The World of Tel-Avi

Campaign Knowledge: Demons

Making the infinite planes more infinite...

One thing that has always bothered me in D&D is the disconnect between the idea of the Abyss having “infinite layers” each of “infinite size” and yet there being a limited range of demonic opponents for PCs to face. If you have a plane that encompasses a space of infinity times infinity, it makes very little sense for the lifeforms of that plane to conform to a finite number of shapes, sizes, and power levels.

In addition, Demons (and/or Devils) are the classic material for conjurers throughout literature and history. The idea of “summoning” an angelic being to do your bidding was completely outside of the realm of possibility for much traditional medieval thought. Even “good” (or at least religiously supported) sorceries still focused on summoning and binding devils (see The Key of Solomon for example), the servants of god are beyond mortal ken. While summoning in D&D is not automatically considered an evil act, the idea that only evil servitor beings can be bound to a human’s will (and will try to subvert that will) is too ingrained in the literary roots of the magic to do away with.

So we come to a few mechanical points for this campaign:

  1. Demons are extremely varied in form and function. In general no two demons look alike and their powers are unpredictable. When a demon is summoned or encountered, they should be generated using these random tables.
  2. The Summon Monster spell allows the caster to call a random demon to serve them. The spell summons a demon of appropriate level (i.e. Summon Monster I calls a “level 1 demon”), and the caster can choose the base form that the demon takes (aquatic, avian, serpentine, quadruped, or humanoid), but all other factors are random.
  3. A summoned demon has a chance to escape the summoner’s control. Each round the summoner must make a concentration check (DC equal to the demon’s spell resistance) as a free action to maintain control of the demon. If this check fails, the demon becomes free willed (and will most likely attack the caster). Regardless of whether or not control is maintained, the demon will return from whence it came at the end of the spell’s duration.
  4. The duration of all Conjuration (summoning) spells is increased to the next larger time increment (i.e. 1 round per level becomes 1 minute per level, 1 minute becomes 10 minutes, 10 minutes becomes 1 hour, etc).
  5. Conjuration [calling] spells allow the caster to summon a specific named demon with known abilities. In this case the caster may choose any outsider normally allowed by their spell or a demon of the appropriate level. If a demon is chosen, the caster can choose the specific abilities that demon possesses instead of rolling randomly. Any “roll again twice” options on the tables should be ignored.

† Note: Because of the added risks and reduced control over what is summoned, the duration of summoning spells may be extended.


Sample Level 1 Demon

Notes: Quadruped base form, Darkness Theme
Appearance: Attractive Humanoid Face, Prehensile Tongue, Centaur-like (human upper body, horse lower body), Hooved Feat, Horse-like tail, Carapace

Overall Appearance: Looks like a 2-ft. tall centaur, with an attractive humanoid upper body and the lower body of a tiny horse. Its torso and hindquarters are covered with tough bony ridges and a long prehensile tongue extends from its mouth. Its fur, hair, and tail are midnight black and wisps of dark mist rise up from its feet as it walks.

CE Tiny Outsider [chaotic, evil, extraplanar, demon]

  • Init: +0
  • Speed: 40 ft.
  • Senses: Darkvision 60-ft.
  • Space: 2.5 ft.
  • Reach: 0 ft.

Defenses:

  • Wound Points: 8 (Wound Threshold: 16)
  • Vitality Points: 5 (1d10)
  • AC: 16 (2 size, 4 natural)
    • Touch: 12
    • Flat-footed: 14
    • CMD: 8
  • Saves:
    • Fort: +1
    • Reflex: +4
    • Will: +0
  • Spell Resistance: 12
  • Immunities:
  • Resistances: Cold Resistance 10, Acid and Sonic Resistance 5
  • Damage Reduction:
  • Weaknesses: Fire Vulnerability
  • Attacks:
    • BAB: +1
    • CMB: -3
      • Melee: Bite or Weapon
        • Bite: +5
          • Damage: 1d3-2
        • Tiny Rapier: +5
          • Damage: 1d3-2 (18-20 Crit)
      • Ranged: Divine Ray
        • Divine Ray: +5
          • Damage: 1d6
    • Special Attacks: Divine Ray (20-ft. ranged touch attack), Touch of Darkness, Trample (1d2 damage, DC 11)
    • Spell-like Abilities: Caster level 1st (DC 11 + spell level)
      • At will: Detect Poison, Feather Fall
      • 1/day: Obscuring Mist

Abilities:

  • Str: 7
  • Dex: 14
  • Con: 8
  • Int: 7
  • Wis: 10
  • Cha: 13

Feats: Weapon Finesse, Blind-Fight [B]

Skills:

  • Acrobatics: +6
  • Bluff: +5
  • Perception: +4
  • Stealth: +6

Touch of Darkness (Sp): As a melee touch attack, you can cause a creature’s vision to be fraught with shadows and darkness. The creature touched treats all other creatures as if they had concealment, suffering a 20% miss chance on all attack rolls. This effect lasts for 1 round. You can use this ability 3/day.

Prehensile Tongue (Ex): Can use its tongue to wield weapons (in lieu of a bite attack).

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