http://brilliantgameologists.com
October 22, 2014, 11:01:03 PM *
Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.

Login with username, password and session length
News: These boards are now READ ONLY. We've started over! So don't try posting here. Go here www.minmaxboards.com
 
   Home   Help Search Members Login Register  
Pages: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 »
  Print  
Author Topic: Practical Demonkeeping (A Summoner's Guide to the Lower Planes)  (Read 50254 times)
0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.
Gnorman
Domesticated Capuchin Monkey
**
Posts: 111


I'm a monster. Rawr.


« on: August 28, 2009, 05:17:37 AM »

Practical Demonkeeping
(A Summoner’s Guide to the Lower Planes)



"At them, my fiends! Serve your master well, and their souls shall be yours to feast upon!"

- Trephalia Vannon, student of The Vital Pact.

Let’s face it. Everybody likes summoning fiends. Okay, not everybody. Paladins, clerics of good-aligned gods, and the occasional overly-naturalistic druid may have a few minor ethical dilemmas about the subject. But for those of you willing to delve into a little fire and brimstone, delving into various forbidden grimoires, codices, tomes can be an extremely rewarding - if incredibly dangerous - practice. But before you start to chalk out that circle or cast that summoning spell, it’s good to know a bit about what exactly it is you are coercing into doing your bidding – even if it’s only for one round per level. Collected here is a vast array of demons, devils, yugoloths, demodands, and miscellaneous evil outsiders for your perusal. Not every thing in the list will be extraplanar or evil, but most things will be - my requirements are basically thus: be an evil outsider, or an evil magical beast/aberration/construct with the extraplanar subtype, or hail from a plane ranging from Acheron to Pandemonium. I’ll be hitting up the Monster Manuals, Fiend Folio, Fiendish Codices, and more (even a few issues of Dragon magazine, for the more adventurous players out there).

Much of this guide is intended for use with the Malconvoker from Complete Scoundrel. As summoning becomes an extremely viable strategy with this PrC (and summoning creatures with the [evil] subtype is the way to go with the class), I highly recommend it for any hopeful practitioners of deceptive demonology. Regardless of the Malconvoker love (of which there is plenty), this can still be a handy guide. Use it for your Truenaming Fiendbinder. Use it for your Nar Demonbinder or your Demonologist. DMs, use it for your BBEG and his cabal of demonic cultists. Or your malicious priests of domineering, devil-consorting congregations. Most importantly, have some fun dabbling in demonology. Just don't take it too far - down that road lies ruin. Or power. Or something.

A few quick preliminary notes:

Note that I won’t go into detail about how to best become a summoner – guides for that have already been written. In particular, I recommend:

Treantmonklvl20’s Mastering the Malconvoker
Mxyzplk’s Legal 3.5 Summonable Monster List
Mxyzplk’s extremely handy Malconvoker cheat sheets, my personal inspiration for this guide
The always-useful Summoning Handbook
And the Conjurer's Handbook, which doesn't focus on summoning but is still a great resource for wizards and sorcerers looking to become familiar with Conjuration.

A typical entry will have the following details:

CR: Obviously, the Challenge Rating of the creature.
HD: Its hit dice, relevant for binding.
How to get it: The way to summon it. If there's a RAW method, I'll use that. If not, I'll use my own scale, as noted below.
Role: The roles mentioned below - the basic use of the summon.
Fluff: Irrelevant to some, it might give you some ideas about how to roleplay these fiends or tempt them into copacetic binds.
Advantages: Self-explanatory; the reasons why you'd want to use the creature.
Disadvantages: Likewise; the reasons why you'd not want to use it.
Notable SLAs: The cream of each creature's spell-like ability, psi-like ability, or maneuver crop.
Final Evaluation: My subjective take on the creature's overall efficacy, both in and out of combat.

I'll be grouping creatures into six basic roles, as follows:

Brute: Self-explanatory. Melee monsters and damage-soaking tanks.
Assassin: Stealthy, subtle, or highly mobile creatures.
Minion: Mooks with few abilities that don't have a well-defined role or work well only en masse.
Manipulator: Lockdown, debuffing, or other relevant battlefield control.
Caster: Those who depend heavily on their SLAs or blasting abilities.
Overlord: These guys can do it all - melee, casting, control, whatever you need, an Overlord can most likely provide.  

For creatures without a RAW method to summon them: Here’s the Summon Monster CR scale that I’m basing the guide on. It’s a fairly lenient scale – harsher DMs might skew it down a notch or two.
SM I: ½
SM II: 1
SM III: 2
SM IV: 3
SM V: 4-5
SM VI: 5-6
SM VII: 7-8
SM VIII: 9-10
SM IX: 11-13

For bindings: Normally, the caps for bindings are 6 HD for Lesser Planar Binding; 12 HD for Planar Binding; and 18 HD for Greater Planar Binding. The Malconvoker's Improved Calling boosts it by 2. Infernal Bargainer, a Forgotten Realms-specific feat for outsiders only, can boost it by another 2. I won't be mentioning specific binding methods in the "How to Get It" entry, as you should be able to determine that by the creature's HD. Assume I'm taking that Improved Calling ability into account in most cases. There's also an obscure spell called Implore in Dragon #336 that allows you to bind a creature of up to 22/24 HD (it's not entirely clear), provided you have its truename. I'll be assuming 24 HD, just because it's more awesome that way.

If two versions of a creature exist, I'll be using the most recent one. Most will be 3.5, but I will delve into 3.0 sources as well, since they're technically still canon.

And without further ado, the Encyclopedia Demonica:
« Last Edit: March 03, 2011, 09:43:24 AM by Gnorman » Logged
Gnorman
Domesticated Capuchin Monkey
**
Posts: 111


I'm a monster. Rawr.


« Reply #1 on: August 28, 2009, 05:17:55 AM »

Demons, Part I


"So many to seduce, so little time. Oh, who am I kidding? I'm a demon. As eternal and enduring as evil itself. I've got all the time in the planes."

- Alessandra, succubus temptress, recently brought back to the Material Plane.

Chaotic, vicious, and destructive, demons are a paramount choice for a caster looking to pick up a powerful caster or a sneaky tactical choice. They have plenty to offer (more than any other) in terms of variety, and a number of them are beautiful choices. Still, with such a large pool to draw from, there's bound to be a few duds. A number of them have annoying auras, or are heavily impractical, or occupy confoundingly unnecessary niches. But while they are on the whole not as combat-adept as Devils, they are good choices for their spells and tactical possibilities.


Monster Manual I
Babau
CR: 6
HD: 7
How to get it: SM VII
Role: Assassin
Fluff: Sneaky spies and assassins in demonic courts, Babaus aren't very socially adept. Though reasonably intelligent, their limited ability to wheel and deal will help you bluff them but good. They hate fair fights and plot carefully - they're likely to exploit loopholes in binding contracts if they can puzzle them out.
Advantages: It’s a sneaky little bugger that can provide scouting or hit-and-run tactics for you. 2d6 sneak attack and three attacks can add up. Decent rogue skills, though the limited duration will prove counterproductive in that regard. LPB can turn it into a minor rogue replacement, though.
Disadvantages: Disappointing damage and middling BAB, plus a caster level of 7 for its SLAs.
Notable SLAs: Dispel Magic and See Invisibility at will.
Final Evaluation: Though not the greatest summon for its level, it can be an effective skirmisher. Tag-team a vulnerable, low-AC enemy with two babaus and watch the d6’s fly. Still, I wish it was a level or two lower - as it is, it's a relatively poor choice.

Balor
CR: 20
HD: 20
How to get it: Greater Planar Binding with either the Infernal Bargainer regional feat from Races of Faerun or the Malconvoker's Improved Calling ability
Role: Overlord
Fluff: Generals and overlords of demons, Balors aren't easily tricked or bound. My recommendation? Show them immediately that you're no pushover. Hit them with debuffs and verbal abuse while they're trapped in the circle. Demonstrate that even though they are great and powerful, they are nothing in comparison to your power, and that if they expect to get out of this alive and intact, they'd better bow to your every whim. Balors respect power and cruelty - you have to approach them on their terms.
Advantages: It has a vorpal sword (actually not that great). It is wreathed in flame. Amazing SLAs. It messes things up hard, in and out of melee. This is an absolutely iconic binding for a reason – it’s the golden standards by which other GPBs are measured.
Disadvantages: A CHA of 26 makes this a difficult bind, though far from impossible. Likely to be vindictive and cruel, plus it will seek torturous, bloody revenge on you as soon as it becomes free. Also, don’t get near it when it dies.
Notable SLAs: Blasphemy, Dominate Monster, Greater Dispel Magic, Insanity, Power Word Stun, Telekinesis, and Unholy Aura at will, plus Implosion and Firestorm 1/day.
Final Evaluation: It’s a freakin’ Balor. It makes archmages cry and mighty heroes wet their pants with fear. Bind it with all possible speed, but beware the risks.

Bebilith
CR: 10
HD: 12
How to get it: SM IX
Role: Brute
Fluff: Equal parts hunter and ambusher, Bebiliths likely aren't interested in your ministrations or your offerings. They're somewhat intelligent, but they're also savage, primal, and animalistic. They do enjoy hunting demons, however, so perhaps you can offer them an all-you-can-eat dretch buffet.
Advantages: A hefty grapple score, three attacks a round, and a relatively powerful poison. Decent mobility for its size, including good ranks in Climb and Jump. They can throw a web at a pitiful attack bonus, but everything at this level has a way of geting out of that.
Disadvantages: By the time you can summon one, most creatures are going to laugh at a Bebilith. Its Rend Armor ability is fairly useless. A +16 in Sense Motive makes this harder than some to bluff.
Notable SLAs: None.
Final Evaluation: The Bebilith isn't anything to write home about. It's a better melee fighter than the Hezrou you can get for the same spell, but the Hezrou has some powerful SLAs and the Bebilith really comes up short in that case. A good pick for straight melee (especially with all of your augmentations in play), but you're level 18 now. Straight melee doesn't really cut it anymore. If you can convince your DM to bump it down to SMVIII, it's that much more useful.

Dretch
CR: 2
HD: 2
How to get it: SM III
Role: Minion
Fluff: Pathetic cannon fodder for demonic armies, Dretchs are easily bullied, abused, and controlled. It's a poor, poor wizard who can't intimidate a dretch into service.
Advantages: Three attacks per round and decent damage reduction for its level.
Disadvantages: Slow and fragile, subpar damage.
Notable SLAs: Stinking Cloud and Scare 1/day
Final Evaluation: The dretch also isn't the best melee bang for your SMIII buck, but the SLAs are useful and it can be a decent tank against mooks with that DR.

Glabrezu
CR: 13
HD: 12
How to get it: PB, or possibly SM IX if you can sway your DM
Role: Overlord
Fluff: Tempters of mortals with power and wealth, Glabrezu could potentially be swayed to your service with promises of magic items or gold - after all, that's more to offer other mortals. They're smart and subtle, so beware their machinations.
Advantages: What's not to love? A great attack schedule, decent AC and DR, a vast array of skills, and helpful SLAs, plus Wish one a month (though, and I quote: "Unless the wish is used to create pain and suffering in the world, the glabrezu demands terrible evil acts or great sacrifice as compensation").
Disadvantages: With a CHA of 20 and Sense Motive +18, the Glabrezu is likely to be wary of your tricks. But it's nothing you can't handle.
Notable SLAs: Chaos Hammer, Confusion, Dispel Magic, Mirror Image, Reverse Gravity, and Unholy Blight at will, plus Power Word Stun 1/day.
Final Evaluation: Glabrezu are another benchmark bind - they're a lovely, lovely choice. But they're also quite capable of effecting revenge on you. If you're willing to take the risk, the reward just might be worth it - and a glabrezu fighting for you is one hell of a reward.

Hezrou

CR: 11
HD: 10
How to get it: SM IX
Role: Overlord
Fluff: Sergeants and middling officers, Hezrou enjoy carnage and battle more so than most demons. Just the offer of limb-rending, gut-wrenching slaughter might be enough to sway a Hezrou to your side.
Advantages: While not great sources of melee damage, their Stench ability can certainly tip the scales in your favor. Plus, no Sense Motive to speak of!
Disadvantages: A middling BAB and relatively poor damage make Hezrou subpar choices in melee.
Notable SLAs: Chaos Hammer and Unholy Blight at will, plus Blasphemy and Gaseous Form 3/day.
Final Evaluation: A decent choice as a walking debuff, Hezrou are made to wade into combat and disable enemies. Stench plus Chaos Hammer can really take lawful foes out of the fight, leaving them slowed, nauseated, and damaged.

Marilith
CR: 17
HD: 16
How to get it: GPB
Role: Brute
Fluff: Tacticians and generals in demonic armies, Mariliths enjoy a good scrap. They don't seem to have any particular interest in mortal souls or magic items (no more than other demons, that is), so binding them may just be a matter of offering them carnage and heinous butchery.
Advantages: Seven attacks a round? Oh my, yes. A decent grapple, and a Constrict that not only does great damage, but can knock (DC 29 Fort) your opponent unconscious for the duration of the grapple. SLAs aren't truly special, but they're not bad.
Disadvantages: 24 CHA and +23 Sense Motive. Competition with the Balor.
Notable SLAs: Blade Barrier, Magic Weapon, Project Image, See Invisibility, Telekinesis, and Unholy Aura at will.
Final Evaluation: A fine choice for hack and slash, Mariliths are powerful binds. But by the time you can bind one, the Balor's a possibility too.

Nalfeshnee
CR: 14
HD: 14
How to get it: Maybe SM IX, likely PB
Role: Caster
Fluff: Nalfeshnees are judges and torturers of the damned. You could potentially get a lot of mileage out of just that fact - offer them the chance to cause significant pain and agony to enemies who were, let's face it, probably just going to end up in the Abyss anyway.
Advantages: Decent BAB, fantastic SLAs. They can be spectacular disablers/debuffers and limited blasters. Love that Smite ability - completely disables non-demons for 1d10 rounds. A great UMD skill, if you have some spare wands or scrolls. They can fly, too, though poorly.
Disadvantages: Sense Motive +23 and CHA 20 makes them slightly harder to Bind than the Glabrezu. Melee damage is somewhat poor.
Notable SLAs: Call Lightning, Feeblemind, Greater Dispel Magic, Slow, and Unholy Aura at will.
Final Evaluation: I like the Nalfeshnee a lot. It has plenty of tactical possibility and can bring plenty of opponents out of the fight.

Quasit
CR: 2
HD: 3
How to get it: None by RAW, likely SM III
Role: Minion
Fluff: Pesky little critters with a penchant for sitting on the shoulders of wizards, Quasits are likely to be easily tricked, bullied, or tempted into your service. Abject cowards, to boot.
Advantages: Decent stealth skills and Alternate Form at will let the Quasit be a versatile summon. The DR + Fast Healing is nice. Good maneuverability.
Disadvantages: Can hardly make a dent in melee, though the poison is a nice bonus.
Notable SLAs: Detect Magic and Invisibility (self only) at will and Cause Fear 1/day
Final Evaluation: Quasits are poor in melee unless polymorphed into wolf form. Even then, they're only average. But they excel as scouts and infiltrators.

Retriever

CR: 11
HD: 10
How to get it: None by RAW, likely SM IX (as a mindless construct, it cannot be bound)
Role: Brute
Fluff: Retrievers are constructs built by Demogorgon himself to track down fugitives and missing treasure. They are mindless - don't try to reason with them.
Advantages: Damaging/petrifying eye rays as a free action and more attacks/damage than a Bebilith. Construct traits and Fast Healing. Free, automatic, permanent Discern Location. They don't have the [evil] subtype, which may be a point in its favor against certain wards and protections.
Disadvantages: Lower BAB than a Bebilith and no DR make them comparatively less effective in battle.
Notable SLAs: None.
Final Evaluation: While constructs aren't typically a valid summon, the Retriever just might be demonic enough to count. Great trackers with their Find Target ability, they can also be quite the source of damage with the eye rays. They're a bit too much of a glass cannon for my tastes and less dependable than other summons at this level, but a few good rolls and they can be devastating.

Succubus
CR: 7
HD: 6
How to get it: None by RAW, likely SM VII
Role: Caster
Fluff: Unparalleled seductresses, succubi are schemers and flatterers. They want mortal souls. Don't give them yours. Don't give them any others, either! Offer them the chance to sharpen their seductive edge, or perhaps mention just how corruptible (or dreamy) the BBEG is.
Advantages: Very useful SLAs. Their Energy Drain could prove useful against dumber opponents.
Disadvantages: Terrible in melee and extremely difficult to bind (26 CHA!).
Notable SLAs: Charm Monster, Detect Thoughts, Ethereal Jaunt, and Suggestion at will.
Final Evaluation: There's always plenty of creative potential with a succubus around. While not overwhelming as a summon, they can be quite manipulative as a bind. Lay traps for your enemies. Play on their lusts and desires. If you can pull off the bind, seduce, seduce, seduce!

Vrock
CR: 9
HD: 10
How to get it: SM VIII
Role: Brute/Manipulator
Fluff: Vrocks are bodyguards and shock troops. As such, they're simple creatures - they revel in battle and slaughter, and aren't much more subtle than that.
Advantages: Very nice attack schedule. Spores and Stunning Screech are great. Decent SLAs, mobility, and damage. The Dance of Ruin offers you a whole new tactical possibility if you can summon three of them.
Disadvantages: Sense Motive +16, though their CHA is crap.
Notable SLAs: Mirror Image and Telekinesis at will, plus Heroism 1/day.
Final Evaluation: Can't go wrong with a Vrock. Mobile, powerful, and a potent disabler. Probably the best choice for core SM VIII.

Monster Manual II
Abyssal Maw
CR: 2
HD: 2
How to get it: None by RAW, likely SM III
Role: Minion
Fluff: Assault troopers in Abyssal armies, they're dumb and easily tricked. Some sources have them as minor creations of a long-forgotten demon lord of hunger. Maybe offer them food?
Advantages: One hell of a bite attack, though it's the only one they get. Rend Fallen seems nice, though all it really does is make sure they ain't getting back up from the negatives.
Disadvantages: Low HP, no DR. Won't last long.
Notable SLAs: None.
Final Evaluation: A decent melee choice, a pack of them can drop foes pretty quickly with 2d8+6 damage.

Abyssal Ravager
CR: 5
HD: 3
How to get it: None by RAW, likely SM IV
Role: Minion
Fluff: Brutish, dumb and far from organized, Ravagers are basically wild and frenzied predators. No organization or desires to speak of, they're said to basically attack anything they see. Summon, point, get out of the way.
Advantages: Just a brutal poison. 2d6 Strength, both initial and secondary. Too bad the DC's only like 16. But it can easily drop an unsuspecting wizard or rogue.
Disadvantages: They've got nothing else going for them. Poor damage, sad HP, no DR, poor AC.
Notable SLAs: None.
Final Evaluation: If you want something poisoned and helpless, they're your guy. But that's about all they're good for.

Abyssal Skulker
CR: 2
HD: 2
How to get it: None by RAW, likely SM II
Role: Minion
Fluff: Stalkers and raiders, they live to harry and harass enemies of the Abyss. Easily tricked, but why would you want to?
Advantages: Um. None to speak of, really. Decent stealth, I suppose.
Disadvantages: It does 1d2 damage and uses Weapon Finesse, so Augment Summoning won't help.
Notable SLAs: None.
Final Evaluation: Crap. Stay far away.

Jarilith

CR: 13
HD: 10
How to get it: None by RAW, likely SM IX
Role: Brute
Fluff: Hunting beasts and predators of the Abyss, they are notoriously difficult to control. Even Balors apparently have to watch their step around them (though why is beyond me - they're Balors). They smell weakness and fear and it fills them with disdain. They don't speak, so are difficult to bargain with.
Advantages: Minor melee monsters. Pounce, Rake, Augmented Critical? A fear aura and monstrous AC? These are good things.
Disadvantages: Outside of straight melee combat, they have basically no uses. Crappy SLAs.
Notable SLAs: Doom, Detect Thoughts, and Clairaudience/Clairvoyance at will.
Final Evaluation: When you need something to die quickly, die now, and die screaming bloody murder with its throat nearly torn out, use Jariliths. If you can convince your DM that SMIX can summon them, this is one of the very few melee summons at that level I can condone using.

Jovoc
CR: 5
HD: 4
How to get it: None by RAW, likely SM V
Role: Minion
Fluff: Sneaky creatures that thrive on strife and chaos, Jovocs aren't too bright but they are adept ambushers and skirmishers. Probably pretty easy to trick into service - just mention plenty of battle-based chaos.
Advantages: Aura of Retribution, great DR and Fast Healing. Any damage caused to them is reflected back upon all non-tanar'ri within 30 feet, regardless of how much the DR stopped. Even with a save for half, this is such a good ability. And then with Fast Healing, they get it all back.
Disadvantages: That same aura is pretty prohibitive to your own party, preventing them from wading into combat or suffering along with the enemies. They're awful in a straight melee, but that's kind of not their point.
Notable SLAs: None.
Final Evaluation: I love these little guys. Plenty of dastardly potential with their Aura of Retribution. Bluff your foes into thinking that the Jovoc is a great threat, and then let them destroy themselves on their own swords. Once they wise up, sling fireballs in their general direction - the Jovoc's aura will double (or even triple with Fiendish Legion) the damage done. Your DM may cry. Or hit you. Or cry while hitting you.

Kelvezu
CR: 14
HD: 12
How to get it: None by RAW, maybe SM IX but likely PB
Role: Assassin
Fluff: Elite infiltrators and assassins for Abyssal lords, Kelvezu are surgical, precise, and brutally efficient. They don't seem to want power or influence, instead preferring to work their vicious magic out of sight and in the shadows. Perhaps offer it the chance to take out an enemy of the Abyss, like a powerful devil.
Advantages: 8d6 sneak attack, Evasion, Uncanny Dodge, and poison make for a spectacular rogue replacement. And they're available very early on, because of their favorable HD/CR split. Quite difficult to hit. 16 CHA makes them a fairly easy bind.
Disadvantages: Sense Motive +18. Two-weapon fighting and poor BAB to begin with means that those glorious fistfuls of d6's are hard to actually connect. With only 90 HP, they don't last long if they do get attacked.
Notable SLAs: Greater Invisibility (self only), Suggestion and Greater Dispel Magic at will.
Final Evaluation: Party rogue? Who would keep one of those around? We've been using the wizard's bound Kelvezu since level 12 and haven't missed the rogue since. Seriously though, any bind that can replace an entire archetype is probably a good idea. See if you can convince it to stop using the offhand weapon, though, as it will really help its hit percentages.

Palrethee
CR: 8
HD: 8
How to get it: None by RAW, likely SM VII
Role: Brute
Fluff: Shamed demons that once aspired to be balors, they failed and now are punished by being literally on fire forever. They crave power and magic items and you can probably play to their vanity fairly easily, or at least use the shame of their failure to cow them into servitude.
Advantages: A decent melee combatant with a +1 Flaming longsword. Their slam attacks can light enemies on fire, and they have a constant Fire Shield around them.
Disadvantages: Not exceptionally tough, they can easily get squashed in combat. Severe weakness to cold damage, too.
Notable SLAs: Cause Fear 1/day.
Final Evaluation: It's on fire. They can't catch it if it's on fire. But seriously, not all that helpful. At this level, you can be throwing around some serious firepower, and the Palrethee just doesn't cut it.

Zovvut

CR: 9
HD: 10
How to get it: None by RAW, likely SM VIII
Role: Manipulator
Fluff: Not-quite-tanar'ri demons who may or may not be the hideous spawn of Orcus, Zovvuts are used for artillery and demoralization purposes. Supposedly obey those who can intimidate them into service.
Advantages: A Zovvut's level-draining gaze is nice, but it can only drain one level at a time and at a Will DC of 17. The wording is somewhat unclear if it is a targeted effect with a range of 30 ft. or if it affects all enemies WITHIN 30 ft. I tend towards the former. A horde of them can focus-fire on one foe and potentially drain it into oblivion. Enemies killed by it rise as wights 1d4 rounds later, under the Zovvut's control. And if you control the Zovvut, under your control.
Disadvantages: Other than the gaze attack, the Zovvut doesn't have much going for it. Crap melee, crap SLAs.
Notable SLAs: Clairaudience/Clairvoyance, Doom, and Suggestion at will.
Final Evaluation: If you really want an army of wights at your beck and call, or if you like level draining, Zovvuts are okay picks. But you've got better options at your disposal, trust me.

Monster Manual III
Arrow Demon
CR: 7
HD: 10
How to get it: SM VII as an evil caster (replacing babau)
Role: Brute
Fluff: The Abyss' ranged artillery, they are cruel and scornful, though they are loyal for survival's sake alone. As long as you impress upon them that their very survival depends on just how obedient and servile they are, they'll probably cave.
Advantages: Six ranged attacks that do 2d6+8 damage is a good thing. Arrow Demons can quickly turn low-AC foes into pincushions. It can even go into melee in a pinch, with four claw attacks.
Disadvantages: Those six attacks are at +12/+12/+12/+7/+7/+7, which is pretty crap for its level. Really low DR, too.
Notable SLAs: Dimension Door at will (bind only).
Final Evaluation: There's very little in the way of ranged support amongst the Summon Monster line, so the Arrow Demon is a welcome addition. Replacing the Babau is an easy choice. While you'll find yourself rolling a lot of misses, the sheer number of attacks an Arrow Demon has should make for some devastating critical hits. Tossing on a Cat's Grace or a Greater Magic Weapon will really amp up their potential.

Sorrowsworn Demon

CR: 17
HD: 18
How to get it: GPB
Role: Overlord
Fluff: They like to linger around battlegrounds or graveyards, reveling in loss. If you allow it to drink in the feelings of loss that you will inevitably cause as a high-level adventurer, perhaps it will agree to accompany you.
Advantages: Nice debuffing aura with a tough Will save - it interferes with casting and mimics Crushing Despair. Whispers of Loss is a great ability that can leave your foes stunned, dazed and confused. A good selection of SLAs, and a brutally damaging attack schedule. Fairly durable, too.
Disadvantages: The aura affects everyone around the demon, but it does have the option of switching it off. No real drawbacks to speak of, although Mindblank is a big fat NO to most of its abilities.
Notable SLAs: Invisibility and Nondetection at will, plus Touch of Idiocy and Greater Dispel 3/day, plus Mind Fog, Feeblemind, and Weird 1/day.
Final Evaluation: Another solid choice for a bind, the Sorrowsworn will worm its way into your enemies' minds and utterly annihilate them. Or it can rip them apart with its +2 glaive. Your choice.

Monster Manual IV
Deathdrinker
CR: 18
HD: 27
How to get it: Implore with Improved Calling and Infernal Bargainer
Role: Brute
Fluff: Deathdrinkers are demons unto themselves, colossal and brutish while also haughty and narcissistic. They despise all other creatures, and rarely get along with even their own kind. They are notably susceptible to flattery, however - fawning and brown-nosing will likely be rewarded.
Advantages: Their high HD makes them accurate attackers. Necromancers will be happy with their aura of unlife. They heal and gain combat bonuses after killing foes - handy in a protracted slaughterfest. They're also quite resilient, with high HP totals and DR.
Disadvantages: Hardly a huge source of damage in melee, the Deathdrinker simply does not compare to other creatures with similar HD totals. Very few tactical possibilities. Their elemental resistances are somewhat disappointing, too.
Notable SLAs: Air Walk, Greater Dispel, and Greater Teleport at will.
Final Evaluation: You can get much more powerful creatures with Implore than a lowly Deathdrinker - even if they are a cinch to bind. Skip 'em.

Kastighur
CR: 11
HD: 15
How to get it: None by RAW, likely SM IX
Role: Brute
Fluff: Kastighurs are the prison wardens of the Abyss, full of torturous delight and very little cunning. They're large, sort of dumb, and rush into the fray at the slightest provocation. They're apparently notably undisciplined, sometimes ignoring orders just to incite fear and disorder.
Advantages: Good damage and great feats for tactical battle, Kastighurs are good choices for bull rushes or overruns. They do a fair bit of damage on a charge, too (5d6+14), with a DC 27 stun effect! They have a fear aura, and get a bonus to attack foes that are afraid, so that's a nice bit of synergy. Relatively tough. Acid immunity is nice, too.
Disadvantages: Outside of melee, they have little use. Low AC. Summoned Kastighurs can't use their teleporting abilities.
Notable SLAs: Feather Fall and Greater Teleport (bind only) at will.
Final Evaluation: Better than a Bebilith in straight melee, they're unfortunately taken down a notch by their near-complete lack of abilities beyond melee. Still, they're capable bruisers.

Nashrou
CR: 2
HD: 4
How to get it: SM III
Role: Brute
Fluff: Little more than savage pack predators, Nashrou have animal intelligence and are known to be extremely difficult to bargain with. Summoning rather than binding is heavily recommended.
Advantages: Where to begin? They get four damaging attacks at a decent attack bonus. They're quick and durable, with high HP and decent DR. 10 ft. reach never hurt anybody either (well, maybe your enemies).
Disadvantages: Vulnerability to critical hits and no SR are their only glaring weaknesses.
Notable SLAs: None.
Final Evaluation: One of my favorite low-level summons. Nashrou can tear your opponents to little tiny shreds, and remain halfway-decent at higher levels, especially with Fiendish Legion in play. Definitely use them. A+, five stars, would summon again.

Whisper Demon
CR: 9
HD: 12
How to get it: None by RAW, likely SM VIII
Role: Manipulator
Fluff: Hideous apparitions that drive those around them to insanity and suicide via their mad babbling, Whisper Demons are themselves out of their ghostly minds. They rarely speak and when they do, it's vile and hateful insults and lecherous desires. Hard bargain.
Advantages: They drive living creatures suicidally insane. Including your enemies. They're incorporeal, which is nice.
Disadvantages: They drive living creatures suicidally insane. Including you.
Notable SLAs: None.
Final Evaluation: Well, you could send it into the middle of an enemy fortress or encampment and sit back and relax while your foes all eventually go mad and kill themselves and then rise as allips. Mostly, I'd stay away.

Wrackspawn
CR: 3
HD: 4
How to get it: SM IV
Role: Brute
Fluff: The twisted remains of good souls tortured endlessly by demons, Wrackspawn exist only to inflict pain on as many things as they can. They have no eyes and shriek constantly. They fight with spears made out of their own bones. Squick.
Advantages: Effective melee combatants, their spears do an extra 2d6 damage and sicken creatures against Fort DC 20. Plus 120' Blindsight, so you can do all sorts of nasty things with Cloudy Conjuration or Fog spells.
Disadvantages: Kind of slow. Doesn't do much damage when the creature isn't alive.
Notable SLAs: None.
Final Evaluation: Overall, a decently capable summon when it comes to melee. Great damage, though less useful against non-living foes. Doesn't quite stand up to the Voor, but what does?

Monster Manual V
Adaru
CR: 10
HD: 13
How to get it: SM IX as an evil caster (or a Malconvoker)
Role: Overlord
Fluff: Adaru are surprisingly charming for demons, but are treacherous and scheming. You're going to have to learn to bluff a consummate bluffer to deal with them, but they can be bought with wealth and magic items.
Advantages: Supremely mobile, with burrow, climb, and swim speeds. A decently damaging poison. Its Fetid Cloud ability debuffs and makes movement difficult for non-evil creatures while giving evil creatures profane bonuses - great in a swarm of summons. But how often will you fight non-evil enemies?
Disadvantages: Not very damaging in melee, unimpressive SLAs. Can't kill a thing without using its poison.
Notable SLAs: Freedom at will and Charm Monster 3/day, but it only works on other tanar'ri, so it's rather limited.
Final Evaluation: One or two helpful abilities mixed in with a lot of mediocre ones. I'm not sold. Better things to do at this level.

Carnage Demon
CR: 3
HD: 4
How to get it: SM IV
Role: Minion
Fluff: General Abyssal infantry, sent into the fray to wreak havoc. Dull and single-mindedly focused on destruction. Not actually tanar'ri, but some strange creation. "Easily enticed by the promise of devastation."
Advantages: At least it gets a bonus when around other Carnage Demons? Scant consolation. DR/silver at least might confuse a few foes used to demons and cold iron.
Disadvantages: Weak in melee, plus can easily turn on you and yours.
Notable SLAs: None.
Final Evaluation: The Nashrou is better than this, and a level lower. Unless you really need to break through some weird DR, stay far away.

Draudnu
CR: 10
HD: 14
How to get it: None by RAW, likely SM VIII
Role: Brute/Manipulator
Fluff: These strange, hideous creatures seem ripped straight from the pages of Lovecraft, twisted abominations crafted by Pale Night from eladrin bones. All they want is to cleanse the Abyss of non-obyriths. They care nothing for wealth, power, or influence - they only like to kill.
Advantages: Decently powerful in melee with a handy Immobilization effect. Creatures within 60 feet must save or be permanently sickened. Decent DR and Fast Healing. Does acid damage to those that damage it.
Disadvantages: Keep it well away from your side of the battlefield. No SLAs is painful at this level, too.
Notable SLAs: None.
Final Evaluation: While I find their sickening aura to be too risky, they can be decent wading into melee. But only barely. Just make sure they do it at a safe distance.

Gadacro
CR: 3
HD: 4
How to get it: SM IV
Role: Assassin
Fluff: Abyssal scavengers and eyethieves, Gadacro are small and childlike and full of in-fighting. Like a pack of demonic vultures or crows. Gadacro obey the strongest member of their group, but they all eventually turn on the leader and rip him to shreds. Curse their sudden but inevitable betrayal.
Advantages: Plenty to like here. Sneak attack, plus an auto-blind for 5 rounds if it connects (though you sacrifice its damage to do so). If they get hit, they automatically get to poof away, safe from any other iterative attacks. A fly speed with perfect maneuverability and Flyby Attack makes them ideal aerial harriers.
Disadvantages: Their actual melee damage is pitiful, and their attacks are DEX-based, so your Augment Summoning doesn't help them connect.
Notable SLAs: Mirror Image and Earthbind 1/day.
Final Evaluation: I get an evil grin when I think about these guys. They won't bring anything down, but they'll certainly make it a lot easier for you to do so - and like the annoying pests they are, they just won't die. Extremely effective in groups - they call groups "murders of gadacro," and with good reason.

Solamith
CR: 8
HD: 11
How to get it: SM VIII
Role: Caster
Fluff: Ravenous hunger demons, Solamiths are bulging and flabby, full of soulfire. Demonic grenade launchers. They throw themselves upon the mercy of greater beings, meaning that obtaining their obedience should be a cinch.
Advantages: Can throw mini-fireballs all day long with Fast Healing. They can double the range and maximize the damage by doing more damage to themselves, so if you want a glass cannon, you've got one. Plus they can release a cone of soulfire as a retributive swift action the round after they get damaged. Soulfire offers a save, but it's Ref 25, which isn't too bad. Low CHA makes them an easy bind, to boot.
Disadvantages: Poor melee and sort of a one-trick pony. Cleave and Power Attack as feats? What a waste.
Notable SLAs: None.
Final Evaluation: Great for taking out hordes of mooks, Solamiths aren't really that effective against burlier fare. Still, a horde of them can firebomb quite a bit into submission. Call this one a reserved recommendation.
« Last Edit: November 11, 2010, 03:48:48 AM by Gnorman » Logged
Gnorman
Domesticated Capuchin Monkey
**
Posts: 111


I'm a monster. Rawr.


« Reply #2 on: August 28, 2009, 05:18:19 AM »

Demons, Part II


"Another puny mortal thinks he can tame the masters of the Abyss, eh? Leash primal chaos, if only for a short while? Very well, 'master,' I shall do your bidding... for now."

- Wages of Sin, glabrezu soulstealer, assessing his latest mark.


Fiendish Codex I
Armanite
CR: 7
HD: 9
How to get it: None by RAW, likely SM VII
Role: Brute
Fluff: Armanites are demonic heavy cavalry. They live in packs led by leaders called knechts, plus they have their own cities. Seemingly socially organized, they still are known abandon their tasks in favor of extreme bloodlust. Give them the opportunity to charge into battle and they might submit to being bound.
Advantages: A powerful charge attack with lessened penalties, decent melee presence, and automatic Shocking Burst on arrows fired from their bows. Decent durability. Not a bad deal.
Disadvantages: Once they've charged, they're a little unimpressive in melee for their level. No abilities outside of straight melee.
Notable SLAs: Airwalk for an hour/day.
Final Evaluation: Fairly run of the mill. Decent in melee (but only decent) and not much else. While I like the charge, the Bulezau later on in the same book are much better at it for just a single SM level.

Bar-lgura
CR: 5
HD: 6
How to get it: None by RAW, likely SM V
Role: Overlord
Fluff: Looking like gigantic fiendish orangutans, Bar-lgura are demonic scouts and skirmishers. They are rather odd - though they still craft grim totems and fetishes and despise most other beings, they don't take nearly as much pleasure in torment and suffering as other demons. In fact, they consider other demons a nuisance and despise working with them. Could be twisted to your advantage.
Advantages: Quite mobile, with good SLAs and a decent attack schedule. While summoning them won't let you take advantage of it (you'd have to use Lesser Planar Binding), their Abduction ability is basically an at-will teleportation taxi service, two party members at a time. Pounce, too!
Disadvantages: Melee damage does leave something to be desired at this level, though they are better than the Bearded Devil at SM V. They pale in comparison to the fiendish giant crocodile, unfortunately.
Notable SLAs: Telekinesis, Dispel Magic, and Cause Fear at will, plus Major Image, Invisibility, and Disguise Self 2/day.
Final Evaluation: I like Bar-lgura quite a bit. They are a bit like the jacks-of-all-trades of the demonic realms. They can be sneaky, tactical, brutish, or a mobile assault platform with telekinetic ammunition. The lowest level Overlord. They're not always your best choice, but they're always a good choice. A great choice for a LPB.

Broodswarm
CR: 6
HD: 8
How to get it: None by RAW, likely SM VI
Role: Minion/Manipulator
Fluff: Broodswarms are deathly loyal swarms formed by night hags in an agonizing ritual. They exist only to seek out potential souls for the night hag to transform into larva. They attack good souls almost exclusively. You can summon or bind one, but you'll likely incur the wrath of its night hag mother.
Advantages: Swarm traits can be handy. Their Daze and Stitching (Stitching has no save!) abilities, in combination with the Distraction swarm trait, make them potent disablers. A blind, mute, helpless, dazed enemy is a good enemy. A swarm with Evasion is a very good combination, too.
Disadvantages: If an area effect hits 'em, kiss 'em goodbye. Their damage is very low. Stitching offers a fairly easy Strength check to break out, though each attempt does damage.
Notable SLAs: None.
Final Evaluation: A niche pick, particularly when you want to disable and/or capture foes rather than killing them. Not all that effective for its level, unfortunately.

Bulezau
CR: 9
HD: 10
How to get it: None by RAW, likely SM VIII
Role: Brute
Fluff: Goat-headed shock troops and formation assault squads of the Abyss. They are difficult to control and fly into berserk rages. Bulezau only obey orders under the threat of death from a more powerful overlord - otherwise they fall into immediate chaos and frenzied battle. Impress them with your power and they'll fall in line.
Advantages: Melee monsters. Their ranseurs are very damaging with 20' reach, and even their charge pales in comparison to it. That said, the charge is still quite good. A good complement of SLAs.
Disadvantages: Their SLA save DCs are pitifully low. Their BAB could use a boost, too. Their AC makes me sad, but you want them to get hit.
Notable SLAs: Solid Fog and Telekinesis at will, Fear 3/day and Shout 1/day.
Final Evaluation: I'm a reserved fan. A decent source of damage in melee, but the Vrock is still a more consistent choice at this level with its better attack bonus and other abilities. Of course, the Bulezau's Sense Motive is nonexistent, so it's easier to trick. Solid Fog is, however, a good ability to have at will, so it's a toss-up.

Chasme

CR: 10
HD: 9
How to get it: None by RAW, likely SM VIII
Role: Assassin/Caster
Fluff: Chasmes are abyssal torturers and slavemasters, thrilling in pain and suffering. They despise all other demons (and probably you too), but will temporarily ignore their predilections if offered the chance of torture or interrogate others.
Advantages: First off, they're swift and perfect flyers with Flyby Attack and attacks that cause bleeding wounds. They have a good full-attack schedule at an acceptable BAB. They have a vast array of useful SLAs.
Disadvantages: Their auras aren't all that helpful (who cares about sleep at level 15?) and they don't do a whole lot of damage with their attacks.
Notable SLAs: Contagion, Dispel Magic, Fly, Insect Plague (bind only), Ray of Enfeeblement, See Invisibility, and Telekinesis at will, plus Quickened Ray of Enfeeblement 3/day.
Final Evaluation: Hard to find a lot wrong with the Chasme. Sure, there are plenty of aerial skirmishers in the demonic catalogue, but none of them have the Chasme's magical abilities nor as much damaging potential. Great at SM VIII, decent at SM IX.

Dybbuk
CR: 8
HD: 10
How to get it: None by RAW, likely SM VII
Role: Manipulator/Caster
Fluff: Creepy incorporeal loumara (a subtype of demon) that possess the dead for perverse, hedonistic purposes. They constantly are on the search for that perfect body, a fresh, attractive corpse whose death no one has yet noticed. Perhaps they will find such a corpse among your enemies?
Advantages: They can corpse-hop amongst the remains of your enemies, which has a lot of potential if you take down the strongest foe first, then let its possessed corpse turn on its former allies. It has an interesting Death Touch ability (though far too easy to resist), and it can impart a profane 24-hour bonus to mortals. Does 1d6 Con damage with its tentacles, healing itself at the same time.
Disadvantages: Possessing corpses is rather a niche skill, don't you think? If there's nothing dead to take, the Dybbuk's power is significantly lessened. By the time you can summon one, 1d6 Con damage isn't going to change the board much (though it's not bad), and its SLAs are shut down cold by Mindblank.
Notable SLAs: Obscuring Mist at will, plus Fear, Phantasmal Killer, and Mind Fog 3/day.
Final Evaluation: An interesting bit of potential, I still find the Dybbuk too much a situational choice to rely on. I want summons that can kill things, not control things that are already dead.

Ekolid

CR: 4
HD: 5
How to get it: None by RAW, likely SM V
Role: Assassin
Fluff: Intelligent insectile abominations who reproduce by implanting their eggs into as many creatures as possible, Ekolids have little motivation beside reproduction. Those under the rule of Obox-Ob form vast hive-cities made out of corpses. Man, Obyriths are creepy.
Advantages: Seven attacks per round! Their eggs do extra damage and nauseate their victims. They get to take an extra move action, and have a 60' average fly speed.
Disadvantages: Their aura can really mess up your party, causing a -1 on all skills and forcing casters to make a concentration check to cast even the simplest spells (though at DC 10, any half-way optimized caster should beat it). Somewhat fragile, and does poor damage. Awful grapple modifier.
Notable SLAs: None.
Final Evaluation: Eh, I think the risk outweighs the reward here. Still, they can do a good bit of damage to mooks with their incubation abilities. Pretty much a pass.

Goristro

CR: 16
HD: 24
How to get it: Implore
Role: Brute
Fluff: Living seige engines, the bestial Goristros are nasty, brutish, and enormous. They live only to destroy and devour, and are too dumb to be enticed by wealth or power. All they want to do is hit things until they stop moving, and then eat them. Offer them that.
Advantages: A pair of accurate, powerful slam attacks. Loads of HP. Good DR and Fast Healing. They can mimic earthquakes by stomping. Their feats make them ideal for battering down citadels and walls, or just tossing aside mooks like bowling pins.
Disadvantages: Supposedly not easily controlled or directed in battle. Abysmal touch AC. A puzzlingly high Sense Motive skill.
Notable SLAs: Fear, Levitate, and Spider Climb at will.
Final Evaluation: Well, they're certainly good at beating the crap outta things, though I wish they had more attacks. Though they're titanic bruisers, the hoops you have to jump through to obtain one makes them not quite worth the trouble - if I'm going to use Implore for a dumb bruiser, I'd rather have the Ghargatula or a brutish Aspect. Still, there's no way to wade into battle more stylishly than on a palanquin mounted on a Goristro's head.

Guecubu
CR: 4
HD: 4
How to get it: None by RAW, likely SM V
Role: Manipulator
Fluff: Disembodied abyssal spirits who believe that their serial murders form a pattern that will reveal the nature of the multiverse. Cruel and merciless, but somewhat weak.
Advantages: Incorporeal and naturally invisible, Guecubu make great scouts. They can also possess sleeping creatures and use Telekinesis while inhabiting another body, giving them as much possibility as you can imagine.
Disadvantages: No source of damage outside of Telekinesis. Fairly low HP. Unless you are careful when commanding it, it might decide to possess you.
Notable SLAs: Telekinesis at will.
Final Evaluation: Supreme infiltrators, Guecubu are useful in a host of non-combat situations. They're just not that useful in combat. Situational, but quite good in the right situation.

Laghathti (Web Enhancement)
CR: 10
HD: 12
How to get it: None by RAW, likely SM VIII
Role: Manipulator
Fluff: Ancient mind-wiping tentacle beasts, Laghathti love nothing more than stealing agonizing or tragic memories and implanting terrifying memories into unsuspecting minds. They're not very bright, preferring to pore over their collection of memories rather than think for themselves. If the villains you face have particularly tragic backstories, perhaps a Laghathti will consent simply for the chance to steal their remembrances.
Advantages: Seven attacks a round at a decent bonus, each one with the chance of bestowing a negative level. That's some mighty fine debuffing right there, plus it can pounce. Fast Healing, DR, and high HP make it a durable choice as well. Very good senses, too, with all-around vision and true seeing.
Disadvantages: Oof, 2d4 negative levels just by looking at the thing is a hefty mark against it. On land, they're a bit sluggish. A very limited selection of SLAs.
Notable SLAs: Modify Memory at will.
Final Evaluation: Like all Obyrith, the Laghathti poses a significant risk to you simply by summoning it. This one is potentially the worst offender of the bunch. Still, if you can get your hands on something that gives you immunity to negative levels (immunity to negative energy won't work, since the ability specifically says "These negative levels do not result from negative energy"), it's a very potent disabling grappler.

Lilitu
CR: 12
HD: 14
How to get it: None by RAW, likely SM IX
Role: Caster
Fluff: The succubus MK II, a Lilitu specializes in the corruption of mortal churches and priests. They used to be succubi, until a ritual which claims the life of an entire congregation burns their wings away and transforms them into the hideous mockeries they are now.
Advantages: They get to cast as a 9th level cleric, which is very handy. Great SLAs. A helpful poison on its tail sting (negative levels and WIS drain). It's not exceptional in combat - but out of it, the interrogative powers are limitless. Automatic UMD success. They can also imbue a recipient with a profane +2 bonus to CHA and saves.
Disadvantages: Pitiful damage and a severe weakness to divine magic. Very easily dealt with by a cleric or druid who sees through her trickery. Extremely high CHA, so it's going to be a long and bumpy road to Planar Binding. That profane bonus she can impart lets her track you at all times, so beware retribution.
Notable SLAs: Charm Monster, Fly, Suggestion, Sending, and Disguise Self all at will, plus Dominate Person, Quickened Suggestion, and Symbol of Persuasion 1/day. Their cleric spells include beauties like Bestow Curse (helpful if you banned Necromancy), Confusion, Lesser Planar Binding, and Raise Dead.
Final Evaluation: With a host of spells and SLAs, Lilitu can really shore up your weaknesses in the casting department. I find them extremely useful when coercing a trapped creature into a contract - sting them for negative levels, curse them, and dominate them into agreement. Delightful.

Mane
CR: 1
HD: 1
How to get it: None by RAW, likely SM II
Role: Minion
Fluff: Pathetic husks of mortal souls sent to the Abyss, Manes exist only to be tortured, ravaged, and abused. One of the only things that scares demons is the threat of being demoted and twisted into a Mane.
Advantages: They do have one extra attack on the Lemure. Plus, they explode in a caustic damaging mist, which can turn them into walking, dying, exploding flasks of acid.
Disadvantages: Just about everything - crappy HP, AC, and damage.
Notable SLAs: None.
Final Evaluation: A slightly better pick than the Lemure, it's still SM II. Don't expect much.

Molydeus
CR: 19
HD: 19
How to get it: GPB
Role: Overlord
Fluff: The Molydeus is a lord among demons, usually seen to be on an equal standing with the Balor. Mostly, it spends its time seeking out renegade demons (technically aren't all demons renegades?) and deserters and exact righteous punishment. Extremely feared by other demons for its ability to transform them into manes. It is an arrogant spellcaster who attempts to subdue a Molydeus, as they only suffer orders from the Lords of the Abyss. Tough, tough bind, and the Molydeus will likely turn on you in an instant.
Advantages: They do more damage than a Balor (though their attack bonus is slightly lower) and outstrip the other demon in terms of AC and Fast Healing. Fast Healing 30, by the way. Insane. They get to ignore most forms of damage reduction and have a devastating poison attack that even affects those who are immune to poison.
Disadvantages: Their SLA selections are underwhelming. With 28 CHA and the +31 Sense Motive, good luck binding them.
Notable SLAs: Baleful Polymorph, Vampiric Touch, Fear, and Suggestion at will; Dimensional Lock and Lightning Bolt 7/day, quickened Telekinesis 3/day, and Trap the Soul 1/day.
Final Evaluation: I like the Molydeus. Maybe not necessarily more than the Balor, but it's certainly comparable. Slightly better in melee, but slightly worse casting. Really, if you manage to bind either of them, you're golden.

Nabassu (juvenile, mature)
CR: 5, 15
HD: 5, 15
How to get it: None by RAW, likely SM V for juvenile; GPB for mature
Role: Assassin
Fluff: Nabassu are gargoyle-like demons with a noted predilection for undead creatures, graveyards, and negative energy. They grow by consuming mortals from the Prime, retreating back to the Abyss to form their own dominions once they've devoured enough. Mature nabassu are particularly greedy.
Advantages: The juvenile is a decent enough combatant, with 2d6 sneak attack damage and three attacks. It also has a level-draining gaze. The mature steps it up further, giving us a host of SLAs, 6d6 sneak attack damage, and regeneration. Both have the option of feeding, gaining bonuses and preventing the enemy from being easily raised.
Disadvantages: Their AC is a bit low and they rather annoyingly don't have Flyby Attack.
Notable SLAs: Obscuring Mist and Darkness at will for the juvenile; Enervation, Ethereal Jaunt, Greater Dispel Magic, Hold Monster, Obscuring Mist, Silence, and True Seeing at will, plus Energy Drain and Blasphemy 3/day for the mature.
Final Evaluation: I'm a little worried about that level-draining gaze, as it could potentially turn on you and yours. Overall though, whether summoned or bound, I find the Nabassu to be an interesting choice of assassin. They can rip things apart in melee and provide solid debuffs against the enemies they can't touch.

Rutterkin
CR: 3
HD: 5
How to get it: None by RAW, likely SM IV
Role: Minion
Fluff: Deformed foot soldiers and bestial brutes, Rutterkin understand very little but physical force and intimidation. They are savage and merciless towards anything they perceive as weaker.
Advantages: Sadly, not a ton to love here. They're much weaker than the fiendish dire wolves of the same level. The only point in their favor is their automatic grappling reach weapons, but even those aren't much to get excited about. I suppose they're also reasonably durable.
Disadvantages: Low attack, low damage, and a low grapple modifier make Rutterkins bad at their primary function.
Notable SLAs: Cause Fear at will (though the Dretch is a level lower and casts a better version).
Final Evaluation: Bad SLAs, no abilities, and a poor showing in melee, which is really the only thing they can do. Don't linger here. Pass.

Sibriex
CR: 15
HD: 15
How to get it: GPB
Role: Manipulator/Caster
Fluff: These gigantic ugly floating heads (god, the stuff of nightmares) are the living, sentient spawning pools of the Obyrith, fleshcrafters and insane twisted biologists. They are quite vain and desire complements of guards to protect and fawn over them. They are highly intelligent and domineering.
Advantages: Well, they can create and attach fiendish grafts for free! In case you wanted them. They have a decent host of enchantment-based SLAs, and they can cover enemies in acidic bile.
Disadvantages: Crappy speed and pathetic dexterity, plus they drive everyone around them insane. Fortunately, it's not as damaging of an insanity as other Obyrith, but it's still a bad idea. 25 CHA makes it hard to bind.
Notable SLAs: Hold Monster, Charm Monster, Major Creation all at will, plus Feeblemind 3/day.
Final Evaluation: I don't personally like them, as they are too given to scheming and betrayal, especially when their aura of insanity cripples your saves against their charms. Still, free grafts might appeal to some, and it can hold its own in combat.

Yochlol
CR: 8
HD: 10
How to get it: None by RAW, likely SM VII
Role: Assassin
Fluff: These are the handmaidens of Lolth, her chosen attendants. They are unparalleled tricksters and shapeshifters. They're favored daughters of their goddess, and they know it - they're disdainful and cruel towards all others, demons included. Summoning and binding them may rub Lolth the wrong way - bad idea.
Advantages: Four distinct forms that offer all sorts of advantages in infiltration. They can turn into a Stinking Cloud, a beautiful female humanoid, a spider (with Con damaging poison), or their natural jelly form. Eight attacks a round, plus a nice array of SLAs. CHA bonus to saves and AC, plus permanent Mind Blank.
Disadvantages: Pathetic damage with their tendrils. Low AC. The aforementioned "Favored of Lolth" thing.
Notable SLAs: Dominate Person, Stone Shape, Web, and Spider Climb at will.
Final Evaluation: I like them for their potential in disguise, infiltration, and information-gathering, but step carefully around your DM with them - he may decide to bring the Lolth-hammer down on you.

Fiend Folio
Alkilith
CR: 10
HD: 11
How to get it: None by RAW, likely SM VIII
Role: Brute/Caster
Fluff: Disgusting amorphous slime demons, Alkiliths are reviled by most other demons and only called upon in the direst of situations. They love to defile their surroundings with their own foul corruption.
Advantages: They do decent damage with their acidic pseudopod attacks, have a sizable collection of useful SLAs, and they have respectable defenses due to their amorphous nature. They can transform into a Cloudkill spell, which has its uses. They can command oozes as a free action.
Disadvantages: Their acidic attacks will melt your treasure! And while the repeating nature of the damage is nice, it takes a while to really add up.
Notable SLAs: Contagion, Enervation, Stinking Cloud, and Wall of Ice at will, plus Cone of Cold 3/day.
Final Evaluation: While Alkiliths are capable and have some interesting abilities, they violate one of the cardinal rules of the game: thou shalt not damage your own potential treasure! Still, against treasureless enemies, Alkiliths may be a minor boon. Otherwise, keep them out of melee and let them act as artillery with Cone of Cold.

Blood Fiend

CR: 14
HD: 12
How to get it: None by RAW, maybe SM IX
Role: Manipulator
Fluff: Blood Fiends are basically the demon equivalent of vampires. No, not basically - they are demonic vampires. They're undead. Nearly all of their abilities are vampiric in nature. The only difference is that instead of namby-pamby hedonistic glistening pretty boys, they are nine feet tall, have four viciously clawed arms, and have gigantic maws filled with rows upon rows of razor-sharp teeth. These guys make vampires crap themselves.
Advantages: Decent Domination gaze. They have four attacks that drain levels, and they can drain Con with their bite attack. Undead traits and Gaseous Form add to survivability.
Disadvantages: For a CR 14 creature, they have a pathetic attack bonus. SLAs are booooring.
Notable SLAs: Extremely stereotypical demon selection - Detect Magic at will, plus Chaos Hammer, Darkness, and Unholy Blight 3/day, plus Blasphemy and Desecrate 1/day.
Final Evaluation: Blah. I don't want to summon vampires, let alone demonic vampires. They're handy for their gaze, but that's about it. I get the vampiric theme, but it's just not an effective pick. Oooh, look, they can turn into Howlers or Nightmares? Well I can summon those already, and at a much lower level.

Klurichir
CR: 17
HD: 20
How to get it: GPB
Role: Overlord
Fluff: They give balors nightmares supposedly. They're gigantic winged generals and majordomos for the mightiest Abyssal lords. They don't take no crap. They are brilliant and visionary tacticians, but they prefer to stand back and let their minions do their work for them. Convincing one to become your minion will be one hell of a challenge.
Advantages: While they do have a satisfying attack schedule and vorpal stomach pincers (they make excellent grapplers, but that's kind of wasting their potential), these guys are all about the spells. In addition to their SLAs, they also cast as a 10th level sorcerer. If you can get some spell picks swapped around (they apparently prefer evocation/abjuration, but there's no reason why every Klurichir has to have the same list), that feature can end up quite useful.
Disadvantages: At 23 CHA, they are a difficult bind, but they are easier than a Balor for some reason. The typical list given for their sorcerer spellcasting is kind of awful - who's casting Fireball at this point?
Notable SLAs: Greater Dispel Magic, Wall of Fire, Symbol (any), and Unholy Aura at will, plus Implosion, Destruction, Enervation, Fire Storm, and Slay Living 3/day. Plus sorcerer spellcasting - typical picks are Dismissal, Ice Storm, Stoneskin, Fireball, Haste, Protection from the Elements, Protection from Arrows, Melf's Acid Arrow, Endurance, Flaming Sphere, and Magic Missile.
Final Evaluation: Oddly enough, the Fiendish Codex I bumped their CR down from 25 to 17, so I don't know if they technically give Balors nightmares anymore. But they can automatically summon two Balors. You bind a Klurichir, it summons two Balors. A CR 17 creature summoning two CR 20 creatures seems consummately broken. One of the best binds possible, if only for that reason. Add in the supremely useful SLAs, and there's no good reason not to give it a shot.

Maurezhi
CR: 3 (Bah!)
HD: 5
How to get it: None by RAW, likely SM V
Role: Caster/Assassin
Fluff: Demonic versions of ghouls (sensing a theme with the Fiend Folio?), Maurezhi aren't technically undead. They are however corpse-eaters and shapechangers, taking on the guises of those that they consume. They exist solely to devour corpses, fulfilling their insidious urges.
Advantages: They can advance by consuming humanoids, which makes them a potential long-term scaling companion. They have a paralyzing attack. They steal the memories of those they eat, which can be helpful for infiltration.
Disadvantages: Crappy attack, middling HP, and general poor combat abilities means that the Maurezhi is basically designed to sit back and create an undead army.
Notable SLAs: Hold Person, Animate Dead, Blur, and Death Knell at will.
Final Evaluation: I don't buy FCI's drastic CR reduction here. I still put Maurezhis around CR 5-6. Animate Dead at will is a handy ability for army generation, and they're no pushovers. I like their advancement and I like their abilities. They're not very useful as a summon, since they take ten minutes to eat corpses, but as a lesser bind they're not a bad choice.

Myrmyxicus
CR: 18
HD: 18
How to get it: GPB
Role: Overlord
Fluff: Myrmyxicuses (god what a horrible name to spell repeatedly) are the lords and masters of the foreboding Abyssal Ocean depths. They carve their own citadels out of bone and coral and balk at serving any but themselves. Likely, they won't tolerate your harness for long.
Advantages: They do some decent damage with their unholy scythes. They can breathe unholy vapor that heavily damages good creatures (again, not that useful except in certain campaigns).
Disadvantages: For supposed high-level overlords, they have some pretty lackluster SLA options. They're aquatic, though as outsiders they don't need to breathe. But still, they're sluggish when not in water.
Notable SLAs: Charm Person and Telekinesis at will, plus Control Weather, Control Water and Greater Dispel 3/day.
Final Evaluation: Well, really effective against good creatures with their various unholy abilities. Unfortunately, they have very little to offer outside of an aquatic campaign. I don't like 'em. Better options for GPB.

Skulvyn
CR: 4
HD: 5
How to get it: SM IV
Role: Brute
Fluff: Bestial predators that roam Abyssal seas in schools looking for lesser beings to prey upon, Skulvyns are little more than animals. Should be extremely easy to bully or bluff.
Advantages: Well, I like the wounding properties of the tail lashes, as Skulvyns can fire off four of them a round, and those wounds add up. They're decent in melee for their level. The slow aura is handy, too.
Disadvantages: Unfortunately, the slow aura has a pitifully low DC. On land, they are extremely sluggish.
Notable SLAs: None.
Final Evaluation: A niche pick, mostly for aquatic campaigns. As long as you summon them near your enemies, their slow aura and wounding tail lashes might make for an effective choice, but my gut instinct is to give 'em a pass.

Wastrilith
CR: 11
HD: 15
How to get it: SM IX
Role: Caster
Fluff: Like Myrmyxicuses, Wastriliths are lords of the seas and waterways of the Abyss. They seem to be lesser lords, and are likely subservient to their betters. Wastriliths have a nasty habit of forcing others to serve them, and have developed the ability to deceive summoners easily. They really like pirates for some reason?
Advantages: Blargh. Not much, especially at this level. Okay SLAs. Decent mobility, even on land.
Disadvantages: Um. They can immediately break a summon with an opposed Wisdom check. If you're a wizard summoner, you're absolutely screwed. Even if you're a cleric, they're still not worth the risk. Crappy melee.
Notable SLAs: Control Water, Blasphemy, Wall of Ice, and Telekinesis at will, plus Symbol (any) 3/day.
Final Evaluation: No, no, no, no, no, Even without considering anything else, I still balk at the Break Summoning ability. But pretty much everything else sucks, too. Paaaasss. Pass so hard.

Ghostwalk
Artaaglith
CR: 6
HD: 5
How to get it: SM VI
Role: Caster
Fluff: Servants of Orcus who live to create undead abominations and guide them into battle, Artaaglith are necromantic clerics extraordinaire. Offer them the opportunity to create undead armies for their foul master (a dubious act on your part) and they might serve you. Heaven forbid your purposes and Orcus' align, however.
Advantages: They cast as a 5th level cleric and have a decent array of SLAs. Ghostwalk doesn't give them a spell list, so their cleric spell choices are potentially up to you. They can actually turn undead, which can come in handy.
Disadvantages: Disappointing in melee with a rather middling Con score, Artaaglith are really only useful for their clerical casting.
Notable SLAs: Animate Dead, Cause Fear, and Stinking Cloud 1/day.
Final Evaluation: They're certainly decent for their level, and if you need some clerical backup or a quick squadron of undead, they're a nice choice. Still, they're not very good at anything else. In a campaign heavy on undead, they can be quite useful - in other campaigns, they're still decent, but their strengths aren't being utilized effectively.

Manual of the Planes
Uridezu
CR: 6
HD: 7
How to get it: None by RAW, likely SM VI
Role: Assassin
Fluff: Demonic errand-boys, Uridezu have an affinity with rats and are commonly found on the Material Plane. They are apparently desperate to please their masters and will go to any length to serve (a nice bonus for you).
Advantages: Um... they have a whip for a tail? They can paralyze, at least.
Disadvantages: Boo to them not having Sneak Attack. Or any legitimate method of dealing damage in melee. To be honest, Uridezu basically suck. Pathetic AC (15!?). Poor HP. For a rogue-like summon, they have really crappy skills, too!
Notable SLAs: Unholy Blight 1/day.
Final Evaluation: There's simply nothing to recommend them to anyone, unless you somehow need to befriend rats. They suck at basically everything. Stay far, far, far away. One of the worst summons yet. Fiendish Codex I keeps them at CR 6, which I think is a mistake. They're really more like CR 3.

Book of Vile Darkness
Shadow Demon
CR: 8
HD: 10
How to get it: None by RAW, likely SM VII
Role: Assassin
Fluff: Shadow demons are incorporeal creatures formed out of the very evil essence of the Abyss itself. They rarely obey others, preferring to serve their own incalculable whims. They often choose to serve mortals, however, if they are offered the chance to harvest a great many soul - but they'll likely want to harvest yours as well.
Advantages: First off - Magic Jar! This spell is awesome. I do so love jumping around from foe to foe, causing havoc and mayhem while preventing any of them from knowing just what the hell is going on. They get +4 to just about everything wihle in darkness, which is a nice bit of scale-tipping. Quick and mobile, with a perfect fly speed. Phenomenal Hide and Move Silently.
Disadvantages: While the Vile damage aspect of their attacks are nice, they don't do a whole lot of damage. Awful light sensitivity. Quite fragile, too. Magic Jar is only once a week, which severely limits its long-term potential.
Notable SLAs: Darkness at will, plus Deeper Darkness and Damning Darkness 1/day, plus Magic Jar 1/week.
Final Evaluation: Lots of fun. They make consummate ambushers with their darkness abilities, and when in doubt, use Magic Jar. A few shadow demons possessing nearly all of your enemies at once and forcing them to all demolish each other is a sight to be seen. An excellent choice for general mayhem.

Expanded Psionics Handbook
Cerebrilith
CR: 10
HD: 9
How to get it: None by RAW, likely SM VIII
Role: Caster
Fluff: These psionic demons are really only brought into the fold when needed to combat mortal psions - otherwise, they spend their time dissecting brains and fortifying their own psychic strength. They love to attack intelligent foes, so if you can offer them a powerful wizard or psion as a target, they might be inclined to obey. Just don't betray your own intelligence to them.
Advantages: A host of interesting PLAs make the Cerebrilith primarily a psionic caster. They're reasonably durable with a high AC.
Disadvantages: Poor in melee when not psionically focused.
Notable PLAs: Brain Lock, Detect Psionics, Ego Whip, Id Insinuation, and Mind Trap at will, plus Psionic Dominate, Ectoplasmic Form, and Mind Probe 3/day, plus Mind Thrust 1/day.
Final Evaluation: They're one of your only options for a non-Eberron psionic caster. They're quite good at what they do, though their blasting capabilities aren't at the same level as the quori described later in the guide.

Miniatures Handbook
Abyssal Eviscerator
CR: 4
HD: 4
How to get it: None by RAW, likely SM V
Role: Brute
Fluff: Surprisingly intelligent (relatively) bruisers who roam in Abyssal warbands, Eviscerators are large and in charge. So to speak. Actually, you're in charge. Of them. Because they're weak and kind of dumb.
Advantages: Um. They do damage? They do actually have a decent attack bonus.
Disadvantages: Weak damage for the level (Nashrou are still better), they also have no DR, hardly any abilities.
Notable SLAs: None.
Final Evaluation: Like the Carnage Demon, they're built for one purpose (combat) and then aren't very good at that purpose. A boring choice with little to recommend it.

Lost Empires of Faerun
Ghour
CR: 12
HD: 12
How to get it: None by RAW, likely SM IX
Role: Brute/Manipulator
Fluff: Servants of the minotaur lord Baphomet, Ghours run rampant through labyrinths and underground passages and ruins. They're big and intimidating, but they lack subtlety or finesse - things you'd better have in spades.
Advantages: Passable melee and a hefty grapple bonus, Ghours are made for close-quarters combat. They can emit a noxious cloud of strength-draining gas or emit an stunning roar. For a supposed bruiser, they have some nice SLAs, though often just to make themselves better bruisers (Righteous Might? Oh yeah).
Disadvantages: Their damage is a little underwhelming and they have poor reflexes and reactions.
Notable SLAs: Confusion, Maze, and Righteous Might 3/day.
Final Evaluation: Ghours are a great choice for bruisers. While the Jarilith is used when you need pure raw damage, Ghours should be used when you need a little more situational control - their SLAs give them an extra edge in combat. Between their stun, Maze, and Confusion, they can easily lock down a battlefield for you.
« Last Edit: March 09, 2011, 08:51:08 PM by Gnorman » Logged
Gnorman
Domesticated Capuchin Monkey
**
Posts: 111


I'm a monster. Rawr.


« Reply #3 on: August 28, 2009, 05:18:55 AM »

Demons, Part III


"Qern think head bestest part. Taste like candy. Qern like to feel squish of brain and crunch of skull. You listen Qern, you maybe get squish and crunch too."

- Qern, hezrou scout, instructing other demons on the finer points of mortal anatomy.


Elder Evils
Golothoma
CR: 16
HD: 18
How to get it: GPB
Role: Brute
Fluff: Golothoma are either minions or byproducts (it's not quite clear, even to experts) of Sertrous, an ancient serpentine demon lord. They exist only to feed, though they need no nourishment - they only desire to consume living flesh through their twisted shadows. They are quite unintelligent, and only speak enough Abyssal to make a hideous mockery of even that tongue.
Advantages: 8d6 acid damage on a primary attack's not bad (it also persists, doing 4d6 on the next round), With Dimensional Reach, their secondary attacks can be made within 120' and can be freely split between melee and ranged at no risk. Quite difficult to kill with loads of HP, Fast Healing, and high DR. But perhaps their scariest ability is their 1d12 CON drain for any creature that touches its shadow. As a Supernatural ability, it takes a standard action to activate rather than being a passive ability, but anything with its reach (15') must save or take the damage. Ouch.
Disadvantages: The secondary claw attacks are weak, 1d10+13 damage. As with all other Obyrith, a debilitating madness aura comes along for the ride, but that's what you memorized Mind Blank for, right?
Notable SLAs: None.
Final Evaluation: No SLAs and a maddening aura make the Golothoma a fairly poor pick for a bind. They won't do you much good in the long run, either, as by the time you can bind one, the CON drain isn't much use unless you're using it to take on hoards of mooks. Decent in melee, but you've got better options.

Expedition to the Demonweb Pits
Cambion
CR: 5
HD: 6
How to get it: None by RAW, likely SM V
Role: Assassin
Fluff: Cambions are basically tieflings Mk. II - they are the product of a union between a demon and a planetouched, mostly a tanar'ri. They're basically three quarters fiend. They are cruel and rapacious but are outcasts from both mortal and demonic worlds, often serving their fathers as lieutenants or assassins.
Advantages: A decent selection of stealth-based skills and some reasonably damaging attacks. Their penchant for debilitating poison works in your favor. They can assume a humanoid shape to infiltrate various societies, and they have the rather dubious advantage of not taking an AC penalty on Hide or Move Silently.
Disadvantages: Middling damage and rather suspect defenses. Their SLAs are fairly lackluster as well. Low WIS makes them susceptible to charms.
Notable SLAs: Pick two: Detect Magic, Fear, or Mirror Image at will, plus Invisibility or Levitate 7/day
Final Evaluation: I'm not entirely sold on their combat prowess, but their poisons can be relatively handy and they're expert infiltrators of mortal society. Just keep them out of any social situations with their awful, awful Charisma.

Carnevus
CR: 9
HD: 11
How to get it: None by RAW, likely SM VIII
Role: Caster
Fluff: Twisted offspring of fiends and lamia, Carnevus are more than your average half-fiend. They're blessed with supernatural quickness and dexterity, with two sets of arms and two mouths. They're particularly keen on bloodshed and the devouring of flesh; they're not so in tune with the hedonism and perversity of other fiends.
Advantages: Holy crap, what a selection. First off: they are truly metamagic masters. They get an automatic quicken on one spell a round, plus an automatic maximize on every spell they cast. This makes them casters and artillery extraordinaire. They can cast tenth/eleventh level spells, technically - a quickened, maximized fireball or ice storm is certainly up there. If you're willing to hold off on one spell a round, they get an automatic counterspell attempt as a swift action, making them excellent against other mages. They can hold their own in combat, though honestly if you put a Carnevus in melee, you're doing it wrong. Consummate magic users with decent UMD and other magical skills.
Disadvantages: Their HP count is somewhat disappointing, but that's a minor gripe. Additionally, the save DCs on their SLAs are far from spectacular - don't depend too much on the full amount. They are heavily front-loaded, too, and run out of spells quickly.
Notable SLAs: A vast array of blasty mage spells, though they're limited to one pick per spell level and only 3/day for each. 1: Charm Person, Disguise Self, Sleep or Magic Missile. 2: Invisibility, Acid Arrow, Spider Climb, or Web. 3: Fireball, Lightning Bolt, Vampiric Touch, or Hold Person. 4: Black Tentacles, Ice Storm, Shadow Conjuration, or Lesser Globe of Invulnerability.
Final Evaluation: One of the best choices in the Summon Monster line for blasting, with a sideline in control with Black Tentacles and Web. You can feasibly summon four of them at a time, each throwing down 96 damage (before Reflex saves or resistances, though). Their selection of blasting spells is varied enough that you can get around most resistances - you can freely choose between fire, acid, lightning, force, or cold/bludgeoning damage. I can't recommend the Carnevus enough. One of, if not my absolute favorite SM VIII. My only caveat is the low save DCs, but the free maximize helps to mitigate that while offering consistent, predictable damage. I don't normally recommend blasting, but the Carnevus allows you to throw down fistfuls of damage while still retaining your own casting. Five stars.

Oculus
CR: 13
HD: 15
How to get it: None by RAW, likely SM IX
Role: Assassin/Manipulator
Fluff: Strange demons that don't quite mesh with either the obyrith or the tanar'ri hierarchies, Oculus demon are said to be the former servants of the Queen of Chaos. They despise tanar'ri and refuse to allow themselves to become subservient to any tanar'ri demon lord. However, they aren't quite obyrith - Oculus demons occupy a strange middle ground in the Abyssal hierarchy. Use this identity crisis to your advantage. They're also said to enjoy the taste of flesh and the larva of giant insects.
Advantages: Excellent senses. Extremely mobile - 70 ft. fly speed with perfect maneuverability. A hefty attack bonus with their unholy longswords. Their eye rays (negative energy and a free action) are not only quite damaging but extremely debilitating, with status effects ranging from sickened to panicked to unconscious. A paralyzing gaze, decent SLAs, and the ability to be healed by negative energy make these an excellent tactical choice, not to mention their excellent stealth.
Disadvantages: Middling melee damage (especially useless against non-good creatures) and a frighteningly low Will save. Their paralyzing gaze is at a disappointing DC. Their eye rays are mind-affecting necromantic fear effects, which gives your foes plenty of ways to obtain immunity.
Notable SLAs: Greater Arcane Sight, Blindness/Deafness, True Seeing, Vampiric Touch, and Invisibility at will, plus Chaos Hammer and Mirror Image 3/day.
Final Evaluation: Oculus demons are not only maneuverable and quick, but they can really lay down the law with their debuffing eye rays. Unparalleled scouts, too: Have them go invisible, check out your foes' magic auras, and report back to you. I'm a big fan - they can dance around your enemies while applying crippling status effects. In a pinch, they can be effective in melee (though that's hardly their strength) or be a combat medic for an undead army with their eye rays. An excellent choice with plenty of options.

Expedition to the Ruins of Greyhawk
Cataboligne
CR: 10
HD: 12
How to get it: None by RAW, likely SM VIII
Role: Manipulator
Fluff: The Cataboligne looks consummately demonic, but has a seductive feminine voice, which it uses to captivate potential victims. They are few in number, having been hunted down to near extinction by the tanar'ri. Many of them avoided such a demise because they had been summoned and bound as guardians of treasure, usually in wizardly towers and dungeons.
Advantages: Their paralyzing gaze and captivating voice are decent control abilities. A useful array of beguiling SLAs, too, plus at will polymorphing into humanoid forms. Decent flight and blindsight. Slightly higher-than-average CON and HP for their level.
Disadvantages: Awful damage for this level. Their control abilities eat up actions like nobody's business - they have to spend a standard action every round just to continue their charm. Relatively low regeneration and DR.
Notable SLAs: Minor Image, Dispel Magic, Hallucinatory Terrain, and Mage Armor at will, plus Fear and Magic Missile 3/day.
Final Evaluation: Not much in the way of melee or casting, though illusions are really only bounded by your creativity. Too much of a niche pick, though they might be handy in infiltration missions - but why bother using them when the Yochlol can do the same thing a level or two lower?

Savage Tide
Belairon (Filth Demon)
CR: 14
HD: 21
How to get it: Maybe SM IX; GPB if you have both Improved Calling and Infernal Bargainer
Role: Brute
Fluff: These torrents of living slime and wretched filth are the cast-off dregs of demonic cities and societies, corrupting and polluting everything around them out of instinct and dim-witted barbarism. They do however respect power, and have no heed for their personal safety: "They willingly fling themselves into danger, selling their lives for the chance to kill."
Advantages: Decent sickening attacks at a good bonus and a formidable Fort DC. The acid breath weapon is surprisingly powerful - 14d6 is not bad at all, especially when you can potentially summon two Belairons. They have a super-debuffer aura around them that just cripples your enemies. Extremely high hit dice for their CR makes them a poor bind, but a durable summon. Blindsight is consistently great.
Disadvantages: No SLAs to speak of at this level is pretty disappointing. Their damage is subpar. They have a vulnerability to sonic, but that rarely comes into play.
Notable SLAs: None.
Final Evaluation: The extreme disparity between the HD and the CR makes them a conundrum in the retrieval department, but I find Filth Demons to be an effective melee choice if only for their debilitating debuffs and acidic breath. Not worth the bind, though (mainly because most characters won't be able to) - stick to summoning only, and then only if your DM allows it. But if he does, summon away - at SM IX, they're excellent choices.

Orlath
CR: 15
HD: 16
How to get it: GPB
Role: Overlord
Fluff: These twisted mockeries resemble the combination of Demogorgon and a marilith - snake-like creatures split down the middle into two torsos, each with six arms and a shrieking baboon's head. They are quite persuasive and can assume other forms, making them expert infiltrators.
Advantages: How do twelve +1 scimitars with Improved Critical sound? Quite good? I thought so. The Orlath has a grand total of seventeen attacks per round, all at a respectable bonus. Each scimitar swing does a point of vile damage, too. Plus, Orlaths have a useful array of SLAs, focused mainly on enchantment and divination.
Disadvantages: You'll only be doing a maximum of 1d8+8 damage with the scimitars, unfortunately. They don't have the elemental resistances that tanar'ri do, either, with only a hint of fire resistance and nothing else.
Notable SLAs: Dispel Magic, Locate Creature, Locate Object, Fly, and Discern Lies at will, plus Glibness, Move Earth, and Stone Shape 3/day, plus Demand and Greater Scrying 1/day.
Final Evaluation: A veritable whirlwind of crimson spray and steely death, with subtlety and guile to spare. SLAs that no other demons have, excellent social skills. And at 18 CHA, they're a cinch to bind. While you can get your hands on better at this point, the Orlath is easy to obtain and still quite useful. Heartily recommended.

Dragon Magazine
Anzu (Issue #329)
CR: 15
HD: 16
How to get it: GPB
Role: Overlord
Fluff: These servants of Pazuzu are easily tempted by the allure of magic items. They are more than willing to serve as mounts and enforcers of powerful mortals, as long as their rewards for such service include copious amounts of magic items.
Advantages: Masters of Telekinesis. A decent array of SLAs. Six attacks a round, with a poison bite that is particularly devastating. Extremely mobile with a rapid flight speed. Anzus can really do it all.
Disadvantages: Their poisonous breath causes WIS damage against anything that occupies their space, limiting their utility as mounts. A high Sense Motive skill and a CHA of 23 makes binding them a difficult prospect.
Notable SLAs: Greater Invisility, Displacement, and Telekinesis at will, plus True Seeing, Project Image, and Greater Magic Fang 3/day.
Final Evaluation: Despite the risks involved with their poisonous breath, the Anzu isn't too bad. They can do a bit of everything, though they aren't specialized in any particular area.

Ankashar (Issue #341)
CR: 8
HD: 12
How to get it: None by RAW, likely SM VIII
Role: Brute
Fluff: Ankashars are dangerous, wild, and unpredictable. They were once magical experiments done by Baphomet to create an intimidating mount, but they proved to be too unruly to handle. Still, they are among his favored servants. Relatively unintelligent and easily tricked.
Advantages: Five attacks in a full attack, Ankashars also have a disease-ridden bite and a wisdom-draining gaze. They can easily trip with their tail attack, too. Surprisingly high stealth skills for a gigantic deformed flying bull.
Disadvantages: Lackluster damage and poor mobility. Disease is never a good way to dispatch an enemy.
Notable SLAs: None.
Final Evaluation: Eh. Very little options outside of combat, and they're far from melee monsters. I'd pass on the Ankashar - it's just not worth it.

Caligrosto (Issue #360)
CR: 6
HD: 8
How to get it: None by RAW, likely SM VI
Role: Brute/Assassin
Fluff: These loumara are sadistic, violent spirits that exist for nothing more than the sensation of cutting and slicing flesh in battle. They possess swords in order to do so, and create fiendish mirrors of enemies in order to unnerve them. They'll likely stick by your side as long as you let them tear and rend your foes, but be warned that they frequently turn on the wielders of their possessed blades.
Advantages: Quite damaging for their level with their keen greatswords. Fiendish Shade boosts their capabilities even more, as long as they concentrate on one foe in particular. Reflective DR is very handy against foes with slashing weapons. Natural invisibility, a perfect fly speed, and incorporeality makes them peerless scouts, able to dart through walls and doors to see what you're going to run into.
Disadvantages: Only one quibble, but it's a major one. Whether or not they actually start out armed is debatable - if you have to lug around greatswords for them to possess, they become much less useful - they can't even attack on their own until they've drawn blood in someone else's hands. I dislike having to hand my party members blades and saying, "Hey guys, go ahead and attack with these. Once you do, they'll become possessed by demons, wrench themselves free from your grasp, and go to town. Then you can draw your regular weapons." Wastes time, wastes actions. Generally a poor idea.
Notable SLAs: None.
Final Evaluation: If your DM lets you summon these in a generic fiendish shade mode, wielding their greatswords, I find them to be a great summon. If you have to jump through hoops to get them working, I'd say no, except in cases where an invisible, incorporeal scout will be handy.

Incubus (Issue #353)
CR: 3
HD: 4
How to get it: None by RAW, likely SM IV
Role: Assassin
Fluff: Incubi are servants of Malcanthet and the male counterpart to succubi. They are sensual, sexual beings, but they do not take their conquests through guile or seduction, but rather force. As unpleasant as it sounds, they're basically demonic rapists.
Advantages: 2d6 sneak attack damage is quite helpful at this level, plus a decent attack bonus. A helpful array of enchanting SLAs, plus decent skills.
Disadvantages: Middling damage and AC, and their awful grapple modifier makes their Wisdom-draining kiss difficult to use.
Notable SLAs: Charm Person, Detect Thoughts, and Disguise Self at will, plus Modify Memory 1/day.
Final Evaluation: A middle-of-the-road pick if ever there was one. While they're not supremely effective in combat, they do well when ganging up on weaker foes. Their SLAs can turn them into interesting infiltrators - Modify Memory is a spell with a wide range of possibilities, and they get it at a relatively low level. A hesitant thumbs up, but a thumbs up nonetheless.

Manitou (Issue #359)
CR: 12
HD: 15
How to get it: None by RAW, likely SM IX
Role: Caster
Fluff: Manitou are strange loumara that thrive on the corruption and destruction of nature. In many ways, they are like twisted reflections of druids, raining death and ruin on the natural and sylvan worlds.
Advantages: They can possess animals, fey, and plants, which can see situational utility. Their Rend Nature ability can be useful against non-outsider/construct/undead types, and especially damaging against the aforementioned "natural" subtypes. Six attacks per round and a host of useful SLAs. Incorporeality is always a nice bonus.
Disadvantages: Just pathetic damage for this level. Their abilities are hardly useful by the time you can summon one - who's fighting fey or plants at level 18? CHA of 27 makes them extremely difficult to deal with.
Notable SLAs: Dominate Animal, Entangle, Greater Magic Fang, and Plant Growth at will, plus Call Lightning Storm, Control Winds 3/day. Shambler 1/day if you bind it.
Final Evaluation: A weird pick, really. While their nature-based abilities may be a useful niche pick, there's very little to recommend the Manitou in a general sense. I'd stay away unless your campaign is tailored to a natural or fey theme.

Mavawhan (Issue #345)
CR: 9
HD: 10
How to get it: None by RAW, likely SM VIII
Role: Caster/Assassin
Fluff: These ice demons are inhabitants of the Iron Wastes that reject the lordship of Kostchtchie. They spend their time scheming about how to take back the layer of the Abyss that was taken from them by the demon lord's frost giant minions.
Advantages: A nice selection of frost-based SLAs. A decent attack schedule, passable mobility (60' fly speed), and a useful array of rogueish skills. Plus, they exude an aura that penalizes all saves against cold-based attacks, and it doesn't offer a save.
Disadvantages: Middling damage. Their chilling poison is too weak and too protracted to really be helpful. The save DCs on their SLAs are somewhat low.
Notable SLAs: Wall of Ice, Fog Cloud, Chill Metal, and Telekinesis at will, plus Polar Ray, Ice Storm, and Cone of Cold 3/day.
Final Evaluation: Decent blasters with their ice-based powers, Mavawhans excel at cold damage. However, if you're facing a resistant foe, they quickly become almost useless. I find them to be handy blasters - not quite Carnevus-level, but certainly close.

Skurchur (Issue #333)
CR: 5
HD: 6
How to get it: None by RAW, likely SM IV
Role: Assassin
Fluff: While succubi tempt mortals with hedonism and carnal pleasures, skurchur approach them with a more cerebral intent - they act as advisors and counselors to mortals. As minions of Fraz-Urb'luu, of course, their true motives are to spread misery and pain through deception.
Advantages: A useful selection of enchantment-based SLAs. Excellent social skills (one of the few creatures to have such abilities). Four attacks a round.
Disadvantages: Touch of Vacant Beauty is basically a cipher of an ability - you don't get the opportunity to use it on your enemies, and you don't want it done to you. Awful damage and middling HP.
Notable SLAs: Hold Person, Charm Person, Command, and Alter Self (humanoid forms only) at will, plus Lesser Geas and Suggestion 3/day.
Final Evaluation: Skurchurs excel at convincing people to do what they want, whether through deception or persuasion. As you'll likely have banned Enchantment, they fill a gap in your repertoire. They're also capable infiltrators - who suspects the jovial gnome of being a hideous deceptive demon? Still, they find little use outside of that niche, so I can't recommend them wholeheartedly. A succubus is better at the job for just a small increase in summoning level.

Turagathshnee (Issue #312)
CR: 12
HD: 9
How to get it: None by RAW, likely SM IX
Role: Brute/Caster
Fluff: These ugly, toothy demons are servitors of the Ebon Maw, an imprisoned demon lord of hunger. They live to serve him, and always seek to find a way to release him from his entrapment when serving the whims of others. Likely they'll always be playing an angle with you.
Advantages: Decent bite damage, though only with magical enhancement. Their selection of SLAs is certainly quite different from most other demons, and has its merits. Swallow Whole has its uses, as well.
Disadvantages: Just awful DCs on their SLAs. Middling HP, and attack bonus. Suffers from a distinct lack of commitment to a particular role.
Notable SLAs: Cannibalize, Caustic Bile, and Jaws of Adamantine at will, plus Enervation and Whirlwind of Teeth 1/day.
Final Evaluation: Not a great choice. Far from melee terrors, they're also only middling at casting. They're spread too thin, and they end up being a bad idea for both roles.

Uzollru (Issue #349)
CR: 16
HD: 20
How to get it: GPB
Role: Brute
Fluff: These colossal aquatic horrors are the heralds and vanguards of Dagon, gigantic and misshapen pseudo-crustaceans. They enjoy liquefying living, intelligent beings with their flesh-rotting tentacles and then drinking the remains like a fine wine. They're not very smart, but they're single-mindedly devoted to their predation and vile pleasure.
Advantages: Colossal size. Just all kinds of awful damage - their claws do powerful constriction damage, and they have five tentacle attacks that drain Con. Immense reserves of HP, formidable DR and Fast Healing. A +53 Grapple modifier.
Disadvantages: Any creature within 120 ft of it must save or have its mental stats reduced to 1. That's you, buddy, unless you have Mind Blank on.
Notable SLAs: None.
Final Evaluation: Very few creatures approach the level of hurt that the Uzollru can lay down. But it's Colossal, Aquatic, and Drives You Insane. Those are three qualities that limit its use significantly. Can you even make a Magic Circle big enough to try to bind it?

Vathugu (Issue #337)
CR: 12
HD: 12
How to get it: None by RAW, likely SM IX
Role: Overlord
Fluff: These sickening amalgams of goat, crocodile, and fungus are servants of Zuggtmoy, serving their lady in any way they can. However, when such a ruler is absent, they enjoy setting up their own dominions on the Material, sparing those who convert to Zuggtmoy's worship. Still, they hunger constantly and revel in forcing others to do despicable things with their vile control. They do not care for wealth or magic items, instead demanding living sacrifices in return for their service.
Advantages: The Vathugu is a literal puppet master, sending out insidious tendrils that can end up controlling the physical actions of another creature. Very helpful against that dumb brute you're fighting. Their tentacle attacks are brutal, damaging all three of their target's physical stats at once while healing themselves. Supremely durable, with plant immunities. A unique variety of very useful SLAs.
Disadvantages: Try to avoid using the Control Body ability on mages or psions - they can still use spells with no somatic components while being controlled. Another caveat with Control Body: it can only work once per day, though a successful save against it lets you try again. Not a great damager outside of ability damage. Not overly mobile and has a poor reflex save.
Notable SLAs: Contagion, Warp Wood, Soften Earth and Stone at will, plus Transmute Rock to Mud and Wall of Thorns 3/day, plus Finger of Death and Control Plants 1/day.
Final Evaluation: I quite like the Vathugu - it's flavorful, different, and full of tactical potential. Who doesn't love having Finger of Death? Unfortunately, the whole "demands living sacrifices" thing might be a significant drawback, but that's technically only for Planar Ally - perhaps Planar Binding is a different story. As a summon, however, it's top shelf.

Verakia (Issue #357)
CR: 14
HD: 16
How to get it: None by RAW, maybe SM IX
Role: Brute
Fluff: These gargantuan beasts are the Abyssal equivalent of a terrestrial apex predator, like the tyrannosaurus. But they make tyrannosauruses wet themselves in fear - they are extremely brutal and take glee in violence and carnage. They are monoliths of destruction, rampaging through jungles and infecting all they see with their murderous fascination. They're not smart enough to want things from you other than the chance to trample over everything they see and tear it into bloody scraps of flesh and bone.
Advantages: Just absolute melee monsters. Even the Balor and the Molydeus have to really struggle to top its damage output. Six vicious attacks, and if they hit with three, everything within 30' of it must save or be stunned. A 16d6 breath weapon, half of which can't be resisted, and if they fail the save they lose CHA. Great DR, HP, and Fast Healing. These things are Super Tanks.
Disadvantages: Like the Uzollru, their Form of Madness is crippling - anybody within 60' or 120' (the entry is inconsistent) who fails the will save immediately becomes a mass-murdering psychopath, rampaging until they starve to death. A very bad thing. But that's why they invented Mind Blank. Easier to use than the Uzollru, but they're still Gargantuan - space constraints might eliminate them as a possibility.
Notable SLAs: None.
Final Evaluation: Mwahahahahaha! These things make me positively giddy with glee. Still, they're going to require 24/7 Mind Blank on all your party members, so there's a significant risk involved. Beg, whine, and cry until you can convince your DM to add this to the SM IX list. Even if you have to bind it, get it. The carnage, oh the carnage!

Dragon Compendium
Elemental Demon (air, ash, earth, fire, ice, and water)
CR: 3, 4, 5, 7, 6, and 4
HD: 5, 6, 8, 9, 10, and 8
How to get it: SM IV, SM V, SM V, SM VI, SM VI, and SM V
Role: Minions
Fluff: These elemental demons are little more than wild Abyssal animals. Only the Ash Demon has any appreciable intelligence - most of them just revel in their primal, fiendish instincts.
Advantages: As a whole, I find nearly the whole lot of them to be substandard choices. The Air Demon has a great fly speed and a decent Air Blast, however.
Disadvantages: They're mostly pathetic. The Ash Demon and the Water Demon in particular are very weak for their CR with questionable abilities. The Fire Demon is a lesser Palrethee (and the Palrethee isn't very good). The Earth Demon is big, dumb, and not that powerful for a brutish type. The Ice Demon is a Two-Weapon Fighter with a weak Ice Shard ability - 3d6 damage after 2d6 rounds? Your enemies will be dead by then!
Notable SLAs: None.
Final Evaluation: The Air Demon is a decent choice (but only just) because of its low CR and aerial mobility - flying summons at low levels are somewhat uncommon. Not a fan of any of the others. Pass on them - you'll be glad you did.
« Last Edit: January 18, 2010, 06:42:57 AM by Gnorman » Logged
Gnorman
Domesticated Capuchin Monkey
**
Posts: 111


I'm a monster. Rawr.


« Reply #4 on: August 28, 2009, 05:19:22 AM »

Devils, Part I


"Before I agree to fight on your behalf, I'm going to need you to sign here. And here. Initial here. We'll need the form in triplicate, too. Here, let me prick that finger for you."

- Malaphar, Barbazu Fifth Rank, to a prospective client.

Devils may not have the variety and sheer numbers that demons have, nor do they have the scheming nature of Yugoloths, but they make up for it with discipline and powerful abilities. Devils are often your best choice for throwing down in melee, although they have enough specialized breeds to provide you with a summon for almost any situation. Devils are especially adept at working together, with many devils getting bonuses for having allies adjacent to them - with your summoning abilities, that's a very good thing.


Monster Manual I
Barbed
CR: 11
HD: 12
How to get it: SM IX
Role: Brute
Fluff: The Hamatula is a bodyguard and treasure guardian for the devils, loyally and fearlessly defending their charges. Hamatula are cruel and sadistic, but follow their orders explicitly (like most devils).
Advantages: They do plenty of damage with their grapple and barbs. Decent SLAs, with a good amount of variety. Somewhat stealthy.
Disadvantages: Relatively poor damage and attack bonus. Only two attacks? Sad. For a supposed grappler, too, they have an abysmal grapple modifier. Scorching Rays don't cut it at this point, either, especially when they can only fire two rays.
Notable SLAs: Scorching Ray, Major Image, and Hold Person at will, plus Order's Wrath and Unholy Blight 1/day.
Final Evaluation: Bah. I don't think Hamatulas are at all competitive for SM IX. Poor in melee, poor as casters. A serious disappointment, really.

Bearded
CR: 5
HD: 6
How to get it: SM V
Role: Brute
Fluff: Barbazu are shock troops and infantry legionnaires in infernal armies. In downtime, they serve as guards and sentries - they're loyal and committed to their duty, which they carry out with frenzied ferocity. Aggressive and eager to join battle, they're easily deceived to your side.
Advantages: Between your Augment Summoning feat, Deceptive Summons, and their Frenzy, they're excellent melee combatants. Their wounding glaives are handy against many foes. Low Sense Motives make them easy to deceive.
Disadvantages: Actually, very little - Barbazu are quite good at what they do, but serve little to no purpose in a non-combat situation.
Notable SLAs: None.
Final Evaluation: Thumbs up! They're not completely devastating in melee (at this level, fiendish giant crocodiles are the gold standard), but their intelligence makes them much easier to use tactically. You know exactly what you're getting with one, but what you're getting is a hell of a bruiser.

Bone
CR: 9
HD: 10
How to get it: SM VII
Role: Overlord
Fluff: Osyluths are the secret police and informers of the infernal world. They maintain extensive records on the activities of other devils for potential blackmail and extortion. They hate all other creatures and don't hesitate to bring their full wrath to bear. Harder to trick than some, but offer them to chance to destroy hated enemies of the Hells, real or imagined.
Advantages: Ooof! A CR 9 creature at SM VII? Nice deal. A decent attack schedule with a debilitating poison. A wide array of skills and SLAs, plus a Fear aura. A lot to love here.
Disadvantages: Little to none to speak of. Their melee damage isn't great for this level.
Notable SLAs: Dimensional Anchor, Wall of Ice, Major Image, Fly, and Invisibility, all at will.
Final Evaluation: No reservations here. A great bargain for the level, and a very effective combatant. While they're capable in melee, they really shine when using their SLAs for tactical control. Wall of Ice is particularly useful - divide and conquer. A good choice even if it was a level higher - as is, it's fantastic.

Chain
CR: 6
HD: 8
How to get it: SM VI
Role: Brute
Fluff: Kytons are devilish torturers, specializing in the torment and punishment of living souls. They are surprisingly human-like, much more so than most other fiends. They are wrapped in chains and have their own city in the Hells, called the Jangling Hiter. Not especially intelligent, and they love to cause pain, so should be an easy bargaining process.
Advantages: Oh, Dancing Chains. You make me happy. Four attacks a round, reasonably devastating. Kytons are fine melee combatants, but Dancing Chains makes them superb. Just remember, you have to supply the chains yourself. Also, Kytons have a nonexistent Sense Motive. Immune to cold,. Also Craft (blacksmith) at +17, just in case you have to give some metalwork a cursory glance for some bizarre reason.
Disadvantages: If you don't bring those chains, kytons drop in usefulness by quite a bit. Really kind of one-hit wonders. I really wish they had Combat Reflexes or Improved Trip.
Notable SLAs: None.
Final Evaluation: Not the most damaging melee choice around, their chains nonetheless give you reach and control over a battlefield. A bit one-dimensional, but still a good idea overall.

Erinyes
CR: 8
HD: 9
How to get it: None by RAW, likely SM VII
Role: Assassin
Fluff: Erinyes are the remnants of angels who fell, retaining their basic form but in a foul reversal. They are infernal succubi, basically, the concubines, scouts, and ranged combatants of the Hells. Slightly more charming than most devils, but they're expendable and often vulnerable in the hellish hierarchy, so a chance to get out of Dodge for a few days might appeal to them.
Advantages: A decent fly speed combined with their flaming composite longbows makes them effective ranged combatants, as they can flit above the fray and pick off enemies with ease. Their Entangle ability might find use if you want to drop an enemy from a great height. Permanent True Seeing. I also fully support any creature with Charm Monster at will!
Disadvantages: If they get stuck in melee, they're nowhere near as effective. Very few SLAs, though the ones they get are useful.
Notable SLAs: Charm Monster, Minor Image, and Unholy Blight at will.
Final Evaluation: As I've mentioned with the Arrow Demon, ranged combatants are rare in the SM line, so anything you can get is not a bad idea - but the Arrow Demon is also strictly better at its job than the Erinyes, with four more attacks a round with higher damage. But the Erinyes has mobility and flight, which may be more tempting to you.

Hellcat
CR: 7
HD: 8
How to get it: SM VIII
Role: Brute/Assassin
Fluff: Naturally invisible, bezekira enjoy lying in ambush to either tear mortals apart or convince them to do evil deeds - they enjoy playing games of wits, which may be their saving grace when you summon them. Riddles and philosophical discussions with the invisible fiendish lion? Why not?
Advantages: Natural invisibility's about it. Scouting duty, perhaps?
Disadvantages: Terrible melee attack bonus and damage for a supposed melee creature. Awful grapple, low HP. Not at all a competitive summon.
Notable SLAs: None.
Final Evaluation: First things first: boo on the SM/CR split here - SM VIII gets you a CR 7 creature? That's crap. Why use this when the fiendish dire tiger at the same level is better in practically every way? Pass, pass, pass.

Horned
CR: 15
HD: 16
How to get it: GPB
Role: Overlord
Fluff: Cornugons are elite forces in infernal armies and lordly retinues, standing tall and powerful. They tower over other devils, and instill even the hardiest denizen of the Hells with terror and grudging respect. They rarely retreat from a battle, preferring to whirl their spiked chains around to cause as much devastation as possible. Lure them in with the promise of unholy frenzy and limb-rending opportunities.
Advantages: Their spiked chains make them excellent controllers, given that they have a respectable attack bonus and can stun with every hit (DC 29 to negate!). They can quite literally tear things apart in melee, both your opponents and their weapons with their wounding tails and Improved Sunder. A diverse array of skills, a handful of SLAs and a fear aura make it multipurpose, too.
Disadvantages: Not very mobile, though they can fly. Their SLAs fall into two categories, mainly: various anti-good and anti-chaos spells, which you won't find all that useful, and blasting spells, which is good for you since you banned Evocation (or, at least, you should have), but they're not great spells to begin with. The fear aura has a limited radius. Formidable Sense Motive and CHA scores.
Notable SLAs: Persistent Image at will, plus Fireball and Lightning Bolt 3/day.
Final Evaluation: Unholy reavers in melee, horned devils are nevertheless somewhat poor outside of their milieu, though they can create a rather respectable fireworks show. But they're just one HD over Planar Binding, which makes me curse and rue them, as by them time you can bind them, you might also be able to grab a Balor or a Molydeus instead.

Ice
CR: 13
HD: 14
How to get it: None by RAW, likely SM IX
Role: Overlord
Fluff: Gelugons are a breed apart amongst devils, refusing to associate with other devils beyond strict command structure - they have one distinct role in the infernal hierarchy, and they serve it with relentless loyalty and almost no deviation. They are commanders of legions and troops of lesser devils, but are capable of summoning a feral bloodlust for battle when needed or found alone. Likely to chafe under your control.
Advantages: Fantastic summons, first off. Wicked melee damage, plus the numbing cold from their attacks slows your foes. 10' reach and Combat Reflexes. They make excellent controllers and blasters with their ice spells, and can project a nasty fear aura. They get any three knowledge skills, too, so shore up a few weaknesses in your book-learning. Durable, quick, and just plain nasty.
Disadvantages: Against foes with cold resistance, they quickly become much less useful in the blasting department. Not much else - Gelugons have few chinks in their chitinous armor.
Notable SLAs: Cone of Cold, Ice Storm, and Wall of Ice at will!
Final Evaluation: One of the very few summons that might make me consider spending a level nine spell, the Gelugon can give you rounds and rounds of divisive control, debilitating melee, and tactical flexibility. I prefer to bind them, as I enjoy them enough to want to keep them around longer.

Imp
CR: 2
HD: 3
How to get it: None by RAW, likely SM III
Role: Minion/Assassin
Fluff: Like quasits, imps are tiny fiendish creatures usually used as familiars by unscrupulous wizards. On their home plane, they are messengers, spies and schemers, abused by most everything above them in the Hells' chain of command. Notoriously fawning and servile - just show them how much more powerful you are than them.
Advantages: Good stealth and mobility as well as decent ranks in other skills. A DEX-draining poison, Fast Healing, and an alternate form ability make it a better combatant than it looks, but not by much.
Disadvantages: Weak damage, even in their alternate forms. Clearly not a combat choice.
Notable SLAs: Detect Magic, Detect Invisibility at will, Suggestion 1/day.
Final Evaluation: Good familiars, but not great summons. Poor in combat, but useful in more subtle ways. Not as good when they're only around for a round/CL.

Lemure

CR: 1
HD: 2
How to get it: SM II
Role: Minion
Fluff: Lemures are mindless shells, the forms that evil mortal souls take on when they first arrive in the Hells. They have no capacity for communication or control, only possessing a primal desire to tear anything they encounter apart. No need to bargain - just command.
Advantages: Decent low-level tanks with their DR.
Disadvantages: Just about everything here - they're mindless, hard to control, not at all damaging, and have no abilities. But then, this is SM II - what did you expect?
Notable SLAs: None.
Final Evaluation: Well, if you're really in the mood to have a lump of agonized flesh hanging around to mob your enemies and maybe take a few hits for you, by all means. But they're not going to be doing anything else.

Pit Fiend
CR: 20
HD: 18
How to get it: GPB
Role: Overlord
Fluff: Pit fiends are the infernal elite, second only to the Dukes and Princes of Hell. They are true paragons of evil power, being both cunning, strong, and influential. A Pit Fiend is a difficult creature to bind into service - not only will they likely resist your efforts, but they will make you pay dearly for the audacity. Tread carefully.
Advantages: Just straight-up brutal in melee, with a disease-inducing bite that also includes a poison with the secondary effect of death. They're also excellent casters, having a wide variety of abilities that let you carpet bomb your enemies or go at them with a bit more guile.
Disadvantages: Just as difficult to bind as a Balor, but poorer selection in the casting department. Wish is problematic - any DM worth his salt either won't let you use it (oh, this Pit Fiend already used his yearly allowance) or he will twist your Wish so hard the room will spin. Don't get cheesy - just don't use Wish.
Notable SLAs: Create Undead, Fireball, Mass Hold Monster, Persistent Image, and Power Word Stun at will, plus Meteor Swarm 1/day.
Final Evaluation: What's not to love here? Like most of the upper-level binds, the Pit Fiend will basically just mess up everything around you. Still, I prefer the Balor because they have slightly better SLAs. But the Pit Fiend is nothing to sneer at - they're just as capable in melee, and they can just kill you with their festering bites.

Monster Manual II
Advespa
CR: 3
HD: 4
How to get it: None by RAW, likely SM IV
Role: Assassin
Fluff: Advespas are flying scouts in the Hells, confining themselves strictly to their hierarchies. They can assume pleasing female humanoid shapes, and often do so to entrap mortals. Nevertheless, they're not exceptionally bright or sly, and can easily be duped.
Advantages: A large flyer with four attacks on a full attack and Flyby Attack is a great deal for the level. They also have a decent poison and some niche SLA picks. Regeneration, high HP, and DR also make them rather durable.
Disadvantages: Actually, not a whole lot - the advespa has a lot going for it. Low skills, I suppose.
Notable SLAs: Alter Self, Pyrotechnics, Produce Flame, and Command 3/day.
Final Evaluation: I quite like them - they're powerful, mobile melee combatants and they have enough SLA options available to them to be effective in other ways. Even without their other abilities, I'd summon them just for their combat prowess. A stellar choice.

Marrash
CR: 5
HD: 7
How to get it: None by RAW, likely SM V
Role: Assassin
Fluff: Marrashi are winged gnoll-like creatures from the Hells that thrive on spreading disease and filth. They attempt to not only kill their summoners, but to turn them into more marrashi with their taklif arrows. Beware!
Advantages: An excellent fly speed and decent ranged attack make them good with hit-and-run tactics.
Disadvantages: Disease is not how you want to deal with your enemies, and the marrash does rather disappointing damage with its attacks, so they're not likely to end up killing anything.
Notable SLAs: Protection from Arrows at will.
Final Evaluation: They're mobile, and that's about it. They won't be heavy hitters, nor do they have the artillery powers of an Erinyes or an Arrow Demon. Give them a pass.

Monster Manual V
Gulthir
CR: 6
HD: 6
How to get it: SM VI
Role: Manipulator
Fluff: Gulthirs are at once police and punishment in the hellish hierarchy. Higher devils are transformed (painfully) into gulthirs when they displease their masters, and so most gulthirs are desperate to regain their favor. They, in turn, can inflict torment on other devils by devouring and digesting them. Their loyal nature may make them an easy fiend to enslave.
Advantages: A rather interesting Swallow Whole ability - when facing evil outsiders, they can be digested, adding temporary HP and save bonuses to the gulthir. Against all others, it's a Dominate Monster with no initial save, though such minions are granted save attempts on subsequent rounds. Plus, you can't cut your way out of its gizzard, as no matter what as soon as you're swallowed, you're a mental slave. SLAs that complement its main ability - lower STR means a lower grapple!
Disadvantages: Given that you want to grapple foes with the Gulthir, they have a rather low grapple score. They only get one attack a round, though the one's really all you need if your foe is next on the menu.
Notable SLAs: Ray of Enfeeblement and Scare 5/day.
Final Evaluation: Interesting, at least tactically, the gulthir is a great tool against other evil outsiders, and a potentially encounter-turning Dominate factory (albeit a slimy one). I like them, but they're a rather specialized tool. Their HD total makes them ideal LPBs, though.

Remmanon
CR: 15
HD: 18
How to get it: GPB
Role: Manipulator
Fluff: The exceptionally arrogant Remmanon thrive on sowing discord and doubt amongst mortals, particularly enjoying tempting them into acts of jealousy and greed. They enjoy feigning servitude, even offering contracts when not bound by a magic circle. Likely to betray you at the first possible opportunity, or trick you into signing away your soul. Beware.
Advantages: The Insidious Aura is nice - it confuses only your opponents, and you get bonuses to hit the affected creatures. They could be a party taxi with Plane Shift.
Disadvantages: That's basically all the Remmanon has going for it - a rather pathetic array of options at this level. Pathetic damage and one attack a round. They have a fly speed, but it's quite slow.
Notable SLAs: Mostly teleportation abilities, though you do get Disguise Self.
Final Evaluation: No. Just no. A GPB should not be wasted upon a walking Confusion aura. It should be used upon unholy terrors like a Balor or a Pit Fiend. Not some scheming emo with a pretentious attitude and missing genitalia. It's not that they're total crap, it's just that compared to your other options, they're about as attractive as a filthy Honey Bucket baking in the desert heat.

Stitched Devil
CR: 9
HD: 8
How to get it: None by RAW, likely SM VIII
Role: Brute
Fluff: These twisted, misshapen forms are stitched together by night hags out of the carcasses of fallen devils. Their lives are pure pain, and they inflict this agony upon others. But they don't quite know whom to blame for their torment, and you can twist that ignorance to your confusion. Promises of relief, mercy, or even affection (though feel free to make them as empty as you like) will make them fawn over you, like hideous hellish lapdogs.
Advantages: Five attacks a round with a pain aura that causes an extra d6 of damage from any and all sources make them effective at helping your party rack up some damage. Helpful, if limited, SLAs. Oddly enough, decent trackers too.
Disadvantages: Neither their attacks nor their aura is particularly damaging, making them work well only with multiple iterative attacks or a host of individual sources. Not much to do outside of hacking away in melee, either.
Notable SLAs: Phantasmal Killer and Dispel Magic 1/day.
Final Evaluation: I don't find them to be very helpful, as you have much better melee options available to you at this point. Sure, the pain aura can certainly add up over time, but so can a Rogue's sneak attack, and people still crap all over the class. And like the Rogue, the Stitched Devils should be avoided at all costs and replaced with a more effective choice. Like a Vrock. Or a Factotum.

Fiendish Codex II
Abishai (white, black, green, blue, and red)
CR: 4, 5, 6, 7, 8
HD: 4, 5, 6, 7, 8
How to get it: Lawful evil caster required for all: SM IV (replaces fiendish giant wasp); SM V (replaces bearded devil); SM VI (replaces chain devil); SM VII (replaces bone devil); and none by RAW, but likely SM VIII (likely replacing hellcat)
Role: Overlord
Fluff: Abishai are gargoyle-like devils ferociously loyal to their divine creator, Tiamat. They are arrogant and love to trick and cajole mortals into contracts that lead them to eternal torment and suffering at their own hands. Claiming to serve Tiamat's interests or that of powerful chromatic dragons may make them your willing pawns.
Advantages: Hooray, Wrack! Four out of five have it, and it's basically a save-or-lose - the target is disabled for 1 round/CL. Abishai have plenty of options available to them - they're decent in melee with four attacks and an assortment of elemental damage, are mobile and durable, and come with some helpful magic items.
Disadvantages: They do suffer from a lack of definition, not being particularly effective in any one arena. They don't do tons of damage, nor are they particular quick or blessed with HP.
Notable SLAs: The actual abilities and uses differ from Abishai to Abishai, but mostly include Charm Person, Suggestion, Scare, Charm Monster, and Wrack.
Final Evaluation: A good option in many situations, Abishai are almost worth it for Wrack alone. Other summons do their jobs better, but few of them can match the Abishai for versatility.

Amnizu
CR: 7
HD: 9
How to get it: SM VI as a LE caster (replaces xill)
Role: Caster
Fluff: Amnizu are consummate bureaucrats and the guardians of portals and gates in the Hells. They are vile and hedonistic, but also relentless in their duty and quite cunning. They do have massive egos, however, and are easily flattered - pander to their inflated sense of self worth, and they might deign to "serve" you. They do resent taking orders, though, and often seek revenge.
Advantages: Quickened fireballs? A stupefying touch? Delightful! Amnizu can roast your foes like few other summons can, and are deliciously effective with their Int drain. Low-INT enemies can be drained into a coma almost instantly, while classes that depend on the stat will suffer immensely from the loss. Regeneration, too.
Disadvantages: Somewhat fragile, and their artillery quickly runs out. Fireball is a somewhat less-than-stellar spell and the save DC is a bit low, but it's free.
Notable SLAs: Quickened Fireball 3/day.
Final Evaluation: Hands down, one of my favorite summons. I shouldn't even have to go into detail as to why - the amnizu is a mobile artillery platform that remains very useful even after its ammunition is depleted. A level six spell that nets you a grand total of 60d6 fire damage (albeit across three rounds), and can drain your enemies' intellects dry is a spell worth keeping around.

Assassin Devil
CR: 11
HD: 14
How to get it: None by RAW, likely SM IX
Role: Assassin (duh)
Fluff: Gee, would you believe that they're assassins? No, seriously. When a devil needs something dead and it can't be caught doing the deed itself, they hire the Dogai. They're used against mortals most often, however, infiltrating societies and seeking out threats to the Hells both realized and potential. They are independent outcasts, however, and some may chafe against the ordered nature of their home. Use that to your advantage.
Advantages: You'll never see one coming - they can gain greater invisibility (as a swift action, but only for one round each time) or partial concealment at will, plus they have Fog Cloud as an SLA with 60' Blindsight. Phenomenal stealth and mobility, plus three good attacks with 5d6 sneak attack damage each. Spring Attack, to boot.
Disadvantages: High Sense Motive. Devilishly susceptible to non-visual detection methods - blindsight, mindsight, etc., shut down their stealth pretty hardcore. Damage is a little lacking, though sneak attacks make up for that.
Notable SLAs: Fog Cloud, Nondetection, and Tongues at will - Dimension Door if you bind.
Final Evaluation: Killer ninja. While the Kelvezu has higher sneak attack damage and more attacks, the assassin devil has a better attack bonus and blindsight. A beautiful choice in conjunction with fog and cloud spells, as they're just as effective while your foes are crippled and vulnerable unless they have blindsight too (though let’s be honest, by this level everything you face should have a way around that). More reliable in combat than your other rogue-likes, but likely the one with the least potential at this level. Kelvezus are capable of much more damage, and the Naztharune has better rogueish abilities.

Ayperobos Swarm
CR: 12
HD: 13
How to get it: None by RAW, likely SM IX
Role: Manipulator
Fluff: These tiny devils form locust-like swarms in the Hells and love to devour and rend flesh whenever they come across anything weaker than them. They especially despise other devils. Quite used to being downtrodden and therefore likely easily bound.
Advantages: Their Control Body is an interesting ability - they get to possess a distracted creature until they make a save to expel them. They can be effective controllers, sowing mayhem on the battlefiend.
Disadvantages: Unlike the Broodswarm, Ayperobos do not have Evasion and have low HP, making them very vulnerable to area attacks. They do very little damage, too, and disease is a terrible method of harming a foe. It's somewhat unclear whether or not their Control Body ability can affect multiple creatures at once.
Notable SLAs: None.
Final Evaluation: I don't think a swarm is going to cut it at this level. They might find use in distracting spellcasters, but they're mostly weak and far from your best option.

Harvester Devil
CR: 7
HD: 9
How to get it: None by RAW, likely SM VII
Role: Manipulator
Fluff: The scheming, soul-buying devils of Faustian legend, Falxugon are cunning, intelligent, and thrive on deceiving and seducing mortals. They disdain combat, only joining the fray when all other options are closed to them. Learn to B.S. a B.S.-er.
Advantages: Their Infernal Debt and Refuge of the Damned abilities can make for an interesting debuffer, one who taunts foes mercilessly until they try and attack it, and then stabs them with their lethargy-inducing blades. Falxugons also have excellent social skills (though surprisingly not much Sense Motive), letting them act as negotiators and infiltrators for you.
Disadvantages: They're weak, they do pitiful damage, and they have very few abilities in combat. You want your opponents to attack your summons, so if you're using these as combatants you're kind of missing the point by a country mile.
Notable SLAs: Disguise Self at will, Vampiric Touch and Dispel Magic 3/day, and Mirror Image 1/day.
Final Evaluation: They're a niche pick, only useful for infiltration and seduction missions. They can be effective debuffers, but it's generally far too inefficient and convoluted to do so. Stick to heavy hitters unless you really need some guile on your side.

Kalabon
CR: 1/2
HD: 1
How to get it: SM III as a LE caster (replaces fiendish ape)
Role: Minion
Fluff: These cancerous lumps of sodden flesh are spewed up from the remains of the Hag Countess. They are foul, barely intelligent creatures that nevertheless grow stronger and form oozing colonies when amassed. Easily controlled by the promise of relief from their psychic agony.
Advantages: Surprisingly damaging for a CR 1/2 summon, Kalabons also can sicken enemies around them. Multiple Kalabons can form larger, more damaging creatures. Fast Healing, too. Immune to acid.
Disadvantages: They pop like infernal pimples against the tiniest pinprick. No resistance to fire, either, so they're easily taken out by area attacks.
Notable SLAs: None.
Final Evaluation: Blech. A CR 1/2 creature from SM III? I cry foul. But they're clearly better than lemures, so I can understand the disparity. Still, I'd rule that these are summonable at SM II or even I, but RAW is not on my side here. The lower you can get them, the better they are - at III, they're not comparable to a Dretch or a Nashrou. As it is, I certainly wouldn't replace the ape with them.

Legion Devil
CR: 3
HD: 3
How to get it: None by RAW, likely SM IV
Role: Minion
Fluff: Highly organized and disciplined, Merregons are the rank-and-file infantry of hellish armies. They do things by the book and take orders extremely well. Act like a drill sergeant and they'll fall in line instantly.
Advantages: While an individual Merregon is nothing to write home about, they become exponentially better when grouped. They can't die unless the HP pool of all of them is depleted. If hit with an area effect or multiple target spell, all within 100' get to use the highest save in the group as their result (and good luck targeting one with mind-affecting spells, because they all get to try and save no matter which one was targeted). They get attack bonuses when grouped, too - +4 for each other Merregon within 60'.
Disadvantages: Their damage, unfortunately, doesn't improve in the proximity of others. Depending on your DM, you might not be able to use their Legion's Advance ability (while it is teleportation, it's a Su ability and not a [teleportation] spell - I personally wouldn't allow it as a summon, but some DMs might think differently). Legion's Mind has a drawback, too - if none of the devils make the save against a single target charm, they're all affected.
Notable SLAs: None.
Final Evaluation: Beautiful en masse, the Merregon is a tactical wonder. Individually, they're nothing to marvel over, but between your augmentation abilities and higher level slots, you can instantly create your own personal, brutally efficient army. Great at tanking and can form a veritable wall of swords.

Malebranche

CR: 14
HD: 16
How to get it: None by RAW, maybe SM IX
Role: Brute
Fluff: These dim-witted devils exist solely for brute force and shock troop tactics - they are beaten and bullied until they are completely obedient. "They exhibit an almost servile willingness to do whatever it is they are ordered to do, even if doing so means humiliation or death." Other devils sometimes use them as mounts. Total bootlickers.
Advantages: So, remember when I said that the Verakia was a melee monster? Well, the Malebranche gives them some heavy competition. They don't have as many options - they just attack, attack, and attack. But they do phenomenal amounts of damage at a good bonus. Huge with a good grapple score and an extremely fast fly speed (plus Flyby Attack). High DR, regeneration, and HP.
Disadvantages: Other than their fear aura (not very impressive), fighting is the only thing the Malebranche can do. Very low touch AC.
Notable SLAs: None.
Final Evaluation: Charge in, demolish things with your ranseur, end of combat. That's the Malebranche way - simple, brutal, and effective. If you can summon them, they'll have the highest damage potential in the SM IX line.

Narzugon
CR: 5
HD: 7
How to get it: None by RAW, likely SM V
Role: Brute
Fluff: Infernal cavalry, Narzugons ride into battle on nightmares. Unlike most devils, they dislike treachery and scheming, and are forthright, brave, and fearlessly loyal. These honorable warriors are probably the least likely to turn on you or betray you - they're noble, even tragic figures who might find some redemption in your service.
Advantages: If you're looking for some mounted warriors, they're good choices. They do respectable damage with their lances in a charge and can tank fairly well with high DR for their level and decent AC.
Disadvantages: Major issue: they don't come with a mount. So you have two choices: they can cast mount, which just gives them a generic horse, or you can use another spell slot to summon a Nightmare, which makes them basically badass. Their baleful gaze has a rather low DC.
Notable SLAs: Scorching Ray at will (just one ray, though) and Mount 3/day.
Final Evaluation: If you need to call in the cavalry, the Narzugon is a decent choice. Of course, you really only have two options: this or the Armanite. I prefer the Armanite because they are their own mounts, but the Narzugon has all the right feats for mounted combat while the Armanite does not. They're also a level or two lower, depending. A Narzugon on a Nightmare is a potent combination, though: charge in, breathe smoke to gain concealment, then retreat out to charge again.
« Last Edit: November 11, 2010, 03:47:46 AM by Gnorman » Logged
Gnorman
Domesticated Capuchin Monkey
**
Posts: 111


I'm a monster. Rawr.


« Reply #5 on: August 28, 2009, 05:20:06 AM »

Devils, Part II


"I've been in thirty-two separate engagements in the Blood War since I joined my current legion alone. I command troops of devils with more willpower in their left horn than you have in your entire body. I will not be your puppet, mageling."

- Orobas, Gelugon Second Rank, in response to a calling.


Fiendish Codex II, Part II
Nupperibo
CR: 2
HD: 2
How to get it: None by RAW, likely SM III (perhaps replaces hell hound)
Role: Minion
Fluff: These shuddering, tormented hunks of flesh are punished devils, drained of nearly all their infernal essence and stitched up in a pathetic form. They are blind, deaf, and nearly mindless.
Advantages: Blindsight out to 30' and a passable halberd attack. They have halfway decent Fast Healing for their level, too. A fear aura gives them at least something to do besides flail about wildly.
Disadvantages: Overpowering odors (like Stinking Cloud) can blind it, limiting its tactical use. No DR. Practically impossible to command, unless you are telepathic.
Notable SLAs: None.
Final Evaluation: While the Nupperibo is mostly a pathetic combatant, you can combine their blindsight and immunity to poison to good effect in conjunction with Cloudy Conjuration at low levels (arguable, however, as brimstone might count as an "overpowering odor"). Once you've got better options, though, never look back.

Orthon
CR: 8
HD: 7
How to get it: SM VIII as a LE caster (replaces hellcat)
Role: Brute
Fluff: Foot soldiers specializing in combating demons, Orthons are creatures wracked by constant pain whose only aim is to die for the glory of the Hells. Combat is the only thing that relieves their agony - offer them enough respite from their constantly grinding armored plates, and they may serve willingly.
Advantages: They act as a permanent, no-save Dimensional Anchor spell, which can be nice against teleportation-prone foes. They have good reach with their weapons, and can attack within it too. They have hellfire crossbows, in case you need to pepper some faraway foes (up to 400'). High CON and therefore HP.
Disadvantages: At this level, their attack bonus and damage potentials are fairly pathetic, though multiple Orthons in tandem can help to boost that. Slow, low DR, and barely-passable AC.
Notable SLAs: See Invisibility at will.
Final Evaluation: While they're an easy pick over the Hellcat, I still can't recommend the Orthons with any degree of confidence. They just don't hold up well. Still, if you keep a foe from bamfing away, they can help in that regard.

Paeliryon
CR: 18
HD: 18
How to get it: GPB
Role: Overlord
Fluff: Paeliryons are the masters of fiendish spy networks, information brokers and blackmailers extraordinaire. They are, however, oddly trustworthy - they always keep their word. If you can convince one to serve you, use such reliability to your advantage.
Advantages: Just a host of powerful SLAs, Paeliryons are also surrounded by a perpetual Mind Fog. They can emit a stunning cone of curses with their Belittle ability. With their extending claws, they can easily hover outside an enemy's reach and chip away at their Charisma. Great skills - lots of social and knowledge-based ones, though Knowledge (local) is likely the only one they have that you don't. Unless you're a cleric entry, in which case (arcana) might be handy.
Disadvantages: Nowhere near as buff in melee as a Pit Fiend or a Balor. Fairly clumsy, too.
Notable SLAs: Greater Dispel Magic, Meteor Swarm, Hold Monster, Charm Monster, Suggestion, Major Image, Mindblank, and Polymorph at will, plus Enervation, Antilife Shell, Greater Command, and Greater Prying Eyes 3/day.
Final Evaluation: If you're looking for a caster supreme, look no further than the Paeliryon. While still being a notch below the Balor, they're easier to bind, less likely to seek bloody revenge on you (at least immediately), and have a wider array of at-will SLAs. Better casters, but not a better bind overall.

Pain Devil
CR: 7
HD: 8
How to get it: SM VI as a LE caster (replaces chain devil)
Role: Brute/Manipulator
Fluff: Like the Kyton, the Excruciarch is a devil specializing in agonizing torture. They are extremely sadistic (moreso than most devils) and enjoy snuffing out the last bits of hope. Likely they'll serve you just for the fun of it.
Advantages: Decent damage with their spiked chains, their attacks can also cause living foes to lose move actions. They do damage just by being next to things, albeit a very small amount. Sadism lets them buff themselves by dealing damage. Wave of Grief is a handy debuff, plus they can heal.
Disadvantages: Storm of Pain is a crappy ability. Subpar damage and AC.
Notable SLAs: Vampiric Touch at will, plus Wave of Grief and Cure Moderate Wounds 3/day
Final Evaluation: An interesting choice, to be sure - discounting the Kyton's Dancing Chains ability, I think the Pain Devil is clearly the better pick. Even with Dancing Chains, I'd still take the Pain Devil - they're more consistent, hit more often, and do more damage. They are one of the only evil summons with healing as an SLA, which might come in handy if you're lacking in that department.

Pleasure Devil
CR: 11
HD: 12
How to get it: SM IX as a LE caster (replaces fiendish dire shark)
Role: Manipulator/Caster
Fluff: Super-Erinyes, the Brachina is an extremely seductive devil who specializes in corrupting the virtuous and the devout. They are just as involved with the petty scheming and jockeying for position as most devils are, but they spend more time attempting to tempt mortals on the Material Plane. If you can resist their charms, they'll serve you well - just be wary of their honeyed words.
Advantages: A healthy host of beguiling SLAs, plus the option to actually Beguile a foe and make them take a round's worth of actions under your control, both wasting their turn and using it to your advantage. They have a WIS-damaging poison, which might be handy against a few foes. Plenty of scheming social skills and obscure knowledge.
Disadvantages: Pretty awful in melee. You're unlikely to get much use out of some of their SLAs - Morality Undone won't really help you unless you've got a particular grudge against an arrogant paladin, and it's still almost definitely an evil act.
Notable SLAs: Charm Monster, Vampiric Touch, Morality Undone, Polymorph, Enthrall, Suggestion, and Produce Flame at will, plus Trap the Soul 1/day.
Final Evaluation: You shouldn't have any second thoughts about replacing the fiendish dire shark - the Brachina is a fine substitute. While I'd give the edge to the Lilitu in this niche by virtue of its clerical spellcasting and superior poison, the Brachina has its merits.

Spined Devil

CR: 4
HD: 3
How to get it: SM IV as a LE caster (replaces fiendish giant wasp)
Role: Assassin
Fluff: Small, sneaky, and cruel, the Spinagon is an ideal spy or scout for many greater devils. They are notoriously dim and as such are easily tricked into service. They're unreliable scouts, however, as they have trouble remembering details and messages.
Advantages: Oh so quick. 120' fly speed, 25 Dex, and 24 AC are great at this low of a level. Stealthy, too. Their spine attacks are excellent as a debuff - they reduce AC and speed, making your foes less likely to resist your attacks or close to melee range.
Disadvantages: Mildly fragile, Spinagons are also pitiful damage sources. Easily grappled - don't let them get caught, or they're dead meat.
Notable SLAs: Disguise Self and Produce Flame 3/day, plus Stinking Cloud 1/day.
Final Evaluation: Spinagons are ideal harriers and debuffers - they can get into position with great speed, lay down a carpet of pain-inducing spines, and retreat and repeat. They won't be killing anything for you, but they'll certainly help you and your party take care of it.

Steel Devil
CR: 6
HD: 6
How to get it: SM VII as a LE caster (replaces fiendish megaraptor)
Role: Brute
Fluff: Consummate soldiers, Bueroza are keenly loyal to their own kind but possess marked disdain for other devils, especially Orthons. They fight with cunning and a highly tactical mindset, excelling against spellcasters and other magic-using foes.
Advantages: They can Chant and potentially disrupt spellcasting. They improve significantly when working with other Bueroza - +2 damage, +2 BAB, and +2 on all saves for every other one adjacent to them, making them quite good in tight formations. Their Push ability might be useful, allowing you to knock an enemy into hazards or pitfalls. High AC.
Disadvantages: In melee, they're really just so-so without the benefit of numbers. Poor BAB, middling damage. Slow, too. Any decently optimized caster should make the Concentration check vs. Chant unless you have a veritable platoon of Bueroza chanting.
Notable SLAs: Greater Command, Haste (self only), and Scare at will.
Final Evaluation: With their AC and Combat Expertise, Bueroza can be effective as a screen, drawing the enemy's futile flailing. But they're rarely going to be melee powerhouses, and I don't find their abilities to be all that helpful. Still, better than the fiendish megaraptor. Wish they were summonable at SM VI - then they'd be more useful.

Xerfilstyx

CR: 15
HD: 15
How to get it: GPB
Role: Overlord
Fluff: Irrevocably insane, driven mad by constantly swimming in the waters of the Styx, Xerfilstyx are likely the most chaotic lawful evil creatures around. They really only care for the destruction of others and to drink in fragments of memories and loss. Supposedly there is method in their madness, but it's not very apparent exactly what that method is.
Advantages: Five attacks per round, with Improved Grab and a blood-draining grapple. A host of useful SLAs - whether you need control, debuffing, or damage, they can supply it. A formidable breath weapon that deals 15d8 untyped damage and diminishes Intelligence. A fear aura that's actually halfway decent. Especially effective in aquatic locales, it is still quick on land and even in the air. No Sense Motive to speak of, so easier to trick into a bind.
Disadvantages: Those attacks do awful damage. The breath weapon needs to be recharged through CON drain, so you have to maintain a grapple if you want to use it with any regularity. Toss would be useful if the direction and distance weren't completely random - as it is, you're just flinging someone helter-skelter, which may end up doing more harm than good.
Notable SLAs: Confusion, Dispel Magic, Hold Person, and Wall of Ice at will, plus Cone of Cold, Ice Storm, and Legend Lore 3/day, plus Insanity and Power Word Blind 1/day.
Final Evaluation: An interesting choice for a GPB, the Xerfilstyx has a lot going for it. However, its near-complete lack of damage potential in melee makes me balk, preferring to choose something that has both great SLAs and the ability to rip things to shreds. A good choice in an aquatic campaign, though.

Fiend Folio
Imp; bloodbag, euphoric, and filth
CR: 3, 3, 2
HD: 4, 4, 2
How to get it: SM IV
Role: Minion
Fluff: Mostly just like imps, but with certain specializations - bloodbag imps are combat medics, euphoric imps are recreational drug users and small-time alchemists, and filth imps are expert forgers and translators who nonetheless reek like nobody's business.
Advantages: Mostly the same as imps, they have a few distinct advantages: bloodbag imps can be effective out-of-combat medics with Transfusion and +16 Heal, though sucking out the blood seems... distasteful, to say the least. Euphoric imps can daze their foes with hallucinogenic slime, and filth imps can emit stinking clouds.
Disadvantages: As the imps, really. The bloodbag imp is slightly slower than standard, while the filth imp is more fragile.
Notable SLAs: Bloodbag: Vampiric Touch 1/day; Euphoric: Major Image 1/day; Filth: Stinking Cloud 1/day.
Final Evaluation: The filth imp is useless. The euphoric imp can produce illusions, which are nice. But the only one I recommend using, and even then only as a healing battery, is the bloodbag imp. If you can get over the whole 'I have to drink its blood to heal myself' thing, they're walking, talking medpaks.

Maelephant
CR: 8
HD: 10
How to get it: SM VIII
Role: Caster/Manipulator
Fluff: These fiendish elephant-like creatures were created by long-deposed baatezu lords to protect vaults and treasures. They now roam the Lower Planes, looking for enough flesh to sustain their hunger. If you provide one with enough food, they'll willingly serve you.
Advantages: Good SLAs and a delightful breath weapon - it gives those afflicted complete and total amnesia, preventing them from using skills and feats or casting spells. They also no longer remember who their enemies or friends are; even their own identity is lost. That's a nice ability. Good senses, too.
Disadvantages: Maelephants are nigh useless in hand-to-hand combat. Their Defensive Stance helps somewhat (though they can no longer move when they use it), but they still suffer from low AC and damage. Their forget-me-gas is sadly rather easy to save against.
Notable SLAs: Alarm, Entangle, Gust of Wind, True Seeing, and Warp Wood at will, plus Blade Barrier and Baleful Polymorph 3/day.
Final Evaluation: A nice pick, if only for the complete and total shutdown that their breath weapon offers. If you ever have to guard a location or item, they're supposedly quite effective at it - it is their job, after all. Very few summons offer their particular SLAs, so that's a plus. Not great, but an acceptable choice.

Book of Vile Darkness
Kocrachon
CR: 6
HD: 6
How to get it: None by RAW, likely SM VI
Role: Caster
Fluff: Kocrachons, like Excruciarchs and Kytons, are devilish torturers. They delight in pain and suffering, and will perhaps serve you if you offer them the chance to work their foul art.
Advantages: All about the SLAs - frankly, they've got nothing else going for them. But they do have a long list, and some choices are very effective.
Disadvantages: Pitiful damage, low AC and HP.
Notable SLAs: Animate Dead, Cure Moderate Wounds, Dispel Magic, Liquid Pain, Major Image, Sorrow, Suggestion, Wave of Grief, Wrack, and Wither Limb at will, plus Blasphemy 1/day.
Final Evaluation: As long as you keep them out of the fray at all costs, the Kocrachon can wreak havoc with its SLAs. Sorrow and Wave of Grief give your enemies debilitating penalties to all sorts of rolls (though beware the 3.5 conversion, as the penalties change from -3 to -2), while Wither Limb can cripple a spellcaster or force a foe to crawl at 5' per round. When in doubt, Wrack can drop an enemy straight out of the fight. Peerless spellcasters for their level, a Kocrachon can also replace a healer with Cure Moderate Wounds at will. A great choice for magical power. Decent summon - brilliant bind.

Ghargatula
CR: 16
HD: 24
How to get it: Implore
Role: Brute
Fluff: The savage Ghargatula resembles most closely a gigantic fiendish dinosaur, a mess of gnashing teeth and brutal claws. And appearances don't disappoint - that's exactly what they are. They roam the plains of the Hells, devouring what they can. No subtlety needed here - just point and turn loose.
Advantages: Pretty savage in melee, with four highly damaging attacks a round and Power Attack. They can swallow foes whole and have a respectable grapple score with which to do so. Nearly 400 HP. Good DR and regeneration. A formidable DEX-draining poison, to boot. An incredibly easy bind, with 10 CHA and no Sense Motive.
Disadvantages: Very low AC for its level. Dumb as a bag of hammers.
Notable SLAs: None.
Final Evaluation: The Goristro is better for assaulting fortifications, but the Ghargatula is more of an unholy terror in melee. Scarily damaging - it's the improved version of the Verakia. Difficult to obtain, but worth the effort.

Tome of Magic
Logokron
CR: 14
HD: 15
How to get it: None by RAW, maybe SM IX
Role: Caster
Fluff: The Logokron is a patient schemer, plotting and research truenames in order to gain power over its fellow fiends and mortals alike.
Advantages: It does decently with its +2 thundering halberds, though not spectacularly. Its tongue is a continuous Symbol of Pain, and it has some decent utterances. It has a very impressive selection of skills, including practically all Knowledges. Respectable AC and DR.
Disadvantages: It uses truenaming. I mean, come on. That should really be all I need to say. Only +36 in Truenaming, which means to even affect a creature of the same CR, it needs to roll a 7 or better.
Notable SLAs: Major Image at will; plus the following utterances: Critical Word of Nurturing (reverse only), Preternatural Clarity, Hidden Truth, and Morale Boost.
Final Evaluation: Eh, it can cause some havoc with Confusion and Fear abilities, but by the time you can bind one, you'll be fighting creatures with CR's of 16 or higher - leaving it successful half the time, at best. And those just aren't good odds. Pass.

Sandstorm
Desert Devil
CR: 6
HD: 8
How to get it: None by RAW, likely SM VI
Role: Minion
Fluff: These frenzied devils are found in deserts and wastelands, whirling about surrounded by flaying sands. They're dim and easily tricked.
Advantages: Um. None. Seriously. Aratons suck. Okay, they do 2d6 per round damage to anything within 10 ft. That's about it.
Disadvantages: Awful damage. Poor DR for their level. Middling HP and AC. No combat options besides their pathetic scimitars.
Notable SLAs: None.
Final Evaluation: I hate Aratons. So much. They have nothing going for them. Never, ever, ever summon one. The only feasible way they might become viable is if you summon a ton of them and treat them as walking HP drainers - if you have six of them, 12d6 damage a round might be okay. But you could also just summon Amnizus and do the same thing, only tons better.

Stormwrack
Scyllan
CR: 13
HD: 16
How to get it: None by RAW, likely SM IX
Role: Brute
Fluff: These tentacled creatures are descendants of an aquatic archfiend, now found primarily in the deep oceans of Stygia. They're not very bright and rarely speak, preferring to let their tentacles and claws do their communicating for them.
Advantages: Six attacks a round (Four of which have 30' reach) and the ability to create whirlpools. They have Improved Grab and can swallow Large or smaller creatures. Fairly durable.
Disadvantages: Only useful in aquatic settings, as they have no movement besides a swim speed. Their attacks do poor damage. Their Frightful Noise ability will never see use, as it only affects creatures with less than sixteen HD.
Notable SLAs: Control Water 1/hour.
Final Evaluation: Eh. In an aquatic campaign, you might find them useful to assault ships and their crews. Likely, however, you won't find them useful at all. And if you're not in the water, forget about using them at all. I'd pass.

Dragon Magazine
Death Devil (Issue #353)
CR: 11
HD: 10
How to get it: SM IX
Role: Manipulator/Caster
Fluff: Another infernal torturer (how many do they really need?), the Jerul is a Forgotten Realms-specific creature - it torments souls stuck in the Wall of the Faithless and the False. It feels a weird sort of kinship (or at least a desire to command and control) the undead.
Advantages: Decently damaging scythes and a whip that deals lethal damage with 25' reach. It can exhaust creatures it hits, and has a permanent ghost touch ability. Combat Reflexes and the Dex to make it worthwhile. A good set of immunities and decent SLAs. Can rebuke undead at will, as a 12th level cleric. 50% fortification and can only be harmed by silver bludgeoning weapons.
Disadvantages: With its poor attack bonus, it's unlikely to ever connect, so its exhausting ability will rarely see play. Relatively fragile. Fairly undead-heavy thematically, so it might be somewhat limited in an undead-light campaign.
Notable SLAs: Animate Dead and Dimensional Anchor at will, plus Desecrate and Deeper Darkness 3/day, plus Enervation 1/day.
Final Evaluation: Niche pick. Against undead, it's both effective and ineffective - rebuking is nice but most of its abilities won't work. The low attack bonus is very troubling - you'll be depending on criticals to do any sort of damage for the most part. While it may have a few specialized uses, I just don't think it's competitive for its level.

Death Hurler (Issue #309)
CR: 11
HD: 13
How to get it: None by RAW, likely SM IX
Role: Brute
Fluff: Death Hurlers are infernal constructs that look like grand iron siege towers, covered with menacing spikes, barbs, and a multitude of corpses. They are mindless and merely follow commands.
Advantages: Six ranged attacks a round, plus Ram and Trample attacks that have respectable Strength-based DCs. Construct immunities. You can fit four people on the top, who subsequently receive cover from the Death Hurler's walls.
Disadvantages: Poor attack bonus and damage. You have to climb up a wall of corpses to get to the top, which is irrevocably nasty. Not all that durable for a construct - and Augment Summoning is half-useless on it.
Notable SLAs: None.
Final Evaluation: Might be useful if you're actually conducting a siege - but mostly they're too much of a niche pick to seriously consider.

Hellforged (coal, glass, lead, obsidian, sand, and spiked; Issue #306)
CR: 7, 4, 13, 6, 3, 6
HD: 8, 6, 16, 10, 4, 9
How to get it: None by RAW, likely: SM VI, SM V, SM IX, SM VI, SM IV, and SM VI
Role: Minions
Fluff: These metallic  devils were once constructs, but the evil of the hells swelled up and made them into true outsiders. They're fanatically loyal and follow orders to the finest detail - you'll likely have to be extremely literal and deliberate in your orders.
Advantages: Varies from devil to devil. I like the Coal Devil's Blindsight + Aura of Smoke combination and its Fire Breath. The Glass Devil has natural Greater Invisiblity, while the Lead Devil has an immense attack bonus (+28). The Obsidian Devil is relatively better in combat and does a good bit of damage on a grapple, while the Sand Devil has a 50' burrow speed (quite rare) and can turn into a cloud of sand for infiltration purposes. The Obsidian and Glass devils also have burrow speeds, but nowhere near as fast.
Disadvantages: They're all a bit lackluster in the melee department, with low damage and AC. The Spiked Devil in particular has little to recommend it - its Hail of Spikes does very little damage and can be avoided completely on a Reflex save.
Notable SLAs: None.
Final Evaluation: I recommend the Sand Devil in particular for exploring dungeons and sneaking through tight passageways (they even have ranks in Disable Device, though not Search), and the Glass Devil for low-level stealthy scouting duty. The Lead Devil can be a boon if you're up against a very high AC opponent (it'll just have to chip away at it slowly, with only 1d10+3 damage and two attacks per round) and the Obsidian Devil is a halfway decent brute. The Coal Devil isn't great - you have plenty of better Blindsight creatures at your disposal. And the Spiked Devil's just not good at all.

Imps of ill humor (choleric, melancholic, phlegmatic, and sanguinous; Issue #338)
CR: 3
HD: 3
How to get it: SM IV
Role: Minion
Fluff: These imps suffer from humor imbalance - their personalities range from angry to depressed to lazy to jovial.
Advantages: As the imp, only each one has a unique sting that causes permanent status effects: Rage, Crushing Despair, Slow, and Hideous Laughter, respectively.
Disadvantages: They lose the Imp's SLAs in favor of their humor imbalances. Their stingers have very poor attack bonuses, so it's difficult to get the imbalance to stick.
Notable SLAs: Contagion 1/day, disease varies.
Final Evaluation: Unlike other imps, these ones actually want to get into melee combat, if only so they can use their stingers to full effect. While the status effects are nice, they're hard to use effectively, and most of the imps are too fragile to last long enough to land the hit. They might be situationally useful, but I say pass in general.
« Last Edit: January 18, 2010, 06:57:20 AM by Gnorman » Logged
Gnorman
Domesticated Capuchin Monkey
**
Posts: 111


I'm a monster. Rawr.


« Reply #6 on: August 28, 2009, 05:20:46 AM »

Yugoloths


"You want me to fight for you, do you? All right, then. Where, who, how long, and, most importantly, how much?"

- Jezzerik, ultroloth commander, in the midst of negotiations.

Yugoloths are odd fiends out in the grand infernal hierarchy. Most of them are disappointing summons, either too generalized to be effective or specialized in strange, ineffectual ways. Many have abilities that seem random or counterproductive to your aims. But a few Yugoloths are absolutely spectacular, almost redeeming their entire race. They're especially adept at spellcasting, but arguably the best melee summon (at least, for its level) is a Yugoloth - the Voor.


Monster Manual II
Arcanoloth
CR: 17
HD: 12
How to get it: PB
Role: Caster
Fluff: Arcanoloths are scribes and archivists for the Yugoloths, and are scheming, triple-dealing fiends always looking for an angle in every situation. However, they are noted for being generally honorable and true to their word - at least as far as you can trust a fiend's words. Careful, specific language and commands are recommended.
Advantages: They cast as a 12th level sorcerer, though they have no specific spell-list listed. Immune to mind-affecting spells and a decent complement of SLAs. Good social and academic skills, plus they can read or write any language. Decent fly speed.
Disadvantages: Notably fragile, with only 11 CON. In fact, keep them as far away from the fray as possible, since they're basically completely inept. Their poison is crappy.
Notable SLAs: Fly, Heat Metal, Invisibility (self only), Magic Missile, Warp Wood, and Shapechange (!!!) at will, plus Fear and Major Image 1/day. Plus sorcerer casting.
Final Evaluation: These guys are all about the spells. That's a hefty HD/CR split, and should make you seriously consider them as option for a bind. However, their fragility is a major drawback - most enemies can just look funny at them and they'll keel over. Of course, that's what Shapechange is for. Likely straight-up broken.

Marraenoloth
CR: 10
HD: 10
How to get it: None by RAW, likely SM VIII
Role: Caster
Fluff: Marraenoloths are the archetypical boatmen of the Styx, skeletal creatures who ply the oily waters with their skiffs. They frequently arrange ambushes of their passengers, and they dislike leaving the comfort of their ferries. A quick return to their craft is probably the best incentive you can offer.
Advantages: Very little - halfway decent SLAs. Somewhat speedy.
Disadvantages: Fragile, awful in melee, and lacking in options outside of their SLAs, which aren't phenomenal to begin with.
Notable SLAs: Alter Self, Animate Dead, Charm Person, Phantasmal Killer, Poison, and Produce Flame at will.
Final Evaluation: Well, if you're really hurting for a ferry captain to cross some river (and have no other options, which seems unlikely), you might summon one. Mostly they're forgettable. You have so many better options at this point that the Marraenoloth shouldn't even cross your mind.

Yagnoloth
CR: 10
HD: 10
How to get it: None by RAW, likely SM VIII
Role: Brute
Fluff: Possessed of one massive, damaging arm, Yagnoloths are feudal lords and minor tyrants of their realms, though they are despised by nearly every other Yugoloth for their status. They are hulking and brutish, but not dumb or socially inept. Perhaps a small respite from their constant paranoia might be a welcome change of pace.
Advantages: A formidable save DC on their stunning blow makes them halfway decent in melee, though only halfway. Much more durable than their peers in the Yugoloth hierarchy.
Disadvantages: Their weapon-wielding arm is powerful weak, with a crappy attack bonus and pathetic damage. Their breath weapon does 2d6 damage and only affects a 5' cone, which is basically awful. Their only SLA is a pitiful one.
Notable SLAs: Shocking Grasp 3/day.
Final Evaluation: While they're better than the Marraenoloth (though only by virtue of their stunning arm), the Yagnoloth still sucks royally. Don't even think about it. Move on. Nothing to see here.

Monster Manual III
Canoloth
CR: 5
HD: 6
How to get it: None by RAW, likely SM V
Role: Brute
Fluff: Canoloths are dog-like skirmishers and scouts in Yugoloth armies, often having been demoted to the position as punishment for some long-forgotten transgression. They are barely intelligent, preferring to rely on their brutish dispositions and wicked barbed tongues. An easy fiend to manipulate.
Advantages: Pretty beefy. As I've mentioned quite often, I'm a big fan of summons with Blindsight. Their tongue attack is at a decent bonus, can reach out to 20', and can paralyze foes for three to eight minutes on a failed save, the DC of which is respectable. Fairly quick and agile, too. Being immune to sight-based attacks can come in handy if you're going up against a basilisk or a pesky gnome illusionist.
Disadvantages: Not much in the way of other options. Their SLAs have abominable DCs. Their grapple modifier, though not abysmal, isn't great. Their damage is merely okay in comparison to others of their level.
Notable SLAs: Detect Magic, Desecrate, and Cause Fear at will.
Final Evaluation: It's got 20' reach and a paralyzing tongue attack - that's a lot to love right there. Used well, the Canoloth can shut down weak-Fort threats and cause some general havoc on the battlefield. They're not your best damage dealers, but they can disable opponents with ease, leaving them helpless against future assault. Another prime candidate for throwing into a fog or a cloud spell (can you tell I love this tactic yet?).

Mezzoloth
CR: 6
HD: 10
How to get it: None by RAW, likely SM VI
Role: Brute
Fluff: Common foot soldiers, Mezzoloths are far from sophisticated, knowing only endless martial drills and the occasional productive torture session. They're pretty dim and likely prime candidates for fast-talk and complicated, labyrinthine contracts that put them at a disadvantage.
Advantages: Respectable melee combatants, the Mezzoloth also has the advantage of being able to throw down Cloudkills as a softener before rushing in. They also have a hefty HD total for their CR, which makes them a bit more durable than some summons (but also indicates that they're relatively weaker). Surprisingly decent stealth for a bruiser.
Disadvantages: They have no real way of seeing in their own clouds, which diminishes their advantage somewhat.
Notable SLAs: Cause Fear, Produce Flame, See Invisiblity at will, plus Cloudkill and Dispel Magic 2/day.
Final Evaluation: Fairly middling in terms of melee, with subpar casting and nothing much to recommend them. I'd go with a Kyton or an Excruciarch or, hell, a fiendish rhinoceros over the Mezzoloth any day.

Nycaloth
CR: 10
HD: 14
How to get it: None by RAW, likely SM VIII
Role: Brute
Fluff: Aerial skirmishers and flying cavalry, the Nycaloth holds a respected position in the Yugoloth hierarchy. They are savage when enjoined in battle, but prefer to remain distant and observe their foes from the skies until they are needed. They only have average intelligence, however, and tricking them into service shouldn't be too difficult.
Advantages: A hefty attack schedule with either a damaging greataxe or wounding claw strikes. If you ever feel like dropping foes from a great height, they have a quick flight speed and can climb to a point where they can do some damage.
Disadvantages: A relatively useless and sadly limited amount of abilities outside melee.
Notable SLAs: Fear, Invisibility, Mirror Image, and See Invisibility at will.
Final Evaluation: Though they're better than the Vrock in a straight-up scrap, they don't have a lot of options outside pure damage. Eh... better options at this point. Just middling.

Ultroloth
CR: 13
HD: 18
How to get it: None by RAW, likely SM IX (though the Ultroloth is notoriously under-valued in the CR department; I'd change it to at least a 16) or GPB
Role: Caster
Fluff: Ultroloths are scheming tacticians and crafty generals of the Yugoloth forces, the Ultroloths are devious, cunning, and notably lazy. They prefer to coerce their minions into doing their dirty work. They're expert bluffers and manipulators, though not to the extent of a Pit Fiend or a Balor.
Advantages: Great SLAs with a high caster level, Ultroloths can beguile and befuddle their foes while blasting away with all sorts of damaging and debilitating rays. Phenomenal magery, really. Plus, a Hypnotic Gaze, though it likely won't see use with all your other options.
Disadvantages: Pretty damn awful in melee, though why you'd put them in that situation in the first place is beyond me. Tricky binds, too.
Notable SLAs: Gaseous Form, Prying Eyes, Alter Self, Fear, Wall of Fire, Scorching Ray, Ray of Enfeeblement, Ray of Exhaustion, Scrying, See Invisibility, and Suggestion at will, plus Binding, Geas, Enervation, and Mass Suggestion 3/day, plus Symbol of Death 1/day.
Final Evaluation: No DM in his right mind should give you these guys as a summon - they're way too good as magical artillery. Whether its debuffing, control, or straight up blasting you want, the Ultroloth has options to spare. I personally like mixing them in with Devils and using Wall of Fire to create chokepoints - but your foes' fire resistance is likely pretty high at this point. Do keep in mind, too, that like the Balor and the Pit Fiend, Ultroloths are aces in their respective hierarchies, and likely won't tolerate the yoke for long. Revenge comes swiftly to those who offend them.

Monster Manual IV
Corruptor of Fate
CR: 5
HD: 7
How to get it: SM VI
Role: Assassin
Fluff: Corruptors of Fate are mercenary and opportunistic, selling their services to the highest bidder. They are quite happy to serve and in fact prefer to have a patron - they're also noted for not being terribly picky about whom they serve, though they nominally prefer evil lords. Should be an easy sell - just offer them the chance to spread suffering amongst your enemies.
Advantages: Corruptors are super-debuffers, with a cursing attack (leaves the enemy 50% likely to just do nothing), a debuffing gaze, and a permanent unluck effect when others try to damage them. They're also immune to necromantic effects and negative energy, making them helpful in concert with undead or other necromantic strategies.
Disadvantages: Underwhelming in melee, Corruptors aren't likely to do a lot of damage. Weapon Finesse always makes me sad - for a summoner with Augment Summoning, it's often a wasted feat for the fiend.
Notable SLAs: None.
Final Evaluation: While you may not want to summon hordes of them to crawl all over your enemies, a well-placed Corruptor can do wonders to surgically cripple major threats with their curse. Anything with a poor Will save is likely to be fair game - brutes and assassins beware. If you can get a cursed foe to concentrate on the Corruptor itself, even better - if they do get to act, they'll always be taking the worst of two rolls anyway. A fine choice for twisting destiny to your advantage.

Voor (normal and Dreadful Lasher)
CR: 4, 9
HD: 5, 15
How to get it: SM IV, SM VIII
Role: Brute
Fluff: Nasty, vicious, and dull, the wannabe xenomorph Voors are bred as guardians, like hideous daemonic rottweilers. They are only capable of comprehending simple commands, but they follow orders given by stronger creatures without question. They are willing to wait quite a long time to spread slaughter and havoc - perhaps you will afford them that opportunity.
Advantages: Six attacks a round at a more than respectable bonus for their level, the Voor is a veritable spinning murder top in melee. 20' reach with their tentacles (30' for the Lasher), Combat Reflexes and they can Rend if they hit with both of their claw attacks. Decent grapple score, too - +38 for the Lasher!
Disadvantages: Blindsense, not Blindsight, which just pulls the rug out from underneath fog-based tactics (sooo disappointing). Strict readings of RAW also give it a 50% miss chance, as it cannot actually see its foes. Middling AC and HP. Who really cares if they give off no natural scent, either?
Notable SLAs: None.
Final Evaluation: Love the voor. Love it. It has so much damage potential. It makes even blasting wizards look wimpy in comparison - two of them in tandem can just tear things apart. Hell, even one of them is a serious menace. If you can convince your DM to let you summon the Dreadful Lasher variety later definitely take that one too, as it's one of the best melee combatants at that power level - bigger, badder, and more full of tentacled, spiky death for your enemies. The voor is a great melee choice - probably one of the best. Unless, of course, it has a 50% miss chance on all its attacks, in which case, it becomes significantly less useful - even so, it's still worth summoning.

Fiend Folio
Piscoloth
CR: 9
HD: 9
How to get it: SM VII
Role: Minion
Fluff: Piscoloths are drill sergeants and minor troop commanders in Yugoloth armies - they are minor thugs and enforcers, thriving on what little authority they're given. Despite their imperious nature, they're quite stupid and easily manipulated.
Advantages: Eleven attacks a round is nice, though only three of them do any damage - the other eight can only paralyze. Hit enough times and something will eventually fail a save - it's a DC of 18, which isn't great but isn't awful, either. Decent SLAs. All-around vision might come in handy.
Disadvantages: Pathetic attack bonus for their level means that the paralyzing tentacles will rarely hit, making their utility less than paramount. Oddly slow in the water.
Notable SLAs: Blink, Fear, Scare, and See Invisibility at will, plus Meld Into Stone, Stinking Cloud, and Phantasmal Killer 3/day.
Final Evaluation: I could see them being used for ambush tactics in dungeons and caves with their stone-melding abilities. If you consider their CR to be accurate (which I do not), they're a decent deal for SM VII, though far from spectacular. If you're looking to capture your quarry rather than kill them, they'd be a good choice - but that's about it.

Skereloth
CR: 3
HD: 4
How to get it: SM IV
Role: Minion
Fluff: These wretched, twisted creatures are the lowest of the low in Yugoloth armies - they are cowardly and sniveling, used only for the easiest of infiltration and scouting duties. They'll bend like twigs to your commands.
Advantages: Four attacks per round plus sneak attack seems like it'd be decent. Fairly high AC and a burrow speed, plus high stealth skills.
Disadvantages: Middling attack bonus and pathetic damage, even with four attacks per round. Their Cringe ability just tricks an opponent into thinking that they're not worth the time and effort to kill - but you want opponents concentrating on your summons, not others.
Notable SLAs: Daze and Jump at will, plus Burning Hands and Expeditious Retreat 3/day.
Final Evaluation: "Other yugoloths regard Skereloths as weak and useless." You should too. Pitiful in combat, and you have much better scouting options available to you at this level. Pass.

Stormwrack
Echinoloth
CR: 8
HD: 8
How to get it: SM VIII
Role: Minion
Fluff: Rear guards of advancing Yugoloths, Echinoloths are often assigned mop-up duty due to their relentless nature and vast love of shredding things to tiny bits. They're too dim to know when they're in a losing proposition - they'll likely succumb to your wiles.
Advantages: Tremorsense...? Rend and Infernal Wound... might add up? Nawww. Seriously, Echinoloths suck.
Disadvantages: Awful melee abilities for their level. Their Nauseating Aura has a woeful DC. Low AC and DR means they're chewed up like nothing at this point.
Notable SLAs: None.
Final Evaluation: Reality check: the Voor (which fills the exact same niche) has a slightly lower attack bonus, more attacks, and does roughly the same damage for a spell four levels lower. That alone should make you cringe at the prospect of ever summoning an Echinoloth. If you really need a tentacle beast at this level, use the Dreadful Lasher version of the Voor - same CR, so much better.

Dragon Magazine
Battleloth (arrow, axe, crossbow, pick, spiked chain, and sword; Issue #306)
CR: 1, 2, 2, 2, 3, 3
HD: 1, 3, 4, 2, 3, 3
How to get it: None by RAW, likely SM II, SM III, SM III, SM III, SM IV, and SM IV
Role: Minion
Fluff: These foul, mischievous creatures were created for a war long gone, and now act as mercenaries. They are literal tools for their masters - they all can take the form of certain weapons. They are sly and manipulative, but fairly weak and likely easily commanded.
Advantages: The Arrow Battleloth has a very fast fly speed with perfect maneuverability at a very low level, making it a good aerial scout. The Crossbow 'loth is okay in weapon form, as it confers Precise Shot and reloads itself. It also can act as a rogue replacement with ranks in Disable Device and Open Lock. They all have DR at a very low level, which can come in handy. They can also function as low-level magic weapons, though you have better spells for that.
Disadvantages: They're all fairly weak in combat and quite fragile, even for their level. The Axe and Pick 'loths are especially useless.
Notable SLAs: None.
Final Evaluation: Only the Arrow and Crossbow 'loths are useful at all, and really then only at extremely low levels. They don't pass the bar in combat, so skip 'em.
« Last Edit: January 08, 2011, 10:09:56 AM by Gnorman » Logged
Gnorman
Domesticated Capuchin Monkey
**
Posts: 111


I'm a monster. Rawr.


« Reply #7 on: August 28, 2009, 05:21:04 AM »

Other Fiendish Creatures, Part I


"Mortals. Think the planes are your own personal playground. Not quite, fleshling. There are creatures out there far beyond your ken - and most of them are hungry."

- Bakasura, rakshasa rajah, moments before devouring a careless acolyte.

Now we hit the true miscellany of the guide, creatures from all over the lower planes that don't fit into any established hierarchy. Whether roaming the colliding cubes of Acheron or swirling through the winds of Pandemonium, the denizens of the lower planes are as unpredictable as their surroundings. Sadly, many of these creatures pale in comparison to more conventional fiends, but there are a few hidden gems amongst the crowd. There are also a few contiguous groups here not large enough to warrant their own sections, like the Rakshasa, Demodands, and the Quori. Despite the duds, there's still nothing quite like riding into battle on the back of a Nightmare.


Monster Manual I
Achaierai
CR: 5
HD: 6
How to get it: SM V
Role: Brute
Fluff: These cruel birds are natives of Acheron, where they form rudimentary communities and seek out prey. They distinctly enjoy torture - perhaps the suffering of your opponents will be a nice little hanging carrot.
Advantages: They do great damage with two claw attacks and a formidable bite. Spring Attack and speed helps, too. They spew a toxic cloud that damages foes and drives them temporarily insane. All of its potential is boosted by Augment Summoning - they only really rely on Strength and Constitution.
Disadvantages: No DR and only a fair HP pool means they die quickly.
Notable SLAs: None.
Final Evaluation: Not a bad choice for throwing down in melee, actually. And driving your enemies insane is always fun. The Achaierai gets a thumbs up from me - not way up, but still up.

Barghest (normal and greater)
CR: 4, 5
HD: 6, 9
How to get it: None by RAW, likely SM V, SM VI
Role: Overlord
Fluff: These lupine fiends exist only to consume the corpses of humanoids, growing in power and malevolence. Offering them an all-you-can-eat buffet will probably temper their hatred of you.
Advantages: Not too awful in melee. Helpful stealth/social skills, plus a selection of SLAs you won't find anywhere else. Greater Barghests are a straight up improvement and are quite useful as buffers and minor damage dealers.
Disadvantages: Only okay in melee, only just decent SLAs. You won't fine much use for Misdirection or Rage. Mass Bull's Strength is also useless for you.
Notable SLAs: Blink, Levitate, Misdirection, and Rage at will, plus Charm Monster and Crushing Despair 1/day. Greater Barghests add Invisibility Sphere at will, plus Mass Bull's Strength and Mass Enlarge 1/day.
Final Evaluation: Barghests are okay at everything, but not great at anything. Greater Barghests are a step up, but only just. They can beef up a summoned army, but aren't all that effective by themselves. Binding a Barghest and letting it feed seems like a sound option.

Basilisk, Greater Abyssal
CR: 12
HD: 18
How to get it: None by RAW, likely SM IX
Role: Minion
Fluff: These are basilisks. But Greater. And Abyssal. Think guard dogs in abyssal courts, perhaps bloodhounds. Easily enslaved.
Advantages: The stereotypical basilisk ability - petrifying gaze. Bit of a damage soak.
Disadvantages: HD/CR split is real unfriendly for binds. Slow. Poor in melee. Low AC. You're praying for an autofail on the petrifying gaze's save, because that's basically the only way that it ever works.
Notable SLAs: None.
Final Evaluation: Don't ever bind one. Don't even summon them. Don't even think about thinking about using them. So bad.

Genie, efreeti
CR: 8
HD: 10
How to get it: None by RAW, likely SM VIII
Role: Caster
Fluff: Efreet are cruel, domineering genies from the Plane of Fire. They absolutely hate serving mortals, and will likely devise all manner of gruesome revenge on you if you're not careful.
Advantages: It can grant wishes. Three a day, to be precise. But that's a whole different debate. Even without Wish, it has useful SLAs, good skills, and is very manueverable.
Disadvantages: Disappointing in melee and relatively fragile. No DR and vulnerable to cold.
Notable SLAs: Produce Flame, Pyrotechnics, and Scorching Ray at will, plus Invisibility and Wall of Fire 3/day, plus Gaseous Form, Permanent Image, and Polymorph 1/day.
Final Evaluation: Any DM who lets you summon a wish-granting efreet is off his rocker. It's an easy way to break the game into tiny little pieces. If you have a sane DM, the efreet might still be useful - Permanent Image is handy, and the other SLAs make it a semi-capable blaster in a pinch.

Githyanki
CR: 1
HD: 1
How to get it: None by RAW, likely SM II
Role: Minion
Fluff: Githyanki are cruel, militaristic people who cruise the Astral Plane hunting illithid and githzerai. They are intelligent and tactical, but their aggression and poor judgment may give you an angle.
Advantages: Even 1st level warriors carry masterwork greatswords, giving them good damage potential. High HP for their level. They even have SR, though it's quite low.
Disadvantages: Low will saves.
Notable SLAs: Daze and Mage Hand as PLAs, 3/day, with more abilities (like Telekinesis and Blur) in higher levels.
Final Evaluation: Better fighters than the Tiefling due to the CON bonus, they're a good choice for melee class levels. Great damage potential at SM II.

Hell Hound (normal and Nessian)
CR: 3, 9
HD: 4, 12
How to get it: SM III, SM VIII
Role: Assassin
Fluff: Hell hounds are native to Acheron, serving fiends and powerful mortals as guard dogs. They are not extremely cunning, but they are smarter than your average bear. Err. Dog.
Advantages: They're summonable at a relatively low level for their CR. They do a fair bit of damage, are extremely stealthy and have great senses. Fiery breath, too. Potential trackers.
Disadvantages: Fire breath does middling damage, is easily resisted and has a long recharge time. Compared to benchmark SM III choices, they are much less capable in melee.
Notable SLAs: None.
Final Evaluation: A decent, if curious, choice. The Nessian warhound version, while bigger and ostensibly badder, is worse for its level than its little brother.

Howler
CR: 3
HD: 6
How to get it: SM IV
Role: Manipulator
Fluff: Native to Pandemonium, Howlers are horrifying quill beasts that do not speak, only howl. Probably easy to command.
Advantages: Quick and relatively capable in melee. Combat Reflexes and 10' reach. But the real beauty is in the quills: each quill provides a cumulative -1 on attacks, saves, and skill/ability checks. That's a fine debuff.
Disadvantages: Not all that durable with middling CON and no DR. The Reflex DC on the quills isn't spectacular. Howl does nothing for you and could even hurt you.
Notable SLAs: None.
Final Evaluation: All about the quills. Don't bind one - just summon them for those big bad fights where you need to really cripple one specific opponent. They'll make your job easier.

Night Hag
CR: 9
HD: 8
How to get it: SM IX
Role: Caster
Fluff: Native to Hades, Night Hags are the harvesters and merchants of soul larvae. They deal equally with all other fiends (at least as equally as their love of profit allows). You'll likely have to entice them with the souls of evil people (they were going to the Hells anyway, right?).
Advantages: Nothing about them is unique or particularly advantageous. Etherealness is okay. Passably durable. But the best thing that can be said about the Night Hag is that it can Polymorph into something else. Their Heartstone is potentially useful, if you can get your hands on it.
Disadvantages: Awful in melee. Mostly-useless SLAs. A real cipher when it comes to useful abilities.
Notable SLAs: Magic Missile, Polymorph, Sleep and Etherealness at will.
Final Evaluation: Can't think of many good reasons to summon one, not when you have other choices and so many of the others are better than this. And are lower level spells. Skip.

Nightmare (normal and Cauchemar)
CR: 5, 11
HD: 6, 15
How to get it: None by RAW, likely SM V, SM IX
Role: Assassin/Brute
Fluff: Nightmares are intelligent fiendish horses from Hades. Though iconic as mounts, they are notoriously choosy about who can and cannot climb aboard. Particularly powerful (you) and evil (fake it) individuals will be accepted as riders.
Advantages: They do decent damage for their level, are durable, and very mobile. They can emit a cone of blinding hot smoke and ash as a free action every round, and they have automatic concealment to anything more than 10' away. Etherealness and Astral Projection for them and their riders at CL 20 - great for stealth, evasion, and utility purposes.
Disadvantages: No DR or SR. If you're not using it as a mount, you're not using it to its full potential.
Notable SLAs: Etherealness and Astral Projection at will.
Final Evaluation: Great as a summon if you need a mount or if you're looking to make a Narzugon particularly fearsome. Brilliant as a bind if you're looking to cruise the Transitive Planes. Cauchemars are sized for Large riders and not a huge step above the base creature. But the basic version is great. Ride in style - ride a Nightmare.

Planetouched, tiefling
CR: 1/2
HD: 1
How to get it: None by RAW, likely SM I
Role: Minion
Fluff: Tieflings are simply humans with fiendish ancestry.
Advantages: Good stat bonuses for rogues, wizards, really any DEX or INT-based class. CHA penalty makes them easier to deal with.
Disadvantages: Likely have their own agendas, goals, missions, etc. that will conflict with yours.
Notable SLAs: None.
Final Evaluation: I mention Tieflings not so much because you want to summon a 1st level Warrior (although they're certainly competitive at that level), but because you could feasibly summon Tieflings with class levels. Potential here is only limited by your creativity (and your DM).

Rakshasa
CR: 10
HD: 7
How to get it: None by RAW, likely SM VIII
Role: Caster
Fluff: Rakshasas are a scheming, sly group of feline fiends said to originally hail from Acheron. They are now scattered across the planes and are powerful, confident sorcerers. They're quite charismatic and sneaky - beware.
Advantages: They cast as 7th level sorcerers. Great infiltrators with high Bluff, Disguise, and permanent Detect Thoughts. Phenomenal DR - 15/good and piercing. Somewhat stealthy.
Disadvantages: Middling in melee and a subpar HP total. No elemental immunities or resistances to speak of. Bad as binds - by the time Improved Calling kicks in, you'll want to be looking into higher HD creatures.
Notable SLAs: None, but they have sorcerer casting, which typically includes spells like Haste, Suggestion, Invisibility, and Silent Image.
Final Evaluation: Rakshasas are a niche pick - you'll not want to spend an eigth level spell to get some extra third level spells. But they're capable infiltrators. But infiltration takes more time than they have on a summon, and you'll have better choices for a bind. Possibly useful, but likely not.

Salamander (flamebrother, average, and noble)
CR: 3, 6, 10
HD: 4, 9, 15
How to get it: None by RAW, likely SM IV, VI, and VIII
Role: Minion
Fluff: These natives of the Plane of Fire are self-involved, cruel, and enjoy tormenting and torturing other beings. Their legions are organized and disciplined. Approaching them with a military bearing might appeal to their sense of order.
Advantages: Extra fire damage might come in handy against foes weak to the element. Really not a whole lot to love here.
Disadvantages: Weak in melee all around, DR that is easily bypassed, and poor HP. Vulnerable to cold. The noble salamander's SLAs are very limited thematically and mechanically. Their Constrict ability is limited by their poor grapple modifier.
Notable SLAs: Noble only: Burning Hands, Fireball, Flaming Sphere, and Wall of Fire, plus Dispel Magic 1/day.
Final Evaluation: No iteration of the salamander is powerful enough to compete at the level at which it is summoned. If by some random chance a Craft (blacksmith) check is required, that would be the only situation in which they'd be useful.

Shadow Mastiff
CR: 5
HD: 4
How to get it: SM V
Role: Assassin
Fluff: These baying hounds hail from the Plane of Shadow, and stalk the night for any available prey. They're just barely above animal intelligence, so likely to fall for any tricks you can throw their way.
Advantages: Its ability to Bay can evoke panic in an extremely large radius - 300' to be exact. They can gain total concealment in shadowy areas and are respectably sneaky.
Disadvantages: One middling attack. No DR, SR, or resistances, so they're gonna die at the drop of a hat.
Notable SLAs: None.
Final Evaluation: Eh. Yeth Hounds can Bay and fly (though the Shadow Mastiff's DC is higher). Fiendish dire wolves are better at tripping. Pass, unless you're constructing some sort of planar kennel.

Slaad, Death
CR: 13
HD: 15
How to get it: None by RAW, likely SM IX
Role: Overlord
Fluff: Death Slaadi are Limbo toads that have been tainted by evil, warped into killing machines rather than... okay, all Slaadi are killing machines, but these ones are worse. As creatures of pure chaos they'll likely look to break any agreements they make, just for funsies.
Advantages: Capable combatants, the Death Slaad is nonetheless all about the SLAs. They have decent DR, Fast Healing, and a respectable HP total. Sonic immunity.
Disadvantages: All of their feats are combat-based, which chafes a bit when you realize that they're not stellar in melee.
Notable SLAs: Animate Objects, Dispel Magic, Fear, Finger of Death, Fireball, Fly, Invisibility, See Invisibility, and Shatter at will, plus Circle of Death, Cloak of Chaos, and Word of Chaos 3/day, plus Implosion and Power Word Blind 1/day.
Final Evaluation: Finger of Death at will? Implosion 1/day on a creature that has a CR low enough to be considered a legitimate summon? I think the Death Slaad's CR is severely underestimated. Which means it's fantastic for you - few creatures at SM IX have such fine SLAs. Thumbs up.

Vargouille
CR: 2
HD: 1
How to get it: None by RAW, likely SM III
Role: Minion
Fluff: These shrieking heads haunt the depths of Carceri, hoping to spread their foul filth and produce more of their kind. Far too weak and dumb to put up a fight - just command them.
Advantages: Low-level flyers can come in handy. The Vargouille's shriek can paralyze your foes, which is excellent.
Disadvantages: Pitiful poison and Kiss is useless in combat (though it might be decent as an interrogation tool). They don't do a lot of damage and are easily swatted from the sky. Weapon Finesse, bleh.
Notable SLAs: None.
Final Evaluation: Eh. For the same price you can summon a Nashrou, which is mounds better in combat, though not quite as mobile. Vargouilles don't cut it.

Xill
CR: 6
HD: 5
How to get it: SM VI
Role: Brute
Fluff: Whether savage or civilized, these Ethereal Plane natives are always malevolent and thrill in causing pain. They are not especially smart, so even an unlikeable summoner should be able to bend them to their will.
Advantages: Four attacks per round, with a bite that paralyzes for 1d4 hours. Exceptional SR for their level.
Disadvantages: Those four attacks are at a pathetic bonus, and do little damage. The paralyzing venom requires you to maintain a successful grapple first - while they do have Improved Grab, they also have a grapple modifer of +7. No DR, only average HP, and no resistances to speak of make them quite fragile.
Notable SLAs: None.
Final Evaluation: The xill is a prime candidate for replacing - not only is it a woeful combatant, it is replaced by the amnizu. With nothing to recommend it and competing directly with a great choice, the xill is right out.

Yeth Hound
CR: 3
HD: 3
How to get it: SM IV
Role: Minion
Fluff: Yeth hounds are nocturnal predators from Hades, soaring low to find prey. They do not speak, so won't be in a position to bargain. Just bark orders at them like you would your precious widdle poodle.
Advantages: A good flight speed, decent DR for their level, and Bay, which can really cause some widespread panic if you send it over an enemy encampment, for example.
Disadvantages: Only one middling attack. The DC on Bay is dreadfully low.
Notable SLAs: None.
Final Evaluation: Fiendish dire wolves at this level are much better. If you need Bay or the flight speed, the yeth hound might be decent, but likely it's a summon you won't bring out of the stable very often - or at all.

Monster Manual II
Bladeling
CR: 1
HD: 1
How to get it: None by RAW, likely SM II
Role: Minion
Fluff: Bladelings are xenophobic and suspicious of everyone they meet. They are fierce combatants, as they hail from the plane of eternal warfare, Acheron. Treat them as you would any common sell-sword.
Advantages: Decent natural armor for their level. Immunity to acid, some DR and fire resistance. They also can emit a cone of razor-sharp shrapnel, giving you a halfway-decent blast at low levels.
Disadvantages: Fairly nondescript in all other ways - unexceptional HP, melee abilities, etc.
Notable SLAs: None.
Final Evaluation: The Bladeling's another good candidate for class levels when summoned. Still, the tiefling's a better deal for most things that the Bladeling might be suited for - so unless you want a cloud of shrapnel or need to take an acid bath, skip 'em.

Dune Stalker
CR: 9 (Vastly inflated)
HD: 6
How to get it: None by RAW, likely SM VIII
Role: Assassin
Fluff: Dune Stalkers are murderous creatures that roam the Plane of Earth and occasionally Hades. They despise the Material Plane, and seek to make their stays there as short as possible. This translates into literal mindset when they follow your orders - on the plus side, if you're careful with your words, they won't directly disobey you.
Advantages: Decent trackers. High SR and DR for the level. Kiss of Death can be an instant kill.
Disadvantages: Awful in melee, with just one little slam attack. Kiss of Death has a fairly low DC (and does not mention what attribute it is based on - push for CON to boost it a little). Shout's useless.
Notable SLAs: Jump at will, plus Shout 3/day.
Final Evaluation: MMII is notorious for poorly-assigned CRs. No way the Dune Stalker is a challenge to a level 9 party. Nor will it be a challenge to your enemies when you summon it. Unless you really want to try and force the Kiss of Death, I'd stay away.

Ethereal Slayer
CR: 12 (Don't believe this one either)
HD: 16
How to get it: None by RAW, likely SM IX
Role: Assassin (but not a good one)
Fluff: Carnivorous bugs that ambush people from the Ethereal. Slayer is a misnomer, as they don't seem very effective at actually killing anything.
Advantages: It has a decent attack bonus, hitting much more often than other summons at the SM IX level. Stealthy.
Disadvantages: Poor melee, poor CON, poor almost everything. Won't ever kill anything at this level, unless you give it a long time to chip away.
Notable SLAs: Detect Magic and Dimensional Anchor at will.
Final Evaluation: We're hitting a common problem with MMII - the Fiendish Codices updated CRs for devils and demons in this book, but the other evil outsiders are seriously misrepresented in the CR department. The Ethereal Slayer is a walking crap sack. Avoid.

Rukarazyll
CR: 14
HD: 12
How to get it: None by RAW, maybe SM IX
Role: Caster/Assassin
Fluff: Cruel tricksters from the Plane of Earth, Rukarazylls thrive on sowing discord among mortals. As such, they're used to manipulation - make sure that they understand exactly where trickery will get them - the deadbook.
Advantages: Excellent infiltrators. Quick and mobile, with Evasion and the ability to take 10 on balance, tumble, and climb checks. Good, semi-rare SLAs. Fungus can reduce a creature's reflexes and agility. Good DR and decent SR.
Disadvantages: Just straight up awful in melee, outside of their Fungus ability (which can take longer to take effect than most combats last, depending on the size of the target). No elemental resistances. Mildly difficult to bend to your will
Notable SLAs: Alter Self, Blur, Cat's Grace, Entangle, Mirror Image, Plant Growth, Snare, and Telekinesis at will, plus Polymorph 3/day, plus Command Plants, Contagion, Heal, and Wall of Thorns 1/day.
Final Evaluation: Occupying the same niche as the Vathugu (weird fungus creature), the Rukarazyll offers druid-like casting that can fill in a spell gap if needed. I like the Vathugu better because it can fight - the Rukarazyll is one of the worst choices for melee.

Vaporhigu
CR: 9
HD: 10
How to get it: None by RAW, likely SM VIII
Role: Brute
Fluff: Vaporhigu are slimy fiends native to Gehenna. They constantly hunger but can never sate their gluttony. Still, the promise of food might be enough for them to fight by your side - but beware them looking to make you their next meal.
Advantages: Their corrosive slime can melt away equipment, while their poisonous breath is a heavy hitter - at a Fort DC of 20, it offers acid damage, paralysis, and CON damage. That's a potent combination. If you bind it, it can summon a Night Hag once per day, which isn't great but is another body to throw in the fray.
Disadvantages: Poison immunity shuts its breath down cold, and it's easily saved against. That leaves them with a pitiful slam attack, SLAs that won't see much use, and a weak fear aura. They are notably clumsy and their HP isn't stellar.
Notable SLAs: Animate Objects, Deep Slumber, Enlarge Person, Fly, Mislead, and Produce Flame at will.
Final Evaluation: Man, does this thing have a random assortment of abilities or what? Still, I like its breath - though it's limited, it lingers.

Monster Manual III
Astral Stalker
CR: 12
HD: 12
How to get it: None by RAW, likely SM IX
Role: Brute/Assassin
Fluff: Remember Predator? Astral Stalkers are almost literally, trait-for-trait the D&D versions of them. They abide by the Rules of the Hunt. They seek the ultimate quarry: intelligent, capable prey. They are notoriously honorable, so trap 'em in a nice ironclad contract.
Advantages: With their high strength, durability, and mobility, they're not bad in a scrap. They get profane bonuses to saving throws and AC, with Sneak Attack and Evasion. Great spies and trackers. Very high AC for their level.
Disadvantages: Only two attacks per round, and they don't do much damage. Their sneak attack is only 2d6. Their paralyzing poison doesn't last very long. No SR at all, and shoddy DR.
Notable SLAs: None.
Final Evaluation: Solid, if uninspired. You've got monsters at this level that do their jobs much better. The only niche the Astral Stalker might fill is that of tracker - they do that job very well with Swift Tracker.

Gloom Golem
CR: 7
HD: 8
How to get it: None by RAW, likely SM VII
Role: Manipulator/Brute
Fluff: Gloom golems, twisted pain factories roaming Hades, exist only to spread misery to all they touch. They have no intelligence score (so you can't bind them) so they're easily ordered and controlled.
Advantages: Construct immunities are handy. They can attack with a spiked chain, doing hefty damage. It's a walking debuff, too, and can drain Charisma.
Disadvantages: Poor attack bonus for the level. Not a lot of bonus HP. Its Crushing Despair ability is easily shut down.
Notable SLAs: None.
Final Evaluation: If you need a construct, it's one of a very limited pool. But it's not great. Still, if you don't want to hold out for the retriever, hate hellish siege towers, and really need a golem, it's... your only other option.

Mivilorn
CR: 11
HD: 24
How to get it: None by RAW, likely SM IX
Role: Brute
Fluff: These gigantic puppies are native to Pandemonium, where they act as apex predators in the wind-swept wilds of the plane. They're often used as mounts by demons, as they are vicious and voracious. But they're still dogs - they obey their masters.
Advantages: One hell of a tank, with massive damage on their bite attack. One of the best grapple scores in your lineup, plus Swallow Whole. Charging Bite is a great boon when looking to grapple - though it offers the targets a save, it can potentially automatically swallow two medium creatures.
Disadvantages: Not actually evil, so if you're a Malconvoker, your abilities won't kick in. Their acid breath is nigh useless. No DR (though with their HP total, that's less of an issue).
Notable SLAs: None.
Final Evaluation: Walking, barking, biting walls of hit points. That's pretty much the Mivilorn's job - to soak up damage normally meant for you or your party members. They are also capable grapplers, with the size and abilities to pull it off. Their HD total means they're unbindable without Implore, so get used to them as a limited time offer.

Odopi
CR: 14
HD: 20
How to get it: None by RAW, maybe SM IX
Role: Brute
Fluff: The Odopi is a bristle of twisted arms and claws. Powerful masters can cow them into service, though they chafe under the yoke. As long as their master provides them with targets to tear apart, however, they'll be sated.
Advantages: Decent damage with their singular claw attack. Their Swallow Whole ability, while not stellar, automatically re-grapples the enemy when they manage to cut their way out. Decent Trample - it can grapple while trampling.
Disadvantages: Man, only 5' reach on a Huge creature? That sucks. Just one attack. Ranged options are pretty lackluster. Their SLAs aren't anything to get excited about, either.
Notable SLAs: Feather Fall at will, plus Dimension Door 3/day, plus True Seeing 1/day.
Final Evaluation: Looking at the Mivilorn above, the Odopi barely beats out a lower-CR creature in the same niche. It's kind of a toss-up - more offensive capability with the Mivilorn or defenses and senses with the Odopi. Of course, the Odopi is evil while the Mivilorn is not, so if you're a Malconvoker, the choice is much clearer.

Rakshasa, Ak'chazar
CR: 15
HD: 17
How to get it: GPB
Role: Caster/Manipulator
Fluff: Ak'chazar are undisputed necromantic masters. They are intelligent and plan carefully, avoiding combat and using their minions wherever they can. Like all rakshasa, they are scheming and manipulative, though relatively trustworthy. They at least operate with structures and rules in place, giving you an advantage when it comes time to hammer out an agreement.
Advantages: All kinds of useful necromantic abilities: they rebuke as a 20th level cleric, emit a wave that causes the shaken condition and Inflict Moderate Wounds, and they have a bevy of undead-creating SLAs. On top of that, they have 12th level sorcerer casting focusing on necromancy and enchantment. Useful skills, mostly concentrating on social and stealth. Good DR; phenomenal SR.
Disadvantages: Terrible in melee, though you'd never want to put it in direct combat. A difficult bind, with high CHA and Sense Motive. Their Pain Wave ability requires them to be within 20' of those to be affected, and you won't want them that close.
Notable SLAs: Animate Undead 3/day, plus Control Undead and Create Undead 2/day, plus Create Greater Undead, Trap the Soul, and Magic Jar 1/day. Typical sorcerer spells include Disintegrate, Teleport, Enervation, Confusion, Dominate Person, Suggestion, Touch of Idiocy, Ray of Exhaustion, Ray of Enfeeblement, and others.
Final Evaluation: Another fine example of a summoner being able to make an entire class archetype (the necromancer) obsolete, the ak'chazar rakshasa is a great choice. They make excellent debuffers and snipers, but necromancy's the real allure. If you need an army of undead (or if you need to fight one), they should be your go-to guys.

Rakshasa, Naztharune
CR: 11
HD: 11
How to get it: None by RAW, likely SM IX
Role: Assassin
Fluff: Naztharune are the assassins and spies of the rakshasa, silently eliminating high-priority targets. They are more subdued than other rakshasa, preferring to remain in the background. They are greedy for gold and magic items, however, being able to choke down their contempt if the profit's good enough.
Advantages: Like the Dogai and the Kelvezu, the Naztharune is a high-level rogue. It has Improved Evasion, Improved Uncanny Dodge, 6d6 sneak attack, and Hide in Plain Sight. Great DR.
Disadvantages: Two-weapon fighting makes it a poorer fighter than the Dogai. Notably less stealthy, as well. It's not all that durable if its DR is bypassed.
Notable SLAs: None.
Final Evaluation: I'd rate them as slightly above the Dogai, but definitely worse than the Kelvezu. If your DM allows you to summon a Kelvezu, they have the superior damage potential and are probably the right pick for a rogue-like. But if not, you're essentially picking between higher stealth and attack bonus with the Dogai, or (slightly) better damage and defenses with the Naztharune. I'm inclined to lean towards the Dogai, but the Naztharune has its moments.

Rejkar
CR: 5
HD: 5
How to get it: None by RAW, likely SM V
Role: Caster/Manipulator
Fluff: Rejkars are intelligent, goat-like creatures from Baator. They enjoy setting themselves up as idols in mortal societies, bending them to their will. They're much smarter than they look, so don't let their feral appearance deceive you.
Advantages: They can freeze others with a glance, and have a unique selection of SLAs. Powerful Charge can rack up a good bit of damage. Skilled, too, with three separate craft skills.
Disadvantages: Easily bypassed DR. Vulnerability to fire. Middling damage when not charging. Their freezing glance is too easy to get out of.
Notable SLAs: Crushing Despair, Fabricate, and Rage at will, plus Major Image 3/day, plus Augury 1/week.
Final Evaluation: I suppose you could bind yourself your own private foundry, what with their skills in smithing and carpentry. Or have a nice meal once a week. But seriously, no to the Rejkar. Weird skills that don't come into play very often and niche SLAs make them a situational choice.

Shrieking Terror (five-headed and ten-headed)
CR: 10, 13
HD: 15, 20
How to get it: None by RAW, likely SM VIII, SM IX
Role: Brute
Fluff: Some wizards have too much time on their hands. Owlbears. Wolf-spiders. Somewhere along the line, someone thought it was a good idea to cross vargouilles with hydras. They sometimes act as troops for demodands, but mostly just fly around devouring all they can. Too stupid to reason with - just command them.
Advantages: Lots of attacks per round and Pounce. Their paralyzing shriek has a formidable DC (which increases with the number of heads) and a 60' range. Fast Healing and regrowing heads make them difficult to kill - only fire or acid can cauterize the stumps.
Disadvantages: Despite their high number of attacks, they do little damage. Kiss is basically useless, as is the poison that comes with their bites. Shriek is a mind-affecting fear affect, which can easily be shut down.
Notable SLAs: None.
Final Evaluation: While it might seem nice to throw a regenerating, multiheaded horror at your enemies, I don't find the Shrieking Terror to be a good choice. They just don't cause enough ruination - other choices are just as durable and much better in melee. Still, the shrieking is decent.

Monster Manual IV
Demonhive (attendant, swarm, and queen)
CR: 2, 2, 6
HD: 3, 3, 8
How to get it: None by RAW, likely SM III, SM III, and SM VI
Role: Minions
Fluff: Infernal hornets, demonhives have spread throughout the lower planes and cause havoc wherever they swarm. They are of animal intelligence and will likely need no manipulation.
Advantages: The swarm is a good debuffer with its Demonic Drone (60', no save), while the attendant is a low-level flyer with three attacks per round. They work much better in concert with each other.
Disadvantages: None of them do great damage, although the queen has a formidable bite. Still, the queen is relatively useless - its sonic scream only works when around demonet swarms, and it's too ponderous to be a heavy hitter.
Notable SLAs: None.
Final Evaluation: The swarm might be useful as a debuffing cloud, but I don't like the fact that you need all three elements of the hive to really utilize all of their abilities. The queen is a piece of crap. Avoid them.

Howler Wasp (drone and queen)
CR: 1, 5
HD: 2, 8
How to get it: SM II (by RAW, you must be a cleric with the Chaos domain, though), SM V.
Role: Minion
Fluff: Again with the crossbreeding! This time, Otiluke's to blame, as his experiments produced a vile creature mixing elements of wasps and howler monkeys. They swarmed out of his control and have established their own colonies across Oerth. Likely adaptable to other settings.
Advantages: With either three attacks per round or a poisonous sting, they're quite good in combat. They also have a good fly speed. They can be useful even in death (though since they don't actually die when summoned this is debatable), as they spray a pheromone on their foes that gives all other howler wasps bonuses to attack and damage, plus detection as per blindsight.
Disadvantages: Fairly weak, though Augment Summoning helps out significantly. Their AC is a bit disappointing. Queens can't fly and as such are quite slow.
Notable SLAs: None.
Final Evaluation: Monkey bees! Need I say more? They're not extraplanar, but they are explicitly called out as summonable, so I thought I'd include them anyway. At such a low level, they're quite good. Much better than the giant celestial bee. They don't die after they sting, for one, and they're significantly more intimidating in combat. In fact, they're one of the best SM II's around.

Skiurid
CR: 1/2
HD: 1/2
How to get it: None by RAW, likely SM I
Role: Minion
Fluff: If you ever wanted to control evil squirrels from the Plane of Shadow, now's your chance. They eat nuggets of life force torn from living beings, making them undeniably evil, though they are of animal intellect.
Advantages: They're agile and really really sneaky. Their Chill Darkness ability can damage foes in a respectable radius and drain their strength.
Disadvantages: Awful in melee, doing a maximum of one damage. A stiff breeze might kill them.
Notable SLAs: Darkness, 3/day.
Final Evaluation: Your choices at this level all pretty much suck anyway, so you're not really losing anything by going with shadow squirrels. Depends on whether or not you consider evil squirrels "awesome" or "incredibly stupid."

Windblade (razor and scythe)
CR: 1, 4
HD: 2, 8
How to get it: SM III, SM VI
Role: Assassin
Fluff: These bloodthirsty creatures are the spawn of a deity of slaughter, and enjoy spreading their creator's message - most often at the point of a razor-sharp talon. They revel in battle, which should enlighten you as to what you should offer them.
Advantages: Windrazors get three attacks per round with rend. Both creatures get the Fearsome Critical ability, which shakes up creatures around them when they score a wicked hit. The Windscythe has augmented claws, which are keen and do triple damage on a critical. They're mobile and have Flyby Attack.
Disadvantages: Low AC and HP makes them pretty easy to kill if caught or targeted. No DR, SR, or resistances, either. You'd think as natives of Pandemonium they might have sonic immunity, but no dice.
Notable SLAs: None.
Final Evaluation: If you shifted their summon level down one, they might be worth it. But as is, they're nothing special.

Monster Manual V
Ember Guard
CR: 13
HD: 13
How to get it: None by RAW, likely SM IX
Role: Brute
Fluff: These monstrosities of fire and brass are created by Imix, the Elemental Prince of Fire, to reward his followers. Though hardly more than golems in the mental department, they still hum with a dim malevolence. They follow "just about any order from anyone or anything they see as a legitimate authority." Perhaps you can claim to work on Imix's behalf.
Advantages: Quite difficult to kill, with high AC, HP, and DR. They have a fire breath (at a respectable Reflex DC) that, while not very damaging, also adds a Slow effect to those it hits. They have light fortification. Despite their vulnerability to the element, they still have resistance to cold.
Disadvantages: Only have two attacks per round, and they're relatively low-damage slam attacks with easily-resisted fire damage slathered on top. Vulnerable to cold. Their Death Throes ability doesn't occur when summoned, which would have been nice otherwise.
Notable SLAs: None.
Final Evaluation: Just a big dumb brute, though an effective one. Considering all the other options you have available to you by now, surely you can think of something more creative?
« Last Edit: November 11, 2010, 03:47:29 AM by Gnorman » Logged
Gnorman
Domesticated Capuchin Monkey
**
Posts: 111


I'm a monster. Rawr.


« Reply #8 on: August 28, 2009, 05:21:30 AM »

Other Fiendish Creatures, Part II


"Did you think you could cage the greatest jailor in the planes, fool? The tortures of Othrys' acid swamps will seem like a mercy when I've finished with you."

- Slurgor the Viscous, shator warden, to a surprised hedge wizard.


Monster Manual V, Part II
Ethereal Defiler
CR: 16
HD: 22
How to get it: GPB with both Improved Calling and Infernal Bargainer, or Imbrue.
Role: Caster/Brute
Fluff: Strange, eldritch creatures from beyond the ethereal veil, Defilers exist almost solely to murder and destroy. They're instinctual, unthinking creatures, though they possess a rudimentary cunning.
Advantages: They have a eldritch blast-like ability a la the warlock, making them effective (if somewhat underwhelming) snipers. They can also imbue their claw attacks with the energy. When jumping into the Material, they do a fair bit of damage with their eldritch burst. They're capable in melee, shut down teleportation around them, and have a hefty HP total.
Disadvantages: Though they're quite brutish, they're not all that damaging. Their Tainted Energy blasts can only affect one attack per round (though as a swift action), making it somewhat inferior to other sources of d6's. Poor DR for their level.
Notable SLAs: None.
Final Evaluation: Man, it's like a warlock mini-Godzilla. For all the hoops you have to jump through to bind one, though, you're still better off with a Balor.

Spirrax
CR: 18
HD: 26
How to get it: Implore with Improved Calling and/or Infernal Bargainer
Role: Overlord
Fluff: These nautiloid wanderers roam the planes looking to destroy all life. They are inscrutable and alien, collected and calculating.
Advantages: A goodly number of decent tentacle attacks, plus CON drain upon grappling (and they're great grapplers). Void Blast is great - 30d6 damage in a burst or a long line. Stellar defenses and plenty of HP. A perfect fly speed and Flyby Attack. Blindsense 300', but only for living creatures. Very easily bound.
Disadvantages: Their shell can break, reducing their defenses significantly but giving them two more attacks. Their Indifference Aura is downright useless. Upon their death, they open up a random planar rift, which could really screw you.
Notable SLAs: Plane Shift (self only) at will.
Final Evaluation: Kind of a middling grab-bag, but potentially highly damaging with Void Blast. Only very specific builds are ever going to use one, though, and they're not so great as to warrant building towards their use.

Steelwing
CR: 14
HD: 15
How to get it: None by RAW, maybe SM IX
Role: Brute/Assassin
Fluff: These steely birds are native fauna in Acheron, guarding their eggs ferociously. A number of them have been trained as warbeasts and mounts. Though not evil, they are fierce and brook no theft from their nests nor the murder of their mates.
Advantages: Their razorfeathers are quite nasty - they augment the Steelwing's wing attacks, making them keen. They also do 5d6 damage to any creatures adjacent to the bird, while giving it concealment against all nonadjacent foes. They can also expel them as a 60' cone, doing 15d6 damage. It's all slashing, too, so not as easily resisted as elemental damage. They have DR 15/adamantine (not often bypassed), a great AC and formidable Fast Healing. Steelwings are also fast fliers and have five accurate attacks per round. Immune to cold.
Disadvantages: They're not evil, which screws them up for Malconvokers. Other than that, there's not a whole lot else to snipe at - Steelwings are solid choices. Their damage is a little lackluster, but all the razorfeathers whipping around make up for that.
Notable SLAs: None.
Final Evaluation: Like I said before, quite solid. So much so, in fact, that I'd consider them as a Malconvoker summon even though evil creatures are going to give me a better deal. Of course, as a bind, alignment isn't much of an issue. Really impressive damage potential and respectable defenses make the Steelwing a great choice.

Fiend Folio
Abrian
CR: 1
HD: 2
How to get it: None by RAW, likely SM II
Role: Minion
Fluff: Demonic ostriches. Seriously, how many demonic birds do you really need in an ecology? They roam in packs in the Abyss and other lower planes. Smarter than they look, but they're still fairly dumb.
Advantages: Augmented critical on their beak. Two atacks per round that do acceptable damage.
Disadvantages: Weapon Finesse is a wasted feat for them - Multiattack would be so much better. Relatively fragile.
Notable SLAs: None.
Final Evaluation: It's just not very good. But it's SM II. What did you expect?

Canomorph (harakin, shadurakal, and vultivor)
CR: 5, 11, 9
HD: 4, 10, 8
How to get it: None by RAW, likely SM V, SM IX, and SM VIII
Role: Brute/Assassin
Fluff: Cruel and intensely competitive, canomorphs are fiendish hounds that have learned how to assume human form to further their devious aims. None of them are particularly intelligent or charismatic, but they have a sly cunning. Slippery, shadowy, and untrustworthy.
Advantages: The vultivor has a decent sneak attack. The harakin can rage. The shadurakal wields a nasty spiked chain to good effect. For their other abilities, see the entries for their base creatures (Hell Hound, Shadow Mastiff, and Vorr, respectively).
Disadvantages:  They're heavily martial, so they don't scale well. No DR or SR makes them quite vulnerable.
Notable SLAs: None.
Final Evaluation: Mostly they're just low-level base classes jammed on top of an already-existing creature and called a "unique," which falls into the whole "Monsters with class levels" thing. If you need a low-level fighter, barbarian, or rogue, by all means. But you shouldn't really need one in the first place.

Chronotyryn

CR: 19
HD: 17
How to get it: GPB
Role: Overlord
Fluff: These strange, double-brained birds proclaim themselves to be the masters of time. They are said to be native to Acheron, though now far-flung across the planes. They are arrogant and selfish, but are not said to be particularly cruel or vicious. Likely, they'll be amenable to a mutually profitable deal.
Advantages: Two rounds per round. That's right, they can act twice on each turn. 12th level sorcerer casting (with great picks), great SLAs (including Time Stop!), and a host of metamagic feats, (Quicken, Maximize, Still, and Silent). They are a walking repository of knowledge. They have high resistance to every element, good DR, and daunting SR. Their AC is scary high.
Disadvantages: No good in combat, though you would probably have to be really dumb to try that.
Notable SLAs: Blink, Feeblemind, Greater Teleport at will, plus Displacement and Time Stop 3/day, plus Iron Body, Plane Shift, and Temporal Stasis 1/day. Sorcerer casting typically includes spells like Disintegrate, Cloudkill, Baleful Polymorph, Greater Invisibility, Black Tentacles, Slow, Sleet Storm, Fog Cloud, Obscuring Mist, and Grease.
Final Evaluation: Really, you should have been sold already with dual actions and spellcasting. But unlike most "typical lists," the Chronotyryn's isn't total crap. Instead of loading up on fireballs and lightning bolts (okay, they do know Lightning Bolt), they have a solid collection of useful spells focusing on battlefield control. A great spellcasting bind.

Darkweaver
CR: 10
HD: 9
How to get it: None by RAW, likely SM VIII
Role: Manipulator
Fluff: These arachnoid hunters from the Plane of Shadow made their way to the Material to find more suitable prey. They lie in ambush to sap the strength of foes, caring not for whom or what they devour.
Advantages: Shadow Strands can be effective battlefield control - it shuts down darkvision and blindsight, while forcing your foes to struggle to move any direction other than towards your summon. That's effective tanking power. They have all-around vision and cap sap strength with their bites.
Disadvantages: Awful in melee, their tentacles do terrible damage and their bite is at such a low attack bonus that it'll rarely connect. Their strands are somewhat easy to escape from and Freedom of Movement shuts them down completely.
Notable SLAs: Confusion, Suggestion, Darkness, Tongues, and Web 3/day, plus Shadow Walk 1/day.
Final Evaluation: I like the fact that they can shut down a wide area with their strands, though there are plenty of ways around their abilities. Shutting down blindsight is a rather unique ability, which might come in handy. But they're certainly not going to kill anything on their own - they work best as a screen.

Demodand (farastu, kelubar, and shator)
CR: 11, 13, 15
HD: 11, 13, 16
How to get it: Farastu is summonable by RAW at SM IX (though I'd shift it down to SM VIII), while the kelubar might qualify for SM IX and the shator must be bound by GPB.
Role: Brute, Assasin, Overlord
Fluff: Demodands are foul wardens and caretakers of prisons in Carceri. They are immense, preening, and enjoy bullying weaker creatures. They follow a rather strict hierarchy, however, and refuse to attack one another. They are cruel and domineering, though not savage, and despise serving others. Farastu and kelubar are likely used to being pushed around, while the shator may take a bit more persuasion.
Advantages: The Farastu is a semi-effective melee combatant while raging and is covered in a resinous tar that can disarm opponents and boosts their grapple modifier. The kelubar has sneak attack, damaging acidic slime on their claws, and a nauseating stench. The shator has 8th level sorcerer casting, permanent Mind Blank, and a paralyzing spittle. All Demodands have permanent Freedom of Movement and a complement of SLAs.
Disadvantages: None of them are very impressive in melee, being neither particularly strong nor blessed with vast reserves of hit points. Few of their SLAs end up being useful.
Notable SLAs: All of them have the following: Detect Magic, Clairaudience/Clairvoyence, Fear, Tongues, and Invisibility at will, plus Fog Cloud and Ray of Enfeeblement 2/day, plus Dispel Magic 1/day. Kelubars add Acid Arrow and Spider Climb at will, plus Acid Fog 2/day. Shators add Spider Climb at will, plus Cloudkill and Stinking Cloud 3/day, plus Mass Charm Monster 1/day. Shators' sorcerer casting typically includes spells like Confusion, Fireball, Blink, Hideous Laughter, True Strike, and Enlarge Person.
Final Evaluation: I'm not impressed with their SLAs, nor am I impressed with them in combat. They have a goodly number of cloud and fog spells, but if you're a conjurer (which you should be), you probably do them better. The demodands are middling choices, outdone by your much better options.

Ethergaunt (black, red, and white)
CR: 17, 9, 13
HD: 16, 5, 11
How to get it: None by RAW; GPB, SM VIII, and SM IX
Role: Caster
Fluff: If the stories are to be believed, ethergaunts were once inhabitants of the Material who left for the ranges of the Ethereal Plane. They are now extremely advanced and alien, scoffing at things like religious devotion and emotion. They see mortals as insects to be casually swatted - you'll likely have to prove your importance or intelligence in order to become more than a nuisance in their eyes. Perhaps you could offer one a unique specimen as fodder for their experiments.
Advantages: They all cast as wizards with a level equal to their CR and can become completely immune to all spells under a certain level. They can open their masks to reveal their hideous alien features, draining the mental stats of all those around them. They can also Dominate creatures 3/day and keep them as thralls.
Disadvantages: They can only remain on the Material Plane for one round per HD, after which they require an hour of recharge before they can manifest again. That is a serious problem with binds, though less so with summons. They're also fairly fragile, with low HP totals and no DR. None of them can stand up to anything in melee combat.
Notable SLAs: None, but they all have wizard casting. Typically, they memorize spells like Enervation, Bigby's Crushing Hand, Horrid Wilting, Sunburst, Finger of Death, Prismatic Spray, Project Image, Greater Dispel Magic, Mass Suggestion, Disintegrate, Wall of Force, Feeblemind, Mind Fog, Cone of Cold, Resilient Sphere, Greater Invisibility, Haste, Vampiric Touch, and Glitterdust, plus others.
Final Evaluation: The black ethergaunt might be the best spellcaster available to you. Though the Chronotyryn has an edge with dual actions, the ethergaunt can cast 9th level spells. Reds and whites are useful too, and summonable. Essentially, you're summoning a 9th or 13th level wizard - and that's always a good idea. Add on their unique abilities, and you've got a summon I would normally highly recommend - but that "Can only affect the Material for one round / HD every hour" gives me pause. Most combats won't last that long, but keep it in mind.

Gathra
CR: 10
HD: 9
How to get it: None by RAW, likely SM VIII
Role: Brute
Fluff: These boar-like brutes are are fiendish predators on the blasted fields of Avernus in the Hells, chasing down and devouring any prey they can catch.
Advantages: Decent tanks with reserves of HP and hefty DR.
Disadvantages: They don't do enough damage for my tastes. Most things will save against Bellow at this level. Trample is never a great idea. Very poor reflexes.
Notable SLAs: None.
Final Evaluation: Do you really need a brute at SM VIII? Even if you do, you can easily find something more effective than the Gathra. Skip them.

Kaorti
CR: 1
HD: 2
How to get it: SM II
Role: Caster
Fluff: Once-mortal wizards who pushed into the Far Realm, Kaorti are now a twisted race of their own, mutated and malformed. They exist solely to transform living creatures into their thralls and bring about the rise of the Far Realm. They are alien at best and insane at worst, so deal carefully with them.
Advantages: They have a small selection of SLAs, which is very nice at this low of a level. Color Spray and Ray of Enfeeblement give you some action economy in the debuffing and control arenas. Their kaorti resin weapons have a x4 critical multiplier (not that you'll send them into melee often). They have decent AC, too. Possible cheese alert: they can transform other creatures into kaorti (though it requires eight hours, so this trick is bind-only), giving them -4 STR, +4 INT, +4 WIS, and +6 CHA amongst other things. You turn neutral evil (not necessarily a bad thing for some) and "embrace the kaorti racial ethos". Plus you gotta wear a resin suit.
Disadvantages: Weak, not very healthy, and awful in most forms of combat. Not all of their spells are that useful.
Notable SLAs: Alter Self, Color Spray, Feather Fall, Ray of Enfeeblement, Spider Climb, and Reduce Person 1/day.
Final Evaluation: For one spell, you get three to six others. That's a pretty good deal, though not all of them are supremely useful. Casters are quite rare at this level, so the kaorti is a fine choice when you need some magical backup. Once their spells are depleted, have them Alter Self into a combat form and go to town - it's the best of both worlds.

Khaasta
CR: 3
HD: 3
How to get it: None by RAW, likely SM III
Role: Minion
Fluff: Savage lizard people who dwell in the Outlands, pillaging and plundering. They are quick to betray any potential employers and masters, so watch out.
Advantages: Not bad in melee with a halberd. They can also throw down with a composite longbow, if you need some ranged support.
Disadvantages: No special abilities - these guys are just brutes, and not great ones.
Notable SLAs: None.
Final Evaluation: Blah. Not impressed. Though they're mechanically sound, they lack any sort of cool abilities and are really just another body to throw into the mix. Run-of-the-mill.

Phiuhl
CR: 11
HD: 9
How to get it: None by RAW, likely SM IX
Role: Manipulator
Fluff: Phiuhls are vengeful spirits of slain elementals that haunt the plains of the Gray Wastes. They exist only to spread misery and death. There seems to be no reasoning with them.
Advantages: They can drain CON with their gaseous forms, or drain levels with their dessication aura. Enemies attempting to charm them are in for a Feeblemind surprise.
Disadvantages: Low AC and middling HP for their level. Their fire damage is pitiful.
Notable SLAs: None.
Final Evaluation: While they make good debuffing clouds, they just don't do enough real damage to be worth it. They can cripple spellcasters, however, and if you're looking to manufacture a Wightocalypse scenario, they'd be the right choice.

Planetouched (maeluth and wispling)
CR: 1/2, 1/2
HD: 1, 1
How to get it: None by RAW, likely SM I
Role: Minion
Fluff: Maeluths and wisplings are tieflings of the dwarven and halfling worlds. Treat them as you would any other planetouched race.
Advantages: Maeluth get +4 CON. Wisplings gain a bit of INT over normal halflings.
Disadvantages: Maeluths suffer from a DEX penalty rather than a CHA penalty, which makes them lesser warriors. Fiend Hammer won't help you very much, unless you're going to face good foes.
Notable SLAs: None.
Final Evaluation: See comments on other races for proper uses - I'll give you a hint, it involves class levels. Wisplings might be useful for their Small size, while Maeluths are somewhat hardier than a normal tiefling.

Slasrath
CR: 7
HD: 8
How to get it: None by RAW, likely SM VII
Role: Brute
Fluff: These flying worms roam Gehenna and the Gray Wastes and often serve as yugoloth mounts. They are of animal intelligence, so likely require no bargaining.
Advantages: Their poison can damage all physical stats. Their Wing Slash attack can feasibly damage a large number of foes on a charge, and does respectable damage. Perfect fly speed.
Disadvantages: No resistances of any kind and low AC. Their fly speed is somewhat slow. Not actually evil.
Notable SLAs: None.
Final Evaluation: Not bad for a flying mount, though other choices are faster and hardier.

Steel Predator
CR: 13
HD: 12
How to get it: None by RAW, likely SM IX
Role: Brute/Assassin
Fluff: Metal-eating cat-like predators on Acheron, Steel Predators aren't evil but are driven by hunger and the desire to consume iron. Offer them your foes' metal items - assuming that you don't want to loot them first.
Advantages: Three attacks a round at a respectable bonus with Pounce and Rake make them okay combatants, and their Sundering Bite is good when you really want to deal with a troublesome weapon or piece of armor. They have blindsight and can emit a damaging sonic roar. Significant DR and AC. Quite stealthy.
Disadvantages: Subpar damage means you're going to have to chip away at your opponents. You won't be able to order without telepathy or Terran writing, as it is quite deaf. Like the Slasrath, not evil.
Notable SLAs: None.
Final Evaluation: Not quite as good in melee as the Jarilith, the Steel Predator is still useful when you really need to sunder something. Keep them in reserve for those few times when biting a sword in half is going to count.

Terlen
CR: 2
HD: 4
How to get it: None by RAW, likely SM III
Role: Brute
Fluff: Flying. Sharks. All you need to know.
Advantages: Quite mobile in the air, on land, or in water. They do double damage against flat-footed opponents. Decent AC.
Disadvantages: For giant flying sharks, they sure don't do much damage with their bites. Poor HP. No resistances. A poor grapple modifier makes their Improved Grab somewhat less-than-inspiring.
Notable SLAs: None.
Final Evaluation: Well, they are low level which may redeem them somewhat. But they're unimpressive damage-wise, at least compared to the fiendish ape and the celestial bison.

Varrangoin (arcanist, lesser, and rager)
CR: 11, 6, 8
HD: 8, 5, 10
How to get it: None by RAW, likely SM IX, VI, and VII
Role: Caster, Minion, and Brute
Fluff: These gargoyle-like creatures are denizens of the Abyss, though they have been pushed out of their natural habitat by the tanar'ri. Essentially, they are demonic bat people, gathering in flocks to harass and devour others. They are cruel and not easily controlled.
Advantages: Arcanists can cast as level 9 wizards and are immune to low-level spells. Ragers and Lessers have breath weapons and poisonous stingers, though Ragers are the only ones likely to use melee to decent effect with four attacks and Rend. They also can take an extra standard or move action, which mostly just means they attack again. They can all fly, at least.
Disadvantages: They're all fairly fragile, with low CON, low AC, and poor resistances other than their breath weapon's energy type.
Notable SLAs: Ragers can use Dispel Magic and Fear 2/day. Arcanists typically memorize spells like Cone of Cold, Ice Storm, Vampiric Touch, Fireball, and Flaming Sphere.
Final Evaluation: The wizards are blasters and the fighters are fairly ineffective, chipping away with plinking little claws and teeth. They're just don't cut it.

Vorr
CR: 4
HD: 3
How to get it: None by RAW, likely SM IV
Role: Assassin
Fluff: Again with the doggies. Vorrs are cruel canines that roam the Abyss, lurking in shadows and ambushing unsuspecting prey. Treat them with a pack mentality and you just might convince them to follow you.
Advantages: Three attacks per round with 2d6 sneak attack and free trip attempts. Shadow Form gives them a healthy array of resistances and immunities.
Disadvantages: No resistances outside of Shadow Form. Low attack bonus and damage. Not very hardy.
Notable SLAs: None.
Final Evaluation: Better than the Hell Hound, I think. Precision damage is uncommon at this level, so it can be nice. But the real question is this: can it stand up to the Voor? No? Thought not. Shadow Form is nice, though, making it essentially untouchable for the duration of the summon.

Heroes of Horror
Phantasmal Slayer
CR: 15
HD: 16
How to get it: GPB
Role: Caster/Manipulator
Fluff: These creatures are literally fear incarnate. Their motives are indiscernable beyond their desire to spread terror - capitalize on that and let it spread fear amongst your enemies.
Advantages: They can cause an automatic Phantasmal Killer effect at a formidable DC, though they have to hit with their incorporeal touch attacks first. They can overcome all non-metal-based DR. Perfect fly speed, high AC, and incorporeal traits.
Disadvantages: Immunity to fear shuts them down cold.
Notable SLAs: Scare at will, plus Crushing Despair, Fear, and Ray of Exhaustion 3/day, plus Feeblemind and Waves of Fatigue 1/day.
Final Evaluation: If you like scaring the crap out of your foes, hey, bingo. It's reasonably tenacious in a fight, though it's not gonna do a whole lot of damage. But they can act as a debuffer and if your foe is susceptible to fear, they're gonna be in for a rough ride.

Sandstorm
Marruspawn Abomination
CR: 19
HD: 20
How to get it: GPB
Role: Overlord
Fluff: Formed out of ill-advised experiments combining spawn magic and godsblood, this abomination is said to be responsible for the downfall of an entire civilization. It is wrath and malevolence given form. It might serve you if you offer it release from its prison, though it's likely to angry about going from one imprisonment to another.
Advantages: Extremely damaging. It can turn all those around it into salt as a free action every few rounds. Great SLAs, plenty of DR and HP. Quite possible the highest AC in this entire guide. Blindsight and phenomenal Fast Healing. It can summon gargantuan fiendish monstrous scorpions. An army in a can!
Disadvantages: Nothing, really. A difficult bind, with +32 Sense Motive and 25 CHA.
Notable SLAs: Parching Touch and True Seeing at will, plus Flesh to Salt, Sandform, and Summon Monster IX 3/day, plus Symbol of Thirst 1/day.
Final Evaluation: These guys are whirling cyclones of death and devastation. They ended entire civilizations. What have you done recently? Comparable to the Balor in my mind - and with slightly lower CHA as well. Go for it.

Drow of the Underdark
Draegloth
CR: 5
HD: 6
How to get it: None by Raw, likely SM V
Role: Brute
Fluff: Deformed demonic half-breeds between drow and demonic servants of Lolth, Draegloth are favored servants of drow houses and matriarchs. They are vicious and cunning, and binding them might incur the wrath of at least minor drow, not to mention bigger players up to Lolth herself.
Advantages: Decent enough damage (on par with the Bar-lgura) in melee, and a few handy options between their SLAs and their necklace of fireballs, type II.
Disadvantages: Poor AC. Fairly fragile. Not that much better than just having summoned a drow, and who wants to do that?
Notable SLAs: Darkness 4/day, plus Desecrate, Faerie Fire, Unholy Blight, and Dancing Lights 1/day.
Final Evaluation: A big fat eh. Unimpressive, though they can throw down a few decent fireballs as limited artillery. Their options are limited and they're not overwhelmingly good at any one of them.

Races of Stone
Earth Whisper
CR: 5
HD: 4
How to get it: None by RAW, likely SM V
Role: Manipulator/Caster
Fluff: The Earth Whisper is a malevolent spirit from the Elemental Plane of Earth. They love to lure miners to their doom, whether by inspiring greedy infighting in them or by a petrifying touch. They especially despise those that plunder the depths of the earth. Perhaps you can offer to return some treasure to the earth to appease them.
Advantages: They can turn comrades against each other with their Avarice ability, as many enemies you will face will have material wealth of some kind. Cavern Fear can cause foes to try to climb down steep pits and chasms, and if they have poor ranks in the skill, you might be able to eliminate them (but only underground). Their touch attacks drain DEX and can eventually petrify foes.
Disadvantages: Hardly a contender in a fight. Not much HP.
Notable SLAs: Stone Shape at will, plus Spike Stones and Wall of Stone 3/day.
Final Evaluation: Interesting abilities, but limited utility. They shine in caverns and subterranen complexes, though, and stone-manipulating SLAs are always welcome in the world of Dungeons and Dragons.

Book of Vile Darkness
Kython (broodling, juvenile, adult, impaler, slaymaster, slaughterking)
CR: 1, 3, 5, 8, 11, 13
HD: 2, 6, 10, 12, 15, 18
How to get it: None by RAW, likely SM II, SM IV, SM V, SM VII, SM VIII, and SM IX
Role: Brute
Fluff: The offspring of long-dead fiends trapped on the Material Plane, the kythons have only their race's survival in mind. They are cruel, merciless, and thrill to rend other creatures to shreds. Give them the chance to tear others apart and they may consent to your service.
Advantages: They all do respectable damage with a STR-draining poison. They have great AC and decent HP. Impalers make great chargers, while Slaymasters are decent grapplers. Slaughterkings are beastly in combat. Both Slaymasters and Slaughterkings can emit auras that debuff non-kythons and improve their own defenses. They all have blindsight, elemental resistances, and their own strange mutated weaponry. Kython weapons offer such beauties as entangling mucus, grappling mouth sphincters (I kid you not), and free action incorporeality.
Disadvantages: No DR. None of them are very mobile.
Notable SLAs: None.
Final Evaluation: They're all viable choices in melee, and they scale well with a kython for nearly every occasion. I love the Disruption Field, as it doesn't offer a save and really messes up your enemies. Kythons are great picks, especially the higher level ones.

Vaath
CR: 4
HD: 6
How to get it: None by RAW, likely SM V
Role:
Fluff: Vaath hail from Carceri and are sadistic and malicious as they come. They live to torture foes not just physically, but mentally as well - letting them wallow in fear as they see their impending doom from its burrowing claws.
Advantages: Their DEX-draining poison does the job fairly well, and when they reduce a foe's DEX to zero, they can burrow inside it and kill it instantly. They also cause WIS drain to all those viewing the burrowing. Decent AC.
Disadvantages: Their bite attack is at a fairly low bonus, so they're rarely going to get the chance to actually burrow. Relatively low HP.
Notable SLAs: None.
Final Evaluation: Totally creepy. While their ability has the potential to be killer, you're going to have jump through some serious hoops to get it to work. Eh. Too much work for the benefit - skip 'em.

Draconomicon
Abyssal Drake
CR: 9
HD: 10
How to get it: None by RAW, likely SM VIII
Role: Brute
Fluff: The product of a horrible demonic breeding program designed to create flying mounts for demon princes and lords, Abyssal Drake proved too wild and unruly to tame for ridership. Now they are simply wild predators in the vast reaches of the Abyss. Dumb but willful, they can probably be convinced to serve you simply for prey.
Advantages: A Huge flyer, which makes them an excellent potential mount. You might even be able to fit four people on it, if you go by the squaring sizing rules. It has a nice breath weapon, 10d6 fire (half of which is divine) and a halfway decent poison attack with its stinger. Flyby Attack makes it a mobile harrier, diving in and rending with its claws. An extremely fast flyer.
Disadvantages: By the level you get it, its Frightful Presence is useful. Awful aerial maneuverability. Physical damage is lackluster at this point. No DR, either.
Notable SLAs: None.
Final Evaluation: I like the Abyssal Drake because it's one hell of an intimidating mount. If you need to get somewhere fast (and can't teleport for some reason), they're not a bad bind. They're not the heaviest hitters, but they're great skirmishers and transportation.

Miniatures Handbook
Shadow Beast (ghirrash, khumat, and thaskor)
CR: 7, 8, 9
HD: 7, 11, 13
How to get it: None by RAW, likely SM VI, VII, and VIII
Role: Brute
Fluff: Mercenary creatures from the Plane of Shadow, Shadow Beasts are ruthless yet loyal to their evil masters. Though animalistic, they're surprisingly intelligent and should not be underestimated based on their appearance.
Advantages: The ghirrash has five attacks per round, pounce, and two rake attacks. It also has a permanent 50% displacement effect on it. Khumats are capable grapplers with a powerful bite attack and plenty of natural armor. They're also fairly stealthy and great swimmers. The thaskor is decently damaging with high AC and a stunning blast. It's also rather oddly diplomatic, with good ranks in Bluff, Diplomacy, and Intimidate. They all have decent elemental resistances and a high attack bonus.
Disadvantages: They all have easily-bypassed DR (except the thaskor). The ghirrash doesn't do enough damage, and the khumat and thaskor only have one attack per round.
Notable SLAs: None.
Final Evaluation: They can be capable brutes in combat, but they're really only going to be doing one thing: attacking, over and over again. If you're looking for a bruiser, yeah, by all means. I don't like the ghirrash too much as it won't often overcome DR. The khumat is only mediocre, though is good in aquatic situations. The thaskor, however, is a decent pick.

Manual of the Planes
Genie, dao
CR: 7
HD: 8
How to get it: None by RAW, likely SM VII
Role: Caster
Fluff: Dao are earth genies, primarily spending their time in their lavishly decorated cities on the Plane of Earth. Though not cruel or sadistic, they are arrogant and consider other creatures as chattel or resources to be thrown away once consumed.
Advantages: Their SLAs are at a CL of 19, with decent choices. They also have high Appraise and Craft scores, in case you need an emergency jeweler.
Disadvantages: Just two attacks, at a middling bonus. Low AC, no DR or SR.
Notable SLAs: Alter Self, Detect Magic, Gaseous Form, Invisibility, Misdirection, Passwall, Persistent Image, Wall of Stone at will, plus Move Earth and Transmute Rock to Mud 3/day.
Final Evaluation: See comments on the efreeti for the Wish thing - they shouldn't be allowed, end of story. Dao can be decent controllers with their stone walls and mud pits, while they can let you bypass dangerous dungeon corridors with Passwall. Just don't use them as bruisers - they won't suffice.

Planar Handbook
Frost Dwarf
CR: 1
HD: 1
How to get it: None by RAW, likely SM II
Role: Minion
Fluff: Frost dwarves are the descendants of a tribe of duergar abducted and forced to serve Kostchtchie and his frost giants in the Abyss. They are cruel and domineering, but desire revenge and freedom more than anything else - perhaps a little white lie about opposing their masters' goals might convince them.
Advantages: Like standard dwarves, but with more CON and less CHA. They're a little stealthier than most dwarves, and have a couple of SLAs.
Disadvantages: They have light sensitivity.
Notable SLAs: Obscuring Mist and Chill Touch 1/day.
Final Evaluation: More class level potential. Plenty of CON is nice on a summon, and the CHA penalties just make them easier to manipulate and deceive.

Nightmare, lesser
CR: 4
HD: 6
How to get it: SM IV (replacing either fiendish dire wolf or howler)
Role: Brute
Fluff: It's like a nightmare, but lesser! Seriously. They're just not as good at plane-hopping.
Advantages: Exactly the same as the nightmare, but one CR lower.
Disadvantages: Exactly the same as the nightmare, but without Astral Projection or Etherealness.
Notable SLAs: None.
Final Evaluation: Considering that their stats are almost exactly the same, and that lesser nightmares lose the abilities that make nightmares phenomenal summons/mounts, there's no way you should ever go for the lesser version. I prefer both the wolf and the howler.

Pack fiend
CR: 8
HD: 8
How to get it: SM VII (replacing Huge fiendish monstrous scorpion)
Role: Brute/Assassin
Fluff: Pack fiends were once hunting hounds of both devils and demons, though now they have mostly thrown off the yoke of service and roam free among the Gray Wastes, preying on any unlucky souls they can find.
Advantages: Three decent attacks per round with Pounce. They also have a STR-draining poison. Blindsight's always nice, and they can make decent trackers.
Disadvantages: Only so-so HP and damage.
Notable SLAs: None.
Final Evaluation: Falling somewhere between a bruiser and a stealthy skirmisher and yet somehow excelling at neither, the Pack Fiend is nothing special. Replacing the scorpion is a decent idea (as it sucks), however, but you can replace it at the same level with better choices.

Complete Psionic
Shadow Eft
CR: 5
HD: 6
How to get it: None by RAW, likely SM V
Role: Assassin/Brute
Fluff: Drawn from the Plane of Shadow to areas touched by psychic trauma, shadow efts have no qualm about harvesting mental energy from other sentient creatures - they feel that it is their place to be the predators. Convince them you serve the "Unmerciful Void" - their strange shadow god.
Advantages: They can be effective melee combatants between their decent damage, Spring Attack, Lion's Charge, and Truevenom. Quite stealthy, especially in darkness. Shadow Body can make them quite evasive and mobile.
Disadvantages: Not especially hardy. Avoid daylight at all costs.
Notable PLAs: Duodimensional Claw, Truevenom, and Psionic Lion's Charge 3/day, plus Shadow Body 1/day.
Final Evaluation: Not a bad deal at all. They're available relatively low, do decent damage, and can stay alive when things get tough. I like 'em.

Magic of Incarnum
Souleater
CR: 7
HD: 8
How to get it: SM VII as an evil caster (replacing Huge fiendish monstrous scorpion)
Role: Brute/Manipulator
Fluff: Souleaters are horrific beasts that roam the Gray Wastes, feeding off soul energy. They'll likely only serve you if you offer them souls - a rather dubious moral endeavor.
Advantages: They emit a level-draining aura and consume the souls of the fallen to strengthen themselves. Decent damage and three attacks.
Disadvantages: Low AC, no DR, and no SR make them relatively vulnerable. They're vulnerable to turning.
Notable SLAs: None.
Final Evaluation: Their draining aura and consumption of souls don't discriminate between friend or foe, making them a risky proposition. Not a great pick, but could act as a walking debuff against casters or incarnum users.
« Last Edit: February 18, 2010, 02:28:33 AM by Gnorman » Logged
Gnorman
Domesticated Capuchin Monkey
**
Posts: 111


I'm a monster. Rawr.


« Reply #9 on: August 28, 2009, 05:21:51 AM »

Other Fiendish Creatures, Part III


Do you know why humans are afraid of the dark? It's because of us. In the far shadowed corners of sleep we lurk. Watching. Waiting. Everybody sleeps, mortal. When you do, I'll be there.

- Shtalev-Nal, tsucora quori, taunting a captured Adaran.


Tome of Battle
Rakshasa, Naityan
CR: 7
HD: 9
How to get it: None by RAW, likely SM VI
Role: Brute
Fluff: Naityan rakshasa are just as domineering as their other kin, but especially enjoy drinking blood. They collect blood like some people collect wine, holding on to slaves as kegs. They are so bloodthirsty, in fact, that you should be able to entice them with the blood of your foes.
Advantages: Four forms that mimic Tome of Battle disciplines: Earth Serpent grants Stone Dragon and more natural armor; Hellfire Hunter grant Desert Wind and scent; Nightcreeper grants Shadow Hand and sneak attack; and Elusive Adversary grants Setting Sun and 60' speed. They have phenomenal DR for their level. Good damage with their greatswords. Like all rakshasa, skilled in the social and infiltration arenas.
Disadvantages: Their AC is a bit low. They can only use one maneuver a round - so they can't counter if they've used one during their turn. Changing shape is a standard action, which limits their on-the-fly adaptability.
Notable Maneuvers: Stances: Strength of Stone, Flame's Blessing, Island of Blades, and Shifting Defense. Strikes: Mountain Hammer, Charging Minotaur, Flashing Sun, Ghost Blade, and Shadow Garrote. Counters: Fire Riposte, Baffling Defense, and Feigned Opening.
Final Evaluation: Do you find ToB classes to be vastly superior to standard fighters? Do you enjoy tactical combat rather than full-attack, 5' step, repeat? If so, you will enjoy the naityan. Though it knows few maneuvers, their different forms give them excellent versatility. A great bargain for their level.

Reth Dekala
CR: 4
HD: 5
How to get it: None by RAW, likely SM V
Role: Brute
Fluff: The cursed remnants of a mortal race that sold their collective souls to a mighty archdevil, the reth dekala managed to overthrow their master and now strike out on their own from Acheron. They are forever cursed to burn in green flames until they murder their own descendants - every last one. Honorable and bound by duty, they frequently serve others as mercenaries. You should be able to strike an agreement easily.
Advantages: They know maneuvers from Devoted Spirit, Tiger Claw, and Iron Heart. Combat Reflexes, decent DEX, and a reach weapon. They have an aura of acidic fire that sickens living foes (it also can be fired as a ranged blast). Good acid/fire resistance and 50% fortification.
Disadvantages: No DR or SR. Their HP is middling. Just one attack per round. Its maneuvers can only be used once per encounter, and it takes five minutes of meditation to recover them.
Notable Maneuvers: Stances: Martial Spirit and Thicket of Blades. Strikes: Daunting Strike, Death from Above, Disarming Strike, and Entangling Blade. Counters: Wall of Blades.
Final Evaluation: Again, ToB creatures just beat out regular melee monsters when it comes to options. The reth dekala are capable low-level fighters, holding the high ground and debuffing your foes with their strikes. They get outclassed relatively quickly, but they shine while they last.

Tome of Magic
Ephemeral Hangman
CR: 7
HD: 11
How to get it: None by RAW, likely SM VII
Role: Brute/Manipulator
Fluff: These gloomy abominations are considered strange even by Plane of Shadow standards. They enjoy preying on the weak, the defenseless, and children. They speak Undercommon, which is a rarer choice for most summoners, so make note.
Advantages: Five decent attacks that inflict Slow on their targets. They can also squeeze themselves to fit smaller spaces and regenerate as long as they're in shadow. Mildly stealthy.
Disadvantages: Low AC, no DR or SR.
Notable SLAs: None.
Final Evaluation: While I like the slowing tendrils, they're a bit fragile and won't stand up for long in combat at their level. I'd rather summon something a bit more durable at this point.

Eberron Campaign Setting
Daelkyr
CR: 20
HD: 20
How to get it: GPB
Role: Overlord
Fluff: Daelkyr are the supreme tyrants of Xoriat, the plane of madness, though a number are trapped in Khyber. They are wholly alien to mortal ways of thought, and enjoy crafting horrible minions. Irrevocably insane, they're likely to be intractable in any dealings.
Advantages: Four good attacks per round, with each draining 1d6 points of any ability the daelkyr desires. They can drive your enemies insane just by being close. Good AC and HP, plus Fast Healing 5. Good SLAs. Their symbionts give them good melee and durability bonuses.
Disadvantages: Their DR is fairly low. The poison on their tentacle whip is awful. They hardly do any physical damage with their attacks, relying on their ability damage.
Notable SLAs: Baleful Polymorph, Confusion, Dimension Door, Feeblemind, Haste, Mind Fog, and Slow at will, plus Flesh to Stone, Stone to Flesh, and Quickened Insanity 3/day.
Final Evaluation: I'm sure you can find a way to make their ability draining work for you - most creatures have at least one weak stat that, when drained, will cripple them. Between that and their manipulative SLAs, I'm a fan. Not quite Balor level, but quite good.

Quori, Tsucora
CR: 7
HD: 6
How to get it: None by RAW, likely SM VI
Role: Overlord
Fluff: Quori are scheming, calculating spirits from Dal Quor, the plane of dreams. They concoct elaborate plans to dominate mortals. Tsucora are the weakest kind of quori, but are nonetheless intelligent and manipulative.
Advantages: Seven attacks a round, with a stinger that inflicts Phantasmal Killer. Plenty of useful PLAs, skills, and resistances.
Disadvantages: Pathetic damage for the most part. Low AC and DR.
Notable PLAs: Body Equilibrium, Far Hand, Inertial Armor, and Psionic Scent 3/day, plus Body Adjustment, Id Insinuation, Mindlink, Psionic Charm, and Recall Agony 1/day.
Final Evaluation: If your game is comfortable with both Eberron material and psionics, quori are usually good picks. The tsucora, while ostensibly one of the lowest of the quori, is still an impressive combatant. Keep in mind that the tsucora and the two from Magic of Eberron below do not have their PLAs augmented as they should, so add in the boosts accordingly.

Rakshasa, Zakya
CR: 8
HD: 7
How to get it: None by RAW, likely SM VII
Role: Brute
Fluff: Unlike other rakshasa, the zakya enjoys getting down and dirty in combat. It thrills to join the fray, and they are often used as front-line troops by other, more powerful rakshasa. They're not quite as mentally powerful as others of their kind, however, so should be easier to control.
Advantages: Respectable in combat with their bastard swords. Like all rakshasa, they have great DR - 15/good and piercing (holy spears, rapiers, and bows are probably rare in the hands of your enemies). Zakya have great armor class for their level and all the right feats for a warrior.
Disadvantages: They lack the SLA power of their fiendish brethren, though True Strike can be handy. Their damage isn't stellar.
Notable SLAs: Chill Touch, True Strike, and Vampiric Touch 3/day.
Final Evaluation: For a fighter-type, I prefer the naityan rakshasa, but the zakya isn't bad. All rakshasa make good tanks with their DR, but the zakya has the martial skill to really stand up in combat where the spellcasters of the race cannot.

Magic of Eberron
Quori, Dream Master
CR: 11
HD: 12
How to get it: None by RAW, likely SM IX
Role: Overlord
Fluff: Inquisitors and investigators in quori ranks, Dream Masters are extremely calculating. Their psionic might is nearly unchallenged amongst the quor - you'd best watch your step or face life as one of their thralls.
Advantages: Four dazing attacks per round and amazing PLAs. Mind Thrust is your bread and butter here, while Mindwipe debuffs and Hostile Empathic Transfer basically tells your enemies "Hey I know you've had a fun time beating on me but boom screw you." They have great skills and some powerful psionic feats.
Disadvantages: No metapsionic feats, which is somewhat disappointing for your damage potential. Other than that, not a whole lot to pick at.
Notable PLAs: Induce Awe, Detect Hostile Intent, Mind Thrust, and Mindlink at will, plus Mindprobe 3/day, plus Hostile Emphatic Transfer, Inflict Pain, Mindwipe, Project Quori Spirit, and Schism 1/day.
Final Evaluation: It's not just like summoning a psion - with Schism, it's like summoning two psions. You'll be able to throw down Mind Thrusts all combat long at 16d10 a round. That can really add up - and Dream Masters have a host of other useful PLAs too. Top notch.

Quori, Tsoreva
CR: 5
HD: 4
How to get it: None by RAW, likely SM V
Role: Brute
Fluff: Even less powerful than the tsucora, the tsoreva are enforcers in quori society. They are bloodthirsty, though not overly cunning, and love to battle.
Advantages: Can throw down a powerful first strike with Dissolving Weapon and a mind blade.
Disadvantages: They're soulknives. Once they punch hard, they're not going to be punching much at all. Frightful Strike is pretty worthless, as even if they fall prey to it they're immune for the next 24 hours.
Notable PLAs: Inertial Armor 3/day, plus Dissolving Weapon 1/day.
Final Evaluation: Not enough psionic power for my taste, and they don't live up to the expectations built by other melee summons. No match for certain combatants at SM IV.

Secrets of Sarlona
Quori, Du’ulora
CR: 11
HD: 10
How to get it: None by RAW, likely SM IX
Role: Brute/Manipulator
Fluff: Spirits of burning rage, du'ulora thrive on causing chaos and frenzy on a battlefield. They especially enjoy inciting rage in spell casters and power users, stripping them of their strengths while forcing them into melee as weak little robed kittens. Beware - they seem to have it out for you and your kind.
Advantages: Good senses. Rage is situational but can be good, especially against spellcasters - but it can also power up your melee foes, so beware. A fast fly speed and Ghost Attack, just in case you're up against incorporeal foes.
Disadvantages: Poor AC and damage. Their PLAs aren't as useful in combat as I'd like, and are fairly limited. Burning Rage seems like a cool idea (they set you on fire with their minds), but they have to constrict you first and it's not a save-or-die, it's gradated based on how badly you fail the save. Even barbarians and fighters won't be taking that much damage from it.
Notable PLAs: Far Hand, Mindlink, and Psionic Rage at will, plus Id Insinuation, Inertial Armor, Psionic Scent, Psionic True Seeing, and Trace Teleport 3/day, plus Body Adjustment and Recall Agony 1/day.
Final Evaluation: While they can certainly manipulate the battlefield, sow confusion and discord, the du'ulora can't kill a damn thing on its own. And at SM IX, it should be able to.

Quori, Hashalaq
CR: 9
HD: 8
How to get it: None by RAW, likely SM VIII
Role: Caster/Manipulator
Fluff: Hashalaqs are quori scribes and lorekeepers. They are devilishly manipulative and intelligent - they're likely to be one of your greatest challenges.
Advantages: They can drain WIS with a touch, and send creatures into a fatal coma. They reflect damage back on their attackers, which is a great ability for a disposable summon. Freakishly good in social situations. Ranks in obscure knowledge skills. Between their abilities and PLAs, they're peerless infiltrators and diplomats.
Disadvantages: Fragile and very poor in melee. Their Familiar Face ability prevents things from attacking them - not really a great idea for your meatbags. PLAs aren't all that helpful in combat, and aren't usable often enough for my liking.
Notable PLAs: Far Hand, Mindlink, and Psionic Charm at will, plus Body Adjustment, Ego Whip, Inertial Armor, and Mind Probe 3/day, plus Dream, Hostile Empathic Transfer, and Mind Thrust 1/day.
Final Evaluation: Hashalaqs are a niche pick. They are excellent at charming the pants off of susceptible foes, but they're not going to do a lot of good in battle. When you need some help bluffing your way into an impregnable fortress, call in the Hashalaq. When you want to throw down a psionic barrage in combat, stick with the Dream Master.

Quori, Kalaraq
CR: 20
HD: 18
How to get it: GPB
Role: Overlord
Fluff: Kalaraqs are the undisputed masters of the quori, second only to the Dreaming Dark itself. They are nightmare given shape and shadow, and none of them will even deign to consider you worth their time unless you are capable of demonstrating that you are force on par with immortals and epic heroes.
Advantages: They bring immense amounts of pain with their PLAs, especially Empowered Energy Waves. Their attacks drain WIS, confuse, and ignore all DR. True Seeing, Greater Prying Eyes at will, and phenomenal senses - after all, they are a cloud of eyes. They're incorporeal, and can shift into a swarm form for further resistance while still manifesting. Supremely skilled, with nearly every knowledge skill at high levels.
Disadvantages: Their touch attacks do pitiful damage outside of WIS damage. Their AC is a bit low, though the 50% miss chance helps here. Just as difficult to deal with as a Balor or a Pit Fiend, so good luck bending one to your will.
Notable PLAs: Dispel Psionics, Ego Whip, Far Hand, Inertial Armor, Mass Cloud Mind, Mindlink, Mind Thrust, Psionic Blast, Psionic Charm, and Psionic Greater Teleport at will, plus Energy Wave, Insanity, and Psychic Crush 3/day, plus Focused Mind Seed and Personal Mind Blank 1/day.
Final Evaluation: If you like psionics, congratulations, here's the best psionic creature available to you. Stun your foes, leave them burnt, seared, frozen, electrocuted, unconscious, bleeding, et cetera. If there's a way to kill something, the kalaraq will probably figure it out. A brilliant choice for a high-level bind.

Sharn, City of Towers
Radiant Idol
CR: 11
HD: 11
How to get it: None by RAW, likely SM IX
Role: Overlord
Fluff: Angels cast down from Syrania and stripped of their wings, radiant idols spend their time on Eberron attempting to establish themselves as gods. Not all of them are evil, but enough of them are to give the creatures a bad collective name. They consider themselves deities - you've got some impressing to do.
Advantages: Excellent marshals and morale officers with their buffing and debuffing abilities, and not half-bad in battle. They have permanent Glibness and Tongues and an aura that imparts Good Hope to you and yours and inflicts Crushing Despair on your enemies. Excellent resistances. But their greatest advantage is their cleric domain - each one gets to choose a single cleric domain, obtain spells from it as SLAs, and use its granted power.
Disadvantages: They can never fly, and any flight effects malfunction within 30' of them. You won't find any of its Cultist abilities useful unless you're starting your own sect. Oh, and Dire flails? Really?
Notable SLAs: Disguise Self, Charm Person, Dream, Heroism, Nightmare, and Rage at will, plus Confusion, Greater Dispel Magic, Mind Fog, and Slow 3/day, plus Dominate Person, Eyebite, Hold Monster, and Song of Discord 1/day. They also choose one cleric domain and get its spells as SLAs - 1st level at will, 2nd and 3rd 3/day, and 4th through 6th 1/day.
Final Evaluation: Easily one of the most customizable summons available to you, the radiant idol's strength lies in how lenient your DM is in letting you pick their domains. If you have free reign to choose, it's almost like having any spell, arcane or divine, level six or lower, on call. If you're more restricted, shift the recommendation down accordingly - but even without domains, the idol can subtly shift most battles in your favor.

Dragons of Faerun
Krathbairn
CR: 7
HD: 7
How to get it: None by RAW, likely SM VI
Role: Assassin/Caster
Fluff: The gargoyle-like offspring of a brown dragon and a fiend, the krathbairn are guileful and deceptive, though not particularly intelligent.
Advantages: Good regeneration and SLA choices. Decent senses and a fast burrow speed.
Disadvantages: Unimpressive defenses and melee presence. Its SLA DCs are frightfully low.
Notable SLAs: Animate Dead, Charm Person, Command, Disguise Self, Major Image, Scare, and Suggestion at will.
Final Evaluation: A disappointing jack-of-all-trades. Animate Dead and Major Image at will are always helpful, though, and the burrow speed can make them excellent advance scouts in caverns or dungeons. Not great, but they have their uses.

Monsters of Faerun
Fey’ri
CR: 2
HD: 1
How to get it: None by RAW, likely SM III
Role: Minion
Fluff: These tieflings are a special breed, a breeding experiment between a house of sun elves and demons. As elves, fey'ri are arrogant, mysterious, and frail, but they are also power-hungry and cunning, like their demonic progenitors.
Advantages: Good bonuses to senses and social skills. Each fey'ri has a small collection of magical bonuses like DR or functional wings and 1/day SLAs, which can range from Enervation to Suggestion to Dimension Door.
Disadvantages: That CON penalty is a serious crutch, giving the standard level one warrior fey'ri 4 HP. They're not overwhelming strong in combat.
Notable SLAs: Choose from: Charm Person, Clairaudience/Clairvoyance, Darkness, Detect Thoughts, Dimension Door, Enervation, and Suggestion.
Final Evaluation: Too fragile for my liking, the fey'ri is still a good candidate for class levels, especially in DEX or INT based classes. I prefer the straight tiefling, though - but at least fey'ri make elves seem nominally cool.

Myrlochar
CR: 4
HD: 6
How to get it: None by RAW, likely SM V
Role: Minion
Fluff: Fiendish servants of Lolth, the arachnid Myrlochar are bloodthirsty and full of rage. Though nominally under Lolth's yoke, she often lets them out on tours of wanton destruction.
Advantages: Three attacks per round, and their bite can induce Hold Monster or Reverse Gravity. They're immune to a good number of things and can levitate automatically. Always silent. Blindsight 60'.
Disadvantages: Just awful attributes. Weak, fragile, and clumsy. They do hardly any damage at all and are crushed underfoot like, well, spiders. Their bites offer easy saves to avoid the effects.
Notable SLAs: None.
Final Evaluation: They just won't stand up to anything, as they are far too pathetic. I'd avoid them. Lolth really needs to choose better minions.

Tanarukk
CR: 2
HD: 5
How to get it: None by RAW, likely SM III
Role: Brute
Fluff: Tanarukks are demon-touched orcs, savage and bloodthirsty but also surprisingly tactical. They're smarter than your average orc, though just as repulsive.
Advantages: Good STR and DEX bonuses, with their only penalties being WIS and CHA - usually good for your purposes. Good SR for their level.
Disadvantages: Nothing glaring - they're brutes and can't do anything else.
Notable SLAs: Control Flame 2/day.
Final Evaluation: They're prime candidates for melee class levels - binding a tanarruk barbarian is a good proposition.

Shining South
Laraken
CR: 14
HD: 15
How to get it: None by RAW, maybe SM IX
Role: Manipulator
Fluff: Native to Nishrek, the home of the orcish pantheon on Toril, the laraken is an unintelligent viscous entity that is attracted to and feeds upon magic. They despise all beings and only leave their homes to attack and devour. They're just barely intelligent and are likely
Advantages: Good anticasters - they have phenomenal spell resistance, and anything they absorb they can cast right back on their next turn. Their tentacle attacks leech away high-level spells from their targets, and they can drain magical items.
Disadvantages: Abysmal armor class and no DR makes the laraken a terrible prospect against melee characters. None of its abilities function against arcane magic that draws on the Shadow Weave, which may or may not be of interest to you. Binding one is a difficult proposition, as you'll have to overcome their SR (35!) just to try.
Notable SLAs: Dimension Door at will.
Final Evaluation: If you know you're going up against a high-level caster, the laraken is a great choice. Though not easy to bind, their spell absorption abilities are well worth it. Just watch out for your foes' meat shields, because they'll bash it into gooey pieces without a second thought.

Unapproachable East
Mur-Zhagul
CR: 10
HD: 9
How to get it: None by RAW, likely SM VIII
Role: Brute
Fluff: Mur-Zhaguls are simply fiendish trolls, obsessed with hellfire and possessed of more cunning than their feral kin.
Advantages: Great regeneration, which is beaten by blessed and holy weapons instead of fire and acid (how often will you be fighting enemies with that kind of equipment?). Rend can be damaging, and they have a decent attack bonus. A good reserve of HP.
Disadvantages: Their AC is low. No DR. They're not all that impressive in melee. Few options outside of fighting - their SLAs are lackluster.
Notable SLAs: Burning Hands and Jump at will, plus Invisibility 3/day, plus Haste 1/day.
Final Evaluation: Not as good as other SM VIII bruisers, the Mur-Zhagul's saving grace is in its unkillability. As with all trolls, though, watch out for that coup de grace.

Underdark
Baphitaur
CR: 2
HD: 3
How to get it: None by RAW, likely SM III
Role: Brute
Fluff: Tieflings warped into taurian abominations, Baphitaurs hate pretty much everything - but most of all the experimentation that turned them into what they are. They despise mortals and demons with equal fervor.
Advantages: A damaging charge attack that can end up quite brutal in a Rage. Hefty damage with their greataxe. Good AC for their level, too. A decent tracker and scout with +8 in Search, Spot, Listen, and Survival.
Disadvantages: Middling CON and no DR.
Notable SLAs: Darkness 1/day.
Final Evaluation: They're no Nashrou (still the golden standard of SM III), but they're a decent choice. Another good candidate for melee class levels.

Earth Glider
CR: 12
HD: 15
How to get it: None by RAW, likely SM IX
Role: Brute
Fluff: Cruising the Material for prey, the cruel earth glider is originally from the Plane of Earth. It lurks in caves and deep, dark, places hoping to kill those unlucky souls who run into it.
Advantages: Five damaging attacks a round at a great bonus. They have a great burrow speed, gliding through the earth. Tremorsense 60'. They also have good AC, a CHA-draining poison, and immunity to fire. Decent senses and stealth. They also make great underground guides, with respectable ranks in Knowledge (dungeoneering) and Survival.
Disadvantages: Their DR is low and their land speed is a bit ponderous. No spell resistance, either.
Notable SLAs: None.
Final Evaluation: These things are some of your heaviest hitters, with a great attack schedule and plenty of opportunity for ambush and sneaky, subterranean tactics. They are, however, quite vulnerable to magic.

Stone Flyer
CR: 3
HD: 5
How to get it: None by RAW, likely SM IV
Role: Assassin
Fluff: It's not immediately clear why stone flyers are considered evil, since they seem to be garden variety pack hunters, essentially wolves made of granite. They likely take sadistic pleasure in downing their prey.
Advantages: They can use their earth glide ability while carrying a rider up to a medium load and have a decent fly speed, making them excellent mounts both skywards and quite literally earthwards. Okay DR and SR for their level. Tremorsense 60'.
Disadvantages: Not especially hardy nor damaging in melee. They also have an abominable will save.
Notable SLAs: None.
Final Evaluation: A pack of stone flyers can be quite the cavalry charge, popping in and out of rock formations with ease. While the nightmare is still my favorite mount, the stone flyer is a close second, and certainly better underground.

Expedition to the Demonweb Pits
Abyssal Giant
CR: 11
HD: 17
How to get it: None by RAW, likely SM IX
Role: Brute
Fluff: Whether dragged forcibly or voluntarily to the Abyss, these tribes of giants now serve as enforcers and mercenaries. They respect no one, not even most demon lords (save Kostchtchie), and they take pride in their freedom from duty. They'll resent no matter how you treat them.
Advantages: Pretty scary in melee with their greatswords, which deal vile damage on critical hits (and they have Improved Critical). They can throw exploding rocks. Great AC and elemental resistances. Decent grapple scores, too. Higher will saves than most giants, and immune to charm.
Disadvantages: Low DR for their level and no SR. Very low touch AC. Huge, so often limited by space constraints.
Notable SLAs: None.
Final Evaluation: They're adept warriors, perhaps even in the top tier for melee. They do extremely well as fodder against dragons and elemental-damage-dependent foes, due to their immunities and high AC. But they're vulnerable to focused magical assaults and touch attacks.

Lamia Noble
CR: 11
HD: 15
How to get it: None by RAW, likely SM IX
Role: Caster/Brute
Fluff: Lamia nobles are inquisitive and scholarly, but are also given to extreme bouts of motiveless violence. They enjoy devouring and deceiving mortals, but likely enjoy sharing bits of obscure history or the odd riddle.
Advantages: Not bad in melee with their longspears. They can drain WIS (only one point at a time, though, but it is potentially permanent) with touch attacks. Their Constrict is heavily damaging, and can also drain WIS.
Disadvantages: Seventh level sorcerers won't do much for you at this point, and most of their spell picks are crap. Low CON and AC.
Notable SLAs: Charm Person, Mirror Image, Persistent Image, and Suggestion 3/day. Sorcerer spells include Fly, Lightning Bolt, Ghoul Touch, Mirror Image, Magic Missile, Sleep, and Ventriloquism.
Final Evaluation: The lamia noble is too easy to kill and doesn't bring enough to the table. You have better enchanting summons available to you at this point, as well as better grapplers and better bruisers. They can be safely ignored.

Dragon Magazine
Akleu (Issue #348)
CR: 8
HD: 10
How to get it: None by RAW, likely SM VII
Role: Assassin
Fluff: The akleu is a pack predator imported from Xoriat by the daelkyr, a transparent creature with impossible bones and joints. Formerly assassins and servants for their daelkyr masters, they now roam in solitude, hunting for prey. They are intelligent, but prefer animalistic existence.
Advantages: Three good attacks, with 3d6 sneak attack damage. Pounce makes them quite good in melee. They are nearly transparent, giving their foes a 40% chance to miss them with any mundane attack. Evasion, Uncanny Dodge, and excellent stealth and mobility skills. A paralyzing poison and good DR.
Disadvantages: A bit light on HP and AC. No SR whatsoever.
Notable SLAs: None.
Final Evaluation: What the Babau wishes it was. It's more vulnerable to magic than I would like, but it can easily ravage unsuspecting foes. Summon two of them to flank, and you've got yourself one brutal combination.

Asag (Issue #334)
CR: 11
HD: 17
How to get it: None by RAW, likely SM IX
Role: Brute
Fluff: The asag are rumored to have once been the lords of the Plane of Earth, but were banished for some offense by mortal sorcerers. As such, they despise most races, but focus their hatred especially on dwarves and gnomes.
Advantages: Two decent slam attacks that can inflict a dehydrating disease. They stun on a natural 20. Blindsense.
Disadvantages: Clumsy, with low AC, DEX, and Initiative. No DR or SR.
Notable SLAs: Detect Magic and Endure Elements at will, plus Stone Shape and Stone Skin 3/day, plus Major Creation 1/day.
Final Evaluation: Not competitive at SM IX - not enough damage and not enough casting. You have better earth-themed creatures.

Black Beast of Bedlam (Issue #355)
CR: 14
HD: 15
How to get it: None by RAW, maybe SM IX
Role: Manipulator/Assassin
Fluff: These amorphous creatures are spawned by the very madness of the gods. Their only purpose is to foment chaos and suffering wherever they go. They are insane and not likely to follow your orders for very long.
Advantages: Their attacks inflict a spongy malady on their victims, causing them a series of debuffs - they cannot hold any item, their equipment becomes useless, they go blind and attack anything around them. They also have a Cloudkill breath, a fear aura, and a damaging darkness ability. Excellent immunities, great senses (Tremorsense 120') and good mobility.
Disadvantages: A bit underwhelming in the damage department.
Notable SLAs: Disguise Self (humanoid only) at will, plus Confusion, Major Image, and Shatter 3/day, plus Bestow Curse, Enervation, Greater Invisibility, Insanity, Nightmare, Phantasmal Killer, Project Image, and Shout 1/day.
Final Evaluation: As a summon or a bind, the black beast of bedlam can be a vicious debuffer, locking down battlefields with vaporous poison, screeching skulls, and draining pockets of shadow. Corporeal Instability is their most potent debuff, and I highly recommend using it against any living foe you can.

Cranial Encyster (Issue #330)
CR: 3
HD: 1
How to get it: None by RAW, likely SM IV
Role: Manipulator
Fluff: Feeding, somehow, on the very spirit and essence of dying creatures, cranial encysters seek to cause the end of any mortal creatures they can find, by driving them to suicide. Too weak to require manipulation - just command them and offer them the occasional treat.
Advantages: Their touch attacks are at a respectable bonus, making them easy to attach. They can force a foe to attack itself for a critical hit, or abuse environmental hazards.
Disadvantages: Awful grapple modifiers, even after their +12 racial bonus, makes them easily pinned and removed from victims. Poor HP, even with 22-26 CON.
Notable SLAs: None.
Final Evaluation: Too ponderous of a death-delivery mechanism (and too avoidable) - I'd rather have my summons kill my foes directly, rather than drive them to suicide.

Hellchain weaver (Issue #343)
CR: 13
HD: 14
How to get it: None by RAW, likely SM IX
Role: Brute
Fluff: Making their home in the barbed chains that anchor the Jangling Hiter in Baator, the hellchain weaver is a creature so vicious that it can even frighten a kyton. They are cruel and enjoy inflicting torturous wounds to prolong their hunt, but they're quite stupid and likely easily tricked.
Advantages: Combatants to be rightly feared, the hellchain weaver has four decent attacks per round and can maintain a good grapple or pounce. They can also deafen opponents with rattling chains (a free action) and spin webs out of iron - useful if you need to cross a chasm or scale a wall. Tremorsense 60', Regeneration, and AC. Decent stealth and senses.
Disadvantages: Gargantuan, so difficult to maneuver in enclosed spaces. Rarely will a foe be deafened as the save DC is somewhat low.
Notable SLAs: None.
Final Evaluation: While they're not your most damaging summon, they're certainly competent and they have a number of secondary abilities that might be worth your while in certain situations.

Kaortic Hulk (Issue #330)
CR: 8
HD: 9
How to get it: None by RAW, likely SM VII
Role: Brute
Fluff: Supposedly descended from a pre-kaorti wizard's cat familiar, the kaortic hulk exists now only to prey upon others and devour anything it can.
Advantages: Decently damaging in melee. Good AC. Blindsight 120'.
Disadvantages: No DR, SR, or resistances. A 1% cumulative chance per round that it will turn on you is a really bad idea.
Notable SLAs: Gaseous Form, Spider Climb, Invisibility, and Silence 2/day.
Final Evaluation: You have much better melee creatures available to you, and you also have ones that won't turn on you. Kaortic hulks fall into the "Never, ever, use" category.

Kyra (Issue #348)
CR: 11
HD: 12
How to get it: None by RAW, likely SM IX
Role: Manipulator
Fluff: Kyra despise all things with a burning passion, most of all their former masters, the daelkyr. The only beings they seem to tolerate are the illithid. They hoard magic items voraciously, so you might tempt them with one or two of those.
Advantages: 360' Blindsight is great for detection. They radiate a profane aura that gives them AC bonuses and frightens those who approach. Their tentacle attacks can confuse their foes. Decent grapplers with relatively high AC. Good ranks in UMD.
Disadvantages: Hardly any damage at all, with just one attack per round. Being in sunlight drains its CON, though that's likely only an issue for a bind. Fairly slow for a flyer.
Notable SLAs: None.
Final Evaluation: Not impressed at all. Really, the only feasible use for a kyra is as a grappler, and you've got creatures that do the job better at SM IX.

Malfera (Issue #343)
CR: 6
HD: 9
How to get it: None by RAW, likely SM VI
Role: Minion
Fluff: A horrific amalgam of elephant, octopus, and lobster, the Malfera is a creature straight out of a nightmare - quite literally, as it inhabits the Demiplane of Nightmares. They enjoy frightening mortals in their dreams and rarely leave their home.
Advantages: A decent mid-level grappler, with acidic tentacles and Improved Grab. Decent HP.
Disadvantages: No SR or DR. Their damage and defenses are poor. A veritable crapshoot of useless abilities: Nightmare is useless, their poison is weak, and an unlocking touch.
Notable SLAs: Knock and See Invisibility at will, plus Nightmare 1/day.
Final Evaluation: Blech. Kind of a grab-bag of suck, to be honest. I can't see a use for most of their abilities, either because you have better choices to achieve the same goal or they're terrible goals to begin with. Next!

Simpathetic (Issue #351)
CR: 3
HD: 1
How to get it: None by RAW, likely SM IV
Role: Manipulator
Fluff: The origin of these fiendish avians is unclear, but their goals are quite obvious - the draining of joy and goodness and the propagation of malice and evil.
Advantages: Their aura can drain alignment. Blinding spittle. A good SLA choice.
Disadvantages: Very fragile and no melee presence. How often will you fight good foes (and ones that subsequently need alignment drain)? Blood Spit has an awful save DC.
Notable SLAs: Charm Monster 3/day.
Final Evaluation: Well, Charm Monster is good. But that's really about it. Too weak for the level, and mostly useless abilities. Pass.

Umbral gloom (Issue #353)
CR: 11
HD: 10
How to get it: SM IX
Role: Manipulator
Fluff: Umbral glooms are one of Shar's chosen servitor creatures. They worship their dark mistress fanatically and work to spread her vision across Faerun. Some serve Mask, and you can likely turn the two factions against each other, though the two deities are nominally aligned.
Advantages: Twelve attacks per round, with each one possibly inflicting Crushing Despair. They can jump from shadow to shadow and are blessed with the very essence of shadow, giving them bonuses to AC, initiative, and saves against Shadow Weave spell schools. Good immunities, ranging from cold to energy drain to critical hits.
Disadvantages: Don't do much damage with those tentacles. Middling AC. At this level, everything probably has Mind Blank anyway, so Crushing Despair won't do much.
Notable SLAs: Deeper Darkness and Knock at will, plus Scare and Modify Memory 3/day, plus Nightmare 1/day.
Final Evaluation: Not a great pick, but they can certainly rack up the attacks quickly and crush the spirits of your enemies. If you throw enough saves at something, it's likely to roll a one sometime - at least, if it's not immune. Weird, but potentially effective.

Urquirsh (Issue #358)
CR: 4
HD: 6
How to get it: None by RAW, likely SM V
Role: Manipulator
Fluff: Native to the Far Realm, the disgusting fleshy urquirsh are used by the kaortis are mobile resin factories and acidic artillery. They are not intelligent enough to give you trouble - command away.
Advantages: Exceptional debuffers - they emit a horrible stench and cover a decent radius with rubbery resin, reducing agility. They can also spew nauseating acid bombs. Quick and agile. Puzzlingly high ranks in UMD.
Disadvantages: Fragile, weak, and vulnerable to electricity. Awful in melee. No DR or SR. Dimensional Anchor can really screw it over.
Notable SLAs: None.
Final Evaluation: Not for the squeamish, the urquirsh can be a good pick for low-level artillery or a mobile debuff. You could even arm it with wands, if you can stand getting close to it. Mostly, I recommend summoning it far, far away and letting it do its vile, caustic work.
« Last Edit: March 05, 2010, 06:07:44 AM by Gnorman » Logged
Gnorman
Domesticated Capuchin Monkey
**
Posts: 111


I'm a monster. Rawr.


« Reply #10 on: August 28, 2009, 05:22:41 AM »

Aspects


Toying with gelugons and pit fiends may be a popular past time for you, mortal. But you seek to control the King of Hell now, even if only a pale reflection. Such arrogance shall not go unpunished.

- An aspect of Asmodeus, Lord of the Ninth, to an upstart arcanist.

Not satisfied with rank-and-file fiends? Then allow me to introduce you to aspects. Avatars of gods and fiendish royalty, aspects are mere shadows of their originals. Still, they possess a portion of the power. Aspects are often skilled and wield a signature power of their master copy - whether it is Orcus' eponymous Wand or Demogorgon's beguiling gaze. Entrapping aspects is a risky business, however - though each aspect is independent, the danger of drawing the attention of fell deities and fiendish overlords should give all but the most powerful summoners pause. Besides that, most suffer from a debilitating weakness - no spell resistance. Malconvokers beware, as summoning two aspects is considered at best nigh-impossible, and a reckless backfire at worst - aspects are so incensed by the presence of an identical twin that they drop everything to destroy it.


Fiendish Codex I Web Enhancement
Aspect of Baphomet
CR: 7
HD: 8
How to get it: None by RAW, likely SM VII
Role: Brute
Fluff: Baphomet, the Prince of Beasts, is a savage demon lord who revels in carnage and bloodshed. Though the original possesses a scientific curiosity, his aspects are brutal and exist only to brawl. Baphomet despises Graz'zt and Yeenoghu.
Advantages: A decent combatant, with three acceptable attacks and good DR. A great charger. His taurian cunning gives him a few advantages, like immunity to Maze and tracking. One of the few fiends with ranks in Knowledge (nature).
Disadvantages: No SR. His iterative attacks aren't likely to hit.
Notable SLAs: None.
Final Evaluation: A capable brute, but little more. You probably have better choices in your repertoire.

Aspect of Dagon
CR: 9
HD: 9
How to get it: None by RAW, likely SM VIII
Role: Brute
Fluff: Dagon is one of the eldest demon lords, roaming the depths of his realm in search of knowledge and lore. His aspects are less scholarly, concentrating more on ripping apart foes or devouring them whole. Dagon has no real enemies amongst his demonic brethren.
Advantages: A capable grappler, with constricting tentacles or a bite that can swallow your foes. Good DR and Fast Healing. Form of Madness gives enemies penalties against aquatic foes - and guess who has the aquatic subtype?
Disadvantages: Though his abilities concentrate on grappling, his modifier is a bit disappointing for the level. Disappointing damage. No SR. His Form of Madness can also affect you.
Notable SLAs: None.
Final Evaluation: Eh. A bunch of grappling options, but not the modifier to back it up. His Form of Madness is a double-edged sword. I wouldn't risk it.

Aspect of Demogorgon
CR: 9
HD: 11
How to get it: None by RAW, likely SM VIII
Role: Manipulator
Fluff: Demogorgon is truly the Prince of Demons, bestial and cunning. His aspects are not quite as intelligent or adept with magic, but they do retain his dual nature and enchanting gaze. He is constantly at war with Orcus and Graz'zt.
Advantages: He can take two actions per round. His Gaze attacks can charm and confuse, and are at a respectable DC. Impressive knowledge skills.
Disadvantages: Pathetic damage. No SR.
Notable SLAs: None.
Final Evaluation: Having Charm Monster and Confuse on call as gaze attacks can handy, if somewhat circuitous. Aspects of Demogorgon won't be tearing anything to shreds anytime soon, quite unlike the original.

Aspect of Fraz-Urb'luu
CR: 7
HD: 9
How to get it: None by RAW, likely SM VII
Role: Caster
Fluff: A noted deceiver and summoner, Fraz-Urb'luu has only just returned to the Abyss from a long imprisonment. He is carefully rebuilding his power base. His aspects are not as cunning, but share his reliance on minions. Fraz-Urb'luu has no direct enemies, but few demon lords look upon him fondly.
Advantages: Can expand your mid-level summoning power with his SLAs and Summoning ability. Decent fly speed and good AC. Plenty of ranks in UMD.
Disadvantages: Unimpressive in melee and a bit fragile. No SR. As a summon, it's nearly useless.
Notable SLAs: Greater Teleport at will, plus Persistent Image and Summon Monster IV 3/day, plus Summon Monster V 1/day.
Final Evaluation: Much better as a bind, in which case it can use its summoning abilities. Persistent Image, like all illusions, is only limited by your creativity, giving ol' Fraz plenty of potential.

Aspect of Juiblex
CR: 8
HD: 8
How to get it: None by RAW, likely SM VII
Role: Brute
Fluff: Juiblex, the Faceless Lord, is the simplest demon lord to understand - he hates all living things and seeks only to engulf them into his oozing maw. His aspects are likely easily comprehensible. Juiblex maintains a healthy enmity for Zuggtmoy, as they share the same realm in the Abyss and war constantly.
Advantages: Decently mobile, what with being Amorphous. Good immunities. Decent grapple damage with his acidic slams. Blindsight 60'.
Disadvantages: Like Dagon, a disappointing grapple modifier makes the aspect of Juiblex a poor choice for doing practically the only thing he can. No SR.
Notable SLAs: None.
Final Evaluation: Just about on par with Dagon - though he does less damage, he can also grapple larger creatures. But they're both poor grapplers, and should be avoided.

Aspect of Kostchtchie
CR: 10
HD: 12
How to get it: None by RAW, likely SM VIII
Role: Brute
Fluff: The self-proclaimed ruler of all frost giants, Kostchtchie exists only to conquer all he can see. He has a healthy hatred for nearly everything, and only tolerates his frost giant supplicants. A bit dull for a demon lord, he's likely easily tricked. He maintains no specific rivalry with any other demon lord, but would rip any of them to pieces.
Advantages: A painful bruiser with his freezing iron maul. Immensely strong, he can knock around lesser creatures with ease or throw rocks from range.
Disadvantages: Low AC and DR that's slightly easier to bypass than other aspects.
Notable SLAs: None.
Final Evaluation: The Abyssal giant is essentially the same thing as an aspect of Kostchtchie, and it's only a level higher. It's also much better. But if you need to lay down some hammerin', he'll serve until the other giants are available.

Aspect of Malcanthet
CR: 8
HD: 9
How to get it: None by RAW, likely SM VII
Role: Assassin
Fluff: Malcanthet is the queen of the succubi, hedonistic and seductive. She exists only to indulge her own pleasures. While not as enchanting, her aspects are just as treacherous. She maintains an ongoing war with Yeenoghu and a rivalry with Graz'zt.
Advantages: 5d6 sneak attack damage on an adamantine spiked chain. A good fly speed and a WIS-draining poison. Good ranks in social skills and UMD.
Disadvantages: Not very strong and no Weapon Finesse, so her attack bonus and damage suffer. No SR.
Notable SLAs: None.
Final Evaluation: You have better rogue-analogues available to you. Malcanthet just doesn't live up to the same potential in combat as she does in tempting mortal souls.

Aspect of Orcus
CR: 9
HD: 9
How to get it: None by RAW, likely SM VIII
Role: Brute
Fluff: Orcus is the demon prince of the undead, twice dead and hence returned. He is bloated and corpulent, and loves to bide his time sitting on his massive throne. His aspects wield a lesser copy of the Wand of Orcus and are more willing to go out into the world. Orcus despises Graz'zt and Demogorgon, and devotes nearly all of his resources to their destruction.
Advantages: Decent damage with his wand. Critical hits threaten instant death.
Disadvantages: Slow and comparable to the broadside of a barn in combat - low AC. Poor attack bonus. No SR. Unholy weapons probably don't help you much (unless you're playing an evil game), and the instant death criticals only threaten 10% of the time, and it's a rather easy DC to beat.
Notable SLAs: None.
Final Evaluation: Fat, clumsy, and rather pointless. You have much better options in melee at this level, and none of them involve summoning the demonic version of Orson Welles.

Aspect of Pale Night
CR: 7
HD: 9
How to get it: None by RAW, likely SM VII
Role: Assassin
Fluff: Pale Night is rumored to be the mother of the entire tanar'ri race, including such major players such as Graz'zt. She is inscrutable but enjoys torturing eladrin in particular. Her aspects maintain her ethereal nature. She has no enemies among the demon lords, with all giving her a wide berth.
Advantages: Incorporeality and Spring Attack is an evil combination - you can pop out from solid objects to use her CHA-draining touch attacks. With her perfect fly speed, you can play hide and seek all combat long. Truth Beneath the Veil can leave your foes comatose and amnesic.
Disadvantages: CHA-drain can take a long time to disable foes. Truth Beneath the Veil is probably useless, as your enemies won't try to get a good look at her. But if they do, bam.
Notable SLAs: None.
Final Evaluation: A bit ponderous, but Pale Night can force your foes to play a deadly game of whack-a-mole. Given enough time and the right environment, she can infuriate plenty of enemies. She works best against foes with low CHA, obviously, so have her concentrate on uncouth warriors and stuck-up wizards.

Aspect of Pazuzu
CR: 8
HD: 9
How to get it: None by RAW, likely SM VIII
Role: Assassin/Manipulator
Fluff: Pazuzu rules the skies over the Abyss, and is the missing link between the obyrith and the tanar'ri. He commands the obedience of evil avians (a power his aspects share) and focuses his efforts on corrupting the innocent. Pazuzu has few enemies, though Graz'zt has been known to direct unkind words his way.
Advantages: A good fly speed. Four attacks a round with his greatsword and his talons. His aura makes evil flying creatures save or waste their attacks on him.
Disadvantages: Spring Attack, not Flyby Attack, which ends up being a very poor choice. He has a poor attack bonus. No SR.
Notable SLAs: None.
Final Evaluation: This one's a bit of a toss-up - if your DM allows a flying creature attacking Pazuzu to know about his aura and change targets before hand, eh. But if the creature doesn't, it wastes its action if it fails the save. That's pretty handy as a distraction against flying foes.

Aspect of Zuggtmoy
CR: 6
HD: 7
How to get it: None by RAW, likely SM VII
Role: Brute
Fluff: Zuggtmoy is the demon queen of fungi , spawning in her vast cesspools of vegetative matter. Her aspects maintain her abilities to engulf her foes. Zuggtmoy's greatest enemy is Juiblex, as they war constantly over the same layer of the Abyss.
Advantages: Her plant-based immunities are handy. Four attacks with good damage. She can grapple, constrict, and engulf foes.
Disadvantages: Like many of her demonic aspect compatriots, she has a number of grappling abilities but not the modifier to support them. Her attack bonus is low. No SR.
Notable SLAs: None.
Final Evaluation: Decidedly not a fan of this whole crappy grappler angle with the demon lord aspects. Zuggtmoy's the lowest among them, and as such just as useless, if not more so.

Fiendish Codex II Web Enhancement
A quick note: Unlike most other aspects, the ones here HAVE spell resistance!

Aspect of Asmodeus
CR: 12
HD: 15
How to get it: None by RAW, likely SM IX
Role: Overlord
Fluff: Asmodeus, the Lord of Ninth, Master of Nessus, and no less than the King of Hell, is a very powerful foe indeed - perhaps one of the most dangerous in all the planes. His aspects are blessed with his mastery of hellfire, bedeviling magic, and melee might. They likely have better things to do than serve you (their creator has them on a tight leash), so they will require a good deal of convincing to join your side - not to mention that their use can draw the eye of the original.
Advantages: Certainly lives up to his reputation as the best option from this section - aspects of Asmodeus can really lay down some pain. Violate Spell-like Ability can be useful against pesky regenerating or healing foes - 10d8 irresistable damage (half of which is vile) is a good deal. They have great fly speeds and good defenses like high AC, SR, and Mirror Image. When they run out of spells they're still capable in melee. If bound, they can summon amnizus or Nessian warhounds.
Disadvantages: STR and CON are a a bit low, but the high HD total helps with that. Susceptible to electricity.
Notable SLAs: Chain Lightning, Hellfire Storm, Magic Circle Against Good, and Mirror Image 3/day, plus True Seeing 1/day.
Final Evaluation: Among your best blasters at this level. Hellfire Storm is great for bypassing fire resistance, so they'll always be viable. Though they'll run out of spells quickly, they can wade into melee and soak up a lot of attention. They've got it all: melee power, defense, mobility, and the capacity to cause some widespread devastation against your enemies. Highly recommended.

Aspect of Baalzebul
CR: 11
HD: 13
How to get it: None by RAW, likely SM IX
Role:
Fluff: Baalzebul, the sluglike Lord of the Seventh, occupies his current form as a punishment meted out by Asmodeus - he used to be tall and regal, a fallen angel. Ruling over Maladomini, he represents the sins of pride and ambition, constantly scheming to increase his prestige. His aspects retain his sluggish, disgusting appearance and his affinity for flies. Though intelligent and cunning, he's likely to be enticed by the promise of status and respect - his aspects even more so.
Advantages: Disgorge Insects is a decent little breath weapon, doing 15d6 in a 60' cone. He can also use those flies as a defense, gaining 20% concealment. He can burrow, though not quickly.
Disadvantages: Slow and slimy, with piddling slam attacks. Heavily dependent on the luck of the roll, as you can end up having to wait six rounds before spitting out flies again. AC's just shy of decent.
Notable SLAs: None.
Final Evaluation: A source of respectable area damage, as long as you don't use him against anything with Evasion. But that's about all he can do - unlike an aspect of Tiamat, he's useless in melee. I don't find that his breath weapon makes up for his shortcomings, so I can't recommend him highly, but those flies do hurt.

Aspect of Bel
CR: 9
HD: 11
How to get it: None by RAW, likely SM VIII
Role: Brute
Fluff: Bel is the Lord of the First and spends most of his time marshaling the forces of the Hells against the legions of chaos. Hiis aspects focus less on his tactical mind and more on his prowess with a sword. Fighting the tanar'ri is his main goal - point him in the direction of demons (legitimately or not) and he'll probably align himself with your cause. Beware, though - Bel is known for treachery.
Advantages: A fairly damaging combatant in melee with a flaming greatsword, Bel is also a halfway-decent grappler (at least, the abilities to back it up) and moderately mobile. Fairly high AC and HP for his level.
Disadvantages: For a purported melee fighter, Bel's a little lackluster - his STR is a little on the low side. Also, a disappointing grapple modifier makes him somewhat incapable at one of his supposed specialties.
Notable SLAs: None.
Final Evaluation: All in all, a capable high-level bruiser, though not the best you have available to you at this point - the Vrock still edges him out slightly in nearly all areas except raw damage. Still, throw on Power Attack and you might be able to cleave your way through mooks.

Aspect of Belial
CR: 10
HD: 12
How to get it: None by RAW, likely SM VIII
Role: Manipulator
Fluff: Belial is the deposed Lord of the Fourth, having nominally given power over to his own daughter, Fierna. Belial's aspects maintain his silver tongue and way with words, always ready with a quick retort or an insidious enchantment. Belial's quite the charming rogue, so beware his honeyed demeanor.
Advantages: His cursespewing ranseur can give a foe -4 to basically everything, a potent debuff. Does plenty of vile damage, so no healing for your foes. Decent HP and AC. A handy diplomat, too, in case you're lacking one.
Disadvantages: The will save DC on his cursespewing ranseur is easily beaten, leaving him with piddling damage. His DR is overcome by silver, not good, so probably more easily beaten by your foes.
Notable SLAs: Suggestion at will, plus Charm Monster 3/day.
Final Evaluation: Same problem as practically any other Enchantment-based summon: Mind Blank is available by now. Belial's a bit too much of a Hail Mary for my taste - his curses will rarely stick and his SLAs are easily immunized against. I'd pass.

Aspect of Dispater
CR: 10
HD: 13
How to get it: None by RAW, likely SM VIII
Role: Brute
Fluff: Paranoid, cautious, and an expert defender and fortifier, Lord of the Second Dispater rules over his the city of Dis with an iron (ha) grip. His aspects retain his power over metal and his expertise with his heavy mace, though their versions of the weapon pale in comparison to the original. You will have to overcome the aspect's distrust to even begin working out a deal - likely a tough negotiation.
Advantages: Rust is a decent option against armored foes, though the save DC is a bit lackluster (fortunately CON-based, so Augment Summoning will help). Relatively accurate in combat, too. They can also pitch in as a rogue or mechanical expert, with ranks in Appraise, Knowledge (architecture), Search, Open Lock, and Disable Device. He can at least summon a couple of bone devils (though only A.) as a bind and B.) with a 50% chance).
Disadvantages: Low damage makes Dispater less than compelling in a fight. Rust means you're destroying potential loot, which is always bad - and it's basically his signature ability.
Notable SLAs: None.
Final Evaluation: More useful out of combat than in it (though that's not saying much), Dispater's aspects face a lot of competition at this level. Rust might come in handy if you're barreling through a steel-clad dungeon or need to break into an armored airship, but in most situations I'd pass without a second thought.

Aspect of Fierna
CR: 9
HD: 12
How to get it: None by RAW, likely SM VIII
Role: Assassin
Fluff: The newly-appointed ruler of Phlegethos, Fierna is hedonistic and lustful to the core. Her aspects retain her fascination with flame and carnage. Less subtle than most archdukes of Hell, Fierna can be lured into combat for the mere possibility of wreaking havoc with her searing, scarring fire.
Advantages: She can be pretty handy with her Mortalbane Flameblade, tumbling through combat and landing searing blows. She's quick and mobile, with high AC and Spring Attack. She can also function in a limited artillery capacity with Fireball.
Disadvantages: Fire resistance shuts her down hard, as she's pathetic in melee otherwise - very low damage and unimpressive HP. Mortalbane can only be used five times a day - and it's unclear whether that means per casting or per hit (at least with Flameblade). I'm inclined to go per casting, making it more effective, but if your DM rules otherwise, she becomes less useful with her blazing blade.
Notable SLAs: Flame Blade at will, plus Dispel Magic, Fireball, and Fireshield 3/day.
Final Evaluation: If you're fighting a foe susceptible to fire, she's a decent, though not stellar choice. But seeing as how most of your enemies will have at least token resistance to fire, she's likely going to sit and rot in the corner of your summoning stable, undeserving of use.

Aspect of Glasya
CR: 11
HD: 13
How to get it: None by RAW, likely SM IX
Role: Assassin/Manipulator
Fluff: Daughter of Asmodeus, Glasya is the Lord of the Sixth, Malbolge. She is imperious and arrogant, believing heavily in her own superiority. Her aspects retain her aerial mobility and her befuddling, wisdom-sapping touch. In combat, she delights in tormenting enemies, so she might be lured into your service by such temptations.
Advantages: One of the few flying aspects, Glasya's wings and Flyby Attack feat serve her well - she can swoop down, drain some WIS, and soar back up out of reach. This tactic can also make her a useful debuffer for you, lowering the will save of your foe. Decent AC.
Disadvantages: Pitiful damage with her scourge, even if it is keen. Her summoning brings some lackluster bodies into the fray - kalabons pretty much suck by now, and an erinyes won't be making much of a difference. She's also relatively frail.
Notable SLAs: None.
Final Evaluation: Well, against a low-WIS foe, she can be a good choice. But her method of attack is a bit too protracted for me to heartily recommend her - she's a one-trick pony, and it's a trick that is easily quelled. When robbed of that, she has nothing to recommend her over other choices at this level.

Aspect of Kurtulmak
CR: 11
HD: 12
How to get it: None by RAW, likely SM IX
Role: Caster
Fluff: Kurtulmak, god of the kobolds, is conniving and without compassion - his only goal is the survival and domination of his chosen race, especially over gnomes. His aspects concentrate on the sorcerous power imbued in all kobolds by dragonsblood. Likely single-minded and humorless at the negotiating table.
Advantages: Hey, getting a 12th level caster is usually a good deal. Kurtulmak's spell choices here are pretty solidly blasty - but his summoning picks make him a good choice for a bind, as he can bring more meat shields into play. Polymorph, Greater Invisibility, and a good array of metamagic are all pluses too. He can also fight decently in a pinch, with good reach and damage.
Disadvantages: His DR is overcome by chaotic, so beware of using him against demons and other minions of entropy. His spells are easily defeated by elemental resistances, so choose your targets carefully.
Notable SLAs: None, but sorcerer spell picks include: Disintegrate, Lesser Dragon Ally, Summon Monster V, Greater Invisibility, Polymorph, Summon Monster IV, Dispel Magic, Fireball, Hailstones, Lightning Bolt, Alter Self, Melf's Acid Arrow, Scorching Ray, Magic Missile, Ray of Clumsiness, and Ray of Enfeeblement.
Final Evaluation: One of the few caster types that can still throw down in a scrap, an aspect of Kurtulmak is usually a pretty good choice. I'd prefer to bind one to make use of its summoning abilities (and to make him use his own gold and XP to call a dragon into my service), though that doesn't detract from its worth as a summon. A fine choice all around.

Aspect of Levistus
CR: 10
HD: 12
How to get it: None by RAW, likely SM VIII
Role: Assassin
Fluff: Levistus, Lord of the Fifth, rules from his prison deep within a glacier in the heart of Stygia. Though sophisticated and urbane, he is consumed with the desire for revenge against Asmodeus. His aspects retain his prowess with a rapier. He frequently plots with yugoloths and even demons, so his loyalty to the Hells is suspect - use that to your advantage in a mercenary bargain.
Advantages: I'm a fan of that Magebane rapier. Combined with his Precise Strike ability and his high critical chance, an aspect of Levistus can be a decent distraction against a mage (or anything with SLAs). With Elaborate Parry, he can also boast one of the highest ACs of your summons, making him a good decoy against dimwit bruisers. Very mobile, too, with Spring Attack and high ranks in Balance and Tumble.
Disadvantages: Against non-spellcasting, crit-immune critters, Levistus' aspects are incredibly weak.
Notable SLAs: None.
Final Evaluation: A situational summon, the aspect of Levistus is nevertheless a consummate duelist under the right circumstances. Obviously, he is best used as a caster killer, but you're going to have to do something about their defenses first. But then, as a caster yourself, that's practically your job anyway.

Aspect of Mammon
CR: 10
HD: 11
How to get it: None by RAW, likely SM VIII
Role: Brute
Fluff: The Lord of the Third, Mammon presides over primarily over wealth and greed. He is two-faced and deceitful, and will manipulate shamelessly to get what he wants - which is wealth, loyalty, and power. His aspects retain the musculature of his serpentine form, winding into combat to coil and crush their foes. He is a consummate traitor, and should be bargained with using the utmost of care.
Advantages: Aspects of Mammon have constricting abilities, and are passable in combat. Spring Attack lets him dart in and out of combat to harry your foes. Fairly durable, too, and can potentially summon bearded devils or narzugons.
Disadvantages: A grappler without the raw modifier to truly succeed at it, Mammon's far from overwhelming in melee. Low damage, low BAB, and few options to recommend it.
Notable SLAs: None.
Final Evaluation: Mammon's aspects are ironically not worth much at all. They won't scratch most creatures' DR at the time you can summon them, and their feat selection encourages mobility at the cost of raw power. They're ostensibly grapplers, but can't hack it. Skip them, skip them so hard.

Aspect of Mephistopheles
CR: 11
HD: 15
How to get it: None by RAW, likely SM IX
Role: Brute
Fluff: Mephistopheles, ruler of Cania and Lord of the Eighth, is a bitter, powerhungry devil, always looking for an angle to depose his master, Asmodeus. His aspects share his fascination with hellfire, a flame of his own invention, and can use that fire to sear even the most resistant foes. They are relatively urbane and comfortable in mortal society, and frequently work with mortal allies.
Advantages: With his flaming ranseur and his permanent hellfire shield, an aspect of Mephistopheles is decent in melee. His wings make him more mobile than many other aspects, and he is an excellent negotiator with high ranks in Bluff, Diplomacy, and Intimidate, as well as a smattering of obscure Knowledge skills. Immune to cold, too.
Disadvantages: Notably weak and frail - only 15 in STR and CON. Hellfire Burst is pretty much a non-ability - 2d6 with a save for half is crappy, even if it's impossible to resist.
Notable SLAs: None.
Final Evaluation: The aspect of Mephistopheles is meant for melee but is hardly good at it - while he can do a bit of damage with the ranseur, his physical stats are frighteningly low for a bruiser. Hellfire basically sucks too, and that's just about all he can do. An easy pass.

Aspect of Sekolah
CR: 13
HD: 18
How to get it: None by RAW, likely SM IX
Role: Brute/Caster
Fluff: God of the sahuagin, Sekolah is vicious, cruel, and unforgiving. His aspects retain the merciless power of his jaws and his spacious gullet. Sekolah is aloof and does not concern himself with even the concerns of his chosen, so dealing with him (without being devoured) might be difficult.
Advantages: Possessing a highly-damaging bite, the aspect of Sekolah is also very mobile (Swim-By Attack and Sahuagin Flip help out here), allowing him to dart in and out of combat, carrying death between his serrated teeth. If a group of foes needs some softening up, boom, Horrid Wilting. If you need to separate one from the pack, hey guess what, Swallow Whole, Improved Grab, and the grapple modifier to make it work. Fast and durable to boot.
Disadvantages: Aquatic-only and Gargantuan. Unholy Blight will see limited use in a non-evil campaign. AC is a touch on the low side, but Unholy Aura can boost it.
Notable SLAs: Horrid Wilting, Unholy Aura, and Unholy Blight 1/day.
Final Evaluation: Best. Aquatic. Summon. Ever. Think of it like a bigger, badder fiendish dire shark, only with a one-shot 18d6 cannon shell added on top. Seriously. Sekolah's that good. If you're underwater, he's your go-to guy. Err, shark.

Expedition to the Demonweb Pits
Envoy of Lolth
CR: 12
HD: 10
How to get it: None by RAW, likely SM IX
Role: Manipulator/Caster
Fluff: This particular aspect of Lolth is focused on the seductive nature of the spider goddess. The Envoy is extremely charming, relying on her diplomatic abilities. Dealing with a goddess, even an aspect of one, is a difficult business, and you'll likely need to take extreme precautions.
Advantages: 10th level sorcerer casting, with a focus on enchantment spells and formidable DC's. Her aura gives all enemies a penalty to will saves, and does not offer a save itself. Good AC. Immune to enchantments. Fantastic social skills.
Disadvantages: Barely average in melee. Very limited elemental resistance and relatively low SR for her level.
Notable SLAs: None. But Sorcerer spells include Feeblemind, Charm Monster, Confusion, Fly, Heroism, Suggestion, Blur, Daze Monster, Tasha's Hideous Laughter, Touch of Idiocy, and Charm Person.
Final Evaluation: If you want a 10th level enchantment-based sorcerer on your side, then hey, Envoy of Lolth! I personally love the school, and the aspect's DC's are pretty good for the level, but you're still summoning an enchanter at a level when Mind Blank is not only in play, but ubiquitous. And again, you're dealing with the aspect of a goddess, specifically her trickery aspect. So, you know, watch your back.

Aspect of Graz'zt
CR: 11
HD: 16
How to get it: None by RAW, likely SM IX
Role: Brute/Manipulator
Fluff: Graz'zt is supremely seductive, a veritable obsidian Adonis. He is a formidable mage as well, though his aspects retain little of this ability, focusing instead upon Graz'zt's proficiency with a sword. He spends his time plotting and scheming, particularly against Orcus and Demogorgon.
Advantages: Great in melee with his greatsword, with a good bonus and formidable damage. He can seduce a foe into attacking its fellows as a swift action at a great DC. He also has an eldritch blast for a ranged option. Decent AC.
Disadvantages: Sanctuary aura is fairly useless, as you want your summons to be attacked. Size Alteration is a non-entity. Mind Blank, as always, shuts down his abilities. No SR.
Notable SLAs: None.
Final Evaluation: A good melee choice, though not quite as powerful as the abyssal giant. The addition of beguiling abilities is nice, but again, you're high level enough that mind-affecting abilities are easily negated.

Aspect of Obox-Ob
CR: 12
HD: 15
How to get it: None by RAW, likely SM IX
Role: Brute
Fluff: Obox-Ob, once the mighty prince of demons himself, has been pushed out of the spotlight in favor of the rising tanar'ri. A hideous amalgam of insect, arachnid, and decrepit shrunken head, his aspects retain his power over venom and vermin. He spends most of his time raging throughout his layer, plotting a return to power and the destruction of Demogorgon.
Advantages: Three decent attacks, Flyby Attack, and an INT-draining poison. He also releases swarms of demonwasps when damaged, making him three creatures for the price of one, though only when bound. Those swarms can potentially dominate and zombify your foes. Good AC and resistances. Constant True Seeing.
Disadvantages: His damage is disappointing. No SR.
Notable SLAs: None.
Final Evaluation: Not as good offensively as other summons at this level, Obox-Ob may be a good idea for his mobility and swarm-producing ability (again, only when bound though). I'm not a huge fan, but he could be a hell of a distraction.

Aspect of Yeenoghu
CR: 10
HD: 14
How to get it: None by RAW, likely SM VIII
Role: Brute
Fluff: Yeenoghu is the demon lord of gnolls, convinced of his race's superiority. He is savage and moves into combat with a triple flail. His aspects retain his melee might. Yeenoghu particularly despises Malcanthet and Baphomet, and wages war on both.
Advantages: Pretty savage in melee, with highly-damaging stunning flail strikes. Decent AC for his level.
Disadvantages: A fairly limited brute, with no tactical abilities or exceptional senses. No SR.
Notable SLAs: None.
Final Evaluation: Good in melee, crap at everything else. One of your better SM VIII bruisers, though.

Miniatures Handbook
Aspect of Hextor
CR: 11
HD: 12
How to get it: None by RAW, likely SM IX
Role: Brute
Fluff: Hextor is the god of conquest and war, rampaging over anything he can. Though far from stupid, he prefers to wade into battle with a savage glint in his eye. His aspects retain his prowess in combat and his multilimbed attacks. His greatest enemy is his half-brother, Heironeous.
Advantages: Eight attacks per round and nigh-unbreachable DR.
Disadvantages: Low DR, AC, and attack bonus. No SR.
Notable SLAs: None.
Final Evaluation: While he certainly has a good bit of damage potential, his attack bonus is low enough that he's going to rarely connect. Likely, Hextor won't live up to his reputation as the god of war.

Aspect of Lolth
CR: 11
HD: 14
How to get it: None by RAW, likely SM IX
Role: Assassin
Fluff: Lolth is the goddess of the drow, cruel and calculating. Her aspects maintain her arachnid nature and skills. Her greatest enemies are the gods of the elven pantheon, but she despises most other beings.
Advantages: A brutal STR-draining poison at a decent attack bonus. Plenty of strange, obscure skills. One of the few aspects with SR.
Disadvantages: Low damage and only one attack per round. Low AC and HP. Poison immunity makes her near-useless.
Notable SLAs: None.
Final Evaluation: The foes you're likely to want to use poison on are likely foes with good Fort saves. Given how easily poison is negated (and her lack of other options), I don't find this aspect of Lolth to be a good idea. Use the Envoy instead.

Aspect of Nerull
CR: 12
HD: 16
How to get it: None by RAW, likely SM IX
Role: Brute/Assassin
Fluff: Nerull, Greyhawk's god of death, is known as the Foe of All Good, as he represents malice in its purest form. He regularly consorts with fiends and the undead. His aspects reflect his mastery of negative energy and his ability to find his way through guarded places.
Advantages: Decent damage with his scythe, and a potential undead healing battery with Inflict Critical Wounds. He has a rather surprising complement of rogue skills, with Disable Device, Open Lock, Appraise, Search, and Craft (alchemy).
Disadvantages: Low AC and HP. No SR.
Notable SLAs: Inflict Critical Wounds at will.
Final Evaluation: You have better rogue options. You have better melee options. But you might not have better necrotic healing options (except perhaps the Oculus), so Nerull might be considered for that.

Aspect of Vecna
CR: 10
HD: 10
How to get it: None by RAW, likely SM VIII
Role: Caster
Fluff: Vecna, once an exceptionally powerful lich, is now the dark god of secrets and forbidden arcane lore. His aspects retain his skill with magic, albeit with a much more limited repertoire. Vecna's greatest enemy is his treacherous lieutenant Kas, though he has foes ranging from Iuz the Old to St. Cuthbert to the Lady of Pain.
Advantages: Very good scholarly skills. Undead immunities. Good against incorporeal foes with a ghost touch dagger and magic missile at will.
Disadvantages: Very low HP, due to his lack of a CON score. Exceptionally poor in melee.
Notable SLAs: Empowered Magic Missile, at will.
Final Evaluation: At the very least, Magic Missile is always a dependable option. But it does so little damage that summoning Vecna is like plinking away at a tank with an airsoft gun - sure, you might get lucky eventually, but you're going to need a lot more firepower to get the job done.

Dragon Magic
Aspect of Tiamat
CR: 13
HD: 12
How to get it: None by RAW, likely SM IX
Role: Caster/Brute
Fluff: The queen of evil dragons, Tiamat is greedy and destructive. She cares only about the rise of her children. Her aspects retain her multiheaded capabilities, breath weapons, and poisonous stinger. Her greatest enemy and direct opposite is Bahamut, the lord of all good dragons.
Advantages: Six damaging attacks per round with a painful CON-draining poison. Each of her five heads can breathe a 40' cone or line of varying elemental energy every 1d4 rounds, though only one head can do so in a given round. Great elemental resistances and attack options. Her AC is above average for her level. Blindsense 60'.
Disadvantages: Poor maneuverability. A good reflex save combined with elemental resistances or Evasion can shut her breath weapons down fairly easily.
Notable SLAs: None.
Final Evaluation: This version of Tiamat is much better than the Miniatures Handbook version, and it's also one of the best aspects you have available to you. You can use her as a mobile artillery platform, or have her deliver some severe pain in melee with her five bites. She's not the best melee summon you have, but she's in the top ten. The version in the FCII Web Enhancement is essentially the same, but trades damage for maneuverability. Not a fair trade in my mind - stick with this one.
« Last Edit: February 02, 2010, 01:09:54 AM by Gnorman » Logged
Gnorman
Domesticated Capuchin Monkey
**
Posts: 111


I'm a monster. Rawr.


« Reply #11 on: August 28, 2009, 05:56:06 AM »

Lords of Evil


I shall not be made to serve a mortal! I will gnaw the flesh from your bones and listen to it scream. And when you are nearly a flayed, bloody carcass, I shall have my priests revive you, so that I may repeat the process, eternally. Such is the penance for your presumption.

- Demogorgon, Prince of Demons, trapped in a king-size calling diagram.

A spell exists in Dragon Magazine #336 called Implore that acts as Greater Planar Binding, but up to 22/24 HD (it is inconsistent in the actual article, but for the purposes of this guide we'll go with 24), as long as you know their truenames. This allows you to bind creatures up to 28 HD, such as the extremely powerful devilish and demonic aspects from the Fiendish Codices. Though binding a demon lord or a duke of hell is one of the quickest routes to destruction available to a character, this guide professes to encompass nearly all playstyles - even nigh-epic ones. Needless to say, binding such aspects should only be attempted by the most powerful (and suicidal) characters.

Every single demon lord is available to you with this method. You can bind most of the dukes of hell (technically still aspects, but so powerful that in most games, you might as well consider them the real deal), but you're out of luck with Asmodeus, Baalzebul, Belial, and Mephistopheles - their HD totals are too high for you to bind them.


Champions of Ruin
Bazim-Gorag, the Firebringer
CR: 21
HD: 25
How to get it: Implore with Improved Calling and/or Infernal Bargainer
Role: Overlord
Fluff: The vengeful spirit of every frog you ever blew up with fireworks.
Advantages: Bazim-Gorag is the ultimate pyromaniac in your repertoire. All of his fire-based SLAs are automatically empowered, he has a +4 Unholy Flaming Burst glaive, and three times a day he can cause 100 fire damage with a normal melee attack. This is in addition to his respectful full attack schedule, hefty defenses, and his flaming aura, as well as the ability to act as an infiltrator with high social skills and shapechanging abilities. But the feather in his flaming cap is his Double Mind ability - he can fire off an extra standard action per round, as long as it's purely mental. Devastating full attacks and magical might? Sign me up. He also has Leadership, but that's the kind of gravy your DM should keep far, far away from you.
Disadvantages: As you can probably expect, fire immunity is a bit of a sore spot for him. He's a bit sluggish on the ground, too.
Notable SLAs: Animate Objects, Chaos Hammer, Cloak of Chaos, Detect Thoughts, Fear, Fire Storm, Greater Dispelling, Invisibility, Shatter, Telekinesis, Wall of Fire, and Word of Chaos at will, plus Dispel Law, Divination, Hold Monster, Meteor Swarm, Power Word Stun, and True Seeing 3/day, plus Geas/Quest, Power Word Kill, Vision, and Weird 1/day.
Final Evaluation: Against things that burn, Bazim-Gorag is a wonder of a bind. Against things that do not, he's not nearly as effective in melee - though he's still no slouch with his wide variety of SLAs. A choice pick.

Kezef, the Chaos Hound
CR: 21
HD: 28
How to get it: Implore with Improved Calling and Infernal Bargainer
Role: Assassin
Fluff: Nice doggie. Good doggie. Don't kill me, doggie.
Advantages: He's a superior tracker with the ability to move at the speed of teleport (even in a Dimensional Anchor!). He can't ever lose his prey once he finds the scent, and he'll nearly always surprise them with his ability to auto-roll a 20 on any initiative check. Scry and Die Mark II. His howl can confuse and panic his enemies. He also has high SR and some useful immunities.
Disadvantages: Unfortunately, he's a bit crap in melee, with only three piddling attacks. His acid breath will be shrugged off like so much bubble bath by basically anything at this level. His AC is disappointingly low, as is the DC on his howl.
Notable SLAs: Air Walk, Improved Invisibility, Planeshift, and Greater Teleport at will.
Final Evaluation: Situationally useful, but I wouldn't use the Chaos Hound as a bodyguard - he's just not all that impressive as a combatant. But if you need to find a paranoid, teleporting BBEG, he's the dog now, man.

Fiendish Codex I
To save some space, please note that all demon lords in this section have the following SLAs at will: Astral Projection, Desecrate, Detect Good, Detect Law, Greater Dispel Magic, Greater Teleport, Telekinesis, Unhallow, and Unholy Blight.

Baphomet
CR: 20
HD: 24
How to get it: Implore
Role: Brute
Fluff: Mess with the bull, and you get the horns.
Advantages: Pretty damaging in melee, with plenty of powerful attacks. Quick on his feet. Good on the defensive too - he can't be caught flat-footed and has respectable AC and CON. Between his 12d6 negative energy breath weapon and his Powerful Charge, he can provide good artillery against a single target or cut a large swath through minions. He can summon a goristro (meh) or a squad of bulezaus (useless). He shines against animals, with Wild Empathy and Dominate Animal as an SLA.
Disadvantages: Bellow is easily shut down with various immunizing spells. Some parts of Natural Cunning won't come into play very often (how often do you get Mazed?). His SLAs are a bit lackluster, too.
Notable SLAs: Dominate Animal, Fly, and Passwall at will, plus Maze and Symbol of Fear 3/day, plus Awaken 1/day.
Final Evaluation: Solid, if unremarkable. Good in melee with passable casting abilities, Baphomet is a big dumb wall of meat for you to hide behind - and he can summon more meat as well. A fine defensive choice for a bind, but don't expect him to be a battle-winner all by himself. More useful in a campaign with lots of animals and beasts, but that's unlikely at higher levels.

Dagon
CR: 22
HD: 25
How to get it: Implore with Improved Calling and/or Infernal Bargainer
Role: Manipulator/Caster
Fluff: 1d6 adventurers per round.
Advantages: Plenty of attacks per round. An excellent grappler, being Gargantuan, having 40' reach, and possessing Improved Grab/Constrict. He can also swallow Large or smaller opponents. He has a naturally high AC, and his Form of Madness forces creatures to take penalties to hit against him, making him a decent tank. A devastating poison, too (3d6 CON). Horrid Wilting is always nice to have. Good immunities (poison, mind-affecting, cold), and respectable tanking stats: high AC, CON, DR, and Fast Healing. A very fast swim speed.
Disadvantages: His attacks aren't particularly damaging. Lackluster SLAs outside of the normal demon lord choices. Doomsong is situational at best. He's big, so you can't really take him dungeon crawling. His Form of Madness is annoying, but can be dealt with as long as you stay away from the ocean and fighting aquatic creatures.
Notable SLAs: Chaos Hammer, Deeper Darkness, Fly, and Nightmare at will, plus Quickened Greater Dispel Magic, Horrid Wilting, and Symbol of Insanity 3/day, plus Gate 1/day. Note that Dagon, unlike his fellow demon lords, cannot cast Unholy Blight at will.
Final Evaluation: Best in an aquatic locale or campaign, Dagon is an excellent melee combatant whose grappling and swallowing abilities will likely prove useful as control. I'm less convinced by his spellcasting abilities, but he's extremely dangerous as a tank and lockdown warrior. Unfortunately, he's dangerous to you as well. Certainly more avoidably so, but I still have a kneejerk hatred of all Forms of Madness.

Demogorgon
CR: 23
HD: 27
How to get it: Implore with Improved Calling and Infernal Bargainer
Role: Overlord
Fluff: I'm the Prince of Demons. No, I'm the Prince of Demons! No, me! Me! Are not! Am too!
Advantages: Dual. Frigging. Actions. Five attacks per round, with Rotting tentacles (1d6 CON drain, plus 1 every hour thereafter until healed). His gazes can be useful, either charming, hypnotizing, or driving your opponents insane. His tail slap drains 1d4 levels with no save - quite useful as a debuffer. And if you're really pressed, he can summon the hosts of the Abyss to your side.
Disadvantages: His damage is actually quite pitiful for this level of play. Average reach and speed makes him less mobile than other choices.
Notable SLAs: Contagion, Fly, and Project Image at will, plus Feeblemind and Symbol of Death 3/day, plus Dominate Person 1/day.
Final Evaluation: He's a damn twofer! He's not so much a raging warrior as he is a debilitating tactical choice - two actions per round is extremely useful, and he can wipe away any advantages your opponents have with his various ability and level draining powers. Failing that, he can seriously mess them up. Hard to kill and scary to face. But I can't help but hear this tiny voice in the back of my head saying "Binding Demogorgon is probably a bad idea."

Fraz-Urb'luu
CR: 21
HD: 24
How to get it: Implore
Role: Caster/Manipulator
Fluff: Annoying other demon lords and mortals alike since the dawn of the tanar'ri.
Advantages: He can automatically summon any other demon, though note that doing so does not give him any sort of control over the demon. A halfway-decent grappler and imbued with stereotypical demon lord hardiness.
Disadvantages: Pretty pathetic in melee for such a high-level monster. He's not all that mobile, either. Lackluster SLAs and abilities - are 1d4 vrocks really going to make a difference for you?
Notable SLAs: Greater Magic Fang and Summon Monster VII at will, plus Programmed Image and Symbol of Weakness 3/day, plus Summon Monster IX 1/day.
Final Evaluation: Ehhh. You're already a summoner. Fraz is significantly weaker at your specialty (after all, you're built for it and all he has is Augment Summoning), and he's not exactly going to cut it in melee either. Avoid altogether.

Graz'zt
CR: 22
HD: 27
How to get it: Implore with Improved Calling and Infernal Bargainer
Role: Brute/Manipulator
Fluff: Ebony adonis or mutant mastermind? You decide.
Advantages: Decent in melee with a +5 acidic burst bastard sword, though he sacrifices accuracy for damage more than I'd like. Fiendishly difficult to hit in melee, with 54 AC and 50% miss chance from Displacement. Dominate Person is a nice SLA to have in a humanoid-heavy campaign.
Disadvantages: Frightfully few abilities - in fact, the only ones he has are his Fear-inducing sneer and his summoning powers. Some of his SLAs are useful only in niche situations you won't likely encounter. Not very mobile - without outside help, Graz'zt's walking around the battlefield.
Notable SLAs: Charm Monster at will, plus Dominate Person, Empowered Unholy Blight, and Symbol of Persuasion 3/day, plus Trap the Soul 1/day.
Final Evaluation: He's a decent decoy in combat, as he's got the highest AC out of all the demon lords by far (Orcus takes second-place with 48) - but if your enemy is intelligent at all, they'll likely become frustrated whiffing at him and go after you instead. Still, he's capable of wading into melee and doing a lot of damage, dominating and scaring vulnerable enemies. Not exactly spectacular, but plenty of points for style.

Juiblex
CR: 19
HD: 21
How to get it: GPB with Improved Calling and Infernal Bargainer, or Implore
Role: Brute
Fluff: Somebody call Venkman - this guy's a serious slimer.
Advantages: All the ooze advantages without the drawbacks, plus his own personal set of great resistances and defenses. His acidic touch is great against armored foes, and he can spit green slime as a free action every other round, giving him some free Con damage here and there. He's a decent grappler, and can engulf Medium creatures to drown and/or sear them with his acidic form.
Disadvantages: Not stellar in melee, with a weak attack bonus and poor AC. Other than Hold Monster, his SLAs are nothing to get excited about.
Notable SLAs: Fly and Hold Monster at will, plus Quickened Hold Monster, Phase Door, and Symbol of Insanity 3/day, plus Despoil 1/day.
Final Evaluation: He's more of a tank than anything else - his poor AC may encourage dumber foes to focus on him, and he can soak up hits while dissolving arms and armor. Best against human-shaped and human-sized enemies, as they're most likely to depend on equipment.

Kostchtchie
CR: 21
HD: 23
How to get it: Implore
Role: Brute
Fluff: Kostchtchie smash!
Advantages: A big dumb brute with an enormous hammer, Kostchtchie can pound away with aplomb. His attack bonus isn't stellar due to his use of Power Attack, but if his hits connect, they're gonna hurt. He forces a one-round stun (DC 36) if he connects with a critical hit, which is nice. He also has respectable AC and a high HP total. Plus, barbarian rage.
Disadvantages: Almost no options outside of straight melee combat - anything with mobility and/or trickery will outmaneuver him easily. His magical skills are sorely wanting. Sadly, his maul only has a +1 bonus on it (you'd think a demon lord could afford something better). Pathetic reflex save and a weakness to fire means he easily succumbs to heat.
Notable SLAs: Ice Storm and Wind Walk at will, plus Poison and Symbol of Weakness 3/day, plus Harm 1/day.
Final Evaluation: My instinct is to pass him over - for the same spell, you could be binding Bazim-Gorag or Bel, both of whom are much better in melee and have a multitude of other options available to them. I'm not impressed.

Malcanthet
CR: 21
HD: 25
How to get it: Implore with Improved Calling and/or Infernal Bargainer
Role: Assassin/Manipulator
Fluff: Kiss and tell.
Advantages: Now this is more like it! Malcanthet, despite looking somewhat fragile, is just made for wading into melee, with 10d6 sneak attack and a weakening gaze (that she can also use to dominate one creature per round, though she can only maintain one thrall at a time). She gets eight attacks per round, including a +5 shocking burst chain (making her an excellent tripmonkey or disarm artist) and a tail sting that inflicts crippling Wis damage. She's fast, mobile, and can sow dissension and chaos in the ranks of your enemies, even if she can't get into melee with them. Her high AC is primarily due to a deflection modifier, meaning that unlike most of her peers, she has a respectable touch AC.
Disadvantages: Reflect Enchantment, though cool in concept (she reflects any enchantment spell that fails to overcome her SR back at the caster), ends up being fairly useless. Creatures immune to critical hits will foil her quickly, as her melee damage is low without the sneak attack.
Notable SLAs: Charm Monster, Disguise Self, and Greater Command at will, plus Mind Fog and Symbol of Persuasion 3/day, plus Mass Charm Monster 1/day.
Final Evaluation: If you can't see the allure of having the queen of the succubi fight at your side, I just don't know what to do with you. Even without the supreme sexiness, she's awesome in a scrap. A definite contender for one of the best binds in this power level.

Obox-Ob
CR: 22
HD: 26
How to get it: Implore with Improved Calling and/or Infernal Bargainer
Role: Brute/Manipulator
Fluff: "Hey! You tanar'ri! Get off my lawn!"
Advantages: Definitely a theme running here, with the ability to throw out tons of bugs. Obox-Ob's venom is particularly deadly against wizards, draining intelligence quickly and turning the victim into a fiendish scorpion if it kills. Implant Chaos is a potent debuff, inflicting 1d4 negative levels per round until death if it succeeds. He's reasonably mobile and has Flyby Attack.
Disadvantages: His melee abilities are neither particularly accurate nor damaging, and his Discordant Drone ability has a weak DC. His Form of Madness is useless (oh no, they'll have nightmares! You're trying to kill them).
Notable SLAs: Giant Vermin and Summon Swarm at will, plus Creeping Doom, Quickened Giant Vermin, Quickened Telekinesis, and Symbol of Insanity 3/day, plus Polymorph Any Object (vermin shape only) 1/day.
Final Evaluation: If you like bugs, you'll like Obox-Ob. I'm not thrilled by him, but he has a few potent debuffs. The problem is making them connect. Too unreliable for my liking, but he can produce his own walls of chitin.

Orcus
CR: 22
HD: 26
How to get it: Implore with Improved Calling and/or Infernal Bargainer
Role: Brute/Caster
Fluff: Fat guy in a little coat. Except the coat is made of human flesh.
Advantages: Unlimited Enervation's never a bad thing. His Wand can cause instant death to quite a few enemies. He's reasonably accurate in melee, and his AC is respectable (though not at the Graz'zt level). Undead immunities without the weaknesses are definitely on the plus side. Admirable ranks in craft (alchemy).
Disadvantages: Pitifully low DCs on his SLAs, owing to his low Charisma. His wand isn't much better, but at least it forces a save with every touch. His attacks aren't particularly damaging. Quite slow and sluggish. Death Ward pretty much shuts him down cold.
Notable SLAs: Command Undead and Enervation at will, plus Quickened Enervation, Finger of Death, and Symbol of Death 3/day, plus Wail of the Banshee 1/day.
Final Evaluation: For a supposed lord of death, he's not actually all that skilled at making things die. Easily negated and disappointingly weak at his supposed niche. I'd skip him entirely, unless I wanted to force the Demon Prince of the Undead to make me some tanglefoot bags.

Pale Night
CR: 21
HD: 24
How to get it: Implore
Role: Manipulator
Fluff: Trust me, do NOT go in there. Wheeew.
Advantages: Quite mobile in the air, with all the advantages of incorporeality and a Charisma-draining touch. Since she's a Charisma-fiend herself, her SLAs are potent and can definitely swing a battlefield in your favor. Her Embrace ability is powerful, forcing an enemy to make a Fort save at a 34 DC or be put in permanent stasis - and it stuns even on a success.
Disadvantages: She won't be dealing any damage besides her status effects and the Charisma drain, as her martial abilities are practically non-existent.
Notable SLAs: Confusion and Magic Jar at will, plus Quickened Confusion, Insanity, and Symbol of Insanity 3/day, plus Imprisonment 1/day.
Final Evaluation: Kind of a left-field bind, but a potent one if used correctly. She can divide and conquer the battlefield for you, leaving your foes confused, stunned, possessed, or sunk into a horrible nightmare of a coma. But don't expect her to draw any enemy attention away from you.

Pazuzu
CR: 22
HD: 27
How to get it: Implore with Improved Calling and Infernal Bargainer
Role: Overlord
Fluff: And zat, little one, is how Papa Pun-Pun came to rule ze world. Now bonne nuit, bonne nuit to you all.
Advantages: A fine attack schedule with his +3 anarchic greatsword, he's also mobile and quick, with a decent AC and more Fast Healing than most of his peers. His Aura of Servile Avians can force flying evil creatures to waste their attacks on him. He has two breath weapons: his poisonous acid breath is damaging and debilitating, while his locust swarm breath can provide some distractions for lesser minions.
Disadvantages: Wish is available on lower-level creatures without jumping through so many hoops, so it's not really that much of a draw. His other SLA choices are lackluster at best.
Notable SLAs: Insect Plague and Wind Walk at will, plus Plane Shift and Symbol of Persuasion 3/day, plus Wish 1/day.
Final Evaluation: You've got better melee choices, but his mobility in the air (and his ability to deal with flying foes) is nearly unmatched. Very situational, but if you know you're going up against a dragon behemoth, he can be a helpful distraction.

Yeenoghu
CR: 20
HD: 24
How to get it: Implore
Role: Brute
Fluff: If you covered him in vegetation, you'd have yourself a grassy gnoll.
Advantages: He can do plenty of damage with his triple-headed flail, as well as potentially causing confusion or paralysis. He's got a fairly high AC, and can summon a veritable horde of low-level distractions.
Disadvantages: His flail's DC isn't exactly special, and he's not exactly a star in the accuracy department. His complement of SLAs aren't especially helpful.
Notable SLAs: Bull's Strength, Fly, and Ghoul Touch at will, plus Power Word Stun, Rage, and Symbol of Weakness 3/day.
Final Evaluation: Another mindless brute with not much else to recommend him. You've got much better choices. No need for this one.

Zuggtmoy
CR: 21
HD: 26
How to get it: Implore with Improved Calling and/or Infernal Bargainer
Role: Brute/Caster
Fluff: Fear her freaky fungus.
Advantages: She's a potent grappler, with a decent modifier and the ability to drain Constitution from foes she's engulfed. Her Plant immunities are handy and she has a decent (though not amazing) AC. Sporegate allows her to teleport willy-nilly within a 60' radius, giving her some much-needed mobility.
Disadvantages: Only a few of her SLAs are useful, and the DCs on them are piss-poor. She'll rarely cause much damage in a straight melee, depending heavily on grappling to do anything at all.
Notable SLAs: Contagion, Fly, and Wall of Thorns at will, plus Quickened Contagion, Polymorph Any Object (fungal forms only), and Symbol of Death 3/day, plus Implosion 1/day.
Final Evaluation: She definitely falls into the grappler niche, and she's not exactly stellar at it. Her lack of Charisma really hurts her utility and effectiveness in the SLA department. Definitely an unnecessary pick.

Fiendish Codex II

Bel
CR: 20
HD: 22
How to get it: GPB with Infernal Bargainer and Improved Calling, or Implore.
Role: Brute/Caster
Fluff: Uncle Bel wants YOU for the Blood War.
Advantages: Bel just tears it up in melee with his flaming greatsword. He also has damaging SLAs and great defenses, with top-notch DR and AC. A decent grappler with a deadly poison bite. He possesses a mighty fear aura and can summon more devils to his side.
Disadvantages: A very difficult bind. His SLAs are mostly limited to blasting.
Notable SLAs: Dispel Magic, Hellfire Storm, Hold Person, Magic Circle Against Chaos, Major Image, and Wall of Fire at will, plus Meteor Swarm and Unholy Aura 1/day.
Final Evaluation: Essentially an improved Pit Fiend (with everything that entails), Bel is a heavy hitter of a bind - perhaps one of the best available to you at the GPB level, at least on the same level as Balors, Klurichirs, and Molydei. Though this will likely draw the wrath of the Hells on you, it might be worth the risk.

Dispater
CR: 21
HD: 28
How to get it: Implore with Improved Calling and Infernal Bargainer
Role: Brute
Fluff: You sit in your tower! And... nap!
Advantages: Dispater is made to essentially wade into melee and cause havoc with his rusting grasp or at-will Flesh to Iron touch attacks. He's best against armed and armored foes. Good tactical melee choice - decent tripper and grappler. Likely real effective against golems. He can summon a Pit Fiend, just in case he isn't enough on his own, and is surrounded by a formidable fear aura. Really difficult to kill, with loads of HP and resistances. Tons of crafting and rogueish skills, if that's even a consideration at this point.
Disadvantages: His complement of SLAs is pretty pathetic, with out-of-combat divinations and mid-level enchantment and illusions spells. He's not very damaging with that Iron Rod, either.
Notable SLAs: Charm Monster, Greater Dispel Magic, Greater Teleport, Major Image, Suggestion, True Seeing, and Wall of Iron at will, plus Blasphemy, Locate Creature, Locate Object, Polymorph, and Unholy Aura 3/day, plus Iron Body 1/day.
Final Evaluation: He's a good tank, but that's about all an aspect of Dispater excels at. Won't be taking down your foes quickly - and if you're tossing around 28 HD minions you're likely fighting some awful, awful things. Outclassed by others, but could be useful if you have him soak up damage while continually trying to turn your foes into twisted iron mockeries of their former selves.

Fierna
CR: 19
HD: 28
How to get it: Implore with Improved Calling and Infernal Bargainer
Role: Caster
Fluff: She's Bel's consort! She's Bel's daughter! She's Bel's consort AND Bel's daughter!
Advantages: Well, she certainly likes fire! Like, a lot. So much so that that's about all she can do. Besides laying down some serious temperature-induced pain, she also has a formidable fear aura.
Disadvantages: Fire resistance is easy to come by and really puts the hurt on her blasting abilities. Her melee follow-up is pathetic - either piddling little claws or a lackluster Flame Blade. The creatures she can summon are really underpowered: barbazu or hamatula. They're little more than hors d'ouevres for your enemies by now.
Notable SLAs: Dispel Magic, Fireball, Fire Shield, Flame Blade, Greater Teleport, Suggestion, and Wall of Fire at will, plus Dominate Person and Fire Storm 3/day, plus Meteor Swarm 1/day.
Final Evaluation: Way too easy to shut down completely. Her obsession with fire is all-consuming - if you can't kill it with fire, Fierna won't be killing it at all. Too one-dimensional for my tastes, so give her a well-deserved pass.

Glasya
CR: 22
HD: 28
How to get it: Implore with Improved Calling and Infernal Bargainer
Role: Manipulator
Fluff: A real daddy's girl.
Advantages: She has a small selection of battlefield-turning SLAs at formidable DCs. If those fail, she's halfway-capable in melee with her scourge, and fairly mobile. She can potentially summon a pit fiend twice per day and can drain WIS with a touch attack. She's surrounded by a powerful confusion aura (the range of which can be extended by her Dilate Aura feat), which can make her a great eye-of-the-storm combatant.
Disadvantages: Her SLAs are too focused on save-or-dies (and Enchantment spells, to boot), and too limited. Her poison and disease are straight-up terrible (be unable to heal damage from her bite attack? Really? Her bite attack sucks). Immunity to mind-affecting spells shuts her down cold.
Notable SLAs: Charm Monster, Contagion, Greater Dispel Magic, Greater Teleport, Major Image, Polymorph, Suggestion, and True Seeing at will, plus Dominate Person and Hold Monster 3/day, plus Dominate Monster and Finger of Death 1/day.
Final Evaluation: She's got a lot of options at her disposal, which is nice. But she's not particularly adept at any of them - she's not as mobile as Levistus, not as durable as Dispater, not as damaging as Bel. I find her to be sadly inefficient at disposing of your foes. Not my first choice by a long shot, but certainly better than Fierna.

Levistus
CR: 21
HD: 25
How to get it: Implore with Improved Calling and/or Infernal Bargainer
Role: Assassin/Caster
Fluff: Ice to meet you, Batman (Wizard).
Advantages: A potent high-level swashbuckler. He can achieve a phenomenal AC with Elaborate Parry and Combat Expertise, rack up some extra damage (including CON damage) against foes with discernable anatomies, and has Evasion and Spring Attack. High ranks in great mobility skills. His SLAs are useful (though not brilliant) and he can deflect spells 1/day. When all else fails, he can dive in with a memory-wiping, stunning touch and summon gelugons or a pit fiend.
Disadvantages: Doesn't do much damage, even with Precise Strike - the duelist is a bad combat archetype. Having such a high AC defeats the purpose of having a meat shield - your foe will likely get sick of missing and move on to less agile fare.
Notable SLAs: Charm Monster, Clairaudience/Clairvoyance, Greater Dispel Magic, Greater Teleport, Ice Storm, Major Image, Scrying, See Invisibility, Suggestion, and Wall of Ice at will, plus Demand and Unholy Aura 3/day.
Final Evaluation: While he won't replace a rogue (owing to his lack of Disable Device and Search ranks), Levistus can be a very mobile, agile fighter to add to your ranks. As most of your other potential binds tend to be brute force bruisers, it's a nice change of pace - though not an altogether better one. He's arguably more effective against casters, as he can close in and harass them once you've grounded/dispelled them (I wish this version had the Magebane rapier that his aspect does, as it'd be more welcome than Wounding), potentially hitting with his stunning Amnesia Touch. An interesting pick - but not one I'd take in a heartbeat.

Mammon
CR: 21
HD: 28
How to get it: Implore with Improved Calling and Infernal Bargainer
Role: Brute/Manipulator
Fluff: Greed, for lack of a better word, is good.
Advantages: Very capable in melee and a potent grappler. Great defenses, HP, and AC. Touch of Greed is potentially extremely hilarious, as it forces your foe to randomly attempt to steal someone's valuables. Decent SLAs that aren't well-represented elsewhere. Decent skills, with Appraise, Forgery, and Search. High ranks in Profession (bookkeeper), in case you ever needed the services of a fiendish accountant.
Disadvantages: Touch of Greed could end up screwing you (what if it comes for your valuables?). Turning into a Pit Fiend is pretty useless - Mammon is already more powerful than one. Unholy is always such a waste of a weapon property unless you're in an evil campaign.
Notable SLAs: Charm Monster, Discern Location, Enthrall, Fireball, Greater Teleport, Major Image, See Invisibility, and Suggestion at will, plus Hold Monster, Phantasmal Thief, and Unholy Aura 3/day, plus Weird 1/day.
Final Evaluation: An interesting mix of melee/grappling prowess and manipulative abilities, Mammon is probably your second best combat choice from this book, if only for powerful crushing serpent body. Bel is a better raw fighter, but Mammon has subtler, more devious spells and the most summoning potential out of these aspects. But seriously, Profession (bookkeeper)? Mammon, you crack me up.
« Last Edit: January 20, 2011, 04:09:44 AM by Gnorman » Logged
Gnorman
Domesticated Capuchin Monkey
**
Posts: 111


I'm a monster. Rawr.


« Reply #12 on: August 28, 2009, 05:56:21 AM »

Strategizing Your Summons


"Now, ye see what ye did, laddie? Ye got Hilda here all angry. Now I'm gonna sit back and watch while she rips yer guts out the top of yer head."

- Valgrim Battlehorn, dwarven conjurer, to a very unfortunate giant.

Using your summons isn't always just about choosing the right one. Though you have a wealth of options available to you, it's also a good idea to consider other methods of power - the classic combination of feats, spells, and items. Included below are a number of choices to consider when looking to increase your power as a summoner, from dashing hats to massive buffs. Pay attention to the following section, and you just might go from dabbling demonologist to the calm eye at the center of a summoning storm, a whirling dervish of extraplanar extermination.

A few notes:

I will be concentrating almost solely on Wiz/Sorc and Cleric/Archivist entry with these lists. Though Druids are capable summoners, they do not have access to Summon Monster on their spell lists - therefore I will be ignoring druid-specific spells, feats, and items. Look for a druidic summoning supplement in the future. Other classes such as the Bard, Binder, or Wu Jen have summoning capabilities, but make for poor summoners in general and awful Malconvokers.


Feats
Augment Elemental (Magic of Eberron): Makes your elementals better, with temporary HP and attack and damage bonuses.. Not the best choice for a Malconvoker, unless you alter the class to work on neutral summons - in which case, it becomes a great choice.

Augment Summoning (PHB): Probably your most important feat, as it gives +4 STR and CON to all your summons, making them more effective in melee and more durable. Requires the comparatively less useful Spell Focus (conjuration), but you can always take the Enhanced Summoning Alternative Class Feature to trade Scribe Scroll for this. At least, a wizard can.

Beckon the Frozen (Frostburn): A minor damage boost (1d6 cold) and the addition of the Cold subtype on your summons. This opens up a few buffs from the same book for your creatures, but beware their new vulnerability to fire. Optional to use, so don't when it's disadvantageous.

Chain Spell (Complete Arcane): While you can only chain single-target spells that have a range greater than touch, this is a great metamagic for spreading buffs around. Secondary uses allow you to toss out widespread devastation on the battlefield, so I highly recommend picking it up. It's expensive though, at +3.

Cloudy Conjuration (Complete Mage): So many tactical possibilities for a cloud of sight-blocking, sickening smoke. Put it between you and your enemies when you summon to gain concealment and break line of sight for enemy targeting. Put it on blindsighted summons to give your enemies a temporary debuff while keeping your allies in the fight. Teleport your minions around and leave waves of divisive black smoke. One of my favorite feats, and an auto-include in nearly every summoning build.

Demon Mastery (FCI): +1 CL when summoning demons and +2 on CHA checks to bind them. Good for a demonic-focused summoner. Easy to alter for your own purposes, becoming Devil Mastery, Yugoloth Mastery, et cetera.

Extend Spell (PHB): Likely one of your first metamagics. Always useful, though as a Malconvoker you'll get it for free.

Fiendish Summoning Specialist (Planar Handbook): Allows you to freely add one evil creature per spell level to your summoning lists. Handy if your DM is a stickler about what you can summon. There's also a Celestial version of this, if you're so inclined.

Imbue Summoning (PHB II): A +1 metamagic, this spell allows you to enhance your summons with a 3rd-level-or-lower buff spell for free at the time of summoning. Has to have a range of Touch, though, which can be limiting. A few suggestions from Akalsaris: Babau Slime, Heroics, Girallon's Blessing, Cat's Grace, Eagle's Splendor, or Heroism.

Infernal Bargainer (Races of Faerun): It's a regional feat, and only available to Outsiders. But it adds 2 HD to your binding limits and a -2 on all attempts to escape from your traps. Makes you that much better of a binder. Minor bonuses on a few interplanar divinations, too.

Infernal Sorcerer Heritage (PHB II): Sorcerer-only. Gives +2 to CL when summoning evil outsiders, and minor save bonuses against fire and poison.

Invisible Spell (Cityscape): If you can slide it past your DM (because it's pretty cheesy), all of your summons are now invisible. For free.

Metamagic School Focus (Complete Mage): 3/day, reduce the level adjustment of metamagic in the chosen school by one. Handy.

Nexus Method (Dragon #319): Regional Greyhawk feat, Wizard-only. Lets you spontaneously change non-Conjuration spells to Summon Monster spells. Useful if you're a generalist summoner or a specialist in something other than Conjuration - not so useful as a Conjurer, since most of your slots will be in the school anyway. Definitely avoid as a Focused Specialist Conjurer.

Practiced Spellcaster (Complete Arcane): Fix that lost caster level from the Malconvoker or other partial-progression PrC.

Rapid Metamagic (Complete Mage): Mainly for Sorcerer entry. Apply metamagic to your summoning and still keep it down to a full round action.

Rapid Spell (Complete Divine): Gets those full-round actions down to standards for a +1 metamagic. Good for divine entry, since wizards have the Rapid Summoning ACF and Sorcerers can take Rapid Metamagic.

Stalwart Planar Ally (Planar Handbook): Though you need a Touchstone feat first, this gives you an auto-extend, +4 AC, and +4 to all saves on any creature you summon native to the same plane as your touchstone. Baator or the Abyss are good choices.

Summon Elemental (Complete Mage): Treantmonklvl20 has written more elegantly about this feat on his guide. This gives you free, unlimited elemental summoning, more handy for utility than for combat but still just about one of the most versatile feats around. Nearly always an auto-include.

Twin Spell (Complete Arcane): For a +4 adjustment, you can now summon twice the creatures. With Infernal Legion, a ninth level spell could potentially get you eight Voors (if you roll well). Dubiously useful, but an awfully cool trick.

Spells

Player's Handbook

Aid (Ench; Clr 2): Like Bless, but with some extra temporary HP. Nothing special at higher levels.

Animal Growth (Trans; Wiz 5): Only mentioned it so you know to skip it: all of your animal summons are either celestial or fiendish, and therefore magical beasts. So it doesn't work. If your DM is a bit more lenient, this becomes a great buff spell to throw on some of your heftier beasts - fiendish tyrannosaurs or fiendish dire tigers, for example, benefit significantly from the spell.

Bear's Endurance/Bull's Strength/etc. (Trans; Clr 2, Wiz 2): Strength and Endurance end up being fairly useless for you, as they won't stack with Augment Summoning. Eagle's Splendor can be a nice boost to a primary SLA-using summon, while Cat's Grace is always a little helpful - more so on summons with Weapon Finesse. Owl's Wisdom and Fox's Cunning are more situational. The Mass versions at level 6 are a harder resource to let go of - I'd rather spend my spells at that level doing something more useful.

Bless (Ench; Clr 1): Somewhat helpful at low levels - completely useless and a waste of an action at higher ones.

Cloak of Chaos/Holy Aura/Shield of Law/Unholy Aura (Abj; Clr 8): A potent aura, though it has a limited radius. As a cleric, you're most likely more comfortable wading into melee, and so it may work out in your favor. Cloak of Chaos and Shield of Law may be a bit more palatable to your summons, as I doubt many demons or devils will appreciate being surrounded by a Holy Aura (it may also give you away).

Displacement (Illu; Wiz 3): Short and useless against foes with True Seeing, but occasionally helpful when an evasive tank is needed.

Enlarge Person (Trans; Wiz 1): This buff, though normally superior, really falls through when it comes to a summoner - very few of your resources are humanoids.

Freedom of Movement (Abj; Clr 4): Resource-taxing, but handy against grapplers. Throw it on your best summon and watch it slip out of your foe's grasp time and time again. Smarter enemies might wise up, but not all your enemies are smart.

Haste (Trans; Wiz 3, Bard 3): A classic for a reason. Who doesn't love faster summons with better reflexes, dodging capacity, and an extra attack? Plus, it's a mass spell, so you don't even have to fuss about with metamagic to make it worth your while.

Heroism (Ench; Wiz 3): A potent, long-lasting buff on a single creature. The mass version can affect your entire army. Keep in mind that it's a morale bonus, so if you have a bard in the party or are sporting an Admiral's Bicorne, it's redundant.

Imbue with Spell Ability (Evo; Clr 4): Hey, if you want to throw some low-level buffs on a critter that needs them, this is your spell. Heavy restrictions apply, though you can at least give them the following: Entropic Shield, Protection from X, Shield of Faith, Resist Energy, and Undetectable Alignment (this one in particular has some great roleplaying applications). They cast with your caster level, not their own, so they're still potent.

Invisibility (Illu; Wiz 2): Helps you gain the edge in stealth and surprise. The greater, mass, and superior versions are all quite helpful as well (especially the mass version, since your stock in trade is overwhelming your enemies with veritable platoons of summons).

Jump (Trans; Wiz 1): On a creature like the bar-lgura, whose Jump check is already quite high, the boost can allow you to hit some phenomenal DC's. But at that point, Jump's likely been made obsolete by Fly.

Keen Edge (Trans; Wiz 3): A few of your summons have some powerful effects that take place when they score a critical hit. This helps to bring them into play more often.

Magic Weapon, Greater (Trans; Wiz 3, Clr 4) Sometimes you need something to hit really hard. Better as a wizard. A homebrewed mass version would be gangbusters on Legion Devils or other soldiering fiends.

Polymorph (Trans; Wiz 4): Some dirty tricks available with this one, of course. Some of your summons (like your gigantic vermin) have a much higher HD total than others - you can use this headstart to polymorph them into more powerful creatures at much lower levels than you could otherwise. A Gargantuan fiendish monstrous centipede, for example, has 12 HD and is summonable at SM VI. A Bebilith has 12 HD as well, and is summonable at SM IX. For a 6th level spell and a 4th level spell, you can mimic a 9th level spell.

Protection from Arrows (Abj; Wiz 2): Most of your summons have enough DR to shrug off ranged attacks like they were nothing.

Resist Energy (Abj; Wiz 2, Clr 2): Don't buff your summons with this. Summon things with good elemental resistances to begin with. This goes for all the various iterations of the spell: Endure Elements, Protection from Energy, et cetera.

Shield of Faith (Abj; Clr 1): Deflection bonuses are somewhat rarer on summons, so this could offer a needed AC boost.

Spell Immunity (Abj; Clr 4): Handy if you know what you're up against, as it can make some encounters a walk in the park. You have to know which spells you're likely to face, however. Protects against up to 4th level spells, while the greater version can protect against 8th level spells.

Statue (Trans; Wiz 7): Some interesting applications for bound creatures. Hide your demonic guardians as statues, then have them pop out when they're needed. Handy if you need the element of surprise while guarding a static location.

Telepathic Bond (Div; Wiz 5): Very useful when you need to speak without speaking. Keep in mind that a number of your summons already have telepathy, but this allows you to maintain communication with them over long distances and without barking orders at them (orders that your foes might be able to understand).

Undetectable Alignment (Abj; Clr 2): Judicious use of this and either Alter Self, Disguise Self, or Polymorph can allow you to bring a bound fiend into even the holiest of places. Paladin sanctuaries. Sacred temples. They'll never know the truth!

Vampiric Touch (Necr; Wiz 3): Your summons won't care if you use them as living HP batteries. They're going to pop back to their home plane anyway! Use this on them after they've fought valiantly and just before their duration runs out. Kind of cruel, but fiends might expect such behavior.

Veil (Illu; Wiz 6):Useful on long-term infiltration missions. Turn your fiendish horde into a rabble of dirty peasants, or foppish courtesans, or whatever you need.

Player's Handbook II
Animalistic Power (Trans; Clr 2, Wiz 2): It's a trap. You only get +2 DEX out of it. Avoid this and its mass version (Clr/Wiz 7).

Blessing of the Righteous (Evo; Clr 4): It fills you and your summons with holy light, giving damage bonuses and good-aligned weapons - likely to make your summoned/bound fiends suspicious of your intentions, if they're not already. But it's handy to help them overcome damage reduction against their own kind.

Burning Rage (Trans; Wiz 1): Minor attack and damage bonuses, plus low-level damage reduction. Not a bad deal at low levels, but it does drain your minions' HP (like you care all that much, anyway). It's also one of the few chainable buffs.

Chasing Perfection (Trans; Clr 6, Wiz 6): +4 to all attributes. Can be handy if you're really depending on one summon or bind in particular.

Dimension Hop (Conj; Wiz 2): Low-level teleport. Could be handy.

Dimension Shuffle (Conj; Wiz 5): You are the Chessmaster. Rearrange your pieces how you see fit.

Dimension Step (Conj; Wiz 3): All your minions get to teleport their speed. Good for a quick advance or a tactical shuffle.

Etherealness, Swift (Trans; Clr 5, Wiz 5): Swift-action etherealness can have advantages, even if it's only for a round.

Insight of Good Fortune (Div; Clr 2, Wiz 2): Rerolls are always nice, even if you can only do so once per casting.

Magic Convalescence (Conj; Clr 5): Summon a host of SLA-using summons. Watch them heal you as they destroy your enemies. Nice.

Master's Touch (Div; Clr 2, Wiz 2): You won't need to boost your minions' skills very often, but when you do, this is the cheap and easy way to do it.

Mystic Surge (Univ; Wiz 4): You're a better caster than whatever you'd be using this on. Niche spell.

Regroup (Conj; Wiz 3): When you're in a jam and need backup, Regroup will bring your friends back to you. Handy for your own protection or to rescue your allies and minions from certain doom.

Renewed Vigor (Trans; Clr 4): Remove fatigue and give all allies a +2 bonus to CON (untyped!).

Share Talents (Trans; Clr 2, Wiz 2): Some of your summons have good ranks in good skills. This can help you (or even them) out. Again, I don't recommend wasting spells on improving your summons' skills very often - but sometimes it can be worth it.

Spell Compendium
Amorphous Form (Trans; Wiz 3): A double-edged sword. You get a much better infiltrator and spy, but they lose the capacity for combat and spellcasting, as well as all Su abilities. But it's better to send in an amorphous summon or bind than yourself or a party member.

Armor of Darkness (Abj; Darkness 4): Good deflection bonuses and resistances to holy attacks, if you're an evil cleric type.

Attune Form (Trans; Clr 3, Wiz 4): Taking a bunch of devils to the Abyss? Taking flammable friends to the Elemental Plane of Fire? Bam. No more worries.

Aura of Evasion (Abj; Clr 5, Wiz 6): Handy against dragons and other breath-weapon types. Only handy against dragons and other breath-weapon types.

Babau Slime (Trans; Abyss 3, Wiz 1): Good for low-level grapplers, with a duration long enough to be handy on a few lesser binds. Quickly outscaled, unfortunately, as 1d8 acid damage isn't all that much.

Baleful Transposition (Conj; Wiz 2): Bad guy hiding behind a tall tower or ominous barricade? Not anymore. Now he's smack dab in the middle of your party, and an angry gelugon is amidst his minions.

Battle Hymn (Ench; Wiz 4): Lets you and your party reroll Will saves once per round - handy against manipulative foes.

Beastland Ferocity (Ench; Wiz 1): Useless on summons. Lets your binds fight harder when near death.

Benign Transposition (Conj; Wiz 1): One of the best tactical spells in your repertoire. Swap allies and minions like chess pieces. Avoid sticky situations and grapples.

Blessed Aim (Div; Clr 1): If you have Erinyes, Spinagons, or Arrow Demons on your side, this is a cheap, long-lasting buff for their attacks.

Blindsight (Trans; Clr 3): Blindsight is good. But likely not worth another spell. If you need it, summon something with it already - it's not like you have a shortage of them anyway.

Bloodwind (Trans; Clr 1, Wiz 1): Emergency reach on natural weapons.

Brilliant Aura (Trans; Clr 8, Wiz 7): Your army now ignores armor bonuses. Handy against tanks, but beware - you cannot harm the undead or constructs now.

Cloak of Bravery (Abj; Clr 3): Fearful minions are useless minions.

Conviction, Mass (Abj; Clr 3): An eventual +5 to all your allies'/minions' saving throws. Situationally useful.

Crown of Glory (Ench; Glory 8): You become Super-Commander, handing out +4 morale bonuses and temporary HP like candy on Halloween.

Death Ward, Mass (Necr; Clr 8): Suck on that, Bodaks.

Divine Agility (Trans; Clr 5): If you need +10 to DEX on a summon, this will provide. More useful that Augment Summoning on summons with Weapon Finesse.

Divine Protection (Ench; Clr 2): AC and save bonuses for you and your minions. Also, Thor hands you a condom.

Draconic Might (Trans; Wiz 5): Better on binds. On summons, it only offers +4 CHA and +4 NA, which still might be a tempting proposition - just not for a level five spell.

Fly, Mass (Trans; Wiz 5): Give your landbound minions better maneuverability. Almost a no-brainer - Fly's just that good.

Foundation of Stone (Trans; Clr 1): Sacrifice mobility for slightly better defenses. Not a good trade normally, but might have one or two situational uses.

Fuse Arms (Trans; Clr 2, Wiz 2): Mariliths, lagathti, umbral glooms, etc., all might possibly benefit from this. You're trading attacks away, though, but the greater STR might be worth it in non-combat situations.

Girallon's Blessing (Trans; Clr 3, Wiz 3): Potentially four extra attacks on a summon! Though their damage is a bit low, this is a great spell for mixing it up in melee.

Hamatula Barbs (Trans; Clr 3, Wiz 3): Hey, it's like Babau Slime, only two levels higher and less useful!

Heroics: (Trans; Wiz 2): Grants a fighter bonus feat for a long time. Plenty of options and possibility here. Two words: Martial Study. Two other words: Mage Slayer.

Invisibility, Superior (Illu; Wiz 8): Pretty good on powerful summons and binds. Downright evil on sneak-attackers.

Ironguard, Lesser (Abj; Wiz 5): Immunity to nonmagical metal and the ability to pass right through it. Now your burrowing minions can explore the entire dungeon. The normal version (Wiz 7) allows you to ignore magical metal, too. Pity about the short duration, though.

Life's Grace (Abj; Clr 5): Death Ward Mk. II. Anti-undead.

Mage Armor, Greater (Conj; Wiz 3): +6 armor bonus to your creature - most of your creatures have natural armor, so this stacks. Great.

Mage Armor, Mass (Conj; Wiz 3): Only +4, but affects many more creatures. The Paragnostic Apostle from Complete Champion has an ability called Mind Over Matter that increases all armor bonuses from spells by 2 - this spell and that class thus have quite a bit of synergy. +6 AC to all my summons for one spell? I'll take it.

Mountain Stance (Trans; Wiz 2): When you need a summon to hold its ground against overwhelming odds or to block an escape route, use this.

Programmed Amnesia (Ench, Wiz 9): "For as long as Arkalex the Balor could remember, his entire reason for existence had been to serve and protect his dearest friend and adored master, a frail human wizard." An extremely compelling case for not banning Enchantment.

Recitation (Conj; Clr 4, Purification 3): Luck bonuses are nice, as they're somewhat rarer than morale or enhancement. You probably won't worship the same deity as your fiends, but hey, +2's still not bad.

Reflective Disguise, Mass: (Illu; Wiz 6): Good for infiltration or passing your minions off as "normal."

Resurgence, Mass (Abj; Clr 3): If the crap hits the fan, this can give you and yours a second chance.

Righteous Wrath of the Faithful: (Ench; Clr 5): Now THIS is why you play a cleric summoner. Extra attacks and hefty combat bonuses. A very potent melee buff.

Shadow Phase (Trans; Wiz 3): Displacement Plus. 50% miss chance on mundane attacks, with 20% on everything else. Make your summons more elusive.

Shield of Faith, Mass (Abj; Clr 4): Mass deflection. Spread out the types of bonuses to maximize your benefits.

Snake's Swiftness, Mass (Trans; Wiz 3): Instant attack for all your allies. Potentially tide-turning.

Spiderskin (Trans; Wiz 3): Bonuses to NA, saves against poison, and Hide. Useful on sneakier summons.

Valiant Fury (Trans; Courage 5): Bonuses that stack with Augment Summoning and an extra attack - good stuff. A pity it only works on one creature.

Wings of Air (Trans; Wiz 2): Improves your flying minions' maneuverability by one step - could be good for an aerial battle. The Greater version (Wiz 4) improves it by two steps. It'd be quite good on a Malebranche, for example.

Skill Tricks (Complete Scoundrel):
While not directly making you or your summons better, there are three skill tricks I'll nearly always take, just because they're useful and the investment is fairly minor.

Collector of Stories:
A +5 bonus to identify creatures is really useful to you, as knowing your extraplanar creatures is key to success. You can't call one up you don't know about, for example. Makes a lot of sense fluff-wise, too, as you can be a walking encyclopedia of planar monstrosities.

Conceal Spellcasting: Always, always get this if you can spare the points in Sleight of Hand. Hiding your spellcasting has so many uses. No attacks of opportunity, for example. A sneaky summoner is a living summoner.

Swift Concentration: Though as with Extraordinary Concentration in the Feats section above this is questionably legal, this trick allows you to maintain concentration (say, on an Elemental Monolith) as a swift action, opening up the rest of your turn for more summoning.

Items
Admiral's Bicorne (Stormwrack, 51,000 gp): Quite possibly my favorite item ever. While its +5 to Profession (sailor) checks doesn't help you much, the +5 untyped bonus to all charisma checks does, and it also gives you and all your allies a +2 morale bonus on attack rolls, skill checks, and saves. That's a potent buff right there - not only does it make your summons more effective in combat, but it also makes you better too, as well as increasing your Bluff checks by a hefty amount. It's also quite useful for binding, as the battle of wills involved is in fact a charisma check.

Choker of Eloquence, Greater (Complete Adventurer, 24,000 gp): +10 to Bluff checks. Need I say more? Gives the same bonus to Diplomacy and Perform (sing), but you probably don't care about that too much.

Circlet of Persuasion (Dungeon Master's Guide, 4,500 gp): Successfully binding a creature requires a Charisma check. This item gives you +3 to such checks. Competes for space with the Headband of Intellect, but still handy (especially if relegated to another item slot).

Cloak of Charisma +2/+4/+6 (DMG, 4,000-36,000 gp): Most important for Cha-based summoners, but also handy to increase Bluff and Charisma checks even for shut-in antisocial wizards who dumped it at chargen.

Headband of Intellect +2/+4/+6 (DMG, 4,000-36,000 gp): Obvious, but still useful. Crucial for wizards and/or archivists.

Mask of Lies (Magic Item Compendium, 4,500 gp): That +5 competence bonus to Bluff is always handy for a Malconvoker, and having your alignment undetectable can definitely sidestep problems with fiends who can detect good. Disguise Self is just gravy.

Masterwork Tools (DMG, 50 gp each): Always handy - that +2 bonus isn't much by itself, but it helps. I like a bound encyclopedia set, one for each Knowledge skill: only costs 500 gp. Getting one for Bluff, Concentration, and/or Spellcraft should also be high on your list. The disadvantage is that each one weighs a pound, and lots of them add significant weight to your likely-low-strength caster.

Periapt of Wisdom +2/+4/+6 (DMG, 4,000-36,000 gp): Important for cleric/archivist entry - stat boosting items shouldn't really need to be mentioned, but I do so for completion's sake.

Ring of Mighty Summons (Complete Mage, 14,000 gp): Three times per day, you can summon creatures with maximum hit points. This does however halve their duration, but as a Malconvoker (or with Extend Spell), you're breaking even.

Robe of Mysterious Conjuration (MIC, 10,000 gp): Not crucial, but handy: three times a day, you can spontaneously convert any spell into a summon monster spell of the same level. You likely won't be running out in the first place, but anything that increases your versatility with your summons is a good deal.

Scrolls of Uncertain Provenance (MIC, 8,000 gp): Though they have alignment restrictions (LG, LN, LE, or N), a +5 competence bonus to all Knowledge skills is great for monster identification.

Worldmeet Glade (CM, 18,000 gp): Though it's a magical location and not an item per se, it's a goddamn steal. It basically gives you a blanket untyped +2 bonus to nearly everything: HP per HD, attack and damage rolls, saves, skill checks, and ability checks. It's clearly overpowered (there are no restrictions on its usage per RAW), but a must-have for every summoner.
« Last Edit: November 12, 2010, 03:35:46 AM by Gnorman » Logged
Gnorman
Domesticated Capuchin Monkey
**
Posts: 111


I'm a monster. Rawr.


« Reply #13 on: August 28, 2009, 07:37:51 AM »

Favorite Summons and Final Thoughts


Available Summons by CR
Demons
1: Mane (FCI)
2: Abyssal Maw (MMII), Abyssal Skulker (MMII), Dretch (MMI), Nashrou (MMIV), Quasit (MMI)
3: Air Demon (DrC), Carnage Demon (MMV), Gadacro (MMV), Incubus (DrM 353), Maurezhi (FF), Rutterkin (FCI), Wrackspawn (MMIV)
4: Abyssal Eviscerator (MH), Ash Demon (DrC), Ekolid (FCI), Guecubu (FCI), Skulvyn (FF), Water Demon (DrC)
5: Abyssal Ravager (MMII), Bar-lgura (FCI), Cambion (EDP), Earth Demon (DrC), Jovoc (MMII), Nabassu, juvenile (MMII), Skurchur (DrM 333)
6: Artaaglith (GW), Aspect of Zuggtmoy (FCI WE), Babau (MMI), Broodswarm (FCI), Caligrosto (DrM 360), Ice Demon (DrC), Uridezu (MotP)
7: Armanite (FCI), Arrow Demon (MMIII), Aspect of Baphomet (FCI WE), Aspect of Fraz-Urb'luu (FCI WE), Aspect of Pale Night (FCI WE), Fire Demon (DrC), Succubus (MMI)
8: Ankashar (DrM 341), Aspect of Juiblex (FCI WE), Aspect of Malcanthet (FCI WE), Aspect of Pazuzu (FCI WE), Dybbuk (FCI), Palrethee (MMII), Shadow Demon (BoVD), Solamith (MMV), Yochlol (FCI)
9: Aspect of Dagon (FCI WE), Aspect of Demogorgon (FCI WE), Aspect of Orcus (FCI WE), Bulezau (FCI), Carnevus (EDP), Mavawhan (DrM 345), Vrock (MMI), Whisper Demon (MMIV), Zovvut (MMII)
10: Adaru (MMV), Alkilith (FF), Aspect of Kostchtchie (FCI WE), Aspect of Yeenoghu (EDP), Bebilith (MMI), Cataboligne (ERCG), Cerebrilith (XPH), Chasme (FCI), Draudnu (MMV), Laghathti (FCI)
11: Aspect of Graz'zt (EDP), Hezrou (MMI), Kastighur (MMIV), Retriever (MMI), Wastrilith (FF)
12: Aspect of Obox-Ob (EDP), Ghour (LEoF), Lilitu (FCI), Manitou (DrM 359), Turagathshnee (DrM 312), Vathugu (DrM 337)
13: Glabrezu (MMI), Jarilith (MMII), Oculus (EDP)
14: Belairon (ST), Blood Fiend (FF), Kelvezu (MMII), Nalfeshnee (MMI), Verakia (DrM 357)
15: Anzu (DrM 329), Nabassu, mature (FCI), Orlath (ST), Sibriex (FCI)
16: Golothoma (EE), Goristro (FCI), Uzollru (DrM 349)
17: Klurichir (FF), Marilith (MMI), Sorrowsworn Demon (MMIII)
18: Deathdrinker (MMIV), Myrmyxicus (FF)
19: Juiblex (FCI), Molydeus (FCI)
20: Balor (MMI), Baphomet (FCI), Yeenoghu (FCI)
21: Fraz-Urb'luu (FCI), Kostchtchie (FCI), Malcanthet (FCI), Pale Night (FCI), Zuggtmoy (FCI)
22: Dagon (FCI), Graz'zt (FCI), Obox-Ob (FCI), Orcus (FCI), Pazuzu (FCI)
23: Demogorgon (FCI)

Devils
1/2: Kalabon (FCII)
1: Lemure (FCII)
2: Imp (MMII), Imp, filth (FF), Imps of ill humor (DrM 338), Nupperibo (FCII)
3: Advespa (MMII), Imp, bloodbag (FF), Imp, euphoric (FF), Legion Devil (FCII), Sand Devil (DrM 306)
4: Abishai, white (FCII), Glass Devil (DrM 306), Spined Devil (FCII)
5: Abishai, black (FCII), Bearded Devil (MMI), Marrash (MMII), Narzugon (FCII)
6: Abishai, green (FCII), Chain Devil (MMI), Desert Devil (Sand), Gulthir (MMV), Kocrachon (BoVD), Obsidian Devil (DrM 306), Spiked Devil (DrM 306), Steel Devil (FCII)
7: Abishai, blue (FCII), Amnizu (FCII), Coal Devil (DrM 306), Harvester Devil (FCII), Hellcat (MMI), Pain Devil (FCII)
8: Abishai, red (FCII), Erinyes (MMI), Maelephant (FF), Orthon (FCII)
9: Aspect of Bel (FCII WE), Aspect of Fierna (FCII WE), Bone Devil (MMI), Stitched Devil (MMV)
10: Aspect of Belial (FCII WE), Aspect of Dispater (FCII WE), Aspect of Levistus (FCII WE), Aspect of Mammon (FCII WE)
11: Aspect of Baalzebul (FCII WE), Aspect of Glasya (FCII WE), Aspect of Mephistopheles (FCII WE), Assassin Devil (FCII), Barbed Devil (MMI), Death Devil (DrM 353), Death Hurler (DrM 309), Pleasure Devil (FCII)
12: Aspect of Asmodeus (FCII WE), Ayperobos Swarm (FCII)
13: Ice Devil (DrM 306), Lead Devil (DrM 306), Scyllan (Sto)
14: Logokron (TM), Malebranche (FCII)
15: Horned Devil (MMI), Remmanon (MMV), Xerfilstyx (FCII)
16: Ghargatula (BoVD)
17:
18: Paeliryon (FCII)
19: Fierna (FCII)
20: Bel (FCII), Pit Fiend (MMI)
21: Dispater (FCII), Levistus (FCII), Mammon (FCII)
22: Glasya (FCII)


Others
1/2: Skiurid (MMIV), Maeluth (FF), Tiefling (MMI), Wispling (FF)
1: Abrian (FF), Arrow Battleloth (DrM 306), Bladeling (MMII), Frost Dwarf (PH), Githyanki (MMI), Howler Wasp Drone (MMIV), Kaorti (FF), Kython Broodling (BoVD), Windrazor Windblade (MMIV)
2: Axe Battleloth (DrM 306), Baphitaur (Und), Crossbow Battleloth (DrM 306), Demonhive Attendant (MMIV), Demonhive Swarm (MMIV), Fey'ri (MoF), Pick Battleloth, Tanarukk (MoF), Terlen (FF), Vargouille (MMI)
3: Cranial Encyster (DrM 330), Hell Hound (MMI), Howler (MMI), Khaasta (FF), Kython Juvenile (BoVD), Flamebrother Salamander (MMI) Simpathetic (DrM 351), Skeroloth (FF), Spiked Chain Battleloth (DrM 306), Stone Flyer (Und), Sword Battleloth (DrM 306), Yeth Hound (MMI)
4: Barghest (MMI), Myrlochar (MoF), Lesser Nightmare (PH), Reth Dekala (ToB), Urquirsh (DrM 358), Vaath (BoVD), Voor (MMIV), Vorr (FF), Windscythe Windblade (MMIV)
5: Achaierai (MMI), Greater Barghest (MMI), Canoloth (MMIII), Corruptor of Fate (MMIV), Draegloth (DotU), Earth Whisper (RoS), Harakin (FF), Howler Wasp Queen (MMIV), Kython Adult (BoVD), Nightmare (MMI), Rejkar (MMIII), Shadow Eft (CP), Shadow Mastiff (MMI), Tsoreva Quori (MoE)
6: Demonhive Queen (MMIV), Malfera (DrM 343), Mezzoloth (MMIII), Salamander (MMI), Varrangoin (FF), Xill (MMI).
7: Dao (MotP), Ephemeral Hangman (ToM), Gloom Golem (MMIII), Krathbairn (DoF), Naityan Rakshasa (ToB), Ghirrash Shadow Beast (MH), Slasrath (FF), Souleater (MoI), Tsucora Quori (EBCS)
8: Akleu (DrM 348), Echinoloth (Storm), Efreeti (MMI), Kaortic Hulk (DrM 330), Kython Impaler (BoVD), Pack Fiend (PH), Zakya Rakshasa (EBCS), Khumat Shadow Beast (MH), Varrangoin Rager (FF)
9: Abyssal Drake (Drac), Dune Stalker (MMII), Red Ethergaunt (FF), Hashalaq Quori (SoS), Nessian Warhound (MMI), Night Hag (MMI), Piscoloth (FF), Thaskor Shadow Beast (MH), Vaporhigu (MMII), Vultivor (FF)
10: Aspect of Vecna (MH), Darkweaver (FF), Gathra (FF), Marraenoloth (MMII), Mur-Zhagul (UE), Nycaloth, Rakshasa, Noble Salamander (MMI), Shrieking Terror, five-headed (MMIII), Yagnoloth (MMII)
11: Abyssal Giant (EDP), Asag (DrM 334), Aspect of Hextor (MH), Aspect of Kurtulmak (FCII WE), Aspect of Lolth (MH), Farastu Demodand (FF), Dream Master Quori (MoE), Du'ulora Quori (SoS), Kyra (DrM 338), Kython Slaymaster (BoVD), Lamia Noble (EDP), Mivilorn (MMIII), Cauchemar Nightmare (MMI), Phiuhl (FF), Radiant Idol (Sharn), Naztharune Rakshasa (MMIII), Shadurakal (FF), Umbral Gloom (DrM 353), Varrangoin Arcanist (FF)
12: Aspect of Nerull (MH), Astral Stalker (MMIII), Earth Glider (Und), Envoy of Lolth (EDP), Ethereal Slayer (MMII), Greater Abyssal Basilisk (MMI)
13: Aspect of Sekolah (FCII WE), Aspect of Tiamat (DM), Death Slaad (MMI), Kelubar Demodand (FF), Ember Guard (MMV), White Ethergaunt (FF), Hellchain Weaver (DrM 343), Kython Slaughterking (BoVD), Shrieking Terror, ten-headed (MMIII), Steel Predator (FF), Ultroloth (MMIII)
14: Black Beast of Bedlam (DrM 355), Laraken (ShS), Odopi (MMIII), Rukarazyll (MMII), Steelwing (MMV)
15: Shator Demodand (FF), Phantasmal Slayer (HoH), Ak'chazar Rakshasa (MMIII)
16: Ethereal Defiler (MMV)
17: Arcanoloth (MMII), Black Ethergaunt (FF)
18: Spirrax (MMV)
19: Chronotyryn (FF), Marruspawn Abomination (Sand)
20: Daelkyr (EBCS), Kalaraq Quori (SoS)

Available Summons by Summon Monster Level
I: Maeluth (FF), Skiurid (MMIV), Tiefling (MMI), Wispling (FF).

II: Abrian (FF), Abyssal Skulker (MMII), Arrow Battleloth (DrM 306), Bladeling (MMII), Frost Dwarf (PH), Githyanki (MMI), Kaorti (FF), Kython Broodling (BoVD), Howler Wasp Drone (MMIV), Lemure (FCII), Mane (FCI).

III: Abyssal Maw (MMII), Axe Battleloth (DrM 306), Baphitaur (Und), Crossbow Battleloth (DrM 306), Demonet Swarm (MMIV), Demonhive Attendant (MMIV), Dretch (MMI), Fey'ri (MoF), Hell Hound (MMI), Imp (MMI), Kalabon (FCII), Khaasta (FF), Nashrou (MMIV), Nupperibo (FCII), Pick Battleloth (DrM 306), Quasit (MMI), Tanarukk (MoF), Terlen (FF), Vargouille (MMI), Windrazor (MMIV).

IV: Abishai, white (FCII), Abyssal Ravager (MMII), Advespa (MMII), Air Demon (DrC), Carnage Demon (MMV), Cranial Encyster (DrM 330), Gadacro (MMV) , Howler (MMI), Imp, bloodbag, euphoric, and filth (FF), Imps of ill humor (DrM 33), Incubus (DrM 353), Kython Juvenile (BoVD), Legion Devil (FCII, Lesser Nightmare (PH), Rutterkin (FCI), Flamebrother Salamander (MMI), Sand Devil (DrM 306), Simpathetic (DrM 351), Skereloth (FF), Skulvyn (FF), Skurchur (DrM 333), Spiked Chain Battleloth (DrM 306), Spined Devil (FCII), Stone Flyer (Und), Sword Battleloth (DrM 306), Voor (MMIV), Vorr (BoVD), Windscythe (MMIV), Wrackspawn (MMIV), Yeth Hound (MMI).

V: Abishai, black(FCII), Abyssal Eviscerator (MH), Achaierai (MMI), Ash Demon (DrC), Barghest (MMI) Bar-lgura (FCI), Bearded Devil (MMI), Cambion (EDP), Canoloth (MMIV), Draegloth (DotU), Earth Demon (DrC), Earth Whisper (RoS), Ekolid (FCI), Glass Devil (DrM 306), Guecubu (FCI), Harakin (FF) Howler Wasp Queen (MMIV), Jovoc (MMII), Kython Adult (BoVD), Maurezhi (FF), Myrlochar (MoF), Nabassu, juvenile (FCI), Narzugon (FCII), Nightmare (MMII), Quori, Tsoreva (MoE), Rejkar (MMIII), Reth Dekala (ToB), Shadow Eft (CP), Shadow Mastiff (MMI), Urquirsh (DrM 358), Vaath (BoVD), Water Demon (DrC).

VI: Abishai, green (FCII), Amnizu (FCII), Artaaglith (GW), Barghest, greater (MMI) Broodswarm (FCI), Caligrosto (DrM 360), Chain Devil (DrM 306), Coal Devil (DrM 306), Corrupter of Fate (MMIV), Demonhive Queen (MMIV), Desert Devil (Sand), Fire Demon (DrC), Ghirrash (MH), Gulthir (MMV), Ice Demon (DrC), Kocrachon (BoVD), Krathbairn (DoF), Malfera (DrM 343), Mezzoloth (MMIII), Obsidian Devil (DrM 306), Pain Devil (FCII), Quori, Tsucora (EBCS), Naityan Rakshasa (ToB), Salamander (MMI), Spiked Devil (FCII), Uridezu (MotP), Varrangoin (FF), Xill (MMI).

VII: Abishai, blue (FCII), Akleu (DrM 348), Armanite (FCI), Arrow Demon (MMIII), Aspect of Baphomet (FCI WE), Aspect of Fraz-Urb'luu (FCI WE), Aspect of Juiblex (FCI WE), Aspect of Malcanthet (FCI WE), Aspect of Pale Night (FCI WE), Aspect of Zuggtmoy (FCI WE), Babau (MMI), Bone Devil (MMI), Dybbuk (FCI), Ephemeral Hangman (ToM), Erinyes (MMI), Genie, Dao (MMI), Gloom Golem (MMIII), Harvester Devil (FCII), Kaortic Hulk (DrM 330), Khumat (MH), Kython Impaler (BoVD), Pack Fiend (MotP), Palrethee (MMII), Piscoloth (FF), Zakya Rakshasa (EBCS), Shadow Demon (BoVD), Slasrath (FF), Souleater (MoI), Steel Devil (FCII), Succubus (MMI), Varrangoin Rager (FF), Yochlol (FCI).

VIII: Abishai, red (FCII), Abyssal Drake (Drac), Alkilith (FF), Ankashar (DrM 341), Aspect of Bel (FCII WE), Aspect of Belial (FCII WE), Aspect of Dagon (FCI WE), Aspect of Demogorgon (FCI WE), Aspect of Dispater (FCII WE), Aspect of Fierna (FCII WE), Aspect of Kostchtchie (FC I WE), Aspect of Levistus (FCII WE), Aspect of Mammon (FCII WE), Aspect of Orcus (FCI WE), Aspect of Pazuzu (FCI WE), Aspect of Vecna (MH), Aspect of Yeenoghu (EDP), Bulezau (FCI), Carnveus (EDP), Cataboligne (ERCG), Cerebrilith (XPH), Chasme (FCI), Darkweaver (FF), Draudnu (FCI), Dune Stalker (MMII), Echinoloth (Storm), Ethergaunt, red (FF), Gathra (FF), Hellcat (MMI), Genie (efreet), Kython Slaymaster (BoVD), Laghathti (FCI WE), Maelephant (FF), Marraenoloth (MMII), Mavawhan (DrM 345), Mur-Zhagul (UE), Nessian Warhound (MMI) Nycaloth (MMIII), Orthon (FCII), Quori, Hashalaq (SoS), Rakshasa (MMI), Noble Salamander (MMI), Shrieking Terror, five-headed (MMIII), Solamith (MMV), Stitched Devil (MMV), Thaskor (MH), Vaporighu (MMII), Vrock (MMI), Vultivor (FF) Whisper Demon (MMIV), Yagnoloth (MMII), Zovvut (MMII).

IX: Abyssal Giant (EDP), Adaru (MMV), Asag (DrM 334), Aspect of Asmodeus (FCII WE), Aspect of Baalzebul (FCII WE), Aspect of Glasya (FCII WE), Aspect of Graz'zt (EDP), Aspect of Hextor (MH), Aspect of Kurtulmak (FCII WE), Aspect of Lolth (MH), Aspect of Mephistopheles (FCII WE), Aspect of Nerull (MH), Aspect of Obox-Ob (EDP), Aspect of Sekolah (FCII WE), Aspect of Tiamat (DM), Assassin Devil (FCII), Astral Stalker (MMIII), Ayperobos Swarm (FCII), Barbed Devil (MMI), Basilisk, greater Abyssal (MMI), Bebilith (MMI), Belairon (ST), Death Devil (DrM 353), Death Hurler (DrM 309), Death Slaad (MMI), Demodand, farastu (FF), Earth Glider (Und), Ember Guard (MMV), Envoy of Lolth (EDP), Ethereal Slayer (MMII), Ethergaunt, white (FF), Ghour (LEoF), Glabrezu (MMI), Hellchain Weaver (DrM 343), Hezrou (MMI), Ice Devil (MMI), Jarilith (MMII), Kastighur (MMIV), Kyra (DrM 348), Kython Slaughterking (FF), Lamia Noble (EDP), Lead Devil (DrM 306), Lilitu (FCI), Manitou (DrM 359), Mivilorn (MMIII), Nightmare, cauchemar (MMI), Night Hag (MMI), Oculus (EDP), Phiuhl (FF), Pleasure Devil (FCII), Quori, Dream Master (MoE), Quori, Du'ulora (SoS), Radiant Idol (Sharn), Naztharune Rakshasa (MMIII), Retriever (MMI), Scyllan (Storm), Shadurakal (FF), Shrieking Terror, ten-headed (MMIII), Steel Predator (FF), Turagathshnee (DrM 312), Umbral Gloom (DrM 353), Varrangoin Arcanist (FF), Vathugu (DrM 337), Wastrilith (FF).

Borderline IX: Black Beast of Bedlam (DrM 355), Blood Fiend (FF), Demodand, kelubar (FF), Kelvezu (MMII), Laraken (ShS), Logokron (ToM), Malebranche (FCII), Nalfeshnee (MMI), Odopi (MMIII), Rukarazyll (MMII), Steelwing (MMV), Verakia (DrM 357).

Favorite Summons
I: Not many options here. I like summoning a tiefling for basic combat (it's at least better than a celestial monkey), or a skiurid to trick my foes into underestimating me. Summoning is a piss-poor tactic at low levels.

II: The kaorti gives you a number of low-level spells all in one, improving your versatility and efficiency. The githyanki is a damaging combatant. But they all pale in comparison to the monkey bees - howler wasps are highly damaging flyers and really shine at this level.

III: Outside of your core choices, this is a pretty weak level overall. The nashrou does quite a bit of melee damage for its level and is my favorite summon at SM III. The dretch has a few decent spells, while the abyssal maw has a formidable bite. Mostly, your selection is pretty thin at this point - so much so that even the celestial bison or the fiendish ape still seem like great ideas.

IV: The freakin' voor. Seriously. For its level, no summon (hell, hardly any spell) causes as much destruction as the voor. The wrackspawn isn't bad either. The advespa is my favorite flyer, with the harassing gadacro or the quick spined devil as close runners-up. The stone flyer is a great mount due to its Earth Glide ability. If you can summon enough of them, the legion devil becomes a stellar choice - the more you have, the better they are.

V: I dig the bar-lgura here, as it is powerful, mobile, and has spellcasting prowess. It's a demon orangutan. What's not to love? Bearded devils and canoloths are also good choices in combat, with wounding glaives and paralyzing tongues. I also really like the insanity-inducing achaierai and the damage-reflecting jovoc. Abishai start getting Wrack at this level (a very potent save-or-suck), making them decent casters. The shadow eft is your best stealthy creature at this level, with decent psionic abilities to boot. Reth dekala are great for tactical combat. Plus the nightmare for style points.

VI: Definitely the amnizu, with quickened fireballs and that intelligence-draining touch. Not much gives the amnizu competition at this level. The kocrachon is your most potent caster (though not your most potent blaster) with unlimited healing spells for its duration. Tsucora quori bring more psionic pain, while naityan rakshasa are your best melee summons here. The chain and pain devils are solid choices too, though more limited tactically. The artaaglith's cleric casting is always a boon.

VII: For its CR, the bone devil is by far your best deal. Very little can match it in terms of battlefield control, and it's not half-bad in combat either. The akleu is a close second, very potent in melee with its sneak attacks and good combat capabilities. Shadow demons are tons of fun with Magic Jar. Succubi are great at what they do, and come highly recommended. Arrow demons give you competent ranged firepower (so do erinyes, though not quite as well) and can really rack up some damage. I also like the yochlol for its shapeshifting powers and good SLAs.

VIII: Easily the carnevus, with its superior blasting abilities, though the mavawhan isn't too bad either with its frost-themed list. The red ethergaunt brings more arcane spellcasting to the table (always a good proposition). The chasme is an effective flyer. Oddly enough, despite the greatly-expanded list, the vrock still stands as one of your best melee option at this level, though the bulezau and aspects of either Kostchtchie, Bel, or Yeenoghu are capable as well. An aspect of Levistus can be a good magekiller. But let's be honest here: there's nothing better in melee at this level than a Dreadful Lasher voor. Seriously. They're just that good. For psionic potential, the cerebrilith outdoes the hashalaq, which is primarily focused on charm and social infiltration.

IX: Abyssal giants, jariliths, and earth gliders are your best melee choices at this level, though the slaughterking's debilitating aura garners it a lot of bonus points. I love the radiant idol's cleric domain choice, though it's more for the versatility than the power. Lilitu are also excellent clerics, and I am a huge fan of their level-draining stinger. For a rogue-like, I'm torn between the assassin devil and the naztharune rakshasa, but I lean ever so slightly towards the former. Death slaadi are probably your most potent casters, though glabrezu are quite good, the white ethergaunt's another wizard to toss into the mix, and aspects of Kurtulmak have notable sorcerous potential. Vathugu are just hideous fungal fun, stripping away attribute points like reverse papier mache and causing your enemies to dance like marionettes. The oculus demon has all kinds of powerful abilities, making it a very capable scout and a necromancer's best friend. If you're underwater, you need to be summoning an aspect of Sekolah, and quick. The aspect of Tiamat is likely your best blaster, with good melee abilities when pressed - but the aspect of Asmodeus gives her some healthy competition with Vile Hellfire Storms.

Borderline IX: The verakia, hands down, for sheer brutish power. The malebranche is a capable fighter too, and the kelvezu can potentially cause more damage than either of them with its sneak attacks. I like the steelwing a lot too, even though it's not evil, and the laraken is a great anti-caster creature. Not much in the way of casting at CR 14, though the Nalfeshnee has a few good choices. The black beast of bedlam is a great debuffer.

Update History

7/26/09 - Guide started on the Giant in the Playground forums
7/27/09 - Demons through Monster Manual V complete, handbook moved to 339
7/28/09 - Fiendish Codex I added to the Demons section
7/29/09 - Fiend Folio/Ghostwalk/Manual of the Planes added to the Demons section
7/31/09 - Book of Vile Darkness/Expanded Psionics Handbook/Miniatures Handbook/Draconomicon/Lost Empires of Faerun/Underdark added to the Demons section.
8/1/09 - Demons are complete!
8/10/09 - After a bit of a vacation (and a few days of not being able to access the site), Devils from the Monster Manuals I-V have been added.
8/14/09 - Devils are complete.
8/20/09 - Yugoloths are complete.
8/27/09 - 339 is now a piece of crap. GitP formatting is irretrievably disorganized. Handbook restarted, reorganized, and revisioned on Brilliant Gameologists.
9/2/09 - Other fiends through MMV complete.
9/12/09 - IT'S BLOODY DONE. Well, except for the Aspects section. But the original encyclopedia? Bam.
11/3/09 - Aspects are finished, as well as most of Strategizing Your Summons.
1/26/10 - After a long hiatus, work has recommenced. The end is within sight.
« Last Edit: November 12, 2010, 04:09:04 AM by Gnorman » Logged
PhaedrusXY
Organ Grinder
*****
Posts: 8022


Advanced Spambot


« Reply #14 on: August 28, 2009, 10:49:57 AM »

8/27/09 - 339 is now a piece of crap. GitP formatting is irretrievably disorganized. Handbook restarted, reorganized, and revisioned on Brilliant Gameologists.
Excellent. It's all working according to plan.  Evil Laugh  Birthday
Logged

A couple of water benders, a dike, a flaming arrow, and a few barrels of blasting jelly?

Sounds like the makings of a gay porn film.
...thanks
Salt_Crow
Ring-Tailed Lemur
**
Posts: 64


« Reply #15 on: August 29, 2009, 08:53:19 PM »

This is simply too awesome for words.
Logged
The_Mad_Linguist
Organ Grinder
*****
Posts: 8780


Simulated Thing


« Reply #16 on: August 30, 2009, 08:13:09 PM »

are you insane?  There's a great reason for summoning (err... Calling) a night hag.

To steal and subsequently UMD its heartstone
Logged

Linguist, Mad, Unique, none of these things am I
My custom class: The Priest of the Unseen Host
Planetouched Handbook
Want to improve your character?  Then die.
Akalsaris
Hong Kong
****
Posts: 1143



Email
« Reply #17 on: August 31, 2009, 01:46:18 AM »

Glad to see it ported here as well Smile

Logged

Gnorman
Domesticated Capuchin Monkey
**
Posts: 111


I'm a monster. Rawr.


« Reply #18 on: August 31, 2009, 03:12:14 AM »

are you insane?  There's a great reason for summoning (err... Calling) a night hag.

To steal and subsequently UMD its heartstone

What, you want to jump through all those hoops and piss off a potentially well-connected evil outsider for a ten-use Vest of Resistance +2 / Periapt of Health? Not really worth it. Just buy the damn things - at least that way they're permanent. And by the time you can call a Night Hag, you've got the gold to spare.
« Last Edit: August 31, 2009, 03:15:18 AM by Gnorman » Logged
The_Mad_Linguist
Organ Grinder
*****
Posts: 8780


Simulated Thing


« Reply #19 on: August 31, 2009, 04:40:03 AM »

are you insane?  There's a great reason for summoning (err... Calling) a night hag.

To steal and subsequently UMD its heartstone

What, you want to jump through all those hoops and piss off a potentially well-connected evil outsider for a ten-use Vest of Resistance +2 / Periapt of Health? Not really worth it. Just buy the damn things - at least that way they're permanent. And by the time you can call a Night Hag, you've got the gold to spare.

umd.  So you get the etherealness by emulating "night hag" as a race, and bypass the limited uses too.  You could, of course, buy or diplomance it off her, but theft works too given sufficient precautions.
Logged

Linguist, Mad, Unique, none of these things am I
My custom class: The Priest of the Unseen Host
Planetouched Handbook
Want to improve your character?  Then die.
Pages: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 »
  Print  
 
Jump to:  

Powered by MySQL Powered by PHP Powered by SMF 1.1.11 | SMF © 2006-2008, Simple Machines LLC Valid XHTML 1.0! Valid CSS!