its enemies. Any creature hit by the poison must make a Fortitude save DC 33 or become staggered. If it was already staggered from the poison, it becomes nauseated instead. At the end of the creature's turns it can make a new saving throw at the previous DC -2 to end the effect completely (31 the first time, 29 the second, etc.).
Fire Ring (Su) As a full-round action, usable once per encounter, a pit fiend can create a ring of fire, damaging each creature at the same altitude within 60 ft. of him. The ring of fire deals 20d6 fire damage. Each creature can make a Reflex save DC 33 for half damage.
Total Darkness (Sp) As a full-round action, a pit fiend can create an area of absolute darkness in a 60 ft. radius around him. All creatures within the area must make a Will save each round or else be unable to see through the magical darkness (unless they have other means like the pit fiend's Perfect Darkvision). The area of darkness also cannot be seen through: it is opaque blackness. This effect lasts 3 rounds.

I am the spirit that negates.
And rightly so, for all that comes to be
Deserves to perish wretchedly;
'Twere better nothing would begin.
Thus everything that that your terms, sin,
Destruction, evil represent—
That is my proper element.
—Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, Faust - Part One

When mortals think of devils, the pit fiends are the creatures that are brought to mind. These creatures appear to be large humanoids with brilliant red skin. Their heads are adorned with massive horns while their bodies are cloaked in a pair of bat-like wings. A long, prehensile tail snakes from their backside. The mouth of a pit fiend is filled with sharpened fangs whose bite carries a virulent disease. A pit fiend stands over 12 feet tall and weighs 800 pounds.

Scholars pertain that there are sixteen standard ranks of baatezu and pit fiends are right at the top of this hierarchy.

Pit fiends are the generals of baatezu armies, the orchestrators of mass corruption and the bullies of their lesser devils. They appear as bestial, scaled humanoids twice the height of any human being with a pair of wings that it can wrap around its body. As venom drips from their fangs, fire wreathes the pit fiend's entire body.

Armed with superhuman combat prowess, the intelligence of a mighty wizard, an array of powerful abilities and usually the resources of a devilish army as well, pit fiends are incredibly dangerous foes. Powerful conjurers can summon a pit fiend to make deals. Contracts are usually written up in order to have the deal honored, but pit fiends are masters of such things and always have ways of perverting the contract to their own ends.

The next step up from pit fiend in the infernal hierarchy is the rank of duke. Only dukes are allowed to become an archdevil. The process of becoming a duke does not involve a ritual as other devilish ranks do; it just means that a pit fiend gains even more prestige.

Pit fiends are the most powerful of the infernal legions. They serve not only as the generals of Hell’s armies, but also as the lower nobility of the infernal courts. These monstrous fiends are only rivaled in power by the archdevils.

Strategies and Tactics[edit]

The pit fiend is a master of fear, darkness, fire, and poison: it is an unholy terror for sure. It specializes in fighting groups by means of divide and conquer.

Typically, a pit fiend will start a battle by flying into the middle of a group and launching a flurry of attacks augmented with burst of flames. It will then create an area of darkness and use that to single out a creature hopefully grappling with his tail. It will retreat when it is damaged heavily, using areas of total darkness to obscure its path and will plot means to single out party members and kill them after it has regenerated.

Just to be helpful, here is a list of abilities sorted by action type and when a pit fiend would likely want to use them:

Free Actions/No Action

  • Aura of Fear - Useful for flying into a clustered group and using intimidate check to scatter them in different directions.
  • Aura of Darkness - The "always on" 20% miss chance makes the pit fiend want to nullify enemies that don't use attack rolls first.
  • Improved Grab - There isn't really a good reason for a pit fiend not to at least try grabbing onto an opponent. It deals extra damage and the pit fiend can choose to release the opponent without taking an action on its next turn.

Swift Actions

  • Improved Grab (maintain grapple) - Perfect for the divide and conquer strategy. The pit fiend can grab a target it wants to kill first, keep it grappled with swift actions, and fly away, killing them once they are far enough away from the group that there is nobody to help. Since the creature is in a grapple with the pit fiend, ranged attacks can hit the creature rather than the pit fiend, which makes the grappled opponent like extra armor.
  • Burst of Flames - When the pit fiend is about to make a full-attack action or even just preparing to use its Fire Ring, burst of flames can add quite the punch. Even a fire immune creature will be vulnerable to fire after 5 hits, which not only powers up this ability, but will add some significant power to the swift action Firebolts and the Fire Ring.
  • Firebolt - A generally useful long range attack. Since it knocks enemies prone, it can be used in melee to get an extra attack in when they stand up. It is also a good ability for fleeing pit fiends to use because it can trip up opponents without slowing the pit fiend down.
  • Envenom - A good ability to use when in the thick of melee to shut down a creature for a turn. This helps the pit fiend take on multiple enemies by disabling one of them for a turn.

Move Actions

  • Improved Grab (maintain grapple) - Although this is not as good for a pit fiend to use to carry away an enemy, it is great for a pit fined in melee to keep a creature disabled and still allow access to its swift action abilities like Firebolt or to recharge Burst of Flames.

Standard Actions

  • Claw attack - Probably only used on a charge or when maintaining Improved Grab with a move action for a turn.
  • Intimidate check - Used to cause a shaken opponent to spend a round running, which is yet another way to divide a group.

Full Round Actions

  • Full attack - Generally, a pit fiend will probably divide its full attack in order to Envenom one creature to disable it and Improved Grab another to disable it. Most of the time, it will keep the tail attack separate, at the very least, since it doesn't care about heavily damaging creatures it is disabling: it will deal with them later.
  • Fire Ring - Usually a pit fiend saves this attack for when it has brought a few creatures into fire vulnerability and it can hit each of them.
  • Total Darkness - This ability is incredibly powerful in certain situations and the pit fiend is certainly clever at using it. It can be a great way for the pit fiend to effectively split up the party by blinding them so that they can't assist each other effectively.

Back to Main Page3.5e HomebrewMonsters

AuthorAarnott +
Challenge Rating20 +
Identifier3.5e Monster +
NamePit Fiend +
RatingUndiscussed +
SizeLarge +
SubtypeDevil +, Extraplanar +, Evil + and Lawful +
SummarySurpassed in power by only the Archdevils themselves, pit fiends are a force of terror to be reckoned with. +
TitlePit Fiend, Aarnott +
TypeOutsider +