View Full Version : Tal Rasha, Illidain, Nightmare

2005-10-19, 12:30 PM
Hey all. I'm looking to create one of a few things:

A paladin-based core class

A paladin variant

A 10-level paladin PrC available from fifth level, given particular roleplaying criteria.


The background:

After travelling for weeks, the blood-stained travelers finally reach the summit of Mount Lyranil. After killing wave upon wave of imp, undead, and crazed beast, the party of wayward mercenaries has reached thier destination. Standing before them are the adamantine doors leading to Trael Ghul, ancient prison if the demon lord Kyziras. Vincentine, the priest, gasps in horror. The doors have been cracked in several places. As the party cautiously approaches, the cracks in the door begin to pulse with arcane light.

Haiden Chamrist, the evil evoker that the party has been sent to capture, appears above the gigantic doors. Laughing maniacly, he waves his arms and the mists around the doors part, revealing a gruesome portent of evil. Thousands of corpses, ranging from tiny hobbits to several large ettins lie at the base of the doors, a pool of blood slowly churning thier spent life forces, corrupting them to the very core. With a shrill cry, the evoker makes a quick motion with his hands. Suddenly, he bursts into flames, and jumps down towards the pool of now bubbling ichor, no longer blood. Loran, the ranger, gets off several shots but not are able to save the party.

The ensuing explosion wreathes the mount in a cloud of dust. Vincentine stands, trying to peer into the darkness. As he mutters the incantations for a simple spell, a fiery sword slices through the darkness, piercing his heart. As the dust clears, the form of Kyziras can be seen standing above the fallen priest, his sword still thrust deep into the bowels of Vincentine. Laughing, he turns to face the rest of the party. His fiery red eyes strike fear into thier hearts, and all but the stalwart Tadis cower in fear.

"Do you fear me?" The demon chortles, loosing the priest from his sword with the flick of his wrist.

Grinning in desperate glory, the paladin offers no answer. Pulling forth her holy symbol in one hand and her warhammer in the other, she charges at the foul beast.

Laughing, the demon slashes at the crazed paladin with his whip. Unfortunately for him, the whip disintegrates as it nears the paladin's now glowing form. Dropping her holy symbol and warhammer, the paladin leaps at the beast with startling strength, reaching for the beasts heart.

Loran looks on as a blinding flash of light etches the silouhette (sp?) of Tadis and Kyziras into her memories. As the light fades, she sees Tadis, standing alone, wielding a fiery greatsword in both hands. The magnitude of her presence is enough to leave him speechless. As Tadis wavers and falls to the ground, she can feel the trapped screams of Kyziras within her mind.


Basically, what I'm looking for is a PrC that allows a paladin to sacrifice herself to consume a demon, trapping it within her flesh.

A few things I would like to incorporate into the PrC:

Demonic traits: Every other level, the paladin might gain a demonic trait. Glowing eyes, traces of fangs or a horn, a claw on one arm, etc.

Demonic presence: Due to the possession, the paladin is weak to the powers of demons she faces in battle, but is more hardened to the mental battles she faces with her prisoner. This could be reflected in a bonus to Will saves, but a penalty to Fortitude saves.

Demonic hold: Due to the possession, the paladin is subject to spells like Detect Evil, Protection from Evil/Chaos, etc.

Demonic Channelling: In times of great stress, the paladin can channel the energies of the demon to do her bidding. This power increases in intensity over time, but if the paladin uses the abilities too often, the demon may be able to break free, and control the paladin for a few moments, hours, weeks, or perminantly.

Precarious balance: If the paladin reaches less than 10% hit points, the demon within him tries to prey on him in his weakened state. This can involve hallucinations, fevers, pains (psychosomatic), and eventually full-on control. If the paladin reaches 0 hit points and becomes unconscious, he must make a will save to keep the demon from freeing itself from its prison, and returning to the outside world. If the paladin is resurrected or raised, there is a chance that the demon with either A: Be returned to the Abyss, B: Enter the outside world in its true form, C: Kick the paladin's soul from the body, or D: Still be stuck with the paladin. Only spells such as True Resurrection can safely raise the paladin.

The way I see it, the paladin traps the demon because at such a low level he or she is not able to kill it. Either that or by trapping it within her the demon is no longer allowed to return to The Abyss.

2005-10-19, 02:46 PM
Really good story.
That prestige class is a toughie, though, because it sounds a bit powerful, unless the pally is irrevocably destroyed in the process of absorbing the demonic energy, turned into a statute, imprisoned in another dimension, etc.
And if that's the case, what player would want the class? Better by far to devise a magic item to serve as the beast's prison IMO.

2005-10-19, 03:50 PM
I was thinking that the creation would involve some sort of soul-stone. Either a pendant or something that would have to be thrust within the warrior, similar to Soulstones in Diablo. I'm writing up the class right now. We'll see what I come up with.

2005-10-19, 03:56 PM
This is a delightful, flavorful idea, and handling it through a PrC is excellent (rather than having the player stay a paladin and make rules relating to the trapped demon on the fly). I think the various drawbacks have the potential of balancing the power.

For the crunchy bits, I'd suggest looking at the Warlock for demon-energy type abilities, and the Alienist for ideas re: chances for corruption/insanity.

It might also be interesting to consider how this class would interact with the fallen-paladin rules, especially becoming a Blackguard. A character with this PrC should have a decent chance of being tainted by evil, with serious consequences if that happens.

2005-10-19, 05:46 PM
Really cool concept. Especially when the paladin returns to her stronghold end meets with her superiours of the Order.
And Blackguard seems a nice thing for those who are weak to hold the demon in themselves.

It's also wicked a thing when the demon controls you for an hour and goes on a slaughtering spree. And when the paladin regains the control over her body shel'll find herself sitting on a pile of slaughtered townsfolk, eating someones limbs :) Lovely PrC!

Strong Diablo2 bloodline you've got, haven't you? :)

El Jaspero, the Pirate King
2005-10-19, 06:18 PM
You might also want to think about the mechanics for freeing trapped demons; imagine how much it would suck to have someone cast exorcise so you'd lose your powers and have to fight the very horror you've been imprisoning!

2005-10-19, 08:03 PM
Re: Trapped Demons. The demon will maintain it's ability to communicate telepathically, thus enabling it to communicate with evil mages, demons, and the like of ways to free itself (gate, etc).

I'll post what I've got so far of the class right now. The abilities aren't explained in any way, and I haven't yet been able to flesh out the aspects of the devilward. I also dislike the name. I was thinking something like Abyssal/Infernal Walker or the like.

I'm not sure if I'm going in the right direction for the class as I envisioned it, anyway. I guess I made more of an Illidain or Nightmare than a Tal Rasha, which wasn't quite my intent.

As you don't know what some of the abilities do at the moment, I would like some speculation on balance (I do plan on playtesting it against several evenly-leveled paladins.)

2005-10-19, 08:06 PM

Table: The Demonward

Level BAB Fort Ref Will Special

1st +1 +0 +0 +2 Demonic Taint 1, Demonic Voice, Abyssal Knight, Precarious Balance
2nd +2 +0 +0 +2 Demonsight, Abyssal Resistance 2
3rd +3 +1 +1 +3 Demonic Taint 2, Tainted Mind
4th +4 +1 +1 +4 Abyssal Immunity [Poison], Spell Resistance
5th +5 +1 +1 +4 Demonic Taint 3, Telepathy
6th +6 +2 +2 +5 Abyssal Resistance 5, Darksight, Tainted Spirit
7th +7 +2 +2 +5 Demonic Taint 4, Abyssal Summons
8th +8 +2 +2 +6 Abyssal Immunity [Fire, Cold, or Electricity]
9th +9 +3 +3 +6 Demonic Taint 5, Fear Aura/True Seeing
10th +10 +3 +3 +7 Abyssal Resistance 10, Perfect Balance, Tainted Soul, Redemption

Hit Die



To qualify to become a demonward, a character must fulfill all the following criteria.


Any good.


Ability to cast Lesser Restoration as a divine spell.


Concentration 5 ranks, Knowledge [Religion] 5 ranks.


Iron Will.


The character must have encountered a demon or devil with at least eight outsider hit dice.

Upon contact with the outsider, the character must make a decision to sacrifice himself in order to remove the demon or devil’s evil from the world. Releasing his weapons and any easily removable magical and non-magical defenses (a helmet, a shield, magical bracers, a cloak of resistance, etc), the character prepares to charge the evil outsider head on. After five rounds of prayer, the character is consumed with divine energy. His eyes burn with white-hot fire and his skin begins to glow visibly in low-light conditions, shedding light as a torch. He takes 1d6 divine damage per two outsider hit die of the demon or devil, Will save for half. (DC equals 10 + creature’s outsider HD) If the blast does not take the character to below 1 hit point, he charges directly for the outsider, making a melee touch attack. The character adds his Wisdom bonus to the attack, if any. Any evil aligned weapon or natural attack striking the character while infused with divine energy must make a Will Save to prevent being instantly destroyed (DC equals 10 + creatures outsider HD).

If the attack succeeds, the entire battlefield is lit up in a brilliant light. Creatures within 5’ of the outsider are blinded unless they make a Reflex Save (DC equals 10 + creature’s outsider HD). Undead and evil outsiders within 30’ take 1d6 divine damage per outsider HD of the demon or devil, Fortitude Save for half (DC equals 10 + creature’s outsider HD), and the area is lit up by a Daylight effect centered on the character for ten rounds (CL equals the demon’s outsider HD).

After being touched, the Demon must make a Fortitude Save (DC equals 10 + divine damage taken by the touch effect) or have its physical form destroyed, its mind fusing with that of the character (The outsider is not killed by this effect, so abilities like Death Throes do not activate).

Class Skills

The demonward’s class skills (and the key ability for each skill) are Concentration (Con), Diplomacy (Cha), Heal (Wis), Intimidate (Cha), Knowledge [Religion] (Int), Listen (Wis), Ride (Dex), and Sense Motive (Wis).

Skill Points at Each Level

4 + Int modifier.

Class Features

All of the following are features of the demonward prestige class.

Weapon and Armor Proficiency

Demonwards gain proficiency with any weapon or armor that the outsider they fused with was proficient with. At the very least, this includes weapons in the monster description of the Monster Manual.

Demonic Taint

At first level and every odd-numbered level afterwards, the Demonward takes on certain characteristics, depending on the evil outsider that was consumed. Below is a sample list of possible taints All size-related effects (natural weapon damage, etc) assume a character of medium size.

Your skin thickens and becomes unnaturally hard. Traces of chitin can been seen on your hands and face. You gain Natural Armor +2, but take a –2 penalty on all Diplomacy and Handle Animal checks.

One of your arms grows into a powerful claw or pincer, with long dark talons that end in dagger-like tips. You gain a natural claw attack that deals 1d8 slashing damage.

Your jaw elongates and your teeth grow into sharp daggers, or your face forms a mandible. You gain a natural bite attack that deals 1d6 piercing damage.

Both of your arms grow sharp claws at the end, enabling you to rend flesh with your very touch. You gain two natural claw attacks that deal 1d4 slashing damage.

Your mind fuses with the demon’s innate spell-like abilities. Select one of the daily-use spell-like abilities of the demon or devil that you fused with. From now on, you may use that ability once per day as a spell-like ability with a caster level equal to your HD.

Your skin secretes a protective jelly that burns any who try to attack you. Any normal or masterwork weapon that touches your skin takes 1d4 acid damage, and the weapon’s hardness does not reduce this damage. Any creature that strikes you with natural weapon, unarmed strike, or touch spell takes 1d4 acid damage.

Large bat-like wings protrude from your back. You may use them to fly for up to five minutes per day at a speed of 60’ with good maneuverability. The wings can be concealed with a heavy cloak, but removing and replacing such a disguise takes a full round action.

Your body gains great mass and bulk, and you evoke fear in any who see you. You gain a natural slam attack for 1d8 damage, and +2 to Intimidate checks.

Your skin is hot to the touch, and burns any who approach too near. Any creature that strikes you with natural weapon, unarmed strike, or touch spell takes 1d3 fire damage. In addition, any creature grappling you takes 2d6 fire damage per round.

Your bite secretes a deadly poison. Injury, Fortitude DC 10+1/2 your HD + your Con mod, initial damage 1d6 Con, secondary damage 2d6 Con.

Your olfactory organs gain increased power. You are able to smell things as you have never smelled them before. You gain the scent ability.

Your feet grow thick with hard spines that secrete a web-like fluid. You gain a climb speed of 10’.

You grow a second, smaller set of arms just below your natural arms. These arms are tipped with powerful pincers that give you a +4 bonus to grapple checks.

Your legs grow long and powerful, and you grow a few inches in height. Your base land speed increases by 10’.

Your body produces a foul-smelling, toxic liquid. Any living creature (except other demons) within 5 feet must succeed on a (DC 10+1/2 your HD + your Con mod) Fortitude save or be nauseated for 1d4 rounds. Creatures that successfully save are sickened for 1d4 rounds. A delay poison or neutralize poison spell removes either condition from one creature. Creatures that have immunity to poison are unaffected, and creatures resistant to poison receive their normal bonus on their saving throws.

You sprout a serpentine or whip-like tail, and can attack foes with it. You gain a natural tail slap attack for 1d6 damage.

Once per day, you can surround yourself in a nimbus of unholy light. When you trigger the ability, rainbow-colored beams play around your body. One round later they burst in a 20-foot radius. Any creature within this area must succeed on a a (DC 10+1/2 your HD + your Cha mod) Will save or be dazed for 1d6 rounds as visions of its worst fears hound it. The creature receives its full Dexterity and shield bonuses to AC if attacked but can take no actions. Demons are immune to this effect.

Once per day, you may fire a ray of fire from your eye. The ray has a range of 30’, and deals 4d6 damage (Reflex DC 10+1/2 your HD + your Cha mod, half).

Once per day, you may fire a ray of cold energy from your eye. The ray has a range of 30’, and deals 4d6 damage (Reflex DC 10+1/2 your HD + your Cha mod, half).

Once per day, you may fire a ray of electrical energy from your eye. The ray has a range of 30’, and deals 4d6 damage (Reflex DC 10+1/2 your HD + your Cha mod, half).

Your hair is filled with tiny spores. Anyone adjacent to you takes 1 damage each round as the spores penetrate their skin and grow, covering them in viny growths. (The vines are harmless and wither away in 1d4 days.) A delay poison spell stops the spores’ growth for its duration. Bless, neutralize poison, or remove disease kills the spores, as does sprinkling the victim with a vial of holy water.

Your voice becomes shrill and screechy at some intervals. Once per day, you can emit a piercing screech. All creatures except for demons within a 30-foot radius must succeed on a (DC 10+1/2 your HD + your Con mod) Fortitude save or be stunned for 1 round.

Your skin is magically imbued with dark energies. You gain Damage Reduction 5/cold iron and good.

Your body is clouded in a magical aura. You gain a +4 racial bonus to Hide and Move Silently checks.

Your senses are unnaturally keen. You gain a +4 racial bonus to Listen and Spot checks.

Demonic Voice

If the demonward was possessed by a demon, he now is able to speak Abyssal, Celestial, and Draconic. If the demonward was possessed by a devil (making him or her a devilward), he now is able to speak Infernal, Celestial, and Draconic.